Welcome to Platoon Forward!

Welcome to the site where the story of the battle is as important as the battle itself. Here we will focus on men thrust into extraordinary situations of life and death. They must lead other men with duty and honor to meet their countries objectives. Some will be blessed with great skill, some will carry great shortcomings. No matter what nation, no matter what war, no matter what theater, they are all called to move their Platoon or Squadron forward!

These are their individual stories as played out using my various campaign rules . Hopefully these stories will entertain and inspire you to use your own troops, airmen and sailors to accomplish your own great heroics.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Sgt Bomba rides again Hostage rescue for Grunts Forward

Things have been incredibly busy for me personally so little time for play or painting.  Crueler Seas is finished.  Just have to send it off.  Have finished painting a tanker as well.  I ordered some Russian MO-4s and Japanese landing craft from Heroics & Rocs 2 Jan and still waiting for them!

Way back in Oct I started a 2 part scenario of a rescue mission in Zaire.  The first part was an ambush of the rescue column.  Go read about it under october's post I'll wait....  Good now you are all caught up. Finally played part 2; the actual rescue.  At the end I will give guidelines for you to adapt for your own battles.

After the ambush Lt Lorray reorganized his forces.  He decided to lead with the armored car and he would trail in the jeep.  Bomba and his half squad would have to squeeze into the APC.
Same forces as in the Oct scenario.     I did upgrade them to 10/10 for this scenario. 

Outskirts of town.   Hostages (5) held in building at far left.  French enter far right.  Both buildings far left are of regular construction.  All other buildings shoddy.  
Rebel forces start in both regular buildings and 1 "C" marker is placed there as well.  2 "As" and 2 Bs  are placed elsewhere on the board.  

Bad luck for Bomba!  The rebels roll a "6" and the "C" turns into a APC.

The plan was to race for the hostage building ignoring all other forces encountered.  The armored car would support an assault into the building by Sgt Barrie's full squad.  Sgt Bomba's half squad would assault the other regular building if it looked to be causing trouble.  The jeep would be in reserve.

The armored Car enters town and is fired on by rebels that emerge from a shop. 

The same rebels attempt to slow the APC which becomes the main target as clearly the french will need infantry to rescue the hostages. 

Satellite view provided by the US.  Armored Car has forced the rebel BTR to retreat.  ( Their morale was 8) French APC swings around to drive up to main building.  Rebels at the main house attempting to block and rebel reinforcements gather at the entrance of town. 

APC stops at the warehouse.  Sgt Bomba moves to engage rebels at the main house near the camera and Sgt Barrie moves towards the warehouse.  90mm shell from armored car exploding in rebel positions. 

Lt Lorray leaves Cpl Collins facing towards the gathering rebel reinforcements to keep the escape route clear while he heads for the hostages. 

The moment of truth.  Sgt Barrie doesn't wait to bring his whole squad in but charges with half his squad.  Here FOF really shines as training is everything.  The rebels fail to get final defensive fire and it is straight hand to hand.  6 rebels and 5 very deadly legionaries.  ( I only play 2 melee rounds per turn then both sides can reinforce.)   First round...
As we go the the second round the rebels have half their force left and the legionaries haven't lost anyone.  The rebels' morale holds though so...

The legionaries finish the job in just 2 rounds without a casualty.  The hostages are saved for the moment! 

Meanwhile outside the warehouse...

As the rest of Barrie's squad prepares to enter the building they turn to see a rebel charge.  Cpl Leach doesn't need Lt Lorray's order as the men turn and unleash a devastating barrage of fire that sees 3 rebels down and the rest scatter. 

Sgt Bomba manages to pen up the rebels at the main house without sustaining any casualties. 

As the 2 half squads plus the jeep hold the fragile perimeter  Sgt Barrie loads the hostages into the APC wondering how everyone is going to fit.  Lt Lorray, fearing an overrun, calls for helicopter support. 

Hostages loaded, time to collapse the perimeter.  The rebels surge closer.

All loaded up.  Time to move!  Just then a technical rolls into town. ( random reinforcement)
The armored car ( which was pretty worthless all game) misses the truck as it races by. 

Cpl Collins flattens the tires and causes the crew to abandon it though! 

Our heroes rolling away after a very successful mission!

Great game that was tense all the way through.  Amazingly the legion sustained no casualties.  The rebels had 16.  Sgt Barrie's fame continues to spread throughout the legion and his leadership increases to Gr II ( above average).  Cpl Collins, our Oxford college grad, had his leadership increase to average in game due to a random event and he manages to make that permanent as well.  Two other events occur post game.  In the barracks the talk turns towards Barrie running the platoon instead of Lt Lorray ( don't say it Jack!) and even in the headquarters the thought is mentioned.  Second, Sgt Howell, from Arkansas, in charge of a Milan team talks Sgt Barrie into going on the next mission.

For those of you that would like to create a hostage rescue mission using Platoon/Grunts Forward use a similar set up above and the following special rules:

The 2 A blinds and 2 B blinds at the start are rolled up as per Grunts Forward.  Due to the heavy French vehicle presence you must end up with at least 2 RPGs.   

C blind Due to the heavy vehicle prescence for the french I wanted to give the rebels a vehicle so I used the following table:
1    Technical w MMG
2-4 Technical w HMG
5 Technical w Recoiless rifle (probably 57mm)
6 APC   ( probably a BTR 152 but I used a BTR 60 instead )

Hostage building    this will have 6 rebels (6/10) 1 with a RPG +1 1 leader.   As they don't want to kill the hostages ( and to give the french a chance)  They can't try to kill the hostages until the french are right outside the door.  Honestly, I use the rules straight out of the FOF supplement Bush Wars. It involves a TQ check.  

Main House    This will have 6 rebels with a RPG plus the platoon leader (8/10) who is average.  In addition there will be a 2 man LMG team (6/10) no team bonus.

The rebels receive reinforcement the first 3 turns.    Use the following table
2  Armored Car   (1-3 Greyhound, 4-6 Eland)
3-4  7 rebels
5-6 6 rebels + 1 RPG
7-8 8 Rebels + 1 RPG 
9  6 Rebels + 1 RPG + 2 man LMG team
10 3 man MMG team
11 Technical  ( use table above to determine type)
12 T-55 tank

Reinforcements will enter either via hotspots or along the north or south edges as determined randomly.  





Monday, January 14, 2019

Tanks: The Modern Age and tordepoes for Cruel Seas

Have been playtesting my rules for Cruel Seas and some of my rules for Flotilla Forward.  On friday wanted to get my german minesweeper on the board so tested my torpedo rules.  Not much of a report so thought I would finally post my thoughts on Tanks: The Modern Age as well. 
Sorry forgot to right the picture before I loaded it but you get the idea.

Received this game for Christmas.  Have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It comes with three models which pays for itself right there plus 6 soviet and 6 US dice.  ( mine didn't have the dice but battlefront said they sent them on friday.)  I thought it would only have cards for the 2 tanks but it actually has the base cards for all the vehicles in the game.  Pretty cool since I have all the models already.  It doesn't have all the upgrades, you need the vehicle packs for those but still does give the game more legs than I thought.  How does it play?  If you have played X-wing you get the idea.  If you can suspend your idea that an anti tank missile hitting a tank does 3 points of damage instead of blowing it up then it is a highly enjoyable game.
While What a Tanker is a dice management game Tanks is a game about picking your platoon then maneuvering your forces.    [ Currently you can't play What a tanker with modern tanks.  Rich said they would include my Cold War Tanker  in the last special but they didn't for some reason.]  Both are fun but certainly different.

Played on a 3x3 foot table.  Also on display are the ruined chimneys I received for Christmas. 

2 tanks and a hind looking for trouble.

2 Leopard IIs and a Marder.  The base marder doesn't carry Milans so this one didn't because of point limits.  It would be easy enough to figure out the upgrade though.  It was there for anti helicopter defense.  There is no infantry in Tanks.  Again easy enough to figure out if you wanted to though it would slow the game down. 

The russian tank takes 3 points of damage and a critical hit.  ( every 6 rolled causes a critical.)

The Leopards advance.  1 Russian tank decides to flank.

The battle heats up as the hind hides behind a chimney.

Flanking position achieved!


Soviet die rolling is abysmal all game

The 2 Leopards go to work on the remaining russian tank while the Hind goes toe to toe with the Marder. 

The Hind rolls terrible ( probably too much pre flight vodka!) so the russian tank solves the Marder problem himself while using the chinmey as a block to the Leopards!  Tanks move very short distances so cover is key unlike X wing.  ( 2 hexes in this game.)

The Hind sobers up enough to return the favor and takes out a Leopard.  ( house rule helicopters always shoot at the flanks to represent top armor. )

So what looked like a blow out by the Germans turns out to be  drunk Hind against Leo II.  Hind already severely damaged but Leo only has HMG to fight with.  ( Hind apparently has unlimited AT missiles.  Might need a house rule here.) The rules say play for 30 minutes and it had been 40 so I let each have one shot and they both missed.  Draw game but the German is holding the ground.

Very fun game if you view it as a game with modern armor overtones.  Plays quick and has strategy.  I like that you get base cards for all the vehicles including the West Germans and helicopters.  For me I see this as a perfect game with my son or after a FoF game played real fast and I have the board set up with extra time on my hands.  With the models, dice and cards well worth the money.

Now to pivot to Cruel seas.

Main reason to play was to get this beauty on the board!  Slowly my modeling skills are improving.  The figures look better.  The flags look better and the dirt looks better. 

I am use to 15mm where close ups look great.  The ship actually looks better than this picture! 

So   1940 and the German is laying mines in the English shipping lane.  ( I don't know why there is only 1 minesweeper- just go with the story!)

Visibility 1 mile.   I forgot to roll for sea state.  3 MTBs to the rescue.  ( I made the later Vospers into MGBs but for our purposes today it is an early MTB.)

Also got to try out my FOW cards for the first time.  2 were drawn during the game.  The very first one drawn ever was...

Rain squall coming in from the north. 

Torpedo away!  ( Need to paint up some more torpedo markers.)    It missed

Blimey we both missed!  Now run for that rain squall coming towards us.  That minesweeper actually has 4 inch guns despite what the card says!

This vosper found out about the 4 inch guns as it was hit.  ( I give 4 in guns -1 to hit a small craft as they were hard to train.)   27 points of damage later it decided to fire its torpedoes while it was still afloat.  Of course a stern shot missed. 

Great playtest.  I like my torpedo rules and my FOW cards.  The whole thing took 20 minutes.  I am currently writing up my house rules entitled Crueler Seas.  Look for then shortly. 





Sunday, January 6, 2019

OLTzS Schwartzmann's big night

Happy New Year!  Had some time off with family so gaming was intermediate at best.  Hope everyone had a great holiday season.  Was blessed to get some 1/300 scale ships for Cruel Seas, Tanks the Modern Game and some terrain pieces from Battlefront.  I played Tanks and was surprised that it included  the base cards for all the vehicles, not just the M1 and T-64.  Will review that at a later date. 
For today will continue with Cruel Seas, Flotilla Forward and my new 1/300 ships.  I am still enamored with Cruel Seas and most of my changes to the rules.  I think I have the damage model down, still playing with iniative, have just added FOW cards and am 80% there with critical hits.  With FF just need to playtest the scenarios.   I love the scale of the ships and they work fine on the table; not too big.  Think I will keep my 1/1250 DDs though in case I want to run destroyer battles in the slot.   
So today we played "patrol" with my S boat squadron while I paint up some more ships.  Patrol in the channel was a bit unusual but is fun to play as it is essentially an encounter where you are not trying to avoid or protect anything. 

After some adjustments to the engines of his boat Schwartzman needed to test it out to make sure it would work fine when he needed it.  As commander of the element of 6 boats he had the latitude to decide he was going for a cruise tonight.  He needed a wingman so he took Rudorffer.   He was a reasonable fellow and it paid to keep on his good side since his uncle was some muckity muck in the Nazi party. 

Mission:  Patrol
Visability   2200 yards
Sea  Beaufort 2

OLtzS Klaus Schwartzmann  fanatic/ wealth         gunnery ace 
LtzS    Rudorffer               naive/ revenge          politically connected

Our Hero's boat.    2 20mms like the majority of S-38s in 1940. 

4 miles off the coast Schwartzmann sees a small MTB 1700 yards ahead to port.  He orders echelon left and opens fire with his front 20mm. 

Klaus only sees the port MTB. 

The surprised MGB is in trouble with an engine hit.  { I don't use the  plume rule in the rules.
the splashes are there for color.}

Rudorffer's guns join in and finish the job!  

At this point Schwartzmann's is fired at by several other MTBs and a swirling battle ensures. 

The British are outgunned but determined. 

Suddenly a flash of flame shoots up on one of the MTBs.   [ A torpedo exploded]

She manages to make her way south under the cover of smoke.  [ 2 hit points left.]

After about 15 minutes of battle Schwartzman is content to let the last MTB escape as he also wants to be back in port before dawn.  He gives the MTB a parting shot with his guns at 200 yards. 

Was ist los? [What is this?]   A fire has broken out!  We can't let you leave now my friend...

The british captain [ interesting that we call a 23 yo LT "captain" but he certainly had a weighty decision] had a difficult decision to make.  Slow his boat down to fight the fire [ not guaranteed in my rules] or run it and have his boat slowly consumed in flames.  He decided to run it while making smoke but after 5 minutes it was clear the fire was going to win.  Realizing what would happen he slowed his boat...

OLTzur See Schwartzman chased the MTB for 5 minutes gaining ground as the British tried to fight the blaze enveloping their ship.  As he pulled to within a 100 yards he hailed to the British to surrender.  Much to his amazement they declined his offer but did request a fire extinguisher.  [ For those of you familiar with my rules I used the AKOT and set the odds at very unlikely as the British had 7 hps left.] 
" The British are so stupid" thought Schwartzmann.   Fire! he told his crew.  All guns barked as the ship was further shredded.  [ now the odds became very likely1]  

The british officer waved a white piece of cloth so Schwartzman moved up to the bow and took the British survivors off not without some risk to himself.      It had been quite an evening!

Great battle with a surprising ending.   The whole thing took just over and hour.    Post battle the element's rep doesn't go up. [ bad roll] but Klaus' ship advances to veteran status!  Also Fregattkapatian Froshler promises Klaus extra support for his next mission.  Guess I need to get some more ships painted up!




Friday, December 21, 2018

OLtzS " Bobbi" Walther's bold adventure 1940

Continue to tinker with Cruel Seas and, after being spurred on by discussions about my somnolent Flotilla Forward decided to dust that off and play a Raid scenario.
For Cruel Seas have done the tweaks I suggested in my last post but for twin MGs I add +1 point of damage instead of adding an additional die.  ( I have also decreased all guns damage by 1 die).  This gives the boats more staying power.  I am still working on my critical hits chart and the correct frequency.
For Flotilla Forward no changes, I just played it straight out of the box.  I decided to use an S boat flotilla #2 based in Zeebrugge.  They have only been on 2 missions but plenty has happened.  They have sunk a mine sweeper and large merchant ship but their reputation has not spread yet. { Like Squadron Forward, people behave the way you expect.  If your Flotilla is bad ass then your folks will be more inclined to do great things.} 2 Characters have emerged from the 6 boat captains.  Lt zur See Jannewein is a former enlisted sailor who is gruff and ticks many people [ non player characters} off and Lt zur See Wehneit is just plain reckless.  On the last mission Wehneit "failed to see" the withdraw signal from the CO and pressed on with his torpedo attack that eventually failed.  OLt zur See Klaus read him the riot act and has threatened court martial if his eye sight ever fails again!

  In both Squadron Forward and Flotilla Forward I tend to rotate the mission lead between the CO and XO.  So this mission will be lead by OberLt zur See "Bobbi" Walther.  "Bobbi" is also a former enlisted man and his boat sank the freighter.   His mission is "raid".  He has to enter a small harbor and create a diversion for 3 turns ( 10 minutes) so some spy stuff elsewhere on the coast can occur.  Bobbi chooses to take a second boat along which will add a third blind to the English but 2 boats is safer and he knows we wont' be able to sneak in and out of the harbor because he has to cause a ruckus.  Feeling sorry for his former fellow enlisted sailor he tells OLT Klaus he wants to take Jannewein along.  Jannewein is gruff but a good man under fire.  Klaus agrees but adds, " You can take Wehneit too if you promise to leave him there."


OLT z See Walther    Careful/ Govt                 Avg ldr      Avg crew      S-38
Lt z See Jennewein     glum/ Govt       -1         Avg ldr      Avg crew      S-38

An S boat underway

Visibility is just under 2 miles.  Sea is calm with slight breeze blowing to the south.

Game commences 3 miles from the port.

E-boats approach 3 blinds.  2 Ds ( 80% small boats) and 1 C ( 80% modest boat)

One of the "D" blinds spots the germans and turns out to be a vosper.  I don't have any vospers in 1/600 so I substitute a Fairmile B. The other 2 blinds end up being just fog.

     The crew is on high alert  as they are within 3 miles of the port.  All eyes strain for enemy boats.
Suddenly shots are fired off the port bow!  Bobbi's boat takes minor damage.  He see a Fairmile through the darkness with a 3 pounder taking shots at him.  "Showtime!" he tells his chief and orders full speed ahead.

The s-boats approach the harbor.  Each hex is 100 yards.
Bobbi steers toward starboard hoping to use a squall to shield him from the ports guns and the fairmile.

Jennewein and the Fairmile trade shots.  Jennewein's antenna is destroyed.  Unbeknownst to the germans the Fairmile suffers engine damage.

Bobbi's boat enters the safety of the rain and he cuts speed to combat.  He knows Jennewein is experienced enough to do the same but in the rain his partner sounds closer and off to port.  He tries to raise him on the shortwave with no success.

Bobbi is through the rain and in the harbor!
He lays down smoke as shore batteries open up from both sides of the harbor.  "10 minutes chief!"
He sees some tanks on shore and orders his gunners to open up.   He is pleased as he sees hits register.

Staying at combat speed he makes a circuit of the harbor battling gun batteries as he goes.
Lt Jennewein ends up battling the Fairmile.  Bobbi sees his friend taking damage but doesn't realize how bad it is.  Jennewein's ships drops below 2/3rds damage which automatically means he can't go above combat speed.
Bobbi orders full speed as they reach the harbor entrance...
And after several minutes realizes his friend is unable to keep up.  Fortunately the smoke works and the ports guns remain silent and the fairmile can't keep up.  Their bold mission succeeds!  [ Actually you already know the Fairmile had engine damage as well and the port's 3 pounder actually malfunctioned at a most inopportune time! ]

Post battle Bobbi and his crew miss their rolls to increase to veteran status. But the actual Flotilla commander Fregatkaptain Froshler notices Bobbi and is impressed.  Also the unit's reputation increases to "1".  Both boats have major damage.  Bobbi's is repaired in time for the next mission but Jennewein's is not.

Great game that again played quick.   The rules continue to play smooth.  I realized I will need a critical hit chart for land targets as well.    Flotilla Forward played well also.  I think it is 75% there.  I might see if Warlord is interested.