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.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and The Bluetails and 18 Mira update

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! As stated previously I have much to be thankful for. I hope you do too.
Rich is shooting for a January release for Platoon Forward. Hopefully we all will be moving our platoons forward early next year!!

Played 2 BTH2 battles over the last week so thought I would post them. The scenarios for Squadron Forward are coming along. I have abandonded blinds. They are mainly there to see where the aircraft end up when the shooting starts. Instead I now roll for initial position. Think I am 75% there!

Yet another escort mission for Maj Evans and the P-51 D driving Bluetails. 6 fighters to move ahead of the B-17 stream and break up enemy fighters.
Maj Evans cunning Veteran
2Lt Pierce Mckennon Mercurical
1Lt Pudge Storch Coarse
2Lt Chase Blake Cocky West Point
1 Lt Chuck Weaver Slow Connected
2Lt John Turlock Cunning

3 elements of 2 pairs with Evans the only veteran. (new sq for me) The other 2 element leaders were Storch ( coarse texan but liked by the sq) and Weaver ( little natural ability but hard work compensated for this. Dad owned half of West Virginia including its senators)

Maj Evans thoughts were interupted by cannon fire hitting his plane!

A perfectly executed bounce!
4 FW 190D were behind them. The 4 mustangs started power dives. The 2 wingman shook off their pursers (who were rookies) while Evans and Storch were not as lucky. While Evans tried to figure out what to do next (he was tailed by an ace) he felt rather than heard a huge explosion and felt himself tumbling through the air. Training took over and he pulled the ripcord of his parachute. He would spend the next 5 months trying to figure out what happened while in a Stalag. Storch's mustang also was seen going down in flames but he managed to put out the fire with a power dive and make his way back to England.
Lt Weaver dove to avenge the chaos below losing his wingman in the process. He latched on to the tail of a Dora. Before he could pull the trigger cannon shells hit his mustang.
The hunter becomes the hunted
Thoughts of his first kill were replaced with survival. The ace that had got Maj Evans was on his tail!
Lt Weaver leaking fuel
(what other color should I use?)
Never a gifted pilot, Weaver barrel rolled and tucked into a tight turn and lost the Jerry. He managed to make it to an emergency field in France.
All in all a disaster for the Bluetails. 1 POW, 4 damaged and they only got 1 shot off.
My 18 Mira had a 3 on 3 clash with some more Falcons.
Yposminagos Camberous Lazy
Episminias Notaras Careful (Iron constitution)
Sminias Mexlexis Cocky Veteran

Lt Camberous leads the flight
random event led to ragged formation
3 Falcons are spotted 2 o'clock low.

Lt Camberous' first pass
The battle quickly turns into a dogfight with agile aircraft looking for an advantage. MSgt Notaras manages a kill! The Lt is damaged.

As a Falcon starts to hammer MSgt Notaras
Sgt Mexlexis shows up
Sgt Mexlexis shots a falcon off the tail of MSgt Notaras. Mexlexis, who was unpopular in the squadron, has just won over the senior NCO in a big way!! Both sides disengaged. The greeks claim one and have one damaged; a win!! MSgt Notaras has his skills upgraded to veteran.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hellenic Air Force!

Finally painted up my PZL 24s for the Greek Air Force. This is important because now my Italians have someone they can fight with on close to even terms! Plan to add some Bleinhems and MB 151s as well. As stated over Thanksgiving, character campaign for Squadron Forward is done; working on scenarios. This one is intercept.

Despite all the rhetoric, Sminagos [Captain] Andoniou had hoped it wouldn't come to this. Yet yesterday Italian troops had crossed over into Greece. Here he was flying CAP over the Greek naval base. It was unreal. All he men were untested. His right wingman today Antiposminagos [ 2lt] Kellas was one of the worst flyers in the group. Yet as first son of the ambassador to the US he had been passed through flight school. The Italians were known to be good airmen. He prayed Kellas wouldn't get killed and wouldn't cause anyone else to get killed. There, 2 o'clock low. 3 Falcons turning to meet them!

Blue flight
Sminagos Andoniou Pragmatic Veteran
Antiposminagos Kellas Pleasant Rookie
Yposminias Anagnotopoulas Cheap Average

Capt A leads the way!
Capt A also saw some bomber behind. He knew Red flight was coming up. He signaled to Cpl A to go after the bombers. He, with Kellas, would tie up the fighters.
Capt A's initial pass
A falcon crossed in front of him and his 4 guns sounded in his ears. Bullets tore into the wing of the falcon shredding its canvas and breaking spars but the plane flew on. [ Used my damaged table for BTH found in the Lardies special 2 years back. Got wing damage basic speed only]
A couple of turns later and he realized the PZL 24 could not turn with the falcon. He banked left and found himself behind an italian bomber. Lt Kellas could not keep up with the turns and had fallen behind. Capt A started to pound the bomber with rifle caliber bullets to little effect.
Capt A learning why 20mm cannon are better
than rifle caliber MGs
Meanwhile Cpl A had gotten into trouble. An experience (veteran) Falcon pilot had latched on his tail. All the jinking was not helping. Lt Kellas showed up but couldn't seem to get into position.
Things are looking bad for our Greek NCO!
LT top right.
Sorry for blurry picture!
After his gastank sprung a large leak Cpl A dove for the sea and the falcon pilot gave up the chase. The Italian turned on the other Greek plane, Lt Kellas. Unfortunatly it was no contest. Fortunately for Capt A, Lt Kellas managed to bail out of the stricken fighter and was picked up at the mouth of the harbor.
At this time Red flight finally showed up
Antipaspistis Argiropoulos Generous Average
Sminias Kamperos Evil Average with veteran flying skill
Sminias Mexlexis Egotistical Veteran
They went straight for the bombers who were almost at their IPs. A falcon intercepted Sgt Kamperos and shattered his instruments. Warrent Officer Argiropoulos lined up behind a bomber only to be killed by the rear gunner!
Capt A finally was rewarded when smoke started billowing from the fuselage of the bomber. Seconds later parachutes emerged as the bomber started a downward course. It never made it blowing up several thousand feet above the sea. He moved on to another bomber but this gunner hit him in the gas tank and he had to break off the action. The Italians bombers had an unmolested bomb run.

The Bomb run!
Fortunatley for the greeks, the italians did their part in proving that level bombing is a terrible way to hit ships, even when they are in port. All 8 bombers missed!!
Great battle. Numbers and spotting worked out well. Greeks did not fair well but Red flight was delayed. The squadron lost some cool points becasue they got banged up. After the battle the group commander sent the chaplain Fr Nastros down. He is a rather glum fellow who did not help morale out. All planes made it back to base but none are repaired for next mission. That leaves 3 ready with 7 pilots.
Italaians had 3 CR 42s and 9 SM 79s,
Special rules
Both flights are on CAP [ no radar here!] Roll a die. If even blue flight will intercept; if odd red flight. 3 turns after the greeks have spotted the Italians roll a d6. on a 5-6 the other flight shows. Add 1 to the die every turn thereafter.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Recon at Chateau du Pupon

Felt like playing a battle in Normandy so using my 101st airborne unit. This is only their 3rd battle.

Lt Ramsey showed up at the Colonel's CP wide awake. He had actually slept for 5 hours. That was the most he had slept since the invasion 5 days earlier. There was an older frenchman in the battered room who stood too straight to be a simple farmer.
"Joe, glad you are here. As you know we are ready to break out of the beachhead. We want to use this route here as it is paved and good for tanks. Unfortunatley, retired Major Jean Claude here says there is a Chateau along it crawling with Krauts. That would be nice information to know before we start down the road." The frenchman spoke, (with an outrageous french accent) Colonel, it iz true. I know what I saw. Several tanks and large guns overlooking the road. You will be wiped out!"
"Joe, take a squad plus a bazooka and have a look. If there is little resistance take the place but don't play hero. Find out what is there and come back and let me know. Major Jean here will show you the way.

Your forces
Lt Joe Ramsey Scholarly/Techie Gr III leader
SSgt Bill Taylor optomitic/wealth Gr II 1st squad has high morale
Major (retire) Jean Claude Gr II 7 partisans armed with rifles
1 bazooka team with 2 men

What is your plan LT?

Chateau du Pupon
Lt Ramsey's plan was to go down the left flank through the fields to the barn. From there either enter the main house or climb the hill depending on resistance. The Major offered to lead with his men so Joe let him. He reminded the Major that they were not to start shooting; theirs was recon!
Things went surprising well as they made it through the field without a shot fired. The Major pointed smugly through the bocage at a tank in front of the main house. Nuts!
German tank in the way.
(Yes it is a Char-bis. Command
Decision tanks come 3 to a pack
and I had one left over so...)
Joe decided to let the partisans watch the house and he would send a team around the barn to the hill for a better look. As SSgt Taylor started off MG fire from the hill pinned him down. "Guess the party has started now" Joe thought to himself. The Bar layed suppressive fire on the MG, SSgt Taylor moved his men into the barn and Lt Ramsey brought up his bazooka. The tank meanwhile had started firing on the BAR team. 5 German soldiers came out of the main house and headed for the barn.
German soldiers advance towards the barn
The germans were able to drive the americans out of the barn. (The americans were trying to avoid casualties) After a bazooka round missed the tank backed up but continued to shell the americans.

Franco-American positions in the field
Joe now knew the Major was right. There were alot of Jerrys here. He decided he could not take the complex and felt he would take casualties in occupying the MG nest on the hill. He had seen all but the far side of the compound. He asked the Major if he would run to the far side and take a look while his boys keep Jerry's head down. The Major agreed.
Major Jean Claude's dash across the road
The Major dashed acrossed the road. Signaled he had his info and all allied forces withdrew.
Back at the CP Lt Ramsey was able to report there was a large french tank, a MG on the hill and at least 2 squads in the chateau. More important to him; he had not lost a man. The Colonel turned to the beaming Frenchman, "Well Major, guess I owe you an apology. Maybe you Frogs are okay afterall!"
Fun and short battle. The write up doesn't do it justice. Since you don't know the forces arrayed against you there is a fair amount of tension. As we entered the field I thought we would get shot. As we came to the barn I thought we would get shot. When we ran towards the hill I thought we would get shot. (wait we did get shot then!)
The german forces ended up being: dug in where it makes sense
d6 1-2 second string 3-5 1st string 6 paratroopers ( I rolled a 3)
1 LMG with gr 2 leader
1 squad with gr III leader
1 half squad with company commander (didn't roll for him as he never came out)
1 tank and 1 ATG (Maj Jean Claude missed the ATG; oops)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! One third of our viewers are from Europe. Thanksgiving is a national holiday where we overeat on Turkey and watch american football. We also give thanks for the many blessing given to us and our country. It is probably the last holiday that is not comercialized. Hence I enjoy it. It is not comericalized but the next day is "Black Friday", the busiest shopping day of the year and the epitome of US commercialization.

I won't bore you with my personal life but I have much to be thankful for. I am not is a warzone though 54 of my friends are. Whatever your political views, please remember the Platoons Forward defending others and away from their families.

I thought I would update you on my projects. Please feel free to ask questions or offer advice.

1. Platoon Forward Rich continues to edit. I confess I did not think it needed it but now I understand why authors have editors. He has tightened it up and made it flow smoother. The graphics are great, the best he has done. I have added a table for officers to see "where they have come from". This affects how they are treated. If daddy is a senator or politburo member things will be a little smoother! If you have come up from the ranks (a mustang) your men will like you but your superiors will be a little cool.

Eye candy I found on my computer

I actually remember this battle.
Based on Chris' work on the French "attack" into
Germany 1939
Squadron Forward is moving right along. Release the Hounds has slowed it as I have been playing naval stuff as of late. I have the character campaign done. It is different than Platoon Forward. There are not as many choices once you are in the air and fewer on the ground as well. But you have the opportunity to develop individual skills. There is also a cool thing called squadron reputation. You want to be a big dog and belong to the big dogs. This helps balance different air forces and periods. The Romanians can do well just by breaking even. You manage a group of pilots but it focuses on individuals more than Platoon Forward. This feels right to me given the nature of air combat.
I am still working on the solitaire scenario generation system. The missions are easy, it is getting the force balance right for the solitaire opponent that is proving challanging. As the germans on the eastern front I am supposed to be outnumbered. As the russians I should have the number advantage many times. Want it historically accurate but able to give surprises like Platoon Forward.
I also have a project specific to Bag the Hun where I have been able to differenciate almost ever model of aircraft in game terms. I have called it Bling the Hun. It hopefully will appear in a Lardie special after Platoon Forward is published
Card for "Bling the Hun"
Finally I have been playing with "Release the Hounds" This started out as "Hello Sailor" for Too Fat Lardies but I changed 70% of it. It still has cards but movement is simultaneous. Combat is similar to Bag the Hun but naval style. Those of you that have seen my Brag the Hun, it is an evolution of that. I have opted for a overal initiative rating that seems to be working well. But each ship's commander will have a personality that can come into play through random events. I haven't started on a campaign game yet (Flotilla commander) but this will be aimed at small boat actions up to DDs. Anything bigger didn't fight enough to have a campaign! Again this will be solitaire friendly.

USS Porter in the Solomons

Her commander is agressive ( go figure!)

That is all my projects. It is enough to keep me off the streets. I would also like to thank each of you and hope you enjoy this site. I try not to waste your time. I have only kept track of "hits" since July and have had over 4,000 visits since then. Considering I post about twice a month I am amazed by that number; thank you. (Don't worry there will never be advertising here)

Happy Thanksgiving


Monday, November 22, 2010

The Admiralty wasn't as impressed

Wanted to try out my naval rules with some fast moving small boats. Haven't started Flottila Forward campaign rules or solitaire rules yet but am kicking some ideas around. Do have a random events chart done. Am also continuing to edit Platoon Forward with Richard. We are a third of the way done!

English Channel November 1940 (Not sure if this is too historical but I had the ships on hand!)

Commander O'Toole looked at the measly forces on hand and sighed. At least his protests had allowed the addition of a Fairmile B launch. His mission was to escort several coasters (mainly coal) up north. As there were only 6 freighters a large escort was not thought neccessary. And besides, he was told, the Jerry DDs had sortied receintly and would not try that again.
HMS Clover (Flag) Flower class Frigate
HMS Onyx Algerine Class Fleet Mine Sweeper
HMS Lady Lillian ASW Trawler
ML 475 Fairmile B Launch
6 Coastal Freighters speed 10 knots
Visability 3 miles

Initial British Formation
Each hex is 500 yards
Around midnight Lady Lillian radioed she had sighted an E-boat off to port and was engaging. As was pre arranged, the motor launch and Clover turned towards the port side of the convoy to support and look for more E-boats
Lady L first to fight!
Lady L's second shot starts a fire on the E-boat. It turns and starts a retreat. She will spend the next 15 minutes trying to sink it to no avail.
Where are the other E-boats? The Fairmile runs into them south of the convoy and opens fire. Clover is still trying to join the battle and Cmdr O'Toole is seeing just how slow 15 knots can be! The Mine Sweeper, sure that a second attack is not looming, reverses course to join the battle.
12:10AM The E-boats sight the convoy
The 3 remaining E-boats increase speed away from the Fairmile to reverse course in order to begin a torpedo run on the convoy. The Fairmile starts laying down a smoke screen. 1 E-boat (under fire) fires long at 3k yards and misses. The others break to port of the smoke screen.
E-Boat passes through a smoke screen and
within 500 yards of HMS Clover
Both crews were too surprised to fire

E-Boats break left of smoke screen and
loop towards freighters
Cmdr O'Toole was astonished to find an E-Boat barreling out of the smoke screen and cut across the bow of the Clover. By the time the pom poms started firing it was half a mile away. He had thought they were still back with the Fairmile. He quickly turned the Clover around to place his ship between the E-boats and the freighters. He could see the E-boats as they were moving at 30knots but apparently they were having trouble seeing the freighters through the thickening haze. [ 2 random events had decreased visability to 2 miles] 1 E-boat fired torpedoes and missed. The second could not seem to line up a shot. It was probably due to fire from the Clover. Just as he seemed to give up, he turned towards the Clover and fired two torpedoes at the HMS Clover!
2 Torpedoes fire at the HMS Clover from 1,000 yrds
O'Toole screamed hard to port but a ship at 15 knots does not turn like a spitfire. One torpedo slammed home as Cmdr O'Toole was thrown towards the ceiling and then to the floor. It took just over an hour for the HMS Clover to sink beneath the cold waters of the channel.
Two weeks later Cmdr O'Toole recieved a letter from one of the freighter captains thanking him for breaking up the E-boat attack. The Admiralty, however, wasn't as impressed.
1 Flower class Corvette sunk
1 E-boat out for 1 week after a fire
1 E-boat with minor splinter damage and 4 casualties
Loads of fun and should work with any coastal set of rules!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The road from Kursk

This is the 4th battle with my Russian squad. Their 3rd battle is posted 4 posts ago entitled "Brick lumber yard". Go read it to get re aquanted with them, I'll wait. Good.

Lt Konerko stood in front of the company officers. We finally have a crack at the fascists! We are to take this hill there with anti tank guns guarding this road. 2nd platoon, you have the honor of the direct assualt for Mother Russia. 3rd platoon, you will strike the hill from the right. 1st platoon will protect the left flank by neutralizing the trenches and bunker guarding the road. JrLt Bessonov failed to hear anything after that. His platoon would protect the left flank! Clearly the CO did not feel he was the equal yet to his fellow platoon commanders despite all men being equal in the workers paradise. And it got worse. After the meeting the CO pulled him aside and said, " Bessonov, you are improving but I have assigned a sub machine gun squad to take out the bunker. You and Shakulo worry about the trenches." Lt Konerko didn't even think he could handle the bunker!
Lt Bressonov Scholarly/ pleasure Gr II
Sgt Shakulo 1st sq addicted alcohol Gr II
Cpl Zurvich acting 2nd sq generous/ music Gr I poor morale
Cpl Corok acting 3rd sq negative/ government Gr I
3 squads, 1 MMG, 1 SMG squad, 2 T-34s

Looking from Russian lines
Trenches top left/ bunker top right
swamp center right
What is your plan Jr Lt? You get 2 stonks of 81mm fire but no smoke
Bessonov plans to advance up to the far edge of the swamp in a line behind his one tank with the 2nd squad ( his weakest)and MMG in the swamp to anchor. From there he would human wave assault the trench. Lt Konerko order the other T-34 with the SMG sq to follow the road and take out the bunker.
The attack begins!
JrLt Bessonov in middle with pistol
The russians catch several breaks early. The pre game mortars pin the germans in the bunker and the MMG in the trench jams early on.
SMG sq moving through wire on the right flank
The stunned crew in the bunker finally gather their wits and fire their 75mm gun destroying the T-34 tank just before it moves beyond their field of fire. Their shots are not enought to disuade the SMG squad however and they eventually break through the wire. In the center the T-34 causes a Stug to withdraw out of a gun pit and Bessonov manages to keep all the men moving forward. Just as he blows the whistle to signal the final charge into the trench an 81 mm shell lands in the midst of 2nd squad as german shells begin to land.
Human wave time!
You can see the explosion of the 81mm shell center right
Bessonov charged ahead hoping that his platoon would follow. 2nd and 3rd squad did. 1st squad sustained 2 casualties in the bombardment but the men refused to move. Sgt Shakulo started physically kicking the men; 3 responded. He took those three and started his charge!
Cpl Corok meets the enemy
3rd squad reached the trenchline first. 4 Germans with a LMG. The LMG cut the russians down like wheat. 3rd squad sustained 3 casualties and Cpl Corok was wounded. The attack was stopped cold.
Sgt Shakulo meets the enemy
Sgt Shakulo reached the trench with only a 3 men and an LMG. He faltered for a second but was determined not to let JrLt Bessonov get into the trench without him! "Fire" he shouted and threw grenades at the MMG crew. It worked, their gun was not as agile and the russians entered the trench killing 2 and the others ran like beaten dogs.
JrLt Bessonov and Cpl Zuvich meet the enemy
Bessonov could not believe Shakulo was entering the trench with only 3 men! His 10 had to win! The german LMG fired and his troops temporarily halted. Bessonov swore but Zuvich started shouting out a patriotic song. The men started singing and went over the top with their Jr Lt. [had a heroic event that I used to rally the LMG team automatically] After a brief struggle 2 germans fell; 2 fled and the trench was secure!
A tiger tank showed up to shell the trench but the SMG team moved out from the bunker they had captured and the tank, without infantry support, withdrew.
Great battle! The russians did not face a lot of infantry this time so it was a little easier than normal. Hey, sometimes the dice work in your favor!!
Enemy forces
roll d6 1 paratroopers 2-3 ss 4-6 regular line troops ( I rolled a 2)
1 squad with gr II leader, 1/2 squad with gr II leader 1 MMG with gr III leader
1 75mm ATG 1 Stug
1 module of 81mm Mtr with 2 pre plotted positions. 1 trench 1 bunker 4 hexes of wire
1 unit must set up behind the main line
Reinforcement on turn 4 1 Tiger (If 2 person game add 1 squad and gr III leader, I only rolled the Tiger)
Lt Konerko congratulated JrLt Bessonov after the battle on his leadership. 2nd squads morale also improved to normal. The 2 normal squad leaders for 2nd and 3rd squad are back next battle but Jr Lt Bessonov is fond of Cpl Zuvich now and would like to get him promoted into his own squad if possible. JrLt Bessonov also grudgingly admits that Sgt Shakulo is a good squad leader but still doesn't trust him. Several days later Lt Konerko informs him that Pravda wants to do a story on Sgt Shakulo and a reporter will accompany the squad next mission to see Sgt Shakulo in action. Should be interesting...
PS Richard Clarke is actually formatting the Platoon Forward rules. I am actually working with him on the edits. His art work and design is beautiful!! It will be worth the wait.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Channel Knife Fight

Finally collecting some 1/1250 scale ships. These babies are big and detailed!! Of course they are more expensive as well.

2 MAAS DDs Can you guess which one costs only $2?
Since I plan to play destroyer actions space and money should hold out. I will keep my 1/2400 stuff for the occasional bigger battle but once I saw the detail on these models it will be hard to go back. As you know I have never done any advertising here but I have to say Dave from
PT Dockyards was very helpful in getting me started in this scale. He pointed me to a 1/1200 forum where I found several good deals on ships. The best dealer to deal with has been John Eagan from Eagan Ships. He has not only provided guidance but great deals and lightning fast service.
So I had 5 DDs painted up and my Release the Hounds rules ready. What to do???
Commander Fitzhew stared into the night. The Admiralty had told him German naval forces were making a sortie into the Channel tonight. He didn't know if that meant TBs, DDs or even CLs but he meant to find them before he was found! He was to intercept and destroy the German force. He had 3 "J" class DDs in which to do it. The 3 boats had not worked together before but the officers seemed competent. His own crew on the HMS Jersey were well trained and eager to get a crack at Jerry!
CMDR Fitzhew 's column

Z 28 out looking for trouble
At 0134 a lookout noted at shape to port at 3+ miles moving away.
Initial sighting
Fitzhew upper left
Jerry bottom center
Squall upper right
A starshell from turret "A" reveiled a german DD. Fitzhew ordered all guns fire at will as he frantically searched for more ships.
Z 25 under a starshell
He could find no other ships but could see hits on the Jerry ship. (Unfortunatly these were from the HMS Javalin NOT Jersey; need to talk to the gunnery officer!) She started making smoke and turned to port. [Z25 had started flooding, slowed and turned to make smoke] Cmdr Fitzhew turned his column and raced in for the kill. As he did he started taking fire from his front about 4 miles away from another Jerry DD.
HMS Jersey moving up for "the kill"
Z25 flooding turns to port [center]
Z28 circling back to support [right]
Cmdr Fitzhew decided to ignore this latest foe and concentrate on the first DD. While advancing "A" turret was knocked out by the "long range" gunfire. No matter, Fitzhew was not to be thwarted, "Stay the course!" he bellowed. As HMS Jersey broke through the smoke he saw to his dismay a German DD broadside waiting for him at 500 yards. 6 in guns and 37mm rounds flew into Jersey. Damage over the next 2 minutes was substancial and the call came to the bridge that there was significant flooding midship.
HMS Jersey and Z25 toe to toe at 500 yards
Cmdr Fitzhew had no time to be disappointed. He still had a battle to win. Z25 had stopped making smoke and was speeding up [ she had stopped her flooding] HMS Javalin was 1000 yards behind still in smoke. He had no time for a coded message. He broadcast in the clear,
" Tim, am flooding; pass to my port. Kill the bastard" He hove Jersey to starboard.
LCDR Timmothy Overbrooke aboard the HMS Javalin was shocked by the message coming in over the wireless but as he broke through the smoke understood immediatley the situation. He narrowly missed the Jersey as he started to pursue the German DD.
HMS Javalin takes up the fight
After several volleys of gunfire, both DDs fired torpedoes at 1,500 yards. A British Fish struck home leaving Z 25 broke and sinking. Tim Overbrooke took his column to pursue the other Jerry destroyer but he slipped away into the chill night air.
Twenty minutes later, flooding had stopped on the Jersey and Cmdr Fitzhew had his victory.
When he met LCdr Overbrooke later that morning he said, " Tim remember, when it comes to radio discipline it is do as I say, not do as I do!"
Great battle and I really enjoyed the ships. Got some more Japanese and US ships from John and have an order of German and British stuff pending from the San Diego Ship Man. Rules played well though I still have to work on torpedoes.
Scenario Encouter 1940
visability 3 miles wind none sea state calm
3 "J" class DDs vrs 2 Narvik class DDs
Roll for position start

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Barent Sea AAR/ Release the Hounds Playtest

The first miniatures I ever bought were ships. They were cheap and I didn't need terrain. I soon moved on because all the rulesets I played were either too simple or too complicated. I wanted detail down to individual turrets and AA mounts but I wanted the games to be relatively quick; didn't want to keep track of hull boxes and wanted to play with my favorite ship, the destroyers! Command at Sea was a little too slow for my taste though their scenario books are still the best. I thought I had it with GHQs "The Game". Great rule set but destroyers are too easily taken out and PT boats are an afterthought. Have toyed with my own rules from time to time but could not figure out how to do realistic damage without "counting boxes" yet keeping the fidelity of individual turrets. Had a eureka moment on a plane to Sacramento 2 weeks ago. Ran up some charts and did dice playtests and it seemed to work. Time to try it out for real!
Scenario is heavily modified ( I don't have many ships) out of the Command at Sea Group Nord book. Basically the germans are trying to break through a british escort to a small convoy. The German's are petrified of losing their pocket battleship as usual.

Capt Sherebrooke was uneasy. Then again he was always uneasy out at sea during this war. He was senior officer of this small band of ships escorting 7 merchants. His crew on the HMS Onslaw were good as were the rest of the escort. They just might make it to Russia despite the storm. The weather was bad with visability about 4 miles and this promised to get worse. His thoughts were suddenly interupted by the officer of the day. " HMS Rhododendrom has sighted a german destroyer dead astern about 3.5 miles back. "

The Convoy
Very well. Tell HMS Orwell that we will execute a simultaneous 180 degree turn and she should find this destroyer. Tell Obdurate [with Obediant] that she should meet us behind the convoy. Capt Sherebrooke knew he did not need to tell the corvette to start making smoke nor the merchantman commodore to radio the light cruiser HMS Jamaica.
Fred moving up. He didn't see
anything until Orwell started shooting

The situation while orders are transmitted,
decoded and executed. The 3rd german DD is
off picture to the south
Straining eyes on the bridges of both british DDs were finally rewarded at 5 miles when the shape of a german DD hove into view. Orwell starts to fire but misses. Fred, thinking he has found the convoy alters course to starboard and the ships close. A gun duel erupts and both sides take damage. Orwell settles the argument when she hits Fred with a torpedo that leaves her flooding and on fire.
Lutzow hears the commotion and speeds up
HMS Orwell is so engaged in the fight she fails to spot the german CB. Lutzow fires at 5.5 miles hits Orwell. Orwell staggards and moves off stage. Lutzow, seeing enemy DDs close, calls back her destroyer screen and starts a lazy 180 turn. Capt Sherebrooke coutermands his last order to Obdurate telling them to close with Theo Reidel on the right and instead orders a torpedo attack on the Lutzow. Meanwhile he will turn and chase after the Richard Beltzen on the british left that has sailed right by them and is still searching for the convoy.
Time during Sherebrooke's orders
Beltzen top of picture. Fred in center on fire
Theo off picture to the bottom
Onslow starting turn for Beltzen upper right
Orwell under fire from Lutzow
Obdurate/Obedient still carrying out order to
go after Theo
Theo turns around failing to spot the convoy and roughs up Obdurate and Obdient slowing them down enough they are unable to carry out a torpedo attack.
2 British destroyers roughed up
Richard Beltzen does spot the convoy and makes a very lazy turn back towards the Lutzow. This allows her to get several shots off. One hits the bridge of the SS Pontfield. Thus confused she does not steer away from the 4 german tordedoes. One hits and sinks her.
HMS Onslow catches up at this time and the 2 destroyers trade torpedo shots as they pass.
Russian Roulette torpedo style
Unfortunaltly for Capt Sherebrooke, he loses this time as a german torpedo hits the Onslow.
The german destroyers recalled, the germans retire.
Forces and Fate
Lutzow CB fine
Richard Beltzen DD 5 turret out
Theo Reidel DD moderate damage
Friedrick Edkold DD heavy damage difficult to control scuttled
Onslow DD heavy damaged limped to port
Orwell DD heavy damage limped to port
Obedient DD moderrate damage continued escort
Obdurate moderate damage engines damaged; had to be towed; decision to scuttle
Rhododendrom Corvette fine
Pontifield tanker sunk
give victory to the Kreigsmarine
Great game and I liked the system. Have decided I like it enough that I will invest in some 1/1200 scale destroyers and smaller ships. For the bigger stuff will stick with 1/2400 but I really like the smaller boats. Once I get the smaller boats will post another playtest.
Realize this was a different post than what I normally do but thought it would prove interesting and hopefully provide an entertaining scenario.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

FAAR mission #5

I have been working on Squadron Forward for about 6 months. I have the character interaction pretty well set and the in game events. Am now starting the scenarios. I play 90% solitaire so am working on a force generator that will give a balanced game where I don't know what I am facing until I am in it. One of my few critisms of BTH2 is there are way too many blinds on the board so I don't wnat to know where the enemy is coming from but don't want 25 counters on the board either. Lastly both sides need a realistic chance to be able to affect a "bounce". So ready to try my first scenario; escort. We call upon one of my favorites, my Romanian IAR-80 squadron. This is there 5th mission and since this is 1942 they will be flying the "B" model.

Captain Sandru put down the phone. "Crap." The group commander Pomut had decided to fly with them tomorrow. Worse he did not want Sandru to go because he wanted to get to know the men. They were suppose to escort some JU-87s to attack a river convoy moving towards Stalingrad. Sandru had planned to allocate 4 planes to the mission but now he had better allocate 6 and place his best pilots on it to protect the group commander. To have him shot down would be embarresing; to have him wounded and land pissed would be a disaster!

Major Pomut coarse average skill (dislikes SQ)
Lt Macri Pleasant average

Lt Hapaina aggressive average
SLt Alexia Pessimistic average (avoids combat when able)

Adj Sef Ionescu Cultured Veteran skill
Adj Stag Toma Obnoxious average 1 kill

The day dawned clear and the Romanians found their charges without problems despite the language differences. The germans were prompt if nothing else. The Stukas flew at 16K feet so flak over the flont lines was not a problem.

In bound Ionescu smiles for the camera

4 minutes to target the Stukas called out bandits bearing down on them from 4 o'clock. Pomut leaves Hapania high and the other 4 race down. [my picture of the russian fighters is lost, sorry!] One stuka explodes as 3 LA-5s race through the formation. Major Pomut snaps off a high deflection shot that catches the new russian fighter in the engine and it explodes! Just as quick a 4th russian fighter appears on the Major's tail. Adj Sef Ionescus rushes to help as Captain Sandru gave him explicit instructions to bring the Major home alive. The Major starts a series of tight turns while losing altitude that his wingman and the russian can not follow. "The old man can fly!" thinks Ionescu.

1 more Stuka is destroyed and 1 damaged. Adj Stag Toma shoots an assaliant off Ionescu's tail and Ivan leaves the field trailing petrol. At this point the Stukas are commencing their dives. With 3 fighters against 6 IAR-80s the russians leave.

Stuka starting its run on a Fugas class minesweeper

Stukas on the attack The barges are camouflaged to
look like Command at Sea markers.
The MO-4 boat is the tiny one upstream

Direct hit! 500lb bombs make big holes
The Fugas class boat is destroyed by a direct hit. 2 barges are sunk. 2 Stukas miss completely.
The return trip is uneventful. The battle is considered a draw.
Post mission The squadron is awarded no cool points. Major Pomut's attitude improves to neutral towards the squadron. Adj Stag Toma's skill improves to veteran. Adj Bacui [did not fly but has a kill] is promoted to Adj Stag [Sgt]. Finally a new rookie pilot Adj Dusescu joins the squadron.
5 russian fighters were generated in one group. It seemed to work well; there were no in game events. For those of you using my LAAF anti aircraft rules the
Fugas MS is size 2 speed 3 [ can't go that fast in a river though] hvy 1 lt 1+
MO-4 motor launch size 1 speed 3 hvy -- lt 1+
Should be a good sceanario for BTH2 or Mustanges. A little large for CY6.