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, December 15, 2011

For want of a nail The death of a Marine Aviator

Have been busy with Squadron Forward and with painting my Welsh.  Several weeks ago was a guest at the Honorable Artillary Company in London for a formal dinner.  The English do fomal military dinners well and most of the US traditions actually date from the English.  The Honorable Artillary Company was formed before the ECW and have a very nice museum.  They are also an active regiment.
The Hall where we entered

I wonder if these folks are gamers?


A fabulous time with a string quartet, horn and bagpipes.  All my other pictures have folks in uniform but it was a grand time and I would like to thank the British officers for sponsoring the event.

Corsairs arrived in Guadicanal early 1943.  My Jolly Rogers are a Corsair squadron in the 'canal.  They have flown 2 missions and not faired particularly well. This is where squadron reputation comes into play.  They have 4 kills against 2 losses.  Not terrible but they are flying Corsairs against Zeros and Vals.  Squadron Reputation helps level the playing field.   That kill ratio would be great for my Greek 18 Mira flying PZL 24s but for the Corsairs it is average.  

Capt Sanford was leading a patrol of 4 planes up the slot this morning.  The squadron was light on experience so he was taking his XO and 2 of the more experience 2LTs.  If he and the XO bought it 1LT Cohen could step in as he already had 2 kills.

Capt Sanford     Pleaseant/ wealth        Veteran
1LT   Johnny Lightning    Naive/ alcohol
2LT  Sam Jones    Lazy/ Position
2LT   Rick Brown   Coarse/ Hedonism

During the flight up the slot LT Jones noted his manifold was not working properly.  He radioed in to lead and after a brief discussion it was decided that the engine was running smoothly enough that he would not abort.  Capt Sanford really did not want to be down to 3 Corsairs facing an unknown enemy.  It was just manifold pressure and it did not seem like it would impact any battle.

I am sure you have all heard the story of a horse that has a loose horseshoe and it is not fixed for want of a nail.  No one thinks it is too important; afterall, it is just a horseshoe on a horse.  Well eventually the horse is placed in a critical position, either moving supplies or carrying a king, and slips and falls off a bridge due to failure of the horseshoe.  Thus ends the kingdome or the battle.   Thus the phrase, " For want of a nail..."  Keep this story in mind as we think of this simple manifold on the Corsair engine.  Afterall, it is just the manifold and the engine is still working...

While on patroll the flight gets information that there are Vals coming down the slot and they are vectored towards an intercept!



Capt Sanford moves in from 5 o clock
Since Capt Sanford gets good position on the Vals he decides to have each element go after a trio and deal with the escort as they appear.    The american aim is poor however with 1 Val damaged and 1 Val going down to the Captain's 6 brownings.  Lt Jones is able to keep up so far.    The 3 Zero escort, caught in front of the Vals whips around and come after the Yankees. 
Zero tailing Lt Brown
A Zero quickly slips behind Lt Brown and before anyone knows it his corasir is spinning towards the Pacific.   A good chute is seen...

Squadron Forward has a random event called a "Gut Check".  It is a morale check for an individual pilot.  It is modified by many things to include leadership, character and plane status.  Guess who had to take a Gut Check?   Lt Sam Jones.   Guess who missed passing by 1?   Guess what modifier I gave to a corsair with a bad manifold?  Now most men in combat won't run away, they don't want to leave their buddies in a lurch.  They just don't want to expose themselves to much danger.  Thus Lt Jones moved to the edge of battle and was hesitant to mix it up.   This caused two things:  Capt Sanford lost his wingman and the Jolly Rogers lost a Corsair in the thick of the fight.

As Jones circled the battle a Val approached him.  He lined up a deflection shot and it went spinning into the ocean!

Towards the end of the battle Capt Sanford was in trouble.  He had a zero on his tail and took hits to his gas tank and was leaking fuel.  Lt Jones came over to assist but was no longer in formation and still was watching his own six more than Sanfords.   Another Zero joined the fray




two on two

Leaking fuel and no wingman, Capt Sanford was in trouble.  The inevitable happened.
For want of a nail...

The fuel ignited and a large explosion ripped the sky.  The death of a marine aviator.

The loss of two corsairs for 2 vals and 1 damaged was a clear loss for the Jolly Rogers.  They lost another cool point and their reputation is down by one.  No one notice Lt Jones' actions in the heat of battle, particularly when he came home with a kill.  Lt Brown was rescued and will miss one mission.

  The Group commander decided the Lts are too junior to lead a squadron moving in the wrong direction so pulled strings and brought in an old flying buddy of his known throught the Corps, Scottie McBride.  Scottie is an idealist when sober and tough as nails.   He is currently a Captain but has been many ranks due to both his idealism and his alcoholsim.  He has 3 kills in Wildcats ( I so badly wanted to roll up an ace but all I got was a veteran!), has the leadership trait and ironman trait.  We will see if he can pull the squadron up out of its dive.   Should be a blast to find out!

For those of you that want to play the battle the forces rolled for the Japanese were:
9 Vals    3 Zeros  1 Vet, 1 Avg and 1 rookie.
Zeros start in front of Vals 1 altitude up
Corsairs start at the Vals 5 o clock half the max spotting distance away acording to your rules.  The Japanese Vals are spotted. The Zeros are not.   The americans are not. American altitude is player's choice.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas

Joe   

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blue tails over Frankfurt

Have been working on the mission tables for Squadron Forward.  Unlike Platoon Forward, almost each model of airplane will have it's own table and this will vary by year and theater.  For example, a ME 109 in 1940 would have a differnt mission profile than in 1945!
Rich and I are going to start working in earnest on Squadron Forward after the Christmas Special.  I hope to have the finished product end of January or Feburary.  Like Platoon Forward, Squadron Forward is the way I play my games so hopefully you will enjoy it!

I visited The Eagle pub in Cambridge last week.  It is an authetic WW II pub used by the RAF and 8th AF pilots.  The food was good and reasonably priced and they have an aviation room.
Stray person in front of Eagle pub
So despite my finishing up my vikings this weekend, I played a battle with my P-51 blue tails.  This is thiee 4th battle and they are a hard luck squadron with a poor reputaiton.  They were bounced by FW 190s and lost their CO on the first mission.  On their third mission they missed the rendevouz with the bombers!
I roll up a mission and get escort strategic bombers.

Capt Anderson looked at the thread going all the way to Frankfurt.  This was a long mission for the bombers in March of 1944.  He was to lead a 6 ship and pick up the bombers on the way back from the target.  Maj Franklin, the CO, drilled into his head not to his the rendevouz!  The other squadrons were still laughing.  The weather was clear today which should make it easier.
Pilots
Runway Anderson   Naive    Government
2lt   Pierce McKennon    Mecurical     Family

1Lt  Pudge  Storch     Coarse    Government        Veteran  1 kill
2LT  Chance Blake    Cocky   Hedonism

2LT John Turlock  Cunning  Government    1 kill
2LT  Pete Thornell  Shy  wealth            1 kill 

On the outbound leg Chance had trouble with his oxygen so aborted; down to 5 planes.  [ In real life most pilots didn't realize problems with their oxygen and just dropped out of the sky.  SF is not that realistic!  We want you to have a chance with your pilots.]  Runway breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the bomber stream heave into view right where it was suppose to be.  Rendevouz on time!
Blue tails with their charges


An interesting thing happened in rolling up the enemy fighters.  I got bomber destroyers 6 ME 110s armed with rockets, and fighter cover, 3 ME 109Gs.  The germans had obviously been watching because they attacked the bombers directly opposite the blue tails.  [this sequence is all handled by the rules] Outmanuvered again!!
  Germans start their attack.
Pudge is to the right

Runway kept his element above to tackle the ME 109s and sent the other 3 down to tackle the ME 110s.  All the german fighters fired rockets before the blue tails could react.  Fortunatley they all missed.  Runways' wingman has a reputation for getting "lost" during the action but stuck to his side this battle.  They were able to damage 2 of the ME 109s and quickly drive them away. 
The melee continues


Next Runway did a split S and got behind a ME 110 with his new 6 gun P-51.  As bullets streamed into the german he began to burn.
Runway using all 6 guns

As the german dove away he exploded.  Runway had his first kill!   Next he heard a call for help.  Pudge was in a bind.  His wing was about to fall off so he had no manuverability and he had a ME 109 on his tail.
Pudge in trouble
Decreased manuverability denoted by the brown pipecleaner
on the stand
Tailing status denoted by the pipecleaner between the two planes


[Pudge did not have a wingman this battle as Blake aborted.  I let him go solo as he was the only veteran pilot in the group.  I have a warm spot for him because he was the first pilot in the squadron to score a kill.  I really wanted him to score this battle and become the leading scorer again.  Nervewracking this game is...]
Runway raced over to Pudge and drove the german off his tail!

Meanwhile, the ME 110s had downed 1 B-17 and damaged 1 other.  Turlock and Thornell had lined up on a pair of ME 110s when the back gunner damaged Turlocks engine.
2Lt Turlock's chance at a kill thwarted by a well placed bullet




2Lt Thornell followed the other ME 110 down scoring hits but became concerned that he was going to become sandwiched between the two 110s and gave up the chase.  [amazing when you become attached to these guys how you act]

The rest of the mission over the contenent was uneventful.  Over England it was raining...
The three undamaged fighters set down without a problem.  2Lt Turlock nursed his plane home, skidded off the runway but was otherwise fine.  [There are tables for all of this as well]  Capt Anderson had trouble keeping trim and altitude with his aircraft but made it safely to the field.  The slick runway did not help.  He crashed midfield trying to land. He was pulled out alive and Doc Thompson said he will fly again.  [We always knew he was a tough, if naive, SOB.]  The plane is a write off.  
Great game!   It was a victory for the blue tails because if you are outnumbered at least 3:2 you can lose 1 bomber and still claim victory.  We scored 1 kill as well and ended up gaining 1 cool point which puts us just under average. 

Post game     Capt Anderson became a veteran pilot [ AKOT handles this].  His naive ways in the hospital have won over Doc Thompson whose obnoxious style gave a -1 modifier to all previous rolls.   We are up to neutral with the Doc now  2Lt Turlock did not become a veteran pilot but he did get promoted to 1Lt largely due to the wing commander liking him.  Lastly 2LT Gray has joined the squadron.  He is a pessimistic young man who believes in the great crusade [government] and he is a rookie pilot.

Really enjoyed the battle and how Squadron Forward is shaping up. The characters and stories are great.  But I really like not having to figure out the mission I am going to fly each time.  Who should I fight?  How many?  Should this be an escort or a strafing mission?  I just decide I am going to use my blue tails and the system takes care of the rest.  I hope you guys like it.  As stated, it is how I play my games.

Joe  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Short War; Egypt 1940

Actually did get to play Platoon Forward last weekend while I continue to paint more Vikings for SAGA.  Started a brand new platoon--british 1940 in Egypt.

SLT Nelson stood on the rampart trying to peer through the perfectly laid Italian smoke screen.   What the Major had feared had happened.  "The Italian army was on the move and we have damn little to stop them!  Leftenant, take your platoon to this station here and delay them while we set up a defensive postion 6 miles back.  See if they have any fight in them.  You will have a 2 pdr with you and I will try to scrounge an armored car or two." 

Characters

SLT Richard Nelson    Sensible/ arts         Gr II
Sgt Johnny Smith   Optomistic/Position     Gr I   1st section
Cpl Egg Southcote  Conformist/wealth     Gr II      2nd section
Cpl  Joey Crocket   fanatic/hedonsim       Gr I       3rd section

2 in mtr          2 pdr gun  1 FO with 25pdr gun off board

Looking towards the british lines
Nelson deployed the ATG on his far right [ left in the photo above], 2nd section in the station with Egg down below and himself above with the bren team.  2 in Mtr and FO on the road.  Sgt Smith in the center building ready to reinforce either way.  3rd section was split.  The bren team was dug in at the turn of the road and Joey took 4 men and a ATR and hid in the building hoping to ambush some armor and then skeedadle back to the lines. 

A perfect smoke screen was laid in front of the central buildings as the Italians probed forward.

Italian AC comes within 20 yards of Cpl Crocket's position!!!
The AT rifleman's shot rang true and the armored car was knocked out.  The accompanying infantry started peppering the building as Joey started whis withdraw.  One man went down as they made it back to their bren team.
The Italians were not able to make much headway and SLT Nelson was feeling confident, particularly when a british AC showed up and began to rake the Italian infantry with 303 shot. [Cool random reinforcement!]

Then an Italian tank and 2 infnatry squads showed up on the right flank.  The 2pdr quickly dispatched the tank and his bren team was keeping the Italians at bay when suddenly an officer rose in front of them and they seemed to rise in unison and charge through the bullets towards the station!

 

AC retreats after MG breaks!!!!

Italians charge the Station!!


Italians reach the station and take the ATG!
1st section is too late to reinforce

The Italinas drive 1st section away and enter the station proper leaving SLT Nelson trapped on the roof with his bren team.  In the courtyard desperate fighting breaks out as Egg fights to get back to the stairs. 

Italians pour into the courtyard

Egg is repulsed.    As this is occuring, a green flare is sighted from the east.  That is the signal for the platoon to pull out of their postions and board transport.  Their job is done. 
Sgt Smith takes charge.  He orders Cpl Crocket's section out as they are down to 50% effectives.  He and Egg have one more go at the the station but the Italians have moved up a MMG and it is no use.  Fearing encirclement he pulls out the rest of the platoon. 
SLT Nelson defends the roof but it is just a matter of time.  He has 3 men with him against 18 Italians downstairs.  His force takes two down but then he loses one.  With honor intact; he surrenders thus ending a very short war.

The Station under new ownership!

Great game!   I played the delaying action and it looked like an easy win for the british because I could not drawn the Italian LT's command card.  [ he was leading the flank attack.  He started out a Gr III leader but a random event upgraded him to a Gr IV outstanding leader]  Once I started drawning his card the Italians caught fire and never looked back.

Post game  3rd section has had a drop in morale and we will be getting a new SLT.
For those of you that want to play the scenario the Italians initially had
2 squads, 1 MMG and an AC   with 1 Gr II leader and 1 GR I leader.    They also get 2 pre game stonks from a 75mm gun that can be used for smoke.    They also can have 3 fire missions during the game.
According to the scenario rules a flank attack will occur.  This consisted of 1 tank plus 2 squads with 1 gr III leader, 1 Gr II leader and 1 gr I leader.  I modified the scenario for the desert by adding 2 "C"s to the mix.

Enjoy

Joe

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Something Completely Different-- Olveg the Bacon Lover

Since moving to England I have become interesested in the Viking Invasion of Great Britain.  I actually stepped out of my comfort zone ( WW II ) and purchased some Dark Age figures.  I wanted some skirmish rules.  I finally settled on SAGA from Gripping Beast as they seemed to have character even if they seemed a bit gamey for my ususal taste.  [ I am completely historical non gimicy type of gamer.  Doesn't have to be complicated but I don't like rules to force my actions.  I am also big on Command and Control.  Hence my affinity for TFL products but even here I slightly modify all their rule sets; usually streamlining. ]

I finally had enough figures for a very small skirmish which I played twice.  So I thought I would report the story and give you my impressions of the rules.  I apologize to my WW II readers who only want that.  I hope to get a desert platoon Forward battle in this weekend.  STOP READING NOW.

Olveg loved bacon.  He particularly loved Welsh bacon.  He had his friends had been going over to the neighboring farms and stealing pigs for several weeks now.  It was easier than raising them yourself.  He and four of his friends decided to go and grab some today.  What he didn't realize that was that the Welsh farmers did not appreciate it and decided it had to stop.

Characters

Vikings
Olveg and 4 friends        Vikings      Hirdmen    (AC 4)

Welsh Farmers  8 split into 2 groups    Priodaur armed with javilins and swords    (AC 3)

SAGA had 3 classes of warriors that are elite, good and peasants.  Their fighting abilities and armor are tied to their classes.  Those of you with the game can see I uncoupled the armor  from their classes.  As a soliaire gamer I don't have to worry about points but it does have a points system.  As written, elites appear very, very good and peasants appear to be used to wear down your opponent. It appears this is easily modified however. 

Olveg preparing to cross the river and teach
these cowardly Welsh a lession!


   
Activation is done by rolling SAGA dice as players take their turn in sequence.   These are special dice that you do not need at all.  The game is easily played without them.  [That said as a dice junkie I will probably buy some as I think it will add period flavor.  Afterall, you could also play the game without miniatures!]  You earn dice and then roll them.  You then allocate dice to activate units and to use nation specific abilities.  For example if you roll well the vikings can add 1 to their armor class against missle attacks.   Some of these are neat but some appear gamey to my tastes.  As an example, the vikings may also eliminate 3 of their warriors and gain 3 attack die per figure.  It is apparant that dice management is an important aspect of play.  Since the dice are not hidden from the other player this is not a big hinderence to the solitaire player.  I suspect the battle boards that are used with the dice are finely tuned to give an even game.  Since I am a solitaire player that is not a high priority for me and I will be modifying the battle boards to downplay the gamey factors. 

Olveg appraoched the ford and roared at the  four Welshmen to stand down.   He was met by a rain of javilins!  The first time 3 of his compatriots were cut down!!  The second time one of his friends was taken by surprise as javelins also appeared from his left and entered his side. 

Combat in SAGA is elegantly simple.   You roll against the armor class with a D6.  Your opponent gets a saving D6.  If he fails your warrior is down for the count.   Except for the danish axe and cross bow there is not weapon differenciation.  If I knew more about dark age combat this would bother me.  Right now it does not.   

With his friend bleeding from his side, Olveg charged across the ford prepared to make the farmers pay!


Iron rang against iron, wood and bone.  Two Welshmen payed the ultimate price but one Viking went to his maker.  These men did not fight like farmers and Olveg was suspecting a set up.  The 2 warriors scampered towards the rocks. 
Olveg hesitated.  He had 3 men against an unknown number of Welsh in the rocks.  But his friend was dead, this was a test game and he wanted bacon!

After any unit melees it gains Fatigue.  If a unit moves more than once it gains fatgue.  Fatgue decreases a units effectiveness if an opponenet wants to use it.  Alternatively, it can be accumulated and when it reaches a certainly level the unit becomes exhausted.  I believe this is a subtle mechanic that I have not fully explored yet but I love the concept.  There is no morale per say in SAGA.  I thought I would want it but in a heroic game such as this the jury is still out.

Olveg ambushed amoung the rocks!!

Olveg attacked the Welsh but they threw ambush with their SAGA dice.  A bit gamey but here it worked with the storyline.  He could have not attacked but then the game would have ended, where is the fun in that!


As Olveg followed the Welsh fighters into the rocks they were jumped from above!!!  6 against 3.   Now they were fighting for their very lives.   His friends were cut down but not before they each took one of the tough Welsh with them.  Olveg escaped the rocks and made it back to the river for the final showdown.

Bring it you pansies!!!

The epic battle swayed back and forth but the welsh fighters proved too tough for our bacon loving hero and he was cut down!

All in all a fun time that took 20 minutes each time.  The game is desgined to be played with at least 4 groups per side.  Anyone with the game that wants to play this sceanario I gave each side 3 SAGA dice.  The Vikings can only cross the river directly in front of the Welsh.  It would be interesting to try it with 6  vikings or to give them chainmail and see how they fair.  (They weren't expecting a fight so didn't bring it)

In summary I think Mr Buchel and Gripping Beast have a great skirmish game on there hands.  It is harder to make a game simple than to make it complicated.  The dice mechanic is different and works.  I will modify it to suit my needs.  I will add variable movement, simple spotting and simple comand and control rules as well.  For the solitaire gamer I think this game will work.  It is not particularly solitiare friendly but it is not particularly difficult either.  This game would do well with the Platoon Forward treatment.  I think a solitaire friendly scenario generator and campaign game is very do able.  Chris and I have talked about it and I will add this after Squadron Forward and Middle of NoWhere.  Warband Forward anyone?? 

Enjoy

Joe

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ambuscade on Highway 2 1967

Finally got some items unpacked and had some time to play a game.  Read an excellent article in WI 286 entitled, "The Hard Ride" By Joe Trevithick and Piers Brand.  It is about US convoy operations in Vietnam.  What better way to test my ambush scenario from "Middle of NoWhere"? Please note I do not have all my terrain unpacked and do not have all my trucks unpacked.  So excuse the german trucks and american halftracks!  They are all trucks for this scenario.  Using my US squad.  We last saw them assaulting LZ Hotel which was posted in August 2010.  (was it that long ago?)


SSgt Davis did not like it one bit.  He was a soldier not a baby sitter.  Guarding a convoy was like being a target.  Still orders were orders and the LT said this stuff was important.  Davis put Sgt Colton's squad up front in teh first 2 trucks.  Colton and his squad weren't very good so if casualties had to be taken it might as well be them.  Davis would follow up the rear with the 113.

Characters

    SSgt Davis   1st sq    Gr III  Meek/Wealth   Dynamic leader
    Sgt Colton    3rd sq   Gr I    cunning/family
    1st sq  +1 morale -2 men 1 MG attached   3rd squad  -1 morale 1 MG attached
    1 jeep with 30cal    1 m113    5 trucks with 2 men each


   Convoy rolling down Highway 2

As they slowed to take a bend in the road near Xuan Loc the silence was shattered and the lead trucked rolled over on fire.   SSgt Davis got his men dismounted and started taking rifle fire from nearby trees across the road just as the second truck in line exploded.  
 
NVA manned RR quickly finds 2 targets!



1st squad stumbles out of the trucks.
Luckly only losing 2

Sgt Colton tried to rally the squad but they started taking automatic weapons fire from the jungleline.  He ordered the dazed men back to the buildings to rally.  Meanwhile the jeep, and other trucks kept moving forward out of the kill zone. 


Unusual for Colton, he rallies half the squad
and the MG.

The M113 found the range to the recoiless rifle and started a steady stream of fire that slowed the blasts from the jungle.  SSgt Davis suppressed the rifle fire facing him and took his squad into the woods to investigate.  Sgt Colton sent his half squad and MG team towards the jungle to supress the automatic fire there. 

Most of 1st squad slugging it out

The jeep and 2 trucks made it off the table.  1 truck took LMG fire from the jungle and was knocked out.  With 3 trucks destroyed and the rest out of the kill zone the VC/NVA broke contact and left the americans in control of the field and very frustrated. 

Short, vicious, frustrating fight.  Hard for the ambushee to win which is why this scenario was not included in Platoon Forward.  But for a suplement on asymetrical warfare this is bread and butter.  3 trucks I would have considered a minor loss except the US caused NO casualties.  Yep, in spite of copious ammunition expended the NVA walked away scot free.  No blood trails today.  



After the battle morale of the 2 squads did not change.  The battalion commander (who does not like the platoon) has pulled 5 men for special guard duty.  The company commander Lt Jaroze ( who use to be the platoon commander) will ofset this by giving the platoon an extra MG team on their next mission.  

For those of you interested in playing the NVA forces rolled up where

1 75mm RR
1 NVA sq  with gr I hesitant leader     1half squad  VC squad semi auto armed -1 morale with gr I leader
1 VC LMG team with Gr II leader


It was fun to finally play a game again  Now to unpack some more stuff!
Enjoy

Joe 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Groupe de Chasse part Trois


I finally have my computer after nearly 4 months!!!!!!!  Am busy unpacking boxes.  Before they arrived I sent off the first draft of Squadron Forward to Rich.  He won't look at it for at least 2 weeks as he is up to his elbows in IABSM 3 but at least it is done.  

Wanted to do a new ambush scenario for vietnam but there wasn't enough time or space yet so instead ran a third mission with my trusty french Hawks.  Also I now can include some pictures to keep your attention.

Col Renard called Lt Leroy into HQ.  "Lt, a reconnasense plane spotted german trucks near Saarbrucken moving supplies to the front lines.  If you hurry we can give the Boche a nasty surprise.  Remember, your mission is to take out the trucks."

Lt Leroy hurried back to the Escadrille and discussed the mission quickly with Lt Martin his right hand.  they only had 6 planes operational.  Leroy would lead the main strafer patrolle while Martin led the secondary.  They would leave Cpl Chef Grasse behind as the new guy.  A quick brief and they were off!




The 2 patrolles on their way to Saarbrucken



Lt Martin's Hawk   (Heroic and Ros- not great model but painted up
pretty well I thought)
Shortly before the German border Lt Leroy sensed 3 ME 110s headed their way at their 5 o clock.  Lt Leroy decided he would continue on and Martin should try to delay the Me 110s for several turns and then join him.  


3 on 3
(the ME 110 on the left has an experimental camo scheme)

  As Martin's Patrolle tangled with the Germans the new SLt (that had cheated at the academy) Caron missed his half loop and became separated.  After several minutes Martin called to break off and head for Germany and Caron was lagging.  Then Caron preceeded to try to line up shots at the ME 110s.  Martin snapped off a direct order to move out as he wheeled his hawk back west to get his wayward charge.  Caron duly broke off and headed east.  Sgt Lisle continued east as well.  As SLT Caron straightened his hawk out a ME 110 came up and blasted him from the sky.  He managed to get out of the stricken fighter over no mans land as Martin saw a good chute.  

Suddenly Lt Martin found himslef alone with 3 ME 110 fighters.  While his hawk was more manuverable, the germans had a definite speed advantage.  

   The hunter becomes the hunted

Lt Martin called Sgt Lisle back for help but his plane caught several blasts of fire from the germans as he twisted and turned.  His gas tank was punctured and his radio knocked out but he managed to escape west.  He swore he would ask for censure of SLt Caron when he got back to base. 

Lt Martin's adventure had allowed Lt Leroy's troupe to arrive over Saarbruken unscathed.  They found their targets and went to work.

 Lt Leroy's strafing attack.  At this speed the trucks look like little
cardboard counters!


In 2 passes they damaged 3 trucks and Cpl Chef Prideux destroyed 2 while pinning infantry and AA.  [Used my Brag the Hun rules].  SLt Brun's plane was hit by ground fire but took minimal damage. 
The 5 Hawks made it safely back to base.  I chalked it up as a minor victory for the French as they took out all 5 trucks, their primary mission, but did lose a plane.  

Post mission Lt Leroy was finally promoted to Capitain, sealing his position as CO.  While he has not upgraded to veteran pilot yet he has developed an uncanny sense as to where the enemy is.  This would be called "radar like" if we knew what radar was!  [eagle eye].  Lt Martin fumed about SLT Caron and waited for his return.  After 3 days he began to worry and made several calls to front line units.  A week later word was recieved through the Croix Rouge  that SLt Caron was a POW with the Germans.   Lt Martin was racked with guilt and lost his cheery disposition.  Capt Leroy told him to forget about, Caron had it coming after what he did but Martin still felt responsible.  The Flight Surgeon has grounded Lt Martin for 2 missions to work through this.  [ Event rolled that grounded Martin for 2 missions; way cool!]  A replacement pilot has also show up: Slt Challe a classmate of Caron's from the academy   Pragmatic/religion  and green.
We are down to 5 planes plus one in depot  and 6 pilots plus Martin.   Worse we have no veterans and our reputation is still average.

Great game as strafing for the Hawks is unusual to roll up.  The system is a blast as the interactions affect the tabletop which is what I am after. If the squadron can hold it together for 1-2 more battles I think their experience will start to rise and then it should get easier.

Enjoy!

Joe    

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Groupe de Chasse part deux!

Still no pictures but thought I would let you know how the second mission went. I won't be as specific as how Squadron Forward generated this stuff because you get the idea. If you have any questions though please ask.
It had started snowing so the morning mission had been scrubbed. Word came down for another patrol [ I still like patrols!] at noon. Lt Leroy decided on a maximum effort which meant all 6 pilots and 6 of his 7 planes. Shortly after takeoff Cpl Chef Prideux's plane had engine trouble and he had to abort. 5 planes left. Lt Martin took the Vic and Lt Leroy had SLt Brun as his wingman.
Over German lines they spotted 5 ME110s moving briskly towards France. {Like Platoon Forward the # of enemy fighters is adjusted slightly based on your number to give a balanced game. Purists don't need to make the adjustment but it isn't any fun to send 2 hawks up against 6 ME 109s!. Like PF, it can happen but it should be rare except on the russian front.} Once again the Frenchmen had the advantage and once again they moved to the 6 o'clock position before aryan eyes spotted them. While the ME 110s were not manuverable, the Hawk's light armament had a difficult time with the robust german planes. SLT DePaul was lost in an expolsion to a fuel tank hit. Sgt Lisle evend the score however. Lts Martin, Leroy and Brun all damaged fighters and Leroy claimed one that was denigned. Unbeknownst to the Chasses the ME 110s were on a mission to strafe some artillery positions and this mission was aborted. Thus it was a victory for the French.!

Post mission everyone celebrated Lisle's victory while mourning yet another KIA. Two new pilots showed up:
SLt Caron Corrupt/ revenge Green Military
(Caron graduated from the french military academy where his honor was questioned but a violation was never proven. He has vowed revenge on those responsible. He is a novice pilot)
Cpl Chef Grasse Agressive/position Green
(Grasse is a novice and realizes it. His goal is to become an Ace.)
In addition a new plane has showed up but this is somewhat offset by the fact that the plane that aborted the mission today needs major maintanence and will be off line for the next 2 missions.

Still having a blast. Hope to have the first draft done within 2 weeks. For those of you interested the 5 hawks set up in the ME110s six at 50% visual range. The german pilots generated were: 2 Veterans/ 2 Average and 1 green.

Enjoy and thanks for the support

Joe

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Groupe de Chasse in the Phoney War

If you read my post from yesterday you were introduced to my French Hawk squadron and a bit of Squadron Forward. Well I played a mission today and even though I can't post pictures I thought I would tell you about it as a way to explain a bit more about Squadron Forward.

First you roll up your mission. Unlike Platoon Forward each theater, year and often plane has its own table. After all, a ME 109 squadron in 1939 rarely had an intercept mission; in 1945 that is all it had! My Hawks roll up a patrol; excellent mission as anything can happen! So I decided to send out 2 Vics of 3 aircraft each. We will leave the DO and the kid at home. Take off will be at dawn (of course) and we will patrol the border and then return in time for a big breakfest!

The winter weather is scattered clouds. [ You roll for weather] While patrolling the border we discover the enemy has moved in flak around Saarbrucken and it comes uncomfortably close!
[There is a chance for a pre battle event. I rolled flak. Luckly no one was hit.] After 40 minutes we head for home dejected at this phoney war. But wait, in the distance, 4 shapes that turn into fighters and they do not see us! [ we rolled to see what we encounter {fighters} and then what type based on theater and year { ME 109Es}. Then you roll for where the encounter takes place. You then roll for the number which is modified by how many fighters you have to give a somewhat even battle { 4 }. After that you roll for who has the advantage and by how much. { we started at their 6 at just under maximum visible range}. This speeds up play considerably and takes care of the manuvering before battle. Now you are ready to set up the planes on the table and use whatever rules you like! { I use BTH 2} ]

Capt Durand manages a bounce on the German leader but his foe is an ace and shakes him off. A rookie german pilot is quickly cut off from the pack. Sgt Gravois sets upon him but can't get in a mortal blow. The german ace rides to the rescue and knocks Sgt Gravois out of the sky. There is no parachute. Capt Durand gets a kill and then latches on to the German aces' tail. He forgets the lessions he learned about target fixation as another german comes up behind him and shoots him down before he can fire. Alas, again there is no parachute. [ there are tables for bailing out, emergency landings and crash landing back at the field] At this point the Germans race back across the border.

All four remaining planes land a bit stunned by the ferocious encounter. Later that evening both bodies are recovered. Col Renard names Lt Leroy as the new CO of the squadron despite his lack of administrative prowess. [ For those of you familiar with AKOT it handled these matters.] He is not promoted but SLt Martin is and named the new DO. [ AKOT again] We get no new airplanes or pilots [ there are tables for this] and our scheduled event is to introduce SLT DeLarue as a NPC. He is the maintanence officer and is pessimistic but is an accomplished violin player [ the arts] He is neutral towards the squadron but can influence how fast aircraft are fixed. Hopefully Lt Leroy will have Lt Martin and not himself interface with SLt Larue!

For those of you who want to see if you can do better, have 6 hawks against 4 ME 109Es. The Es are driven by 1 ace, 1 veteran, 1 average and 1 green. They start in the schwarm formation. The Hawks start in 2 Vics, same altitude at the max visibility at the germans 6. They see the German's but the German's don't see them. It is not a true bounce yet as they still have to manuver closer and the germans have time to see them, particularly the ace and veteran.

Hopefully this has given you some insight as to what Squadron Forward is and is not. In additon, you get a scenario!

Enjoy

Joe

Friday, August 26, 2011

Update on Squadron Forward

The site is not dead. It has just been a combination of not having my home computer yet (no picture posting capability) and very little time for gaming. Hopfully will get my computer within the next 3 weeks.
I have been a staunch WW II gamer for 4 years. But living in England with all the green fields, stone fences and really old houses is like a renassance fair every day. I have actually dipped my toe in the water and ordered a few dark age/early medieval figures. Had a short test run with some beta rules that Chris is working on and it was really fun! Who knows, maybe I will branch out.
But for now work continues on Squadron Forward. The first draft is two thirds complete. I am enjoying this as much as Platoon Forward. It has really personalized my air combat. I reciently painted up some P-36s for my French and rolled up my squadron today. Thought I would take this opportunity to share this with you since you don't need pictures for this part.
For those of you familiar with Platoon Forward, rolling up your squadron is similar except there are more characters. The personality tables have been tweaked a bit, motivation is the same, leadership has been replaced with fighting skill. Officers still roll up where they came from. Squadron Forward also adds the possibility of an additional inherent skill. There are seven of these ranging from crackshot to flying demon.
Since I play my games solitaire and use 1/300 planes I rarely have more than 12 fighters on the table at one time. Hence I only roll up 8 people per squadron. You can use more but I have found the system becomes impersonal after about 12. ( hard to remember more stories than that)
I present my Hawks Groupe de Chasse
Capt Durand cheap/Glutton Vet
(CO experienced, cheap with the budget and praise. NEVER bother him when he is eating)
Lt Leroy Foolhardy/Glutton
(loves to fly and eat/ really doesn't care about paperwork or the squadron)
SLT Martin Cheery/ position Vet
(Upbeat person who volunteers for additional duties hence does much of Leroy's job; the "go to" in the squadron and excellent pilot)
SLT Brun Pessemistic/wealth
(Solid pilot who feels the communists are ruining France)
SLT DePaul cunning/family flying skill
(Quiet person who appears to be always thinking; along with Lisle best pilot in the squadron)
Sgt Gravois Coarse/glutton
(Farm boy who is always hungry)
Sgt Lisle Foolhardy/position flying skill
(Natural born pilot; if he doesn't kill himself will be France's first ace)
Cpl Chef Prideux idealistic/revenge Green
("The Kid" in the squadron, going to rid the world of evil)

The group commander is Col Renard, a WW I ace who is unsuportive and already doesn't like the squadron!

As you can see, flying into combat with these folks should be a lot of fun. I already really like SLT Martin and Sgt Lisle. They are going out on Patrol tomorrow.

Thanks

Joe

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dark Night for Dog Boats AAR

Greetings! Doing the final moving from the US to the UK. Read Coastl Patrol rules in the Lardie special. They look like a fun quick play set of rules; good show Jim! Thus inspired, I dusted off my Release the Hounds rules and tried my take on the scenario from the book.

Lt Ian Evershiem (RNR) took stock of his boat one last time. Intel had a convoy coming down the coast tonight with a light escort. Hopefully trawlers, maybe barges but not F-lighters. Ian didn't have a good answer to those yet. Draft too shallow for torpedoes, Jerry had added armor and concrete to barges, then added 88s to create a force to be reckoned with .

British forces are 3 Dog boats ( Jolly Jack Tars)
Lt Evershiem
SLt Tompkins
SLt Smith

I did not roll for Jerry to try to play the scenario. I didn't mess with blinds but used initative similar to Squadron Forward.
Jerry
2 Patrol Boats 1 88 each Raeder's men (Avg)
4 Flak Lighters 2 Raeder's men 2 Hitler's men ( green)



Jerry creeping down the coast





Lt Evershiem on the Hunt




Lt Evershiem had his eyes peeled for movement. A half moon hung in the sky and visability was about a mile for barges. Despite the cool night air he was sweating profusely.


Suddenly the air errupted with light and exposions and his boat came under fire from his 11"o clock. KuJ 324's gunners opened up on the Dog Boats as they radioed to the fleet of the danger. As Ian gathered his wits, a fire errupted aft and his boats started taking a pounding from 88mm and 37mm shells coming a mile a way.


Dog 1 in trouble

Ian immediatly doubled back as Smith broke right and Tompkins broke left looking for the merchants. Fortunately the germans did not pursue Ian but went after Smith. Why became apparent 3 minutes later when Smith sighted 2 barges.









Dog 2 trying to find the range


SLT Tompkins had circled far left and was now trying to join the battle. Ian was still in retreat; trying to fight a fire aft before it blew his small craft to kingdom come. SLT Smith gallantly charged the barges hoping they were not Flak lighters.








SLt Smith charges the F lighters

KuJ 324 in pursuit at 15 knots!


They were Flaklighters! Blast! Well the 6 pounders could still do damage. Smith bobbed and weaved his boat on a gun run and managed to damage one of the F-lighters. In return his boat was damaged and flooding. He turned for home. Ian had put out the fire but with a boat 50% damaged it was foolish to go up against Flak lighters. Lt Tompkins meanwhile had lined up KuJ 324 for a torpedo shot. He let go his torpedoes early at a mile and turned his attention to the damaged F-lighter. A gun pass revieled no significant damage to either side. But then a huge explosion (20% chance!) cut through the night.







KuJ324 after the Torpedo hit

She sank in 15 minutes


With that the British withdrew savoring a minor victory!


Fun game! Would like to play it again to see what would happen if Ian's boat is not put out of action on the first turn. Will also change it to 1 Flaklighter and 3 unarmored barges.

Have actually started writing down Squadron Forward.

Talk to you next from the UK


Enjoy!


Joe












Sunday, June 12, 2011

Scenario R avaliable

Scenario R is available in the Too Fat Lardies Summer Special. At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, they really pack alot of stuff into their specials for 5 pounds [ about $7 ]. I always enjoy reading them; even the bits about games and history I don't play ( which is minimal).

In the editing, Rich either forgot or wisely cut out my introductory comments; for the intrepid they are reproduced here:

The Scenarios included in Platoon Forward were aimed at typical situations that a basic platoon would face. That doesn't mean we can't have a little fun. Included in this issue is a meeting engagement that an armored infantry platoon might be faced with. It is ideal for the US and German panzergrenadiers as well as the UK motorized infantry. It also works well with Russian tank riders but you should beef up the defenders a bit by ensuring your first real "B" is a big AT gun or ensure your real "C" are tanks or SP guns. Players should feel free to substitute scenario R into the scneario table wherever they wish. I often put it in in place of recon; not because it makes sense, but because I often do not wish to play recon! [recce for the St Albans group!]
In addition, this is my favorite 2 player game because, like the patrol scenario, it never plays the same way twice, allows both players to manuver and everyone gets to play with at least a couple of vehicles.
I would like to thank those of you who have given me feedback on Platoon Forward. Your support and kindness have been more than I could have imagined. Thank You.

"Fighting Joe" Legan

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Flank attack at the factory

Finally got my soldiers; not all my terrain but you can't have everything. So last weekend had a chance to send my Russian Platoon Forward! This is battle #5 and this is a fun platoon to play. There is tension between the platoon leader and the 1st squad leader. This is not helped by the fact that the company commander seems to favor the squad leader. It is 1943 and the Platoon Leader is a replacement coming into the company. To catch up read about the attack outside of Kursk from last November posted on this site; I'll wait...

Still no camera so I will try to describe the board:

There is a factory in the center with a plaza in front. To the right is a small collection of buildings and on the left is a small church. Behind the factory are some scattered trees. To the left of the factory is a ruined railroad station. This is all on a beautiful Kalestra hexagon board that a least one visitor doesn't like :)


If you read the post from last November you know that a reporter from Pravda is here to do a story on Sgt Shakulo. Of course the CO is not going to let the JrLT mess this up so he is going to to make sure the reporter is not killed.


Characters

JrLt Bessonov Scholarly/plessure Gr II
Sgt Shakulo addicted/ alcohol Gr II
Sgt Chrnnyshov Evil/ knowledge Gr II
Sgt Mikhev conformist/ wealth Gr I

Lt Konerko Fanatic/ Position Gr II Company CO



Sgt Shakulo wished commerade Lennin was here. The Russian army in 1943 was not the classless society Lennin envisioned. These officers were driving him crazy! Oh, they had their place, doing grand strategy and such. They had gotten the platoon onto the flanks of the fascists today. But by and large they got in his way. JrLT Bessonov was a timid old woman. He was afraid of making a decision and was against a man having a drink now and then. Lt Konerko was better. But he was always trying to help him. Shakulo didn't need any help. He just wanted to rid mother russia of the invaders and go home to his family. Now this reporter was here asking hiim all kinds of questions. Lt Konerko seemed nervous.


By the time they got into position, a T-34 and an armored car had joined the platoon. JrLtBessonov's plan was to have Shakulo clear the houses on the right. 2nd squad would stay with the armor in the center and 3rd squad would be in reserve. As soon as the reporter said he was going wtih Shakulo the JLt decided he was leaving the reserve and going with Shakulo too. Shakulo tried to run his squad but the JrLT kept taking over. They cleared the first building easily. They became pinned down by a MG from the factory while advancing towards a second building. Lt Konerko showed up. He Ordered teh Jr LT to go back and rally 3rd squad in the plaza (the tanks had run into an 88 dug in near the church) while he shuffled the reported into the safety of a house. I got my squad moving again and barely missed capturing a MMG in the second house.


By this time 2nd squad and my own were in buildings facing the factory trading fire with its occupants which consisted of about a squad of germans supported by several MGs. We traded fire until Lt Konerko showed up with the reporter. The reporter wanted to see me and my squad "in action". Lt Konerko led our 2 squads in an assault on the factory. He told me he wanted my squad to go in first. Just as we were entering JrLt Bessonov showed up with 3 men from 3rd squad. He ran past me to make sure he entered the building right behind the Lt! Fighting in the factory was moderate until the germans retreated. The reported took my picture in the factory next to a russian flag that he had and left pleased.

Unfortunatly Sgt Mikhev was badly wounded in the attack. I don't think he will be back. JrLt Bessonov has moved Cpl Zuvich up to take over 3rd squad.


Great battle. The fighting in the factory was particularly exciting. We never even saw the company CP in the station. I am sorry I have no pictures for you all. The only other post game event of note is 3rd squad's morale is decreased.


For the scenario:
This is a flank attack (C) so set up the germans facing to the right. The russians recieve a T-34 and armored car at start.
The german forces generated for me were:
1 squad, 2 MMGs 1 88 ATG 1 company command post with 10 men with decreased morale.
1 Gr III leader, 3 Gr II leaders and 1 Gr I leader

Place a reporter figure on the board. It can never be more than 50 yards from Sgt Shakulo and Lt Konerko can never be more than 50 yards from the reporter. If the reporter is killed you can do no better than a draw.



Enjoy

Joe

Monday, May 30, 2011

Malta Spitfires AAR

In the new house, internet appears to be working. Still no camera but a 3 day weekend. Went to the Duxford Air Museum in the UK; outstanding! Three cool things that differenciate it from most of the air museums in the US. First, it appears most of the planes are in working condition. Second they always tell you where this particular plane came from. Third they have a land warfare hanger that is over the top! They have life size diaoramas of a tank battle in Berlin, a german AT gun in France, british troops at D-Day. There is a shrine to Field Marshal Montgomery which was interesting since you here nothing about him in the states.
After Duxford I had to use Spitfires but I only have my desert ones as Mark from Raiden has been 2 weeks slow on my Battle of Britain package! So... Malta Spitfires round 2. (Same squadron as the last post)

Flt Lt Wilson rather liked running the squadron. He could do things HIS way. He had been at it for 2 days every since Cheese went missing near Sicily. Gp Cpt Eithing told him a CO was inbound from England but wouldn't get here for awhile.
He hadn't spoken to Sgt Randel directly after "Cheese's" last mission but several of the NCOs had. Randel had denigned losing "Cheese" on purpose and was sticking to the story. "Scrum" Patson had refused to fly with him. Wilson had avoided the issue so far by not scheduling Randel. There were plenty of pilots. Today's mission was an intercept. 5 planes were ready to go!
Characters
Flt Lt Jim Wilson Unsupportive/avarice Vet
F/O Jamie Farnsworth Cocky/ Avarice Avg
F/O Bullet Skeel Corrupt/ Position Avg
Green element
Sgt Scrum Patson Cocky/ religion Vet
Sgt Joey Towson Fickle/ enginering Avg

Jim saw the bombers off at his 10 o'clock closer than he wanted due to some clouds. Stukas without fighters! He turned to get behind them; Scrum asked to go over them to get in better position. Jim didn't really care as long as he got a couple of shots.
As all 5 spitfires closed Scrum called out 2 bandits 12 o'clock high! [ great place for a picture if I had a camera] Jim told Scrum to cover the bandits while blue flight took care of the 8 stukas.
As Jim continued to close on the Stukas, bullets hammered into his wing! He looked back and a MC202 was on his tail. [ I have to explain this as it was too cool. A random event had 3 more MC 202s enter right behind blue flight. I got bounced by my own game system!!] Bullet and Jamie screamed they were taking fire. The 2 outside Spits started tight turns while Jim did a snap roll. Bullet took a while to shake his pursuer needing several barral rolls but not before he had taken minor engine damage. Throttled back he could keep the temperature down but any faster and he risked over heating.
Meanwhile Scrum and Joey had tangled with the 2 original MC 202s and saw the furball developing behind the Stukas. Since no one was now calling for help they gave chase to the bombers. Joey downed one in a brilliant flash that left no doubt to its destruction. Scrum's shooting was off as he fired off all his ammo, damaging 2 that aborted. [nother great place for a picture]
The 3 members of blue flight could not break away from 4 of the Italian fighters to chase the bombers. Worse, Bullet's plane had a bad engine and Jim's plane had lost speed as well due to his wing damage. after several minutes the English could not gain an advantage, the bombers were nearing the field and Jim still had 2 out of 3 machines damaged. He told blue flight to break off and Green element to leave once they entered flak range. The British successfully disengaged. Only 4 Stukas bombed the target; 1 nearmissed teh runway, 2 destroyed parked aircraft and one destroyed the operations building.

Post game Sgt Towson was upgraded to Veteran [possible]. Doc Logan, the flight surgeon, is hearing alot of complaints about Flt Lt Wilson and is acting as a great sounding board. The Squadron had to undergo a morale check and he was able to add positively to the die roll. [Don't be alarmed about the term "morale checks'. Think of it here as a cohesivness check and it occures after the flying.] A replacement plane for Cheese shows up and one of the damaged planes is repaired.

Great Game! Really enjoyed it. Squadron Forward is working well and adds a layer to the game which really increases my enjoyment. I have started writing it down and am probably 25% done.

Scenario Interception

5 Spitfires vrs

2 MC202 2 Avg pilots
8 Stukas

3 MC 202s come in as reinfocements turn 3. 1 Vet 1 avg and 1 green Allow them to come in behind Blue flight.


Airfield defense I used 3 dice for heavy AA as per my LAAF AA rules found in 2 specials ago.


Hopefully my land troops will be here wednesday; then maybe I can visit Berlin with Platoon Forward!

Enjoy

Joe

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cheese is Packaged AAR

Having trouble posting to the blog. Will try in short snippets
Still moving but have played 2 games of Squadron Forward. thought I would post one here as it does a good job explaining some of the interactions and showing the differences/similarities with Platoon Forward. The big drawback is I am without a camera so written word only! Sorry folks
[BTH2 used for the tactical game with my "Brag the Hun" air to ground rules used for the rockets and bombing.]

Malta 1942
"Cheese" came back from group HQ happy. An escort of Beaus to Italy to take out some barges that the intel lads had found hold up in a small port. He would lead the flight as he desperately needed flight experience. He would take Sgt Randell as his wingman. Sgt Randell walked teh line of insolence but there was no doubt he was the best pilot in the squadron. Cheese could not ask for help but hoped to learn from Randell just by watching. F/O Barnes was a steady lad as long as you let him hit the bottle every 3-4 days. He could take up the new pilot, F/O Skeel to check him out. Skeel's nicknam was "Bullet" and he had a gaze that chilled Cheese at first.
Characters
Sdr Ldr Cheese Landry Pessimistic/Hedonism Avg
Sgt Paul Randel Cocky/ Family Vet gifted pilot
F/O Paul Barnes Pragmatic/ Alcohol Vet
F/O Bullet Skeel corrupt/position

Rendevouez over Malta was easy and they headed out. Several miles from Italy the Beaus called out bandits at 8 o clock. " Should have seen them first" thought Cheese. His next mistake was delaying the flights split S (missed his roll ) which put the spitfires out of postion to intercept. During the delayed split S Randel lost the Sdr Ldr. [Difficult for a gifted pilot to do.] fortunatley the bandits turned out to be lightly armed MC 202s which had a hard time with the Beaufighters. they managed to take only 1 down. Sgt Randel, unencumbered with Cheese, shot down one fighter and damaged another. F/O Barnes bagged one MC 202. Sdr Ldr Landry gamely tried to find firing positions without success. towards the end of the battle a MC 202 got off a deflection shot that must have hit his petrol for his plane was seen to catch fire. A good chute was seen and later it was confirmed that Cheese had been packaged and taken as an italian POW.
The 5 Beausfighters ripped up the port sinking 3 barges, damaging 2 others, damaging a VP ship nad destroying one AA emplacement.

Scneario should include the 4 Spitfires, 6 Beaufighters and 5 MC 202s. The Port contains 6 barges, 2 VP ships (AA str 2) and several AA emplacements around the port. I rolled the Italians had 4 average pilots and 1 green. If using my "Everyone wants an Ace" for BTH remember that Avg Italians don't have to roll for hard manuvers.

Post misison squadron reputation went up by one. The squadron feels that Randel intentionally dropped off Cheese's wing to go hunting with dire consequences for Cheese. Randel is persona non grata currently. F/O Barnes was medically disquallified for 4 missions due to an ear ache but Doc Logan managed to cut that down to 2. the squadron still waits for a replacement spitfire and Lt Jim Wilson [ not popular as he is a greedy SOB] will temporarily at least run the squadron.

Great game and hopefully gives you a feel for it. Hopefully will get a chance to play some Platoon Forward next month!

Enjoy

Joe

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Update

Apologize for the lack of updates. Fact is I have been doing little gaming. I have received orders for England and am getting ready to move. Good news is Squadron Forward is basically done. All I have to do now is write it down and begin the painful yet important process of haivng Rich Clark make it a better product. Next should be Middle of NoWhere and I am now starting to toy with Rifles Forward.
Would like to mention 2 games I did get in. The first was with my Italians (Sgt Bustamanti) in Kenya. They were soundly defeated by the British and there were no particularly interesting post game actions. A fun game but not a great battle report.


The Italian Attack.

Busta on the left.

This was as far as they got!

Staying with the desert theme I took 6 Tomahawks up from 111 SQN on a fighter sweep. Fighter Sweep is a great mission. It is similar to "patrol" in that you don't exactly know what will happen when you start.


Characters


Sdr Ldr " Puck" Poole Pessimistic vet 1 kill


F/O Jessie Oldfield jovial born leader


Sgt Ken Harrison foolish


2nd vic Lt Thurlby liberal 1 kill


Flgt Sgt Nick Skinner Generous Vet


Sgt George Turnhill Fanatic


Sdr Ldr "Puck" Poole was leading 2 vics on a fighter sweep when Dandoline came over the wireless. "Bandits 12 angles heading toward comet". Comet was a small convoy that was returning from Tobruk. Looks like they were going to earn there flight pay today! He only hoped he would get a chance to drink it.


He spotted the enemy far off and due to his experience, managed to get behind the stukas. "Must be italians" he thought. As he closed in he told everyone to break the vics and go for a stuka. He and Oldfield managed to do just that before the firing started.







"Puck" and Oldfield execute the bounce!



It was a one sided battle despite the prescence of 3 MC 200 fighters. "Puck" got 1 stuka and damaged another one. Flgt Sgt Skinner picked up both a stuka and an italian fighter. F/O Oldfield managed a hat trick with 2 stukas and a MC 200! Of the 6 Stukas only 1 reached the ships and he missed. Sgt Harrison was wounded during the battle and crashed landed back at base. He and his plane are reparable.




Nick takes out a fighter!



Post battle I tried to get F/O Oldfield promoted but this was denigned. Our reputation has increased and a junior staffer shows up next mission to fly with us! Lastly "Boomer" Balfour has returned form OCS and is now P/O Balfour but he wants the same respect he had when he was a Sgt!



Great battle. The Character system works well and the scenarios are fun and balanced. What I have found is that I really worry about putting some of my guys on a limb now. Unlike Platoon Forward, death is a more likely possibility for these guys, particularly over enemy territory or water. Oldfield is well liked in the squadron [jovial] and I can see everyone celebrating his hat trick. What if the next mission is a straffing mission of an enemy airfield deep in their territory?

Great fun with highs and lows!


Enjoy


Joe








Monday, March 28, 2011

Looking for Rango Yugoslavia 1942

The only thing predictable about me is the unpredicatability in what I want to play next. This week it was back to Middle of NoWhere. I am painting up some CR-42s and Italian Ju-87 though. I would also like to thank Chris and Laffe for their excellent posts at PlatoonForwardStories. They are both interesting tales and I look forward to hearing more.


Am working on a dawn raid scneario so I thought it was ready for playtesting. Rather than Ethiopia or Vietnam I wanted to see if the system would work for partisan warfare in WW II.

Needed to roll up a platoon. As some of you know I am partial to Italians having lived in Italy for 2 years.

Lt Scapolini Cunning / Avarice Gr II

Sgt Musculin Foolish/ Alcohol Gr II 1st squad

Cpl Zern Pragmatic/ Hedonism Gr I

Sgt Gunesto Unsupportive /Religion Gr I 2nd squad

Cpl Tarentino Cheap / position Gr I

So, how to interpret the men above? As their story unfolds they will develop character but Platoon Forward gives us some basics now. The Lt is obviously a greedy SOB who will steal anyone blind yet he is very clever. He has some leadership ability on the battlefield. I suspect he was transfered to the "Middle of NoWhere" because he was caught with his hand in a cookie jar somewhere back in the world. Sgt Musculin is too trusting and fond of the bottle. When sober he knows tactics and his men will follow him. His ASL, Cpl Zern, is almost the opposite. His pragmatism has him learning tactics from his Sgt and following him on the battle field. Yet in the barracks I wonder if he takes advantage of his NCO's trusting nature?


2nd squad is led by a rigid Catholic who feels all his men will be damned if they don't follow the true faith by the book. He is unsupportive of any deviation and thus unpopular with the men and his platoon leader. His ASL sees what is happening in the squad but will not make waves as he is worried about making the next stripe. If the political climate changes he would gladly help the squad if it would help him...

Anyway, that is how I interpret the above. With a little imagination you can get alot out of 10 words!


The Capitano called the platoon leaders into his office. "Gentlemen, we have them now. We know where the battalion leader "Rango" is hiding. [Rango fought in the SCW] He is in these hills. We will hit them with a hammer and anvil at dawn tomorrow. Lt Scapolini, your platoon will be the hammer. Move fast to capture Rango alive. If you can't drive him south towards our other platoon. You will have an amored car in support. Questions?" Lt Scapolini was not going to drive anyone anywhere. He would capture Rango! With that on his record all past indiscresions would be forgiven and he would be reassigned to Roma. What is your plan LT?

The hills are alive...

Scapolini would send the AC down the road with 1st squad while he went with second squad through the field in a pincer movement hoping to get Rango in the middle. He stressed to his men that speed was critical.



Lt Scapolini [ left] advancing

Some sentries fired but were quickly driven off as both squads approached the hills. Then on the left, 1st squad ran into some dug in partisans with an ATR. One round bounced off the armored car and Sgt Musculin could not believe his eyes. The armored car started backing down the road! He ran over the the AC and questioned the commander's manhood. That did the trick.



Sgt Musculin and the armored car



Rebels on the left flank


2 LMGs and the AC laid down fire while Sgt Musculin worked his way around the flank of the hill. Meanwhile, Lt Scapolini had run into a bunker with a MMG. This cost him 5 men and Sgt Gunesto WIA. "No time for a bunker." He ordered smoke and bypassed the bunker looking for Rango.



Lt Scapolini bypassing the bunker looking for Rango

Sgt Gunesto is far right waiting for a friend to help him


Sgt Musculin finally makes it onto the left most hill.


Sgt Musciln clears the hill



Lt Scapolini finds a truck in the woods

Could it be that Rango rides in style?


The itialian LMGs fire into the woods and momentarily supress the partisans. Before Lt Scapolini can get down into the valley they have rallied and the truck drives off southward. He sees Roma farther away than ever. It doesn't matter that his platoon has scattered the partisans and they retreat in poor order or his platoon has sustained only 7 casualties. Rango was so close! Or was he?

The Capitano tells Lt Scapolini he is quite pleased with his platoon's performance. Turns out Rango was not there having been delayed in route. There had been a large food cache however that was captured thanks in part to Scapolini's platoon!

[ I would have used a wagon instead of a truck if I had one. Time to buy something else I think.]


Enjoy


Joe