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.

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


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!



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.