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.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Luck finally evens out at Ovietto

Had the pleasure of entertaining Richard Clark last week for lunch.  He was kind enough to drive up to Suffolk and we talked about TFL as a bussiness, the differences between US and UK gaming conventions and family chatting.   We didn't even have time to talk about Dux Brit, Squadron Forward ( a little- he has done the primary text formating) or philosophies of gaming.   We did agree to travel down to Salute together.  Frankly I was just happy they let him on the airbase.  I think it was because he must have borrowed a coat and tie from Nick!
No pictures from the visit so how about this from my game table.
Not the club where Rich and I ate

Finally played a WW II game of Platoon Forward.  Used my British platoon in Italy.  This platoon is hard luck but fun to play because they have a lot of characters even for PF.  Balls Foster, Red Talbot, a narcisitic Sgt, 2 Scots-- it is great.  Go read Counter attack at Orvietto [Dec 2009] which was a nailbiter; I'll wait.
They British were ejected out of the town and Sgt Barnes was wounded in the fighting.  Lt Talbot continues to be incensed at Sgt McNabb but doesn't want to go to Balls and complain untill he has a solid reason to remove McNabb.  The Company Sgt Maj , Sgt Maj McCarthy is McNabb's uncle.  As you can see this storyline is PF at its finest.  Poor Red is stuck at the moment.  The only good thing is 1st section is reconstituted and Cpl Clarkson as joined the platoon.  He seems ok...

"Balls" had been ignoring Red since the retreat.  He seemed preoccupied so Red was happy to have an audience.  "Leftenent, we need to know what Jerry is up to in town.  I suspect they are using a factory as a stronghold.  I want you to take some of your boys and go check it out.  It will probably be heavily defended so get the lay of the land.  I will send some bren carriers with you so if you can give them a bloody nose do it!"
Red decided to take 1st section to see what Cpl Clarkson could do and 3rd section so either McNabb would mess up big time or get wounded.  He would also take the 2inch mortar to shell the facotry and cover it with smoke if needed.

Your Forces:
Red Talbot           Fickle/Goverment      Gr III
1st section       Cpl Clarkson    evil/ government    Gr I
3rd section     Cpl McNabb    addicted/ alcohol    Gr I

  Your map
British start at the bottom-- factory top right
This is a patrol so have to scout the whole board

What is your plan LT????

Red decided to make a clockwise circle of the board with 1st section in front.

[ This was a patrol scenario but I rolled up a key building on board 3.  So I went with it and made it a factory and a sort of recon mission.  I love patrols because anything can happen.  You don't even know where the battle will take place!]

The sections started to scout the houses on the left side of the road while keeping an eye on the factory.  Suddenly shots rang out from trees across the road!

Jerrys in the woods!

Contact!  German lead squad in center with other blinds trailing
Brens behind the hill waiting
1st section lower center in building
3rd section/mtr lower right

Red moved 1st section towards the left to provide flanking fire while the 3rd section laid fire on the grenediers.  Shots were traded until Red was sure all they were facing was a single squad and it's halftrack. {all the other blinds came up nothing!  Luck evened out for this platoon today!} Red figured all the other Germans must be in the factory.    He moved up the bren carriers
Bren carriers arrive over the hill.  The German ATR springs into action

The Bren fire from the rear coupled with 3rd section in the front made the german commander realize his posiiton was tenuous.  He started to withdraw to the supply yard.  Meanwhile the German ATR could not find the range. 
Then all on the battlefield hear the sounds of an airplane.  [ random event]  Looking up it appeared to be a hurribomber.  It started its run on the german halftrack.  [ rules for aircraft for tactical games are found in part two of my lazy TW&T articles.  I rolled a 40mm cannon armed hurrican.  Luck has really changed for the platoon.]

One less halftrack
The germans managed to retreat to the supply yard

The british are closing in

With the halftrack gone and 4 casualties the germans decided to leave the field through the factory.
Red, saw the germans go into the factory but brought up both sections before entering as he still thought the factory to be heavily defended.   Thus a resounding win for our platoon!

Great game that played fast as platrols usually do.   Luck was totally with the platoon as they rolled up armor support and then got addiitonal support for their pre game event.  On top of that the gerrmans only had 1 squad plus halftrack.   Odds are they should have had 2 with a LMG or MTR.  Finally to get air support-- it was unreal.  The british sustained one casualty. 
Post game McNabb did not do badly enough that Red wanted to take a chance on removing him even with a win on the mission.  Red  was called up to battalion to brief his mission.  There he met Maj Turlock, the battalion XO, and they have become friends. 

For those of you that want to play this the german force was 1 panzergrenidier squad [don't forget the 2 LMGs] and 1 halftrack.  they also had one Gr II SL and a Gr III platoon leader.   For a 2 person game I would give them a second squad with halftrack and Gr II leader.   The germans are scouting the board starting at the factory; preceding south to the hill; cutting across the road and then back up north.   




  1. Hi Joe:
    Thanks for this great report. It is indeed a reminder of what a great gift PF is to the war gamer with a bit of imagination. Thanks so much for giving PF to us. Also a great example of the suspense you've built into the system and of how one never knows what will happen.
    I have returned to my own PF storyline and am enjoying it again after a while away. I hope to post a report soon
    PS - maybe I can get myself posted to the UK so I can meet the great man myself.

  2. Mad Padre,
    Thanks for the kind words. Yes it was nice to get back to it. All I thought was, " I would like to use my british platoon in a built up area." You never know what you are going to get; particularly with a patrol. Glad you are getting back into it!!
    It was nice to sit and talk with Rich. We had a Canadian medical unit here last fall so maybe you could visit TDY?!


  3. Joe great report, you have made my weekly gaming experience so much better since the launch of PF.
    I have made some tweaks for Napoleonic gaming.
    Great suppliment thank you.


  4. Stuart,
    That is great that you have morphed it into Napoleanics! I am guessing you are using Sharpe's Practice as the tactical rules?
    Would be interested in hearing what mods you have made. If you wouldn't mind sharing you could e-mail me at the_legans4@msn.com
    Great blog as well!