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, May 22, 2012

A one eyed man...

There is a saying that in a country of blind men a one eyed man is king.  Over the last several years in my gaming I have found this to be more and more true. 
When I started off I wanted a table of massive armies with at least a hundred figures/tanks.  I wanted tons of cruisers and battleships with lithe destroyers scouting the way.  I wanted companies creating grand movements and squadrons of ships going hither and yon. 

For those of you that do this that is great!  You obviously have more space, money, time and imagination than I have.  I have found that to have all these toys on the table not only costs a fair amount of coin, (please see my erudite piece on 15mm two posts ago) particularly for us solo gamers.  But it takes a lot of space if the toys are going to have room to manuver or lithly scout the way! 
                                                             Lithe DDs trying to scout!

Moreover it takes a lot of time!   Time to paint up all those hundreds of toys and time to set up and take down the grand battles.
Lastly is imagination.  I find that if I have 8 T-34s I am not too concerned if I lose 4 or 5 of them.  I will throw a company of infantry into the fray or a squadron of destoryers in harms way with little thought. (That is probably why I lose all the time!) 
I have found that if I have 1 T-34 I am very concerned about it's safety.  With a platoon of infantry or 3 destroyers every unit is important and I think carefully before I do anything.  Don't get me wrong, I still lose but it seems more fun.  I have also found that the battle seems more intement and personal.  You can't get attached to 8 tanks but you can to 1.  Of course Platoon Forward (and soon Squadron Forward and behind that Flotilla Forward) has helped me personalize my games as well.  

I have found that my smaller games have actually been my most enjoyable.  I still set up "big" games like Stalingrad or Savo Island and they are fun.  But the small games continue to surprise me by being fun way out of porportion to their size.  Take my last post, Sgt Smith runs for daylight.  The British had 2 sections and a mortar.  For me that was 5 bases total.  It ran 80 minutes and was a joy to play.

Lastly playing smaller games has allowed some weaker units to come to the fore.  I have had several coastal actions where a minesweeper was  the big man on the board!    In most naval games minesweeperer are an afterthought if a thought at all!  I have had some great games with jeeps and halftracks dueling it out!
                                                  A french armored car can indeed be king!

Don't get me wrong, I am not against the huge tables with thousands of figures or ships.  I have found for me that the smaller games actually give me more fun when actually playing them.  In addition, it allows me to savior some of my one eyed figures...



  1. Small games and personalisation all the way for me. Sure I've also planned immense armies and grand battles, but they've just never happened and I don't miss them at all.

  2. Hmmmmmm. Food for thought in this post. Might have to try some downsized just for fun flames of war games. I tried a 400 point dystopian wars game and it was a lot of fun recently.
    Might have to have more small games. Time is also my enemy so it means more games in less time. Hmmmmmm.

  3. I am on the same page that you are. I find myself much more attached when I have a small number of troops at my disposal than when I have a large number. Consequently, I think I play using better tactics with smaller size games.

  4. Nice post. I started playing very small skirmishes (5-10 figures per side) and increased the size of battles from there. But as I also have time, money and space constraints, I quickly reached an upper limit and have kept to small games with narrative interpretation.

  5. Jim, Chris and Ricardo,
    Amen brothers! Interesting with air games I never had the call to "go large".

    Try it a couple of times. I suspect you will be plesantly surprised as the fellows above can attest!