Am continuing to build up my 1/600 fleet ( just finished a Hunt DD) but have been working on the finishing touches of Grunts Forward. Rich is shooting for a spring release date. For the unaware, Grunts Forward is the asymetrical expansion to the Platoon Forward campaign system. It can still be used with your favorite tactical rule system but now you will move into combat very different from two armies battling it out along the front lines. There will be village sweeps, cordons for civilian activities and the like. Without front lines there is also more opportunity to meet special characters such as priests and black-marketers. It is designed for the 20th century and I suspect it will work in this century but I don't have my US troops painted up yet. Readers of this blog will know that I use Grunt's Forward in Ethiopia with my Italians, Yugoslavia again with Italians and of course Indo-China. It also introduces medals similar to Squadron Forward courtesy of Brian W and some other things. I am really excited about this project.
So rather than just an AAR today I thought I would touch on some elements of the "One of our Planes is missing" scenario. (Title stole from Max in a TFL special years ago. That is what got me thinking about the Ital-Ethipoian conflict in the first place.)
In Grunt's Forward you still roll up your scenario but you have the new ones plus "Ambush" and "Patrol"
from the old. There are new blinds tables for Grunts Forward. These are slightly skewed to more nothings and add a sniper. I believe that helps create the frustrating situation that the symmetric force often feels in these battles. I will admit that I didn't roll this one up, I chose it as my brother gave me a crashed Huey for my birthday.
LtCol Patterson called Lt McSwain into the CP. Capt Jaroze here says you can get two squads off in 15 mike. Lt McSwain, never wanting to make his CO look bad stammered "Y-Yes Sir!". Good, a Huey went down 15 klicks from here and we need to get there before the VC do.
Characters Lt McSwain Gr I optomistic/ movies
Sgt Lawrence Gr I gambler/greedy 2nd squad
Sgt Douglas Gr O jovial/wealth 3rd squad. Douglas recently joined 3rd squad and has done well.
2 M60 MMGs plus 1 huey gunship on call. (Highest priority)
As you may have guessed this scenario is a treasure hunt and unlike any I have done. The crash site is in the middle, there are 4 possible places for the crew and the enemy can enter along three edges. This is counteracted in that the crew want You to find them.
As the US inch forward a call is heard from the left side of the line. "What? Sgt Douglas has found the crew."
Quick game with only two american casualties (both WIA). In retrospect I could have clumped the "D" markers closer to the chopper. The VC sent to check out that marker were crushed by the chopper so I had no VC on that side of the board to contest the withdraw. Lucky the crew picked the jungle rather than the hooch to hide in!
Post game everyone is pleased with the platoon. Sgt Douglas and 3rd squad are on the rise though he fails his roll to become a Gr I leader. We get both casualties back (new table). Lt Col Patterson asks the platoon to d a "special mission" for him... Should be exciting!
For those of you that want to give this a shot the US entered the board 1 turn early. The VC got--
2 half squads plus a gr 0 leader
1 squad+LMG plus a Gr 1 leader (poor morale)
Both of my "B" blinds failed to give the VC support. ( Sometimes you get lucky!) In a two player game I suggest either eliminate the Chopper or add a HMG for the VC.