My inspiration for Platoon Forward was not to create a great mechanism for solo gaming or a scenario generator. It was actually to create tension and stress for "my characters". Some of the best tension is when it is between characters. I read Cross of Iron and the tension and backstabbing by Capt Stransky was what I was going for.
One of my more dramatic platoons are the Greeks. ( Big surprise.) The story just seems to break that way. So I tried out Combat Patrol again with the Greeks against the Germans.
As Lt Spozito trudged back to his platoon he was frustrated. It wasn't that the Greeks were losing the war exactly. It was that he fancied himself a great military man and his platoon was not a very good one. His NCOs were not very good. He had worked with them for a year without much success. The men too did not respond. Sgt Hellick was an alcoholic who couldn't lead lemmings. Problem was he was drinking buddies with SSgt Radistas who controlled supplies for the company. Sgt Pitsikas was a country bumpkin who couldn't learn any tactics. Sgt Basakidas was also an alcoholic but he was generous and did have limited leadership skills. Then there was that prick from battalion, SLT Hivah, who seemed to have it out for him.
As he gathered his platoon "leaders" around him he explained that the mission was yet another blocking action down the road to Koritza.
Lt Spozito Plesant/ family Gr I
Sgt Hellick pessimistic/ alcohol Gr 0 Squad only half reconstituted after last battle disliked by Lt sposito
Sgt Pitsikas course/glutton Gr I disliked by Lt Sposito
Sgt Basakidas Generous/alcohol Gr II
1 25mm french ATG
The Germans are stopped dead and struggle to even get to the house. They bring up a cannon to neutralize the farmhouse.
The german officer is a victim of a lucky shot to make things worse.
For those of you that have played "rearguard" before you know that some blinds come in on the side. I had one "A" and one "C" to come in.
Lt Spozito shifts second squad's fire to the new threat but keeps the ATG and 1st squad firing at the rest of the Germans. A flare comes up from behind; the signal for Spozito's platoon to withdraw. He packs up the ATG and orders 1st squad to withdraw. Sgt Pitsikasasks for permission to cross and help Sgt Hellick. Lt Spozito declines saying covering fire will be sufficient.
The platoon watches Sgt Hellick's attempted escape.
At this point another random event generates a hero for the germans. The German machine gun team clears their jam and charges the greeks.
In a scene reminiscent of the movie " Platoon" all three men are shot down before reaching the bank.
As the last body falls, Lt Spozito orders 2nd squad to withdraw. Nothing is said but the men are uneasy and the Lt has suddenly become very unpopular.
Great game with unexpected drama to boot! Morale for 2nd squad goes down and Lt Spozito becomes unpopular. The Platoon is not issued any grenades because SSgt Radistas ( Hellick's drinking buddy) can't find any. SLt Hivah ( battalion S-1) actually does nothing so far. An NCO is not available so Pvt Ditrtkas is promoted from the ranks. He is grade 0 but not an alcoholic.
I still really like Combat Patrol. It is smooth and handles differences in training well. ( I gave the Germans 2 extra cards.) It ties in well with Platoon Forward.
For those of you that want to try this the Germans had
2 squads of 10 men with Gr I leaders.
1 Lt who is Grade II and a 50mm mtr.
A 75mm short cannon. ( Think it is called a Sig or something like that.)
At the top of the board on turn 5 a third squads enters with a Gr I leader.