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, April 27, 2016

A beer factory in Africa.

Have managed to get in a couple of games this month.  Am fine tuning the leadership rules for Combat Patrol and must say, Buck did a great job.  These are now my go to tactical rules.  I wanted to see if they could handle modern combat.  Buck published a free supplement about a civil war in the UK during the 80s.  There was enough info in there that I thought it would work.
But first, my parents visited and my Dad and I tried out Combat Patrol in room to room fighting.  It worked very well!
The russians are in!!  ( Now I will have to paint the inside of the building too.)

Now back to my modern game.  I did not run Platoon Forward with this. The Central African Republic 1996:  French forces are sent into the country to protect europeans and their interests.  Unpaid soldiers of the president start to loot.  They drive out to a beer factory, take it over and proceed to loot the beer.  Now I dont have french foreign legion troops ( but I will now have to get some) and I only had 16 africans so my taliban had to pitch in.  I must thank Mr Richards for providing this scenario taken from the Society of Twentieth Century Gamers; Issue 69 from 2010. 

French forces  12 Legionanaires, 11 assault rifles and 1 SAW.   2 Gr III leaders, 1 Gr II leader and 1 Gr I leader ( who was the LT on his first mission.)
Bad guys around 40 men with a mixture of rifles and automatics.  1 Gr II leader and 2 Gr I leaders.

The factory manger and his family are in one of the villas on the left.  The beer factory is the big building on the right!  The hedge is actually a chain link fence.  French enter from the bottom.

3 sentries out front while the rest of the folks load/drink beer.  ( they were moving so it blurred the picture.)

The first two teams breach the fence undetected

They move quickly to search the houses.  ( Historically there were no guards on the hostages.  They tried to stay out of the way.)
The covering squad starts to lay down fire.
The technical only gets one shot off before it explodes!  ( I guess it wasn't light beer)

The first truck tries to make its way out to freedom!

A LCPL halts it

Meanwhile the manager's family is located and sent to the rear with the LT.  

The rest of the team moves forward, blowing up another truck and capturing two prisoners.

The last mobile truck makes a break for it; this time covered by some troops.  ( Sorry I hadn't based my leader yet.  That has now been corrected.)

Freedom and free beer for 1 truck and 12 Africans.

The FFL had one incapacitated who lived but was evacuated to France.

The game played great and it really represented an elite force against a small one.  The Gr III leaders were able to +1 to their die and any rabble without a leader was automatically a 1.  ( Remember my normal deck has 3 "6s" and only 1 "1" card.  In addition I added several blue cards to only be used by the legion.   Guess I will be buying some FFL troops from Peter Pig.  They can also double in Viet Nam.



Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Breakout!

Have been working on a new scenario for Platoon Forward.  It is entitled "Breakout" and consists of you getting your men back to friendly lines after being cut off.  ( Think Steiner in Cross of Iron.)  Of course totally avoiding combat isn't real fun so you will run across something while you try to dodge patrols.   Here is my final playtest.
A second thing I tried is moving Platoon Forward down a level to make it more like Squad Forward.  Here the platoon leader would be an NPC.  I don't want to keep track of all ten men in the platoon for picked the two NCOs and two privates.
Vietnam 1967.
Sgt Lawrence's squad strayed too far from the LZ  and when the NVA attacked they were cut off from the LT.  They waited until dark and decided to try to slip past the NVA back to the LZ.
Characters  ( Rolled up using the tables in Grunt's Forward)
Sgt Lawrence  Gr I   Drifter before he found a home in the army.   Gambler and greedy
Cpl Black       Gr 0   Storeclerk from a small town before drafted.  Conformist/ position
PFC " Moose" Edwards   Stereotypical big kid from the midwest.  Very cheery and religious
Pvt "Mongoose"Smith   Son of a migrant; grew up in slums but volunteered for the army as he believes in the American dream. 

2 4 man teams each with a thump gun.  1 M 60 also attached.

Forgot to take a picture of the board.  US moves from right to left.  there is scattered jungle throughout.  One house in the middle and swamp/heavy jungle on the left.   There is no turn limit but reinforcements come in 3 turns after the shooting starts.

1 Squad moves out!

The patrols are all dummies but they spot a supply cache next to the house.  They are seen and a firefight erupts. Lawrence's boys get the better of the fight with the second hit killing the NVA officer. ( Mongoose can't hit a thing however! ) One unnamed PVT is KIA with a headshot.   Lawrence tells Black to get his fireteam close enough to blow up those boxes.  The team moves to within 40 yards and ...
Moose hits them with his thumper!

Job done the squad needs to get back to the LZ.  One man is hit in the abdomen on Black's fireteam; leaving no one behind a two man carry is instituted.

Two man carry-- Moose can almost do it himself!

Bad guys show up at the top on the table.  1 A and 1 B blind. 

The squad moves along the road so they don't get lost in the dark.

Moment of truth!  The board edge is only 60 yards away and the squad is in soft cover.  Results for the enemy could range from a full squad plus MMG to nothing.  Guess what?  I roll Nothing!  ( unlikely but possible.)   The squads links back up with their platoon after destroying some NVA supplies.  They had 1 KIA and 1 WIA.

Great scenario!  There is a fairly wide range of forces you can encounter but I don't think it would be more than a stiff game.  This one was easy with a great deal of tension.  Tension was also created by the back story of my 4 guys.  I was always afraid one of them would get hit.  I do like dropping the level down to a squad and will probably try that again.
I plan to give the scenario to Rich for the summer special

For those of you that want to try this the only NVA forces I rolled up were:
1 NVA officer and 4 soldiers.  For more of a challenge add a patrol of 3 soldiers.