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.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Ambassador is using Candles.

It is not my fault!  I fully intended to play the second scenario of my Kowleski campaign last weekend so I could get it to you guys sooner.  Then Syr Hobbs on The Miniature Page was selling the FOF book Road to Baghdad for $8.  As you know I think the FOF books are great references so I bought it.  I thought it would be a bunch of US/Republican Guard blow outs but they are all interesting well crafted scenarios and most of them don't even use the Iraqi Army, they use irregulars. ( My only complaint is they don't even attempt a Platoon TO&E for the Iraqis. )  So the first scenario is a marine squad attacking a refinery building to save it from destruction.  I wanted to play it but wanted to use Grunts Forward and my FFL.  So decided to have my FFL squad attack a Power Station in the Central African Republic during their intervention in 1997.  The board was similar and I used Grunt Forward to generate the rebels except the second reinforcement was going to be a T-55 +/- a breakaway CAF squad.  So to begin:
Sgt Barrie reported to the Lt quickly when summoned.  That is just the way he lived his life; doing the right thing quickly.  They had flown into the Republic 2 days earlier with orders to protect European nationals.  Lt Lorray explained the situation; " Rebels have taken over the power station that supplies the embassies including ours.  They have just cut power to the French embassy and the ambassador is not pleased.  Take your squad over there and take it back.  Do not destroy the power station, okay?  We do not want the ambassador's candle usage to become our fault!  Elements of the Army have gone rogue over not being paid.  There is no armor at the station but it is in the area.  I am going to give you Sgt Howell's Milan team just in case. 
Sgt Barrie   French whose dad was an army NCO and tough.  ( Got to use my new FFL background chart!)  Guy joined the FFL to "out tough" his dad.  He is liberal and a devout Catholic so feels he is helping the oppressed here in Africa.  He is a +1 leader
Cpl Leach  Escaped from a Scottish jail for armed robbery and joined the legion.  He is now very careful and wants to be rich someday.  ( Probably not by robbing a bank though!)  He also is a +1 leader.
The squad consists of 7 men plus the 2 leaders. For FoF they are 8/10.  They have one SAW and 1 LMG.  Sgt Howell is attached with a 2 man Milan ATG team.  Sgt Howell is an american who likes Guy; he is a 0 leader. 
they arrive in a VRLA because I don't have any French APCs yet!

The French arrive.  Building on left is administrative building.  LMG team on top of power station is actually on the second floor. ( first floor if you are European!)

Great shot of my new building I bought when in Dublin! 

French de-bus and begin taking fire from the second floor of the power station.  Guy ( in the middle) orders Cpl Leach to take his team and storm the admin building.

Cpl Leach moves 'em out.
Cpl Leach moves 'em back after they fail to gain entry into the building. 

Sgt Barrie has his own problems as accurate fire from the main building causes 1 serious wound and Guy sustains a "scratch"! 
While you knew about the T-55 showing up Guy did not.  To make matters worse their is an infantry squad attached!

Cpl Leach is not pleased!  He loses 1 legionnaire KIA.  Prison is looking better right about now.

Sgt Howell moves his ATG team across the street to set up a non hull down shot.

Three quarters of the way through the battle:  Rebels hold the power station with 2 reinforcements at lower right.  2 rebels have escaped the admin building and are retreating.  The tank and CAF squad are working their way around the wall.  The VRLA is holding the rebels at bay but Sgt Barrie can't get his men forward; worse, due to stress they lose confidence and become "normal".  Cpl Leach is moving into the admin building to try to engage the army.  It appears to be a stalemate ( which will not help the ambassador) but then Sgt Barrie manages to get a french helicopter to appear!  One last hope.

A french gunship ( it is not a Huey it is a french gunship!) strafes the tank twice to little affect. Perhaps due to embarrassment, it quickly leaves.

The last good thing to happen is Sgt Howell's team scores a direct hit on the T-55!
Despite this Sgt Barrie ( with 3 men down) doesn't have enough strength to take the power station.  He radios Lt Lorray the bad news.  The Lt is not upset and tells the Sgt to hold position, he will bring the rest of the platoon up to help.  The ambassador is going to be using candles a little longer I guess!

Great game!  Didn't think the FFL would ever lose but they did.  Fortunately the wounded soldier recovers quickly and the two KIAs are replaced.  The squad reserves judgement on their leader and he stays at "0".  Guy meets a journalist ( Jean Sartain from the Le Parisien) at camp and the two strike up a friendship.

For those of you that want to try this the rebels are 6/10 with poor leadership.  Grunts Forward generated 18 men to start with an additional 6 coming up from behind the power station on turn 3 and a T-55 with 7 men plus leader on turn 5. 



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