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, February 19, 2018

Plain of reeds 1952

Finally felt compelled to play Force on Force!  I got a USMC buffalo and USA greyhound for Christmas with the idea of equipping my french/ARVN force in Vietnam.  The french called the Buffalo with the 75mm howitzer the "alligator".  It looks really cool so I felt compelled to paint it up.  I should have bought some weasels which the french called "crabs".  Oh well, next time.
I don't have a french platoon for indochina and didn't roll one up. The french platoons were large with 15 person squads.  I think I will stick to my ARVN platoon long term. I did roll up the backgrounds of the legionnaire NCOs though because they are always interesting.  I didn't roll a scenario and just decided on "Hammer Dawn" straight out of Grunts Forward.  This would be a water borne assault with one squad of ARVN coming in on the side so I could use my new greyhound. 

Mission brief straight out of Grunts Forward:  "Our intelligence has found the enemy!  Your platoon has been selected to make a surprise attack on a rebel hideout.  While destruction of the enemy is important, it they run away another platoon will be there to catch them.  Your job is to capture officers and supplies."

French/ARVN forces
2 squads of 12 men each   1 LMG team and 9 semi automatic rifles.  1 NCO with SMG.  8/10
1st squad SL Gr I french orphaned and joined the legion at 15. ASL  Gr II Dutch ran away from rich parents who didn't even know he was gone. 
2nd squad  SL Gr II french jilted lover   ASL Gr I Welsh  former commonwealth soldier looking for excitement. 
Sous-Lt  Gr III   and medic
1 Alligator
1 80mm mtr across river
1 Arvn squad modeled on french with 12 men including LMG ( BAR)   6/8
Gr II SL     Gr I ASL
1 Greyhound

 A collection of huts too small to have a name on french maps.  Water at the bottom right.   Road top left.   Not only is the enemy unknown in this scenario but there are three target unknowns clustered at the center of the board. They represent caches of equipment and maybe a HQ if we are lucky.  Goal is to get to those as fast as possible!  Lt will move with first squad ( one with the poor SL) across rice paddies towards jungle while squad 2 takes the huts and hill in the center.    Arvn squad will enter and also make for the hill in the center.  ( Lt not counting on ARVN squad.)

 As legionaries approach the fields 3 peasants drop their rakes and pick up guns! 
 Meanwhile the seaborne troops land.
 and move towards the huts.   Fire erupts from the jungle.  1 man goes down. 
 ARVN hears the firering and slows down.
 Meanwhile, in the jungle.   " Load as much rice as you can!  Hurry Comrade!"

 The legionaries make it to the first hut but take 2 casualties.  Resistance is heavy in the "village." 
 Mid battle:   1st squad (left) has made slow progress but with the help of fire from the alligator is carrying the paddies.  The alligator is immobilized from a recoiless shot from the hill on the right.  French mortar fire from across the river drove the rifle team off the hill.  The manuver section of second squad led by our Welshman is in the hut but they are just holding their own.  No thought of advancing towards the hill.  The support section of 2nd squad has been laying down fire into the village. ARVN creeps towards the center hill. 

 1st squad carrying the paddies.  The explosion is from the alligator.  While this looks good for the papers they were held up by 3 peasants (6/8) with bolt action rifles! 

Something a Greyhound can blow up!    A cart full of rice races for freedom.   The greyhound missed but ARVN rifle fire convinced the drivers to bail out. 

 Cool random event gave the french a vehicle reinforcement.   So I chose....  ( sorry about the river edge, I didn't even notice that during the game, fancy that.)
 The 2 surviving members of the VM recoiless rifle crew see the rivercraft.  Too good a target to pass up.
 Bullseye!   ( It sank the craft but after the game I realized I used stats for a 75mm rifle ( medium) not a 57mm rifle which I presume would be light.  I guess it was a lucky critical hit. 
 The french officer comes over to see what is taking second squad so long... ( Plus another shot of my cool alligator!)
The French get to the rice cache and fire at the retreating VM.  The two peasants in the background are entering a tunnel to escape. 

A lot of fun!   I actually had to remember how to play FoF as I hadn't played since November.  Technically this was a french win as they prevented the rice from leaving but they were slow and ironically it was ARVN that stopped the rice.   French had 3 KIA, 1 seriously wounded IH and 1 WIA.  The river craft was sunk ( I guess) and the alligator damaged.  The VM had 6 KIA.  Great fun and am thinking of using ARVN marines as they used french equipment including the alligator.  For those of you that want to try this Platoon Forward generated the following forces:
VM regulars 8/10
1 squad of 9 with semi automatic weapons.  1 SL Gr III
1 LMG team
1 half squad of 5 men  Gr I leader
2 snipers
1 57mm recoiless rocket team
Irregulars 6/8
2 security teams on alert at start with 3 men each. 




  1. Looks great fun. I'm planning on doing the Khe Sanh hill battles (1967) with Force on Force this year.

  2. Stuart,
    Great idea. Have thought of doing that myself. Are you going to try for a linked campaign or single battles?