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.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Recon of Villa Lardia

Note: This is the 4th battle I have played with this platoon. They have lost every battle and their Lt was killed last time. 2 of the sections now have poor morale and the Sgt Major's cousin, Cpl Scottie McNab leads the 3rd section. McNab is a poor leader but the Sgt Major can't see this.

Maj Forester Company Commander (NPC) SOB but good leader Gr IV
Cpl Theo Barns 2nd section Narcissistic Gr II leader
Cpl Scottie McNab 3rd section Alcoholic Gr I leader

" Rubbish Sgt Major! I don't believe in bad luck units; only poorly led ones." Maj "Balls" Forester ended the conversation with his chief enlisted man. As his company ground on towards Catania in Sicily he vowed to look for an opportunity to personally lead this platoon and see what they were made of.
4 days later they were tasked with providing reconassance of a villa and mountain that lay astride the battalion's route of advance. Villa Lardia was known throughout Sicily for making poor wine and selling it in america where, because it was imported, people would drink it. "Villa Lardia! When your friends don't know any better."
Maj Forester would do his own reconassance and take 2nd and 3rd sections of the platoon with him.

Map of battle field from british positions. Villa in center
Moutain with ruin in back left corner. Vinyards to the right
Black markers are positions that must be scouted (9)
Maj Forester's plan was simple. He would place his 2in mortar in the woods. 3rd section would move towards the villa. (McNab could handle it) He would lead 2nd section towards the hill on the left. They did not need to take the positions, just scout them.

Cpl Barns leads 2nd section towards the left.

Cpl Barns immediatly drew MMG fire from the villa but managed to push through. The bren section with Maj Forester however was shaken and 1 man was killed.

As Bullets crack around him Maj Forester leans
on his walking stick and decries Italian marksmanship!
The 2in mortar neutralizes the MMG and the Major gets his troops moving again.

Italian positions in front of the villa
2nd section is stopped cold in front of the villa by a squad of Italian infantry
Maj Forester and Cpl Barnes move to the left and due to the vagaries of the die find both the hill and the mountain empty of axis troops! Some long range LMG fire from the village tells Forester that the Italians are in the villiage in force but he has accomplished his mission so leads 2nd section back without loss thanks to some smoke from the 2in mortar. " Well Sgt Major, I hope this proves my point!"
After the patrol 2nd section's morale improves back to normal. (3rd section's does not as they are still stuck with McNab) Sgt Major introduces his cousin to Sgt McGregore who commands a MMG section. McGregore states he can swing it so he will be able to support McNab in his next mission.
Interesting "battle" and makes you think because the object is not to fight but to look. With my hidden forces system there was a 7.5% chance that the Italians would leave that flank uncovered. Maj Forester guessed great pre battle. He did miss the SPG hidden in the depression at the top of the board covering the road however. It was tense getting 2nd section up to the mountain.
2 sections
1 2in mortar
1 3in mortar off board on call with map coordinates to the villa and the ruin on the mountain
Italian squads are organized differently. They ended up with half a platoon which consists of 2 LMG teams (organized as a section) Gr II leader and 10 riflemen (organized as a section) Gr II leader
1 SPG ( I used a Semovonti 90mm because Sicily was about the only place they were used in combat. Unfortunatly it was never spotted so it never fired!)
The Italian forces are placed under a total of 9 blinds. The British have to spot at least 5 blinds for a win and 7 blinds for a major win. They obviously can't loose too many men as this is recon only.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hill 421 II Corps Vietnam 1967

We move to a different platoon and a different war. I have had 5 battles with this platoon in the past. The platoon leader Lt Jaroze has been heroic to say the least; his bronze star was denied but he reciently took over the company. His replacement, Lt McSwain was chastized by the battalion commander (LtCol Patterson) last battle for moving too slow. Now he is determined not to repeat this mistake!
Lt John McSwain optomistic Gr II leader
SSgt Davis shy cautious Gr III leader Dynamic leader card
Cpl Lawrence gambler; greedy Gr II leader
Sgt Colton cunning Gr I leader

John's heart sank as Lt Jaroze briefed the operation. His platoon was the blocking platoon again! When would Patterson give him a chance to show what he and his men could do?
Sgt Colton's spirits soared as the LT told them that they would be a blocking force for the operation. How lucky could they get? Credit for combat without having to advance against the enemy! The company was to assault a gook hill and all 1st platoon ahd to do was sit back and prevent the Charlie from slipping past them.
3 hours later they were in the bonnies and the radio crackled. 3rd platoon had run into heavy resistance. Lt Jaroze was going to change them to the blocking force and 1st platoon was now the hammer. Mission: advance and clear hill 421 while enemy was engaged with 3rd platoon.

Map looking from 1st platoon's entrance towards
hill 421. 3rd platoon is off board towards the right

McSwain's plan was 2 squads forward and 1 back. He chose SSgt Davis to lead with the river to his left flanked in echelon with Lawrance. He would hold Colton back with him. Jaroze promised him 105 support and the hill errupted in flame and they started off.

HMG that opens up on 1st squad as they clear the bamboo

near the river

All was great until 1st platoon was withing 60 yards of hill 421. Suddenly a HMG opened up from the hill and a trench line was discovered. 1st poured fire on the HMG while Lawrence moved 2nd squad up to deal with the trench.

Attack meets resistance. SSgt Davis above and Cpl Lawrence below
start to deal with the VC

Suddenly on Cpl Lawrence's right a heavily armed VC
squad moves through the bamboo to hit his flank!

Cpl Lawrence moves his MG 60 to the right to flank the
VC attack. Lt McSwain comes over to steady the squad
SSgt Davis succeds in silencing the HMG. Cpl Lawrence is holding his own. McSwain orders SSgt Davis into the trenches and Sgt Colton to advance onto the hill. After some supressive fire
Davis leads 1st squad into the trenches.
1st squad entering the trenches

Fighting is furious as Davis leads from the front!
1st squad succceds in clearing the trench. With their back broken, the VC break off contact. Sgt Colton's less than aggressive pursuit allows a 60mm mortar team to escape but no platoon leadership is aware as Davis is in the trench and McSwain and Lawrance are still catching up from beating off the VC couterattack on the right flank! Platoon sustained 1 KIA and 2 WIA. 5 VC bodies found with numerious blood trails leading from the trench and bamboo field.
3 days later Lt Jaroze calls Lt McSwain into the CP. Upon arrival Lt McSwain is introduced to Lt Alan who wears armor corps insignia. "John, Lt Alan needs our help right away..." [ hint: I just painted up a patton tank.]
3 US infantry squads plus 2 MG 60s
2 stonks of 105 artillary pre game plus 2 more available in game by McSwain.
1 HMG 1 60mm mortar
2 VC squads plus 1 LMG ( for play balance I would change this to 1 VC squad and 1 NVA squad) this battle was a little easy for the platoon.
1 LT gr II leader 2 Sgts gr I leaders ( for play balance upgrade 1 Sgt to grade II)
All VC forces start dug in and must be facing the direction of 3rd platoon off board.
Special rule
the americans have 1 M60 MG off board on the right to represent 3rd platoon. It can fire from any part of the board edge using normal line of sight rules for your game system each turn.
There will be no posts for 2-3 weeks as I will be participating in a homeland defense excercise for most of this month.