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.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monastery near Taormina

This is a continuation of my british platoon in Sicily from Recon of Villa Lardia. The cast:
Lt Red Talbot Fickle/ supports the government Gr II leader Plt Ldr
Sgt Johnny Turner Pleasant chap but poor leader Gr I 1 section
Cpl Theo Barns Narcissistic but gets the job done Gr II 2 section
Cpl Scottie McNab Alcoholic and poor leader but cousin is Sgt Maj Gr I 3 section
Maj "Balls" Forester SOB, personally brave, gets the job done so he doesn't look bad
company comander Gr IV

"Battalion wants that ATG taken out. Your platoon might actually be able to accomplish something Lt." Maj Forester didn't mince words at least Lt Talbot thought. Intellegence thinks there will be a depleted platoon guarding the gun and maybe a MMG. These are first rate troops though and they will be dug in. I have made arrangements for smoke and a tank to help you. If I can round up some engineers I'll send them to you. Lt, this will be a challenge. Get them moving and for God's sake don't let them get stuck in the street. If they get in the monastery they will be okay.

Monastery looking from the british lines. Hill
on left and river on right.
Red's plan was to place 3rd section on the left to attack towards the hill. Sgt Turner would assault through a smoke screen from the red roof building while 2nd section provided covering fire. Once 1st section entered the building, 2nd section and Red would follow. The MMG and tank would set up at the ruined building on the left and provide covering fire as needed.
Approach to the monastery

Sgt Turner pinned down in the street
during the assault
25pdrs layed smoke. A heavy wind blew and the smoke quickly disapated. As 1st section started across the cobble stone street 2 MGs opened up from the hill on the left wounding the bren gunner and pinning the squad. 3rd Section started towards the hill and was quickly pinned by a panzer that intelegence had neglected to mention to the platoon! The attack was stalled! Red pulled 1st section back and was trying to rally them when he heard a rap at the back door.
"Lt Talbot, I told you not to get your men stuck on the street!" It was Maj Forester.
An embarressed Lt Talbot greets Maj Forester and
a section of engineers
"Clearly you know nothing about leading troops Talbot. Get you men moving. I'll show you how to assault a building. Cpl, lets take your engineers for a stroll. 2nd section, covering fire!"
Maj Forester leads the engineers on a stroll
Through a hail of bullets the engineers ran led by a cranky figure with a walking stick. They were pinned momentarily but Forester tapped several on the tin hat with his stick and they moved along. Talbot desperately started bellowing at Sgt Turner to get the men formed for another attack. He would take both sections in personally!
The engineers entered the monastery (helped by a flamethrower) but were repulsed with 50% loses including their strolling cpl. But now Lt Talbot was ready. He entered with 17 men as they faced 11 germans and 2 LMGs. Talbot channeled his anger at Forester on the unsuspecting Jerrys. 9 germans fell without loss to his platoon! Cpl Barns was a wildman personally dispatching 3.
Lt Talbot and the platoon enter
the monastery
Meanwhile the british tank had destroyed the german one as Talbot's men fanned out to clear the rest of the monastery. There was one more critical moment when the ATG fired into Talbots men stunning them but as he recovered, Lt Talbot saw the germans spike the gun and flee. He had initally stumbled but through personal leadership he had shown that blowbag with a cane that he COULD lead in combat.
Final german positions facing Lt Talbot
The ATG and LMG facing him broke!
The Germans faced facts and retreated
After the battle Lt Talbot gained confidence and improved to a Gr III leader. Maj Forester was so impressed with Cpl Barns for this battle and the recon one that he promoted him and made him the new Sgt in the platoon. He told Talbot that he improved but needed a strong Sgt to help him and Barns was the man to do it. Sgt Turner was transfer to battalion staff. As there is no great candidate for Cpl in the platoon Maj Forester is looking in the company for one.
Great battle! The engineers were actually a random reinforcement. I would be interesting to play it without them. Without Forester the british did not have the leadership to get their folks moving initially after the smoke screens blew away. (I play the screen last 2 turns but both turns ended very quickly on die rolls [see lardy specials for Lazy TW&T rules])
3 sections
1 2in mtr
1 Churchill tank
1 battery of 25pdrs offboard
Engineers came in as random reinforcements as did a second Churchill tank.
2 squads of panzer grenadier troops (these squads have 2 lmgs)
1 Lt Gr III 1 Sgt Gr III 1 Sgt Gr II
1 MMG Gr II ldr
1 75mm ATG (see special rules)
Special rules
1. The german ATG Must set up along the right side of the monastery facing the river. It is postioned to fire along a main road the british are using.
2. Because Maj Forester is worried that the platoon will fail, he will show up on the 4th turn of a reinforcement card or on the 4th turn. You can decide if he brings engineers.
3. Any Germans set up outside of the monastery can be dug in. They must set up north of the road.


  1. Where did you get that copplestone road? Looks great.

  2. Got it at a craft store called Michaels at an after Christmas sale for $6. It is a matt used to place those collectable winter/christmas buildings on. Cut it to length and a dab of grey paint here and there...

  3. How is "Balls" Forrestor doing?

    Nice painting !!!!!