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, June 29, 2010

Plekui 1968

Inspired by Rich Clark's article "Tet a Tet" in the TFL Summer special I played my own villiage fight using my 1st Cav. I stole his map and used a modified "Hasty Attack" scenario from Platoon Forward to generate the forces. This is the 8th battle with this platoon. 2nd Squad's morale went up after last battle due to Lt McSwain's leadership.

Lt McSwain entered into the hut where he and SSgt Davis had been hastily summoned by Lt Jaroz the company CO. Looks like Charlie is staging some type of attack into Plekui. Division is up in arms so battalion is as well. Crank up and enter Plekui and see what exactly is going on. No helos but we have trucks, one track and a tank. Move out in 45 minutes. You might hit some blocking forces on the way; push through and find out what is going on at division. Good Luck.

Lt McSwain Optomistic/movies Gr II
SSgt Davis 1st sq shy/ wealth Gr III Brillaint leader
Cpl Lawrence 2nd squad Gambler/greed Gr II
Sgt Colton 3rd sq cunning/ family Gr I
1st and 2nd squad high morale 3rd squad average morale

As you enter the outskirts of town you hear firing up ahead. What is your plan LT?

Outskirts looking from town
1st Cav will enter far side of board
Lt McSwain unloads the trucks. He decides to send 3rd squad up towards the houses on the right (his right/ left side of picture above) to find source of firing. 3rd squad has not done as much fighting as the other 2 squads and though they are not as proficient he is trying to even the workload.
A HMG quickly opens up from the red roofed house pinning 3rd squad. They do see an ARVN squad in the nearest house fighting it out with VC squads nearby. Lt McSwain, curses himself. He knew Colton wasn't up to the task. He orders SSgt Davis to infiltrate left through the paddies to take out the HMG, the tank forward to shell the red roofed house and the track to the right to lay down fire as needed. He will go forward to rally 3rd squad.
3rd squad proves difficult to rally. Suddenly out of the elephant grass to the right a rocket streaks toward the tank. The Lt doesn't need to look back as he hears the tremendous explosion.

Failure of 3rd squads attack. Lt McSwain
is the one still standing in front.
SSgt Davis made some headway on the right until they ran smack into a VC squad. They held their own but could not advance as the HMG turned its attention on them.
The Lt orders the track up to lay fire on the elephant grass. This track is designed for anti aircraft work with a gattlin gun and cuts an impressive swath through the grass. Meanwhile, 2nd squad goes wide right through the swamp as 3rd squad lays down supressive fire.

Cpl Lawrence and 2nd squad advance
through a swamp

2nd squad manges to push through to the grass and actually takes one of the houses but looses 4 men in the process. It is too much. Lt Mcswain orders a pull back from the town. He explains to Lt Jaroz that he is up against at least a company and requests an air strike on the town. Jaroz knows McSwain to be a good officer. If he can't make it maybe this is something big. He tells McSwain to hold while he checks with battalion, LtCol Patterson.
So ends the first battle! I haven't lost in a while so this will keep me humble. I used the iniative rules from the Christmas special and the americans went 3 turns without getting the tank firing card. This allowed the VC to move up a RPG to take it out. Ouch. Guess the tankers couldn't figure out the target or had a brand new sergeant.
American forces as above plus 2 M 60s. . the M113 had a gattling gun on it.
When the americans reach the 3 closest building roll a d6. On a 1-2 there is a 6 person ARVN squad in there with a Gr I leader. The ARVN will get no more than 2 squads total. The ARVN will defend their building but will not advance.
2 Gr II leaders 1 gr I leader 1 squad with low morale
3 squads all armed with AK 47s. 1 HMG and 1 LMG team. 2 RPGs
a random reinforcement came in [ turn 4]that was a squad with a gr III leader. This was the squad that SSgt Davis ran into.
Great game. Hopefully you can do better than I

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sgt Saunder's Bronze Star day!

Last weekend got back to a tried and true Platoon Forward battle using my 101st platoon! Situation Normandy D +2.
Lt Joe Ramsey Scholarly/Techie Gr III
SSgt Bill Taylor Optomistic/wealth Gr II 1 sq
Sgt Paul Saunders Cheery/comforts Gr III 2 sq
Sgt Aaron Goldberg shy/wealth Gr II 3 sq (weapons)

OBJECTIVE: Recon road and outskirts of town. Secure approach to town for rest of company.
There is a MMG in the white villa on the right. (Random event gave you 2 recon rolls pre game)
You have 2 squads; 1 with a LMG, 1 with a BAR and a 3rd squad consisting of a 60mm Mtr and a 2 man Bazooka team. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN LT?

Looking towards St Giraird from
the american positons
Lt Ramsy said we had to take this french town ahead so our boys could pass through. Shouldn't be too many Krauts but there was a machine gun next in the villa next to the road. No artillary or armor for support; just us airborne.
LT said we were going to do a right roundhouse on those huns and avoid the road and woods. Aaron's mortar would lay smoke on the villa while 1 squad's LMG would lay down suppressive fire. "Great! I am thinking. Guess who gets to be the assault element." Right as Rain Sergant!!

Sgt Saunders is not expecting German
paratroopers! Ooops
So the smoke starts popping and the LMG starts buzzing and me and my boys go tearing across this field. About 20 yards away their fire gets serious and we hit the dirt. At this point I see 5 Krauts in a built up position and they have rimless helmets. "Christ we are up against paratroopers!" Can't let me boys know what I am thinking though. I yell, "grenades" and we all throw. "Up and and at em" I scream and leap forward. I didn't realize only 4 men and the Bar follow me. (Other 7 men were shaken) We kill all 5 with only Simmons getting wounded.
Sgt Saunders finishes clearing the position
Lt Ramsey moving up with additional troops

The BAR team starts firing into the MMG and they hightail it back into town. Meanwhile I go back to my boys and tell them they better not ever, ever, ever do that to me again. They are screaming eagles!!!!
Lt Ramsy ocupies the villa and 1st and 3rd squad come up. We are told to advance to the hedge and once supressive fire is available move up again.
2nd sq behind hedge when german gun
rolls around corner (top middle)

We are catching our breath when the Krauts roll up this gun and start to shell us from the town! I look back at the villa and it is under MG fire from the town as well. I ain't staying behind this hedge to be killed at long range! I ain't retreating! Only choice left is to go forward. We advance to the first house but it is in line of sight of that blasted gun. We move forward again (Sgt Saunder's is being modest, all these moves were under fire) and arrive at the town proper where there are 4 germans setting up a machine gun. We don't even break stride but enter the backyard and take them out!
Sgt Saunder's squad encouters the MMG
We encounter fire from the house. After a brief firefight it's grenade time and we enter. 10 americans against 8 germans! I have never been so scared in my life. We lose 5 but only Snyder is KIA. The germans lose 7 with the last one running into the next building yelling his head off.
Using a german LMG we are in a perfect position to lay fire on the gun crew and they scatter like legs! I was just congratulating myself when potato mashers come flying in and 6 germans come storming in from next door without knocking first! The biggest problem is I have 4 WIA and only 4 effectives. I killed 2 of the bastards and the other 4 turned tail.
Honestly Sir I was just doing my job. Any of the NCOs would have done the same.
Great battle and quick too. No heroic events where drawn. Sgt Saunder's cards just came up at the right time consistantly and his die rolls were good. 70% of a bronze star and he made it. He also earns a dynamic commander card. At the ceremony the following month he meets Sgt Lujens a Sherman tank commander who was also awarded a medal for valor. The two become friends. Will they meet again? I would bet on it but don't know where or when.
German Forces Roll die 20% paratroopers 30% security troops 50% wermacht
2 Gr III leaders 2 Gr II leader
2 squads
1 75mm SiG How
Set up northern half of board. Can set up 1 squad dug in.
Orders are to delay american forces

Friday, June 4, 2010

Neukirchen Feb 1945

Grandparents visited over Memorial Day. Umpired a 2 person Lazy TW&T game between my Dad (german) and my son (american) Fictional battle took place in Neukirchen. Americans orders are to advance to the RatHaus and accept the mayor's surrender. If heavy resistance encoutered attempt to take the town. They are the spearhead of an armored force with follow up reinforcements close on their heels.
The Germans are a platoon of Landsers commanded by Hauptman Robert Vaughn (my dad likes the movie Remagen Bridge) 2 squads have nl moral and 1 has poor morale. You also have a 75mm ATG pulled by an opel truck. Your mission is to advance into the center of Neukirchen. Meet up with a platoon of Volksturm and defend the town. Americans have been reported 30 kilometers away so time is short! You are to become the town commander and have the authority to remove the mayor if need be. Rumor has it he would like to surrender the town if not for the volksturm.
Unknown to Robert Vaughn, the Volksturm platoon is actually an 8 man squad commanded by a Gr I leader. Also unknown to Robert, the americans will enter the south entrance of the board 2 turns before the Wermacht due to the vagaries of the umpire's die!

Center of Town. 4 men hidden in Kirche
4 men with panzerfaust just driven off
roof of warehouse on left.
Where is Robert?
Moments before, the americans, not trusting
the umpire, enter town very cautiously.
Good job son!
The Volksturm quickly melt away under M1 fire. They do delay the americans enough to allow the germans to enter the board. 2 squads quickly make for the Rathaus. The opel truck enters with Robert and a squad and quickly see a Greyhound down the street.
3rd squad quickly abandoning the truck when
faced with an american armored car!
At this point a P-47 enters and strafes the truck/squad and gun. Somehow they all survive
(who wrote those rules? see lardies special) but the men are shaken and run into the brick factory.
The2 german squads gain the Rathaus first and the americans have a hard time breaking in. they finally send a squad around the rear to gain entrance.
Close order fighting in the
grand hallway!
Robert is at the top of the screen
An epic battles wages in the Rathaus for several turns. A german MG jams and the americans managed to get a second squad into the building. Both sides suffer heavy casualties. Ultimately, the landsers are force into the upper left corner of the screen shot above. With 12 americans in the grand hall and a sherman tank and greyhound out front, Robert Vaughn leads his 7 survivors out the windows and down the alleys to escape. They will live to fight on another desperate day. As Robert Vaugh says in Remagen Bridge, "Who is the enemy?"
Great game. My Dad failed to comprehend that the 75mm gun was slow to move and set up once unhooked from the truck. He never got it into action and the greyhound kept the crew under fire.
3 squads
1 gr IV leader
1 gr III leader 2 gr II leaders
1 75mm gun w truck
1 8 man VG squad SMG armed with PF and gr I leader
3 squads plus 1 bazooka and 60mm mortar
2 gr III leaders 1 gr II leader 1 gr I leader
1 M8 armored car and 1 jeep with 30 cal MG
1 strafing attack by P-47 will occur during game depending on your rules
1 sherman tank comes as reinforcement on turn 4