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, September 21, 2010

Barent Sea AAR/ Release the Hounds Playtest

The first miniatures I ever bought were ships. They were cheap and I didn't need terrain. I soon moved on because all the rulesets I played were either too simple or too complicated. I wanted detail down to individual turrets and AA mounts but I wanted the games to be relatively quick; didn't want to keep track of hull boxes and wanted to play with my favorite ship, the destroyers! Command at Sea was a little too slow for my taste though their scenario books are still the best. I thought I had it with GHQs "The Game". Great rule set but destroyers are too easily taken out and PT boats are an afterthought. Have toyed with my own rules from time to time but could not figure out how to do realistic damage without "counting boxes" yet keeping the fidelity of individual turrets. Had a eureka moment on a plane to Sacramento 2 weeks ago. Ran up some charts and did dice playtests and it seemed to work. Time to try it out for real!
Scenario is heavily modified ( I don't have many ships) out of the Command at Sea Group Nord book. Basically the germans are trying to break through a british escort to a small convoy. The German's are petrified of losing their pocket battleship as usual.

Capt Sherebrooke was uneasy. Then again he was always uneasy out at sea during this war. He was senior officer of this small band of ships escorting 7 merchants. His crew on the HMS Onslaw were good as were the rest of the escort. They just might make it to Russia despite the storm. The weather was bad with visability about 4 miles and this promised to get worse. His thoughts were suddenly interupted by the officer of the day. " HMS Rhododendrom has sighted a german destroyer dead astern about 3.5 miles back. "

The Convoy
Very well. Tell HMS Orwell that we will execute a simultaneous 180 degree turn and she should find this destroyer. Tell Obdurate [with Obediant] that she should meet us behind the convoy. Capt Sherebrooke knew he did not need to tell the corvette to start making smoke nor the merchantman commodore to radio the light cruiser HMS Jamaica.
Fred moving up. He didn't see
anything until Orwell started shooting

The situation while orders are transmitted,
decoded and executed. The 3rd german DD is
off picture to the south
Straining eyes on the bridges of both british DDs were finally rewarded at 5 miles when the shape of a german DD hove into view. Orwell starts to fire but misses. Fred, thinking he has found the convoy alters course to starboard and the ships close. A gun duel erupts and both sides take damage. Orwell settles the argument when she hits Fred with a torpedo that leaves her flooding and on fire.
Lutzow hears the commotion and speeds up
HMS Orwell is so engaged in the fight she fails to spot the german CB. Lutzow fires at 5.5 miles hits Orwell. Orwell staggards and moves off stage. Lutzow, seeing enemy DDs close, calls back her destroyer screen and starts a lazy 180 turn. Capt Sherebrooke coutermands his last order to Obdurate telling them to close with Theo Reidel on the right and instead orders a torpedo attack on the Lutzow. Meanwhile he will turn and chase after the Richard Beltzen on the british left that has sailed right by them and is still searching for the convoy.
Time during Sherebrooke's orders
Beltzen top of picture. Fred in center on fire
Theo off picture to the bottom
Onslow starting turn for Beltzen upper right
Orwell under fire from Lutzow
Obdurate/Obedient still carrying out order to
go after Theo
Theo turns around failing to spot the convoy and roughs up Obdurate and Obdient slowing them down enough they are unable to carry out a torpedo attack.
2 British destroyers roughed up
Richard Beltzen does spot the convoy and makes a very lazy turn back towards the Lutzow. This allows her to get several shots off. One hits the bridge of the SS Pontfield. Thus confused she does not steer away from the 4 german tordedoes. One hits and sinks her.
HMS Onslow catches up at this time and the 2 destroyers trade torpedo shots as they pass.
Russian Roulette torpedo style
Unfortunaltly for Capt Sherebrooke, he loses this time as a german torpedo hits the Onslow.
The german destroyers recalled, the germans retire.
Forces and Fate
Lutzow CB fine
Richard Beltzen DD 5 turret out
Theo Reidel DD moderate damage
Friedrick Edkold DD heavy damage difficult to control scuttled
Onslow DD heavy damaged limped to port
Orwell DD heavy damage limped to port
Obedient DD moderrate damage continued escort
Obdurate moderate damage engines damaged; had to be towed; decision to scuttle
Rhododendrom Corvette fine
Pontifield tanker sunk
give victory to the Kreigsmarine
Great game and I liked the system. Have decided I like it enough that I will invest in some 1/1200 scale destroyers and smaller ships. For the bigger stuff will stick with 1/2400 but I really like the smaller boats. Once I get the smaller boats will post another playtest.
Realize this was a different post than what I normally do but thought it would prove interesting and hopefully provide an entertaining scenario.


  1. Very enjoyable. Have you ever tried General Quarters?

  2. Greg,
    A system that I am developing myself. I outlined the philosophy in the intro above.
    No. I saw it at Williamsburg Muster last year and asked how it handled DDs and PT boats and was told it was not designed for the smaller stuff. I want DDs to last more than a turn. Plus it looked big and expensive. I hear a lot of good stuff about it. How dos it handle PT boats? Are they individual?