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.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The brick lumber mill

This is a platoon that has had 2 other battles. I will take some time here to illustrates some of the "off board" interaction of Platoon Forward that can affect how the battle plays out. Just to remind everyone, I don't make stuff up for this blog; I really report what I play out on the campaigns and games.

Junior Lt Bessonov was unhappy as he walked to company HQ. His platoon was performing poorly, morale was dropping and 2 of his squad leaders were out with wounds. His uninjuried squad leader, Sergant Shakulo, was his biggest problem. Not only was he an alcoholic but his first battle he had charged recklessly ahead [failed a leadership check] and lost most of the 1st sq. Bessonov asked the the company comander to pull Shakulo from the platoon and give him a new NCO. " Bessonov, you are new here. Half our NCOs are alcoholics. A good officer will teach Sergant Shakulo when to use his spirit in battle." Last battle Shakulo's performance had risen to below average but the platoon had again failed it's mission. Somehow a report had gotten to the company commander that Shakulo had performed well during the attack. Bessonov had even seen the two laughing and talking the other day! [ event showed that Konerko notices Shakulo] He had better watch Shakulo carefully or he might be getting the boot.

The company commander, Lt Konerko, greeted Bessonov cooly. Jr Lt Bessonov, mother russia needs victories! When do you plan to contribute?
Our lines have stabalized while we wait for supplies to continue the defeat of fascism. Reconnasance believes that the Germanskiis are using a lumber mill as an observation post during the day to observe our lines. Tomorrow I want you to take 2 squads and infiltrate up there. Capture a prisoner or at least disrupt the OP. I will send a MMG with you {pre game reinforcement} and issue some SMGs from other platoons. Bessonov, I know you are new here but don't make me wonder if you will ever get the hang of this. Dismissed

Jr LT Bessonov Scholarly/pleasure Gr II
Sgt Shakulo 1st sq SL addicted/ alcohol Gr I 1st squad with low morale
Cpl Zurich acting 3rd SL Gr I
1st squad with 2 LMGs for this mission. 3rd squad armed with 1 LMG, 2 rifles and 7 SMGs.
1 MMG with Gr I leader that is hesitant

The brick lumber mill
Russians will enter from bottom left
German OP
Very early figures I painted up
Bessonov moved through the woods with his most dependable squad forward (3rd) followed by 1st sq. Since this is the Russian army the platoon leader leads. As they neared the clearing he moved the MMG towards the left to provide covering fire. 20 yards before the clearing they heard rifle shots.
Bessonov runs into sentries
As third squad laid down fire he ordered Shakulo to move right to support. The 4 german sentires, noting a large force started their getaway. The russians managed to pin them down however. Shakulo moved right in, killing 3 and capturing 1. Bessonov was elated and horrified at the same time. He decided he would go for broke and attack the OP directly.
He directed both squads to move foward past the mill on the right to a clump of trees. From there they would make the final assault.
Bessonov's charge
3rd squad on left
3rd squad took heavier fire and started to retreat. Bessonov had to stop to rally them.
The men proved difficult to rally as bullets continued to kick up around them. Suddenly to Bressonov's horror he hear the russian battle cry of "Urra" as Sergant Shakulo was leading his squad into the mill. Bressonov quickly grabbed the few rallied men around him (the LMG team) and raced to the mill in time to join (lead) the final assault.
Sergant Shakulo leads the final assault
The Germanskiis were not keen on defending the position and gave way quickly. JrLt Bressonov and the platoon had their victory albiet with a great deal of help from Sgt Shakulo. After the battle Sgt Shakulo stated he was just following orders. Bressonov wondered whose orders?
After it's great showing in 2 hand to hand combats 1st squad's morale improved to normal. In addition, Sgt Shakulo beat the odds (30%) and is upgraded to a grade II leader. [There are normally 3 events after every battle.]
Great battle! I really like these small ones. They play fast and are loads of fun. I could not believe Sgt Shakulo; his card draws and rolls were amazing. As a gr I leader he only had a 50% chance of initiating that final assault. When he could, even though a russian NCO would not show that much initaitve, I said why not!
German forces generated were as follows:
1 squad and 2 half squads 1 Gr III leader (officer) and 2 gr II leaders
1 squad must set up on the second floor of the mill with the officer acting as an observer. The other squad can be split into 2 half squads to act as sentries. If it is one half should be towards the woods and one half in the boxes on the other side of the board watching that half of the board. The germans can not move or fire until fired upon or they spot russians. The german officer can take no action for the first 3 turns as he is collecting his gear in case they have to retreat. There is a 30% chance of a squad and/ or halftrack coming in as a reinforcement 4 turns after the shooting starts. This did not happen for me but would have made for a different game! If they come in the russian need not take the mill, just disrupt its operations, perferably from the inside. You still need to capture a prisoner.
If playing 2 person the german should not know the russian objective. For the "Raid" scenario there is only a 33% chance that it is a prisoner snatch otherwise it is just to disrupt the opreation for at least 4 turns of fire and give more casualties than taken.


  1. Cracking blog old chap! What is platoon forward - is it a set of campaign rules for Twat?

  2. Conrad,
    Glad you enjoy the stories. Platoon Forward is not specific for TW&T. They can be used with any modern tactical ruleset. What is your favortie set?
    Platoon Forward has 3 parts. Part 1 is where you generate your characters and have them interact with the world. It is not a RPG in that I am only concerned with interactions that will affect the battlefield. Example would be if I am friends with the supply Sgt I might get an extra LMG for the next mission.
    Part 2 are the 17 scenarios. These are a boon for the solo gamer in that the opposing force is "intellegently designed". You don't know what you are facing until you are on the battlefield. When was the last time you played a solo game where you really had to recce?
    Part 3 are in game events. These keep things fresh. The coolest one is "leadership check" Occasionally your subordinate leaders will make independent decisions such as charge or stop or shoot. Sgt Shakulo did in the first battle above. Read Brookfield Plantation from last year for an example of when it worked like a charm!
    The rules should be available from Too Fat Lardies soon. Any other questions about them? I could talk all day about them as I think they are great and unique. I don't normally because I want the site to be about the story; but you asked!!!