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, November 30, 2010

Recon at Chateau du Pupon

Felt like playing a battle in Normandy so using my 101st airborne unit. This is only their 3rd battle.

Lt Ramsey showed up at the Colonel's CP wide awake. He had actually slept for 5 hours. That was the most he had slept since the invasion 5 days earlier. There was an older frenchman in the battered room who stood too straight to be a simple farmer.
"Joe, glad you are here. As you know we are ready to break out of the beachhead. We want to use this route here as it is paved and good for tanks. Unfortunatley, retired Major Jean Claude here says there is a Chateau along it crawling with Krauts. That would be nice information to know before we start down the road." The frenchman spoke, (with an outrageous french accent) Colonel, it iz true. I know what I saw. Several tanks and large guns overlooking the road. You will be wiped out!"
"Joe, take a squad plus a bazooka and have a look. If there is little resistance take the place but don't play hero. Find out what is there and come back and let me know. Major Jean here will show you the way.

Your forces
Lt Joe Ramsey Scholarly/Techie Gr III leader
SSgt Bill Taylor optomitic/wealth Gr II 1st squad has high morale
Major (retire) Jean Claude Gr II 7 partisans armed with rifles
1 bazooka team with 2 men

What is your plan LT?

Chateau du Pupon
Lt Ramsey's plan was to go down the left flank through the fields to the barn. From there either enter the main house or climb the hill depending on resistance. The Major offered to lead with his men so Joe let him. He reminded the Major that they were not to start shooting; theirs was recon!
Things went surprising well as they made it through the field without a shot fired. The Major pointed smugly through the bocage at a tank in front of the main house. Nuts!
German tank in the way.
(Yes it is a Char-bis. Command
Decision tanks come 3 to a pack
and I had one left over so...)
Joe decided to let the partisans watch the house and he would send a team around the barn to the hill for a better look. As SSgt Taylor started off MG fire from the hill pinned him down. "Guess the party has started now" Joe thought to himself. The Bar layed suppressive fire on the MG, SSgt Taylor moved his men into the barn and Lt Ramsey brought up his bazooka. The tank meanwhile had started firing on the BAR team. 5 German soldiers came out of the main house and headed for the barn.
German soldiers advance towards the barn
The germans were able to drive the americans out of the barn. (The americans were trying to avoid casualties) After a bazooka round missed the tank backed up but continued to shell the americans.

Franco-American positions in the field
Joe now knew the Major was right. There were alot of Jerrys here. He decided he could not take the complex and felt he would take casualties in occupying the MG nest on the hill. He had seen all but the far side of the compound. He asked the Major if he would run to the far side and take a look while his boys keep Jerry's head down. The Major agreed.
Major Jean Claude's dash across the road
The Major dashed acrossed the road. Signaled he had his info and all allied forces withdrew.
Back at the CP Lt Ramsey was able to report there was a large french tank, a MG on the hill and at least 2 squads in the chateau. More important to him; he had not lost a man. The Colonel turned to the beaming Frenchman, "Well Major, guess I owe you an apology. Maybe you Frogs are okay afterall!"
Fun and short battle. The write up doesn't do it justice. Since you don't know the forces arrayed against you there is a fair amount of tension. As we entered the field I thought we would get shot. As we came to the barn I thought we would get shot. When we ran towards the hill I thought we would get shot. (wait we did get shot then!)
The german forces ended up being: dug in where it makes sense
d6 1-2 second string 3-5 1st string 6 paratroopers ( I rolled a 3)
1 LMG with gr 2 leader
1 squad with gr III leader
1 half squad with company commander (didn't roll for him as he never came out)
1 tank and 1 ATG (Maj Jean Claude missed the ATG; oops)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! One third of our viewers are from Europe. Thanksgiving is a national holiday where we overeat on Turkey and watch american football. We also give thanks for the many blessing given to us and our country. It is probably the last holiday that is not comercialized. Hence I enjoy it. It is not comericalized but the next day is "Black Friday", the busiest shopping day of the year and the epitome of US commercialization.

I won't bore you with my personal life but I have much to be thankful for. I am not is a warzone though 54 of my friends are. Whatever your political views, please remember the Platoons Forward defending others and away from their families.

I thought I would update you on my projects. Please feel free to ask questions or offer advice.

1. Platoon Forward Rich continues to edit. I confess I did not think it needed it but now I understand why authors have editors. He has tightened it up and made it flow smoother. The graphics are great, the best he has done. I have added a table for officers to see "where they have come from". This affects how they are treated. If daddy is a senator or politburo member things will be a little smoother! If you have come up from the ranks (a mustang) your men will like you but your superiors will be a little cool.

Eye candy I found on my computer

I actually remember this battle.
Based on Chris' work on the French "attack" into
Germany 1939
Squadron Forward is moving right along. Release the Hounds has slowed it as I have been playing naval stuff as of late. I have the character campaign done. It is different than Platoon Forward. There are not as many choices once you are in the air and fewer on the ground as well. But you have the opportunity to develop individual skills. There is also a cool thing called squadron reputation. You want to be a big dog and belong to the big dogs. This helps balance different air forces and periods. The Romanians can do well just by breaking even. You manage a group of pilots but it focuses on individuals more than Platoon Forward. This feels right to me given the nature of air combat.
I am still working on the solitaire scenario generation system. The missions are easy, it is getting the force balance right for the solitaire opponent that is proving challanging. As the germans on the eastern front I am supposed to be outnumbered. As the russians I should have the number advantage many times. Want it historically accurate but able to give surprises like Platoon Forward.
I also have a project specific to Bag the Hun where I have been able to differenciate almost ever model of aircraft in game terms. I have called it Bling the Hun. It hopefully will appear in a Lardie special after Platoon Forward is published
Card for "Bling the Hun"
Finally I have been playing with "Release the Hounds" This started out as "Hello Sailor" for Too Fat Lardies but I changed 70% of it. It still has cards but movement is simultaneous. Combat is similar to Bag the Hun but naval style. Those of you that have seen my Brag the Hun, it is an evolution of that. I have opted for a overal initiative rating that seems to be working well. But each ship's commander will have a personality that can come into play through random events. I haven't started on a campaign game yet (Flotilla commander) but this will be aimed at small boat actions up to DDs. Anything bigger didn't fight enough to have a campaign! Again this will be solitaire friendly.

USS Porter in the Solomons

Her commander is agressive ( go figure!)

That is all my projects. It is enough to keep me off the streets. I would also like to thank each of you and hope you enjoy this site. I try not to waste your time. I have only kept track of "hits" since July and have had over 4,000 visits since then. Considering I post about twice a month I am amazed by that number; thank you. (Don't worry there will never be advertising here)

Happy Thanksgiving


Monday, November 22, 2010

The Admiralty wasn't as impressed

Wanted to try out my naval rules with some fast moving small boats. Haven't started Flottila Forward campaign rules or solitaire rules yet but am kicking some ideas around. Do have a random events chart done. Am also continuing to edit Platoon Forward with Richard. We are a third of the way done!

English Channel November 1940 (Not sure if this is too historical but I had the ships on hand!)

Commander O'Toole looked at the measly forces on hand and sighed. At least his protests had allowed the addition of a Fairmile B launch. His mission was to escort several coasters (mainly coal) up north. As there were only 6 freighters a large escort was not thought neccessary. And besides, he was told, the Jerry DDs had sortied receintly and would not try that again.
HMS Clover (Flag) Flower class Frigate
HMS Onyx Algerine Class Fleet Mine Sweeper
HMS Lady Lillian ASW Trawler
ML 475 Fairmile B Launch
6 Coastal Freighters speed 10 knots
Visability 3 miles

Initial British Formation
Each hex is 500 yards
Around midnight Lady Lillian radioed she had sighted an E-boat off to port and was engaging. As was pre arranged, the motor launch and Clover turned towards the port side of the convoy to support and look for more E-boats
Lady L first to fight!
Lady L's second shot starts a fire on the E-boat. It turns and starts a retreat. She will spend the next 15 minutes trying to sink it to no avail.
Where are the other E-boats? The Fairmile runs into them south of the convoy and opens fire. Clover is still trying to join the battle and Cmdr O'Toole is seeing just how slow 15 knots can be! The Mine Sweeper, sure that a second attack is not looming, reverses course to join the battle.
12:10AM The E-boats sight the convoy
The 3 remaining E-boats increase speed away from the Fairmile to reverse course in order to begin a torpedo run on the convoy. The Fairmile starts laying down a smoke screen. 1 E-boat (under fire) fires long at 3k yards and misses. The others break to port of the smoke screen.
E-Boat passes through a smoke screen and
within 500 yards of HMS Clover
Both crews were too surprised to fire

E-Boats break left of smoke screen and
loop towards freighters
Cmdr O'Toole was astonished to find an E-Boat barreling out of the smoke screen and cut across the bow of the Clover. By the time the pom poms started firing it was half a mile away. He had thought they were still back with the Fairmile. He quickly turned the Clover around to place his ship between the E-boats and the freighters. He could see the E-boats as they were moving at 30knots but apparently they were having trouble seeing the freighters through the thickening haze. [ 2 random events had decreased visability to 2 miles] 1 E-boat fired torpedoes and missed. The second could not seem to line up a shot. It was probably due to fire from the Clover. Just as he seemed to give up, he turned towards the Clover and fired two torpedoes at the HMS Clover!
2 Torpedoes fire at the HMS Clover from 1,000 yrds
O'Toole screamed hard to port but a ship at 15 knots does not turn like a spitfire. One torpedo slammed home as Cmdr O'Toole was thrown towards the ceiling and then to the floor. It took just over an hour for the HMS Clover to sink beneath the cold waters of the channel.
Two weeks later Cmdr O'Toole recieved a letter from one of the freighter captains thanking him for breaking up the E-boat attack. The Admiralty, however, wasn't as impressed.
1 Flower class Corvette sunk
1 E-boat out for 1 week after a fire
1 E-boat with minor splinter damage and 4 casualties
Loads of fun and should work with any coastal set of rules!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The road from Kursk

This is the 4th battle with my Russian squad. Their 3rd battle is posted 4 posts ago entitled "Brick lumber yard". Go read it to get re aquanted with them, I'll wait. Good.

Lt Konerko stood in front of the company officers. We finally have a crack at the fascists! We are to take this hill there with anti tank guns guarding this road. 2nd platoon, you have the honor of the direct assualt for Mother Russia. 3rd platoon, you will strike the hill from the right. 1st platoon will protect the left flank by neutralizing the trenches and bunker guarding the road. JrLt Bessonov failed to hear anything after that. His platoon would protect the left flank! Clearly the CO did not feel he was the equal yet to his fellow platoon commanders despite all men being equal in the workers paradise. And it got worse. After the meeting the CO pulled him aside and said, " Bessonov, you are improving but I have assigned a sub machine gun squad to take out the bunker. You and Shakulo worry about the trenches." Lt Konerko didn't even think he could handle the bunker!
Lt Bressonov Scholarly/ pleasure Gr II
Sgt Shakulo 1st sq addicted alcohol Gr II
Cpl Zurvich acting 2nd sq generous/ music Gr I poor morale
Cpl Corok acting 3rd sq negative/ government Gr I
3 squads, 1 MMG, 1 SMG squad, 2 T-34s

Looking from Russian lines
Trenches top left/ bunker top right
swamp center right
What is your plan Jr Lt? You get 2 stonks of 81mm fire but no smoke
Bessonov plans to advance up to the far edge of the swamp in a line behind his one tank with the 2nd squad ( his weakest)and MMG in the swamp to anchor. From there he would human wave assault the trench. Lt Konerko order the other T-34 with the SMG sq to follow the road and take out the bunker.
The attack begins!
JrLt Bessonov in middle with pistol
The russians catch several breaks early. The pre game mortars pin the germans in the bunker and the MMG in the trench jams early on.
SMG sq moving through wire on the right flank
The stunned crew in the bunker finally gather their wits and fire their 75mm gun destroying the T-34 tank just before it moves beyond their field of fire. Their shots are not enought to disuade the SMG squad however and they eventually break through the wire. In the center the T-34 causes a Stug to withdraw out of a gun pit and Bessonov manages to keep all the men moving forward. Just as he blows the whistle to signal the final charge into the trench an 81 mm shell lands in the midst of 2nd squad as german shells begin to land.
Human wave time!
You can see the explosion of the 81mm shell center right
Bessonov charged ahead hoping that his platoon would follow. 2nd and 3rd squad did. 1st squad sustained 2 casualties in the bombardment but the men refused to move. Sgt Shakulo started physically kicking the men; 3 responded. He took those three and started his charge!
Cpl Corok meets the enemy
3rd squad reached the trenchline first. 4 Germans with a LMG. The LMG cut the russians down like wheat. 3rd squad sustained 3 casualties and Cpl Corok was wounded. The attack was stopped cold.
Sgt Shakulo meets the enemy
Sgt Shakulo reached the trench with only a 3 men and an LMG. He faltered for a second but was determined not to let JrLt Bessonov get into the trench without him! "Fire" he shouted and threw grenades at the MMG crew. It worked, their gun was not as agile and the russians entered the trench killing 2 and the others ran like beaten dogs.
JrLt Bessonov and Cpl Zuvich meet the enemy
Bessonov could not believe Shakulo was entering the trench with only 3 men! His 10 had to win! The german LMG fired and his troops temporarily halted. Bessonov swore but Zuvich started shouting out a patriotic song. The men started singing and went over the top with their Jr Lt. [had a heroic event that I used to rally the LMG team automatically] After a brief struggle 2 germans fell; 2 fled and the trench was secure!
A tiger tank showed up to shell the trench but the SMG team moved out from the bunker they had captured and the tank, without infantry support, withdrew.
Great battle! The russians did not face a lot of infantry this time so it was a little easier than normal. Hey, sometimes the dice work in your favor!!
Enemy forces
roll d6 1 paratroopers 2-3 ss 4-6 regular line troops ( I rolled a 2)
1 squad with gr II leader, 1/2 squad with gr II leader 1 MMG with gr III leader
1 75mm ATG 1 Stug
1 module of 81mm Mtr with 2 pre plotted positions. 1 trench 1 bunker 4 hexes of wire
1 unit must set up behind the main line
Reinforcement on turn 4 1 Tiger (If 2 person game add 1 squad and gr III leader, I only rolled the Tiger)
Lt Konerko congratulated JrLt Bessonov after the battle on his leadership. 2nd squads morale also improved to normal. The 2 normal squad leaders for 2nd and 3rd squad are back next battle but Jr Lt Bessonov is fond of Cpl Zuvich now and would like to get him promoted into his own squad if possible. JrLt Bessonov also grudgingly admits that Sgt Shakulo is a good squad leader but still doesn't trust him. Several days later Lt Konerko informs him that Pravda wants to do a story on Sgt Shakulo and a reporter will accompany the squad next mission to see Sgt Shakulo in action. Should be interesting...
PS Richard Clarke is actually formatting the Platoon Forward rules. I am actually working with him on the edits. His art work and design is beautiful!! It will be worth the wait.