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.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Groupe de Chasse in the Phoney War

If you read my post from yesterday you were introduced to my French Hawk squadron and a bit of Squadron Forward. Well I played a mission today and even though I can't post pictures I thought I would tell you about it as a way to explain a bit more about Squadron Forward.

First you roll up your mission. Unlike Platoon Forward each theater, year and often plane has its own table. After all, a ME 109 squadron in 1939 rarely had an intercept mission; in 1945 that is all it had! My Hawks roll up a patrol; excellent mission as anything can happen! So I decided to send out 2 Vics of 3 aircraft each. We will leave the DO and the kid at home. Take off will be at dawn (of course) and we will patrol the border and then return in time for a big breakfest!

The winter weather is scattered clouds. [ You roll for weather] While patrolling the border we discover the enemy has moved in flak around Saarbrucken and it comes uncomfortably close!
[There is a chance for a pre battle event. I rolled flak. Luckly no one was hit.] After 40 minutes we head for home dejected at this phoney war. But wait, in the distance, 4 shapes that turn into fighters and they do not see us! [ we rolled to see what we encounter {fighters} and then what type based on theater and year { ME 109Es}. Then you roll for where the encounter takes place. You then roll for the number which is modified by how many fighters you have to give a somewhat even battle { 4 }. After that you roll for who has the advantage and by how much. { we started at their 6 at just under maximum visible range}. This speeds up play considerably and takes care of the manuvering before battle. Now you are ready to set up the planes on the table and use whatever rules you like! { I use BTH 2} ]

Capt Durand manages a bounce on the German leader but his foe is an ace and shakes him off. A rookie german pilot is quickly cut off from the pack. Sgt Gravois sets upon him but can't get in a mortal blow. The german ace rides to the rescue and knocks Sgt Gravois out of the sky. There is no parachute. Capt Durand gets a kill and then latches on to the German aces' tail. He forgets the lessions he learned about target fixation as another german comes up behind him and shoots him down before he can fire. Alas, again there is no parachute. [ there are tables for bailing out, emergency landings and crash landing back at the field] At this point the Germans race back across the border.

All four remaining planes land a bit stunned by the ferocious encounter. Later that evening both bodies are recovered. Col Renard names Lt Leroy as the new CO of the squadron despite his lack of administrative prowess. [ For those of you familiar with AKOT it handled these matters.] He is not promoted but SLt Martin is and named the new DO. [ AKOT again] We get no new airplanes or pilots [ there are tables for this] and our scheduled event is to introduce SLT DeLarue as a NPC. He is the maintanence officer and is pessimistic but is an accomplished violin player [ the arts] He is neutral towards the squadron but can influence how fast aircraft are fixed. Hopefully Lt Leroy will have Lt Martin and not himself interface with SLt Larue!

For those of you who want to see if you can do better, have 6 hawks against 4 ME 109Es. The Es are driven by 1 ace, 1 veteran, 1 average and 1 green. They start in the schwarm formation. The Hawks start in 2 Vics, same altitude at the max visibility at the germans 6. They see the German's but the German's don't see them. It is not a true bounce yet as they still have to manuver closer and the germans have time to see them, particularly the ace and veteran.

Hopefully this has given you some insight as to what Squadron Forward is and is not. In additon, you get a scenario!




  1. Again, wonderful stuff. I am really looking forward to this.

  2. Chris,
    Thanks for your support. It pales to some of your stuff but we do what we can!