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, December 11, 2012

For Brother Cearl

Hope everyone is gearing up for the holidays. I would also like to thank WI for publishing my essay on all of us wargamers getting along.

  As most of you know I am always working on several projects in parallel.  Today I would like to report on my SAGA variant which hopefully will be appearing in WI soon and my campaign rules " Warlord Forward" ( not linked to SAGA but can be used with them obviously).  The variant is done and plays well.  WF is in playtest.  I have the basic scenarios but am trying to get the force levels right and am testing the events. 

Thrydwulf knew what he must do.  A Welsh raid had stripped Br Cearl's church of all it's gold.  Br Cearl had learned of it's whereabouts and had pleaded with Thrydwulf to get it back "In the Name of God."   He gathered his forces and planned a dawn raid.

His movements through Welsh terratory were detected however and when he arrived the Welsh were waiting...
Thrydwulf    generous/wealth
(Lt) second in command    Janurl the scarred      optomistic/position
Champion  gr III     Raldulf     haughty/wealth 
Br Cearl   liberal/wealth
10 Huscarls
20 Ceorls
4 Geburs ( bows)

Unplesantries were exchanged including questions about parent's marital status.  Then Raldulf challenged any Welshman to beat him in a duel. 
The duel begins!!!
This also shows the starting positions of the forces.
Welsh on the left, Saxons on the right
Each figure represents 2 men
Raldulf fought with skill but so did his opponent and at the end both men were down with no clear victor.
The horn sounded and the saxon line advanced under a hail of arrows and javalins that took their evil toil.  The left advanced faster than the right (where Janurl was) and crashed into the welsh line. 
A melee ensues
Heavy fighting errupts along the line with both sides morale holding.  The Welsh hold their few Teulu out of the fight while Thyrdwulf commits his huscarls to break the welsh. 
Thrydwulf himself comes up to break the Welsh center!
But wait, the Welsh warlord forms a shieldwall with his Teulu
as a last line of defense. 
(Teulu are the only Welsh that can form shield walls in my variant)
Thrydwulf laughs out loud, "These welsh are so stupid." He crashes into the welsh right avoiding the shield wall. 
But down the road is that hoofbeats on the wind?

Fresh mounted warriors assault the saxons as they move around the sheild wall.

Thyrydwulf (next to his banner) and his men
slay all the riders without loss!
The Teulu break sheildwall and charge
with a yell to avenge their comerades
Men fall on both sides with neither side yielding the field as morale and bloodlust remains high but the saxons are outnumbered!
Janurl shows up (center) to add his welcome axe
to the fray and Br Crearl adds prayers to the Almighty
(note the welsh archers in the background)
As the last Teulu falls their cowardly warlord retreats towards some (7) Priodaur.   Thrydwulf looks around.  He has 2 huscarls and Janurl left, Lord be Praised!  
But then, as the Lord giveth He taketh away.   A cloud of arrows appear from behind and his two faithful huscarls are struck down! He does not know what he has done to anger the Lord but he must admit defeat.  He can not defeat 7 Priodaur, the oposing warlord and walk the arrow gaunlet today with just his Lt. 
Great game and I thought I was going to have an epic ending until the saxons got boxed by the bowmen.  The variant rules are designed to add a little more on board strategy to a great game system without adding a lot of rules or time.  It also adds some "rugby scrum" type of melee to the game. WF is shaping up well but I think the system gave the welsh too much stuff this time.
Post game Thrydwulf's reputation goes down by 2 and his Ceorls have lost some confidence in his abilities. ( -1 morale)  Interestingly Br Cearl is not mad but appreciated all the Thrydwulf did.  In Br Cearl's telling of Thrydwulf's heroic fight 6 more Huscarls have actually joined the cause! 
For those of you that want to recreate this fight using your system here is what WF generated for the Welsh.   The gold is in the house.  Get it and leave the board.
1 warlord
6 Teulu
24 Priiodaur   ( 8 come in as reinforcements mounted on a roll of 5,6)
8 Bonnedig

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Motivation by The Croc

Hope everyone in the US is preparing to give thanks for the past year.  Had about 20 UK surgeons over with their families to introduce them to an american thanksgiving.  It was a blast.  Sweat potatoes seemed to be the most popular!
Used my Australian platoon from New Guinea this week.  Lt Pinky Seibert is recovering from wounds.  The Sgt Major took them out on their last patrol and was seriously wounded.  Today they have to clear a section of road along the trail.  Their company CO is legandary and known only as " The Croc".

The Croc mused as he looked over the map.  1st platoon was in the best shape.  They were good lads and McDonnel was a fine NCO.  They would do as the spearhead for the attack.  With Pinky still out he would be there with them in case they needed a push.
The Croc        Company CO                 Gr III        Brilliant Leader
Cpl Tommy Higgins       1st section    cheap/position          Gr I
Cpl  Stokes                      2nd section   cocky/wealth           Gr I
Sgt Ken McDonnel          3rd section   foolish/ religion       Gr II
2in mtr          1 Honey tank    3rd section has increased morale
2 stonks of 3in mtr pre game and 1 mission during the game.

Aussies enter from the top
Primary goal is large building near the road
Native scouts revieled a MMG on the hill to Croc's right. [cool pregame event]  So that got a pre game stonk and the green hill on the left got the other one.  The plan was to have the honey enter the via the road and pin down the MMG while two section went through the jungle to attack the hill on the left.  Cpl Higgins' section would be held back in reserve with Croc. 
The artillery was ineffective and the tank was driven back by the MMG!.  2nd section laid down fire on a Japanese squad near the hill while Sgt McDonnel attempted to close.
Sgt McDonnel moves up the flank!
Sgt McDonnel closes with the enemy
and wins the position in a close run thing
Croc moved up Cpl Stokes but he was slow on the draw due to the MMG that was firering across the valley. (The Stuart was useless) He sent Cpl Higgins around the left to take care of an ATG that was postioned near the house. 
Sgt McDonnel had his 6 survivors fire on some more infantry in the jungle in front of him.  Suddenly a cry of Banzai! was heard...


[Cool random event caused the Japanese commander to act on his own, ordering a charge. :) ]  Turned out to be a brilliant move as 3 section lost 2 more men and were swept from the position. 
The Croc had had enough.   He went out to where 2 section was milling about the Stuart.
The Croc motivating his NCO and
the second section!  @#%&@
[the dug in marker is for Jap pre registered fire
per the rules.]
After sufficient motivation,
The Croc leads the men into the Japanese
position himself
 Needless to say the Aussies carried the position and the day.  Great game with the Japanese very tenacious. 
Post game a lot happens.   The Croc relieves Cpl Stokes of his NCO stripes.  He is transfered to another company to save him a little humiliation.   Pvt Collins, a hero in first section from an earilier game, is promoted to Cpl and will take second section.  Sgt McDonnel misses his roll to become a Gr III leader unfortunatley.  :(   Pinky is recovered from his wounds and will be back with the platoon next battle.    Also, while the battalion commander, LtCol Devers, is touring the unit, Cpl Higgins lets him know what he thinks of conditions for the fighitng man.  Devers is pissed. (-1 towards the platoon) The section is thrilled with their leader's bravery. (section morale +1).  
[ My two events were; Higgins meets battalion CO with a negative encounter and 1st section morale goes up.  I thought that was a good explenation!]
For those of you that want to recreate the battle.  When rolling the Japanese I did not use "C" blinds but gave them an addition "B" instead and make one of the real Bs an ATG. I gave them two potential pre plotted 76mm arts as per the company attack sceanario.  If you are not rolling up forces the forces I actually used were a little light:
2 squads           1 Gr III leader
1 37mm ATG    1 MMG 
For play balance I would add a section of knee mortars or a half squad plus a Gr I leader.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Middle of NoWhere--Yugoslavia 1942

Hope you all had a great Veteran's day or Rememberance day.  I had the honor of representing the base at a local ceremony and laying a wreath; very touching.  There are still people dying in the defense of freedom every day-- remember.
Been doing a lot of Release the Hounds lately and starting to work on a scenario generator for Flotilla Forward.  The game I would like to report on today is a Middle of NoWhere scneario using my Italian platoon on anti partisan duty in Yugoslavia.  This is only their second scenario.   They won the first and their CO promised them extra equipment for this one.  I rolled up a Patrol and the board turned out to be a village.  In Middle of NoWhere, unlike Platoon Forward, there is a chance that the enemy will be tipped off to your patrol and can set up a hasty ambush.  This is what happened here. As the partisans approached the village they were warned of the approaching column.

Lt Scapolini was still stuck in Yugoslavia. He had won the last battle but it wasn't enough yet.  He would bid his time.  At least it was better than Russia!  His CO wanted the platoon to conduct a patrol through a local village to show the populace who was boss.   Scapolini would take his second squad as they were weak and this would give them some practice.  The CO secured an old german AC for support.
Lt Scapolini   cunning/avarice                Gr II
Sgt Gunesto  2nd sq   unsupportive/religion    Gr I
Cpl Tarento  ASL     Cheap/ position          Gr I
2nd squad is -1 morale
I play the Italian squads are made of 18 men broken down in a 10 man assault team and a 8 man 2 MG team.  The platoon has 2 squads.  

Italians enter the north end on the road
Partisans entered 2 turns early bottom left
Italians enter with 5 men in the lead and Sgt Gunesto
Suddenly the column started taking fire from several buildings on their right.  Most of the squad fell to the ground and would not move.   The AC started to return fire while the Lt and Sgt Gunesto tried to rally the squad.  Lt Scapolini sent one LMG into a nearby building with Cpl Tarento. 
Then the Italian spear blunted!  The lead Italian group of 5 sustained 2 KIAs and the last 3 fled into the woods while the MG in the german AC broke.   The Lt took the remaining assault soldiers and LMG and led them around the building in an attempt to outflank the partisans.
Scapolini is met by partisans

Trying to keep momentum going!
Cpl Tarento retreats from the house and
the partisans move up

Partisans smell blood
With his LMGs retreated Lt Scapolini can not advance against the partisans and he pulls back out of the town.  The squad sustains 2 KIA and 2 WIA.   He doesn't know but the partisans sustain no casualties.  
Post battle  his report to the Captain stresses a well laid ambush against his forces by a large partisan force and the Captain buys it.   The squad is upset with Cpl Tarento and doesn't trust his leadership.  Their morale stays at -1.   He has a talk with Sgt Gunesto and says if both NCOs don't shape up next battle he will have them both removed.  He also meets Senior Mafusco, a man from the goverment ministry.  Lt Scapolini hope he will either be a ticket to wealth or a ticket to Rome.   We will see... 
Fun battle that played fast due to the small forces involved.   For those of you that want to try it the enemy forces generated were:
2 partasan squads and 1 LMG.
3 grII leaders.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

V Flottiglia 1942

Playtesting of Release the Hounds proceeds with outside playtesters now on board.  This has forced me to actually write down the rules which is a good thing.  It drives clarity.  I have also tweaked the sighting mechanism.   In night combat sighting is critical so I wanted a system that is tense and allows for ships close that don't see each other. 
I think the rules are 80% there.  Which means I can start to  put together Flotilla Forward as well.  One of the main missions, as you can imagine, is Patrol.  This mission is similar to Squadron Forward so far-- we will see where it goes.  My first flotilla is a MAS boat flottila; the fifth based in Tunisia.

SubLT Rizzo could only find one good thing about being in Tunisia; at least he was saving money!  Lt Bendinni  [ glum/ religious] had come back from daily Mass depressed as usual when he called Rizzo into HQ.  Rizzo,  you should have gone to Mass with me today, the higher ups want a patrol tonight.  Take 4 boats out into the Gulf and see what you can find.  Take Melli with you since he is in love with Il Duce!
SL Rizzo  Cheap/Money               Boat one int  1
Midshipman  Ciero   Cheery/ Alcohol   [mustang]    Boat 2  int 2
SL  Melli   Foolish/Govt    [mustang]     Boat 3 int 1
Midshipman Catona   careful/position  [military]    boat 4  int  2

Rizzo assigned the officers to the two boats with the junior crews.  He then attached a midshipman to each officer.  While SL Melli might be a Fascist to the end, he was a former petty officer [his political connections got his commision] and knew how to handle a MAS boat.  This would form 2 teams of boats.   They would sail just under a mile apart.   SOP would be if they came under flares they would accelerate forward.    Also if multiple targets were sighted and the order to attack was given by Rizzo, he would take the port targets and Melli would take the starboard targets.  These SOPs were important because signals had to be kept to a minimum in the heat of battle.

Initial positions of the ships
Each hex is 500 yards 
Max sighting 4K yards
A flare popped  a mile behind Rizzo.  Unfortunatly he was use to this now that many allied ships had radar.  He accelerated his boat as all eyes strained to see something in the darkness.
Next flare on target!
The light above him made Rizzo wish he had gone to Mass!  Now one of his men called out a ship off the port bow.  It was an enemy frigate.  [got to roll this up--cool :) ]    Signal the other section, quick turn and prepare torpedoes.   With only one puny cannon in the back the MAS is a true one shot platform.
Bearing down on a Captain class frigate as shells start to fall

Splinters hit the MAS boat and disable the torpedoes!
Despite no torpedoes, Rizzo leads Ciero in the charge and torpedoes are released at just over a mile.
Melli's team releasing torpedoes at 1 mile.
HMS Ekins had no time to turn and 1 of the 4 torpedoes hit aft severly damaging the engine room.   The MAS boats left the scene quickly.
HMS Balfour started a turn but it did not help.

She sank in 20 minutes.

A very fun and quick game.  It played in less than an hour.
Post game the Flotilla reputation goes up by 1.  The integreity of boat 3 improves to 2 and Lt Ruzzo meets Sophia Luccia, a very senior Air Force officer's daughter.   They have fallen in love.   This could get interesting since daddy doesn't know.

Hope you enjoyed the update of both products, the scenario if you want to try it and the story of the V Flottiglia



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Great Book Alert!

Sorry for the gap between posts.   Have been in the US taking a course for "senior medical leaders".  
It did give me time to read a great book on the challenge of leadership. I led a Military Police platoon briefly and have been on "G" series orders for the last 8 years for those of you who know what that means.

 This book realy talks about the strain of command and the anguish of not always getting it right better than any I have ever read.   It's lessions apply not only to Vietnam but to small unit leadership throughout time.   It truely talks about "Platoon Forward".  For the gamer it also makes for some great Vietnam scenarios.  The Cross of Iron was the best war novel I had ever read but I think this one matches it and it is not a novel!  {Honorable mention goes to Delilah,  Soldier of the Great War and Bomber.}  



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Elan vrs Stubborness (USSR)

Decided to use my SS platoon on the Russian front.  These guys are part of Army Group North in 1941.  They are one of the first squads I started with Platoon Forward  but I have only used them 5 times.  The second battle their Company CO was bumped upstairs and their platoon leader Untersturmfuhrer Christianson became their new CO.  This has helped them a bit and they have an experieced E-6 Oberscharfuhrer Kehl as the platoon leader.   A side note Kehl has a lady on the side "Countess" Triblinka but she has yet to play a part in the game.  I am just waiting...

I rolled and got Scenario D "Exploitation" which is a perfect Blitzkreig scenario for 1941.

Christianson called Kehl over to his halftrack.  " My friend, the attack is going perfectly.  We have a hole to exploit and we are going to push down a road 6 kilometers to a warehouse that intelegence thinks is being used as a higher HQ.  Regiment has formed a Kampfgruppe under Untersturmfuhrer Deitz  to take it before they move.  Your platoon will be the infantry for this group.  You move out now!  Good luck to you. 


Oberscharfuhrer Kehl        Generous/ wealth                Gr III
Scharfuhrer       Bauman    Pleaseant/knowledge   1st sq    Gr III
Schar                 Kurtzon    Zealot/wealth               2nd sq   Gr II
Schar                 Vaughn     Cautious/wealth          3rd sq    Gr II    command confusion

2nd sq   -1 morale
3 halftrack   all squads grenaders so they have 2 LMGS

2 Pz III Fs     1 PSW 232

Looking towards the german entry point
Warehouse is bottom center
Germans entered in Column with the AC in front followed by the tanks and then the infantry.  After the AC crossed the bridge Ivan opened with some ATRs and knocked it out.  Deitz laid down covering fire and ordered Kehl to advance and take out the AT rifles and advance on the warhouse.
The ATRs were quickly silenced and the halftracked drove up to the warehouse.
3rd squad center with part of 1st on right.
Kehl with pistol
Russian AC moving around the corner came as a shock!

The russian AC was forced to withdraw by weight of MG fire as the germans attempted to duel the communists in the warehouse.  Without cover 3rd squad was exposed so it was a losing proposition. Kehl ordered 3rd sq into the warehouse with 1st sq to follow.
 The SS gain a foothold.  Vaughn on left, Kehl in center
Dead russian Sgt (Gr II) next to Kehl
The SS gained a foothold but at great cost losing 4 of their squad.   The warehouse was crowded with boxes but they could tell there were many russians inside. 
1st SQ joins the battle!
An epic battle for the warehouse ensued.  The SS continued to "win" their melees but lost men everytime. 
3rd sq down to 4 effectives (left)and morale shot as the russians charge yet again
1st sq down to 6 effectives and Scharfuhrer Bauman WIA and down in the center
Oberscharfuhrer Kehl had to admit that elan would not overcome numbers and stubborn russian defense this day.    He pulled his remnents back from the factory  across the stream to the panzers too await reinforcements. 
3rd sq had 2 men left out of 10.  1st squad had 5 men out of 10 and lost Bauman.  2nd squad had 8 left. 
Post game Bauman is Invalided home.  Rottman Weiss is a hero of the 1st squad from a previous battle.  He was promoted to Scharfuhrer and will be the new squad leader for 1st squad.  2nd squad recovered their morale by taking out the ATRs and a MMG and they now have normal morale.  Their squad leader also meets Oberscharfuhrer Zimit the company Sgt Major.  They hit it off well as they are both from Frankfurt and know the same people. 
This was a great game to play!   Epic fighting in buildings is always fun.  The germans won constantly but lost men and the russians passed all their morale checks.   A true stubborn defense!
Platoon Forward can be used quite well to simulate the blitzkreig with this scenario.
For those of you that want to try it the system generated this for the russians
On board:
3 ATRs/ 1 MMG (may set up dug in)   1 squad     1 gr III leader with brilliant leader card
1 gr II leader
Reinforcements    1 Armored car     1 tank      1 squad with gr I leader     1 half squad armed with SMGs

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Screaming Eagles at Beau du Airach

Wife was sick over the long weekend which was not good but I had plenty of time for gaming.   Got four games in including 1 coastal action (S-boats against a convoy), 2 SAGA games and 1 platoon forward game.  Thought I would highlight the platoon forward game since I haven't posted one of those for awhile. 

Capt Newsome went over the plan with what was present of H company of the 101st.  They had landed in Normandy 2 days earlier. "We will demonstrate down the main road while Joe you will come up this side road into town and take em.  There is a white building that is the key to the town.  We will have one Sherman go with you Joe..  Any questions?"  Currahee!

Lt Joe Ramesy   Scholarly/Technology                Gr III
SSgt Bill Taylor  Optomistic/wealth          1st SQ  Gr II
Sgt Paul Saunders  Cheery/food                  2nd Sq  Gr III    Brill Leader
Sgt Goldberg          Shy/Wealth                  Weapons SQ    Gr II
1 Sherman Tank
2nd SQ has +1 morale and the paratroopers have the initiative

Road looking into town
Small hill off to the left
 What is your plan LT?

Lt Ramsey decided to put the mortar on the hill with a 30 cal at the foot.  He would accompany 1st platoon up the hedgegrow toward the white building while 2nd squad went into the wood on the left to flank the white building.    The Sherman tank would stay back in a supporting role.

2nd Sq made good progress on the left.  1st Sq ran into MG fire from the white building while going through the field.  Worse, the germans shelled the hill knocking out the 30 cal.  Ramsey got everyone moving again when up the road comes...

Under new management!
The sherman trades a couple shots while...
These fellas come up and miss!!

SSgt Taylor has run into a ATG in a swamp just past the forrest.  He leaves part of the squad to keep it busy and moved his BAR team to fire on the white house.  Sgt Saunders is ready to assault into the house but a new german squad is detected off to his right.  The eagles are now outnumbered. 
With a shout Saunder's men move across the street
but are pinned down.
SSgt Taylor, seeing this rushes forward with his BAR team and enters the house.  His three men dispatch 3 germans and watch the other 2 leave by the back door!
SSgt Taylor faces the second floor occupants!
Sgt Saunders on right with smoke screen
A pitched battle ensues and the 2 MG teams from upstairs with a german NCO come down.  This pits 8 germans against the 4 eagles.  The eagles hold their own hiding behind furniture as the german MGs try to find them against the thud of hand gernades; 1 US falls against 2 germans.   Both sides morale holds. 
The next card is...

Lt Ramsey runs across the road amid flying lead yelling at
first squad to get in that building and they follow the young
Bolstered by 11 fresh eagles the americans quickly throw the germans out of the white house. 
With their main posiiton gone the germans withdraw out of town in good order.

Post game SSgt Taylor is upgraded to a Gr III leader.  He is also put in for a Silver Star but that is denigned.  Capt Newsome is delighted and promises the platoon an extra squad/armored car or ATG next game.  In addition, Lt Ramsey was allowed to brief this action to Gen Taylor in person who was impressed.  Now he knows Gen Taylor as an NPC.

For those of you that want to try it the German forces were

3 squads  poor troops   (-1 morale)   with Lt Gr I     and 1 sq leaders Gr II and 2 Gr Is
1 HMG / 1 LMG
1 FO with a half battery of 81mm Mtrs
1 75 ATG
Reinforcement of 1 French tank enters turn 4. 

Great game particularly because I haven't played in a while




Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thrydwulf on the Saxon Shore

Have finished my house rules for SAGA.  They emphasis on board leadership and decision making a bit more and I have added variable movement to make the game more solitaire friendly.  Submitted them to WSS so we shall see. 
Now that I have a set of Dark Age rules I like I can turn my attention to the campaign.  Herein dear reader is the first playtest of Warband Forward. 


Thrydwulf        Generous/wealth           Warlord
Sabert               Unsupportivve/Avarice   Leutenent
Br Cearl            Liberal/wealth                Monk at St Culbert's

10 Huscarls
14 Ceorls
4 Geburs
( each figure represents 2 men and I forgot to take a picture of the board.   It is a river with a hill in the center and a church with St Culbert's wristbones in it on the left.  The Saxon's have archers on the hill to start other forces arrving.  The Vikings disembark from longships.

Saga of Thrydwulf and the Saxon Shore

Five summers ago fierce boats landed along the river.  Lookouts fired their bows and sent a runner into town.  The Vikings had broke their truce!
Vikings land!
Thrydwulf brave and true gathered his forces from the town.  No gold would be given to these heathens on this day.  God was with His people and Thrydwulf vowed he would drive them into the sea.  He sent his Lt, Sabert the timid, ahead with the Ceorls to the church on eagles wings.  They arrived just ahead of the viking horde and formed a shield wall straight and true
  Sabert up front, Br Cearl in the back
The Vikings howled like the devil and formed their own shield wall and attacked!  Clanging could be heard along the shore as God's forces battled evil.  Many good men died and the wall broke.   Five tired heathens broke into God's house

More Vikings arrived and blocked the door to God's house so those inside could find the treasures within.   But God's treasures were well hidden to those without the Spirit.
God's own instrument, Thrydwulf, showed up and drove into the heathens in front of God's house!
Battle lines are drawn!
This clash of warriors, so epic, lasted for an hour with many men falling but Thrydwulf would not give up for he knew God was with him.   Br Cearl came and started to pray.   Where was his faithful Leutenant, Sabert?   He was too timid to join this battle of warriors and so earned his name this day.
The heathens started to waiver when their warlord came up snarling like a beast from the underworld.
Saxons down to 2 men left/ Vikings 3!
Thrydwulf calmly blocked the blows of the dumb beasts as the ceorls from the hill had worked their way around the flanks of the Vikings  now attacked!
Vikings are taken from the flank!
With their leader slain and the cream of their Hirdmen dead in front of God's house the Vikings quickly beat a retreat to their boats.   As the Ceorls started to chase them Thrydwulf said, "Blessed are the merciful for mercy shall be theirs.  Let us praise God that his house and the relics of St Cuthbert are safe!"
So now you know the tale of Thrydwulf and the Saxon Shore!
You can see the battle was a lot of fun.   The rules worked great.  Shieldwalls normally don't play that big a part as they are easily flanked but the terrain here favored them.  I liked the fact that you can now have pitched battles over several turns with the potential of reinforcements.  It was exciting as the Vikings fed forces into the meatgrinder only to be flanked anyway.
Post battle Thrydwulf figured out that Sabert wasn't helping him on purpose (unsupportive) and canned him.  Had he been killed though we would be talking about the Saga of Sabert.  In addition both his overlord King Osyom and the Church are very impressed and he gains a glory point. 
If you want to play this yourself the Vikings get a warlord and Lt plus
20 Hirdmen and 14 Bondi with up to 8 bondi bow armed.  ( You roll up your opponent just like Platoon Forward.)


Monday, August 20, 2012

Two from the Red Rippers

Started my Torch campaign playtest.   It will be of limited duration, and several special rules as well.  The air  battle esentially was 3 days from 8-10 Nov.  I am thinking 3 missions per day using 2 divisions of the Red Rippers with the option of asking the squadron for 2 additional planes/pilots at the cost of 1 glory point.     Play Ball!
Lt "Mac" Wordell     sensible/Wealth                     Veteran
Lt Seiler                     Egotistical/ Govt                   Veteran     Military          -1
Lt(jg) Windy Booth   Mercurical/avarice
Lt(jg)  Spanky Carter Pleasant/position                 Rookie         Speed deamon   +1
Lt(jg)   Nick  "The Greek"  Likeable/familiy                                                      +1
Lt(jg)   Hubie  Smith   generous/govt                    Rookie                              +1
Ens  "Boyo"    Riley     Agressive/family
Ens   Dan  Bartle        Likeable/family                   Rookie      connections    +2

The AM mission rolled proved historical (not making it up!) and was a fighter bomber mission to the airfield at Cazes.  "Mac" heard "play ball" on the way their so knew the French were going to resist.  They had almost reached the airfield when 3 Hawks rose to challange the 6 wildcats.  Mac and Spanky jettsoned their 100 pounders and kept the Hawks so busy that Mac downed 1 for the Rippers first kill of WW II!  Shortly theirafter a random event called for a french morale check which the french failed and decided not to fight!  (Way cool!)
All 6 fighters beat the airfield (though I was afraid Mac would get shot down!) with Windy taking the honors by destroying a hanger and a french bomber!
Windy shows how it is done!

Spanky's engine was hit by groundfire and he nursed his plane back to the carrier.  Hubie had sustained minor tail damage from a Hawk earlier so the time was at hand for carrier landings!.  Spanky went first and crashed onto the deck.   After he was recovered (WIA) the plane was quickly tossed over the side to allow the rest of the Rippers to land without incident.  Good thing no one had fuel challenges! 

A win for the Red Rippers though!   Hopefully Spanky will be back before the war is over.  Post game Windy upgraded to Veteran and the Squadron CO ,Tommy Hall, gave us an extra plane and pilot for the next mission.   7 Pilots and 8+1 planes left.

Was feeling pretty good about the Rippers now.   Mid day mission was another fighter bomber one.  This time to Fedhala to support the beaches.  6 Wildcats plus the one that Tommy gave us; we should have the war won by dinner!

Rippers on the prowl

Unfortunatly we were intercepted early by 5 DE 520s.  This plane is at least equal to the wildcat, we had a fight on our hands!

Time to jettson your bombs!
(the one plane is a wildcat disguised as an SBD.
It didn't help)

It short, it was ugly!   We never made it to the target.   My rolling was bad but I can't even blame it on that.  We stunk.   The Rippers lost 4 wildcats including our "extra".  Lt Seilers- KIA.  Ens Boyo Riley--KIA.  Ens Bartle managed to bail out and was picked up by US troops.  He should be back on the ship tonight.  Windy managed to down one DE 520 and Mac pushed one off the Greek's tail. It is a good thing you can only lose 1 glory point per mission.
Post mission we introduced our intel officer, Lt Rogers.  He must have washed out of flight school because he is coarse and doesn't like us.  
That leaves us with 4 +2 pilots and 4 +2 planes.  Tommy already isn't happy since we lost his pilot. 

It is fun seeing how this plays out and tonight I get to see how we have contributed to the battle overall.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Red Rippers Pilot Roster

I am getting ready to start my Torch campaign this weekend.  Will roll up my Red Rippers wildcat squadron.  Thought I would share my squadron roster sheet with anyone who is interested here.

You will note it is different than the one in the rules.  The one is the rules is functional.  This one is more personalized.    The upper left is where the pilots are listed.  Upper center is for Glory points (I call them cool points) and for total number of kills.  Upper right is the scoreboard for the squadron.  Lower left is for listing notes about the missions as they occur.  Lower right is where the NPCs are listed. 
A note about glory points.   I had originally called then "cool" points.  During the editing Rich stated that "cool" was not used during the war and was US slang anyway.  He felt it would ruin some of the flavor I was trying to create.  He left it up to me as always and after thinking about it I did change it to "glory" points primarily for our UK audience. [ 40% of readers here are from the UK] It does accurately reflect what we are going for.   I still think most US gamers would have been fine with "cool" in any fighter pilot game. 
I hope you find the sheet useful!