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, June 16, 2012

The Kicking Mules; an example of post game Squadron Forward

Played a game of Squadron Forward yesterday using my P-38 squadron, Kicking Mules.  Thought this would prove to be a good example of post action for SF.  This is my 3rd mission with this squadron and they have not done much.  Their biggest problem is their inexperience (as you would expect coming from the states to Tunisia).  ! vet in the whole bunch.  They have won one, lost one but not downed a plane yet.
We roll up a patrol which is always fun.  I personally never let the CO and XO fly the same mission in case they both get boxed!  This time the XO, Zap McGruder will lead a flight of 4. We pick Lt Zuckerman because we are trying to get him upgraded to element lead quickly.  Lewis will lead the other flight with Lucky Schlick the wingman.   The characters are:
Capt Zap McGruder  Foolhardy/wealth
Lt   Zuckerman            Cheap/ Religion    Rookie

Lt Lewis  Addicted Avarice                  influnence
2Lt  Glenn Schlick   Cheap                   Lucky

Pre game Lt Lewis wakes up with a headcold and the doc DNIFs him.   We quickly sub in 2Lt Chuck Carls who although a 2Lt and average has incredible flying skill.

A couple of rolls later we encouter a photo recon mission escorted by 4 fighters  en route to our lines.  I roll up advantages and we spot both the fighters and recon plane and are placed at their 2 oclock.   I roll up the fighters and get MC202s. 

Should make for a challenging game for the mules!   I have no idea what photo planes the Italians used so decide on a SM 79.
Zap starts to work around towards the rear and gets 2/3rds before he is spotted.  He and Zuckerman will now take the bomber (they don't know it is recon) While Lewis will try to keep the fighters busy.

Zap lines up his shot!

Zap misses the slow moving bomber in his first pass and a melee ensues.   It is a challange for the mules as the MC 202 is almost as fast as their mounts and turns much better. 

Carls lines up his shot!

2Lt Carls gets a deflection shot and makes it count; sending the bomber to earth in a ball of flame!  The squadron's first kill.  

Next turn enemy reinforcemnts appear.  I normally like to use differnt fighters than on the table for variety.   I roll up ME 109Fs.  I decided I would like to keep this an Italian show so substitue an element of MC 200s.   I roll up where they are to enter and get punked by my own game system!  They enter right behind element one!

Who designed these rules?!

A turn later  a MC 200 is hammering at Lt Zuckerman's wing which snaps off.  A parachute is spotted.

Now it is 3 P-38s against 6 Italian fighters over Italian territory.  2Lts Carls and Schick are ready to leave.  Capt Zap, being foolhardy, is not ready yet.   However, the P-38s stay fast and can not come close to any MCs except one time when Zap manages to damage the Italian leader.    It is time to go.

No planes are damaged so landing is easy.I declare this mission a win for the mules.  I reason we achieved the main purpose and while we did lose a fighter, the bomber was heavily guarded.  Regarding glory, we shot down a bobmer, lost a fighter, faced Italians but they were good ones and they had us 1:1 or better the whole time and we did not run away.   I say "unlikely" we gain a glory point and we do not.
 We roll to determine Zuckerman's fate and he becomes a POW.  We can only hope it is with the Italians.  Next we roll for a replacement pilot and plane.  Unfortunalty this is modified by our group commander Col Green who doesn't like us because until today we had not downed a plane.   We get no replacements today.
We had 2 planes with minor damage form last battle.  We get to roll to see if those are fixed adding 1 because there has been another mission completed.   Both planes are fixed and ready to go. 
Now we go to events.    The first couple of missions I automatically introduce a NPC so there are a couple to chose from if needed.   today we introduce Doc McCormick.  He is a cheapskate but he likes the squadron.    Next I will add a freeform event.   I think it is likely that 2Lt Carls will be upgraded to veteran status because he shot down a plane and he already has the flying demon skill.  We pass this roll and now have our second Veteran in the squadron!   My event is someone goes DNIF.  Normally I would roll for one of the pilots that participated in the mission.  This time I will use Lt Lewis who went DNIF this morning.  He goes DNIF for 4 missions but Doc McCormick will help us out with this and it drops to 3; thanks doc!  For next mission I will chose a freeform event to try to promote 2Lt Carls to LT and have him take Zukerman's place.  The squadron will know by then he is not coming back. But will Col Green buy it? 
Great mission and a great squadron is now shaping up with 2Lt Carls now showing some leadership in the Squadron.  Maj Bunker needs to nurture this.  Will Capt McGruder nuture this or become jealous? 
Hopefully this gives you some idea of how to use the post game events of Squadron Forward to drive your story forward.  This is what I mean by the phrase, the charts are the 90% solution 90% of the time."   Feel free to deviate a little to move the story forward but don't change dramatically.  Many of those things that happen that you are disappointed about actually end up being quite interesting later!




  1. So did Carls receive the promotion? Don't leave us hanging like this man!

  2. Leif,
    won't know till next game! He was "promoted" to veteran with the freeform event. I did not use a second one because it will take a mission before we give up hope of Zuckerman returning.

  3. Leif,

    I am thinking a "probable" on his chances of getting promoted. He has a kill and is a born flyer. The group commander doesn't like the squadron but he still has a problem of filling the billet.


  4. I don't know how these things work. In "If you survive" the authour is a young lieutenant who never gets promoted even though he's acting company commander, since all his immediately superior officers gets killed before they can recommend him for promotion!

    So I guess Carls could be forced to do the duty of Zuckerman while not being promoted in rank, if Col Green doesn't like him. Paperwork getting lost, etc.

    It depends on how much you think Col Green will care. I think I would give it a 50/50 chance for Carls to get the promotion.

  5. Just got back from 4 days in Malta. Great stuff. Might do a mini campaign for that.
    You are right, depends on Col Green. At This point he dislikes the squadron, not Carls per say. Will let the dice decide!