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, May 7, 2013

Lt Ronald's third mission

It has been very nautical here lately.   Have been painting up my naval crew including Lt Ronald and have played several battles of Beat to Quarters .   Progress in "In the Service of the King" continues at a fast pace as it is almost writing itself.   I thought I would share with you the third mission I ran this weekend.  Naval purists, look past the ships, I am still intimidated to order metal ones!  Look instead at the story!  That is what this site is about.

Orders arrived!  Lt Ronald's ship, HMS Seawitch at 10 gun cutter, was to be part of a 3 ship squadron that would go out to the area when he had unsuccessfully encountered two Spanish merchants several days earlier.  (ouch)  The other ships were the HMS Greyhound (18 gun brig) and the HMS Gull (10 gun cutter).  Lt Dawson (cheap/family)aboard the Greyhound was the senior officer.  Ron had never met Lt Thurston, captain of the Gull before.  Would he become a friend or a rival? 

Before this mission Lt Ronald's luck had not been good.  ( You can read about his first mission in the last post.)  His second mission, they had come upon two armed merchantmen flying spanish colors and had been unable to catch them despite all of Ron's and the Master's tricks.  The Adrimal had not been happy again and he had gotten a " We expect more..." lecture.  The only good thing was his Bos'un, Jeff Fishback had grown to respect this young Lt.  (Game event)  He had gone to the Navy club but not much happened their  (Choice event) and had decided to throw a party for several senior officers with some of the money he had picked up from Sneaky Pete.  He invited the Admiral, Capt Lemmon from the HMS Bulldog (32 gun frigate), Lt Dawson from the HMS Greyhound and his politically connected midshipman Robert Waterman.  The Admiral declined sighting a previous engagement (not good) but the evening was a hit as conversation was lively and he gained influence with both Capt Lemmon and Lt Dawson.  (2nd Choice event  These events took less then 10 minutes to resolve.) 

Lt Dawson's plan was to have both Cutters out on the wings forward looking for ships.  Once the enemy was sighted, the Cutters would close to slow them down and the Greyhound would finish them off.  Lt Ronald was glad he had hosted the dinner as he felt he would get a fair shake from his commander.

Lt Ronald's ships were the first to sight sails.  He signaled he was closing to investigate.  Two spansish 10 cutters and a 32 gun frigate but the Tars held the wind gauge.   Lt Ronald raced toward one of the Cutters as the Greyhound closed.

                                           HMS Seawith center, Greyhound left and Gull top
                                            La Colera to the right

                                             Seawitch closing on the Cordoba

                                                     Seawitch opens fire!

The Seawitch and the Cordoba started to trade fire and the Cordoba started to move back toward the protection of her frigate.   Meanwhile the Greyhound bravely closed. 

                                                    Seawitch and Cordba trade shots with the Tars winning!

Lt Ronald saw the trap and started to pull away from the Spanish frigate...

                                             All three british ships fire at the Cordoba (center) and she strikes.
                                             La Colera gets a stern rake on the Seawitch!

Lt Ronald had one eye on the Spanish cutter and one on the frigate.  He saw the Spanish flag start to come down and turned to say something to Mr Waterman, his midshipman, when his ship was shattered by what he would have thought was a freighttrain had he know what one was.

With both of their officers badly wounded, Master Jon Price (Agressive/family) thought of his wife and children and sought safer waters. 
  The Gull and Realidades (Other spanish cutter)  traded shots causing a fire to break out on the HMS Gull.
                                              Not a good thing!

Moments later an explosion racked the Gull and she was destroyed.

The Greyhound eventually managed to drive the La Colera away. Survivors of the Gull were few but Lt Thurston (Careful/Govt) was among them.  A prize crew was put aboard the Cordoba and the Tars set sail for home. 

Great battle that didn't take long.   I had to roll boxcars to have the Gull blow up, who knew? 

Post mission Lt Dawson wrote up a very favorable report about Lt Ronald who survived his wounds along with his midshipman.   The report along with being wounded earned him a "Good Lad!" from the Admiral and a Glory point as well as a little (very little) prize money.  Midshipman Waterman is promoted to Lt and transfered to the frigate Bulldog.  A new Midshipman Rob Atkins (Naive/family) joins the Seawitch. 

Hopefully this gives you a sense of where I am going with ITSoK.  I am having great fun with it so far.  For those of you that want to play this scenario the british crew ratings are:
Seawitch   Avg
Gull   Avg
Bulldog    Elite
Cordoba  poor
Realidades  poor
LaColera   Avg



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A New Project

It is rare for me to take on a new period.  I have been wargaming forever but only started in miniatures in 2006.  I limited myself to WW II land sea and air.  When I moved to England I became interested in the Dark Ages with so much history here so started that in the same scale, 15 mm.  Then I visited the HMS Victory several weeks ago, what an inspiration! 
I purchased Kiss Me Hardy for Age of Sail and Sharp Practice years ago from TFL and had toyed with them from time to time.  KMH has too much book keeping for me.  SP is a great game, I just have no interest in the Napoleonic period hailing from America.  Then a unifying theme hit me-- Pirates!  Just needed to find a set of AoS rules.  
I had settled on Form Line of Battle when I came across Beat to Quarters by Don Gifford at freewargamerules.co.uk     They aren't perfect but are 80% there and I can fix the rest.  Thank you Sir for a great set of fast play rules!  Here  is a test game using my son's Pirate ships.

                                          6 Spanish SOLs vrs 5 British SOLs using Nick Skinners
                                           optional Command rules from one of the specials.

                                                The Dons double the Tar's line!

                                              The Brits  cut the Spanish line due to poor sailing by
                                                the Spanish. 

So my new projects?
1.  Paint up land forces for the caribean for SP
2.  Come up with a Platoon Forward type game for my Naval officers.   Don't know if I should call it Captains Forward or In the service of the King.  I will probably do a pirate version too. 
3.  Fix up  Beat to Quarters
4.  Maybe purchase some ships but I have to say my son's ships did pretty well.   I am intimidated by the 1/1200 scale ships as no one has every accused me of being a modeler. 

So my first Naval officer for CP or ISoK is Lt Ron Ronald  RN.   He has just been given the 10 gun Cutter HMS Seawitch.  His first mission is to transport some soldiers and Lt Thompkins to capture Sneaky Pete who has been smuggling goods to our fair Island.    Lt Thompkins is in charge of the operation once on land.  (This generated some discussion on TMP) 

                                           Sneaky Pete's hideout is top center.
                                           He can escape with good off the dock to the top left.
                                           He can just escape into the wilds off the top.
                                           The goods are in the Barn. 
                                            Lt Thompkins' plan is to tkae his force to the dock.
                                            Lt Ronald to take his force around the camp and
                                            block retreat into the wilds.
                                            Sentry on the hill has just fired a warning shot.

Lt Thompkins    Gr I     Hesitant Leader  Fanatic/ Govt     8 Rifles
Lt  Ronald   RN   Gr I  Scholarly/Avarice           7   Muskets   poor shots
Bos'un  Fishback  Gr II  Pessimistic/Glutton        8   sailors

                                          Lt Thompkins men get ready to fire.
                                          This is as far as they got.   The hesitant CC card came up
                                          every single turn after this!!!

The navymen started to work their way around the camp trading musket fire with the theives.  Lt Ronald wondered why the Army wasn't moving.   Sneaky Pete would get away! He blew the whistle to get Fishback's attention and ordered everyone to charge for the King!  (and his career)

                                          The Pirates wonder who all these silver Martians are?

I didn't take anymore pictures because I decided not to post this because of the unpainted figures. Fishback was great as he pushed the pirates back.  But Sneaky Pete lived up to his name and got 16/23 loot points plus a cannon loaded onto a boat along with 10 men and made it off the map.  Ronald was furious with Thompkins!  Lt Thompkins' explenation was that he was moving cautiously as he didn't know what he was up against and he carried about his men's lives.  Lt Ronald then mentioned casually that they need not mention the 6 points of loot that the pirates had left but the fanatic Thompkins would hear none of that. Ron was barely able to conceal any of it for himself!

The system generated 15 Pirates for Sneaky Pete plus a Gr I leader who is Dumb Doug.   Half the pirates have muskets and are poor shots.  Sneaky Pete is a Gr II leader but is Dynamic. 
Lt Ronald told the truth in his report but the Commodore would hear none of it.   Sneaky Pete got away and Ron was blaming the Army.  He was dressed down and lost a Glory point.  (You can win by Glory, Power or Wealth, I think) 

To drown his sorrows he went to the Navy club where not much happened.  He then went to a brothel where we don't discuss what happened except he didn't get robbed.  (Once a quarter you have to have female companionship to disprove all those things Rich says about the Royal Navy.)

Lt Ronald's next mission is a solo patrol.

Needless to say I am excited about starting these new projects.  It is rare for me so I don't think it will be a flash in the pan.  The campaign game is almost writing itself as this period really lends itself to the forward treatment.

Any suggestions  on any of the 4 let me know