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, September 14, 2013

Outskirts of Lenningrad

I was a playtester for TFLs Chain of Command.   Rich was kind enough to send me a final copy.  While I worked to make it a great product and I believe it is one of the best rule sets out there I always felt it basically was "Lazy TW&T" with dice instead of cards.  { If you double the dice for Lazy TW&T you get Chain of Command numbers. }
Armed with the final copy I thought I would give it a go!  I played out the pre game phase for the attacking germans to determine their starting points but placed the defensive markers for the russians as per normal Platoon forward.  The platoon chosen was my SS platoon on the northern part of the russian front in 1941.  This is their 7th battle.  They are seasoned troopers though 1st squad has a new squad leader.  They did lose their last battle.

Oberscharfurher Kehl was pleased.   They were nearing the prize; Lennigrad.   Once that and Moscow were captured the german folk would have the living room they needed and his platoon could all go home.  He smiled then brought himself back to reality when Untersturmfurher Christianson said, " I am glad you are happy with the assignment! Your platoon will hook left through the pillbox around the town while the rest of the company pins them in the town."

The town on the right.   Pillbox in the middle.
Germans entering from the bottom.
Oberscharfurher Kehl  Generous/wealth  Gr III (senior leader)
UnterScharfurher Weiss   Egotistical/wealth   Gr II (junior leader)  1st squad
Scharfurher Kurtzon   Zealot/wealth  Gr II  2nd squad
Scharfurher  Vaughn   cautious/ wealth  Gr II   3rd squad
1 flamethrower with 4 man team
1 80mm mtr  off board
1 Stug

 Kehl's plan was to have smoke cover the pillbox then send 2 squad up with the flamethrower team to take it out.   1 squad (with the new SL) would deploy with himself in the railway station to provide cover.  3rd squad would deploy to the left behind the tracks to provide cover and then advance into the woods. 

2nd squad advances!

Russians in the woods!!
2nd squad got into position and when the smoke cleared destroyed the 45mm ATG in the pillbox. 

         Then after a vicous firefight managed to drive the russians off the hill and 4 germans made it into the trenchworks.  (with 2 shock)
       The russians threw every available gun at those four men.   Schar Kurtzon was back at the train station trying to rally the rest of the squad.  Kehl sent 1st squad through the withering fire toward the hill.  His original plan abandoned with this new opportunity.  
                                              1st squad having a rough go of it!  
At this point a random event brings reinforcements to the platoon.  With the russian SPG destroyed I bring in the platoons halftracks with a visitor...

Untersturmfurher Christensen shows up to see what is taking so long!   Kehl points to the criscrossing MG fire. 

Just as 1st and 2nd squads make it to the hill, a rallied russian squad also makes it to the hill!

Ferocious hand to hand fighting occurs around the entrenchments with the germans giving better than they get but they are badly outnumbered.   Kehl starts to run towards the melee but the german officer holds him back.  "At this point there is nothing you can do; we will wait. "  The germans fight tenaciously but the russians fight like men possessed.  It is no use, there are too few SS standing.  Kurtzon orders the retreat as 3rd squad covers. 
There will be no breakthrough today.

Great game!!    Down to the wire.   I rolled two random events at the end that favored the russians.  One was a morale increase to the russian squad and then they generated a hero.  Very cinimatic in a bad way-- 2nd squad didn't stand a chance at that point.  

Post game  3rd squad was actually chewed up by the russians in the woods with 50% casualties and their morale goes down.   The CO is not happy and a half squad will be pulled next battle for other duties.  

CoC played well.  I still like the cards of TW&T better than the dice of CoC. They do the same thing but the cards give you more scenario design flexibility and I think it is harder to move your squad.    Funny that when people roll dice they call it luck but when people draw cards somehow it is preordained.   

That said I think CoC is a great game system that give the player the challenges of commanding a platoon in WW II.  It still allows you to play the period not the rules and meshes well with Platoon Forward.

For those of you that want to try this scenario I rolled the following for the russians:
1 senior Ldr
3 squads each with a junior leader
1 MMG,  1 Lt Mtr






  1. Absolutely fantastic! I just left you a message on TMP (under the "TFL Solo Play," or something to that effect) asking about the Patrol Phase in terms of integrating CoC with Plt Fwd.

    I can't believe I didn't think of that! If I'm understanding properly, you used the regular enemy forces from the appropriate Plt Fwd scenario (x amount of A, B, and C blinds), put them on the table as per normal Plt Fwd rules, then carried out the Patrol Phase in accordance with CoC, except that the friendly patrol markers were locked down once they got within 12" of an enemy blind.

    Do I have all that right? And, if that's correct, did you move enemy blinds during the patrol phase, or just have them sit while you moved your markers? I guess you have to do the former as the latter just has you placing jump-off points 16" away (and behind cover) from the enemy blinds.

    Great stuff, and thanks for showing the way forward.


  2. Excellent AAR. I got some people in Spain asking about the compatibility of PF and CoC. I'll redirect them to this post

  3. Good stuff again. I agree with you that there is something about cards that I just like better. But Chain of Command is still a great game.

  4. Chris,
    Yeah I can't help it, for example I rolled that the russians squad leader was hesitant but couldn't model it. Guess I am old!


    Regarding playing Platoon Forward with CoC here is how I have been doing it:
    Type A blinds are considered blinds and enter on 2s.
    Type B blinds are considered teams and enter on 1s.
    type C blinds are considered vehicles and enter on 1s.
    When you bring blinds on bring on two blinds with each activation except Cs. ( Keep track of your modifiers per PF, odds are one will be a dummy or something else. There are times you will get surprised; that is part of the fun of PF!) This way you are not wasting your activations and the enemy force should arrive at the same rate as your force.
    Play out the patrol phase per CoC rules. It is pretty easy to figure out which Platoon Forward scenario goes with which type of Patrol Phase rules, patrol, raid, attack, flank attack. If you have questions ask. I will also write up an article for the Christmas special.
    When you get a random event use the ones in Platoon Forward.
    Does that make sense? Questions? Let me know how that works for you. There are several other ways to play it.



    1. Jack,
      Add to my post when you roll a 3 you can activate any type of blind. Hope that helps!



  5. Hi Joe. This might be missed but is there a way to contact you regarding Lazy TW&T? I'm looking to use TW&T for solo play (CoC never hit the spot solo) and wanted to find out what changes Lazy TW&T makes. Not sure I want to splash £15 on 3 TFL Specials for 3 articles. Many thanks, Richard

  6. Richard,
    Sorry just seeing this now. Several people have asked this question. Would be willing to post it either on Wargame Vault or at TFL. If still interested ping me at the TFL forum under TW&T and let's see what Rich wants to do.