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.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Heavy Loss in Africa

Over the summer I painted up my Africa Korps.  This was my first chance to use them.  It was also a chance to try out the expanded background table that I have decided to include in Middle of NoWhere.  I also think I might rename MoNW to Grunts Forward.  It stays with the "Forward" theme and while it can be used for any asymetrical combat I use it mostly for Vietnam.
I rolled up a recce mission.  True confessions, I don't like the recce mission very much; though realistic, I want to shoot at people most of the time.  So I substituted the bonus scenario from the lardy special which is a motorized meeting engagement.  This is perfect for Africa. 

Lt "Jackie" Toff's platoon was in reserve.  Shortly after the battle started Hpt Mackled radioed instructions.  " Proceed northeast past the farm to the next town.  Hold that position as a flanking one.  Await further instructions."
The cast
Lt "Jackie Toff  Son of a civil servant from Hamburg.  Obnoxious/lech    Lvl 1
FW Strossman  Orphan from Potsdam, army all he knows   Foolish/alcohol   Lvl 0
FW Sauer   Dockworker from Kiel  haughty/avarice    Lvl 2
FW Plusse   Son of a professor in Berlin  inept/ govt  Lvl 0

Added to his platoon Jackie had a Stug, armored car, 50mm ATG and 3 trucks.  
You can see FW Sauer is the only decent NCO in the platoon.  This will come into play later.

The road ahead.  The farm is to the left.  Warning-- it is a cornfield--why not?  I rolled up crops on the chart and wanted to use the cool crops I got from Wargamer's Terrain. 


Immediately upon entering the board dust rose up from down the road.  Soon two Crusader tanks came into view.  The British must be doing their own maneuvering.  Was this just a couple of tanks or a whole Kampgrupe?  Jackie let the Stug deal with the tanks,sent the armored car around the corn filed to the right, brought up the ATG and deployed 2 squads toward the corn leaving 3rd squad in reserve in the truck. 

One crusader retreated before the Stug and one hid behind the corn.  The Stug moved into a better position moving into a wrecked house and broke a track!

1st squad under FW Strossman moved up through the corn while 2nd squad under the able leadership of FW Sauer went left around the cornfield. 

FW Strossman was expelled from the cornfield and retreated to the ATG position.  Jackie sent 3rd squad around to the right of the cornfield.

FW Sauer took charge and cleared the field of the british squad. 

The Auzzies rallied their second squad and charged back. 
A vicious firefight broke out at 20 yards.  FW Sauer was hit once but rallied his pinned men.  A second .303 bullet hit home and ended his life.  With Sauer gone 2nd squad retreated through the field.  It was a heavy loss for 2nd squad and the platoon lost it's best leader.  With 2 squads shot Lt Toff reluctantly retreated his forces. 

Great game and one of the few losses I have had as of late.  The Auzzies had better leadership and just outfought the Africa Korps.   3rd squad under FW Plusse never managed to move up to support 2nd squad.  In hindsight I should have had Lt Toff move 3rd squad personally and ignore rallying 1st squad.  I did it to protect the ATG but we lost.  Both 1st and 3rd squad had lousy leaders so Lt Toff could not be at two places I guess.  Makes for an interesting game. 

Post game we had only 4 KIAs and 3 get replaced.  2nd squads morale goes down due to the loss of Sauer and he is replaced by FW Wald.  FW Plusse gets a well deserved "hesitant" card.  This could well be the worst platoon in the Afrika Corps now and Hpt Mackle is pissed.    When a tasking comes down for 5 men to guard HQ guess which platoon gets hit? 

For those of you that want to play this out the british had generated:
2 Crusader tanks
1 2pdr ATG
2 squads of infantry with 1 lvl II leader and 2 LvL 1 leaders.
1 extra LMG

In addition a pre game event gave the Auzzies better capability to rally.  Use whatever works for your game system.  For my card driven system I included a "rally" card that allowed any one unit a chance to rally.



PS  I found my osprey books!