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.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Black Rams over the Philippines

I normally play about 2 land games to every air/naval game I play.  Land games are more visually appealing.  ( However see my article in WI last year.)  Even on this blog I rarely get comments about air/naval games.  I am posting this as it really struck a cord with me. 
I painted up 6 Georges recently and wanted to give them a go.  I really wanted a George/Corsair battle as the planes are evenly matched.  I played a 6 v 6 without Squadron Forward and it was fine but something was missing.  I then played the following mission using my Black Ram squadron and it was great!  The difference?  The US pilots were no longer nameless; there were people in those planes.  Maj McGee, the naive person living only for today.  Lt Franklin, a former enlisted man determined to make it in an officer's world.  It added a dimension to the game that took it from good to great.  I have been using Squadron Forward so long that I guess I have taken this all for granted. 

It was a typical fighter sweep just off the coast.  The squadron reputation was suffering and he hoped some easy kills of antiquated Zeros would perk everyone up. 

Dingy McGee     Naive/skirt chaser                   Vet         1 kill in P-38s
2lt Joe Thurmond   Cheery/skirt chaser                             1 kill

Lt Paul Franklin   mercurical/posiiton  mustang    Vet         1 kill
2LT Greg Polk    cheap/wealth

Lt Blue Mooney    cocky/family                         Vet   eagle eye    ( Dad is state senator)
2Lt Flash Reeves  addict/skirt chaser                  Green

I rolled up clear skies and that we met fighters!    I did not bother to roll up the type of enemy we encountered- it had to be my new Georges. 

The planes met at 45 degrees to another and the battle was on!

Dingy encounters 3 Georges.  Lt Thurmond is left hanging.
Red/blue stands are veterans.  Green is ...well green.

After a close call with a George Dingy felt something he had not felt before--fear.  He had never thought he could lose.   He tried to fight down his fear but could not bear to close with the aggressive enemy.  

The battle swirls

Random event brings in two Oscars to the battle!  Dingy would rather fight the Oscars.

A Japanese ace received a minor gas tank hit from Blue before he latches on to Lt Franklin's tail.  Franklin of course had lost his wingman early in the battle. 

Before Blue can come to his aid Franklin's engine is smoking and he has to bail out!

Fun game but the Black Rams lose as they fail to down any Japanese planes.  The George proves to be a tough opponent, particularly with a skilled pilot in the cockpit.  

Fortunately air sea rescue pulls Franklin from the water so he will miss one mission.  Luckily we do not lose any more squadron reputation since we were outnumbered.   Joe Thurmond notices Dingy's behaviour but decides to say nothing at this point since it is his word against a Major's.  [ I rolled a gut check on Dingy and he got "hang to the outside."  I have never got this on a SQ/CC before. ]  So we will see where this goes.  The Group/CC pulls Lt Richards for other duties and he will miss three missions.  

So there it is; I fell in love with my own design again and the Black Rams are not doing well.  Their reputation is down and there SQ/CC has a case of nerves.   Will they hit again?  (I would say "likely".)

For those of you that want to play this out the system generated 6 Georges with one ace, 2 veterans, 1 average and 2 green.  On turn 5 two Oscars IIs showed up with a veteran and a green.  Make Dingy hang back for the entire battle.  Good Luck!!




  1. Sounds like a fun game to of played, and I certainly enjoyed reading the report.

  2. Great game. It has been far too long since I have had a BTH game. Need to fix that.

  3. Roy
    Thanks. Actually a comment about my air stuff.
    You need to-- it is fast and fun! I don't use cards anymore. I ripped off the x-wing mechanic and it plays even better.



  4. I only found your blog yesterday.

    After reading the report, and Chris's Bag The Hun comment ,it's had me go look for a review for those rules. Interestingly the review says that those rules should work for solo games, which is a major attraction for me.

  5. Roy,

    Glad you found us! Bag The Hun 2 is great for solitaire games. Either with the cards or the x-wing way. You can plan what you want but might not be able to do it anyway.
    Of course it goes better with Squadron Forward : }



  6. I just found your blog and this is a nice report. Air games are cool. We tried the lardy air rules and they did not sit that well with our group - they played too clunky for us. But CY6! work great for our group and has become a popular for an occasional game.