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, February 22, 2015

Grunts Forward and Chopper Down

Am continuing to build up my 1/600 fleet ( just finished a Hunt DD) but have been working on the finishing touches of Grunts Forward.  Rich is shooting for a spring release date.  For the unaware, Grunts Forward is the asymetrical expansion to the Platoon Forward campaign system.  It can still be used with your favorite tactical rule system but now you will move into combat very different from two armies battling it out along the front lines.  There will be village sweeps, cordons for civilian activities and the like.  Without front lines there is also more opportunity to meet special characters such as priests and black-marketers.  It is designed for the 20th century and I suspect it will work in this century but I don't have my US troops painted up yet.  Readers of this blog will know that I use Grunt's Forward in Ethiopia with my Italians, Yugoslavia again with Italians and of course Indo-China.  It also introduces medals similar to Squadron Forward courtesy of Brian W and some other things.  I am really excited about this project. 
So rather than just an AAR today I thought I would touch on some elements of the "One of our Planes is missing" scenario.  (Title stole from Max in a TFL special years ago.  That is what got me thinking about the Ital-Ethipoian conflict in the first place.)
In Grunt's Forward you still roll up your scenario but you have the new ones plus "Ambush" and "Patrol"
 from the old. There are new blinds tables for Grunts Forward.  These are slightly skewed to more nothings and add a sniper.  I believe that helps create the frustrating situation that the symmetric force often feels in these battles.   I will admit that I didn't roll this one up, I chose it as my brother gave me a crashed Huey for my birthday. 

LtCol Patterson called  Lt McSwain into the CP.   Capt Jaroze here says you can get two squads off in 15 mike.  Lt McSwain, never wanting to make his CO look bad stammered "Y-Yes Sir!".  Good, a Huey went down 15 klicks from here and we need to get there before the VC do.   

Characters Lt McSwain  Gr I optomistic/ movies
                  Sgt Lawrence Gr I  gambler/greedy  2nd squad
                  Sgt Douglas Gr O jovial/wealth  3rd squad. Douglas recently joined 3rd squad and has done well.
                  2 M60 MMGs plus 1 huey gunship on call. (Highest priority)

As you may have guessed this scenario is a treasure hunt and unlike any I have done.  The crash site is in the middle, there are 4 possible places for the crew and the enemy can enter along three edges.  This is counteracted in that the crew want You to find them.

The board.  Lt McSwain enters from bottom left.  VC enter from right half of the board.  Crew markers distributed.

Centerpiece my brother gave me.  I pimped it alittle.  (Too lazy to find my cav markers so used british.)

Move fast but don't take chances said Capt Jaroze.   Two scouts lead the way.

VC sighted in the open near the red dice.  Chopper time!

VC reach the chopper first and begin to search.  Sgt Lawrence engages to try to drive them off. 

As the US inch forward a call is heard from the left side of the line.  "What?  Sgt Douglas has found the crew." 

80 yards from the crash site a voice is heard. 

The crew is quickly hustled off towards waiting choppers. 

Sgt Lawrence initially continues towards the chopper until a LMG shows up.  At that point Lt McSwain breaks off contact. 

Quick game with only two american casualties (both WIA).  In retrospect I could have clumped the "D" markers closer to the chopper.  The VC sent to check out that marker were crushed by the chopper so I had no VC on that side of the board to contest the withdraw.  Lucky the crew picked the jungle rather than the hooch to hide in! 
Post game everyone is pleased with the platoon.  Sgt Douglas and 3rd squad are on the rise though he fails his roll to become a Gr I leader.  We get both casualties back (new table).  Lt Col Patterson asks the platoon to d a "special mission" for him... Should be exciting!

For those of you that want to give this a shot the US entered the board 1 turn early.  The VC got--
2 half squads plus a gr 0 leader
1 squad+LMG plus a Gr 1 leader (poor morale)
Both of my "B" blinds failed to give the VC support. ( Sometimes you get lucky!) In a two player game I suggest either eliminate the Chopper or add a HMG for the VC. 




Monday, February 9, 2015

The Muster 2015

Well I spent Saturday at the Williamsburg Muster and had a very good time.   I demoed my "Release the Hounds" rules which were well received.  It is always scary putting your stuff out there but everyone seemed to enjoy them.  Best part was after about 5 turns they all knew the mechanics and I did very little except enjoy. 
The show was well attended and everyone seemed to be having fun.  In addition to some enthusiastic naval player I renewed my friendship with Justin from the hanger and meet Ron from this group who was running a Chain of Command game.  (Forgot to get a picture of it as I got called to the hospital but it looked superb).  I was also introduced to modern Afghanistan through a game called Sanguin by Chris of the Phalanx Consortium.  It had some nice mechanics though it was man to man rather than fire-team.  Finally I met an English bloke who works in Williamsburg as an archeologist.  The only sad part was Carl of the hanger was not able to attend as he is in the hospital.

Before we start with the show I thought I would let you know that I occasionally play non war games.   Here is 3M's Regatta with some optional rules I downloaded from Boardgame geek.

They are around the second turn.....

On with the show!

Here is a Japanese DD.  It didn't get into the game but hopefully kept the US players worried.

Our intrepid band of players.  Great shot of the US PT captains.  

Everyone got a character card before play.   You knew I would try to add some Platoon Forward stuff somewhere!

Shot of some ship cards.

The PT boats close on the barges.    The japanese gunboat and 3 inch shore battery take their toll. 

Our intrepid umpire gets involved. 

Lt Allen's ( run by Mr Allen) PT boat makes smoke and heads for home!

The PT boat captains can't believe the Japanese never miss!!!

The Japanese players realize it was all skill!

I ran the PTs going after the barges again and the american's got hurt early but managed to wreck two of the barges.  Two PT boats were wrecked as well.   We called it a draw and everyone exhibited great sportsmanship and gave me valuable feedback.   Thank you all!!

General view of the convention

Another view.  As you can see plenty of games to play and there were two rooms set up just to play pick up games!!!

Not sure if this was a game or not as no one was by the table the whole day but I thought it looked great.

Afghanistan-- thought this board looked great and the rules interesting.

Another shot of the board.  Have to admit, am tempted to switch my Cold War Project to this as I haven't painted anything up yet.

Did make several small purchases.   Bought some French resistance fighters and two generic trucks for Grunt's Forward.  Purchase two Sampans from Flashpoint.  These will be useful not only for Vietnam but the tops come off so I can use them as canoes.  Finally after drooling over Sea Eagles 15mm boats (They are very expensive; too much for me based on how often I would use them) I bought a pack of their Barbary pirates for my Donnybrook games.  

So I had a great time at the Williamsburg Muster.  Am looking forward to Guns of August where I will probably run something again.  Hope to see you there!