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.

Monday, December 12, 2016

10th mountain in Somali

Grunts Forward is finally published!  It is available at Wargamer Vault.  (wargamervault.com).  To celebrate I used my 10th mountain division squad in Somalia on a mission.  Thsi is there third mission and they are doing pretty well.  As a matter of fact, Lt Concepcion put Cpl K in for a medal after he rescued a Malaysian driver last battle.  ( A new facet for gamers that Grunts Forward provides)  Unfortunately Capt Parr was not as impressed.  I did not roll up a scenario as I have been wanting to do an attack on a food center for a while.  ( Even bought a tin shack for it!)  So I played "Cordon" out of Grunts Forward.
Sgt Chin Gr II leader, Father was a baker in a small southern town.  He joined the Army right out of high school.  ( this is from the new background tables in GF.  I rolled "son of baker in a small town".)  Pragmatic/ Position ( this is from PF and means he is a pragmatic man interested in getting promoted) The squad is currently neutral towards his leadership.  ( GF tracks the squads disposition towards the leaders.)
1st team  Cpl Krynowski ( Cpl K) beloved in the squad. Gr II leader,    Was a petty thief before joining the Army ( has good lock picking skills!) jovial/ wealth
2nd team  Cpl Street Gr I leader, was a factory worker in Detroit like his old man until he yearned for some adventure.  Aggressive/ Greedy

 Sgt Chin's squad around the food warehouse where food workers are loading a truck for distribution on the outskirts of town. 

Calm before the storm.  ( Good shot of my new building too!)  Cpl K center, Cpl Street and Sgt Chin left.

Shots rang out from a nearby building and Sgt Chin saw two troopers down from Cpl Street's team!  They were suppose to meet some NGOs at their food warehouse and then escort them to a distribution point.  Now all hell starting breaking loose.  Two men down before the battle even began.

Shots from the office building strike two men as the battle starts!

As Sgt Chin climbs over a wall and begins to lay down fire at the office building he hears Cpl K say, "Sarge.  We got more company!"  (Figures on building are actually in building.)

PFC Long and another trooper come face to face with the enemy!  Two grenades and the HMG from a HUMVEE pinned down the attackers.

Things aren't looking better towards Sgt Chin's front!  1st team loses it's 249 gunner and Cpl Street goes down with a groin wound.  ( no, it left that intact!) Sgt Chin frantically calls for air cover while he becomes pinned down.  The troopers are able to keep the enemy from advancing but can't seem to drive him away.
Then, a sound brings hope to the Americans!

In the heat it looks like a Huey but trust me it is a Blackhawk!

A Blackhawk arrives and immediately catches the gunmen near PFC Long in the open.  The results are not pretty with 3 dead and the rest scattered.

The blackhawk then drives these troops away as well as convincing the technical to leave.

At this point the Somali warlord realizes he is not going to be crossing open ground to the warehouse and withdraws.  2nd squad has protected the NGOs and the food!

Great game but the battle was in doubt until the helicopter showed up.  Post battle the squad sustains 2 KIAs and Cpl Street lives but is invalided home.  It is "unlikely" that the squad will get another NCO and they don't.  The LT puts PFC Long in charge of the second team.  With 3 casualties Sgt Chin survives the die roll and the squad stays neutral to him.  ( At least they protected food workers!)  Using the new NPC table it turns out that the head of the food program is a missionary named Rev Stransan.  He is very appreciative of the squad's work and talks to the unit's officers about how great they performed.  He also offers to be the squad's personal chaplain and starts to fuss over them.  In a combat zone there are no atheists so the squad's morale goes up!
Hopefully this report gives you an idea of what Grunts Forward adds to your campaign.  For those of you who want to try this scenario here are the forces:
US  8/8 (for FoF gamers!)
1 squad of 9 soldiers plus 2 HUMVEES.   A Blackhawk will appear two turns after Sgt Chin makes contact.
Somali gunmen  ( 8/10)  Figured a warlord attacking a warehouse would have well trained troops.
3 squads of 7 men + RPG and a half squad.  3 leaders; 1 Gr II and 2 Gr I.  1 MMG and 1 technical.

Several pictures of some SAGA games I have played.



Sunday, December 4, 2016

Grunt's Forward is almost here!

Exciting news in time for the holidays!  I just read the final draft of Grunt's Forward and should be uploading it to Wargame Vault this week.  Here is the photo used for the cover:
I hope if conveys some of the chaos and frustration of fighting an asymetrical war.

Grunt's Forward takes the Platoon Forward system into asymetrical warfare against an elusive enemy.  It can recreate asymetrical battles from the 20th and 21st century.  You can use any skirmish ruleset but you must have Platoon Forward to use Grunt's Forward.
Included are:
  • extensive background tables for your leaders
  • Rules for replacing casualties
  • Rules for what the men think of you
  • Rules for earning medals
  • New blinds tables
  • New NPC charater table
  • 6 new scenarios
  1. Ft Apache
  2. Cordon
  3. Hammer Dawn
  4. Village Sweep
  5. Ambuscale
  6. One of our planes is missing
 Over 800 copies of Platoon Forward ( sold under the Too Fat Lardies brand) have sold and I feel this is a worthy expansion.  I think I will ask $5.  Sound reasonable?    As with Platoon Forward if you are not satisfied with Grunt's Forward I will refund you the money I made.

Am really excited and think you will be too!


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Injun country

Finally got some French Foreign Legion painted up.  Also managed to paint up 5 African soldiers patterned on Angola.  Decided to playtest a new scenario called "Injun Country".  Basically your squad gets stuck out in the badlands and has to wait for help.

Republic of Congo    1990.  France has yet again sent in her legion to protect interests and maintain order. 

Screeeeeeeeech!  Thunka, thunka thunka!.  Sgt Barrie looked behind him and saw the commandeered truck his squad was riding in  slow to a halt by the side of the road. They had just passed through a squalid village on the way back to camp and now this!   
                                                                Injun Country!

Lt Lorray decided the convoy would keep moving as the trucks and NGOs needed to get back.  He would send a truck back to pick up Sgt Barrie and his 1st Squad of legionaries.  He did leave a MG jeep behind as well for "a little protection."  " You will be fine Guy.  We are in the middle of no where."  he said.   Famous last words Sgt Guy Barrie thought. 

Sgt Barrie puts the jeep and two men on the right hand hill overlooking the town and jungle.  He places two men behind the truck looking down the road to the right.  He and three men face the town where curious villagers are starting to form. 

1 squad is 9 men including 1 SAW.  For those of you that use FoF they are 8/10 and their stress level is 2.
For CP I added the green card and additional 5 and 6 cards.  They also have 1 uparmored jeep with a HMG and 2 men.  Sgt Barrie is a +1 leader and Cpl Leach is also a +1.

Sgt Barrie

As Sgt Barrie tries to disperse the crowd several armed men show up for a drink! 
Sgt Barrie curses his rules of engagement that states he is not to fire unless fired upon.  He considers firering anyway but iron discipline is his nature. 

Fortunately one of the tribesman can't hold his fire and unloads before the rebels have a chance to fully deploy.  IT'S ON!

The battle is very one sided as the FFL's martial skill shines through.  One legionnaire, a Dane, Pvt Pedersen is seriously wounded and moved behind the truck. 
My brand new african soldiers 6/8 don't even last a turn! 
The legionnaires are doing so well they actually move up to the well. 
Now they can sweep the streets with lead.

These guys run right into the lead!

One moment of peril for the FFL.  Some rebels with a RPG manage to maneuver up the road behind the jeep.
The gunner on the jeep is stunned by a near miss but the two infantrymen drive the attackers off! 

After a 15 minute firefight all is quiet.  Sgt Barrie thinks out loud, " I can't wait to get out of Injun country!"

 Really fun game.  The rebels ended up with 40 men all told.  They were all 6/8.  Will need to "roll up" a formal FFL squad now for Platoon Forward.




Sunday, October 30, 2016

Would you can the Major?

Sorry for the lack of posts.  Baseball playoffs have cut into gaming time!  It is not looking good for the cubs. 
Painted up 2 B-25s so wanted to get them on the board.  For some reason whenever I think of B-25s I think of the pacific or Tunisia.  So pulled out my P-38 Headhunter's Sq from the Pacific and ran a game using Squadron Forward except I didn't roll up the mission; I selected escort.  Another thing I do with Squadron Forward is I limit the squadron to 8 pilots.  While not realistic it makes sure that they all get to fly since most missions I will only take a flight up.
The Headhunter's have had a rough go of it.  Even though they have won 2 missions and lost 2; one win was against a photo plane and both losses have been bad.  The squadron only has 2 kills and their reputation is -2 cool points.  Moreover, Col Birch, the group commander, has been unimpressed.
With all this rolling in his head Maj Lightning prepares to take 4 P-38Ls over the Philepeans Sea escorting B-25s with a target of a Jap DD probably retreating after bringing supplies.   
Maj Lightning  Coarse/ engineering   Vet   1 kill
2LT Chip Peters  jovial/govt      green      dead eye

Lt Paul Adkins   Scholarly/position  Vet   mustang  ( Birch likes)
2LT "Bone" Nixon  Scholarly/religion    Avg    dead eye

Disaster strikes as Maj Lightning is late to the rendezvous due to head winds. ( Rolled a "1" on the rendezvous chart)   This allows 7 Jap fighters 3 turns to go over the bombers.  It is not pretty.
4 Georges and 3 Zeros attack 9 B-25s at low level.

A George lines up for the first kill
In all 2 bombers are downed and 2 turn back on 1 engine.  "Where is our fighter cover?"

Maj Lightning shows up but the damage is done.  3 more bombers are splashed as the lightenings try to enter the fray.
The only highlight is Lt Adkins downs one!  2Lt Nixon (his wingman) had "engine trouble" earlier and left.

Maj Lightning knew he was in trouble when he reported to Col Birch.  If you were Birch what would you have done?  Can him as that is 3 loses including this annihilation?  Try to save an experienced field grade officer?  In the end I puts the chances at "possible" and let AKOT decide.  Birch did not can him but he is on thin ice.  Col Birch is going to fly the next mission as an observer to see how the Major handles his men.  He also has insisted that Lt Adkins fly as well.  The squadron lost another cool point so morale is declining. 
For those of you that want to play this I rolled up the following aircraft:
4 Georges, 1 Ace, 2 Vets and 1 green
3 Zeros, 1 Vet, 1 Avg, 1 Green
Try it with the P-38s on time and let me know how it goes!

Also did a scenario from FOF Classified book.  This one involves an arms dealer selling something to local rebels.  Delta is going to stop it.

Delta entering from the bottom.  Old JU-88 on the runway waiting for the arms dealer and his 4 body guards to finish business. 
As the bullets start to fly Alexander Kirk with to body guards make their way to the plane.
The LMG gunner is wounded but dragged into the plane. Kirk is also wounded but taken by air to an expensive and secret hospital where he survives. 

Rebel leader makes it to his trusty Chevy ready to haul out of here!

Unfortunately the truck is not warrantied against LAWs.  Delta captures the leader and the package.  They sustain 1 KIA and 1 seriously wounded.



Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Welsh Borders

Been busy painting up my French indo-china forces.  Played one game in Afganistan
 And then took a break with a battle of Saga.  I have invented several rules to make Saga more realistic but every time I do it also takes away the fun factor.  The only rule I have kept is variable movement.  Otherwise I admit that Saga bears little relation to middle age fighting but it is a whale of a game to play!
I pulled a scenario from Wargames Illustrated ( don't remember the issue) called Eadric the Wild vs William Fitzobern.  Basically Fitzobern is a Norman knight whose job it is to keep the Welsh border quiet. Eadric the Wild ( a saxon) teams with Welsh Lord Bleddyn to invade England.  Thus the Welsh are attacking and the Normans are arrayed along an old roman road to stop them.   
There is a roman ruin in the middle of the board that Eadric can start hidden in order to ambush the Normans.
I played each side used 5 points.
Unfortunately for the Normans, their first moves are to get their crossbowmen into the ruin.
Eadric ambushes the crossbowmen leaving only 2 alive to scurry back to England. 
Welsh horsemen move up in support.
Norman knights attack the Saxon's with little success. 

Welsh horsemen smash into the Sergeants and drive them back. 

Fitzobern himself attacks Eadric with crush and the Saxons are wiped out!

Horses in the middle!  Unfortunately the knight's better training and armor tell the tale and the Welsh  horsemen must retreat.

Welsh javelins take their toll on the knights; the Bleddyn sends his elite fighters in and the knights are cut down.
With only 2 knights, 2 sergeants and 2 crossbowmen left, Fitzobern sounds retreat back tot the castle!

Now Bleddyn marches into England!

Fun game that plays quickly.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

FNG (French New Guy Operations)

I told you I am reading a great book from teh Time Life series called Passing the Torch.  It is primarily about the French experience in Vietnam.  In addition I picked up an Osprey book cheap on the French Foreign Legion since 1945.  Beginning to see a thread here?  I decided I wanted to try the French Indochina war.  Both sides were better balanced and you get to use cool WW II vehicles.  That said, did not want to stop my ARVN platoon with evil Tong.  What to do?  Fortunately the french tried their own "Vietnamization" but went about it differently.  They had normall french organizations that were partially made up of ARVN units.  At the company level there could be 2 platoons of french infantry ( FFL) and 1 Vietnamese. Now granted the Vietnamese units were commanded by french officers but I can fudge that part a bit.
I downloaded FNG Operations years ago and for some reason pulled it out last week.  It fit perfectly with my story.  I would have a French FFL company with 2 platoons of FFL and 1 ARVN.  I streamlined it of course, changed the air rules around and meshed it with Platoon Forward/Grunt's Forward.  I have only done 2 full days of operations but we have "won over" the people slightly.  What follows is a mission my ARVN folks were sent on the first day.
Tong was glad to be on a mission.  He liked the opportunity to kill people.  They moved a click down the road from their base at Vieh Yen ( look it up) in the Red River delta to the village of Dong Hoa.  ( Don't look that one up!) It was suppose to be a base for local VM and contained a canning factory. 
(I rolled up a Platoon attack.  I normally use only two squads as FOF/CP bogs down with more forces than that if I play solitaire.)

Village/factory including my 2 brand new battlefront Vietnamese huts.   Lt Pham's plan was to position their LMG on the hill with 2nd squad and have Tong advance towards the factory.  Tong wasn't thrilled with the plan. 


Lt Pham Chu    Inept/ religion    Dad is goverment official   Gr I  hesitant
Sgt Dang Tong "protagonist"  evil/pleasure   orphaned    Gr I  hates Sgt Trang  1st squad
Sgt Trang Chu    gambler/wealth            Gr II     2nd squad
1 LMG and 81mm MTR on call

1st squad advances towards the factory...

While 2nd squad with the officer's lapdog Chu waits safely on the hill.

40 yards from the factory pointman Tran Can sees movement and opens up with his rifle.  Unfortunately a LMG returns fire and 3 men go down.  Soon Sgt Dang is forced back dragging 4 casualties.  He wonders Where the hell is the mortar support!?!  ( Lt Pham could get it.  Second time in two games!)

With the attack faltering the LT sends 2nd squad on a sweep to the right.

The are momentarily pinned but manage to...
reach the stylish Vietnamese huts just as the VM get the same idea. 

A rigorous hand to hand ensues with 2nd squad losing 3 against the VM's 1. 

Sgt Trang is also forced to retreat.   Having failed along both sides, the ARVN platoon turns around and heads back to base. 

Great battle but that is the second loss in a row.  They did feel a little better when a french platoon assaulted in the afternoon with the same result.  After the battle Sgt Dang manages to siphon off some ammo and give it to his government official friend.  Payback will be coming...
FNG Operations played well.  If it playtests well I will see if THW want's it or maybe release it free if they are okay with that.

For those that want to try the scenario I generated the following VM forces  ( 8/10 but random event dropped them to 8/8)
2 squads of 6 rifles with 1 Gr II leader and 1 Gr I leader.
1 LMG and 1 MMG