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.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The charge of Lt zur See Wehneit

Been playing multiple games but none have been overwhelming. Still working on a scenario generator for SAGA.   I think 4 squads total is about all one person can handle in Combat Patrol which for the solo player means two squads a piece.  After that the game starts to slow down.
Pictures of recent battles:
SAGA battle with workers building a church forced to defend it!

The Vikings approach!

Final assault on the church.  Vikings lost.  It was fun!

Combat Patrol Afghanistan    Needs more period flavor. 


Tunisia.    Game bogged down.

Tunisia; even here the Italians are retreating!

Now on to the sea.   Release the Hounds is done and I have moved on to Flotilla Forward.  These are the campaign rules for any small craft battles.

OLzS Schwartzmann looked at the stars; the clouds had been clearing which was a mixed blessing for his small force.  He could find convoys easier but the British escorts could see him more clearly!!

OLzS Schwartzmann   Flotilla leader.  ( These are the characteristics rolled up for your characters)   Ardent Nazi seeking wealth  Avg leader
LtzS Bareuther  Cultured man who believes in Germany's quest but not the Nazi party.  Natural born leader
LTzS Wehneit   Pessimistic about surviving the war in small boats.  Father was naval officer in WW I on a Cruiser.  Is reckless
LTzS Rudorffer  Naive but lusts for battle.  Father is a mid-level Nazi official so Schwartzmann likes Rudorffer and cuts him slack. 

Convoy intercept  Viz 7K yrds

OLTzS Schwartzmann on patrol. 
The lookout on Schwartzmann's boat called out a large ship dead ahead.  Schwartzmann took Bareuther towards the ship and sent the other two boats around in front to see if there was a convoy near.

HMS Rifleman

He identified the British ship as a minesweeper of the Algerine class right after it started firering.  He crew could do nothing but grin and bear it as he tried to closed the 3.5 miles toward the convoy.  ( He was saving his torpedoes and 20mm guns don't fire very far.)  Unfortunately several near misses from the 4 in gun caused moderate damage to his ship.  When a shell fragment went through his torpedo tubes he decided to quit while he was ahead.  He peeled of towards a squall and gave command to Bareuther.  He told Bareuther to fire his torpedoes and peel off as well. 

Schwartzmann seeks the shelter of the rain.

Rudorffer signalled a new ship was sighted but it was not a freighter.  It was a Hunt Class Destroyer.

HMS Southdown arrives guns blazing.

Situation when scale is reduced to each hex 100 yards.  Bareuther is lower left with Wehneit and Rudorffer to the right trying to get around the DE. 

At this point there is an explosion at the right end of the E-boat line.  A (un)lucky direct hit from the Southdown sinks Rudorffer's ship.   

Rudorffer and crew KIA/LAS

HMS Southdown laying smoke screen

With half the ships gone Bareuther fires his torpedoes at the minesweeper (haven't yet seen a merchantman) and orders Wehneit to fire at the DE then peel away for home.

As Bareuther banks hard to port he and his crew are rewarded with a large explosion as the minesweeper is hit!!

HMS Rifleman badly hit but will actually survive the night to be towed back to port. 

What is this?  LTzS is continuing on hoping to find the merchants. 

He continues on...

At last; he sees a merchantman.  Now his fish won't be wasted.  He fires and then turns hard to port.  Unfortunately for him, no explosion is heard or seen-- he missed.

Schwartzmann and Bareuther are furious with Wehneit.  Needless to say Wehneit's crew is not fond of him either.  He is given a formal drewwing down by Fregat Kaptain Froshler the CO. Rudorffer is not found.
Froshler is not happy with Schwartzmann as he can't lead his officers, lost a Nazi officer and failed to hit a merchantman.  He blocks the flotilla getting a replacement boat and crew. 

Great game!   RtH continues to work well as a moderate complexity game.  Flotilla Forward is also shaping up.



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Attack over Turtle creek

Hope everyone had a great holiday.  We were traveling visiting family so a fabulous time was had by all.  Over Christmas I played a game of Combat Commander Pacific with my brother who does boardgames.  It was fun ( not as good as Combat Patrol or TW&T) and inspired me to start an army platoon on Guadicanal.  Their first mission was a platoon attack over a creek.  Since there are no rules for Japanese in Combat Patrol I halved the number of morale checks but considered leg wounds as incapacitations.
First we roll up the men.  Because combat patrol uses teams rather than squads I rolled up the ASLers as well.
Lt Braxton  Pre War NCO                   jovial/ family        Gr II               +1
1st squad
         SSgt "Smokes" Hayes    Baker    Cheap/ girls          Gr I
         Cpl  Dunaway           Ranch Hand  Fanatic/Pleasure   Gr 0
2nd squad
         Sgt "Big Joe" Lawrence    store clerk  Likeable/pleasure  Gr 0        +1
         Cpl Nance     orphaned                      cocky/ religion       Gr I       -1
3rd squad
         Sgt Trumble    son of a preacher   likeable/ government    Gr I        +1
         Cpl Blaze       store clerk             cheap/ pleasure             Gr 0

Turtle Creek    The US had two stonks of 81mms which they dropped into the jungle.
Lt Braxton's plan was to have his best squad (1st) cross over the footbridge; his worst squad (2nd) provide covering fire from the top right and his last squad advance to the swamp and either provide fire or advance.

Close up of Jap positions

2nd and 3rd squad advance

2nd squads team able reaches the swamp

1st squad team able runs into a ... ATG!   ( Lucky roll on the table.)

With Big Joe pinning the Japs in the jungle Smokes gets his squad across intact.  ( One Japanese LMG broke which helped!)

The Japanese Lt, seeing the danger leads his forces out to throw Smokes back!  The fighting is brutal but Smokes squad yields under the pressure.  ( I gave the Japanese +1 in melee.  +2 if you are carrying a sword!)

Seeing Smokes get across.  Lt Braxton directs 3rd squad to follow up their success.
Sgt Trimble meets the Japanese force and the hand grenades fly! The Japanese are cut down.

Flushed with success, Trimble takes on the half squad that is left in the jungle despite the BAR being jammed.  The Japanese retreat through the jungle.  The exhausted americans do not pursue.

Fun first battle.  Lt Braxton is pleased with the platoon.  He thinks briefly about putting Trimble in for a medal but there is probably not enough there and his CO Capt Grimes, will be cautious because he wants to become Maj Grimes ASAP.  That said, Capt Grimes must be impressed with the platoon because an unarmed man shows up at the platoon and introduces himself as "Black ink" Webb.  He has been given permission to write about the platoon! Just what Braxton needs!!!

Just for fun used the same board to have a squad of US infantry patrol against a squad of VC.  Worked well.