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, January 16, 2017

The Ambassador is using Candles.

It is not my fault!  I fully intended to play the second scenario of my Kowleski campaign last weekend so I could get it to you guys sooner.  Then Syr Hobbs on The Miniature Page was selling the FOF book Road to Baghdad for $8.  As you know I think the FOF books are great references so I bought it.  I thought it would be a bunch of US/Republican Guard blow outs but they are all interesting well crafted scenarios and most of them don't even use the Iraqi Army, they use irregulars. ( My only complaint is they don't even attempt a Platoon TO&E for the Iraqis. )  So the first scenario is a marine squad attacking a refinery building to save it from destruction.  I wanted to play it but wanted to use Grunts Forward and my FFL.  So decided to have my FFL squad attack a Power Station in the Central African Republic during their intervention in 1997.  The board was similar and I used Grunt Forward to generate the rebels except the second reinforcement was going to be a T-55 +/- a breakaway CAF squad.  So to begin:
Sgt Barrie reported to the Lt quickly when summoned.  That is just the way he lived his life; doing the right thing quickly.  They had flown into the Republic 2 days earlier with orders to protect European nationals.  Lt Lorray explained the situation; " Rebels have taken over the power station that supplies the embassies including ours.  They have just cut power to the French embassy and the ambassador is not pleased.  Take your squad over there and take it back.  Do not destroy the power station, okay?  We do not want the ambassador's candle usage to become our fault!  Elements of the Army have gone rogue over not being paid.  There is no armor at the station but it is in the area.  I am going to give you Sgt Howell's Milan team just in case. 
Sgt Barrie   French whose dad was an army NCO and tough.  ( Got to use my new FFL background chart!)  Guy joined the FFL to "out tough" his dad.  He is liberal and a devout Catholic so feels he is helping the oppressed here in Africa.  He is a +1 leader
Cpl Leach  Escaped from a Scottish jail for armed robbery and joined the legion.  He is now very careful and wants to be rich someday.  ( Probably not by robbing a bank though!)  He also is a +1 leader.
The squad consists of 7 men plus the 2 leaders. For FoF they are 8/10.  They have one SAW and 1 LMG.  Sgt Howell is attached with a 2 man Milan ATG team.  Sgt Howell is an american who likes Guy; he is a 0 leader. 
they arrive in a VRLA because I don't have any French APCs yet!

The French arrive.  Building on left is administrative building.  LMG team on top of power station is actually on the second floor. ( first floor if you are European!)

Great shot of my new building I bought when in Dublin! 

French de-bus and begin taking fire from the second floor of the power station.  Guy ( in the middle) orders Cpl Leach to take his team and storm the admin building.

Cpl Leach moves 'em out.
Cpl Leach moves 'em back after they fail to gain entry into the building. 

Sgt Barrie has his own problems as accurate fire from the main building causes 1 serious wound and Guy sustains a "scratch"! 
While you knew about the T-55 showing up Guy did not.  To make matters worse their is an infantry squad attached!

Cpl Leach is not pleased!  He loses 1 legionnaire KIA.  Prison is looking better right about now.

Sgt Howell moves his ATG team across the street to set up a non hull down shot.

Three quarters of the way through the battle:  Rebels hold the power station with 2 reinforcements at lower right.  2 rebels have escaped the admin building and are retreating.  The tank and CAF squad are working their way around the wall.  The VRLA is holding the rebels at bay but Sgt Barrie can't get his men forward; worse, due to stress they lose confidence and become "normal".  Cpl Leach is moving into the admin building to try to engage the army.  It appears to be a stalemate ( which will not help the ambassador) but then Sgt Barrie manages to get a french helicopter to appear!  One last hope.

A french gunship ( it is not a Huey it is a french gunship!) strafes the tank twice to little affect. Perhaps due to embarrassment, it quickly leaves.

The last good thing to happen is Sgt Howell's team scores a direct hit on the T-55!
Despite this Sgt Barrie ( with 3 men down) doesn't have enough strength to take the power station.  He radios Lt Lorray the bad news.  The Lt is not upset and tells the Sgt to hold position, he will bring the rest of the platoon up to help.  The ambassador is going to be using candles a little longer I guess!

Great game!  Didn't think the FFL would ever lose but they did.  Fortunately the wounded soldier recovers quickly and the two KIAs are replaced.  The squad reserves judgement on their leader and he stays at "0".  Guy meets a journalist ( Jean Sartain from the Le Parisien) at camp and the two strike up a friendship.

For those of you that want to try this the rebels are 6/10 with poor leadership.  Grunts Forward generated 18 men to start with an additional 6 coming up from behind the power station on turn 3 and a T-55 with 7 men plus leader on turn 5. 



Saturday, January 7, 2017

A village near Dublin

Happy New Year!!!   We got snow today in Hampton Roads; everything shut down.  Could shovel the driveway or play, guess what I did?!
While I have designed the next scenario for my Kowleski campaign thought I would return to my SAGA campaign using Return of the Wolf.  It is a great book and the 3 scenarios in it are great.  Started a solo campaign where I am the Irish and I dice for actions from the Normans and Norse-Gaels.  Basically this is during the Norman invasion of Ireland.  The Norse-Gaels are no longer the power they were and the Irish are still disjointed.  Everyone is fighting the van guard of the Normans led Alan the Brave.
My Irish led by Jos by Brega just raided the Norse and came away with a victory.  This gives me 15 power points to start the third turn with.  Now the Normans, led by Alan are going on a campaign against the lands of Zigmund the Brave.  Zigmund comes from royal blood and is determined to bring Dublin to glory again.  I roll up "homeland with Alan as the aggressor.  Hence Alan is moving towards Dublin and Zigmund is determined to stop him at a small villiage near Dublin.  

Alan and his personal guards

He also has 3 other horse (elite)
8 Sergeants and 8 warriors with crossbows
Ziggy and his Heathguards

He also has 4 ax wielding heathguards
7 warriors with javelins
5 Slaves with javelins

Village on the right, Alan enters from the left.  Plan was to move the Sergeants double time down the left, bring the crossbowmen up on the right to soften up the heathguard and then finish everyone off with the horse.  The road to Dublin will be open!   Zigmund plan to pelt the invaders with javelins then fall back into the buildings. 

The sergeants attack!
They are crushed with poor dice. ( 5 normans lost vrs 1 N-G) The Norse-Gauls even lost the challenge but still repulsed the men with short hair. 

The Norse counter charge hoping to knock out a unit but both sides trade 1 casualty.

Meanwhile, the crossbowmen fire at the buildings to little effect.  However they manage to catch 4 Javelins using their stomachs! 
At this point Alan realizes he is losing so, spurring his horse, he charges the Norse in their building!
Alan's heroic charge; the stuff of SAGAs.  Three axmen fall but one survives.  To add insult 2 horsemen also fall. 
Alan is beaten; he turns his much reduced band for home.  Today the saga is about Zigmund and how he saved Dublin!

Zigmund picks up his second campaign point ( tying Jos) and due to a well placed marriage by one of his nieces he picks up more land.  He now has 15 power points.  His fame is spreading; can he bring glory back to Dublin?  Stay tuned...

Monday, January 2, 2017

Hotel Impala 1978

Happy New Year everyone.  Hope everyone had fun and lots of toys under the tree.  I myself got some Frankish forces for SAGA and some Brits and Romans for their upcoming expansion.  Lastly got some vehicles from Old Glory. ( 3 BTR-60s, 3 guntrucks and 3 Land rovers that are going to have to double as VLRAs since no one makes them.) 
With Grunt's Forward released I am on to a new project.  A series of scenarios from the FFL foray into Kowleski in 1978.  Don't know if I will package these up or write an article for Wargamer's Magazine.  One thing it forced me to do was come up with a new background table for the FFL. 
Here is a playtest of the first scenario.  You are 1st platoon of C company.  You land almost on your objective which is the hotel Impala.  Get in there quick and rescue any hostages.  Don't fire unless  you are fired upon.
1st platoon
Lt Bourgain     Son of a successful business man       Idealistic / Pleasure     +1
1st SQ  Sgt Popov    Russian mercenary that made a lot of enemies so joined the FFL
                                  Condescending/ seeking wealth                                      +1
             2nd fireteam  Cpl Smyrnoi    Failed musician from Bosnia so joined FFL
                                    Conformist/  loves music and plays the violin pretty poorly.  0
2nd SQ  Sgt Lesion   Mom is famous French actress but she didn't even notice he was gone.
                                   Obnoxious/   loves good food                                           0

Lt Bourgain felt they were ready though all 100 legionaries were crammed into a plane that fit 66.  

I rolled up the board using Platoon Forward.  It was built around the hotel and gardens that are factual.
The Objective

Not the objective but this prayer garden looked cool.  
There was a chance for bad guys in the church

The two squads were slightly scattered on the jump but formed into fireteams quickly.  The Lt and 2nd squad  landed in the gardens behind the hotel.
Of course the Lt wears his Kelpi!

Sgt Popov ( with tree) lands in elephant grass across the street from the hotel

The Lt realizing lives could be at stake charges into the hotel with a fireteam.  Inside they see butchered limbs and 8 rebels.  They are repulsed with the loss of a man.  
The second fire team arrives and the Lt immediately charges again.  He doesn't want to risk a firefight  in case there are some hostages alive.  
This time he succeeds with the bad guys losing 4 in the process.

Meanwhile Sgt Popov arrives with his squad at the front of the hotel.  ( He uses a russian die instead of a french one!)  They immediately lay down accurate fire.

Meanwhile 2nd fireteam 2nd sq searches the grounds for hostages.  Instead they find multiple pairs of human hands!  This disturbing sight causes the team to lose confidence down to normal. 
2nd squad's 2nd fireteam takes up a blocking position.  (That is Sgt Lesion striking a pose for the camera! I told you he was obnoxious.)
Hearing the sound of gunfire, 4 rebels come to help.  Sgt Popov's squad kills two and send the others packing.

Then from the opposite direction more rebels show up.  This actually turns into a gunfight that leaves 5 rebels KIA but one legionnaire seriously wounded. 

Finally, 8 rebels come from across the street.  4 manage to get into the hotel.  4 rebels against 4 legionaries? No contest- 3 rebels die and one foolishly tries to surrender.  After seeing all the body parts in the hotel Lt Bourgain looks the other way. 

1st Platoon has won the day! 

Post battle Popov's wounded soldier recovers enough to start wounded next battle ( which is in 1 hour real time.)  The squad's confidence in their condescending leader grows.  The Captain gives 1st squad an additional 3 men for the next mission and puts Lt Bourgain in for the Croix de Guerre.  ( He will get it with a silver star.  2nd medal I have ever got in this system--cool!)

Great battle and one to replay as you will roll for where the fireteams  land. Think these scenarios will be really neat.  Next one is still 1st platoon only now they have to take a bridge.

Now for something completely different!

Norman's on the march!