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.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Flank Attack Afak, Iraq 2003

Bought the FOF book Road to Baghdad off ebay a while back.  Interesting book but disappointed thta it said very little about the Iraq army.  It does contain some interesting scenarios, about half use US marines.  One of those is a flank attack of the town of Afak.  It uses 2 platoons and the marines are fighting irregulars.  I don't have 2 platoons ( too much for the solo player to keep track of and slows the game down) and I wanted to use the Iraq regulars that I purchased from Cold Warrior on TMP.  So... I decided to modify "Flank Attack" from Platoon Forward and start a marine platoon for Iraq.

For PF players I deleted the special "C" blinds from teh scenario ( you could leave them in I suppose) and your primary objective now is to move off the board in 8 turns.  I kept the off board MMG to represent the pinning forces and still rolled for US entry.  In addition, the stated scenario enemy forces represent the Iraqi regulars plus 2 vehicle "Cs" and I added one additional "A" blind that would be Fedayeen.  In addition, for the first 4 turns an "A" blind would enter and if real would be Fedayeen.   Finally, 1 "B" blind enters turn 1 and 1 "C" blind enters turn 2.  The "C" blind is a technical if an armored car otherwise it is an Iraqi whatever is rolled. 

So back to the Platoon.   This is there second battle.  In the first they were moving through resistance to sequre a bridge in An Nasiriya.  They achieved the mission but the Iraqi forces delayed them enough that it counted as a loss.   The Mission for Lt DeClines was to flank the Iraqi position and drive through the town, reach the main road, turn left and continue on towards Baghdad.  His plan was to have 3rd squad pin the enemies front and advance with his other 2 squads rapidly through the town.  The Mosque was off limits unless sustained fire was received from it.
The US forces:

Lt DeClines   West Point grad       sensible    wealth      Gr I
1st squad    Sgt "Just" Jack   mechanic     jovial    position     Gr I      +1 from the squad
1st fireteam  Cpl "Koke" Kokistranovich  junior circuit race care driver    addicted     thrills   Gr 0
2nd fireteam Cpl "Fast" Jones  orphaned grew up on a ranch   inept    religion          Gr 0
3rd fireteam  acting lead PFC Betts                                                                             Gr 0
2nd Squad  Sgt Borden     careful/ enginering    Gr II
3rd squad  Sgt Lee           liberal/ govt    Gr II             +1 towards Jack and 1st squad
plus   1 M1A1, 1 Humvee command vehicle, 1 Humvee TOW, 1 MMG team 1 SMAW team 1 medic.


The outskirts of town.  Front line to the right.  1st squad to the right, Borden's squad to the left in reserve except for 1 fireteam that will advance to the wall.  Markers represent various potential enemy forces.

View down the street leading into town.
1st squad moving up into position behind some bamboo.  [ this is the bamboo I made up after my last vietnam battle.  pic is a little blurry but think it came out well.]

Roll for enemy forces and a tank emerges next to the mosque.  It is ready for the Yankees to come down the main road from 3rd platoon.  Our Abrams took it out with one shot.

2nd squad's fireteam advances to the wall with little resistance.  The enemy must shift their forces to the new axis of attack.
Jack's squad runs into a squad of Iraqi infantry.  He sends Cpl Jones forward and they lose a man reaching one of the outbuildings.  It is clear there are alot of enemy in Jack's line of advance.

Lt Declines shifts his attack to Sgt Borden's squad.  They rush to the wall and prepare to assault the building.  [ fireteam in the background are actually in the building they are on top of.  Placed their for convenience.]
Overview of the battle:  2nd squad to the left.  2 fireteams and Sgt Borden have just entered the building.  MMG crossing road towards building.  1st squad in bamboo except for Cpl Jones in outbuilding in front.

A fierce battle raged in the building as the Iraqi's had an officer who was a Gr I so knew what he was doing.  he was KIA and 2 Iraqis eventualled escaped.  Marines sustained 1 WIA. 
Seeing time slip away Sgt Jack charges the Iraqi position.  This was not a close run thing and 5 Iraqi KIAs with 2 POWs without loss for Jack. 

2 POWs escorted back.  They kept their firearms to protect them from the fedayeen!

Fireteam of 2nd squad reconing towards the main road.

Some of the 2 squads of Fedayeen coming to the sounds of battle.

Lt DeClines brings in a marine cobra [looks like an apache] With no armor to fight he asks them to target the hotel and building next door.  [ FOF has no rules for inaccurate airstrikes except fog of war events.  Anyone have  good ones I can steal for modern helos?]  The rockets don't destroy the buildings but cause enough casualties to break the back of the irregulars. 
After the air strike Sgt Jack tells his gyrines to saddle up.
Through the hotel courtyard and into the hotel.  The Iraqi's fail their TQ roll so Jack's gamble pays off and he gets across the courtyard before the enemy knows what hit them.  The combat is short and violent.  6 Iraqi KIAs again with no US casualties. 

With that the Iraqi forces withdraw before they are cut off by the rapidly advancing american forces.

Great game!   Post battle Jack's squad is very impressed with his leadership.  they advance to +2 loyalty so will follow him anywhere.  This translates to their morale going up 1 die to D12 for my FoF game.  In addition, his leadership fittingly increases to Gr II.  This is a positive leader for FoF and he will get a +1 for all his reaction rolls.  Finally, Lt Declines is impressed with Jack's clearing of heavy positions with the loss of only 1 man and puts him in for a decoration.  Capt Jackson is neutral to Sgt Jack so passes it through.  Because there was not much competition in the Iraq war I downgrade the starting medal by one in the Grunt's Forward tables. Jack had earned 10 valor points which normally would have qualified him for the Distinguished Service Cross. I downgraded this to a Silver Star.  I missed that roll but he had a 30% chance for a Bronze Star and our boy got it!  " for leadership and bravery in personally clearing an enemy complex of both Iraqi regular and irregular forces accounting for 11 enemy KIA confirmed, 2 POWs thus ensuring safe passage of the regiment towards Baghdad."    Also post battle one CPL became available to the platoon and Sgt Jack deferred allowing him to go to 3rd squad.  Thus PFC Betts still has 3rd fireteam.      Cool stuff.  I love the way this all breaths life into the squad.  
for those of you that want to try this PF generated the following forces:
3 Iraqi squads with 1 Gr I leader and 1 Gr 0 leader.    1 MMG ( no team bonus ) 1 T-55.
Reinforcements were 2 Fedayenn squads ( 9 rifles and 1 RPG) and 1 T-55. 




  1. Oh, for goodness sake, you're killing me! Actually, you better not be killing me! You've got a lot of responsibility on your hands now, something that, not being a Marine, I'm not sure you've experienced much of ;)

    But again, with 'Big' Just Jack having made it through the real thing, 'Little' Just Jack better not get whacked!

    Now for your critique:

    1) the bamboo looks great, but their ain't no damn bamboo in Iraq!

    2) It's the Navy Cross, not the Distinguished Service Cross!

    3) Little Just Jack obviously should have received the Navy Cross (his first of what I presume will be many), but I can't complain about the BS/V, it beats a NMCAM ;)

    4) Why is everyone but the Doc in their green MOP suits (Saratogas, actually)?

    In all seriousness, a great fight again Joe, with great looking troops and terrain, lots of fun, and I look forward to seeing more. You'd better stay with this one for a bit!


  2. Jack,
    Thanks. Knew I would make you more famous than you already are!
    1) Wanted to use the bamboo I made and didn't want to use my FFL. That 40 yards of Iraq is very moist; of course it grows there!
    2) I forgot and stand corrected. thanks
    4) This is my generic modern US force. I have a squad decked out in desert cammo and your folks in forest cammo but wanted everyone uniform. Only have 1 medic figure and he came painted. Planned to paint over him but the paint job was so nice I could not bring myself to do it.

  3. Joe,

    Not had to make me more famous buddy ;)

    Anyway, you're right, I was in the Sunni Triangle, plenty of water and green, lots of canals, I'm sure there was bamboo in there somewhere! ;) Like I said, the bamboo looks fantastic, how did you do that?

    I can't believe you downgraded my Navy Cross, then further got it bumped down to a BS/V. I think the battalion commander, Lt Col Legan, might get fragged ;)

    Great fight, now just do me a favor and don't change up, we need to see more Marines!


    1. Oh, and Betts should probably be a Lance Corporal (E-3), not a PFC (E-2). L/Cpl is the most common rank in the Marines, and the platoon would have plenty of them, so that if Betts was a PFC they'd move in a senior L/Cpl to run the team if there weren't enough Corporals.

      It's 'gyrenes,' not 'gyrines.' And while the Marines in OIF I wore Woodland camo MOPP suits, their helmet covers were still desert tri-color.

      See there, I can be your technical advisor ;) And just screwing around, nothing serious here, I was just enjoying the fight with another read through.

      I do like "Lt Declines." Maybe the OpsO is "Major Dangertohimself"? ;)


  4. Roger, will change Betts to Lance Cpl. I stand corrected with gyrenes. I didn't know Marines knew how to spell!

    1. Yep, not uncommon for senior Lance Corporals to run fireteams. Hell, you can read about actions in Vietnam where Lance Corporals were running squads and PFCs fireteams!

      "I didn't know Marines knew how to spell!"
      Only manly stuff ;)


  5. Setting up a Hammer Dawn battle in Estonia. Should be fun.


    1. I like it, but damn you, you were supposed to stay in Iraq.