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, May 30, 2018

Review of WG Marder and Soviet stuff

If you read my last update you know I realized I had a dearth of modern Soviet equipment and had only 1 Marder for my West German PanzerGrenadiers. So I have been busy and thought I would share my thoughts on the products.  These are my personal views and your mileage may vary.

First up I bought some 1970s Khurasian Soviet infantry off TMP for a pretty good price.  I really like their ancients stuff so had high expectations for these.  To be honest I was a little disappointed.  They aren't bad, I was just expecting really great stuff.  They are thin like QRF but they are tall so if I put them on pennies I think they still won't blend in.  ( QRF blend in okay if mounted on pennies to Battlefront figures.)  Their faces are better than QRF and the uniforms have better detail as well.  There is a nice mix of poses and equipment including sniper rifles and actual general purpose MGs in the prone position which I like.  I will certainly use some of these but will probably save most of them for either Warsaw Pact or African armies where I won't mix them with Battlefront.

2 Soviet NCOs  Khurasian on the left and Battlefront on the Right.  The BF guy looks like a real porker!

Another view of Khurasian Soviets

Next up Old Glory BDRM scout car.    I like Old Glory stuff.  It is easy to build and looks good.  My main gripe is you have to buy 3.  If you need three it works out great.

No directions but I think I can handle this one!

I really like that the wheels are casted on the body.  I find this is the weak point for most models and I have trouble making the wheels straight.  Thank you!

Okay, so I needed to enlarge the opening a bit.  For those of you that are surgeons and  work in the Operating Room I used a straight Metz.

Finished product!

  Next up QRFs T-80.  I like QRF's stuff.  It is basic, inexpensive and you can buy models individually.  A boon to the skirmish gamer.
All the stuff.   No directions as usual but pretty straightforward to assemble.  I sometimes have trouble with QRF's tracks as I find it hard to keep them perpendicular to the body but there is a reasonable groove in this model so it is pretty easy.

I did need to hollow out the female end of the turret where the gun barrel attached ( Surgeons use an 11 blade but don't break off the tip!  If you do though it will be easy to find and you won't need an x-ray.) but once glued and set aside it did fine.

Finished model; nice!   One extra note- most QRF models don't come with MGs; this one did.

Next is the QRF Shilka. 

 Lots of pieces for this one.  Directions would have been helpful.  There are also 2 chairs that I still don't know what to do with.  Those go in the bits box!

Somehow that is suppose to become the main gun battery.    After looking at the real thing I think I figured it out.
Final model looks really good.  Used a soviet airplane decal from I-94.

This side is the " I have been in Afghanistan a while and could use some loving" side.

I rarely use modeling paints for my models as they are expensive.  For these I used

Here is the trio on the way to Hamburg!

Last up is the QRF Marder  This one I struggled with.
First the gun is (realistically) extremely thin. On one of my two models it came very bent.

After straightening.   I knew it would break but couldn't live with it like that.

Yep it broke!    Fortunately I was able to glue it back on.    Also the side skirts didn't fit on the model well at all. Finally the gun has a male end that is suppose to fit into the turret female end.
This is the female end.  I had to reconstruct it using a drill and for you surgeons Iris scissors.   After all that work the model came together.  The tracks were hard to get straight and the skirts still don't fit right.  Old Glory and Khurasian don't make a Marder.  Battlefront does but you have to buy a set of 4 or 5 I think.  If you need a couple and you don't like to be an expert modeler I would consider buying the Battlefront ones.  You will also get german decals.  I bought WW I german decals from I-94.

The finals models did come out looking nice.  Infantry are Battlefront.

More pictures.  I must have got air under the decal.

Last picture.

Hope you enjoyed my reviews.  I will be happy to answer any questions.    Hopefully this weekend my Germans will face off against some Russian armor!




Friday, May 25, 2018

Fulda gap 1986 Vehicle heavy FOF

This is memorial day weekend in the US.  Please remember our veterans and their families as well as those actively serving.
So I have been exploring FoF solitaire lately.  I like the fast pace put still think the sweat spot is 2 squads plus some vehicles.  What would happen if I went vehicle heavy?  Would it slow down?  The vehicle resolution is faster than infantry.    So how about a Soviet attack into Northern Germany?  I thought how about a Soviet tank platoon and infantry platoon attacking a West German platoon plus a Leopard?  Well I found out I have been tardy on my building and painting!  I only have 2 T-72s.  I have 3 BMPs but only enough soldiers for 2 squads.  I only have 1 Marder painted up!  How embarrassing.  So change of plans; Soviet forces pushing through the Fulda gap with the Soviets filled out by a couple of proxies.
I rolled up the board using Platoon Forward otherwise this was straight out of my head.

Soviets enter from the left.  They have one BDRM I found painted up as well as I airstrike.  US has 2 mech infantry squads plus 1 Abrams.

BDRM spots the Abrams down the road ( each hex 40 yards) and executes a hard right behind the sign. 

T-72s move up; a squad of infantry deploys into the woods across the street to clear any dragon teams and we pray for Soviet aviation!

Soviet aviation comes through!   Vodka after this mission Boris! 

With the threat removed the T-72s start to move only to run into TOW slinging Bradleys.  I really like the Platoon rules the Soviets have to operate under.  Restrictive and overkill.

With no smoke and time a wasting a good ol fashion charge is in order! ( The tank in the middle is a T-72 even though it looks like a PT-76.  That was a disguise that didn't fool anyone! 

The BMPs both make it to the left side of the board as their 30mm cannons managed to suppress dragon gunners. 

As the Soviet infantry prepares to take the stone cottage the T-72 destroys both Bradleys!  ( Somewhat embarrassing) 

With half the fireteam wounded the US pulls back from the house to the hill.  It is not looking good.

With the house secure, the Russian LT prepares to assault the hill. 
At this point the US officer, with all vehicles destroyed, and outnumbered in infantry two to one withdraws.

Russian T-72 ( QRF) showing off!

Great game that did not bog down at all.  Clearly vehicle heavy FoF plays well solitaire.   If I play this battle again I will give the US a Cobra helo around turn 4.  Of course then I have to paint up my russian Shika!