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, July 31, 2018

Brown Water Navy sweeps a villiage; Rung Sat 1967

Wanted to get my brown water navy into action and finally got a chance this weekend.  Have to say it was great fun and I was able to really enjoy the efforts I have put into the various aspects of the hobby that allow me to play a game.  When you are able to sit back and rest on your laurels for a minute.  What the Italians call "Dolce Vita"; the sweat life.   I was able to really enjoy:
1. The rules I use to drive the action.  I use a combination of Force on Force and Combat Patrol with a couple of house rules thrown in. I like the flow and pace of the game with the decisions I have to make.
2. The campaign rules Platoon Forward/Grunt Forward. Many of you know I wrote these for my personal use and then my brother encouraged me to get them published.  I played the scenario Village sweep which I worked on forever to get the right feel of searching a village but coming into contact with something to ensure a fun game that wasn't just a meeting engagement.  When I wrote this up I hadn't even considered using boats but it worked well.  The only tweak I made was I added 2 "B"s and one was automatically a 75mm recoiless rifle.
3. The models themselves.  I made the leap to miniatures from boardgames in 2006.  I think my modeling skills have continued to improve to where I put on a decent table now.  The board looks cool. 

The US Task Force really got up and running early in 1967 and started out with several sweeps of the Rung Sat area using ARVN troops to help act as blocks.  The scenario replicates one of those sweeps.  I haven't rolled up a platoon yet and I am glad I hadn't.  Ever leader I rolled up was a poor one except one ASL!  Yikes.  I guess this is their first time in combat.

US forces     8/8

1 LT and medic
2 10 man squads that are each a man short.  These can break into fireteams.
1 Monitor and 1 Tango
1 Huey hog on call
2 ARVN ACAVs (6/6) enter from north on turn 4.  They will not enter the village as they are they to seal off the village only.

An isolated village in Rung Sat.   Check out my homemade rivers!   

The monitor leads the way!

Tango bringing in the troops!

Another view of the monitor.  It just looks cool!

Several VC lurk in the bamboo. 

My "free" recoiless rifle decides to fire at the monitor.  It misses!

The monitor fires back with MGs, 40mm cannon and a medium mortar.  It doesn't miss.  However, since the VC are in foxholes there are no casualties but they are suppressed. 

The tango unloads troops.  1st squad breaks left and 2nd squad is to go up the middle.  Speed is important as 4 sites must be searched before Charlie moves the goods.

1st squad, supported by the monitor does well and captures the recoiless rifle!

2nd squad has 3 casualties and quickly becomes pinned.  Leadership matters and there is a dearth of it in the platoon!  The Tango has left by now as 2nd squad hugs the shore.

ARVN shows up to seal the back of the village.

ARVN isn't the only one to get reinforcements.  There must be something in the village as NVA uniforms are seen advancing. 

1st Squad moves north along the tributary searching near the boats and finds nothing but advancing NVA soldiers!  It quickly becomes a stalemate.as the NVA takes positions in the jungle.

The LT knows he is losing to the clock.  He calls in the Hog and rallies 2nd squad.    He tells the chopper to fire at the biggest building in town.

The Hog complies!   3 VC KIA.     ( The black marker means it is one of the 4 sites that has to be searched.)

Meanwhile, Charlie takes pot shots at the ACAVs.  They all miss but so do the ACAVs!

With the main building destroyed, second squad is finally able to move up and conduct a search; nothing. 

With only 2 of the 4 sites searched, porters have moved what needs to be moved.  Their job done, the VC commander signals his survivors to withdraw westward into the swamps. 

Great battle!  I was wondering when I started how the US could possible lose given all their firepower.  Granted I did roll "heavy" for the communist forces but they only had 30 troops compared to 19 US.  And the US had the monitor, Tango, Huey and ACAVs.  The VC had the rifle and 2 RPGs; not even a LMG.  The VC stayed quiet unless they had a good shot and prevented the US from advancing which is what the US had to do to win.  As I said, great scenario if I must say so myself. 

The other thing I was chuffed about is my homemade river.  Now I love Wargamer's Terrain and have a lot of his stuff.  I just couldn't see spending $29 per section of river for a 6 inch wide section.  My sections are about 7 inches wide and cost me 77 cents a piece plus the paint which I already had.  Do they look half as good as his stuff?  No, but they didn't cost me close to half as much!

Next I have to paint up some PBRs.



Monday, July 9, 2018

Brown water Navy

Pretty busy here painting ARVN armor and boats for my Brown water Navy; both courtesy of Combat Colours who sold me a bunch of stuff low enough that I couldn't refuse.  I have also playtested my final battle of my Kolweski campaign for Legion Forward so have to finish writing that up.  Did run a quick battle with my Tango boat from Gomi supported by my Battlefront Alpha.  It was fun and gave me a feel for the Riverine rules in Ambush Valley.  There are no rules for mines so will have to modify the rules from Charlie Don't Surf.
My Brown Water Navy now consisted of:
Alpha Boat plus two PBRs ( haven't painted those up yet)
2 Tangos from Gomi. ( one painted.  The other I think I will make French.)
1 Monitor from Gomi.
1 PBR from Peter Pig.  ( This one will probably end up French or Vietnamese.)

The Mekong river along My Tho.  Okay, I know I have to get a bigger river now!

My Alpha boat looking for trouble.

My Tango boat hoping to avoid trouble.   Decals are from the Battlefront Alpha boat!  Flag is scratch.
Gun barrels are toothpicks.  

The Tango unloads 2 squads.

Infantry carries the day against an LMG

This is NOT a Karstadt building under VC control.

US troops swing through a prayer garden...

Gomi Monitor done.  Figures and mortar are from battlefront as are decals.

Kit does come with a 81mm mortar but it looked really small.  A battlefront 4.2 looked bigger!

Board for the final battle in Kowleski.  Clearing the shanty town.

Gas station in town

FFL storming the church to save hostages.   They were too late.

Hope you enjoyed the photos.