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.




  1. Joe,

    Great fight on a great table, with great looking toys! After seeing your bamboo, I just had to go out and get me some from Jimmi at Flashpoint, now I just need to get it on the table.

    And bad luck with leadership in the platoon, eh? Sounds like typical Army s@$&bags to me ;) And I’d smack ya for all the self-congratulation regarding Platoon Forward... But those are actually pretty well deserved ;)

    Anyway, looking forward to more. So hurry up, and be quick about it!


  2. Next time call in some "Snake & Nape" - great special effects!


  3. Jack,
    Thanks. Yes you need Bamboo- particularly in Iraq if you remember our conversation. I know about the self congratulation thing- I hope it didn't sound too much like an infomercial. I just really enjoyed the scenario and was pleased that it showed the flexibility in design ( which is the whole intent of toolbox stuff)2 years later. I do wonder if GF is overpriced at $5. It is less than a movie ticket but maybe the price should be $4.
    If I called in that just light a match to the board and call it a day!
    Thanks to you both

  4. Great game. A bit eerked that Tango pulled out, trusting it was out of range so they could return after the mission for Evac. Still, the troops could have used the fire support.
    In dollars n cents, Oh yea, .77 cents, is a whole lot better than $29. I can appreciate the cost of molding etc. but theres a point where you have to 'draw the line'. I.e.,
    "I cant justify that cost, not within my budget."

    Your games Always look great, Ive been keeping a 'now n then' ck on your blog. Enjoyed them all.
    Jack (no Im not 'Just Jack')

    1. Jack,
      Thanks for the post! I realized you aren't "Just Jack" as your sentences are too complex for a marine. In my reading the Tango's normally withdrew so I dice each turn.
      I hear you about cost. I guess that was "my line".
      Thanks again!