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 14, 2019

Tanks: The Modern Age and tordepoes for Cruel Seas

Have been playtesting my rules for Cruel Seas and some of my rules for Flotilla Forward.  On friday wanted to get my german minesweeper on the board so tested my torpedo rules.  Not much of a report so thought I would finally post my thoughts on Tanks: The Modern Age as well. 
Sorry forgot to right the picture before I loaded it but you get the idea.

Received this game for Christmas.  Have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It comes with three models which pays for itself right there plus 6 soviet and 6 US dice.  ( mine didn't have the dice but battlefront said they sent them on friday.)  I thought it would only have cards for the 2 tanks but it actually has the base cards for all the vehicles in the game.  Pretty cool since I have all the models already.  It doesn't have all the upgrades, you need the vehicle packs for those but still does give the game more legs than I thought.  How does it play?  If you have played X-wing you get the idea.  If you can suspend your idea that an anti tank missile hitting a tank does 3 points of damage instead of blowing it up then it is a highly enjoyable game.
While What a Tanker is a dice management game Tanks is a game about picking your platoon then maneuvering your forces.    [ Currently you can't play What a tanker with modern tanks.  Rich said they would include my Cold War Tanker  in the last special but they didn't for some reason.]  Both are fun but certainly different.

Played on a 3x3 foot table.  Also on display are the ruined chimneys I received for Christmas. 

2 tanks and a hind looking for trouble.

2 Leopard IIs and a Marder.  The base marder doesn't carry Milans so this one didn't because of point limits.  It would be easy enough to figure out the upgrade though.  It was there for anti helicopter defense.  There is no infantry in Tanks.  Again easy enough to figure out if you wanted to though it would slow the game down. 

The russian tank takes 3 points of damage and a critical hit.  ( every 6 rolled causes a critical.)

The Leopards advance.  1 Russian tank decides to flank.

The battle heats up as the hind hides behind a chimney.

Flanking position achieved!


Soviet die rolling is abysmal all game

The 2 Leopards go to work on the remaining russian tank while the Hind goes toe to toe with the Marder. 

The Hind rolls terrible ( probably too much pre flight vodka!) so the russian tank solves the Marder problem himself while using the chinmey as a block to the Leopards!  Tanks move very short distances so cover is key unlike X wing.  ( 2 hexes in this game.)

The Hind sobers up enough to return the favor and takes out a Leopard.  ( house rule helicopters always shoot at the flanks to represent top armor. )

So what looked like a blow out by the Germans turns out to be  drunk Hind against Leo II.  Hind already severely damaged but Leo only has HMG to fight with.  ( Hind apparently has unlimited AT missiles.  Might need a house rule here.) The rules say play for 30 minutes and it had been 40 so I let each have one shot and they both missed.  Draw game but the German is holding the ground.

Very fun game if you view it as a game with modern armor overtones.  Plays quick and has strategy.  I like that you get base cards for all the vehicles including the West Germans and helicopters.  For me I see this as a perfect game with my son or after a FoF game played real fast and I have the board set up with extra time on my hands.  With the models, dice and cards well worth the money.

Now to pivot to Cruel seas.

Main reason to play was to get this beauty on the board!  Slowly my modeling skills are improving.  The figures look better.  The flags look better and the dirt looks better. 

I am use to 15mm where close ups look great.  The ship actually looks better than this picture! 

So   1940 and the German is laying mines in the English shipping lane.  ( I don't know why there is only 1 minesweeper- just go with the story!)

Visibility 1 mile.   I forgot to roll for sea state.  3 MTBs to the rescue.  ( I made the later Vospers into MGBs but for our purposes today it is an early MTB.)

Also got to try out my FOW cards for the first time.  2 were drawn during the game.  The very first one drawn ever was...

Rain squall coming in from the north. 

Torpedo away!  ( Need to paint up some more torpedo markers.)    It missed

Blimey we both missed!  Now run for that rain squall coming towards us.  That minesweeper actually has 4 inch guns despite what the card says!

This vosper found out about the 4 inch guns as it was hit.  ( I give 4 in guns -1 to hit a small craft as they were hard to train.)   27 points of damage later it decided to fire its torpedoes while it was still afloat.  Of course a stern shot missed. 

Great playtest.  I like my torpedo rules and my FOW cards.  The whole thing took 20 minutes.  I am currently writing up my house rules entitled Crueler Seas.  Look for then shortly. 





Sunday, January 6, 2019

OLTzS Schwartzmann's big night

Happy New Year!  Had some time off with family so gaming was intermediate at best.  Hope everyone had a great holiday season.  Was blessed to get some 1/300 scale ships for Cruel Seas, Tanks the Modern Game and some terrain pieces from Battlefront.  I played Tanks and was surprised that it included  the base cards for all the vehicles, not just the M1 and T-64.  Will review that at a later date. 
For today will continue with Cruel Seas, Flotilla Forward and my new 1/300 ships.  I am still enamored with Cruel Seas and most of my changes to the rules.  I think I have the damage model down, still playing with iniative, have just added FOW cards and am 80% there with critical hits.  With FF just need to playtest the scenarios.   I love the scale of the ships and they work fine on the table; not too big.  Think I will keep my 1/1250 DDs though in case I want to run destroyer battles in the slot.   
So today we played "patrol" with my S boat squadron while I paint up some more ships.  Patrol in the channel was a bit unusual but is fun to play as it is essentially an encounter where you are not trying to avoid or protect anything. 

After some adjustments to the engines of his boat Schwartzman needed to test it out to make sure it would work fine when he needed it.  As commander of the element of 6 boats he had the latitude to decide he was going for a cruise tonight.  He needed a wingman so he took Rudorffer.   He was a reasonable fellow and it paid to keep on his good side since his uncle was some muckity muck in the Nazi party. 

Mission:  Patrol
Visability   2200 yards
Sea  Beaufort 2

OLtzS Klaus Schwartzmann  fanatic/ wealth         gunnery ace 
LtzS    Rudorffer               naive/ revenge          politically connected

Our Hero's boat.    2 20mms like the majority of S-38s in 1940. 

4 miles off the coast Schwartzmann sees a small MTB 1700 yards ahead to port.  He orders echelon left and opens fire with his front 20mm. 

Klaus only sees the port MTB. 

The surprised MGB is in trouble with an engine hit.  { I don't use the  plume rule in the rules.
the splashes are there for color.}

Rudorffer's guns join in and finish the job!  

At this point Schwartzmann's is fired at by several other MTBs and a swirling battle ensures. 

The British are outgunned but determined. 

Suddenly a flash of flame shoots up on one of the MTBs.   [ A torpedo exploded]

She manages to make her way south under the cover of smoke.  [ 2 hit points left.]

After about 15 minutes of battle Schwartzman is content to let the last MTB escape as he also wants to be back in port before dawn.  He gives the MTB a parting shot with his guns at 200 yards. 

Was ist los? [What is this?]   A fire has broken out!  We can't let you leave now my friend...

The british captain [ interesting that we call a 23 yo LT "captain" but he certainly had a weighty decision] had a difficult decision to make.  Slow his boat down to fight the fire [ not guaranteed in my rules] or run it and have his boat slowly consumed in flames.  He decided to run it while making smoke but after 5 minutes it was clear the fire was going to win.  Realizing what would happen he slowed his boat...

OLTzur See Schwartzman chased the MTB for 5 minutes gaining ground as the British tried to fight the blaze enveloping their ship.  As he pulled to within a 100 yards he hailed to the British to surrender.  Much to his amazement they declined his offer but did request a fire extinguisher.  [ For those of you familiar with my rules I used the AKOT and set the odds at very unlikely as the British had 7 hps left.] 
" The British are so stupid" thought Schwartzmann.   Fire! he told his crew.  All guns barked as the ship was further shredded.  [ now the odds became very likely1]  

The british officer waved a white piece of cloth so Schwartzman moved up to the bow and took the British survivors off not without some risk to himself.      It had been quite an evening!

Great battle with a surprising ending.   The whole thing took just over and hour.    Post battle the element's rep doesn't go up. [ bad roll] but Klaus' ship advances to veteran status!  Also Fregattkapatian Froshler promises Klaus extra support for his next mission.  Guess I need to get some more ships painted up!