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.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Flotilla Forward scenario playtest; Convoy Intercept

Greetings.    From the jungles of Africa to the dutch coast I continue to wander with my gaming.  Been reading Night Action  which is a fantastic book as the author tells it like it is with mistakes and doubt.  As stated previously Flotilla Forward is done except for the scenarios.  I hadn't figured out how to do the blinds.  Then I had a flash of brilliance or gas I wasn't sure which.  To sort it out I set up and played the hardest scenario to balance; Convoy Intercept.  The reason this scenario has given me fits is you need the defender to place his escorts in a reasonable formation around the convoy.  Too many dummy's rolled and the defense isn't realistic.  No uncertainty and it is less fun rolling in the dark.  

English Channel
Visibility 1 mile [ using crueler seas spotting rules]
Wind Beaufort 3

2 Dogboats approach the Sea lane where a convoy was spotted early in the day by naval aircraft.  As I was working on the scenario I didn't roll up the characters.  1 boat is veteran and 1 average.  They get 1 bonus die for initiative. 

Veteran Dogboat commanded by Lt Nicholas Nickleby. RNR
The dogboats are at slow speed when the look out notices A small escort off to port about 1 mile ahead.  Nicholas orders slight increase in speed.  He plans to parallel the convoy, get ahead and move in. 

The german R boat.  50% chance of an inexperienced crew but these guys are average.  Unfortunately they are either asleep or looking forward as they don't see the dogboats. 

I had 3 FOW events during the game.  [ These are part of FF]  Those of you familiar with my other forward games know what independent action is.  Nicholas was the leader and therefore was immune. 

The dogboats make their turn.  At this point they are spotted by the Germans.  [ each hex 100 yards]

The lead VP boat sees the firering and moves to lend a hand.  It spots the dogboats and turns into...

A german minesweeper!  Nicholas didn't see that coming.  My new system maintains several surprises. But so far the convoy defense makes sense.

     The Raum boat takes damage as she lays a smoke screen. 

The dogboats maintain speed and trade shots with the Raum.  The lighter guns on the minesweeper find the other dogboat however. 

Another shot of the action...

Not Good!    The forward turret is taken out of Saunder's boat.  Leading Seaman Wicks is KIA. 

Formation broken as the minesweeper passes between the Fairmiles.  Nicholas circles to starboard making smoke hoping to make one pass at the convoy.  Lt Saunders, boat heavily damaged, turns also and attempts to disengage.  [ The raum boat's smoke making equipment was taken out by Saunders gunnery.]

Saunders boat continues to be pummeled by the MS.  His 6 pounder does damage the engines on his nemesis however.  But amidst the smoke and tracers Sydney Higgins Calls out to Lt Nickelby, "Co I see her sir.  Tanker dead ahead!" 

Nicholas lines up his shot... [ here I switched to each hex is now 50 yards]  he boats begins to take damage and multiple ships fire at him.  Will he make it to fire????

Torpedoes away...!
Hit the throttles and hard to starboard.

The target

The fish are undetected...

As the crew race away they are rewarded by a huge explosion!

Nicholas' team race away to the rally point.
Unfortunately Saunders doesn't show.   As this is not an ongoing campaign I ended it there.  In a campaign you could have sailed back to look checking to see if Jerry was still around or just rolled for the fate of Lt Saunder's crew. 

Exciting game that had the brits a little overmatched.  I liked my new system for the unknown  enemy.  I have sent it out to for additional playtesting and will now start to formally write all this up.



Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sgt Bomba meets Britney Shields

My French Foreign Legion in Africa is set in the 1990s. They have been in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Ivory Coast.  These are obviously not imaginary countries and the Legion has intervened multiple times over the years.  The real FFL has intervened in Africa 30+ times since 1945.  Plenty of fodder for scenarios.    That said, I am not a slave to history as this scenario will demonstrate.

This scenario is a modification of the Grunts Forward scenario "One of our Planes is Missing"  It is designed for 3 or 4 players.  I just felt like getting a lot of toys on the table.  I rolled up the talbe as per PF but did not roll for forces.

The latest teen pop star to take Europe by storm, Britney Shields is visiting The Ivory Coast to raise public awareness of the terrible human rights violations going on by both the government troops and the rebel forces.  Rebel forces took to the streets 4 weeks ago after elections results showed a landslide victory for the current president.  Government forces loyal to the president have been fighting in the streets. 2 weeks ago France responded while the UN dithered by sending in troops to “calm” the situation and restore order before Europeans (and financial interests) got hurt.   

French briefing

You are Sgt Bomba of the French Foreign Legion and arrived in country as the tip of that spear.  There has been minor skirmishing with primarily rebel troops but your presence does seem to have calmed things. Today you are the Company's rapid reaction.  You are called into the company commander’s office.  He launches right in.  “ You heard about that pop singer touring here?  Well her helicopter just went down.  Can you believe that!?  Take your squad and go get her before someone else finds her!  The rest of your platoon will crank up shortly.  

Sgt Bomba  Moroccan romeo run out of town so joined the FFL
                     Cheery/ Hedonism                                       Avg ldr
 Cpl Collins  English Cambridge grad who got bored
                      Obnoxious/ Hedonism                                Avg Ldr
1 Squad     with good training and morale  10/10 for FOF with APC

Cpl Howell   attached Milan team.  ( from my last scenario.  You don't need to add)

Private Military Contractor briefing
You are Iron Mike Hennessy formerly of the US special forces.  You have a great gig now with better pay, food and all you have to do is baby sit some teenager and keep goons from handling her.  You are with two other professionals, Gus and Fast Freddie.  When the pilot orders everyone to assume crash positions you realize your day is going to get a lot harder…
3 Operators armed with rifles, body armor and grenades.  Elite troops.  For Force on Force use 10/12 for Iron Mike and 10/10 for Gus and Freddie.  One “pop star” unarmed. She will defend herself in hand to hand using a D6 and needing a "5".    The pilots died of embarrassment in the crash.

The Army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
You are Lt Chiraf of your country’s army.  A French VIPs helicopter has crashed.  She will make an excellent bargaining chip for your negotiations with the French.  Secure the crash site and take her into “protective” custody.  This is an opportunity from heaven; don’t let anyone stand in our way!
2 BTR 70s each with. a 10 man squad consisting of 1 NCO, 1 RPG, 1 LMG team and 7 rifles with Grenades.  No body armor.     They are poorly trained with average morale.  For Force on force use 6/8 confident.

Workers for a Free Congo.
You are Jean Claude.  You have had enough of the charade that passes for democracy in your country. How can the president win with 110% of the vote!  You and your brothers have taken to the streets so that justice will prevail.  That hot  singer’s helicopter has crashed.! As an entertainer you know she is liberal and would side with your cause.  You must meet her and introduce her to your struggle!  This is an opportunity for the revolution too good to pass up.
2 “squads” consisting of an NCO, 1 LMG team, 2 RPG and 8 rifles.  No grenades or body armor.  1 technical mounting a heavy Machine gun.   .  This force is poorly trained but highly motivated by their cause.  For Force on Force use 6/10 confident.

Satellite view of crash site 
French enter from left 
Rebels from top
Government from bottom
Roll for turn of entry

Britney climbs out of the helo as the contractors secure the area.
Jean Claude enters with his mates.

Lt Chirac debusses.  He sends the other APC directly to the crash site.

Iron Mike holds off the rebels with a little help from the Government.  ( They are here to help!)

Rebel fire pins the contractors and messes up Britney's hair! 

The rebels are also pinned and fall back!

Sgt Bomba riding to the rescue!

Unfortunately a lucky RPG round immobilizes the french APC.   This just got a lot harder!

Lt Chirac, having slowed the french, moves in to mop up some rebels.

The other government squad, being covered by the APC charges to free Britney from the contractors.

I really enjoy the assault sequence in FOF.  It shows the morale and training of troops normally...

unless your elite troops CONSISTENTLY ROLL "1s" AND "2s"!  Then they are wiped out by 7 government troops and Britney is captured.  Poor Iron Mike. 

Just to really frustrate me, the french APC blows up; seriously I need new dice! 
[ Sgt Bomba had moved towards the crash site with half the squad. Cpl Collins was in the APC firering through the ports at Lt Chirac.   Cpl Howell had climbed a hill with his Milan but the APCs were all too close to fire.  ]

Sgt Bomba near the crash site.  The trip across open ground cost 1 KIA and 1 seriously wounded.

The rebels have rallied and are charging as the Government troops load Britney in the APC.  There is a slight delay as she signs a T-shirt for a Cpl but they make it. 

Mid game        FOW event raises the french morale to 12.  Cpl Howell on the hill bottom left.  Cpl Collins behind wrecked APC.  Ready to move to Sgt Bomba who is at the small factory bottom right.  Rebels at helo crash site and on hill top center.  Government at crash site and center of board. 

Cpl Collins moves towards the factory.

Cpl Howell sets his sites on the APC at the crash site...

Hope Britney survives...

She does!   The french and government troops work at beating back the rebels.  Sgt Bomba doesn't want to fire at the troops holding Britney for fear of hitting her.  [ Never mind Howell just blew up the vehicle she was in]

Hold your fire!

Leaving 1 man back with the casualties Sgt Bomba orders an assault!

The 3 guards are taken by surprise and Bomba's men don't roll any "1s".  The french win quickly without losing anyone.  

Of course now they are in the open and every african gun open's up on them!

Britney and 1 legionnaire go down.     Merde!     Bomba carries the singer towards an outbuilding near the factory. 

Mercifully both of them have only scratches.  Here is where they will make their stand.  Sgt Bomba calls for air support but the range of the portable radio isn't strong enough to be heard.  [ FOW event canceling air support.]

Things are looking grim for our heros.  The troops on the left actually charge but accurate gunfire breaks them before they enter the building. 

As Bomba is discussing with "college boy" Collins what to do about the APC the government troops withdraw amid firing from the nearby hill.  

A cheer goes up from the trapped legionaries as they see...

Sgt Barrie and Lt Lorray show up in the nick of time! 

Great game that played a little long given the large number of forces on the table.  I can't believe how poorly the contractors did.  It was really exciting and I didn't know if Bomba was going to pull this one off or not.

Post game  Sgt Bomba is awarded the Croix de Guerre with gold star. [ Only the 3rd medal every awarded in all my games.  Thanks Brian for writing that section in Grunts Forward!]  Not bad for a punk kid from Morocco. Also the squads morale raises by 1.

Hope you all enjoyed somehting a little different.  I did.