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, December 12, 2019

Rear guard action with Sgt Jackson and the Pathfinders 1986

Am painting up a Flower class corvette for Cruel Seas so got another small skirmish in last week.  This time decided to use my Pathfinders from southern Germany.  This is only their second mission.  Their first mission is chronicled on my May 15th post.   Read it, I'll wait.      Good your back.  So rolled up a defensive mission and got "Rear Guard".  Cool, very Fulda Gap stuff.
Lt Fitzworth                                                                                  Avg
Sgt Hanks    1st squad                                                                  Avg
Sgt Jackson 2nd squad        pragmatic/wealth                          Good
1st FT  (dragon) Cpl Hanks  Generous/wealth  +1                  Good
2nd FT (LMG)  Cpl Reyes   Haughty/ Hedonism                   poor

They had been pulled off the line the second day to restock and rest.  It snowed that night.  The next day the Russian sledghammer they had been warned about hit and the front was breaking open.  The LT said they were to advance to a position 5 klicks west of Mittlekoph and hold the road open for retreating troops.  Jackson didn't like the sound of that.

US sets up middle and to the left.  Russians expected from the right.  Lt puts Jackson into the farm, center.  1st squad dragon on hill bottom left and LMG with platoon HQ in building bottom .  

Defenses set up.    Also 1 M901 behind hill.

Sgt Jackson puts Cpl Hanks with dragon behind fence and Cpl Reyes up in loft of barn.  Both looking down the road.  He hopes Hank's missiles do a better job today. 

Engines heard coming down the road!

Beat up US vehicles coming down the road.  In this variant if 2 of these vehicles are KOed the US loses. 

Russians split their forces with several taking the high ground and 4 blinds circling to take a side road in 4 turns. 

Interesting.  A scout car and squad chasing the US while a tank looks for a firing position.  Didn't see that coming. 

Sgt Jackson's swears.  After they see the line of US vehciles he sees a russian scout car machine gunning a humvee.  The Bradley turns it's turret but clearly it just wants to keep moving.  The range is too short for the dragon so Hanks is going to have to use Laws.  Each FT has 3.  Meanwhile off to his right he hears a dragon fire and sees a russki tank fire into Sgt Hank's position. 

The Humvees continue their trek as the 901 fires at the T-72.

A hit disables the tank before it can fire.  With their gun damaged the tankers retreat. 

Hanks takes care of the scout car but now those 4 blinds coming in by the side road turn into the rest of the soviet platoon plus another scout car!  Sgt Jackson, seeing the new threat from the barn loft, moves Cpl Reyes down to the wall facing the LT.

Meanwhile Cpl Hanks takes out the original BMP with his second Law.

2nd squad now in position to face it's new threat.  They can't get down the road! 

1st squad's  dragon finally scores a hit!  The survivors, caught in a crossfire between Reyes and Lt Fitzworth retreat quickly in poor order.

The last BMP makes a run for it and a Law from Cpl Reyes' FT stops it cold.  The survivors are chewed up until 2 actually surrender to Sgt Hanks.  Towards the top of the picture you can see the original russian squad is making a run for the barn.  Cpl Hank's fire doesn't stop these brave soldiers.

Sgt Jackson takes the FT and races for the fence.  He beats the Russian squad there and hand to hand breaks out.  Jackson dispatches 2 personally [ hero random event] and the Russians flee. 

Sgt Jackson and Cpl Reyes after the battle. 

Great game that was a definite win for the pathfinders.   Post battle 1st squad's Sgt Hanks leadership improves to "good".  Lt Fitzworth puts Sgt Jackson in for a Bronze Star for his defense of the farm but Capt Lee doesn't feel there is enough there to forward.  Finally there is a shortage of Laws so the squad only gets 2 for the next mission.  Then Sgt Jackson meets SSgt Alcantera of the battalion supply and manages to scrounge 2 more.





Friday, December 6, 2019

A meeting at the gas tanks with Sgt Jack

First things first; Cold war tanker has been released and is up at Wargame vault.  You can find it here:

Questions, comments ask here, TFL forum or the Miniatures page.

Now I was playing around with Cold War Tanker to take a break from all the naval games I have been playing,  I was trying to move it into the gulf war period.  I set up a simple meeting engagement with some gas tanks in the middle of the board.  I was not having much luck as the US forces rolled horribly every time.  In 4 games the Abrams tank never hit an Iraqi tank though most of the time he needed to roll a 5 or higher on 2 dice!   I decided to give up and play it out using FoF.  So unlike most of the times I post, this time I did not roll up the table, I did not roll up the opfor, I did not roll up the scenario using Platoon Forward.  All I did was drop my marine squad into this meeting engagement. 

Sgt Jack mulled the mission over in his mind.  Though the war was not about oil it seemed that way sometimes.  His squad was detached with an Abrams to go almost 90 degrees from the axis of advance to go and secure some gas tanks sitting along route 736 before they could be destroyed.  Resistance was suppose to be minimal.  Any problems call back for some air support the LT told him.  Well Jack thought, at least they had a tank up in front...

The gas tanks.     Republican guard 8/8 will enter from left, US 8/12 will enter from right.


Sgt "Just" Jack  mechanic before he enlisted     jovial/ position       good leader, squad morale 12 when he leads.
1st FT  Cpl "Koke" Kokistronovich  junior cart champion   addicted to thrills   poor leader  FT morale 10 when he leads
2nd FT  Cpl "Fast" Jones   orphaned, lived on ranch    inept   very religious     poor leader  morale 12 as FT hasn't figured out he is inept
3rd FT  Cpl Betts    city boy enlisted straight out of HS   fickle/hedonistic       avg leader    just promoted from within team and promoted to Cpl after last mission.

Squad is 2 men down from last mission.  

Where everybody meets. 

Close up.   Everyone is unbuttoned.  Iraqi tanks actually get the initiative and swing around and fire at the amtrac.  This panics the driver who guns the track away from the tanks.  [ This board is clearly anti US when it comes to die rolls!]

The Abrams destroys the BMP and swings around to face the T-72s.  ( You can see the amtrac fleeing in the background)

Meanwhile Sgt Jack has clamored up to the front and forced the driver to stop.  He dismounts the squad promising to deal with the young driver later.   He is 60 yards from the building he was hoping to occupy.  A quick sprint and they should be alright...

Nuts!    This is going to be harder than I had hoped.  He has Bett's FT and the trac lay down fire and he leads the rest of the squad forward towards the truck...

That actually worked!    No casualties.    Now you see why his squad will follow him anywhere.


The Iraqi tanks pull back from the US tank.  The Abrams creeps forward.  ( Yes Jack those are T-72s NOT T-55s.  Go with it!) 

Bang!      Now I know this board is rigged against US vehicles.   This is only the second time EVER I have had an abrams destroyed in combat in FoF.  The other time was by an aircraft. 

Back at the truck...

After trading shots with the Iraqis in the building Jack decides a charge is in order...

I really like the close combat mechanism in FoF plus the pinning mechanism of Combat Patrol.  As the marines charge the Iraqis do final fire.  Multiple marines ( including Jack) are pinned during the charge leaving only Koke and 2 others at the door.  They pass their morale check but Koke is not keen on entering the building with only 3 of them.  They scramble back behind the truck. 

3rd FT flanks the building and everyone starts trading shots.

All looks reasonable until...

The Iraqi tanks realize there are no other threats and start to shell Jack. 

Sgt Jack runs back to the trac to get some air power.  (That is right Jack, the US Air Force!!!!!)

US small arms fire is having an effect though.  Cpl Betts see Iraqi troops fleeing the back of the building.  ( Their officer and NCO were killed.)  The fireteam leaders hold a quick war council with Koke pushing to charge the building again as they can't stay in their current position.  As the decision is made Sgt Jack returns.  He agrees with the decision and the marines storm an empty building.  During the shelling they sustained 1 WIA.

In the building Jack looks out the window and sees...

This is followed by a huge explosion.    The other Iraqi tank flees but doesn't get far.   Sgt Jack's squad has accomplished their mission!

Great game that played in just over an hour.   Post mission clearly Jack's mentoring of Koke is paying off.  Unfortunately I miss leadership rolls for upgrading him to average and for the FT regaining trust in him. Betts is clearly solid and Jones' weakness has not stopped the squad.    2 replacments are found so the squad is back up to full strength.