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, January 30, 2020

The kicking mules in the Med. P-38s in Action

Been a while since I played any air games and actually got 2 in.  Before I begin the story of the Kicking mules will share a couple of pictures of several ship actions I have played.

Painted up 2 MGB dog boats I got for Christmas.  I put a 20mm midships instead of the Holamen projector.  

Here is Lt Poole taking fire.

Here is an Italian Scow I got from I-94 Enterprises.  Quick change of flag and it can be a russian, german or Swedish scow!

Lt Poole in the thick of it.

Lt Poole going Toe to Toe with a Raum boat.  I place my guns on magnets so they swivel. 

Okay, enough with Cruel Seas.  On to the Cruel Desert.    

The 95th Pursuit Squadron is fresh from the states and landed in Tunisia shortly after the troops did.  They are led by Maj Bunker who is obsessed with furthering his career.  While that is bad in many respects he has ensured they were well trained before they arrived and they have performed well so far.  They have only confirmed 3 kills but have only lost 2 planes and 1 pilot.  Their cool rating is at 1 so they have a minimal reputation but what little they have is positive.  The group commander, Col Green is an ace from the pacific and isn't particularly fond of Bunker who he has pegged [ correctly] as a yes man.    Currently Maj Bunker is stuck in the office with a head cold grounded by the flight surgeon, Doc McCormick.  This isn't all bad as it gives him more time to politic.  But it does mean that Capt "Zap" McGrudder will be leading the escort mission today.  Bunker reminds Zap that they have to do great on this mission today.  The boys on the ground are counting on them.  Zap, who is as gung ho as they come, buys it hook line and sinker.  

Mission:    Escort 6 P-39s on bombing mission of enemy HQ.  
Planes P-38 Js
Capt Zap McGrudder  Foolhardy/ govt              
wingman  2Lt Bill Wright  Coarse/ wealth    mustang up from the ranks

2Lt Chuck Carls Cheery/ hates germans   Veteran pilot with 2 kills   well liked in sq.  awaiting promotion
wingman 2Lt Glenn Schlick  cheap/wealth   not the most popular as he failed to cover Zap's tail once and Zap was shot down.   Zap refuses to have him as his wingman. 

The Kicking mules above the airacobras.    Sorry about the silver plane.  Magnet broke off my last green one as I placed it on the stand.  [ that is Schlick.]

Good news is I only roll up 4 enemy fighters.  Bad news they are Germans.  Worse news they are FW 190s including 1 ace! 

Unfortunately this gets bad rapidly.  Carls and Schlick get into trouble fast.  ( and Carls is our best pilot.)

Schlick climbs to shake the Jerry and Carls dives.  [ So much for teamwork] Carls can't shake his pursuer but...

He draws a bead on a FW 190 [green pilot] and is rewarded as the wing explodes and falls off for his third kill!  [ Carls is center of picture between 2 FW 190s.]  Unfortunately the FW 190 behind him finds the range and starts to chew off his tail.    He radios for help! 

Buzz tells Schlick he better get his butt down there or don't bother coming back.    Schlick responds promptly and helps Carls clear his tail.  2Lt Carls rudder is badly damaged and his ailerons are damaged as well.   He heads for home.  Buzz tells Schlick to get his a@@ back in the fight.

Meanwhile, the P-39s are badly scattered with 2 having to abort, one jettsoning bombs in self defense and one...

going down under the guns of a Luftwaffe ace. 
Buzz and Bill Wright do what they can but frankly they aren't too effective.  As a matter of fact towards the end of the battle...

A FW takes a low deflection shot at Bill Wrights plane and a fire breaks out!  Fortunately Bill bails out and is rescued by US troops. 


The target in the Dawn light.  

2 Airacobras manage to bomb it and miss.   They return to strafe and...

manage to destroy 1 88 AA gun.  Not the results we were hoping for! 

The final drama to play out is 2Lt Carls landing his damaged crate.  He is at -1 for un prepared strip and -2 for badly damaged aircraft.  0 for the P-38 as it isn't particularly hard to land and +1 as he is a veteran pilot.   I roll a "10" as he nails the landing and this popular pilot is home safe with his 3rd kill. 

Buzz and Carls are not happy with Schick but it goes no further than some words as he did come back and clear Carl's tail.  There is more skuttlebutt in the squadron but no more.  

I declared the mission a draw as we downed 1 and lost 1 but the mission did little damage.  It wasn't a loss because we were facing FW 190s.

Bunker is cleared for flying but Wright will miss the next mission.  In addition a pilot from group staff shows up with a plane to be added to our next mission.    Lots of drama with this group.

Before I go played a game of some hawks and Ploetz bombers bombing a tardy german minesweeper during the phoney war.  The Germans scramble some ME 109Ds.  Played with my dad.
Here are some pics.

Germans get good initial position per Squadron Forward. 

Hawks get left behind as Jerry closes in!

This guy actually aborted and flew home on 1 engine.

2 bombers make it to drop bombs

1 near miss which did little damage.    But we both had a great time!!!




  1. Aerial dog fight pictures are always confusing but it was an enjoyable read. I'm a WW1 plane fan, read too many Biggles books when I was younger and the planes look much more interesting:)

    Lt Poole looks like he was in the thick of it, are the splash markers resin or clump foilage? They look pretty good.

  2. Agree that it is hard to chronicle an aerial battle. I thought of using pipecleaners as paths. That is why I focused on the narrative with pictures of specific moments.
    My brother is big into WW I as well. Guess I didn't read enough!
    The splash markers are actually from Warlord and are resin. They are pricey now that warlord raised the price. Wait for a sale but I agree they are nice and easy to paint up multi color.

    1. Thanks for the info. I started into Wings of Glory about 18 months ago and like the simplicity of the movement and general rules and the planes at 1/144 look good, that inevitably led to Sails of Glory which is what I like your splash counters for.

  3. Stu,
    LoL. I hadn't noticed that!
    They would be good for SOG but I suspect other folks make them as well.