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.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Cpl Bett's walk in the moonlight USMC Iraq

Work continues to settle in.    Please continue to pray for those affected by this virus and for those on the frontlines.  Also, for those not working please do your part and stay home.  I have many patients in house who wish they had.
For some reason I am enamored with Formula 1 currently.  I picked up an interested while living in England and have been running some races

All solitaire of course.

But I did get to play a game using my marine platoon in Iraq.  It is really a squad that I am focusing on.  They lost their first battle and have kicked butt ever since.  Their squad leader has already earned a Bronze Star and the squad's morale is 12.  Their last battle was Dec 6 if you want to check it out! 

" All in imagery in the world won't tell us if the bridge will hold.  Apparently we need an engineer geek to run some tests.  It will be easy Jack." said Lt DeClines.  Just get him to the bridge.  Suppress the ragheads and bring him back.


SSgt Just Jack   mechanic before joining corps    Jovial/  position  above avg leader    Squad would walk through hell for him

1st Fire team  Cpl Koke" Kokistranovich     addicted to thrills   junior racing driver before joing corps   impulsive   below average leader   Fireteam doesn't trust him

2nd fire team  Cpl "fast" Jones  orphan  grew up on a ranch  very religious    below average leader  fire team neutral to him
3rd Fire team  Cpl Betts  Just promoted to Cpl from within FT.      lives for the moment.   fireteam somewhat trusts him average leader

I rolled an unusual mission; reconnaissance.   2 subrolls later and we had to get an engineer to a bridge and get a cumulative total of 14 on d6 rolls until we could leave.   I rolled up the board and placed the blinds

    Mission played at night.   Enemy should be irregulars.  Trenches identified through imagery in trees along river.  60% bridge will be guarded.

Jack's plan is to station MMG on hill to left.  Have 1st FT on overwatch in buildings overlooking bridge.  He will stay with Koke.   Betts will sneak up onto bridge with the Capt.  Jones will be in HUVEEs behind buildings as a reaction force.  Mortars are on call for extraction only!  Can't damage the bridge.

MMG in place

Koke gets into position.

Unfortunately there are 4 guards on the bridge. 

"Nuts" thought Jack.  [ He actually thought something else.]    He has the MMG open up to drive the guards off the bridge.   Surprise was gone but the guards had no chance without NVG against a MMG 200 yards away.    They backed off the bridge but didn't run.   The enemy prepared for an attack.

Instead Cpl Betts started his walk in the moonlight with the Capt and his NCO.

The Iraqi's dispatched a truck to take care of the MMG.

3rd FT makes it to the bridge undetected while the 2 MGs trade shots.

At this point everyone sees the bridge party and all hell breaks loose!  Jack, on the roof with Koke lays down suppressive fire into the trees.
Betts says " Hurry up sir!"

Cpls Bett's FT drives the guards away from the bridge and into the trees.  The MMG also drives away the Toyota.  Go Captain Go!

The Marines control the bridge for the moment while the captain does his thing.  Bullets ricochet around but without NVGs the Iraqi fire is poor.

Just when things look hopeful.... a 60mm mortar shell lands on the bridge.    Cpl Betts looks around; his team looks up but the engineer NCO ...

is listless with a rapidly expanding pool of blood.   Cpl Betts looks at the Captain but before he can say anything the captain says, " This bridge is crap boys. Let's get out of here!" Betts toggles the radio 3 times which signals Fast Jones to the bridge.

Fast Jones living up to his name as Cpl Betts withdraws under fire.

The NCO is loaded into the HUMVEE and the men retreat on foot using darkness for cover.

Mission success!

Exciting game that played fast.  I hit the 14 mark in 3 rolls so clearly the cpt figured out what he needed fast.    Unfortunately the NCO didn't make it.  5 Iraqi KIA.  The squad loses no one and post battle not much happens.   The FT continues to warm to Betts however.

Semper Fi




  1. Joseph,

    1) Stay away from the damn car racing, you've got more important stuff to do, like these Gyrenes, and your FFL.

    2) I told ya, there ain't gonna be know Staff Sergeant leading a squad in the Marine Corps. That's a Sergeant billet, and before you start talking about "1 up/1 down," it's not happening, there are only a handful of Staff NCOs in a rifle company (4 x E6, 2 x E7, 1 x E8, that's it), so if you don't have a Sergeant to run the squad, it would be a Corporal running it. The only place you have Staff Sergeants is as Platoon Sergeant (one per rifle platoon) and one in the Weapons Platoon (and that was the first one gapped if there weren't enough Staff Sergeants).

    Other than that, fantastic fight, thanks for sharing! Another really enjoyable fight man; I liked the scheme of maneuver, though I wouldn't have opened up with the MG team so early. One question though: what drove the mortar rounds falling at the end of the fight, and who's were they? A random event?

    And I think all the leaders' ability/grades need to be bumped up, particularly now that they've been blooded and pulled off several successful missions with relatively low casualties (and none in this case).

    Great stuff man, and sorry for the rant on the Table of Organization, please take with a grain of salt ;)


  2. jack you are right, you have told me that. I keep forgetting those enlisted details. probably time to bump jack up to plt sgt anyway. I rolled up a mortar as a support weapon but in the dark they couldn't hit anything. finally got lucky
    thanks. bow would you have handled the guards on the bridge? stealth?

    1. No big deal, and yes, all Marines are Level 100 leaders anyway.

      Not sure about how to handle the guards; I mean, in real life, infiltration is the name of the game, and then, once the shooting starts, open up with everything you've got, no mercy. In game terms, I dunno; I just bought Osprey's "Black Ops," and I'm working on getting into it. It uses noise makers and observation tests to determine if you're able to sneak up on someone, which looks pretty cool, but haven't actually tried it yet.


  3. forgot. I did roll to bump up leaders. you can only do 2 a mission and they missed their rolls. it is unlikely for jack as he is already above avg

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  5. So cool man. It's always "Marine" though, never "marine".

    I like your approach to scenery not too fancy but gets the job done. I need to do that if I'm ever going to get a game on the table. Just primed my last 80 or so 20mm figures. Locking out the next 6 months to paint them up and build a scenery collection to cover my long planned invasion of Cuba by the US Army and US Marines in '88.

    I really hope I can create that great narrative you manage to in your games..

    Btw FlightDoc I'm also planning to use Platoon Forward in my campaign but what are you using for in-game rules? I'm going to use Battlegroup Cold War mod.

    1. Forper? Is that 'Uparmored'?

      And he is, of course, correct, Joe! Write 'Marine' without capitalizing it one more time and I'm going to come find your old ass!


    2. Yep, uparmored from TMP, that's me.

      Really appreciate all the advice and positivity you bring to that board, not just for me but everyone. When I see your output I feel guilty every night I decide I'm too tired from work to paint miniatures. Gotta keep moving forward! A little more every day..

    3. Cool man, and no sweat. Now get off your ass and paint! ;)


  6. oh no not another MARINE. welcome aboard forper. thanks for the comments once you get started the narrative will come pretty easy. I use a combo of force on force and combat patrol for my tactical rules.
    jack. let me know what you think of black ops. have you tried force on force?

    1. Will do, and yes, I've played both Force on Force and the original Ambush Alley. I really enjoyed Ambush Alley for the 'Blackhawk Down'-type fights, the small Western force vs hordes of ill-trained bad guys. I had some fun games of Force on Force with my old man between peer/near peer forces, but once I went to playing solo I didn't enjoy Force on Force as much for those types of fights.

      For me, it kinda made a mess of the action/reaction system; Ambush Alley was simple, the well-trained good guys were almost always going to get the drop on the bad guys, but Force on Force got a bit convoluted (in my humble opinion, particularly after it went to Osprey) and a bit much to handle playing solo (for me).

      In the overall scheme of things, I'm learning that platoon-sized games aren't really for me. It seems like every time I end up playing a platoon-sized game I'm either wishing it was a bigger, company-sized game, or a smaller, squad-sized game. I like the idea of following a platoon through a campaign, just playing it out in squad-sized fights. I'm working on some ideas for that right now. I'm also working up Platoon Forward to support company-sized fights, so plenty going on ;)


    2. Thanks for the reply Flightdoc,

      Force on Force were the first set of rules I tried since my days of Bodycount with ESCI plastics in high school.

      I made cardstock scenery on the floor of my micro apartment and played with 54mm in a squad+ on squad+ scenario. Was actually really fun but yeah that reaction system gets a bit out of hand. I did't like the fact that individuals didn't get to fire, only fireteams. Then again I'm currently going with Battlegroup where again individuals don't get to fire but you can play at a larger combined arms level I feel, with a platoon and full support, lots of toys on the table.. that appeals to me, how everything integrates. Then again FNG by THW is tempting for some fights too, maybe at squad level.


  7. interesting. maybe I am playing it wrong. I thought the action/reaction mechanic was perfect for solo. particularly if you add modifiers for leadership yet neither of you found that.
    54mm! that is impressive.

    1. I think everyone has their own vision of combat and how it will play out on the tabletop, what they're looking for from a wargame. Me, I tend to play Hollywood-style fights, lots of grenades and bayonets, because I want fun and drama, I'm not trying to recreate anything.

      So, to each his own, and if Force on Force is working for you (and clearly it is), keep rolling with it!


  8. Well I enjoyed it, even if you got the sergeants wrong and missed out the capital M in marines, it seems to me you have a perfect set of rules for the games you play because they lead to great game reports.
    The number of game reports where folk say "the dice were against me, these troops or that vehicle didn't turn up" are a sad indictment of a set of rules that don't lead to a fun game.

    What rules are you using for F1. I used to dabble with it years ago, I still have the cars, poss 200th scale hand painted 1990's maybe. I had a hand drawn circuit but can't remember the rules. Somthing a bit more advanced than the waddington game.
    Goid to see you're still gaming.

  9. Vagabond, just saw this sorry. Been busy as you will see in the next post. I am using Championship Formula Racing. It is Speed Circuit V3.