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.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Decisions Decisions Battalion gaming

 So I continue my fascination with battalion gaming.  Being retired is giving me too much time it seems.  I have absorbed all the rules for the modern Battlefront and I like them.  I have dropped the sequence of play and use the one from Force on Force.  I am also trying out the command rules for BF that I found on their website. I converted the fire table to D12  to increase the chances of a suppressed result and am using the option maneuver table because that seems better as well.   If I can get this right I really think I could upscale Platoon Forward to Company Forward pretty easy.  So I am ready to try out a East German steam roller attack on my West Germans.  

My Westies.  A company of infantry, 2 platoons of Leopards and 2 platoons of Jaguars. 


My Easties.  a company of T-55s, T-72s, infantry and a platoon of Saggers plus 2 Hinds.

I didn't roll up the forces but did roll up the board.  Westies on the right, Easties will enter from the left and need to occupy the factory built up area [BUA] in the lower right corner to allow further movement down the road heading west.  

Wouldn't get this with 6mm.  Jaguars awaiting their wayward countrymen...

OberstLt Wessel's deployment of his forces.  1 squad and himself in the read factory.

The Eastie hoard! [ Bet they stopped at McDonalds first] Have to admit wonder what this would look like in 6mm.  

Another view...

A smoke screen blinds Wessel's forces as the Easties advance.  Helicopters force one of the leopard platoons back.  Our Vulcan unit does drive the helos away.  Still we don't take out half as many of the attackers as hoped.  

Suddenly the infantry is upon us and enter the factory BUA.  There are just too many.

Meanwhile, those of you that are familar with my platoon forward stories will remember Sgt Lachman.  I decided for fun his squad would be here in this garage.  A full East German platoon show up as the Jaguar retreats to firing range.

Lachman's squad pushes back 1 squad but 2 close assault...

Lachman's squad is pinned [ small pebble] and it looks dire in the garage at close range but Sgt Lachman's squad expels the invaders!

Fun game but the Wessel was crushed. Don't know if my deployment was just terrible, bad luck or system not great.  Also there were not much Command and Control to do.  I did like how the morale worked.  Wonder if I should try O Group?   I am also weakening about 6mm.  Wonder how that would look on the table for this scale?  Decisions Decisions... 



Thursday, January 20, 2022

Jan 2022 updates

 Since I have some pictures thought I would post an update of my recent activities.  I don't know if this type of post will appeal to folks; guess we will find out.   I have 4 items today.    

First is the easiest.

Finished up some painting!    I finished up 2 F-16s for my air to air games and then 6 cactus for Dead Man's Hand.  I thought the Cacti particularly turned out well.  

Second, I developed an interest in Formula 1 racing when I lived in Europe.  I am trying to develop a Platoon Forward type campaign game where you run a racing team for several years.   It is an on again off again project but can be found here:  https://championshipforward.blogspot.com/2022/01/european-grand-prix.html

Third,  Managed to convince my wife and daughter to play Dead Man's hand for my birthday!

 My daughter didn't mind it and actually carried the girl's team to victory.  The top shows the mixed outlaw/banditos closing in on the lawmen in the church.  

Third prime,   Played both Dead Man's hand and Force on Force with my brother.

He does actually open his eyes.   Had 2 armored squads and a light tank square off at a crossroads.  He plays very agressive and crushed me with assaults and my bad shooting.  Unfortunately, he is a dye in the wool boardgamer but it was still fun to play like we used to.  we had a good visit.  

Fourth, I have had an itch to play land combat at a higher scale than Force on Force over the last 8 months.  It is hard to do a lot with cold war Russian steam rollers at 1:1 actual 15mm scale on my boards.  When "O" group came out I was tempted but held off.  I got some money for Christmas and it has been burning a hole in my pocket.  I went on TMP to get some opinions.  Interestingly I got a number of suggestions for the older rulesets.  I went digging around for Piquet which I bought over 10 years ago and found a copy of Battlefront.   I went on to their website and found they have unit stats for modern era.  

So I have been playing around with Battlefront for the last week. I remember I liked it but didn't like the scale for WW II.  I wanted to be down with the squad.  

An american CO  circa 1968  I needed to make up stats for my Ontos.

A VC Main Force.  2 Platoons +
Test board
Each M113 is actually 3 and they can fit the whole platoon.  Saves on clutter but can be hard to imagine for a concrete thinker...
No, that bridge is not actually 80 yards wide.    I can get past not using 1:1 ground scale.  I know I can...
1st platoon deploys in front of the village.  2 Pattons are there for support.   Another platoon stands by in reserve.   This alone would be a large game in Force on Force. 
Meanwhile 3rd platoon is ambushed while crossing an incredibly wide bridge!  This would be another Force on Force game. 
The Company CO decides 1st platoon is stuck.  He sends in 2nd platoon.  VC are waiting in ambush.
A squad from 2nd platoon tries out the close assault rules.  The US squads have a +2 advantage over the VC.  This seems large to me if the VC have AK 47s but I am not that familar with the rules yet. 

 So have any of you played Battlefront? [Sgt Steiner I know you have I read your blog.] thoughts?    I like it but am thinking of doing activation like Force on Force. Right now If a unit defensive fires it will have a chance to fire again at the beginning of it's turn without their opponent doing anything.  that seems off unless I am playing it wrong.   


That my updates; stay safe!




Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Black Bart Act II

 So I have had the opportunity to continue the saga... { for those of you just joining, please read the previous post.}

Black Bart:  So after our gunfight with the sheriff we allowed everyone a rest. We did find Doc Thompson who not only patched us up but was willing to work a couple of deals with us where all of us could make some money. [ new scheme] I figured the time allowed Johnny and the Sheriff to think about what a close shave they had had!  Then we started hearing talk in the town about Johnny starting to help out the Texas Rangers.  [ new scheme the law is starting]  With them distracted I sent Jake Johnson and his brother Duprey back to talk to some miners about protection.  

Well when they got there guess who is talking to the miners????

Deputy Earl and some new guy! [ actually a new law character James Peabody.  Sorry for the unpainted figures.  Not enough time.  The gent with the face is Alan Frost, foreman of the mine. He gets painted for the second scene.]

Well Jake is pissed.  Not only is the law trying to move in on our territory but Earl is the one who tried to gun Jake down.  Jake is going to take care of this once and for all.

Mine board for this act


Jake deciding to take matters into his own hands!

Jake's shots get Earl's attention...

 His second shot finds it's mark.  Jake is mighty good with a rifle.

Meanwhile Duprey moves up to the miner's shed and has a shoot out with that unamed character. [ James Peabody]

That sneaky varmint Alan comes up and shoots poor Duprey!

Thus ends scene 1.   Everyone survives.    If you want to try it set it up with 2 figures per side.  Play through 1 deck or until someone fails a big nerve test.  I rolled to see who set up talking to Alan Frost. 

So Jake and Duprey come back and tell me how the law is talking with the miners and how Alan shot at poor Duprey and scared him half to death!   Well now we can't stand fer that!  Who do you think runs this town?!  We saddle up the gang and ride out to pay ol Alan a visit.  

 Set up for scene 2 of the mine.  Lawmen set up 2 hexes [20cm] away from any outlaw. 

Unbeknowst to Bart, Earl looking for revenge waits on the hill.

The sheriff waits to give the signal...

So me and the boys come up to talk with Alan Frost.  I have DJ by my side.  The rest of the boys are spread out in case Alan trys sumptin funny now that he is painted up all correct like.  While Alan is all nervous and I thinks it is because of his new paint job but NO, he was in cahoots with the sheriff to ambush us!  Of all the low down tricks.  They couldn't even fight us in the open because THEY WERE SCARED!  

The sheriff plugs Duprey in the chest.  I shoot Alan while Fancy Dan moves up to that cool piece of wire thing that no one knows what it is.  The battle is on!  

The sheriff shots DJ.  Man he has a hot hand today! 

Highlight of the day, Jake shoots Johnny Lightning.  At least he can't play hero today.  Eat dirt Johnny!

Jake has become a fearsome force in the open with that rifle and a +2 aim trait.  Glad he is one of us. 

Mid-battle.   I gun down that no name guy; loser.  [ James Peabody] Our morale is high.  If we can knock one more lawman down they will leave.  Fancy Dan is trying to outflank us [ center near the RR track] while Rufus continues to shoot at us from the hill.  I send Festus around to our right to keep Dan at bay.  Fortunately I can outhink the sheriff any day and twice on Sundays.  

The sheriff has come up for them and it is 3v3, mano a mano.   We have the better men, I like these odds...

NOT FAIR!!!!!    Festus gets 3 under fire markers and then the sheriff plays a cockamamie  "long arm of the law card" that forces Festus to run away. Dagnabit!  We had em right where we wanted them! 

  "Boss weren't we doing this just last week?"  Shut up Jake and run!  We are REGROUPING AGAIN! 


Another fun game that played quick.  For the law no one died and James Peabody was pissed that Black Bart didn't know his name.  He becomes a dude and gains the revenge trait.  The sheriff did so well I rolled on the legends table and now he has an "awesome presence".  The law is doing well and they end up with 21 rep.  

No one died for Bart's gang either.  As a matter of fact, Duprey, surviving a fatal wound is now "marked for greatness".  His brother Jake will now be harder to hit.  Their schemes are mediocer this round so they stay at 16.  The law is pulling away.    Time to introduce the Banditos I think.  

Also got 1 Peter Pig building painted up.




Monday, January 3, 2022

Legends of Dead Man's Hand-- Black Bart

 Hope everyone had a great holiday season.  Rather than starting off on what I got I would rather start with what I, and you gave.  In the month of December I made $130 from sales of Flotilla Forward, Grunts Forward, and Cold War Tanker.  I gave a check to the food bank on 22 Dec and they were very appreciative, thank you for your support!   I am now selling Flotilla Forward at 3D wargaming as well as their commission is less than the Wargame Vault.  https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/flotilla-forward/  

I was blessed to have my kids home for the holidays which is always fun.  We were without masks this year as omicron hadn't hit this part of Virginia yet.  I hope you all had a good holiday.  Please pray for those that did not and our servicemen and women far from home.  

One of the things I got for Christmas were western figures from Blue Moon.  I got their personalities pack and dismounted confederate cavalry for my 7th cavalry.  I ordered their buildings but their molds are broken or something.  Off to Peter Pig for those!  Their figures are really more 18mm but are varied and paint up well.  Their faces leave something to be desired but the figures all have character which is key for a man to man skirmish game.   I also received the campaign rules for Dead Man's Hand, Legends of Dead Man's Hand.  You know I am about campaigns and this book looks to be very good.  So I painted several figures up and had a go after the kids left.  

In Legends, you roll up a gang and then gain fame points after each battle.  These fame points can be used to draw on an experience table to gain attributes for your gunmen.  You also run schemes [ modern day we would call them hustles] to increase your reputation which is what ultimately wins you the game.   I have played very little but this seems to work well.  The only part that is weak is how you set up your battles.  I think I will still have to set up a table. 

In DMH you play 3 scenes that comprise an act.  Each scene being larger.  I started out photographing each battle but it was tedious.  I think a first person narritive better captures the flavor of the game and campaign.   Ladies, gentlemen and varmints of all kinds, I present my first attempt at Legends of Dead Man's Hand!

My name is Bartholomew Greenwood.  I am your narrator for today.  I came to Los Robos with my friend DJ.  We were cellmates in Kansas after I became a little high spirited one evening playing poker.  We moved westward and met up with a guy named Festus.  He wuz betting people a nickle that they couldn't take him in a fist fight. [ rolled up pugilist trait!] He racked up 5 knock outs while we were watching him.  We brought him with us to Los Robos.   


Bartholomew, Festus and DJ.  

Los Robos was our kind of town.  No Sheriff.  Just a couple of part time deputies.  We met 2 other fellas, Jake Johnson and Ray Smith.  They helped us get established.  We talked to some miners outside of town and told them it was dangerous not to have our protection.  One night after a mysterious fire they were convinced. [scheme 1].  

    The Law!     The Sheriff, Pancho and Johnny Lightning.  Johnny has the quick draw trait. 


 So one evening DJ goes into town to aquire some supplies we need to a robbery of a bank.  [ bank robbery scheme 2].

For some reason part time deputy Pancho wants to stick his nose where it don't belong...

Shot of southeast corner of Los Robos.  Remember I don't have any buildings yet.  For those of you contemplating hexes each hex is 10cm for game purposes and I use actual LOS. 

  Needless to say DJ opened fire and a short battles rages...
but DJ is a wiley one!

Shouldn't stick your nose where it don't belong.   

DJ didn't mean no harm, he was just acquiring a couple of special items. Unfortunately Pancho died.  This got that hot head Johnny up in arms. He sends a message to the sheriff in Larado. 

[ DJ gets sly as a fox trait.  He gets 2 shots when he interrupts.] 

Scene 2

2 days later we are legitimately buying supplies when the sheriff and Johnny come up and wants to question DJ about Pancho's death.  Sumpthn about security camera footage. While I ask if they have a warrent and sure enough shootin starts.  

   Jake covering us with his rifle.

Festus would go down this battle but recovery quickly.  He always was better with his fists.  

Here we are dueling it out with that hot head Johnny.  DJ is in the house, Festus on the left corner and I am running up to help my boys.  People sometimes call my "Black Bart" because I wear black.  Near the camera is Fancy Dan.  We end up dropping Johnny. Pretty sure it was MY shot but of course DJ wants the credit!  But  Dan drags him off as the law leaves us alone.  

[Johnny wants revenge from his wounds table so his nerve improves by 1.]

Scene 3

So the next day I get a summons to meet the sheriff at high noon in town.  It is all over instagram!  My reputation is at stake.  I have never met the sheriff but his reputation unfortunately is very good as a gunfighter.  Well, momma didn't raise no fool.  We will have my boys in the town ready to take out the law if need be!  

    High Noon in Los Robos.  

The sheriff beats me to the draw because he cheated and started before the pretty lady said "draw."  I would have crushed him in a fair fight.  So I duck into the store and the lead starts to fly!  

Juan, he killed my brother, guns down Festus on the first turn.   Man Festus is a bullet magnet!  

Rufus [boo] and Jake duel it out on the edge of town.  We both positioned our rifles there to snipe into town.   Guess that didn't work.  Good thing is Jake will win this duel.

 DJ and Ray fire into the house at the Sheriff and Fancy Dan.  I am on the other side of the street maneuvering against Juan.    With Rufus down, I distract Juan so Jake can come up behind and hit Juan over the head.  2 lawmen down!  [ once you lose half your men you have to take a nerve test to stay in the fight.  3 men down for both is key here.] 

I finally remember to add +2 for short range pistols so the sheriff goes down and DJ is badly wounded. He crawls away into a building. 

Johnny sees his chance to be a hero.  He races up to the trees and fires at Ray...

I am really beginning to hate Johnny! 

 With 3 men down it is time for Jake and I to regroup.  We are not running away, we are REGROUPING!  

Black Bart's men failed their nerve test while Johnny's group didn't.  The law lost the first 2 scenes but won the finally.  For the Law Juan died.  Their Scheme of working with a lawyer to clean up the town is working nicely and they gain 1 reputation.  Fancy Dan gets a targeting skill and Johnny lightning got "stern constitution."

Ray died in the battle and DJ later made it back to camp with Festus.  Jake Johnson's fame has grown locally for taking part in the battle and downing 2 lawmen.  His aim has also improved with his rifle as he develops the "trickshot" trait.  To replace Ray they bring in Jake's brother, Rufus Johnson and he will start out as a "varmint".  

The mine collapses so does Bartholomew's scheme.  Fortunately, their bank robbery is very successful and they gain 2 reputation.  

So ends act 1.  The law has 16 reputation and Bart's troupe has 15.  Needless to say this was a blast to play with a great deal of character.  I need to paint up some banditos to have a 3rd group then add some peter pig cavalry.  

Stay tuned...