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, March 11, 2022

Hammertime with the 91st Fighter squadron "Hammerheads"

 Thought I needed a break from all this battalion level fighting.  The games are fun but take almost 3 hours to play. Wanted something quick and easy; why not squadron forward!  I have a P-38 and a P-39 squadron in Tunisia.  I thought for something different I would use the P-39 squadron.  they have only had 2 missions, a win flying CAP and a draw bombing a naval base.  Their squadron CO, Capt Filarto is lazy but is very keen on his position; hence he drives the squadron hard.  Just because he is lazy doesn't mean his isn't a good pilot, he has a stuka and MC 202 to his credit. The squadron cool sits a +1 because they have 3 kills to 2 loses, pretty good when you are flying P-39s. 

An unusual mission comes down from the group, escorting B-25s.  Normally that is a P-38 mission.  [ actually 30% chance for our airacobras this early in the war]  Filarto decides to give it to his XO Honey Donnelson.  Honey has been begging for a chance to lead and this mission will be a long one.  


1Lt Honey Donnelson    Aggressive                      avg pilot

 wingman 2Lt John Egert   Shy                      green pilot but flying demon skill

2Lt Andrew Samson    cultured                    Vet pilot         1 kill

  wingman  2Lt "Q" Quintas    mecurical        avg pilot


Strawberry Flight with the B-25s.

 Three quarters of the way to the target the tail B-25s call out bandits 4 o clock.  Honey curses under his breath, the hun outfoxed him!  

 They are actually hard to see but 4 ME 110s are attacking the bombers from 4 o clock! The airacobras are caught flatfooted.  Fortunately no bomber is lost, one is separated from formation.  The green ME 110 is damaged enough that he retires. 

Honey radios for the 2 elements to split up and go hunting.  He is glad to see that the bogeys are ME 110s.  They are about the only plane in Africa that the P-39 can dogfight with above 5K feet.  

 Honey gets a shot at a ME-110, he sees hits but Jerry keeps flying.  

A ME 110 escapes the furball and downs the tail B-25.  

Honey manages to get on the same Jerry's tail.  This time he is close enough to use his 37mm cannon...

with predicable results!

Meanwhile, 2Lt Samson finally gets on the tail of the ME-110 that has been making passes at the bombers.  There is a swirling fight as he tries to line up a shot...

Finally Jerry literally pulls out his "ace in the hole", an automatic tight turn card because he is a veteran pilot.  Unfortunately for him, 2Lt Samson also is a veteran pilot.  

Despite every trick he knows he feels bullets pounding his plane as 2Lt Samson fires.  A major fuel leak occurs.  He calls for help from this mad american.  His fellow veteran pilot races to assist.  However, 2Lt Q has managed to stay with Samson through all his twists and turns and still has his tail. 

The german dives trying to leave the area but the airacobra can easily keep up.   

 Samson lines up a second shot while Q tangles with a second ME 110 who has arrived on the scene...

Whether it was leaking gas that ignited or ammo no one would ever no but the ME-110 suddenly blew up without a survivor.  

It was a a quiet evening in the mess of the german squadron but a joyous celebration was had for the hammerheads!

Two kills for no losses!  Only one bomber lost- I count that as a win.  These battles are always fun, often tense and quick.  This one was just under 30 minutes.  

The Hammerhead's cool goes up to +2 which means not only are they are teh coolest squadron in the group but on the base!  This gives them positive modifiers to many die rolls.  First for the pilots, Honey reaches Veteran status, Egert becomes average and "Q" gets sick and will miss the next 2 missions.  LtCol Rawlings growls at Capt Ford, the group admin about why the Hammerheads have been a pilot short and presto, 2Lt "Black Flag" Wilde shows up.  The old man even thinks Filarto is doing a good job.  

How long can this last?  Who knows but for now the boys are going to enjoy the ride!




  1. That was fun! I've never seen Down in Flames using miniatures before -- would you mind explaining how that works or if there are rules online somewhere?

    1. Nicholas, What version of Down in Flames are you using? It can be as simple as just replacing the cards with miniatures or as complicated as using a different damage system which is what I have done. I have never put my rules down on paper yet but can talk you through the basics. Again, what version of DIF are you using? Thanks for the question. [ See my post on 8 Nov 2020 for how I got started.]