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, November 15, 2017

Al Kut A Big solo battle

Finally got all but one of my vehicles that I ordered from QRS.  4 of them were for my Iraqi army and 1 was for my american.  Vehicles are easy to knock out so a week later they were done and I wanted to get them on the table.  One of FoF scenario books ( Road to Baghdad ) had a scenario on a marine attack into the city of Al Kut.  It was a large scenario and I never would have attempted it with Combat Patrol as it would have bogged down.  Since I switched to FoF for everything but infantry fire resolution I wondered if it was too big for FoF solo.  I normally play about 2 squads per side ( 25ish figures per side) and 2-5 vehicles total.  This is a nice force that I can easily keep track of and can finish in 90 minutes or less of actual playing time.  This was 80 figures total with 10 vehicles! I was going large!   I decided to sub in my marine platoon from Platoon Forward.  This was to be their third battle.  1st squad has Sgt Jack.  His is a Gr II leader and the squad has full confidence in his ability so their morale is +1.
Sgt Jack sat next to the Lt as Capt Jackson explained their next op.  It sounded tough.  The battalion was to attack into Al Kut to pin the Iraqis in place so the rest of the marines go swing west and move onto Baghdad.  Jack would rather be doing the swinging than urban fighting with some ragheads but marines do as they are told.  Capt Jackson said resistance was suppose to be heavy. The platoon was to take and hold an intersection. They would have 2 tanks in support.  Rules of engagement were loose but nothing heavier than MGs could be directed at religious buildings.
Characters
Lt DeClines   Annapolis grad     Sensible/ wealth         Gr I
Just Jack 1st Sq      mechanic          Jovial/ position     Gr II       +2
Cpl Koke  1st Fireteam  race car driver (junior)  addict/thrills   Gr 0
Cpl Fast Jones 2nd Fireteam  inept   religion             Gr 0
LCpl Betts     acting leader 3rd fireteam                    Gr 0
Sgt Lee          3rd squad           Gr II

Al Kut intersection.  Baath HQ has the Iraqi flag in front.  I think it is one of the best boards I have put down.  ( Probably still 2 buildings short.  Maybe Christmas?)  Lt DeClines plan is to have 1st squad attack appartment building closest to camera and 3rd attack across gas station into the other one.  Secure both buildings then push across the street. 

Cool Billboard!
Those Iraqi are such cut ups!  Pre battle picture of the 3 officers posing in front of party HQ.  Irregular officer waving to his mom and Republican guard officer threatening to shoot the cameraman.  Such jokesters!

A view down the cross street.



Koke enters with his team

Jack enters with the rest of 1st Squad towards the apartments.

FOF has some great rules for the destruction of buildings.  They are probably a bit generous but in 20 years of playing I have had 3 buildings destroyed until FOF.  So you could say I am due.   Our tank fires at the apartment building several times and.....

it is now freely air conditioned!!!!!!  The Iraqi squad runs for the HQ.  (They will actually keep running soon.)

After 2 turns....   Cpl Koke is in the near building sniping across the street.  1st squad is ready to enter the apartments.  The 1st tank will move up to support 1st squad.  Lt and the MMG will move up to the next phase line.  3rd squad was surprised by resistance in the gas station.  Sgt Lee lost his track but cleared the building with no casualties.  He now is lagging behind however.

Our tank moves up to engage a LMG in the factory and a T-55.  The T-55 did manage to get a shot off.

The marines continue to bring assests up and are deciding when to cross the road when over the net and in the air there is a load noise!  ( cool random event!)

Yea for airpower.  


Emboldened Jack charges again with his track as cover. RPGs mercifully bounce off the track; the fighting is fierce and quick.  No bad guys surrender so 6 go to Allah and the squad sustains 1 Lt wound. Jack takes the Baath HQ!  At this point they heard crying; no it is not some sailor! It is a woman and her son held prisoner in the HQ undoubtedly for some unamerican reason. ( 2nd cool random event)   
Jack rescues a Mom and her lad!  They lose a turn but it was worth it!

Now I have my third cool random event that I carried over from Platoon Forward.  It is called a "leadership check".  It represents imperfect situational awareness of your little guys on the battlefield.  This occurs to Koke who is with his fireteam facing the factory.   After seeign the rest of the squad successfully charge HQ he decides...

The proper NCO action is to charge the factory!  The trailing marine takes a Lt wound crossing the street but they make it.

Sgt Jack questioning if Koke has lost his mind!

Koke makes it into the factory where there are no enemy on the ground floor.  Jack sees his CPL dash across the street and curses.  He doesn't know how many people are in the factory.  It hasn't been softened up yet.  It could easily be a hornets nest. He has 8 marines in HQ including 1 WIA.  He tells Cpl Fast Jones to keep his fireteam here and wait for the LT.  He also leaves the wounded man from Betts fireteam and take Betts and one other marine with him to go save Koke.  As he enters the factory he hears sounds of battle and fears he is too late.  As he peers around the corner he see 3 marines up including Koke and 5 Arabs down.  Koke got lucky!  He will give him an ass chewing later!
Great battle!  Fun that played a little long (2 hours) but FOF clearly managed all the toys solo.
Post battle Capt Jackson is impressed with Sgt Jack.  He probably would have gotten a medal but he just got a Bronze star last battle!  He is certainly riding high.  Cpl Koke gets his chewing and his fireteam is not impressed as they lose confidence in him.  Their morale drops to Normal if he is leading.  No NCO comes into 3rd fireteam and Betts does not get promoted.
Really fun and have to admit thing the modeling is improving.  I just like looking at the figures on the table.

Enjoy

Joe





 




 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Product review Bashytubits 3d printed Jadgkanone

Real life again has gotten in the way of gaming.   Played one game with Sgt Lachman and might report on that next week.  Wanted to give everyone an opinion of 3D printed stuff in 15mm since I haven't really read any reviews.  This is one man's opinoin and your mileage may vary.
First, I ordered 8 vehicles from QRF 6 Sept and still have nothing.  I did get a response to my third e-mail but that is a different story.  Needless to say I wasn't keen on ordering any more from them and really felt Sgt Lachman's men needed a Jadgkanone in support.  Scale Creep didn't have any so thought I would give Bashytubits a whirl.  [ He posts on TMP frequently.] 
First off, Bashy was very easy to deal with.  Very responsive and I got my toy quickly;  thank you!
It set me back $6 (yea) with $4 postage (boo) so price was slightly cheaper than scale creep but not much. 
Here is what I got.  I liked that it came in black so I didn't have to prime.  I was concerned about the fine lines but hoped once painted it would be fine.
Not a great shot but does show some of the detail of the model which is pretty good.  Unfortunately the lines are apparent as well. 

It painted up very easily and took I-94 decals well.  Now if you are a good 2.5 feet away the model looks very good.  As readers of this board know I skirmish so my whole board is 3x3 ft so I am normally 2 feet or less away.  Here the lines are still apparent.

So I pulled a QRF Jaguar for comparison as they are about the same size.





  Finally I did "pimp my ride" by adding a LMG from the bits box.

So what do I think?

If you are playing FOW or a large operational game with a big board and lots of vehicles I think Bashy's stuff is a great idea.  You will probably save $2 per vehicle, have great service, easy to paint and look fine from afar.  If you are in the weeds 18-30 inches from your forces with 2-3 vehicles on the board I am not sure it will be my first choice.  That said, I will proudly field my Jadgkanone and will look to Bashy if I need something else esoteric.

Enjoy

Joe


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

More pictures

Been busy with real life as of late.  Parents visiting, kids visiting--  all good.  Not much time for gaming.  Did get one game of SAGA in ( the Huns won! First time ever) and have played several FoF games.  Also painted up some East Germans to match my West Germans.

Huns attack the Franks as part of my ongoing campaign. 

My dad likes to play when he visits.  It gives us bonding time.  Played two games.  An indoChina one and this meeting engagement in a small Iraqi town during the 2003 invasion.

The board.  Try to do it up right fro my Dad.

Everybody meets in the square!
US fireteam clears a building!  ( with a little support!)


Switching gears

West German infantry hear there are finally some East Germans to fight!

East Germans trying to flank their capitalist cousins.   My attempt at their "raindrop" summer uniform.  Think it came out pretty well.  ( It is challenging at 15mm!)  Better ideas let me know.

East Germans continue their flanking.
( Bought the trailer when I was in Berlin on the Ku-damm so pretty cool!)

Enjoy!

Joe












Monday, September 18, 2017

Chapter three Tornado corner

Had a desire to start a West German army in a cold War gone hot situation.  I already had 3 vehicles I bought from Jammer man a while back so I quickly painted up 6 infantry and was ready to go.  I rolled up a squad for Platoon Forward with Gruppenfuehrer Lachman.  I could only take a squad on the first mission and I rolled up "Defend against raid."  Did not sound like a great start to the third world war so I substituted "Meeting engagement".  So, how to have a mission involving 3 vehicles and 6 troops?  Read on dear guest!
Sgt Lachman     son of a dockworker      Careful/ engeneering       Gr I leader
Squad is 8/8
 
The following is excerpted from  Wrong Place; Wrong Time.  My view of WW III by Johan Lachman.  Published by Tasche books, Koln Germany, 1987.  It is a great read of the recent war and has a number of scenario ideas.  This is taken from the third chapter where he describes his first contact with the russians.

Funny thing, after all of our drills on how we would face the enemy my first contact was nothing at all like the brass had planned.  But that was the way the war was I guess. Ivan apparently did not do exactly what he was suppose to because on the first morning a platoon of Jaguars had to move to a different hill and they wanted some infantry for close support. I was tasked to take my squad to the hill ( 346.3) and provide the close support.  I was to escort a Jaguar who had broken down during the move but was now anxious to join his platoon. Truth be told I was somewhat proud the Lt had trusted me with this solo mission.  Shortly after starting out we came across a Leopard who was going our way and joined him.  Having a tank in front of you never hurt!
Our little convoy ( Wish I had german decals!)


We were about to make a left onto B45 when the Leopard accelerates and fires two shots down the road.  So here I am with my squad and two fellows I have known for about 20 minutes.  Welcome to the war!


    View down B 45 two days after the battle

Reconstruction of the moment of contact.  Markers along B 45 represent blinds.  The corner was later called "Tornado corner" for 2 reasons.  First, a German tornado fighter crashed into the factory earlier that morning and second to commemorate this battle.

Since I had no idea what was going on I dismounted my squad and moved into the woods to look up the road.  ( That is me pointing)

To my right came a tremendous explosion
One Jaguar is not joining the platoon

As I made my way through the woods I saw the source of our problems.
I heard other vehicles moving but didn't know if they were tanks or BMPs.

I guess they were BMPs!  ( I'll admit I was jealous of those cool fur hats.)
Before I could give the order to fire the russian tank roared and all hell broke loose in the forest.

Dietz died instantly and Kruger was hurt bad.  I was frustrated.  How do you fight a tank?  Why wouldn't the Leopard do something?
I dispatched Toll to move Kruger back to the track and we started to lay fire on the infantry.  The Leopard did wake up and take out the tank.  I also ordered my milan to set up to cover the road.  We traded shots with the infantry in the tornado factory when Ivan also appeared to our front! 
The panzerfaust took out the BDRM and we pushed Ivan back. 
At this point I was down to 4 effective s facing at least 2 squad of russian infantry with a german tank that was not much help.  I pulled back to the track and rolled back down the road.  What had I accomplished for the cost of Dietz and possibly Kruger?  I did not know.  I radioed the Lt and he said to join the platoon at a small village nearby.

Fun battle that put my germans on the table!  While the germans withdrew I consider it a small win as Lachman was outnumbered. 
For those of you that want to try this the first "C" blind that is real will be a tank.  Each "A" blind that is a squad comes with a BMP.  Platoon Forward generated this for the Soviets:
8/8
1 T-72, 1 BDRM and 2 squads with 1 officer and 2 NCOs all Gr I plus 2 BMP-1s.

Enjoy

Joe








Saturday, September 9, 2017

Smattering of eye candy

Been busy potentially changing the way I do my  tactical combat.  I have longed used Combat Patrol for activation which I think is a brilliant system ( particularly with my house rules).  I have used the CP cards to determine infantry hits and used FoF for pretty much everything else.  I have noticed that the games do drag a bit if I have more than 2 squads per side on the table.  I was trying to figure out how to "speed things up" without losing my emphasis on command. ( Something which FoF lacks.)  Am working on it and think I am on to something.  Am using FoF initative ( similar to CP's interruption) but making the grades of your leaders mean something.   Will let you all know when I have it figured out.  So been "playtesting" with my armies army russians and QRF vehicles.


Russians advancing with a T-72 in the background on overwatch. ( Tanks on overwatch can only fire once.)
A leopard waits. 
A Humvee in the wrong place at the wrong time.

US squad prepares for contact

Russian BMP bites the dust in Afganistan

My newly minted Hind prepares to take out some rebels!
A town in Estonia

Another view  ( Need to get some more grey boards!)

Russians advance up a street

Heavy artillery takes out a house!  ( Working on scatter rules for artillery and airstrikes.)

T-72 meets a fiery end.

Serious fighting in Tallinn.  A wounded RPG gunner takes aim.

Enjoy

Joe