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.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Counterattack by the desert rats

Long weekend so got three games in:  a game of SAGA, small game of Donnybrook and a game of WW II Donnybrook.  Am working to see if I can come up with a tactical system that I like better than Lazy TW&T.  So far it is promising.  If a soldier is hit you roll to see if he is pinned or KIA.  Once the unit has 33% of its forces pinned the whole unit is pinned.  I have tweaked morale as well.  So I needed a platoon to try my new system on and decided to use my desert rats. (Platoon Forward hasn't changed and will be used with this new system as well.)   They are not a great platoon but they constantly win games.  They have a new Lt who is still figuring things out but the platoon Sgt (Smith) has really caught fire as of late and was promoted to a level II leader after leading a counterattack back into a fort last battle.  3rd Section has been a problem since they got clobbered at the beginning of the war and lost 4 men.  They developed a reputation as a hard luck section that they can't seem to shake. There morale is down one making them raw for our purposes.
I rolled up "counterattack" which is a scenario I haven't played in ages.  It is a fun one as it is designed to be a cavalry to the rescue type.  

The Italians were attacking towards Tobruk.  SLT Audley's company was held back in reserve in case they made headway.   Maj Barns, the CO, called the platoon commanders in.  "The Italians are attempting to cross the Wadi Ashor and are making good progress.  We have been tasked with stopping them.  Johnny, you have lead and I am coming with you."   

SLT Johnny Audley (d10)     cheap/ arts   Gr I      military
Sgt Johnny Smith  (d10)  optimistic/ position   Gr II 
Cpl Egg Soutcote (d10)  conformist/wealth    Gr II
Cpl Joey Crocket (d8)  fanatic/ skirt chaser   Gr I

Maj Thomas Barns (D10)   course/ government    Gr II

1 Matilda tank and 1 MMG led by Sgt Tubbs.

The Desert Rats arrive!   1 section with Sgt Smith entering from the left.  Italians have turned the british right flank and have a LMG in the house facing the street.  They are also preparing to cross the Wadi.  A 2 pdr AT gun guards the bridge, all that is left of the defenders. 
                                           Valiant defenders!

Sgt Smith moves up the road and attracts LMG fire!   1 down and 1 pinned (shown by the rock)
SLT Audley moves the bren team into the Mosque and starts to fire at the LMG.  Sgt Smith rallies his man and moves right towards the house.

The Italians make a move over the bridge!   SLt Audley shifts fire to the bridge and the Italians pull back leaving two on the bridge. 
Maj Barnes orders 3 section over to the small fort behind the AT gun.  MMG up to the mosque and 2 section in reserve.   The Matilda fires up hte road at the LMG. 

Maj Barnes in the olive grove with the MMG and 2in mtr. ( No pansie tropical dress for him!)  You can see 3 section NOT moving behind them.  (notice large pin marker) 

Meanwhile Sgt Barnes close assaults the LMG  (took some rule writing.  How many dice does a LMG get?) Two Italians fall and the other two flee with their officer.  Sgt Barnes loses no one.  The Italians lick their wounds. 

Maj Barnes is annoyed that 3 section has not moved.  (Bad card draws.)  He decideds to go have a word with young Cpl Crocket.

More frightened of the Major then the bullets the men respond. 

The Italians start one last push!
The two tanks exchange fire.   The Italian shell bounces off harmlessly.  The Matilda misses.  SLt Audley orders 2 section around the right flank to mop up the Italians. 

Egg moves up the hill and the disrupted team (celtic cross marker) leaves before he can engage. 
With that the Italians leave the field. 

Short game that was pretty one sided.   The Italians rolled horribly.  Donnybrook worked well and it was fun.   Post game Maj Barns was upset with Joey Crocket but did not sack him (yet).  The morale of 3 sectin stays bad.   Joey goes and gets himself sick (as a skirtchaser maybe VD?) and will miss the next mission.  Will have to have a Pvt lead the section.  If he does well that will probably be the end of Joey.

For those of you that want to try this at home the Italians that were generated were
1 half platoon led by a Gr II officer and Gr I leader.  the Gr I leader is hesitant.  the half platoon is actually elite (d10) due to a pre game event.
1 half platoon led by 2 Gr I NCOs
1 M13/40 tank
1 MMG as a reinforcement
A half platoon is 10 rifle men and an 8 man LMG section containing 2 LMGs.   I rolled a D3 and subtracted that number of men from both half platoons as casualties before the desert rats got there.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

VIPs from Greece

Sorry for the long delay between posts.   We are getting ready to leave England so doing as much final traveling as we can!   Last day on the island is 3 July then back home to Virginia!  Have really enjoyed it here and will miss the people and the history.  Will not miss the weather or the cost of living!  [ weather has been gorgeous this last week though]  
Have played one game of Donnybrook, one of WW II Donnybrook and two of Release the Hounds with Flotilla Forward.  Release the Hounds is done as my new 2D6 system works well with big ships including cruisers.   Flotilla Forward continues to mature as well.  Here for your reading pleasure is my last RtHs.

Cdr Clarkson was daydreaming in his cabin aboard the HMS Juno when a message came in.  His CO, Capt Rawling, wanted to meet him aboard the HMAS Australia in 1 hour.  " What the devil could this be about?
" he wondered.  The Captain had complimented Clarkson on his handling of the Juno the week before when the flotilla had run into 4 Italian DDs.  Could this be something exciting?

An hour and a half later they were ushered into a conference room aboard the Australia and all was reveled.  The war was not going well for the Anglo-Greek alliance on the mainland.  As a precaution,  some national treasures (and people) were to be loaded onto the HMAS Australia tomorrow and taken to London for safe keeping.   This was to be a quiet operation for fear of the morale affect.   Two destroyers were required to accompany the cruiser for protection.  Capt Rawling had selected Cdr Clarkson to be the destroyer SO with the Juno.   Clarkson was delighted with the news!  Cdr Smith in the Jersey was senior to him and should have had the assignment.   He couldn't wait to tell him.


Cdr Clarkson  Evil/ govt     mil     Gr II
HMS  Juno    Crew  II                                              Avg

LtCdr Anston  position/ religion       Gr II
HMS  Jaguar  Crew II                                              Avg

HMAS Australia   with its Captain                           Crack

[  I rolled up a special scenario that was a "transport mission  with 1 additional ship added."  That was the genesis for this scenario!]

                                              The British force moves out!!

                                               Something to be said for a 1/1200 scale CL !!!
                                               [ I know it isn't the Australia but it is the only British CL I own.
                                                  Which ship is it?  ]

The British load their cargoes without interference [60%] and sail west. The Australia is having trouble with one of her propellers and can only make 25 knots max. [ cool random pre game event!]    That night LtCdr Anston picks up 3 ships 3 miles straight ahead on radar.     The Capt orders a hard turn to port to avoid the contact. 

Visual contact made between the HMS Juno [center] and 3 Italian DDs at just under 2 miles. 
The Capt orders Ldr Clarkson's DDs to engage enemy while HMAS Australia disengages.
This leaves the Juno against 3 Italian DDs while the Jaguar moves to position.  
Clarkson fights with fury and heavy damages the lead Soldati class DD but the Juno is damaged in return.  He fires 5 torpedoes but they miss.  He turns away after the Italians fire their own torpedoes but one hits home at the stern.  The engine room is destroyed and the Juno is doomed! 

       Jaguar center moves up to engage the Italians on the left.  The Australia opens fire thereby subjecting itself to fire.  The Juno [bottom center] starts to sink. 

 The HMS Jaguar takes on the Italians!    5 torpedoes launched at a Soldati class DD.   One hits home and LCdr Anston evens the score with the Italian starting to sink.

HMS Jaguar tangles with the two Italian DDs while HMS Australia lends support while retreating away.  The damage starts to mount and Jaguar's steering is damaged.

                                                Toe to toe with Eitey!!  
[  In RtH there are 4 classes of damage-  1- damaged. 2- Heavily damaged 3 Wrecked and 4 sinking plus a myriad of critical hits.]

LCdr Anston fights to give the Australia time to flee with her valuable cargo.  The Italians line up for torpedo runs on the CL.  As you can see the Jaguar is now wrecked. 

The last 3 torpedos are launched!  Each hex for this game is 333 yrds as opposed to 200 yrds for my coastal games.  The world holds it's breath ( well okay maybe not the WHOLE world) and they miss.  

It is clear now to the Captain on the HMAS Australia that they are facing 2 Italian DDs.  It is also clear that HMS Jaguar is in trouble.  He does not know if the Italians have any more torpedos.  He also doesn't know if there are any more surface forces lurking about.  He also must make time before daylight and axis aircraft appear.   But to run from two DDs and leave Jaguar?    Decisions decisions!   What would you do?  I decided that almost any british captain would fight.   The next turn I rolled a wonderful random event called "independent action".  Here one of your ships takes independent action within certain parameters.  I rolled on the table, added my modifiers and got " open distance to the enemy".   Wow; there was my answer.  So the HMAS Australia pressed on with the mission and the Jaguar sucomed  to gunfire. 
Great game with an interesting ending.   Post mission I rolled on the AKOT table and the Admiralty found the Captain had done the right thing.  Capt Rawling felt otherwise.   Cdr Clarkson and many of both ships were picked up the next day by Italians and taken POW.   LtCdr Anston was unfortunately Lost at Sea. 

LCdr Jewett of the damaged HMS Jackal managed to tick off the chief of maintenance, Lt Rocker, so his ship is not ready yet.  The squadron loses another reputation point since they lost two DDs to the Italians 1.  Due to their acute shortage of ships the Admiralty sends them the HMS Kingston, LCdr Walsh commanding.  Should be interesting!