Saturday, April 30, 2011

ARR: First Platoon Forward Action.

Last night my friend Jon and I had the inaugural game at my house. As mentioned previously, we had decided to play Disposable heroes WW2 using the TFL Platoon Forward campaign system. the game was set in 1940 during the invasion of France.

Before hand, I had decided that i was going to track 2 Platoons, one German and one French. They won't always be playing against each other. I decided that wen one rolled up a defensive role and one rolled up an offensive role, there would be a 50/50 chance of the 2 platoon meeting. this means the overall odds of them fighting in the same game are about 33%.  well last night it happened.

the scenario was an exploitation scenario, with the french on the defensive and Germans on the offensive. there german Platoon( had been held in reserve during a company or battalion wide attack. When a hole opened up in the Germans were sent into hte hole and advance to take position in a church behind the french lines. the french, being in somewhat disarray only start with a single squad of infantry, an MG and the platoon NCO on the board.


German Platoon
Platoon command ( LT, Sgt, 3 privates)
3 infantry squads(6 man Rifle section, 4 man LMG section each)
1 5cm Mortar

German Support
1 PaK 38
1 80mm Mortar
1 MG-34 MMG
1 Panzer IV D

French Reinforcements
Platoon command(Lt, 2 Privates, 1 VB grenadier)
2 Squads( 8 man rifle section with VB, 4 man LMG section each)

81mm Mortar team
H-39 light tank( entered Turn 3)
Somua S-35( entered Turn 4)

we rolled up pre-game events and Jon's platoon was in high morale(+1), while my troops were well rested(+1 Movement)

As usual, I forgot to take pics for the first half of the game. but here it is in ha nutshell.  Jon started his forces in the middle third of the table.  I deployed the rifle section in the graveyard(NCO attached), the MG on main floor of the Church and the LMG section in the 2nd floor in the tower window. His first turn of fire pinned the reifle section immediately.  by the end of the turn only the Squad Sgt, VB grenadier, and NCO remained.  The LMG section had lost one of it's members, and the MG had LOS blocked by smoke after it fired.  the rest of the platoon entered on the German far right at the roadway.

2nd turn Jon Killed the remainder of the rifle squad and pinned the LMG section.the HMG section retreats to the far end of the church in preparation for an assault. hte NCO survived and under covering fire from long range of the LMG(which pinned a German rifle section entering the graveyard). he retreated to the gate of the graveyard.  Jon's MG-34 succumbed to superb rifle fire from a section french riflemen.

3rd turn the french advanced a little more taking fire and giving it. the H-39 arrived at the far end of the table from the infantry(German far left), behind a significant amount of cover.  Jon piled more infantry into the church and Jon's P IV having lost it's only recently acquired target(the MG section) moved up the street a little more in preparation for  attack of the H-39. the NCO in spectacular fashion, steadied his rifle  on the graveyard wall and proceeded to do more damage to the German rifle section in the graveyard the 2 squads of french down the road could do over the next two turns.

End of 3rd turn.
In the 4th turn, Jon continued to pile infantry into the Church while i was slowly beginning to realize that retaking the church was no longer possible in the time remaining ( 6-turn game length) . the Somua entered the table, albeit to late to have a real effect on the game. it took a potshot at the infantry in the graveyard but had no real effect.  the NCo continued having the most effect on the game.  the H-39 pulled out to take a shot at the Panzer IV but the shot went wide.  Luckily, so did the Panzer's shot.  a few moves into the 5th turn i gave up and retreated, as i could not make it to the church in the time allotted.

End of 4th turn

During the free-form events that followed the game,  the french NCO who miraculously survived  increased in moral ability, as he held his post against overwhelming odds(in full view of the rest of teh platoon and at least 1 tank) and only retreated when he was ordered to.  the German squad leader who was in hte graveyard also increased his gut score due to his bravery and keeping his squad together in the face of overwhelming fire( 2 full french squads, a mortar,  the NCO and a Somua tank). a the fixed effects yeilded no changes fr the french, but teh Germans get to have an extra Mortar or MG-34 MMG team next scenario, and try were asked by Battalion HQ to deliver a new radio to company HQ since they are out of contact (next scenario for them)

Part way through 5th turn, end of game.

All in all i like the system. my only grip is that the +1 morale is far better then the +1 movement.  I may adjust to to +2 because +1 jut don't have much impact.  the rules do not specify the actual increase, rather leaving it up to the players to decide since it is a non-rules-specific set.    and now for some cool pics:
Somua takes a potshot at some German infantry

H-39 Begins it's attack

End of game.


  1. Nice batrep, good figures and scenery by the way, really interested in the rules. Do you just need the platoon forward rules or the Disposable set aswell and can you play more than one platoon per side.

  2. Platoon forward is a generic solo campaign system. you need a separate WW2 Tactical Rules set with them. It's designed around using a system that has 3-4 levels of morale/quality, so all you need to do is find a way to mesh that with whatever your preferred WW2 rules are.

    for instance, I set up the German platoon Guts(sort of a hybrid of morale and training) score Scheme as 11, 10, 9 and 8. in Disposable heroes, am out of the book Lt would be 10, Platoon Sgt 9, and squad leaders 8. using 8-11 as my 4 levels, it doesn't really allow for below-average Squad leaders, but it allows for some above average and some below average Lts and Platoon sgts.

    I don't see why you can't keep track of more then one platoon per side, it just involves keeping track of 10 characters across 2 platoons instead of 5 across 1. If you keep them as the same company, then the "npcs" ( Company CO, Battalion CO, etc) you generate are the same for both platoons.

  3. Just played Disposable Heroes last night and need to write up a report myself. Great report and nice looking table. Just like you I forgot to take pics for most of the game, but still have a few to add.


  4. Great blog Stephen, I will be following.

  5. I play DH as well, my new WW2 blog is here

    I will add you