Friday, June 24, 2011

Platoon Forward for WWI

A couple people asked me what I had changed to use Platoon Forward for WWI, so to make things easy I thought I would post it here.

The game I wrote about in my previous post was designed with two sides being controlled by actual players instead of having one side controlled by the "system".

The first part of Platoon Forward deals with designing your leaders for the game.  I'll list the Germans and Russians.  In this step I didn't change anything from what was written.  For those of you not familiar with these rules you design the character in this order: Personality, Motivation/Interest, Combat Temperament (which changes per battle), Combat Leadership and Background (only applied to Officer's).

The Germans looked like this for the game:
Lt. Dieter- Careful- Family- Bold- Level 3- +1 (background)
Sgt. Ostertag- Unsupportive (-1)- Religion- Even- Level 2
Obergefreiter Trager- Conformist- Wealth- Reckless- Level 1
Gerfreiters Stetter- Jovial (+1)- Revenge- Reckless- Level 1
Gefreiters Pfeifer- Cheap- Position- Reckless- Level 1
Gefreiters Schaffert- Foolish- Position- Even- Level 2
Gefreiters Knell- Lazy- The Arts- Even- Level 1

The Russians:
Lt. Vadim- Idealistic- Government- Even- Level 3
Sgt. Krylenko- Cheery (+1)- Government- Even- Level 3
Corporal Gorlice- Generous (+1)- Alcohol- Even- Level 1
Corp. Kazakov- Naive- Gluttony- Bold- Level 2
Corp. Tarnow- Cocky (-1)- Wealth- Even- Level 2
Corp. Igor- Naive- Revenge- Reckless- Level 1
Corp. Oignon- Foolish- Hedonism- Even- Level 1

Once this is done you roll up your scenario.  This is where I modified the charts and results for a more WWI feel.
The first roll one makes decides who will attack or defend.  The chart is broken down as Axis and Allies, obviously I changed the Axis to Central Powers and Allies to Entente.  I also changed the modifiers to the die rolls like this:
1914-1915- No Modifier
1916-1917 +1
1918 No Modifier
My reasoning behind these changes I felt reflected the distribution of attacks made by both sides during the war.  The early years were in my opinion pretty even, mid way through the war the Entente took on more of the Attacking posture than the Central Powers and by the end of the war both sides were pretty tired with an almost equal amount of attacks done on both sides.

The next step was to roll up the scenario.  For this I didn't modify anything and left it as is and I did not change the field of battle generator.  Although for my previous battle I did not use the field generator at all.

For determining the forces to be used I change the available forces to reflect WWI more than the WWII choices.  For most choices where Armor was called for I replaced it with Cavalry and or Armored Cars and then depending on the front and year Tanks.  Also depending on the year I placed LMG, Flamethrowers, trench mortars etc...
Since this series of battles will take place in early 1914 on the Russian front then HMG and Cavalry are available.

Well I think that's it.  I haven't done the after battle stuff yet, so I can't add it to this post.  Let me know what you think about some of the changes I've made.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Where did they come from? Sept. 1, 1914

This past Saturday my group and I ran a combined game of Through the Mud & Blood and Platoon Forward.  Both rule sets are published by the Two Fat Lardies.  Platoon Forward is a supplement that allows you to create scenarios, either linked or one off battles, and create leaders that one can follow through the series of battles.  It is wonderful for solo play or with a group.  The set was designed with World War II in mind but with a few simple changes I was able to amend some of the charts for World War I.  I purchased the set to help with scenario generation but after reading through the set I decided to try a short campaign with the group and drew up two opposing sides.  The first battle ended up being a Flank Attack with the Germans attacking some dug in Russians.

The scenario is set up with the defender dug in and expecting an attack from the south.  The attacker rolled a d6 to pick their starting point.  They rolled a 2 so they entered the board on the left of the Russians coming in the middle of the board.  The attacker also received a HMG firing from the south (off board) to help pin/harass the Russians.  The Germans were also given as a pre-game event and aggressive streak for the game and the Russians picked an extra move card.

The board was set up with the Russians holding a key cross road in the middle of the board.

 The battle started off the receiving some off board HMG fire that turned out to be in-effective.  The next card turned over was the pre-planned artillery card for the Germans.  With some great die rolling the German player landed the artillery exactly where he wanted.  The Russian player rolled in secret any and all shocks and kills.  The next card allowed the Germans to enter.
Soon the Russians were on the move to counter the attack.
The Germans took a bold move and rushed the dug in russians in the field and took a beating.  This failure seemed to derail the German attack.  They became less aggressive in trying to press home their flanking move.

The Germans were able to out flank the Russians in the field  and forced them to retreat after losing their bottle.  This would be the farthest the Germans would advance.
Stalled on the small hill the Germans took a beating from the Russian HMG and the forming line of infantry.

Around the 6th turn the German player called in and said he could not push forward and retreated off the board leaving the Russians with a victory.

Some mistakes I made with this scenario was the ability of the Russian commander to react so quickly to the advancing Germans.  I should have limited the Russians in some way, either requiring one of the squads to send a runner back to warn of the attack or doing something where the Russians could activate certain blinds depending on how close the Germans got to certain terrain pieces.  Without the limitation the Russians were able to throw everything they had at the Germans within a turn or two and the surprise was lost completely.  Another mistake I made was limiting the off board HMG to only fire when its card came up, instead of giving it a chance to fire once every turn.

I will be running another scenario using Platoon Forward next month with the same leaders/squads.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Terrain Conundrum: The Final Chapter

I know it's been a little bit since my last post but life has again gotten in the way of my fun.  I have finally finished the terrain piece I've been working on and I think it has turned out pretty well.

In my last post I believe I finished painting the walls and giving them a dusty look with a chalk pastel and then sealed the walls with a matt varnish.  From this point I started to work on the little pieces wood, rocks and metal that were molded into the piece.  I had thought about purchasing or making some extra bricks out of basswood.  I was unable to find anything already made that was in the right scale.  The basswood didn't work out either as trying to cut the wood into a small enough pieces.  So I decided to skip this and just work with the debris that was already on it.

I worked on painting all of the metal parts first and then moved onto the broken pieces of wood.  I did purchase a great weathering powder called the "Weather System" by Bragdon Enterprises.  The rust pigment did wonders to the metal pieces.  Using an old toothbrush I was able to vary the amount of rust on each piece.  The harder I rubbed the powder with the brush the better it looked.  I highly recommend this powdered.  I sprayed a matt varnish over the whole piece to seal the paint and powder.  I like how it turned out and I can't wait to get it on the table for it's first game.