"War is a drama, not a game of chess."
Gen Eisenhower

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Big Red One

So okay, I got Platoon Forward and have been reading it thoroughly several times now. I am intending to use it with "Chain of Command", the WW2 version of TooFatLardies "Through the Mud and the Blood". The game is still in it's playtest stages but this will be an excellent method of generating games for testing the rules.

I was procrastinating a bit before I decided I would play a US platoon from the 1st Infantry Division in Normandy. They were called the Big Red One, and landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day, taking some 30% casualties. To reflect that, and because I don't have many US figures (yet!) the platoon will start with only two squads. Any support weapons heavier than a BAR they will have to get from the company or batallion assets which means they will be rolled for on the appropriate tables in Platoon Forward.

  • The platoon is led by 2nd lieutenant Charles Ingram. He is liberal and motivated by wealth, from a privileged background. He turned out to be a grade III leader (on a scale of one to four). He is basically a good guy who wants to do his duty, but his family's connections got him into West Point and he is destined for a career as a lawyer after the war.
  • Second in command is staff sergeant Andy Sipowitz. He is corrupt but has the motivation government, which means he believes in the system but thinks it's ok to earn an extra buck here and there. He too is a grade III leader and is reckless in combat. So he's a good leader but takes risks. I decide his parents immigrated from Poland at the beginning of the century but he is born and raised in Ney York with little feelings for his old country.
  • Corporal Richard Jenkins is leading 1st squad. He is idealistic and motivated by position. He is grade II and reckless as well.. I'm starting to see why the platoon has suffered a lot of casualties, maybe he and sergeant Sipowitz are trying to outshine eachother?
  • Corporal James D. Dever heads up second squad. He is haughty and motivated by religion. Only a grade I leader but bold (the Lord is his shepherd after all). He is the only leader in the platoon who recieved a negative trait which will affect his interactions with other people. I decide he's from the bible belt and has -- according to himself -- high standards and morale. He'd rather preach about his men's faults than listen to their needs and looks down upon those who cannot live up to his standards. He is not particularly liked by his men.
  • Finally I rolled up the company commander since he's the person the platoon has to deal with. Captain Keith Middlebrock is generous and hedonist, which is quite an odd combination. He is also from a privileged background so I decide he's quite an adventurer and mercenary who has seen a lot of action around the world before the war and totally lives for the moment.
So, our actors are ready, and the scene is set. Our saga will begin on june the 8th, 1944.


  1. I'll follow your adventures very closely. I have painted a full US Army company in 28mm last summer and have recently acquired arm badges transfers of the Big Red 1, so your posts will of interest to me, likely to be replayed in my club

  2. I too am looking forward to this. I was playing around with something similar (post D-Day) prior to Joseph's Platoon Forward coming out. I was using TW&T and have yet to playtest Chain of Command yet.

    Are you planning on doing the fight for the hedgerows or start before that point?

  3. Wow, talk about no pressure :-)

    Actually, I don't have any plans at all, yet. I chose the US because I just bought some of the old Wargames Foundry 20mm figures, two packs of US infantry and one pack of US support weapons. And I wanted to paint them, so I decided to use them for the game as well!

    Now, I set this right after D-Day, so I will probably try to reflect the fight inland towards the hedgerows. But I need to make some more bocage then! We will see how it turns out.