Sunday, October 30, 2011

Platoon Forward Solo Hürtgen Forest Campaign Personalities

Using the Platoon Forward campaign rules, I set up some personalities for the company and platoon commanders of my fictional company. All given names were created using a random name generator. Nicknames were created based on the personality traits generated by the Platoon Forward rules. The Dice Roll Modifiers (DRM) are based on the personality traits of the character.

The campaign will be set in the Hürtgen Forest, and my fictional company will be part of the historical 1st Infantry Division.

U.S. Force: Fox Company ("The Misfit Marauders") of the fictional 4th Battalion, belonging to the historical 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division ("Big Red One")

Company Commander: Capt. Walter Thorpe

Description: Captain Walter Thorpe is a career officer with one thing only on his mind – climbing the ranks and getting ahead professionally. He'll screw over anyone he has to in order to do this. In a word, he is a jerk to all peers and subordinates, whom he sees only as stepping stones to professional advancement. While he is an exceptional tactician, he may recklessly volunteer his men for jobs too big for them to handle in his desire to make a splash with the top brass. His total disregard for his subordinates' needs (and sometimes lives) has earned him the nickname "Captain Ass-Hat."

Traits/Stats: Personality: Unsupportive (generally unpopular; -1 to campaign progress rolls; -2 DRM); Motivation/Interest: Position (promotion/furthering his career); Combat Temperament: Bold (+1 DRM); Combat Leadership: Exceptional (Level IV) (+2 DRM); Background: Average

Cumulative DRM: +1 to US reserve cards and to AFV move/fire cards played.


1st Platoon Leader: Lt. Lewis Grover

Description: Grover rose from the ranks. Due to the circumstances of his rise to platoon command, he hates Captain Thorpe. Grover became a lieutenant and platoon leader the day after Thorpe sent the first platoon on one of his rashly bold career-advancing attacks while Grover was just a sergeant. The platoon lost its leader, and Grover lost a lot of good friends that day. He blames Thorpe for their deaths, and will look for any way possible to bring down the Captain in the eyes of the higher echelon commanders. His hatred burns so hot that he often cannot help grinding his teeth in the Captain's presence. Consequently some of his men call him "Grinder."

Traits/Stats: Personality: Cheap; Motivation/Interest: Revenge; bears a grudge against Capt. Thorpe; Combat Temperament: Bold (+1 DRM); Combat Leadership: Rookie (Level I) (-1 DRM); Background: Up from the ranks

Cumulative DRM: +/- 0


2nd Platoon Leader: Lt.Todd Benedetto

Description: Lieutentant Benedetto is a socially meek fellow, who turns a little too often to alcohol to bolster his confidence. In combat, he is a more than competent platoon leader – when he is sober. But when going into combat under the influence, he becomes a loose cannon. His decrease in judgment is not offset by his increased boldness. So far, no combat deaths are attributed to his drinking, and some of the more "macho" men in his platoon even prefer going into battle with him in that condition, as they equate (quite mistakenly) his socially quiet demeanor as "cowardice" and believe (quite wrongly) that sober he is more likely to get them killed in combat. Other men are worried about it though, and his drinking has earned him the nickname of "Lieutenant Beercan."

Traits/Stats: Personality: Meek; Motivation/Interest: Alcohol, loose cannon when drunk (2-in-6 chance each day); Combat Temperament: Even (when sober)/Reckless (when drunk; red/black cards are interchangeable); Combat Leadership: Poor Level 0 (when drunk; -3 DRM) / Above Avg (Level III) (when sober +1 DRM); Background: Average

Cumulative DRM: +1 sober /-3 drunk (red/black cards interchangeable)


3rd Platoon Leader: Lt. Howard Pickard

Description: Lietenant Pickard is a morose individual, whose eternal frown has earned him the nickname "Pouty-Puss Pickard." A moderately competent commander, the only notable thing about him at all, besides his glum personality, is his keen interest in making a buck, by any means he can shy of actually breaking regulations (though he's not afraid to bend them a little). There is sometimes a bit of tension between Pickard and Lt. Grover, as the latter, somewhat of a skinflint, not only refuses to invest in Pickard's high-risk get-rich-quick schemes, but quite often discourages others from doing so as well.

Traits/Stats: Personality: Glum; Motivation/Interest: Wealth; will seek out money by any legal means; Combat Temperament: Even; Combat Leadership: Average (Level II); Background: Average

Cumulative DRM: +/- 0


  1. Very interesting characters it will fun to see them in action.

  2. Dan: Thanks! I'm looking forward to getting this mini-campaign started (I'm thinking one battle per week through November).


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Two Up, One Back

"The dominant (though not the only) tactical formation for the infantry in both attack and defense remained 'two up, one back.' This was a product of the triangular organization that the infantry used from platoon to division level. Triangular units had three main 'maneuver' elements (weapons units did not count as 'maneuver' elements). Rifle platoons had three squads; rifle companies three rifle platoons; battalions, three rifle companies; and so forth. This encouraged commanders to place two of their maneuver units forward while keeping back the third so that it could relieve or reinforce a frontline unit."

--John Sayen, U.S. Army Infantry Divisions 1944-45 (28)