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"Fights from the Movie "Platoon" #1" Topic

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First Look: Battlefront's Rural Fields and Fences

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian gets his hands on some fields and fences.

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Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2019 7:31 a.m. PST


I've wanted to do this for a very long time; the problem is, it's Vietnam gaming, but I don't want to stop all my other projects and start a new one, so the simple answer was to combine them. I'm going to play out this project, but put it into the timeline of another, so that I can play what I want AND keep the campaign moving along. So, what am I doing? You've seen the movie "Platoon," right? You know, 'the only man that can kill Bahnes, is Bahnes!" that one. Yeah, I love it, and so this is my wargaming tribute to that amazing movie. I have created a roster of the entire platoon, from Lt Wolfe and SSgt Barnes and Sgt Elias, all the way down to the FNGs, Bob Gardner and Chris Taylor, and I'm going to play out a series of fights in 15mm using them. The problem with the movie is that it only has three real fights in it: the initial night ambush (where Gardner is killed and Tex and Chris wounded), the bunker complex (where the platoon gets its ass ripped), and the final battle where the firebase is overrun. That worked great for the movie, but that's not enough for a wargaming campaign! So I'm going to play the 'real' fights from the movie, and I'm going to add in some 'fictitious' fights that are (hopefully) plausible for the Vietnam-era. So I'm going to start at the start, right there with the night ambush, where SSgt Barnes grabs Doc Sanchez and pieces of Sgt Elias' and Sgt O'Neill's squads, and leads them out. In order to make it more 'wargame interesting,' I'm going to plus up the number of NVA, and having them arriving from more than one direction. I hope you enjoy it!


Overview of area, left is north. In the overall scheme of things, i.e., in terms of the front lines, the good guys are in the west and the bad guys are in the east, but in this fight the platoon will be in the south and the bad guys will enter from the north. Hill 47 is at bottom right, there's a road running north to south with a branch to the west (bottom), and if you look closely, there's a hard-packed trail leading east through the jungle (top center). There's also a small village at bottom left; the village is actually what brings us here, tonight. A friendly patrol this morning swept through the village and found plenty of signs of enemy activity, including a weapons cache, so command thought this would be good spot for an ambush.

The ambush site is at the base of the crossroads (center right), with a team watching their backtrail at top right. They departed friendly lines just after dark (about 2030, local time) and got into position on Hill 47 (bottom right), but it didn't take Barnes and Elias long to figure out they couldn't see anything from there on this dark and moonless night, so they repositioned down to the crossroads. They got set in, ran comm checks, made sure their gear was arranged just the way they wanted it, then went to 50% (every other man sleeping). It's about 0130 and the first inkling of trouble has dawned on the men (the bad guys are at far left, on the road); no one has actually seen anything yet, but the veterans amongst them can sense it coming.


The ambush position, from top left: Rodriguez, Westfall, and Sgt O'Neill hold down the left flank. It should have been Sgt Elias, as those are men from his squad, but Barnes wanted him watching their backs (bottom right). Next are Doc and Barnes, then the MG position covering down the road, with Gardner, Junior, Tex, Taylor, and Sanderson. At bottom right, watching the back trail, are Manny, Elias, Parker, and Fu Sheng.


Taylor is about to Bleeped text his pants, the Commies are almost on top of them! Taylor wakes up Sandy, looks over to see if the MG team of Tex and Junior are awake: they're not. It was Junior's watch!


Taylor initiates the ambush with his rifle (sorry, no Claymores, wanted this to be a fight). How 'bout them roads? Pretty spiffy, eh? They're new, from "Fat Frank," and they're great. Reasonably priced, and got here (to the US, from the UK) in less than two weeks, too!


Barnes is large and in charge, kicking Taylor and Sandy in the ass to get them back in the fight.


Enemy troops try to flank through the ville.

To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:

The ambush patrol policed up their gear, formed up, and returned to their lines, in high spirits, having met a numerically superior enemy and bested him. As it turned out, they'd be sitting tight for a few more days, waiting for the next fight, but when it came it was the entire platoon making an advance to contact.


Soaring Soren02 Sep 2019 7:56 a.m. PST

Impressive report! Thanks for posting this.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Sep 2019 9:22 a.m. PST

Good stuff Jack. Like the elephant grass too.

Sundance02 Sep 2019 9:32 a.m. PST

Very nice. 15mm?

blacksmith02 Sep 2019 10:54 a.m. PST

Love your table

BrockLanders02 Sep 2019 12:44 p.m. PST

As for fights, you forgot about the middle sequence, where Lt. Wolfe's artillery strike comes in short, and Sgt. Elias ends up getting shot by Barnes

14Bore02 Sep 2019 3:08 p.m. PST

That is very nice, worth the time I'm sure

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2019 3:26 p.m. PST

I don't usually like 15mm mounted this way but this is the best I have seen. Super job!

GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2019 6:12 p.m. PST

Nice crafting.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2019 6:28 p.m. PST

Looks really great!

Been thinking about doing something like this in 28mm, or 20mm, but 15mm (assuming that's the scale these figs are, and not 12mm) looks great too.

The smaller scales permit larger areas to patrol through.

Who makes the figures you are using for your game?

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2019 7:16 p.m. PST

Wow, been a long time since one of my batreps drew this kind of attention, thanks everyone, I greatly appreciate the kind words!

Everything is 15mm, Americans from Battlefront and NVA from Peter Pig (I'm sure Martin recognized his majestic little men), most of the jungle and all the village stuff is from Flashpoint Minis, the roads are Fat Frank, the mat is from The Wargaming Company.

Regarding Lt Wolfe's "…Bleeped texted up fire mission…" that "…got a lot of men killed," from my perspective that's part of the bunker complex fight. The good Lieutenant does get to call in some arty in the next fight.

More to come.


mjkerner02 Sep 2019 8:53 p.m. PST

Always love your stuff, Jack!

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2019 12:04 a.m. PST

Thanks for the info.

A great looking game!

Fish03 Sep 2019 2:13 a.m. PST

What a nice idea! The movie has always been a favourite of mine ever since I saw it on the big screen when it came out

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2019 10:12 a.m. PST

Thanks guys, a favorite of mine, too!

I'm working on the batrep for the next one, probably won't have it until next Monday (too many projects going on simultaneously); the Platoon has taken its first casualties, including a KIA…


Joe Legan05 Sep 2019 6:28 a.m. PST

Great stuff Jack and a great idea. Love those roads as well.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2019 10:22 a.m. PST

Hey Joe, thanks man. Glad you saw this, I was waiting to hear what you thought.


PVT64106 Sep 2019 1:09 p.m. PST

Maybe I missed it, but what rules do you use?

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2019 2:43 p.m. PST

Ivan Sorensen's "No End in Sight."


Badlands12207 Oct 2019 7:53 a.m. PST

Wow!! Very Nice! One of my favorite Military movies, good job- looks like it was a fun game to pay over all.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2019 8:01 a.m. PST

Thanks, and yes, it absolutely was. I've always loved that movie and finally started, but (once again) have gotten sidetracked by other projects. I shall return!


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