3 Round Kursk: A 3 Game Campaign for Crossfire

This is a 3 Round Campaign set at Kursk in 1943 and Crossfire as the tactical rules.

Essentially rounds 1 and 2 involve an offensive by the German side. Round 3 is the counter offensive by Russian or the final rearguard action. The German player has one force composition for the duration of the campaign, and the Russian player two: one Defensive and one Offensive. The Defensive Force fighting in the front line (rounds 1 & 2) and the Offensive Force in strategic reserve (round 3) . The results of each round affect the overall result.

Campaign Structure

Types of Scenario

The three types of scenario (Hasty Defence, Prepared Defence, Meeting Engagement) mentioned in the diagram for the Campaign Structure are described on my scenarios guidelines page.

Recover losses

For simplicity casualties should not be carried between rounds on the assumption that reserves are fed in as front line troops become exhausted. If you want the added complexity of carrying over casualties then try this …

Keep records of the stands killed (pinned and suppressed stands recover between battles).

Immediately after a battle all killed commanders (PC, CC, BC, RC) that haven’t already been replaced using Rule 2.3.3. Killed Commanders, must be replaced by a squad or crew served weapon. If possible the replacement must be a subordinate stand, however, if this is not possible then any stand can be used.

After all commanders have been replaced the player can roll to recover any stands that are still lost (i.e. killed in any of the previous battles or lost as replacements for commanders). Roll once a turn for each stand that is still lost; the score requiRussian depends on the Battle Result: 3+ if you won the round; 4+ if you lost.

In the case of Round 3, where the Russian player is using their Offensive force, just arbitrarily impose the casualties from the Defensive force to the Offensive force. The Russian player chooses which platoons lose the stands, but must try to keep the same kind of balance, , e.g. if the Defensive force had lost 10 stands across 4 platoons, then the same will be true of the Offensive force.


German Force

A Veteran contender would be 15th Panzer Regiment in association with Grossdeutschland. Regular units would also be possible.

Panzer IVs prowl

German Order of Battle

  • 1 x Leg Infantry Battalion (1943) — as per Crossfire p. 21 except…
    • 3 squads / company have ATR, either one entire platoon or 1 squad / platoon
    • 1 platoon has been upgraded to Assault Engineers
    • No half tracks
  • In addition:
    • 2 Snipers
    • 1 x Scout Platoon (Veteran)
      • 1 x PC (+2)
        2 x Rifle Squads
    • 1 x Panzer III Platoon
      • 5 x Panzer III Ausf J (or L or M)

(Alternatively replace all Pz III with 4 x Pz IV H or 4 x Stug III G or 3 x Pz V or 3 x Pz VI)

Scouts probably need a special rule, say RBF on 5-6, although this is only useful if some of the Defenders are hidden. .

Soviet Defensive Force

A Veteran contender for this force would be the 199th Guards Rifle Regiment of the 67th Guards Rifle Division. By this stage in the war most Soviets would be Regular.

SU-76 column

Russian Order of Battle – Defensive

  • 1 x Late War Leg Infantry Battalion (1943-45) — as per Crossfire p. 27
    • All Platoons have 3 Rifle squads.
    • All Rifle squads have ATR (god help them).
  • In addition:
    • 3 x Snipers
      1 x FO for off table Heavy Artillery (4 FM)
      1 x FO for off table 120mm Mortar Battery (12 FM)
    • 1 x Company of 76/41mm ATG
      • 1 x PC (+1 for close combat and rally ’cause he is actually a CC)
        3 x 76/41mm ATG
    • 1 x Platoon of SU-76
      • 4 x SU-76

(Alternatively replace all SU-76 with 3 x T34-76 C or 3 x SU-122)

If entrenched this force also gets 21 points of fortifications, for example, 2 x 2 Squad Bunkers, 7 mines and 8 wire sections.

Soviet Offensive Force

The 31st Tank Corps was one of the units to counter-attack the 11th Panzer and fought them between 7 and 9 July. Regular formations would also be possible. .

Swarms of T-34s

Russian Order of Battle – Offensive

  • 1 x Late War Motorised Infantry Battalion (actually the 1942 TO&E as we don’t have enough SMG

    • 1 x BC (+1)
      Heavy Weapons Company

      • 3 x HMG
        3 x FO for off table 81mm mortar
        1 x 45/66mm ATG / Truck
    • 2 x Late War Rifle Company
      1 x SMG Company (remember these guys don’t have company heavy weapons)
    • All Platoons have 3 Rifle or 3 SMG squads.
    • All Rifle and SMG squads have ATR (god help them).
    • Despite being called Motorised Infantry, they would not have trucks in combat.
    • The SMG Company was normally assigned to close escort of the Tanks, so any tank can carry 1 SMG squad or CC from this company (PCs ride for free).
  • In addition:
    • 3 x Snipers
      2 x FO for off 76mm Field Guns (12 FM)
      1 x FO for off table 120mm Mortar Battery (12 FM)
    • 2 x Platoons of T34-76 C
      • 3 x T34-76 C

(Alternatively replace one platoon of T34-76 C with 3 x SU-152 or 3 x KV-1)

If you want to play a more accurate 1943 TO&E then adjust the orbat as follows:

  • The Rifle Companies are replaced by SMG Companies each of which has a HMG but no 50mm mortar. The 3rd SMG company still lacked all company heavy weapons, and is still the only one to ride on the tanks.
  • Remove the HMG from the Heavy Weapons Company – they just had the 81mm mortars.
  • Add 1 Platoon of 3 x T34-76 Cs
  • Add 1 x T34-76 C as the Company Commander of the Tanks

Might be a bit tank heavy though, what with 10 tanks in the organisation. Not sure that will work in Crossfire.

The Farnborough Shed way

The Kursk scenario can be run on each of our 3 tables, just make sure both Russians and Germans on a particular table have the same troop quality. Change the Armour and/or fortifications for variety.

A side wins in a particular round if they win 2 or 3 of the tables. Alternatively, for a slightly more complicated approach, play each table separately through to Round 3. Award points to the teams for each victory. The side with the bigger total wins.

Victory Value
Minor 1
Major 2
Substantial 3
Massive 4

Generic Eastern Front Forces

Here are some recommendations in case you want to convert this campaign to some other setting.

It is assumed the base forces of both sides have the same troop quality, e.g. Green, Regular, or Elite. Bonus troops can be any troop quality. If this is not the case then additional bonus points should be awarded.

Recommended Force Levels:

Size of Game Nationality/Force Base force Bonus Points Total Points
Small German 1 x 1943 Leg Infantry Company (59 points) 15 74
Small Russian Defensive 1 x 1943 Leg Infantry Company (47 points) 15 62
Small Russian Offensive 1 x 1943 Leg Infantry Company (47 points) 27 74
Mid-Sized German 2 x 1943 Leg Infantry Companies (118 points) 30 148
Mid-Sized Russian Defensive 2 x 1943 Leg Infantry Companies (94 points) 30 124
Mid-Sized Russian Offensive 2 x 1943 Leg Infantry Companies (94 points) 54 148
Large German 1 x 1943 Leg Infantry Battalion (185.5 points) 72.5 259
Large Russian Defensive 1 x 1943 Leg Infantry Battalion (184 points) 33 217
Large Russian Offensive 1 x 1943 Leg Infantry Battalion (184 points) 75 259

The Bonus selections are awarded to the forces to address disparity in the Base forces, as per section 14 of the rules (p. 33).

In addition each force is awarded additional bonus points for any disparity in Command & Control points. For example, in a large battle between a Soviet force and a German force, the Russians gets +10 bonus points. Check out the table for the full range of options.

Size of Game Command & Control
Good e.g. German Okay e.g. US/Commonwealth Poor e.g. Soviet
Small 0 4 7
Mid-Sized 0 5 8
Large 0 6 10

I recommend you use my alternative rules for the points cost of vehicles.

Non-Eastern Front Forces

If you want to move another theatre completely, for example Normandy in 1944, then just use the points totals to work our your own forces.

In a Large Normandy game with an attacking US force the Americans would get:

  • 1 x Leg Infantry Battalion
  • Bonus selections to bring the total to 259 points
  • An addition +6 points of bonus selections due to the disparity in command and control

The Germans would get a defensive and offensive force. The Defensive force would get:

  • 1 x 1944 Leg Infantry Battalion (188.5 points)
  • Bonus selections to bring the total to 217 points

The German offensive force would get something like:

  • 1 x 1944 Panzer Grenadier Battalion
  • Bonus selections to bring the total to 259 points

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