Converting Rapid Fire to Crossfire

There are quite a few Rapid Fire scenarios out there and I find them quite useful starting points for making Crossfire scenarios. Rapid Fire is a higher level of abstraction (Brigade or Regiment) than normal Crossfire games (Company to Battalion) so the games produced will be large in Crossfire terms. This is fine for the bunch of guys I play with but won’t appeal to those of you more interested in Company level actions.

Converting Rapid Fire scenarios to Crossfire

If you’re interested in “normal” sized crossfire games (6′ x 4′ table and less than a battalion a side) then look for Rapid Fire scenarios with a man to figure ratio of 1:5, for example Operation Archery.

Table Size

A typical Rapid Fire table is 8′ x 5′, which with some rough calculations equates to a 12′ x 7.5′ crossfire table. This is about four times the size of a normal Crossfire table (6′ x 4′) but is close enough to the Shed’s 14′ x 6′ not to worry too much.

Converting the Orders of Battle

In general a Rapid Fire company converts to a Crossfire company, however, some more specific guidelines might be necessary.

Infantry:

Comparing the figure ratios of the two systems. Rapid Fire normally uses 1:15 figures to men, whereas Crossfire uses one stand of 3 figures represents a squad of 9 to 12 men. That suggests a Rapid Fire figure equates to a Crossfire squad. So an 8 figure Rapid Fire Company would convert to an 8 squad Crossfire company, i.e. one of the platoons will be short a squad. If that is too fussy for you, go back to the one company means one company rule.

Rapid Fire sometimes uses other man to figure ratios, but these are dealt with in the example section below, in particular:

1:1 scale – see Defence of Hondeghem

1:5 scale – see Operation Archery

Vehicles:

A vehicle model in Rapid Fire represents 5 real pieces; in Crossfire a tank or assault gun model represents one real vehicle, but one APC model represents 3 real ones. I’d suggest keeping the same number of Crossfire tank/assault gun models as Rapid Fire has; converting any other way would end up with too many tanks in Crossfire. On the other hand provide troops with APCs with four models per Crossfire infantry company, unless the company is particularly understrength.

Guns:

A gun model in Rapid Fire also represents 5 real pieces; in Crossfire a gun model represent 2-3 actual pieces. So one Rapid Fire model makes two in Crossfire, but two Rapid Fire models makes three to four. Tweak this as necessary to give something that fits the normal Crossfire organisations. Although it isn’t stated in the rules I assume Crossfire uses a slightly higher ratio for off-table artillery as there is one FO for each Battery.

Examples:

Force Rapid Fire Crossfire
Rifle and SMG Company 6-10 figures A Crossfire company (including company assets) with the same number of squads as Rapid Fire figures spread across the 3 platoons; this means some platoons will be bigger or smaller than normal.
AT Rifle 1 figure with Battalion HQ 1 squad per platoon has ATR
Panzershreck 1 figure with Battalion HQ 1 squad per platoon has Panzershreck
Panzerfaust Assigned to company All squads have early Panzerfaust (except those with Panzershreck)
Flamethrowers and/or demo charges Assigned to company Company are Assault Engineers, hence get +1 in close combat.
Mine Detectors Assigned to Battalion HQ Company are Engineers
Machine Guns 3 figures with MMG 2 x HMG
6 figures with 2 MMG 3 x HMG
50mm mortar 1 figure with Battalion HQ 1 x on-table 50mm mortar attached to each company
81-82mm mortar 3-4 figures with 1 mortar in mortar or machinegun company 1 x FO for off-table mortar per rifle company in battalion
Infantry Gun or Anti-tank Gun (or other on-table weapons) 3 figures with gun or mortar 1 x PC (for rallying only)
2 x FO (IG only)
2 x on-table Guns or mortars
6 figures with 2 guns or mortars 1 x PC (for rallying only)
3 x FO (IG only)
3 x on-table Guns or mortars
105mm artillery or 120mm mortar or some such 3-4 figures with 1 gun or mortar 1 x FO for off-table gun or mortar
Tanks and Assault Guns 1 model 1 model
APC 1 model 1 model / platoon

Forces still too big?

The simple conversion above might give you masses of troops – too many for even a mega Crossfire game. So you’ll have to only use a proportion of them. Try using 50% (or 75% or whatever) of the companies and models and see how that works.

Example: My lot aim for between 6-9 infantry companies (2-3 battalions) on each side in a Crossfire game. When I first converted “Operation Comet” (Bennet, 2003) into my Link Up Operation I had twice that number, so I simply halved everything, so where Operation Comet had two US Para Battalions, my version has one, etc. In the case of the SS defenders of the town they started with a full battalion (3 rifle companies and a MG company) and ended up with two rifle companies.

Troop Quality

A simple translation:

Rapid Fire Crossfire
Poor Green
Regular Regular
Elite Veteran

Time

Rapid fire has turns which don’t correspond well to Crossfire’s initiatives. I suggest using the Special Rule 4: Moving Clock from Hit the Dirt. Consider a Rapid Fire turn to have passed when 5+ is rolled at the end of any defending player’s initiative.

Alternatively use clock ticks. Basically at the end of the defender’s initiative 1d6 is added to the Clock; when the Clock reaches a certain number special events occur, or the game ends. For example, the German player might throw 3 at the end of their first initiative; this corresponds to 3 clock ticks. A 6 at the end of the second initiative means a total of 9 clock ticks have passed. One Rapid Fire turn is assumed to pass for every 10 clock ticks.

Map

Rapid Fire maps show the “main features that should be represented on the wargame table”, which judging by the photographs means they show the only features that appear on the table. Crossfire tables are a lot fuller. In general for one Rapid Fire terrain feature use several (4-8) Crossfire features positioned close together and covering a larger area of the table – this particularly applies to woods and buildings.

Feature Type Rapid Fire Crossfire
Linear features Road, rivers, railway lines Unchanged
Woods 1 woods feature Several woods features close together and covering a larger area of the table.
Buildings 1 building Several buildings close together and covering a larger area of the table.
Fields Corn Use in-season fields, several of them close together and covering a larger area of the table.
Hills / contours Hill Use Hit the Dirt contour rules (not Crossfire hill features)
Swamp / marsh Swamp Use lots of rough ground features covering at least the same area of the table. Where they prevent armoured travel, then make sure the pieces butt together and use bogging down rule from Hit the Dirt.
Depression / Ravine Ravine Depression
Good going Open / blank areas Fill up the space with rough, fields, hills, crests, walls, hedges, and isolated buildings and woods.
Water Lake, Sea Impassable water

Aircraft

See my musings on Aircraft. If only one side can have aircraft in the scenario, then they get the aircraft for 1d6 initiatives.

Bunkers

The capacity of bunkers is a straight ratio of 1 Rapid Fire Figure equals 1 Crossfire squad.

Example Conversions

Rapid Fire Rules

The Rapid Fire rule book includes a bunch of scenarios which generally can be converted using the guidelines above. A few require special attention, so here are some rough notes on converting them.

The Defence of Hondeghem: 27th May 1940

This is 1:1 scale in Rapid Fire, and so is also better played with 1:1 Crossfire. So the Crossfire table should probably be 10’x5′ like the original.

The Fall of Hong Kong: 8th-25th December 1941

Turns 12-15 of each day are night time; use the Night rules from Hit the Dirt.

Japanese are Regular and British are Veteran. British throw for morale when they have 100 or less fighting stands remaining (squads, HMG, guns, etc, but not PC or FO).

‘Operation Archery’ – The Assault on Vaagsö: 27th December
1941

Uses a 1:5 figure ratio, so don’t use the conversion guidelines above. In general treat 1 Rapid Fire figure as 1 Crossfire figure, e.g. 3 rifle figures makes a Crossfire rifle squad.

British Order of battle

Group 1: PC, 3 x Rifle Squads
Group 2: BC; 2 x Commando Troops; 1 x 3″ mortar
Group 3: 1 x Commando Troop, 1 x 2″ mortar
Group 4: 1 x Commando Troop
Morale: Veteran
Command and Control: as Germans
1 squad per platoon has an ATR.
1 squad per platoon has demolition charges.
(All Commando Troops have 2 x 2 Squad platoons)

German Order of Battle:

2 x 75mm coastal guns emplaced on Maaloy
1 x PC for coastal guns
1 x 20mm AA gun on Trawler

HQ: BC
181st: 1 x Rifle Company including 2 HMG and 50mm Mortar
Visiting Combat Unit: 1 x Rifle Platoon
Armed Sailors: PC, 2 x Rifle Squads
1 x Pz 1
Morale of above: Regular
Labour Corps Unit:2 x Rifle Platoons (Green)

3 x Wire sections
Up to 4 bunkers with a total capacity of 4 squads (e.g. 1 of 4 or 2 of 2)

All German occupied buildings count as Bunkers.

The German BC and one other stand must start in the Hotel.

In addition to the guns mentioned above, Maaloy Island must also have at least 2 squads. The coastal guns are unmanned to start with – count them as suppressed.

The British can target Maaloy Island with a pre-planned bombardment (12 PPB dice).

Given the size of forces – the Brits having a reinforced Commando making them about 55% of a normal battalion – it might be wise to use a 6′ x 4′ table.

The cavalry Charge at Chebotarevsky: 24 Aug 1942

Give the Russians only 2 battalions, not three, but use normal Crossfire organisations.

See my musings on Cavalry.

‘Operation Caravan’ – The Raid on Barce: 13 Sep 1942

Scenario specifies 1:2 figure ratio, so probably best to use 1:1 Crossfire.

The L.R.D.G. would get:

1 x CC
1 x HMG (20mm Breda on Truck)
2 x Patrols

1 x PC
4 x Fire teams

The Italians get:

1 x CC
1 x SMG
2 x HMG
1 x 45mm mortar
4 x Platoons

1 x PC
8 x Fire teams

Allow Fire Groups but not Crossfires.

See my musings on HMG versus AFV

Rapid Fire Third Supplement: Scenarios for the Russian Front 1941-1945

The scenarios in this supplement usually involve a bigger table (5′ x 10′) and larger forces (2+ battalions a side) than those in the rule set itself. Some are very dense for example, the Siege of Kholm 23 Feb 1942 has five Russian Infantry Battalions, plus supports, attacking two German battalions – all on an 5′ x 8′ table. These would have to be cut back when converted to Crossfire.

Rapid Fire Campaign Guide: D-Day 6th June 1944

This booklet contains eight scenarios, two of which (Omaha and Juno) can be played a big games or subdivided into two normal sized games. The subdivided Omaha and Juno, plus the other six scenarios can be converted using the rules described above.

See my musings on Waterbourne troops. I did try converting the Juno Beach scenario, but ending up throwing it away when I read the history – see St Aubin-sur-Mer scenario.

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