Crossfire in the Western Desert – Brett Simpson’s North African Terrain

Brett Simpson has been busy building up terrain and troops for North Africa using Crossfire. He is also experimenting with my ideas on Crossfire in the Western Desert. Brett has been sharing photos with me as he went along so I thought I’d share them more widely.


Desert Table

Brett textured and painted a 3′ x 4′ Desert Table on 9mm MDF. The first photo is the table setup for Brett first scenario: “Operation Desert-fire”.

BSWD10 Operation Desert-fire Table

BSWD10 Operation Desert-fire Table

Apparently it looks a little redder than it appears here.

BSWD09 Desert Table

BSWD09 Desert Table


Desert Terrain Template

Brett had a number of attempts at crafting terrain markers and templates for Boulder Fields and Scrub. One of the experiments was “tufts”. Brett liked the tufts but not the colour and would go for pale/dry for the desert.

BSWD07 British Stuart in rough ground

BSWD07 British Stuart in rough ground

BSWD11 Afrika Corps cross rough ground

BSWD11 Afrika Corps cross rough ground


Palm Groves

Brett got his Palm Trees off ebay. Then then dry-brushed palm trees and added a wash to give more depth. I like the palms Brett purchased and ended up getting some of them myself – the perfect size for using with 15mm figures.

BSWD02 8th Army in Palms

BSWD02 8th Army in Palms

BSWD03 SdKfz 222 in Palms

BSWD03 SdKfz 222 in Palms

BSWD20 Panzers advance through Palm Groves

BSWD20 Panzers advance through Palm Groves

BSWD21 Panzers advance through Palm Groves

BSWD21 Panzers advance through Palm Groves

BSWD08 Afrika Corps Radio man walks past palm

BSWD08 Afrika Corps Radio man walks past palm


Rocky Crest

Brett made this feature as a rocky area, and thought about using the rules for bocage. I think it makes a great HTD Crest.

BSWD01 Rocky Crest

BSWD01 Rocky Crest


Boulder and Rock Fields

The rocks on the Boulder Fields are much larger, whereas the Rocky Ground has small rocks.

Brett’s Rock Fields are 4″ x 6″ with enough space in between the rocky areas to fit his stands. Each marker is just large enough to fit 4 squads/sections plus PC.

BSWD04 Rock Fields

BSWD04 Rock Fields

After careful considering Brett decided to use real rocks for his Boulder Fields. It doesn’t get much simpler – it’s all about finding the right rocks (and very easy for storage). As it happens I went the same way, although I paint mine. You can see a section of Rocky Ground directly behind the Boulder Field in the photo.

BSWD22 Boulder and Rock Fields

BSWD22 Boulder and Rock Fields


Desert Village

When making his first desert building, Brett went with a fixed roof. The rationale is that that stands placed on the roof could represent troops either inside or on top of the building, and still fit in with being able to be house 2 – 3 squads in a building. The tree, bush, and oil drums are just add ons for visual effect. Initially he had a base around the building but Brett was unhappy with the base and removed it. As it happens I did the same thing when I first made my generic building features; I had a base and then realised that no base was better for game play and more flexible.

BSWD05 Desert Building

BSWD05 Desert Building

BSWD06 Desert Building

BSWD06 Desert Building


Example shots from solo game

The remaining photos are random images from Brett’s CF table. He played a solo game to iron out various ideas for his scenario and to see how the photos would look for battle reports.

BSWD12 Solo Game - British advance on Village

BSWD12 Solo Game – British advance on Village

BSWD13 Solo Game - Armour Face off

BSWD13 Solo Game – Armour Face off

BSWD14 Solo Game - Africa Korps in ruined house

BSWD14 Solo Game – Africa Korps in ruined house

BSWD15 Solo Game - British advance on Village

BSWD15 Solo Game – British advance on Village

BSWD16 Solo Game - British advance on Village

BSWD16 Solo Game – British advance on Village

BSWD17 Solo Game - Close Combat in Village

BSWD17 Solo Game – Close Combat in Village

BSWD18 Solo Game - British advance on Village

BSWD18 Solo Game – British advance on Village

BSWD19 Solo Game - British close combat a Panzer

BSWD19 Solo Game – British close combat a Panzer

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