Moroccan Knives – A Crossfire Battle Report 2

Jamie Wish and I played my Moroccan Knives scenario set in the Spanish Civil War. Jamie started work at 05:00 hours the next morning so we wanted something quick. This scenario is guaranteed to take less than two hours so was a good candidate. It was a bit one sided and I’ve suggested a couple of changes.

The Game

The game is fought on a packed 4′ x 3′ table. Lots and lots of small woods features with a single rough ground feature in the middle representing a clearing.

Moroccan Knives Table

Moroccan Knives Table

Jamie chose the defending Anarchist Militia so I got the attacking Moroccans. I decided to concentrate and brought my entire company on at the left hand side of the table.

Moroccans Arrive

Moroccans Arrive

I pushed forward and as soon as I got near the clearing Jamie revealed his first platoon in the woods opposite.

Anarchists appear

Anarchists appear

Luckily I escaped unscathed. But it would be a bit of a gamble to leave my squad in the fire zone of a reinforced platoon.

Anarchists fire across the clearing

Anarchists fire across the clearing

I pushed forward on the left with as much as I could get moving.

Moroccans mass on left

Moroccans mass on left

Of course Jamie had troops in front of me. I used advancing troops to discover the Republicans and never tried RBF in the entire game. I wasn’t sure how fast two hours would go by so wanted a conclusion quickly. That meant walking squads into danger.

More Anarchists appear

More Anarchists appear

I decided to concentrate on one of the two Anarchist platoons on table. The one on my left. The one in the middle of the table didn’t appeal because I’d have to go across the clearing and it would expose me to fire from all three enemy platoons – assuming the missing Anarchists were on my right.

Moroccans redeploy left

Moroccans redeploy left

I had my Forward Observer (FO) up with the front line and he called in smoke to shield the advance. Unfortunately I got it wrong three times and Jamie managed to sneak a shot around the edge of the smoke screen at one or other of my Moroccans.

Nationalist smoke doesn't stop the bullets

Nationalist smoke doesn’t stop the bullets

Jamie has started out by deploying his platoons in a slight arc, but changed his mind and brought them back into line to maximise his potential fire power in a “Crossfire”. In this case Jamie used the cover of my smoke to pivot a squad back into alignment.

Anarchist Pivot

Anarchist Pivot

With my troops massed on my left, Jamie revealed his 3rd platoon on my right, and pulled it back into reserve. He chose a good spot and managed to take a shot at some of my troops through the gap in the woods.

3rd Anarchist Platoon pulls back - and gets LOS

3rd Anarchist Platoon pulls back – and gets LOS

Back in the centre Jamie managed to suppress the squad facing his platoon.

Suppress across the clearing

Suppress across the clearing

But on my left I finally had my big fire power platoon in position. HMG and three rifle squads pack a punch and they started gnawing on Jamie’s Anarchists. First up was a squad in the Anarchist 2nd Platoon.

Moroccan firepower finally comes to bear

Moroccan firepower finally comes to bear

Then Jamie tried pivoting the end squad of his 1st Platoon, the guys near the clearing. I had line of sight and got a natural kill.

Anarchist 1st Platoon take losses

Anarchist 1st Platoon take losses

Then I turned my attention back to the Anarchist 2nd Platoon. Another squad killed.

And another from 2nd Platoon

And another from 2nd Platoon

And the third squad quickly followed.

3 down in 2nd Platoon

3 down in 2nd Platoon

On a roll I launched a wide flank march with a PC and a single squad. This was enough to take out the single squad Jamie had left to shield that flank.

Close assault takes out a 3rd Platoon squad

Close assault takes out a 3rd Platoon squad

And with the flank guard out of the way I had covered access to Jamie’s 1st Platoon in the centre. Another charge. Another kill. Game over.

Moroccan Knives close on the Anarchist 1st Platoon

Moroccan Knives close on the Anarchist 1st Platoon

I still had 52 minutes on the clock (out of 2 hours). Unfortunately Jamie didn’t have time for a repeat so we called it a night.

52 min on the clock

52 min on the clock

Conclusions and Observations

The game was a bit one sided. Jamie didn’t figure out the implications of the victory conditions until late in the game. He initially tried to defend terrain but his real goal was to protect his troops. If he’d realised that earlier the game would have lasted longer and, perhaps, been more balanced.

The two hour real time limit worked okay, although I came no where near the limit. Next time I am tempted to reduce the limit and use a Chess Clock. Perhaps with 1 hour for the attackers and 30 minutes for the defenders. This might put more pressure on the Moroccans.

Jamie also thought the Anarchists needed more fire power. He suggested I add a second HMG to their order of battle. Worth a try.

3 comments to Moroccan Knives – A Crossfire Battle Report 2

  • Dick Bryant

    I’m confused (much my natural state) but you mention a “natural kill” but only show a double hit. The target stand was hit when it attempted to pivot, so it could not have been suppressed. I checked you house rules for the period, but could not find anything that supported this, did I miss something?

    Dick (my name, not my personality)

    • Steven Thomas

      I play the normal rules for this situation The problem is which photo you were looking at. Generally the commentary relates to the photo that follows. So, in this case, the commentary “Then Jamie tried pivoting the end squad of his 1st Platoon, the guys near the clearing. I had line of sight and got a natural kill” relates to the photo with the caption “Anarchist 1st Platoon take losses”. Although in hindsight it might have been two suppresses by different stands as a group fire rather than a kill by a HMG.

  • Dick Bryant

    OK! (Imagine fellow with stupid look and lightbulb lighting up overhead)

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