Russian Scouts – A Crossfire Scenario

A generic Crossfire scenario for WW2 with Russian scouts probing a German position. It is really an excuse to field my Russian Scout company and my new Russian farm buildings.

Mission

Setting: Soviet Union; August 1943

Following the Battle of Kursk the Soviet armies are pushing westward. In the lead are the Scouts. One Soviet Divisional Reconnaissance Company is approaching a Collective Farm known to be held by Germans. The Russian scouts have to probe the German position to identify troops and fortifications.

Map/Terrain

The scenario is played on a 4′ x 4′ table.

Table Russian Scouts Scenario

Table Russian Scouts Scenario

Key features are:

  • Collective farm
    • 5 x 2 Squad capacity buildings
    • 2 x 1 squad capacity buildings
  • Scattered farm buildings outside the collective farm (2 squad capacity):
    • A water tower
    • Another farm building
  • Woods
  • Fields (in season)
  • Hills (Contour lines with other features on top)
  • Crests
  • Germans deploy west of Line A-A
  • Russians arrived on the eastern table edge (Line B-B)
  • Russians get bonus victory points for exiting troops from the western table edge (Line C-C)

Pre-game preparation

  • German player rolls for number of snipers.
  • Germans deploy hidden.

German Player (Defending)

Objective

Deny the Russians information about German positions, minimise own losses, and inflict casualties on the Russians.

Forces Available

The Germans have a weakened rifle company.

German Order of Battle

  • 1 x Weakened Rifle Company
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 2 x HMG
    • 1 x FO for off table 81 mm Mortar (8 FM)
    • 1 x Rifle Platoon: PC (+1), 3 x Rifle
    • 2 x Rifle Platoon: PC (+1), 2 x Rifle
    • 1d3 Snipers
    • Fortification package: 3 x wire, 1 x mine, 1 x bunker (1 SQ)
    • 3 x Entrenchments
  • Morale: Regular
  • Command & Control: Good, i.e. German

Deployment

Deploys first, hidden, west of the Line A-A. The following features must be occupied at the start of the game:

  • The bunker
  • All entrenchments
  • Two buildings in the collective farm

Reinforcements

None.

Russian Player (Attacking)

Begins scenario with initiative.

Objective

Locate German troops and positions quickly, and with as few casualties as possible.

Forces Available

The Soviets have a weakened Divisional Reconnaissance Company with supports.

Russian Order of Battle

  • 1 x Divisional Reconnaissance Company
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 2 x Scout Platoon: PC (0/+1)1, 3 x SMG squad2
    • 1 x Scout Platoon: PC (0/+1)1, 2 x SMG squad2
  • Support Elements
    • 1 x on-table 50mm Mortar (6 FM Smoke; 6 FM Barrage)
    • 1 x FO for off table 82 mm Mortar (4 Smoke FM)
    • 2 x HMG
  • Morale: Regular
  • Command & Control: Good, i.e. German

Notes:
(1) Scout PCs provide +1 for rallying but not for close combat; the reverse of normal Soviet PCs
(2) Scout squads are recon troops so RBF on a 5+

Deployment

Deploys second, moving on to the eastern table edge (Line B-B).

Reinforcements

None.

Victory Conditions

Recce and Casualty (AD) objectives.

The game ends at 0830 hours or when all surviving Russians have exited the table from the east (Line B-B) or west (Line C-C).

The Russians get Victory Points (VP) as follows:

  • 4 VP for spotting the German bunker
  • 2 VP for spotting each German entrenchment, wire, and/or mine section.
  • 1 VP for spotting each German stand of any type
  • 4 VP for capturing a “Tongue” i.e. killing a German stand in close combat (at most one stand)
  • 2 VP for each Russian SMG squad, CC, or HMG exiting the German base edge (line B-B); up to four stands maximum

The Germans get VP as follows:

  • 6 VP for each Russian SMG squad, CC, or HMG killed or on table at the end of the game
  • 2 VP for each Russian PC or FO killed or on table at the end of the game
  • 2 VP for control of each normal building in the Collective farm (up to five)
  • 1 VP for control of each small building in the Collective farm (up to two)
  • The score of 1d6

The side with more VP wins. A side that gets 10 more VP than their opponent wins a decisive victory.

Scenario Special Rules

  • Special Rule 4, the Moving Clock, is in use. The Scenario begins at 0300 hours and ends 0830 hours. The clock advances 30 minutes on 4+ at the end of each German initiative.
  • For simplicity “spotted” for victory conditions means on table. German stands become visible in the normal ways, i.e. revealed by player, enemy moves into the same terrain feature, and RBF.
  • Russian Scouts RBF on 5+.
  • Fields and orchards are in season.
  • Remember that in my House Rules stands on a hill can see over in-season fields, crests, and hedges (but not woods or buildings). That makes the two hills very significant.
  • Stands in an entrenchment or bunker get +1 to morale for rally (in addition to the +1 for enemy out of sight)
  • The Russians can exit from the east (Line B-B) or west (Line C-C) table edge. Stands that exit may not return.

Notes

A bit of scenario design:

  • This is based on our experience of Reconnaissance before Pontecorvo and Tarnopol: Russian Recce.
  • We added the “Tongue” special rule after a play test of this and another of Tarnopol: Russian Recce were the Russians got 1/2 VP for spotting and +1/2 VP for killing German stands. The play tests both turned into blood baths. The Russians realise they’ve lost too many stands so then have to kill all the Germans to have a chance of winning or at least drawing. And that isn’t a reconnaissance.

Optional rules to consider using:

  • You could try adding armour. The Russians might have German or American Half Tracks or Scout Cars. They might also have a British Valentine tank, which were popular with Recon units. The Germans would have to be compensated with anti-tank weapons, e.g. a Pak 38 anti-tank gun.
  • You could try the night special rule.

References

None

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