Seestrasse Sector in “Operation Crossfire” – The Scenario

Here is the scenario should you want to play the Seestrasse Sector of Operation Crossfire. It is pretty much all the work of Nikolas Lloyd – the genius architect of Operation Crossfire. I have simply collated material from various emails and put them into my scenario format. I’ll post a Battle Report shortly.

The Setting for “Operation Crossfire”

Germany, early 1945, just after dawn. The Allies are fighting their way into the Fatherland. Operation Crossfire has been launched. It has the ambition to seize four bridges over the River Mühlbach. Fourteen separate actions have been planned, including four assaults on the objective bridges themselves. Other actions seek to knock out enemy AA batteries, seize look-out posts on high ground, seize transport nodes to speed the advance and/or cut off retreating enemy troops, and actions to neutralise the enemy’s tank forces.

Operation Crossfire Allied Sunray map

Operation Crossfire Allied Sunray map


There are two maps of the whole operation, one for the Allies and one for the Axis. I’ve only included the Allied one given this is the attacking force.

Terrain

Seestrasse Sector Map in Operation Crossfire

Seestrasse Sector Map in Operation Crossfire

One big rectangular table, perhaps 8’x5′. The table is rectangular, with the shorter edges north and south. In the centre of the table is the town of Seestraẞe, which has two railway stations. Reports from Resistance agents suggest that the southern one is exclusively for military use, while the northern one is civilian. The railway stations are ideally buried in the town such that entering the town is necessary to see what is going on in the stations.

As shown on the master map, railways and roads radiate from the town. From the town to the edge of the table, there is a continuous sight-block of woods and hedges and the like on the south side of the railway line that heads SW from the town. Therefore to shoot at anything on the railway line requires getting right next to it.

Fill up the blank areas of the sector with woods, fields (out of season), rough, farm houses/barns, maybe a stream, walls, hedges, crests, CF hills (only low). Roads will be dirt as they are minor.

German Player – SONNE GUNTHER (Defending)

SONNE GUNTHER has a mixed force of Fallschirmjaeger and conscripts to defend Seestraẞe.

Objectives

Objective = Defend Seestraẞe, with its two railways stations. Defend the transport lines radiating from it until told to destroy them. Load the tanks! Time allotted: 70 mins.

Forces Available

Starting forces were:

SONNE GUNTHER Axis Order of Battle in the Seestrasse Sector

  • Under SONNE GUNTHER’s control
    • 3 x medium tanks arm 4/2, gun 0/0, HE 4/2 These are low on fuel.
    • 3 x trucks
    • 1 x ATG (+2/+1) with towing vehicle
    • 1 x FO for the off-table reserve medium artillery – need Norn’s approval
    • 1 x Fallschirmjaeger Rifle Company (Veterans)
      • CC (+2)
      • 1 x SMG stand
      • 3 x Rifle Platoon: PC (+1), 3 x Rifle stands with Panzerfausts
      • 2 x HMG
      • 1 x FO for off table medium mortars (12 FM split between HE/Smoke)
    • 1 x Company of Reluctant Conscripts (Green)
      • 1 x CC (+2)
      • 1 x Rifle Platoon: PC(+1), 3 x Rifle Stands (one with Panzerschreck)
      • 2 x Rifle Platoons: PC(0), 3 x Rifle Stands (one with Panzerschreck)
    • Fortifications: 3 x mine fields, 2 x stands of wire, and 1 x bunker.
    • Steam train at military station
  • Not under SONNE GUNTHER’s control
    • Gestapo in office near the civilian station at square 9-Heinrich.
      • 2 x SMG Squads
    • Mobile Strategic Reserve (Regular) parked in the town a short distance south east of the civilian station
      • 2 x Rifle Platoons: PC(+1), 3 x Rifle Stands
      • 1 x on-table light mortar
      • 1 x HMG

Deployment

The German player may deploy half his stands hidden. He may not deploy any troops further south than 2′ from the southern edge. If any re-enforcements are granted from the central pool by the high command, these may not be deployed hidden.

Allied Player – ISIS SUNRAY (Attacking)

ISIS SUNRAY has two companies to capture Seestraẞe. The Allied player deploys second and starts with the initiative.

Objectives

1. Regulars: Take Seestraẞe, secure both railway termini and establish a defensive perimeter so that the enemy is denied the northern terminus in particular: Time allotted = 90 minutes.

2. Regulars: Detach armour and send down small track at Jig-5, North-West, to support the attack on Stockach: 15 minutes.

3. SOE + Intelligence: infiltrate Seestraẞe, establish contact with resistance and scout and report enemy activity at the northern rail terminus. Then proceed to military railway track at the junction to the North of Seestraẞe and sabotage. [You do not need to concern yourself with the covert missions on your table. The clock and the initiatives are to do with your military forces. Let the ghosts do their mad work while you do yours, and possibly they will give you some useful reports.]

Forces Available

The starting forces were:

ISIS SUNRAY Allied Order of Battle in the Seestrasse Sector

  • Under ISIS SUNRAY control
    • 3 x medium tanks arm 4/2, gun 0/0, HE 4/2
    • 1 x Infantry Company (Regular)
      • 1 x CC(+1)
      • 1 x SMG Squad
      • 3 x Platoons: PC(+1); 3 x Rifle Squads (one with Piat or Bazooka)
    • 1 x Weak Infantry Company (Regular)
      • 1 x CC(0)
      • 2 x Platoons: PC(+1); 3 x Rifle Squads (one with Piat or Bazooka)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x FO for off board medium mortars (12 FM split between HE/Smoke)
  • Assigned from OFFA reserve
    • 1 x HMG
    • Special Operations Executive agents in civilian clothing (fluent in German)
    • Air-liaison officer mounted in scout car with radio contact to ground attack aircraft
    • Rumour of a party of covert intelligence officers trying to sneak into Seestrasse

Deployment

The Allied player may deploy some or all of his forces in the swathe of table one foot from the south. Any not deployed may enter during a phasing initiative from the southern edge.

Reinforcements

Unknown at the start but turned out to be a weak company arriving from the south.

  • 1 x Weak Infantry Company (Regular)
    • 1 x CC(0)
    • 2 x Platoons: PC(+1); 3 x Rifle Squads (one with Piat or Bazooka)

Scenario Special Rules

1. Loading the Tanks

There is a train loading up at the southern (military) station. Being a steam train, it takes a long time to get to full steam pressure before it can leave, but the boiler was lit a couple of hours ago, and it is nearly ready to go. Worse, though is the fact that you have to load it up with tanks. The tanks were sent to the front and arrived here! They are all out of fuel and ammunition, and have no crews, and loading them onto the train has been nightmarish. The cranes and
tractors you had are barely up to the job, but you have managed to rig a winch to pull them on one by one, but it has to be re-rigged every time, and the flat-bed trucks have to be moved about to make ready for the next loading. There are six tanks in all (you may have to compromise with how these are represented, because the model train may be unfeasibly long, one tank could stand in for more), four mediums and two heavies. The plan is to get them to Orsingen-Nenzingen,
although an alternative if that line is cut is to get them to the outskirts of Stockach. If they cannot be put to use, they can just be sent north away from the region, or scuttled. How well you do in loading the tanks depends on how many men you have working on the task. The tanks cannot be loaded more than one at a time. The most labour-intensive bit is hauling the carriages by hand or horse. To load a medium tank, once per initiative roll 2 dice + 1 die per base helping (up to a maximum of 6 bases) and count the number of 6s rolled and note it down (to qualify for a roll, at least two bases must be trying). Once you have rolled four 6s, you have loaded a medium tank. Any excess 6s rolled are discarded and the count is rest to zero. To load a heavy tank, six 6s are needed. You do not have to load all six tanks. You could try to get any number away if you think that the enemy is too close to load any more.

2. Chess Clock

The objectives assume a chess clock or some such. Umpires have power over the clock. They have the power to stop the clock if this seems fair. If a lengthy rule that affects both players needs to be explained, for example. They also set the clocks and reset them with the new times. If someone runs out of time, they report this. If someone achieves an objective ahead of schedule, the time they saved is added to their next objective’s time. For example, if an objective has an allocation of 30 minutes, and is achieved in 20, then ten minutes is added to the next objective’s allocation. Doing things quickly now means you can be a bit slower later.

3. Low-fuel tanks

German tanks that are low on fuel. Every move after their first, roll 2d6. The tank finishes its action and comes to a halt, out of fuel, if the result is a total of 2 or 3. You can make these rolls to speed things up. Indeed, you can make any rolls on behalf of a player should he ask you. Few will.

4. Refuelling tanks

A base carrying fuel gets to base-to-base contact with a tank. If it gets suppressed, it cannot do its job. If it can spend one ENTIRE initiative unsuppressed and unpinned next to the tank, the tank is refuelled and no longer needs to make rolls every time it moves. If the refuellers are pinned during an attempt to refuel, then the tank is not refuelled unless a subsequent initiative is spent next to the tank and a 5+ is rolled on 1d6.

5. Shooting at railway engines

Small arms have no effect. The train is effectively armour 2 against the PEN stat of the gun firing, and as difficult to hit as a tank.

6. Aircraft spotting

There have been a number of friendly-fire incidents lately and the RAF is being very careful not to shoot its own. It will not fire speculatively, nor on its own judgement, but only after confirming targets with the ground. Just because ground troops have spotted the enemy, this does not mean that the pilots can see them well enough to identify them and engage.

If spotting is attempted by an aircraft, and you are able to organise a fly-over, roll 1d6 to see how many spotting attempts you get. Pick that many different things you want the aircraft to spot. You may pick a terrain feature or clearly-defined similar-sized patch of open ground where hidden troops might be if you wish, or you can pick troops that have already been revealed. Troops in roofed buildings cannot be spotted from the air. Troops in open cover (rough ground,
ruins, walls, fields etc.) are spotted on 5+, on a 6 if in closed cover (woods), and on a 4 if in the open. Add one to the roll if the target is a vehicle. Hidden troops spotted from the air are revealed (the pilot radios in their position).

When a target is spotted, a marker is placed to show this on the target. If the target is still there when the attack goes ahead…

7. Aircraft attacks

The attacker picks a straight line across the table for the aircraft to strafe, and a direction (direction is relevant to cover and armour of vehicles). It will attack all targets it has spotted along this line or within one base distance of that line.

Against infantry targets, roll 4d6 regardless of cover (except bunkers which still cause -1 pip) against the target and all stands within a base-distance of it that are crossed by the line of attack. Against tanks, it attacks with ACC+2 PEN +1. The only cover that counts is sight-blocking cover that is between the tank and the approaching aircraft, that is within the tank’s length of the tank.

8. Air Liaison officers

These are a bit like FOOs. One initiative, they try to spot things using their aircraft, and the next, they try to shoot what they spotted. This gives the Germans one initiative to move. Aircraft therefore will sometimes scatter an enemy force as it dashes for cover. Of course, ground forces can react as normal to these moves. Air liaison officers are on the same net as the aircraft and so can communicate quickly. If aircraft are assigned to tables where there are no air-liaison officers, it may be possible for a CC to contact an aircraft, BUT (a) he rolls 1d6 and gets through on a 3+ only, (b) this roll DOES risk the initiative, (c) whereas with an air liaison officer attacks initiatives alternate with spotting initiatives (spot-attack-spot-attack), without one, the sequence is contact-spot-attack, contact (again)-spot-attack.

9. Weather

There is weather. Either follow the pattern of the event or randomise it somehow:

  • 12.29 The weather is now drizzle. no game effect.
  • 13.02 Weather worsens. The weather is now: rain, with heavy cloud. RAF spotting is badly hampered (-3 on the number of things that can be spotted, and -1 on the d6 rolls to spot)
  • 13.53 The weather is now: torrential downpour. Visibility is now so bad that troops must be at the edge of terrain features that cover area (e.g. woods, rough ground) to see or be seen. Terrain such as rough ground and walls, that does not normally block sight, now blocks sight. RAF spotting is impossible
  • 14.14 The rain is now easing off. Visibility in now 3-feet again. FOOs on major hills may only see onto their own tables. RAF may now spot, but not at full ability (-2 on first die, -1 to second)
  • 14.23 It has stopped raining. The weather is now: patchy low cloud. RAF attacks will start again soon, but not at full ability (-2 to first, second as normal)
  • 14.36 The weather is now clearing. Patchy low cloud again. Some airstrikes should be possible (-1 to first roll)
  • 14.54 The sky has cleared. The RAF can see clearly now.

Umpire Notes

You’ll have decide if/when Allied reinforcements arrived, if/when the fuel tracks arrive, if/when civilian crowds form at the Civilian Station, if/when the RAF Air liaison officer is ordered off table, how the weather deteriorates/improves.

There is a crashed Storch light aircraft on the battlefield, but it starts the game not displayed. Find a good place for it to be, and when/if the Allies get to that place, add it to the table. It should start in German-held territory, but not very deep in. Perhaps it is somewhere level with the south edge of the town.

The German trucks are because:

  • There is a consignment of fuel expected at the station, so that could be it.
  • They also mean that troops leaving the table in them will arrive very quickly at another table.

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