Category: World War II

World War II (WWII, WW2, or Second World War) was fought between opposing military alliances – the Allies and the Axis – from 1939 to 1945. The war spanned large chunks of the globe and was both the the largest and deadliest conflict in history. Over 30 different countries fought during the war including all the great powers. More than 100 million people served in military units. Between 50-75 million people died – largely civilians.

I’ve material on the national contributions from Spain, New Zealand, and France. I also cover the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad, Kharkov, Kursk, and Tarnopol.


A Case Study in Balagan Thinking – How I justify collecting Japanese

Fuzzy Thinking Brain

If you didn’t know, Balagan means messy or chaotic. And lately my head has definitely been balagan. I’m trying to justify building up a Japanese force for Crossfire. I’m trying to find ways to fit the Japanese into my Official Focus of Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, and Israel. I’ve got to say, it ain’t easy. But with quite a lot of mental gymnastics I might manage it.

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Japanese Leg Battalion – Revised Organisation for Crossfire

Crossfire Order of Battle Logo

John Moher’s post, Modelling Japanese in Crossfire, prompted me to think about the Crossfire order of battle for the Japanese. John highlights some ways where the official Crossfire order of battle is incorrect but he doesn’t write it out in full. So I set out to document a new Crossfire organisation for a Japanese Leg Infantry Battalion. Turns out it was more complicated than I anticipated. And I ended up diverging from John’s suggestions a bit.

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Musing on Japanese HMG in Crossfire

Japanese Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun In use during Battle of Changsha 1941

I’ve been musing about Japanese HMG under Crossfire. The official rules make them expensive rifle squads. Personally I challenge both the reduced firepower and increased close combat ability of these heavy machine guns.

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Musing on Japanese Knee Mortars in Crossfire

Japanese 5cm Type 89 grenade discharger - Knee Mortar - Square

In World War II the Japanese issued three 5cm Mortars to every Rifle Platoon. Standard Crossfire makes the Knee Mortar rather useless. John Moher reinstates them as an effective piece of combat kit. And I do the same, but in a much simpler fashion.

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Stalingrad’s famous Barmaley fountain in 15mm

15mm Barmaley Fountain – Close Up

The Spanish wargaming company escenografia epsilon make Stalingrad’s famous Barmaley fountain in 15mm. I purchased a pre-painted version and it has featured in some of my Crossfire games set on the Eastern Front.

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Steven’s Fallschirmjäger Battalion for Crossfire

Fallschirmjaeger 6340 Battalion Commander showing ID

This post is long overdue. Roland painted the last of the Fallschirmjaeger in June 2011 and I got them based soon afterwards. Tragically I haven’t used them in a game of Crossfire. I guess I don’t often create Crossfire scenarios for German paratroopers. Perhaps when I have some Kiwis to fight them in the Italian Campaign; I should bump the New Zealanders up in the priority list. Anyway, here are my Fallschirmjaeger.

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Play Test of Mac’s Crossfire Missions in the Pacific

CFM3BS 3 Japanese infantry behind Chi-Ha Tank

Brett Simpson play tested Mac’s Crossfire Missions v3 using his Pacific War kit. So this was a pick up game for Crossfire with Japanese facing Australians.

Summary: fun and exciting game. Brett’s Australians won, making a successful Withdrawal in the face of a Japanese Breakthrough attempt.

All words are Brett’s.

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Steven’s Russian Artillery for Crossfire

A-203 Artillery - Russian 203mm 1

Artillery is essential in Crossfire, so to support my Russian Rifle Battalion I have forward observers for a variety of calibers of weapon. In addition I’ve got the artillery pieces as heavy weapons stands. This post covers field guns, howitzers, infantry guns, heavy mortars, Katyushas, anti-tank guns, and anti-aircraft guns. The Soviets were keen on firing direct so having the models makes sense. Admittedly I haven’t used many except the anti-tank guns.

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Steven’s Russian Rifle Battalion for Crossfire

R-.BC Russian - Battalion Commander 1

I’ve taken the liberty to update my previous post on Steven’s Russian Rifle Battalion for a number of reasons:

They have done good service; I received them, from my mate Roland in New Zealand, on 15 November 2001. I rebased them using Sand, Flat Earth paint, and Dry Brushing I took the opportunity to give them the proper Battalion Code = “R”

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Play Test of Mac’s Crossfire Missions v3

CFM3-685 Deployment - Soviets have SU-152

Chris Harrod and I played a game of Mac’s Crossfire Missions v3. So a pick up game for Crossfire with the option of reinforcements.

Summary: Good tense game. I conducted a fighting withdrawal in the face of massive Soviet firepower and took the game. Reinforcements gave more options (good) and did not unbalance the game (also good). I wax lyrical about the game in the conclusions and observations section at the end.

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Mac’s Missions v3 – Revised Pick Up Games for Crossfire

Macs Crossfire Missions Logo Thumb

A frequent suggestion for Macs Missions v2 is to give the attackers more troops. In v2 both sides get the same order of battle. Attackers have to capture enemy territory and are likely to take losses in the attempt. In compensation they get bonus victory points for achieving their more challenging mission. In the new version of Mac Missions (v3) both sides get the option of reinforcements but taking reinforcements makes victory harder. Or, put another way, taking more troops offsets any victory point bonus.

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Deep Battle Design Notes 5 – Why Railway Lines are significant for Operational Warfare

I’m planning on having railway lines and roads on table for games using my, as yet unwritten rules, Deep Battle rule set. But do I need them? This is basically what Richard asked in a comment about my post Operational Terrain 3: Experimenting on a 4 Inch Hex Grid. Richard asked “do your roads/railways have any game significance? If they don’t you could take the bold step of forgetting them.” I think they are essential.

By coincidence I recently read “Thunder in the East” by Evan Mawdsley and if anything this reinforced my opinion that a set of Operational

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Operational Terrain 6 – Tiny Hills to Fit 4 Inch Hexes

Tiny Hills 4 On Table

My Terrain Experiment on a 4 Inch Hex Grid convinced me that my existing hills were too big. I need some tiny hills to fit within 4 inch hexes. The context is that I want to try some operational level wargames on a mat with a 4 inch hex grid. This is for my, as yet unwritten, Deep Battle rule set.

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Deep Battle Design Notes 4 – Musing on Logistics and Supply Rules

P1030783 long range logistics

Logistics was one the criteria I used in my Review of Wargaming Rules I could use for the Operational Level of War. To be considered Operational the game includes rules to penalise troops that are out of supply. So Deep Battle, my as yet unwritten Operational Level wargaming rules, has to have a logistical system. The game systems I reviewed offer lots of inspiration for my own logistical system.

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Deep Battle Design Notes 3 – Musing on Creating Intensity

Intense Game

Any long time reader of my blog will know I’m a fan of Crossfire. Crossfire’s initiative system makes it the most intense wargaming experience I’ve ever had. Even if you are the other guy, waiting to have your turn, you are actively involved and can’t afford to lose interest. And your turn comes around pretty quick. I want to bring some of that intensity into Deep Battle, my as yet unwritten Operational level wargame. I want intensity and I think that needs some kind of initiative or impulse system.

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