3 Round Mac’s Missions – A Three Game Crossfire Campaign

I’ve been looking at Mac’s Crossfire Missions and it occurred to me that the system would be good for a Three Round Campaign. I like campaigns that are short and lead to a clear result and a Three Round Campaign offers those benefits. I’ve used the missions and main force orders of battle from Mac’s Missions v3 to drive the campaign.

Campaign Structure

Before the campaign you have to decide who is Player A and Player B, this can be a by player preference or determined randomly (e.g. a die roll or flip a coin).

The Campaign has three rounds. Each round is a single game of Mac’s Missions v3. The result of a round informs the scenario in the new game. Essentially rounds 1 and 2 involve an offensive by Player A. Round 3 is the counter offensive by Player B, and the result of Round 3 determines the victory in the campaign. The rounds in the campaign are deliberately structured to give a player who has lost Round 1 and Round 2 a chance to balance the score card in Round 3 and force Draw.

Macs Crossfire Missions - 3 round campaign - 1000px
Macs Crossfire Missions – 3 round campaign – 1000px

Playing a Game

All the rules for Mac’s Missions v3 apply, although some are tweaked. For a game within a round:

  • Player A randomly chooses Mission from the options listed, then Player B.
  • Players randomly choose Main Force (MF) from the options listed.
  • Defender randomly chooses terrain cards.
  • Defender selects table edge.
  • Attacker gets first initiative.

Each game has a subset of the missions (Breakthrough, Advance, Probe, Hold, Dig In, Withdraw) available to both Player A and to Player B. Player A randomly choses an option. Both players cannot have the same mission even if they both have the mission as an option. The way to manage this is to have Player A select a random Mission Card from the entire set. If this card is allowed to Player A then they retain it. If not the Mission Card is returned to the set and the Player chooses another Mission Card. Repeat until Player A has an Mission that is allowed. All of this is done secretly. Then Player B repeats the same process, choosing a Mission Card, retaining it if allowed, and if not discarding and selecting another.

Each game also specifies Main Force (MF) options for both players. The Options are MF1 – Attack, MF2 – Attack/Defence, MF3 – Defence, and MF4 – Hidden. Both players select a Main Force from their options for the game, retain an allowed Main Force, and if not discard and select another.

The Defender in a game choses the terrain. I suggest using Crossfire Terrain Cards to remove potential bias. The Defender then choses a base edge with the Attacker opposite.

The Attacker gets first initiative.

Game patterns

There are three types of game in the campaign, patterns if you will: prepared defence, hasty defence and meeting engagement. Each pattern defines options for both the attacker and defender, including missions and main force. Sometimes Player A is the attacker and sometimes Player B.

Prepared defence

In a prepared defence the defender has had more time to organises their defences and plan their strategy.

Missions: Breakthrough, Advance, or Probe
Main force: MF1 or MF2

Missions: Hold, Dig In, or Withdraw
Main force: MF2, MF3 or MF4

Hasty Defence

Missions: Breakthrough, Advance, or Probe
Main force: MF1 or MF2

Missions: Probe, Hold, Dig In, or Withdraw
Main force: MF2 or MF3

Meeting Engagement

The victor in Round 2 is the attacker in Round 3.

Both Captain A and Captain
Missions: Breakthrough, Advance, Probe, or Hold
Main force: MF1, MF2, or MF3

Theatre specific options

3 Round Mac’s Missions lends itself well to theatre specific variants. For example a campaign in Operation Husky (Sicily, 1943) would have Player A as the Allied side (British or US) and Player B as the Germans. Some other suggestions follow.

Operation Year Player A Player B
Case Yellow 1940 German British
Barbarossa 1941 German Soviet
Citadel 1943 German Soviet
Kutuzov 1943 Soviet German
Husky 1943 US or British German
Overlord* 1944 US or British German
Bagration* 1944 Soviet German

(*) Panzerfausts, Piats, and Bazookas are only available as reinforcements in 1944 and 1945.

4 thoughts on “3 Round Mac’s Missions – A Three Game Crossfire Campaign”

  1. Is the symmetry in the “counterattack” (3rd round) intentional? If either A or B was consistently winning, it’s always a “hasty” defence for the defender.

    It clearly makes sense when B (the initial defender) wins, because he goes: B’s prepared defence -> B’s prepared defence -> counterattacks A’s hasty defence. Every round situation benefits B.

    But what about if A always wins? It’s prepared defence (initial) -> B’s hasty defence -> A gets counterattacked with hasty defences?

    Even the fact A is “counterattacked” while being a successful attacker is suspect, but maybe you meant he gets a “prepared position” here? Or is hasty defence right, because this represents a spoiling attack of the sort that catches even solid attackers by surprise?

    • Andres, Yes. the symmetry is deliberate.

      The situation you’re asking about is …
      Round 1: Captain B Prepared defence with Captain A in attack (Captain A Victory)
      Round 2: Captain B Hasty defence with Captain A in attack (Captain A Victory)
      Round 3: Captain A Hasty defence with Captain B conducting a Counter Attack

      Here are a few thoughts, some of them more serious than others:
      1. Symmetry is beautiful.
      2. Germans always counter attacked when the allies were successful. Always. And I’m okay giving this benefit to the Allies as well because symmetry is beautiful.
      3. Round 3 is called a “counter attack” so I want a counter attack.
      4. I wanted to mix up the games and swapping who is attacking is one way to mix it up
      5. There have been two previous battles, time has passed, and Side B has probably had an opportunity to pull together some troops (e.g. cookings, clerks, etc) to form a counter attack.
      6. “Prepared position” reflects having time to dig in. Troops don’t have that time after finishing a successful attack. That is exactly why the Germans always counter attacked immediately. If they give the Allies time to prepare, the counterattack has less chance to succeed.
      7. Thinking of the counter attack as a spoiling attack is also fine.
      8. It doesn’t have to be that way and I’m not consistent. Considering the situation when the strategic attacker wins the first two games in a 3 Round Campaign …
      – in 3 Round Tarnopol I do the same as here, i.e. the German strategic defenders are counter attacking in Round 3.
      – But in 3 Round Normandy and 3 Round Kursk the strategic attacker attacks again in Round 3.

  2. Can you expand on the “Main Force” portion? I might be missing a reference. What does an “attack” or “defense” or “hidden” option mean? What is MF2 if it’s an attack/defense force? Thanks

    • Macs Missions v3 includes prepared orders of battle for Soviets and Germans, both main force options, and reinforcement options. The main force options are MF1 – Attack, MF2 – Attack/Defence, MF3 – Defence, and MF4 – Hidden.

      Although my initial focus was Eastern Front, I’ll post prepared orders of battle for other nations soon.


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