Some musing on Aircraft and Air Superiority in Crossfire. Standard Crossfire doesn’t cover this. I borrowed the main idea from the official Crossfire site tweaked and added some mechanisms from Rapid Fire.
The air superiority tends to vary over time. For simplicity I’ve given a air superiority modifier which is dependent on year the game is being played in:
|Year||Air Superiority Modifier|
Planes, but are they ours?
There are two ways of assessing when planes are over the table.
Option 1: Contested skies
This rule tries to simply simulate a fluctuating situation where both sides have planes in the sky.
Each side throws 1d6 for air support at the start of their own initiative, adding or subtracting their Air Superiority as they choose. On a 6+ something happens:
- If there is already an aircraft (of either side) over the table the aircraft is immediately driven off the table by enemy fighters. It or a replacement, however, can return in subsequent initiatives.
- If there is no aircraft over the table then a plane friendly to the player whose initiative it is arrives over the table.
Option 2: All or nothing
Each side with aircraft rolls a d6 to determine air superiority in the game; if a side can’t have an aircraft then they effectively get 0 for this roll. The player with the higher score gets a plane; a draw means no plane for either side.
The difference between the air superiority rolls is the number of friendly initiatives in which the side with air superiority can deploy their plane over the table.
The plan first arrives on table on a 6 at the start of any friendly player initiative.
Each bound the plane is on-table the player must draw a straight line across the table, representing the flight path. The aircraft can only attack targets along the flight path, and is only susceptible to AA fire along this path.
Once on-table aircraft act in a similar way to off table artillery. As with artillery fire, failure to suppress or kill with an aircraft’s attacks does not end the phasing player’s initiative. The ground attack process goes like this:
- Player nominates the target and type of attack.
- Anti-aircraft reactive fire is resolved.
- If the aircraft is not driven off or shot down, determine the result of the ground attack itself.
Each plane has a certain number of bombs, of a certain potency (HE/EFF), plus machine guns for strafing. A plane’s bomb/rocket load is roughly analogous to the FM of artillery. Bombs/rockets are treated as indirect fire for Protective Cover and strafing with machine guns as direct fire. A plane can do one of the following each initiative it is on table:
- Drop one or more of its remaining bombs (Dive Bombers can only drop one bomb per initiative)
- Fire a pair of Rockets
- Strafe with its machine guns
An aircraft may not engage the same target in two consecutive friendly initiatives.
|Machine Guns||4/0 SQ|
|Small bomb (up to 100lb)||4/1 SQ|
|Light bomb (250lb)||4/2 SQ|
|Medium bomb (500lb)||5/3 SQ (2 EFF in structures)|
|Heavy bomb (1000lb+)||6/3 SQ (2 EFF in structures)|
|Pair of Rockets||4/2 SQ|
Anti-vehicle fire: Rockets fire at vehicles with ACC +1 PEN -1, and always fire at the Flank ARM. Bombs use Hit the Dirt’s Special Rule 7 Indirect Fire on Vehicles.
Anti-aircraft (AA) fire
The non-phasing player can reactive fire against the plane as it attacks. Only one stand can perform AA fire this stand can be either:
- Dedicated AA guns which are the target or with line of fire to the flight path. Such guns fire with their full effect against the aircraft (assume 4d6, unless otherwise known).
- Other targets shoot with their normal factors (HE factors in the case of guns), less 1d6, e.g. a Rifle Squad shoots in AA with 2d6.
(Other stands cannot reactive fire against aircraft.)
The results of reactive AA fire are:
|2||If aircraft is a Dive Bomber, then no effect. Otherwise the current attack is aborted. Two aborted attacks in consecutive initiatives means the plane is driven from the table.|
If you’re using points to build your force then:
- 20 points for a chance to roll for air superiority
- +20 points gives a +1 on the air superiority roll (can’t buy more than +1)
|Focke Wulf FW 189 Uhu||Recon||–||–||–||2||–||–|
|Focke Wulf FW 190-A8||Dive Bomber||1||–||–||–||–||Skip Bomber|
|Henschel Hs 123||Dive Bomber||–||–||–||4||–||–|
|Henschel Hs 129||Ground Attack||–||–||2||–||–||–|
|Junkers Ju 87 Stuka||Dive Bomber||1||2||–||–||–||–|
|Junkers Ju 88||Bomber||–||8||–||–||–||–|
|Me Bf 109 G||Fighter Bomber||–||2||–||–||–||–|
|Me Bf 110||Fighter Bomber||–||4||–||–||–||–|
|Me 262||Fighter Bomber||–||2||–||–||–||–|
|Caproni Ca 314||Bomber||–||3||–||–||–||–|
|Fiat CR 42||Fighter||–||–||2||–||–||–|
|Petlyakov Pe-2||Dive Bomber||1||2||–||–||–||–|
|Polikarpov Po-2||Ground attack||–||–||–||2||–||–|
|Polikarpov I-16 Mosca||Fighter||–||–||–||2||–||Used in SCW and WW2.|
|Ilyushin IL-2||Ground Attack||–||–||4||–||–||–|
|Ilyushi IL-2m3||Ground Attack||–||–||6||–||–||–|
|Tupolev SB 2||Bomber||–||–||6||–||–||Light payload. Used in SCW and WW2.|
|Tupolev SB 2||Bomber||1||–||–||–||–||Heavy payload. Used in SCW and WW2.|
|Tupolev Tu-2||Bomber||5||–||–||–||–||Although a bomber, it could be used as a dive bomber and was equipped to strafe. Can replace all heavies with 10 mediums|
|Tupolev Tu-2||Dive Bomber||5||–||–||–||–||Although a bomber, it could be used as a dive bomber and was equipped to strafe. Can replace all heavies with 10 mediums|
|Typhoon “Bombphoon”||Dive Bomber||2||–||–||–||–||–|
|Typhoon “Rockphoon”||Rocket||–||–||–||–||4 pairs||–|
Aircraft in Action
Here are a few battle reports where I’ve used the Aircraft special rule. There might be more in the archive.
Push to the City – A Crossfire Battle Report
SU-152s Up Close and Personal – A Crossfire Battle Report 1
SU-152s Up Close and Personal – A Crossfire Battle Report 2
SU-152s Up Close and Personal – A Crossfire Battle Report 4