Aidan of the WarFactory has been running a Crossfire campaign in Normandy. You can follow the progress by watching his Normandy tag. I think this is a great campaign but my focus in this post is something else. His house rule for a rolling artillery barrage.
World War I
In World War I the Central Powers (German, Austro-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria) faced the Allies (France, British Empire, Russia, Italy, United States, Romania, Japan, Serbia, Belgium, Greece and others). The war started on 28 Jul 1914 when the Austro-Hungarians invaded Serbia. Germany subsequently invaded Belgium, Luxembourg and France. The Russian Empire responded by attacking Germany. The Western Front quickly settled into a static war of attrition along trench lines. The Eastern Front saw the Russians successfully facing Austro-Hungarian forces but but being driven back by the Germans. The Russian Empire collapsed in Mar 1917, and Russia left the war after the October Revolution later that year. United States forces entered the trenches of the Western Front in 1918 and the Allies drove back the German armies in a series of successful offensives. Germany, with its own domestic problems, agreed to a cease-fire on 11 November 1918, later known as Armistice Day. The war had ended in victory for the Allies.
Both Portugal and New Zealand fought for the Allies in France. Portugal was also involved in East Africa against German colonial forces. New Zealanders fought in the Middle East against Turks and Germans. Right now I’m focusing on the Portuguese involvement in World War I.
Crossfire 1914 – An experiment in large scale Crossfire for WW1
Timeline of Portuguese Involvement in WW1
During World War I the Portuguese fought in both France and East Africa. For the fighting in France I have restricted myself just to the events affect Portugal. My main initial source for the Portuguese involvement in France is:
Rapier Offensive – A Multiplayer Operational Game
Martin Rapier has created a simple set of rules to allow a group of players to play operational level games. His rules are embedded within the context of Operation Uranus (19 Nov 1942). I’ve abstracted his rules so I can then apply them to different settings (and tweaked them a bit as I did so).
These rules are ideal for a typical offensive where the attackers have three to one odds against the defenders – something that is not possible in most rule systems. One of the beauties of this system is that it is a cooperative effort more than competitive; the players are the attacking team, and fight against the umpire who runs the defenders. Given the odds the attacking Division is going to beat the defending Division. The question is, will they beat them fast enough and well enough.
This isn’t a long game to play, taking a couple of hours at most. You’ll also need stands of miniatures (~65), counters (~16), a small table, some way of marking off a grid on the table, a map, and 5-6 people. An intercom and telescope are optional.