Some musing on Armoured Infantry in Crossfire. Half-tracks were armoured troop carriers in WW2. But in Crossfire they are close combat killing machines, particularly if they’ve got passengers on board.
Also check out Historical Armoured Infantry Tactics.
Half-track close combat
In standard Crossfire vehicles can initiate close combat, and our experience was that vehicles used this exclusively in games, as it was much more effective than fire. For example:
- A half-track carrying a platoon of infantry. +3 for passengers, +1 for PC, +1 for APC, i.e. +5, making them unbeatable. They can waltz over the table killing everything in their way.
- Even a tank with its +3 close combat bonus is potent enough to achieve Terminator status.
As a result we prohibited vehicles initiating close combat.
More recently, however, I’ve been reading accounts where tanks did use their tracks as weapons, so I’m inclined to soften this restriction. The question is:
- when can vehicles realistically initiate close combat?
- which vehicles?
- how do passengers contribute?
Certainly tanks versus entrenched infantry should be allowed. Tracks were often used to grind down a trench to eliminate the dug in infantry. And tanks versus guns should be also allowed – accounts are full of tanks overrunning guns.
I’m less sure about other options, for example, were half-tracks ever used to overrun anything? Were any vehicles in WW2 used as real infantry fighting vehicles (as opposed to just armoured personnel carriers)? I believe the Hanomag might have been, so should they be allowed to initiate close combat? In contrast the M3/5 half-tracks and Bren carriers were people carriers and should not. But how to avoid the +5 close combat advantage for a Hanomag full of panzer grenadiers. And what about Soviet tank riders. Although they usually dismounted to fight, however, when the tanks were meant to punch through enemy lines, they stayed mounted and fought from the tanks. How to represent this?
In summary, I think both the original rules and our resulting House Rule are unrealistic and I’m looking for a good alternative. I’d appreciate any suggestions.
Alternative Rule: APC Accompanying Squad in Combat
Tim Marshall’s house rule …
An APC within a stand’s distance of its squad is assumed to have its MG manned by a squad member. Refer to such APC status as “manned”. Beyond a stand’s distance, only the driver is assumed to be on the vehicle and it is not capable of being fired. Refer to such APCs as “driver only”.
¦ A manned APC contributes an extra die to its squad for one shot only in phasing and non-phasing fire. The target must be within a 450 arc left/right of the front of the APC (similar to an HMG arc).
¦ When a manned APC is suppressed, immobilized or destroyed, its accompanying squad is always suppressed.
¦ Driver only APCs/transports are always soviet style command control. The PC for such APCs is the infantry platoon commander.