Gunnery Sargent Rock (Bruce Stewart) got me thinking about Cassinograd. This is an adaptation of Doctor Phalanx’s Crossfiregrad scenario, transferred from Stalingrad to the Italian Campaign with 2 New Zealand Division (Kiwis) attacking Fallchirmjaeger in Cassino town. Crossfire of course. Bruce’s version was pretty much standard Crossfiregrad, but I’ve made some more changes to add flavour.
Gunnery Sargent Rock (Bruce Stewart) played a couple of games of Crossfiregrad by Doctor Phalanx. However, he moved it from Stalingrad to the Italian Campaign with the Germans attacking 2 New Zealand Division (Kiwis) in Cassino town, I guess representing a local counter attack. Except where noted, all words and photos are by Bruce.
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.
I’ve been thinking about player balance in Mac’s Crossfire Missions. If the two players are mis-matched in terms of experience or ability you might find the stronger player consistently wins every game. This is probably not very much fun for either player. I think a handicap system gives a way to cope with these situations. Handicapping gives the weaker player an advantage, to make it possible for them to win whilst maintaining fairness. This is Crossfire, of course.
Hit the Dirt (HTD) introduces Cliffs to Crossfire. And with my re-found interest in the Italian Campaign, I figured I needed some. Particularly as the HTD scenario “Cassino Massif” (p. 17-18) has a bunch. I think they’ll also be useful for Burma. So this is my new / updated cliff collection.
Jamie Wish and Chris Harrod played “The Swamp” (KB4R), the fourth game of Krasny Bor, featuring the Blue Division in an epic Crossfire campaign. The Spaniards were defending the second line – near the Leningrad-Moscow Railway line – against overwhelming odds.
Summary: I thought it would be over in 1 hour, but in an awesome David and Goliath contest Chris’s reinforced company of Spaniards held Jamie’s three battalions of Soviets for 2.5 hours of game time and 7.5 hours of real time. The Spanish defeated the first Soviet battalion but eventually the Soviets ground their way through the Blue Division lines. The time ratio, 2.5 hours of game time in 7.5 hours of real time, demonstrates how grindy it was – not for the faint hearted.
Jamie popped over for a game, and when it is just Jamie and me we try out something more experimental. Jamie wanted to play Crossfire and I wanted to try out my Crossfire Terrain Cards and some draft armour rules. I also wanted to get my 2 Division New Zealanders on table – “Kiwis” in New Zealand slang – and get the German paratroopers (Fallschirmjäger) out again. This was also the first outing for my Kiwi Armour.
Summary: Great little game. Crossfire Terrain Cards worked well, and happy with the test drive of my armour mods.
I’ve been talking to Arty Conliffe about potential Official Supplements for Crossfire. Official because they have Arty’s blessing and input. I’m thinking about both a commercial scenario book and some freebie booklets. My megalomaniac aspirations for 2022 mean I want to write one of each. There are lots of possibilities and I thought I’m share my thinking.
I’ve been reading about Soviet cavalry operations on the Eastern Front. And that, of course, has got me interested in expanding my Soviet cavalry collection. But before I invest further, I want to be really, really sure my cavalry basing is correct. The cavalry figures I already have are based on 30x30mm squares, like my infantry. But that is cramped. What to do?
When I created my Terrain Cards – Random terrain placement for pick up wargames, Dick Bryant asked “When are we going to see the Crossfire version?” And then recently tiberius asked whether I had “considered creating a ‘modular tiles’ type map for Crossfire” (this was in the context of Mac’s Missions v3 – Revised Pick Up Games for Crossfire, although his comment was on v2). So here they are: modular terrain cards for Crossfire.
I’ve been gearing up to pay Dung Farm from Hit the Dirt for a couple of years now. I posted my Balagan version of the Dung Farm a few weeks back and, as you might recall, the table has lots of Ravines, thorn fields and thorn thickets. It took me a while to collect this additional kit. Plus the Kiwis in Italy. But finally it all came together – scenario, terrain, and figures. And Chris, Jamie, and Adam turned up to play. This is, of course, Crossfire for the Italian Campaign.
Summary: Really good game. Interesting challenges from ravines and thorns. The British need to use the terrain to their advantage. Chris and I, as the Germans, won.
Japanese Tank Hunter Teams in Crossfire
A few weeks ago I did some research on “Human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) – Japanese Suicide Anti-tank Teams. Now I have to decide how to simulate them in Crossfire. There are two parts to that: game effect of “Human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) and the organisation of Japanese Suicide Anti-tank Teams.
“Dung Farm” is one of the scenarios from Hit the Dirt (HTD, p. 15-16). It is Italy, 4 February 1944, and the Germans are attacking into the Anzio beachhead at the northern end of ‘The Thumb’. The “Dung Farm” of the title is the British nickname for the Italian Pig Farm that featured in the battle.
The Dung Farm scenario is interesting for a few reasons. It introduces some unique terrain features, has masses of thorns and/or barbed wire, is fought in mud, and has visible troops on both sides. It also doesn’t quite work as a four player game. So I’m going to make a couple of tweaks to the scenario before the guys turn up to play it, including changing the map.