I wanted a scenario to play test my emerging revision to the Crossfire armour rules. This scenario simulates the New Zealander and Greek attack on two small settlements – Monaldini farm and Monticelli – south-west of Rimini on 14 Sep 1944, during the Italian Campaign. Defending are Fallschirmjäger and “Turcomen” i.e. Soviet PoWs in German service. It is roughly a company a side in terms of infantry but the Kiwis have six, count them, six Shermans.
I thought I’d share an early view of what some tanks and guns will look like using my new scheme. Just so you can get an idea of what the end result will look like. Each vehicle has three ratings: Armour, Anti-Tank fire, Anti-personnel fire. Some are also superior ATG. My thinking isn’t finished, so these stats are going to change before the end of this little game design journey. This just shows, roughly, what I’ve got in mind.
Paul Ward’s video Introduction to Crossfire 5: Indirect Fire and Tanks got me thinking about a Gun versus Arm Matrix in Crossfire again. Lots of people have done this before as it offers a way to align the armour rules with infantry rules. In my earlier Gun versus Arm Matrix in Crossfire there are suggestions from Robert Tesfro, Si Booknek, Steve Phenow, and of course Paul Ward and myself. Plus I know that John Moher has dabbled here as well. I’m sure others have.
The trouble with all these suggestions is they make tanks impotent compared to HMG. I want to address that problem and a few other things at the same time. That is a big job and warrants a few blog posts. So here is part 1 – the design goals
Jamie and I played a draft version of Cassinograd – A Crossfire Scenario based on Crossfiregrad. We played two games in a couple of hours. Jamie was the attacking Kiwis and I was the Fallshirmjaeger. This is the second game.
Summary: Great game. My larger regular force was much more resilient than the small veteran force I used in Game 2. Jamie captured the objective (the Post Office), but he literally did it as his clock counted down to zero. Very tense and exciting game.
Jamie and I played a draft version of Cassinograd – A Crossfire Scenario based on Crossfiregrad. We played two games in a couple of hours. Jamie was the attacking Kiwis and I was the Fallshirmjaeger. This is the first of our games, making the second Cassinograd game with Bruce Stewart’s being the first.
Summary: Okay game, but could have been better. I had a small veteran force. The smaller forced lacked resilience, despite the higher morale, and Jamie took the objective (Municipal Buildings) relatively easily.
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.