With my Japanese all ready to go and my head full of roadblocks in Burma, I thought I’d knock together a Crossfire game. Chris took defending Japanese. Adam was the British trying to break through. I call this an experiment because very little thought went into it and we were just playing around with the concept of a Japanese ambush.
My Japanese leg infantry battalion for Crossfire is now painted and based. All very exciting! The more I read about the Japanese, the more I realise they had a completely different mind set to western armies. I wonder how much of that difference should flow through into Crossfire. So I’ve looked at other rule sets to see how they have handled the Japanese in WW2 and, from that, possible implications for Crossfire.
Jamie was coming over and I quickly knocked up this Crossfire scenario to continue my experiments with the revised Anti-tank rules. This time I wanted tanks on both sides and we ended up with three Panzers attacking and two Shermans in defence.
The scenario is extremely loosely based on the Coldstream Guards and Scots Greys defence of the Fosse Bridge on 13 September 1943. One of the many small actions following the Salerno landings in the Italian Campaign. Emphasis on the “extremely loosely”. At the time I only knew the battalions/regiments present and the location of the bridge which gave me a modern google map of the modern site. Not much to go on historically, but it gave a good game. I’ll write up the scenario later although a real Fosse Bridge Scenario will be quite different.
Both the Crossfire minefield rule and the Hit The Dirt bogging rule are special mechanisms using 1d6 and special outcomes. I think it is possible to align these with the normal infantry to hit dice, and without unduly affecting play. Since I’m revising the anti-tank rules to use the normal infantry to hit dice, this is a good time to tweak the bogging and anti-tank mine rules.
While I mull over the feedback I got about my previous post to revise Crossfire’s tank rules (Anti-tank Rating – Revising Crossfire Anti-tank Rules 5), I thought I’d share my thinking on infantry anti-tank weapons. Bazookas, Panzerfausts, Panzerschrecks, PIATs, and their poor relation, the anti-tank rifle.
I’ve been using flags as my terrain objective markers for a long time. And recently I made some more for New Zealand, UK/GB, India, USA, Germany (replacement), Japan, China and Australia.
Time for the heart of the matter … revising Crossfire’s anti-tank rules and make them more like infantry combat. I want to do this as a bit of journey, from Crossfire’s ACC and PEN, through my mods for that, touching on earlier Gun versus Arm matrix thinking, before landing where I want to today.
I think tanks should be scary so my latest attempt at revising Crossfire’s tank rules does that … makes tanks grunty. You will see I’ve made tanks, much, much more punchy compared to the standard rules and other Gun vs ARM matrix house rules. While I’m about it I’d also like to fix up a few other weaknesses. For a start I would strengthen lighter guns – I’m very conscious that the Soviets continued to use the 45mm anti-tank gun through out the war and where other weapon systems were abandoned or improved, these stayed in use. Aside from the fact the Soviet had a lot of them, I can only assume the Soviets also saw these as having continued utility. As far as I can see the light anti-tank guns flipped to being used as anti-personnel weapons, something which standard Crossfire makes them unsuitable for. So far this is all terribly speculative and I’m just playing around with possibilities. But I do think it is good enough worth a try.
Summary: Great scenario. Lots of tactical decisions for both players. Nice to get a few tanks on table. Great game. We’d play it again. I won. Or perhaps Jamie did.
People often talk in calibre bands to rate guns and mortars e.g. light, medium, and heavy artillery. Heavy mortars, that kind of thing. Rules writers quite often follow suit and include calibre bands in their games. Although Crossfire doesn’t make a big song and dance about calibre bands, there is a hint of bands in there. So I thought I’d play around with calibre bands to see if I can find a useful pattern for my emerging revision to the anti-tank rules.
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