I have only played the HTD scenario “The Island” once, a fair few years ago with Rich Wilcox. The game revealed a flaw in Breakthrough objectives. The attacker just makes a hole and pours through. More recently Dick Bryant play tested my SU-76i in 1902nd SAP – A Crossfire Scenario, which was based on “The Island”. Dick found the same problem. So it seems time to revisit Breakthrough objectives for Crossfire scenarios.
It is rather embarrassing but I’ve had my Saitek Competition Pro Game Clock for nearly two years, have tried to use it for a Crossfire game twice and failed both times. Most recently for Operation Crossfire. The trouble is that this is a complicated clock because it is for competitions, we hardly ever use it, and we leave it to the last minute to figure out how to use it. Disaster. This time I thought I’d write a few notes to remind myself for next time.
One winter’s evening in London I was loading my car with Crossfire kit to take to a club game. It was getting dark and just starting to rain. That was, of course, just the moment I dropped my box of 15mm tanks on the pavement. Over the next 30 minutes I was on hands and knees in the rain and dark trying to find the precious panzers. Luckily I managed to recover all of the vehicles but some received irreparable damage.
I never want to repeat that experience so, at the next show I went to, I picked up a case from Figures in Comfort.
Crossfire allows troops to start the game hidden in features. Troops are not allowed to start the game hiding outside a feature, i.e. in the open. If we expand the concept of “hidden” from “hiding behind a tree” to “hidden from enemy sight” then hiding in the open should be allowed. What to do?
I’ve found an odd number of players is awkward in Crossfire. So awkward I haven’t really done it. So I ended up as an observer when our fourth player didn’t turn up for our 92nd Naval in Stalingrad game. It would have been nice to have played so I’m revisiting how to play a three player game. Luckily Martin Groat has a method to play Crossfire with three players.
I’ve tried several variations on HTD Crests so I thought I’d share some of them.
My problem is figuring out how to wargame the the common Combat Missions in the Portuguese Colonial War when using Crossfire. Combat missions of a insurgency are different to conventional warfare such as World War II. So, as a step forward I thought I’d jot down my thoughts about these challenges. I’m not trying to solve those problems just articulate them clearly. These problems are probably present in other game systems but the initiative system, with the potential for infinite movement and repeated firing, makes some of these problems more acute in Crossfire.
Although I’ll focus on the Portuguese Colonial War these observations are also relevant for partizan warfare in WW2.
For convenience I use indented lists for my orders of battle in my Crossfire scenarios. But, inspired by those of Flames of War, I have wondered whether I should move to a prettier format. Okay, not with silhouettes of troops or whatnot, but a bit more graphic. This is what I came up with.