Crossfire Terrain Cards

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.

How I made the maps

I was kind of lazy. I have a lot of Crossfire scenarios and they all have maps. So I just browsed through existing maps and stole 2’x2′ chunks of them. I figured since most of them had been play tested, these maps would be more likely to stand the test of further gaming than if I’d just made up a fresh batch.

I did tweak some of the maps a tiny bit, mainly because I had to fit within a 2’x2′ constraint for each terrain card. I also added a few hedges or crests to break lines of sight and in one case. I wanted a depression on one of the cards, so moved a depression from just off the edge of a terrain card onto the terrain card.

There are 12 maps, just to give variety. I thought having four different types of map would be useful – perhaps to ensure variety – and I went for Woods (W), Fields (F), Rough Ground (R), and Village (V). The woods and village terrain cards are pretty obvious. The fields and rough ground are really just variations on “mixed” terrain, each with a slight emphasis on fields and rough ground respectively.

Crossfire Terrain Cards
Crossfire Terrain Cards

Preparing to use Crossfire Terrain Cards

You have to get some terrain and make the cards.

Get some terrain

You’ll need quite a lot of terrain. That is true for Crossfire and hence true for Crossfire terrain cards Roughly 50 pieces for a 4’x 4′ table and 75 for a 6’x4′ table.

Terrain sizes are approximate. Use whatever you have. For my Crossfire maps I use a standard set of sizes for my area terrain templates. Mostly I use:

  • 4″ x 4″ (10cm x 10cm)
  • 4″ x 6″ (10cm x 15cm)
  • 4″ x 8″ (10cm x 20cm)
  • 6″ x 6″ (15cm x 15cm)
  • 6″ x 8″ (15cm x 20cm)
  • 8 “x 8” (20cm x 20cm)

The picture shows a fuller range of terrain and terrain sizes I use on my Crossfire maps.

Crossfire Maps - Symbol Catalog
Crossfire Maps – Symbol Catalog

And I write the size of the template on the back to make sure my mates know when they’re setting up the tables.

Ten more terrain templates
Terrain templates – carefully labelled for size

How you make your Crossfire terrain cards

You can download the Crossfire Terrain Cards as a PDF. Just print, glue on cardboard, and cut out the terrain cards. Simple.

Crossfire Terrain Cards - Pile
Crossfire Terrain Cards – Pile

How you generate terrain for a Crossfire game

The steps are:

  1. Decide if fields and orchards are in-season or out-of-season
  2. Choose table size and hence table layout
  3. Randomly select terrain cards to fill the table layout
  4. Advance rule: Let the defender tweak the layout

Hit the Dirt introduced Orchards and also changed fields. Both of these can be in-season or out-of-season. Kind of a summer or winter choice. Decide this before flipping over any cards. If you forget this step, or don’t want to decide, then just roll a die: 1-3 in-season; 4-6 out-of-season.

The table layout is either 4’x4′ (4 terrain cards), 4’x6′ (six terrain cards) or 4’x8′ (eight terrain cards). You can probably make it work for other sizes, but that is what I had in mind.

Just put the terrain cards face down. Randomly pull out the number you want. Flip one over, without adjusting its orientation, and place on the table layout. Then do the same for the other slots in the table layout.

If you want to be fancy, then let the defender adjust the selected terrain cards. The defender can (1) optionally rotate one terrain card to change its orientation, then (2) optionally swap any two terrain cards without changing orientation. Both steps are optional.

I’ve only shown examples of 4’x4′ tables. These will all work for Mac’s Missions v3 – Revised Pick Up Games for Crossfire.

Crossfire Terrain Cards - Example Tables
Crossfire Terrain Cards – Example Tables

Terrain Cards and Line of Sight (LOS)

Normal Line of Sight (LOS) rules apply. Just to be clear, if LOS clips a blocking feature, then LOS is blocked. This applies on the edges of Terrain Cards where terrain features touch but do not cross the boundary of the terrain cards. A blocking terrain feature touching the boundary line is enough to block LOS along the boundary line.

If that irks you, then you can bump area terrain features that touch the edge of two terrain cards across the boundary to make it obvious that LOS is blocked.

Terrain Cards and Macs Missions

I believe these terrain cards will enhance Mac’s Missions – Pick Up Games for Crossfire (v3). It removes a bit of thinking from the set up. Of course you still have to put down about 50 terrain pieces.

4 thoughts on “Crossfire Terrain Cards”

  1. This great! One can apply this concept to almost any set of rules, keeping in mind the geographical peculiarities of the rules – for instance a totally different set of cards for a battle in The Sudan. When setting up a game for your wed night meet, set up a table as ‘directed’ by the cards then modify the actual terrain to better represent what the scenario is to be. A major time-saver. My next step would be to take photos of my terrain pieces from above and use them rather than the drawn ones – of course, only if you have infinite time on your hands! I only managed to do this for my Old West games which have much (many?) fewer terrain pieces on the table.

    • I decided taking photos of my terrain was too hard. So I went for making standardised terrain. Of course I didn’t get rid of the irregular terrain I had used previously. I just more. Lots more. Giving me piles and piles of terrain. I’m sure others could approach this is a more economic and rational way. 🙂

  2. Hi Steve,

    An interesting post, even though I’m not a Crossfire player, so thanks.

    Reading through I spotted what look like a couple of typos.

    Section: “How I made the maps”. 2nd sentence, “stole 2’x2′ chucks”. Should “chucks” be “chunks”?

    Section: “How you generate terrain for a Crossfire game”. 2nd paragraph, 1st sentence. “Hit the Direct” should probably be “Hit the Dirt”.

    One quick question. Some terrain pieces are shown touching the card edges. Do these break what otherwise appear to be full table length or width LOSs down the virtual joints between the cards? (If you see what I mean.)



    • Thanks Chris. I fixed the typos.

      I do see what you mean about LOS.

      LOS is critical in Crossfire. Normally on a Crossfire map LOS would be cut 2 or 3 times on any straight line across the table. So you are right to ask about “full table length or width LOSs” as these would break the Crossfire mechanisms.

      So my intention with these Crossfire Terrain cards is that clipping the edge of a feature is enough to enter the feature, and appropriate LOS rules kick in. That is why I deliberately moved many features to touch the edge of their 2×2 terrain card, to ensure LOS was broken. Although I left several cards which have clear, or potentially clear LOS along certain card edges.

      I’ll call that explicitly in the post as it is quite important but was only in my head until you asked.


Leave a Reply