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.
I discovered Moroccan auxiliary troops through my interest in Rif War and the Spanish Civil War. I already have the 2nd Tabor of Regulares of Tetuán, from the SCW. Now I’ve got another Moroccan unit. This time they are Goumiers, irregular Moroccan auxiliaries fighting for France in Italy during World War 2. This lot are for Crossfire.
One of the things I would like to do in Crossfire is entrench my men in a wood and get some game benefit. In the standard rules being in a wood, being entrenched, and ground hugging all provide the same level of cover. Usually that is fine, but I’m looking at doing Burma and I expect the associated jungle fighting will require more nuance. So I’ve been musing on how to simulate combinations of cover, entrenchments and ground hugging. I think Lloydian Aspects: Crossfire Probabilities offers a way to distinguish ground hugging from other types of cover, and allows entrenching in the open to be different to entrenching in cover, all without a lot of faff.
Through the late 1970s and 80s, Gene McCoy wrote a series of articles called “Battle Stations: Small Unit Actions” for his magazine the “Wargamer’s Digest”. The Battle Stations posed tactical problems and then offered solutions. The idea was that wargamers could compare their solution to McCoy’s. The Battle Stations are good candidates for conversion to Crossfire scenarios.
Here is the first conversion based on “US Infantry Action”, originally published as a Battle Station in October 1978 (hence BS7810). A US Motorised Company is tasked with opening the supply route for the neighbouring division. To do this they must destroy the armoured German blocking force.
Download Crossfire Freebie 1: Mini-Scenarios. Introductory scenarios for Arty Conliffe’s Crossfire by Steven Thomas and Dick Bryant. Assisted by Arty Conliffe.
Crossfire is not a board game. But it could be. This is a bit of a thought experiment on what Crossfire might look like as a board game. It all came about one Saturday morning when I was having a WhatsApp conversation with my wargaming crew on “Crossfire as a board game”. I got all keen and made some counters. So here is how I see it …
I’ve had a go at gullies and depressions before. But they look too much like hills. So I decided to have another go modelling just the edge of the depression. Then I took this concept further and modelled a modular ravine system. I featured both of these when I asked, How does my Burmese battlefield look? In this post I share a bit more about how I make these features.
I am always impressed by Brett Simpson’s Pacific War tables for Crossfire. He inspired me to improve my jungle terrain. More jungle will be useful for Burma, Portuguese Colonial Africa, and Vietnam. I made some steps before we played the Pick up game in Burma, but I wanted to make my tables even better. So I’ve been bolstering my crossfire terrain and now have Pagodas, rice paddies, Bamboo groves, boulder fields, rock fields, palm trees, ravines, depressions, Burmese houses, jungle undergrowth (not featured here), crests (not featured here) and cliffs (not featured here). Some of these I’ve posted about previously, and some are yet to come. Now, after all that effort, I wanted to know two things. Do I have enough jungle terrain to fill a table? Does my jungle terrain look good enough? So I got it all out and threw it on a 6’x4′ table. I can definitely fill a table. And I reckon the table looks good enough, not perfect, but good enough.
Following my Snakes and Ladders Campaign for Tilly’s Very Bad Day I thought I’d do one for Crossfire. This uses the children’s board game Snakes and Ladders as the basis for a wargaming Campaign. The snakes become tribulations and the ladders are campaign successes. So I have made up a board a Snakes and Ladders board but with a more World War 2 flavour.
There is no skill in playing this campaign system as, like the children’s board game, random dice rolls lead to success. If you are lucky, you will win. For me this makes a Snakes and Ladders Campaign most suited to solo play where the goal is to provide narrative for the game.