Dung Farm – A Crossfire Battle Report

DungFarm-1842 Lead platoon of Irish Company - Banner

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.

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Japanese Tank Hunter Teams in Crossfire

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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.

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WW2 Painting Guide: 14th Army in Burma

In my pile of lead I have two, count them, two battalions for the 14th Army in the Burma Campaign. One Welsh. One Gurkha. So I figured I needed a painting guide. Luckily most of the troops in the 14th army wore the same kit. Same with the Chindits. Whether the early redyed Khaki Drill (KD) or custom Jungle Green (JG) the troops in 1943-45 wore “grey-green” which was, once in combat, far more grey than green. Recommendations are for Vallejo Model Color although I occasionally mention alternatives using Humbrol paints.

I’m indebted to the various wargamers that have gone done this journey of exploration before me, particularly Mark Davies (aka Jemima Fawr), Doms Decals, Mick in Switzerland, and Paul Scrivens-Smith (AKA scrivs).

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Balagan Version of Dung Farm – A HTD Crossfire Scenario

Scenario - Dung Farm - Crossfire - Banner

“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.

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“Human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) – Japanese Suicide Anti-tank Teams

“Human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) – Japanese Suicide Anti-tank Teams - Banner

Japanese infantry were already conducting “human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) against Soviet armour in 1939. In the absence of better anti-tank options they continued this practice throughout World War II, whether in China, the Pacific, or Burma. The death of the individual was accepted as the necessary price for the destruction of the tank, in accordance with the Japanese doctrine of “one soldier, one tank.” The goal was to combine honorable suicide with definite military results.

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Steven’s Goumiers for Crossfire – A Moroccan Tabor in Italy

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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.

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Battle Stations BS7810 US Infantry Action – A Crossfire Scenario

Scenario - BS7810 US Infantry Action - Crossfire - Banner

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.

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Musing on Crossfire as a board game

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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 …

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Making ravines and depressions for Crossfire

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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.

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How does my Burmese battlefield look?

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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.

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