Explaining troop Characteristics in Crossfire

I’d been puzzling over how to characterise various historical units and so asked the Crossfire discussion forum for guidance. This page paraphrases the responses from Steve Holmes, Nikolas Lloyd and Jeff with some of my own thoughts mixed in.

Officer / NCO quality

These are defined in the TO&E, but you don’t have to stick to them. It is important to remember that commanders are rated separately in their ability to influence Close Combat and Rallying.

Command and Control

I think of the three levels as: Good/Adventurous (e.g. German), Okay/Independent (e.g. Commonwealth), and Poor/Dependent (e.g. Soviet). Good/Adventurous troops are superbly drilled and masters of fire and movement, whereas, Poor/Dependent troops must be shepherded around by their officers, and Okay/Independent troops sit in between.

Standard Crossfire makes all Germans Good/Adventurous, however, Tim Marshall suggests this is inappropriate – Volksgrenadiers should have a worse command and control, perhaps Poor/Dependent.

Troop Quality

Despite the fact that the three levels of troop quality are called Veteran, Regular, and Green, a higher quality really indicates greater staying power, grit, and the ability to sit out the rough end of the firefight. If you want troops to stand their ground in a game better than any others, then make them veterans and the others regulars or green.

Specifically troop quality gives a modifier for:

  • Close combat
  • Rallying

The first of these means that a group of vets are more likely to succeed in close combat. So vets would be the types of troops who don’t mind getting stuck in with cold steel, or taking combat to close quarters to achieve a decisive result.

The other benefit of veterans takes a little thinking about. It is as easy to suppress a stand whether green, regular or veteran, but the veterans have a far better chance to rally. In game turns this tends to feed into a simple equation where pinned or suppressed green stands are not worth the attempt to rally, and drop out of combat. Meanwhile a good NCO has a great chance to rally his veteran stands, making these the core of your troops who will hold up in defence (Keep their heads up and fight back instead of get overrun), or press on past the tough resistance in attack.

Troops might behave differently in different circumstances in the same way that some officers count for rallying but not close combat. For example:

  • Gurkhas might be vets in close combat, but regulars in other ways.
  • Spanish Civil War militia might be Regulars in towns, but Green elsewhere.

Elite versus Veteran

If you want a rules-distinction between “elite” and “veteran”, then you could say that “elite” troops are adventurous in terms of command and control, and “veterans” get the +1 to rally and CC.

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