I was reading David Cole’s account of his time in the 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Sicily and Italy and got kind of fascinated by the Battle at Lemon Bridge (18-19 July 1943). Part of the reason for my fascination is that, for a long time, I couldn’t find the bridge, at least it isn’t on modern maps.
While I mull over the feedback I got about my previous post to revise Crossfire’s tank rules (Anti-tank Rating – Revising Crossfire Anti-tank Rules 5), I thought I’d share my thinking on infantry anti-tank weapons. Bazookas, Panzerfausts, Panzerschrecks, PIATs, and their poor relation, the anti-tank rifle.
Brett Simpson sent through a report for his recent Crossfire mini-campaign set in the Pacific. The campaign is a series of three games, each using Mac’s Missions. The report features his 20mm Australian Imperial Force (AIF), Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) and Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF) (i.e. Naval Marines). All words and photos are Brett’s.
Aidan Boustred has been running a Normandy Campaign using Crossfire. My wargaming group are not involved because we couldn’t sign up to the commitment of regular games, but as a one off Aidan asked us to play Game 7. The 5th Duke of Cornwall’s attack towards Feugret and Orbois with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Panzer Grenadier Regiment defending.
Summary: Big game but fun. Being part of a campaign gave the game features that were not possible in a one shot. I’d say it was a bloody draw.
I’ve been using flags as my terrain objective markers for a long time. And recently I made some more for New Zealand, UK/GB, India, USA, Germany (replacement), Japan, China and Australia.
Time for the heart of the matter … revising Crossfire’s anti-tank rules and make them more like infantry combat. I want to do this as a bit of journey, from Crossfire’s ACC and PEN, through my mods for that, touching on earlier Gun versus Arm matrix thinking, before landing where I want to today.
I think tanks should be scary so my latest attempt at revising Crossfire’s tank rules does that … makes tanks grunty. You will see I’ve made tanks, much, much more punchy compared to the standard rules and other Gun vs ARM matrix house rules. While I’m about it I’d also like to fix up a few other weaknesses. For a start I would strengthen lighter guns – I’m very conscious that the Soviets continued to use the 45mm anti-tank gun through out the war and where other weapon systems were abandoned or improved, these stayed in use. Aside from the fact the Soviet had a lot of them, I can only assume the Soviets also saw these as having continued utility. As far as I can see the light anti-tank guns flipped to being used as anti-personnel weapons, something which standard Crossfire makes them unsuitable for. So far this is all terribly speculative and I’m just playing around with possibilities. But I do think it is good enough worth a try.
Summary: Great scenario. Lots of tactical decisions for both players. Nice to get a few tanks on table. Great game. We’d play it again. I won. Or perhaps Jamie did.
People often talk in calibre bands to rate guns and mortars e.g. light, medium, and heavy artillery. Heavy mortars, that kind of thing. Rules writers quite often follow suit and include calibre bands in their games. Although Crossfire doesn’t make a big song and dance about calibre bands, there is a hint of bands in there. So I thought I’d play around with calibre bands to see if I can find a useful pattern for my emerging revision to the anti-tank rules.
I wanted a scenario to play test my emerging revision to the Crossfire armour rules. This scenario simulates the New Zealander and Greek attack on two small settlements – Monaldini farm and Monticelli – south-west of Rimini on 14 Sep 1944, during the Italian Campaign. Defending are Fallschirmjäger and “Turcomen” i.e. Soviet PoWs in German service. It is roughly a company a side in terms of infantry but the Kiwis have six, count them, six Shermans.
I thought I’d share an early view of what some tanks and guns will look like using my new scheme. Just so you can get an idea of what the end result will look like. Each vehicle has three ratings: Armour, Anti-Tank fire, Anti-personnel fire. Some are also superior ATG. My thinking isn’t finished, so these stats are going to change before the end of this little game design journey. This just shows, roughly, what I’ve got in mind.
Paul Ward’s video Introduction to Crossfire 5: Indirect Fire and Tanks got me thinking about a Gun versus Arm Matrix in Crossfire again. Lots of people have done this before as it offers a way to align the armour rules with infantry rules. In my earlier Gun versus Arm Matrix in Crossfire there are suggestions from Robert Tesfro, Si Booknek, Steve Phenow, and of course Paul Ward and myself. Plus I know that John Moher has dabbled here as well. I’m sure others have.
The trouble with all these suggestions is they make tanks impotent compared to HMG. I want to address that problem and a few other things at the same time. That is a big job and warrants a few blog posts. So here is part 1 – the design goals