Fighting the 1000 Foot General in Crossfire

Some musing on Fighting the 1000 Foot General in Crossfire. It would seem the mass redeployment is seen by some as a positive of crossfire, i.e. forcing commanders to cater for unforeseen events, and as a negative by others as an example of the 1000′ General. I sympathise with both views although I lean toward seeing it as a positive. Here are a few possibilities if you view it as negative.

“Lost in the Woods” or “Fog of War” Roll

One of my possible house rules:

Once in any game, and only once, a Player can force their opponent to take a “Lost in the Woods” roll (or “Fog of War” roll or whatever). This must be taken at the end of an enemy move action (or group move action). The roll is just like a Rally from Pin roll, including standard modifiers; failure doesn’t affect the stand, but passes initiative (after any group move is completed).

This means if a player sees an enemy mass redeployment happening they can do something about it – although the something might not work. Of course, a player could squander their “lost in the Woods” roll on some countering some immediate tactical move, but then they risk that later their opponent will do a mass redeployment and they won’t have a counter. It also has the advantage that there are no arguments about when it applies; it applies if the player says it applies and doesn’t need any definition of a mass redeployment.

James Doty “Hand of Fate” roll

Suggestion from James Doty on the Crossfire Yahoo Discussion Forum:

Call the the “Hand of Fate” leader intervention, whatever, here is the gist of the idea. Each player gets a couple of intervention chips for the game. Playing a chip allows a player to attempt to switch the initiative. A player may play a chip to preempt an announced enemy action, or between actions, but not to cancel an action that has already occured. Once a chip is played, each side rolls a die. Higher roll gains/retains initiative. If the rolls are a tie, the player with initiative retains the initiative.

The number of chips could be scenario defined, or given based on the number and quality of unit leaders on the table. In a co vs company battle, perhaps each side gets 2-4 chips, with 2 going to a green commander and 4 to a veteran commander.

The purpose of the tweak is to give the player without initiative a chance to break an attackers chain of momentum by getting his own forces to do something first.

Take an example of where a strong platoon is attacking a force on the flank. The player without initiative realizes he is going to lose unless he can get a counterattack force over there (he senses the decisive point in the battle). He tells 1st platoon to get over to the left flank on the double. The die roll determines whether or not his exhortation is successful.

Steven’s Hand of Fate roll

I like the name James gave it, but not the mechanism. Here is my alternative:

The Hand of Fate can include a number of random events including unexpected enemy Air or Artillery strikes, friendly fire, or just getting lost.

A Hand of Fate roll is similar to Reactive Fire. It is a 4d6 attack irrespective of cover. It can only be applied against an enemy move action. Unlike Reactive Fire, it does not need a friendly unit to be shooting, or even to be in line of sight of the target unit. Like fire combat, a Hand of Fate roll can inflict a Pin, Suppress or Kill. Initiative passes on a Suppress or Kill.

The scenario will specify how many Hand of Fate rolls a player gets. Typically one.

This concept is extended for Political Cooperation in the SCW.

Retreat move or normal move, not both

Suggestion of Martin (aka ottomanmm) on the Discussion Forum:

A simple solution to the problem of withdrawing, redeploying, beating up the enemy and returning to the original position would be to prevent any unit that makes a withdraw move from making any other move in the current initiative. Such a move would not mean a loss of initiative, so other actions can be taken. This means troops can withdraw to protect themselves, but they cannot be immediately thrown back into the fight in another part of the battle. It also means a determined attacker can follow them up in the next initiative.

Rally to retreat

Some folk have suggested using a rally roll to allow a retreat move. Nick Hawkins suggested this be a rally from Suppression rather than Pin.

Tim Marshall’s Reporting Lines

Tim Marshall on Yahoo Group: Crossfire WII

What I’ve found works best is a couple of reporting lines across the route of advance of the attacker and one line down the middle of the table in the direction of the axis of advance. If you say that within an initiative, only one line can be crossed, it really cuts back on this sort of thing.

Note by Steven: A similar concept to operation zones but could be within the company.

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