Gun versus Arm Matrix in Crossfire

Some musing on Gun versus Arm Matrix for anti-tank fire in Crossfire. This idea was tossed around by a few people on the Crossfire-WWII discussion forum. I first noted if when Robert Tesfro mentioned it. Others have given variations. Essentially anti-tank fire is handled with the same rule as infantry fire. No PEN and ARM.

Rules as Steven would play them

Both guns and armour are rated as Light, Medium or Heavy. The rating is dependent on the period, so, for example, a Pz III (both gun and armour) is medium from ’39-’42, and light from ’43-’45. A Matlida might have medium gun and heavy armour in the early period, but then become light plus medium in the later period.

Use the Gun versus Armour Matrix to compare gun rating with target armour. This gives the number of firing dice, from 2d6 to 5d6.

Gun versus Armour Matrix Light Armour Medium Armour Heavy Armour
Light Gun 3d6 2d6 1d6
Medium Gun 4d6 3d6 2d6
Heavy Gun 5d6 4d6 3d6

Plus 1d6 for a flank shot, minus 1d6 for reactive fire, minus 1d6 for cover, 6s needed to hit if hull down.

3 Hits = Killed. Tank is KO or the crew have bailed out. Either remove the model to reduce clutter or leave the smoking ruin on the table for aesthetic appeal.

2 Hits = Suppressed. Tank has minor damage and/or the crew is shaken. Vehicle cannot move, rotate turret (if any) or fire.

1 Hit = Pinned. Tank engine has stalled and/or the turret has jammed and/or the crew are rattled. Vehicle cannot move or rotate turret (if any) but can fire.

Vehicles and towed guns should also have an anti-personnel rating for when they shoot at infantry.

Robert Tesfro Variation

I have been tinkering on the back of my envelope (I only have one and it is getting a bit tatty) trying to work out a better AT firing system than rolling for ACC and PEN. What do you think of the idea of using 3 firing dice for AT guns, just like normal firing? It should work like this…. Rate the guns by year, so a 50mm in 1940 is heavy and by 1944 is light and do the same for tank armour. A Pz III is heavy in 1940, light in 1944 for example. ATRs will count as light, bazookas as medium and so on. Then a simple grid, with gun rate down one side and target armour across the top will give us the number of firing dice (hopefully you should get some idea).

Gun versus Armour Matrix Light Armour Med Armour Hvy Armour
Light Gun 3d6 2d6
Med Gun 4d6 3d6 2d6
Hvy Gun 5d6 4d6 3d6

Have dice deductions for cover as usual and usual hit scores.

3 Hits = a kill, tank is KO

2 Hits = suppressed, the crew is shaken and cannot move or fire until it
sorts itself out. One failed morale roll and they bail out. Keep the tank
on the table, just remove the crew.

1 Hit = either the engine stalls or the turret jams, dice for which and
rally as usual, with no need to bail out.

Si Booknek Variation

Like Paul Ward I allow vehicles to do anything in the same manner as infantry, including maintaining LoS in order to move according to quality. I allow Germans and late war UK/US tanks to operate in pairs, whilst Russians (usually) and similar can only use platoons of three or more vehicles. On a CF table this makes them difficult to use effectively.

As for firing, I use a system which is on Steve’s Balagan site (IIRC) basically basically a matrix cross referencing gun against armour. Hits on 5s & 6s as for infantry fire, effects as for infantry. Medium gun vs medium armour = 3 dice. Medium gun vs heavy armour = 2d6. Plus a dice for a flank shot, minus for moving target, 6s needed to hit if hull down.

Against infantry vehicles fire as HMGs. Tanks have a 180 deg arc, SPGs 90 deg.

I think the basic matrix is also in the files section here too. I find it works really well, requires no reference to charts being very similar to the infantry system and allows tweaking for scenarios. I rate vehicles by period, ie a PzIII is medium from ’39-’42, light from ’43-’45.

Richard (Doctor Phalanx) Comments

I’ve used a version of this originally developed, I believe, by Mike Caudron. It’s essentially the same idea but not in matrix form. One difference compared to infantry fire is that it is easy to get down to one dice (e.g. medium gun against heavy armour in cover) as I found in a recent game. This can make a target invulnerable. This is not necessarily unhistorical. It obliges the weaker tank to seek a flank/rear shot.

Si Booknek again

I found the same which is why I either go to hits on 6s rather than a single die, or simply state 2d6 as the minimum. Actually, I’ve only used the 6 to hit for Hull Down, for which it seems to work well. Obviously not removing a die as well!

Although 2d6 may appear a bit strong for a pea-shooter against a Tiger, I rationalise it as a high volume of fire at comparatively short ranges, causing peripheral or superficial damage and perhaps giving a crew pause for thought. A veteran Tiger crew are likely to recover quickly, whilst the plucky recce car may escape in the meantime. On the other hand a novice crew may remain pinned for some time, again in my little world, not unreasonable.

As you say though, they’d have to get a flank or rear shot for a kill. I differentiate between flank and rear and have no issue with a light vehicle killing a heavy one. A kill doesn’t have to mean ‘catastrophic’ after all.

Steve Phenow’s comment

You K/O an AFV with different ways, and the die roll is a simple “Yes, you did” or “No you did not.”

Tanks breakdown for all sorts of reasons, the 37mm round may have just scratched the paint of that Tiger I, but the turret may have jammed, the engine stalled, hit the gunner’s optic block, etc. Anyway you look at it the tank is U/S for combat.

At Ghazlani on 26-27 Feb, 1991, the t-72s that faced the M2 Bradleys, couldn’t be harmed by 25mm rounds, yet so many of the chain gun rounds would saturate the target, that the t-72 external baggage was set on fire, optics destroyed, radio shot off, AAMG dismounted, turret jammed, main gun traverse jammed so that the tank was useless. The M2 would usually finish the job with a TOW.

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