How many figures will I need to start playing Crossfire?

One of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Crossfire is “How many figures will I need to start playing?” The answer is a company a side. 78 figures in total, if you follow my recommendations.

How many figures will I need?

A company a side is a good start for Crossfire. That is just shy of 80 figures in total. Bigger games will involve more figures.

The images show a typical company for two sides, called Red and Grey. [Yeah, I admit, I play Eastern Front with Soviets and Germans.] For the purposes of newbies starting to play Crossfire I’ve made the two companies identical. Each company has 39 figures, making 78 figures in total for the two companies. For practical purposes, these orders of battle will work for any nationality in World War II. If you want to get specific, then you’ll have to check the orders of battle in the rule book.

Typical Company in Crossfire - Grey
Typical Company in Crossfire – Grey
Typical Company in Crossfire - Red
Typical Company in Crossfire – Red

A rifle company contains a Company Commander (CC), three rifle platoons and some supporting assets. The CC stand has two figures.

Each rifle platoon contains a Platoon Commander (PC) and three rifle squads. The PC stand has a single figure. The rifle squads have three figures. Early war Russian platoons can add an extra rifle squad and that will add 9 figures to the company.

All rifle squads can have a random mix of grunts with guns, but I find it useful to distinguish one rifle squad by having a light machine gun (LMG) figure as one of the three figures. This stand is treated for all purposes as a rifle squad with no special abilities. I just like having LMGs scattered amongst the riflemen.

Another rifle squad has an optional infantry anti-tank weapon (IAT) e.g. anti-tank rifle, bazooka, panzerfaust, piat, etc. I don’t tend to bother for units equipped with anti-tank rifles but I do include the IAT for units from later in the war. The IAT squad has special abilities in Crossfire. Some people like to base IAT teams separately, but that is a house rule.

Most companies will have supporting assets. Typically these include 1-2 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) stands plus 1-2 Forward Observer (FO) or on-table mortars. A HMG, in Crossfire, is a machine gun on a tripod. I give HMG a crew of two men. [Technically, most HMG in Crossfire are actually medium machinguns but please don’t let that slow you down.]

Standard Crossfire uses FO stands for all indirect fire weapons. The actual weapon is off table. The FO stand has a single figure, usually with binoculars, a map, and/or a radio to indicate his role. Personally I like to have small mortars (45-60mm) on table. I give small mortars two crewmen.

What figure scale should I use?

Most people use 15mm or 20mm figures. A minority use 5mm or 28mm. Personally I use 15mm. They are a reasonable compromise of quality versus size. And they fit on the standard Crossfire bases with the right number of figures … something that cannot be said for 20mm.

How should I base my figures?

You are going to have to base your figures. I pretty much use the base size recommendations Crossfire gives for 15-20mm figures. I just go metric. Oh, and I make FO stands a different shape from PC stands. I based on-table mortars like HMG.

Crossfire Base Sizes - Stevens versus Standard
Crossfire Base Sizes – Stevens versus Standard

These are, however, just recommendations so you can change them, and you probably will have to if you are not using 15mm. Just remember a stand width is a significant measure in Crossfire.

If you want to know more then check out my basing approach and how other people base figures including for different scales.

What scenario should I play first?

The forces I described above are adequate for my Scenario for Novices. In fact you’ll have some spare.

Order of Battle - German Defender - Strong
Order of Battle – German Defender – Strong
Order of Battle - Allied Attacker
Order of Battle – Allied Attacker

9 thoughts on “How many figures will I need to start playing Crossfire?”

  1. Thank you for posting this, Steven. It’s a clear and handy reference. I like the way you have broken up the rifle platoon stands into LMG – standard – IAT.


  2. Steve, any idea why it is so difficult to see a reprint or redo of the”Crossfire” rules. A reprint of even the old rules would make it so much easier to spread the religion of “Crossfire” to the masses.


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