“Human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) – Japanese Suicide Anti-tank Teams

Shitotsubakurai Lunge mine

Japanese infantry were already conducting “human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) against Soviet armour in 1939. In the absence of better anti-tank options they continued this practice throughout World War II, whether in China, the Pacific, or Burma. The death of the individual was accepted as the necessary price for the destruction of the tank, in accordance with the Japanese doctrine of “one soldier, one tank.” The goal was to combine honorable suicide with definite military results.

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Steven’s Goumiers for Crossfire – A Moroccan Tabor in Italy

Goumier Feature Image 3-8

I discovered Moroccan auxiliary troops through my interest in Rif War and the Spanish Civil War. I already have the 2nd Tabor of Regulares of Tetuán, from the SCW. Now I’ve got another Moroccan unit. This time they are Goumiers, irregular Moroccan auxiliaries fighting for France in Italy during World War 2. This lot are for Crossfire.

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Battle Stations BS7810 US Infantry Action – A Crossfire Scenario

Handout BS7810 US Infantry Action

Through the late 1970s and 80s, Gene McCoy wrote a series of articles called “Battle Stations: Small Unit Actions” for his magazine the “Wargamer’s Digest”. The Battle Stations posed tactical problems and then offered solutions. The idea was that wargamers could compare their solution to McCoy’s. The Battle Stations are good candidates for conversion to Crossfire scenarios.

Here is the first conversion based on “US Infantry Action”, originally published as a Battle Station in October 1978 (hence BS7810). A US Motorised Company is tasked with opening the supply route for the neighbouring division. To do this they must destroy the armoured German blocking force.

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Musing on Crossfire as a board game

Crossfire as a board game - Line of Sight - Nearest Hex Points

Crossfire is not a board game. But it could be. This is a bit of a thought experiment on what Crossfire might look like as a board game. It all came about one Saturday morning when I was having a WhatsApp conversation with my wargaming crew on “Crossfire as a board game”. I got all keen and made some counters. So here is how I see it …

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Making ravines and depressions for Crossfire

Ravines Featured Image 3-8

I’ve had a go at gullies and depressions before. But they look too much like hills. So I decided to have another go modelling just the edge of the depression. Then I took this concept further and modelled a modular ravine system. I featured both of these when I asked, How does my Burmese battlefield look? In this post I share a bit more about how I make these features.

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How does my Burmese battlefield look?

Burmese Table featured image 3-5

I am always impressed by Brett Simpson’s Pacific War tables for Crossfire. He inspired me to improve my jungle terrain. More jungle will be useful for Burma, Portuguese Colonial Africa, and Vietnam. I made some steps before we played the Pick up game in Burma, but I wanted to make my tables even better. So I’ve been bolstering my crossfire terrain and now have Pagodas, rice paddies, Bamboo groves, boulder fields, rock fields, palm trees, ravines, depressions, Burmese houses, jungle undergrowth (not featured here), crests (not featured here) and cliffs (not featured here). Some of these I’ve posted about previously, and some are yet to come. Now, after all that effort, I wanted to know two things. Do I have enough jungle terrain to fill a table? Does my jungle terrain look good enough? So I got it all out and threw it on a 6’x4′ table. I can definitely fill a table. And I reckon the table looks good enough, not perfect, but good enough.

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Snakes and Ladders Campaign for Crossfire

Crossfire - WW2 - Snakes And Ladders Campaign

Following my Snakes and Ladders Campaign for Tilly’s Very Bad Day I thought I’d do one for Crossfire. This uses the children’s board game Snakes and Ladders as the basis for a wargaming Campaign. The snakes become tribulations and the ladders are campaign successes. So I have made up a board a Snakes and Ladders board but with a more World War 2 flavour.

There is no skill in playing this campaign system as, like the children’s board game, random dice rolls lead to success. If you are lucky, you will win. For me this makes a Snakes and Ladders Campaign most suited to solo play where the goal is to provide narrative for the game.

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Stevens Kiwi Armour in Italy

Kiwi Tanks feature image 3-8

I’ve been planning my Kiwis in Italy – Steven’s Wargaming Project for years, since I wrote up a piece on Kiwi Vehicle Camouflage during WW2 in 2006. Well, finally, the plan is coming to fruition. I’ve got my armour for 2 (NZ) Division in Italy. Shermans (III, IB, VC), Stuarts (V), Stuart Recces, Staghound Armoured Cars (I, II), M10 Tank Destroyers, and universal carriers. Most in the unique Mud-grey with Blue-black disruptive pattern but some in plain dark green. Yay!!

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Planning my Cool Ruins for Crossfiregrad and Ponyri Station

Warbases Stalingrad Building A-150-B2

I have lots of ruins already, but I’ve mentioned “cool ruins” a couple of times over the last couple of years. Most recently in my 2021 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian where I planned to “Buy, build, paint more 3″ x 3″ sectors so I can play both Crossfiregrad and Ponyri Station solely with cool ruins”. So what do I mean by “cool” Ruins? Well Ruins that look the best in my collection (i.e. commercial MDF structures that I’ve enhanced) and that are 3″ sectors. I don’t have enough. I want more of them, lots more of them. Here is my plan.

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Bishenpur, Potsangbam and Ningthoukhong – Gurkhas on the Imphal Plain 1944

Fighting at Potsangbam 12 May 1944 Square

Bishenpur is a large village on the Tiddim Road on the western edge of the Logtak Lake in the Imphal basin. In the three battles fought at Bishenpur the Japanese 33 Division battered itself to destruction against 17 Indian Light Division. This was all part of climatic finish of the Battle of Imphal. For this post I focus on the conflict in the plains, near the road and in the villages (Bishenpur, Potsangbam and Ningthoukhong), so gloss over the actions on the Silchar track and on the roadblock at Torbung. Although other nationalities are involved, the infantry in 17 Division were primarily Gurkhas, hence the title. Almost all of this material is from Ian Lyall Grant’s brilliant book, Burma The Turning Point: The seven battles on the Tiddim Road which turned the tide of the Burma war (Grant, 1993). I drew some maps.

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WW2 Painting Guide: Anglo-Indian Tanks in Burma

Tac Signs for Stevens Anglo-Indian Tanks in Burma v2

I have already chosen my Anglo-Indian tanks in Burma and now I need a painting Guide for them. My guide is customised for the vehicles I want. If you want something wider in scope then I can recommend two invaluable sources for Anglo-Indian tanks in Burma, both by Mark Davies; British & Indian Armoured Units Of the Burma Campaign: A Painting Guide (V1.8) and his excellent series on the 14th Army on his Jemina Fawr website (lots of links below). I have used both for my own guide.

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