Lockdown Crossfire – Kiwis in Italy – A Crossfire Scenario

Bruce Stewart, like many of us, has been trying to figure out how to wargame during the Covid-19 lockdown. Bruce’s idea involves video conferencing, a situation from the Band of Brothers, and New Zealand accents. You might recall that last year Bruce sent through a couple of battle reports for Kiwis in the Italian Campaign using Crossfire. Well, there is more of the same here.


Introduction

Alan of the Perry twins filmed a horse and musket game where he was measuring all the moves for his “remote” opponent and it struck me how much more ergonomic a crossfire game would be. I mooted this with my regular Crossfire opponents in Auckland. As I have both sides and terrain for Kiwis in Italy, I am able to set up the games at my house and have been able to convert folks to Crossfire pre lockdown.

When I lived in the UK in the 90”s I joined Wargames development and these erstwhile gentlemen have coloured my thinking. So with my crossfire games I have introduced kriegspiel elements . Most WW2 battles are attack-defence battles, with hasty or prepared defences depending on the situation. How I incorporate this is to have the defenders mark their forces on a map and the attacker (or blunderer) then starts with the initiative. I don’t use the recon by fire rule’s or the surprise bonuses. Defending players are on their honour in the respect of when they reveal, but that’s been no problem with my buddies.

I was inspired by a post by Alan Perry who filmed himself playing a game in a similar fashion and I wondered how much more efficient a game could be had without having to measure distances, ergo crossfire. Conrad Kinch also recounted a similar battle on his blog and had lots of sound advise re having small forces, being prepared and keeping it simple.

We used face book messenger for the German defenders to view my battlefield. I supplied them with a photo of their defending forces and a “aerial” photo with the deployment areas a couple of days before. As required I would move my lap top on its tower so Rob and Dave could see parts of the battle field.

Lockdown 2-12 Leutanant Sadler in his spotter plane

Lockdown 2-12 Lieutenant Sadler in his spotter plane / laptop

I have been looking for Scenario’s of this size of battle and decided to write this one myself. Dave Mulder is setting up a similar sized Russian defenders (me) and German attackers at his home, so the boot will be on the other foot. He found a site with old squad leader scenarios and adapted one. We will broadcast this live on Dave’s face book group bunker monkeys and lots of bolt action guys have been invited to watch. More recruits ! ?


Mission

Setting: Italy; 1943-45

The “special idea” or scenario is a hidden example. I used the attack on the village of Foy in the Ardennes by Easy company in 1945. The battle starts with “I” company prone taking cover on the left flank. Lt Spiers (a +2 PC) with battalion HQ (a figurehead unit only) and the 2 PCs at zero rating and one with +1. I company on the left flank can ONLY be activated to move forward by Spiers, so if he gets killed……


Map/Terrain

The table was a double bed. 135cm by 188cm. My base sizes are 40mm by 40mm with 20mm figures. [In 15mm this would be 1 m x 1.4 m, so quite small]

Crossfire Lockdown - Scenario deployment areas

Crossfire Lockdown – Scenario deployment areas

Key features are:

  • The blue line for the kiwis in the wood was there setting off point.
  • The red was the german defenders bar snipers.
  • The green one represented where the up to 3 german snipers could deploy in front of the regular german defenders
  • Woods
  • Haystack field – we just had each haystack block line of sight, otherwise exposed.
  • Other fields
  • Stone walls
  • Buildings
  • Road

Pre-game preparation

German player plots hidden deployment


German Player (Defending)

Objective

The Germans must hold the village.

Forces Available

Defender Order of Battle

  • 2 x Weak Platoons: PC (+1); 2 x Rifle Squads
  • 1 x HMG
  • 1 x FO for off-table 81mm Mortar1
  • 1-3 x Snipers2
  • Morale: Green
  • Command & Control: Okay / Commonwealth

Notes:
(1) Mortar Ammunition supply (both sides) 4 plus score of 2 x D6 (keep secret)
(2) German Snipers throw a D6 1,2 = one sniper , 3,4 = two snipers , 5,6 three snipers (keep secret)

The photo of the German defenders is from the play tests. The orbat above is slightly larger.

Crossfire Lockdown - German defenders

Crossfire Lockdown – German defenders

Deployment

Deploys first, hidden, behind the red line.

Reinforcements

None.


Kiwi Player (Attacking)

Begins scenario with initiative.

Objective

The Kiwis have to clear the village of German defenders.

Forces Available

Attacker Order of Battle

  • 1 x Battalion HQ and Heavy Weapons
    • 1 x BC (0)2
    • 1 x PC (+2) “Spiers”2,3
    • 1 x FO for off table 3” Mortar [4+2d6 FM1]
  • 1 x Elements of Easy (E) Company
    • 1 x CC
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x On-table 2″ Mortar [4+2d6 FM1]
    • 1 x PIAT (to assign to any Rifle Squad)
    • 1 x Platoon: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
    • 1 x Platoon: PC (0) “Dike”; 3 x Rifle Squads
  • 1 x Elements of India (I) Company4
    • 1 x Platoon: PC (0); 3 x Rifle Squads
  • Morale: Veteran
  • Command & Control: Okay / Commonwealth

Notes:
(1) Mortar Ammunition supply (both sides) 4 plus score of 2 x D6 (keep secret)
(2) BHQ is just a figure head unit and takes no part in the battle other than to dispatch Spiers.
(3) Spiers can take over control of any platoon.
(4) I company on the left flank can ONLY be activated to move forward by Spiers. If Spiers is killed I company may fire but cannot move forward for the remainder of the game.

Crossfire Lockdown - Kiwi attackers

Crossfire Lockdown – Kiwi attackers

Deployment

Deploys second, visible, behind the green line.

I company starts prone on the left flank.
The remainder of kiwi forces deploy on the wooded ridge behind the green line.
BHQ with Spiers must be in the centre.

Reinforcements

None.


Victory Conditions

Terrain and Casualty (AD) objectives.

The Kiwis have to clear the village of German defenders before 1400 hours. The Germans must prevent this.

The Kiwis musts control all building sectors before 1400 hours. A player controls a terrain objective if their stand occupies the feature or was the last to occupy it, and the feature is/was not physically contested by the enemy.

If the Germans inflict enough casualties on the Kiwis, the attack stalls and the Germans win. If the Kiwis lose five fighting stands they immediately lose. Fighting stands include BC, CC, HMG, Rifle and SMG Squads, but not PC or FOs.


Scenario Special Rules

HTD Special Rule 4: The Moving Clock is in use. The Scenario begins at 0800 hours and ends 1400 hours. The clock advances 30 minutes on 5+ at the end of each defender initiative.

I don’t use the recon by fire rule’s or the surprise bonuses.

Spiers can take over control of any platoon. I company on the left flank can ONLY be activated to move forward by Spiers. If Spiers is killed I company may fire but cannot move forward for the remainder of the game.

Mortar Ammunition supply (both sides) 4 plus score of 2 x D6 (keep secret)

Haystack field – we just had each haystack block line of sight, otherwise exposed.

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