Nikolas Lloyd on Crossfire Discussion Forum (2 Sep 2002)
Excerpt from Nikolas Lloyd published in the Crossfire-WWII discussion forum.
I played a tank-dominated game recently, and it worked fine and was a lot of fun. Tanks had a stat for a number of move actions they had per initiative (pivots and moves being separate), and tanks could move and fire, but if they fired on the move they had a snow flake in hell’s chance of hitting anything, if they stopped to fire they had a reduced chance of hitting anything, and if they were firing at a moving target, they had a lower chance of hitting. Vehicles could be declared “moving” at the end of their move, and would be in that state still when initiative changed. This required tactics, and worked a treat.
The ACC stats are in my opinion all wrong. Early war vehicles often had very good rates of fire, much better than later war vehicles, and the ranges in CF are short. Step one: alter all ACC stats to make fast firing light AT guns better at hitting things. Arty explains that he derived his ACC stats from muzzle velocity, which was a mistake. A Tiger with a slow turret traverse and big heavy shells will not stand a better chance of hitting a speeding dingo AC at 100 yards than a fast-firing, quick-traversing well-crewed open air 37mm AT gun. This change will improve the early war vehicles’ chances of hitting considerably. I forget my entire formula for ACC, but it went something like:
- Base ACC=0
- -1 slow firing
- -1 under crewed turret
- -1 slow traverse (first shot)
- +1 AT gun (open air, big crew all with good lookout positions)
- +1 fast fire (Pz II gun, 2pdrs, HMGs etc.)
- +1/-1 especially good/bad gun (Panther gun/Renault 17 gun etc.)
A tank rolls forwards in the open. Three infantry stands fire at it in reaction [with AT weapons], each hoping for a 6. 42.13% of the time, a little under half, at least one will hit. Chances of destruction are high. This occurs every time the vehicle moves, and in phasing play, this is only slightly worse than the chance of suppression against enemy infantry in cover. If the vehicle is in cover, it is invulnerable, and this is silly. I say that the cover factor carries over to the PEN die. I also give +1ACC if the infantry firing is in the same terrain feature as the target.
James Doty on Crossfire Discussion Forum (23 July 2003)
I think most agree the stats for vehicles aren’t too great. Again, I think the crew quality is the primary factor, and the vehicle stats are secondary. One day I might get around to updating all vehicle stats. For now I am only going to change the ACC factor. A vehicle may fire main gun or machine guns as a fire action. Machine guns are treated as infantry stand fire. Main gun fire: to hit the target, roll 4-6 on a single die.
- +1 Veteran
- -1 Green
- -1 Moved this initiative
- (-1 shoot across 3 grid lines, OPTIONAL)
ACC for vehicles is either
- +1 for vehicles with speedy turrent/plenty of crew/good optics,
- 0 for normal vehicles,
- -1 for vehicles with slow turret/few crew/bad optics. All bazookas, pfausts, pshrecks, etc, are automatically -1 ACC.
Thanks for all the suggestions on how to use stands. I think I will go with standard 4 man stand for a squad for simplicity. Although the game is scaleless, I pay attention to match my board to a map, so I’ll go with 3cm bases for squads, and 1cm=5m for ground scale. I am ditching the APC/truck carries a platoon of soldiers, and therefore ditching all the EFF ratings for vehicles. I am using someone’s optional rule of artillery attacking all bases in a terrain feature, or all within a stand width of a target in the open, which allows me to ditch the EFF for artillery as well.
Interesting notes on using penalty dice, changing the # of dice based on the type of MG and whether attack or reactive fire, etc. I personally choose to keep the game as is. To replicate the German use of LMG and Rifle assaulters, I would just give each platoon 1 MG stand and 2 Rifle stands. With the German individual movement allowed to squads, you can replicate the fire and movement tactics without going to “1:1 scale.”
As far as the comments on Germans firing their rifles are concerned, see SLA Marshall’s Men Against Fire. He states only 20% of US soldiers (and those of all countries by implication) with rifles fired on the enemy. Other US studies of weapon usage are generally consistent, and show an increase over the century as new training methods decreased the soldiers fear of firing a weapon. Also interesting is the difference noted in firing rates between British troops in the Falklands and their Argentine counterparts. All modern technique trained Brits fired their weapons, while Brits noted the Argentines suffered from a lack of rifle fire–similar in many respects to WWII, but a higher rate of crew served weapon fire.
Personally I’d give the HEAT weapons -1 ACC and an OK PEN, keep ATG or ATR as 0 except for any that are notoriously bad, and adjust the PEN depending on whether ATR or type of ATG. (Optional: I’d give ATRs a -1 for firing over 2 grid lines, and all HEAT AT weapons can’t fire at all across 2 lines).
You can look at it (ACC) a couple of different ways. At short ranges all you have to do is center the vehicle in your reticle and fire away. Because vehicles generally operate with a “battlesight” range that’s 500m or more, no engagements probably happen outside this range (although I’d have to check with the smaller ATGs 20-47mm) in Crossfire. So the question of hitting the target once you identify it (and I am assuming identification in this case plays no part in the ACC rating) is how quickly/accurately you can travers/manhandle the weapon and line up the sight. The second question is do you compare ATG ACC with tank ACC? I say yes. This makes it tricky since I start with a baseline of an average vehicle and regular crew at 4-6. Can the “average” ATG with a regular crew sight as well as a tank? I am personally familiar with the differences between power and manual traverse on a tank, but never got the chance to employ an ATG. Right now I am choosing to say yes.
Historically all smart soldiers try to fire from an ambush position, expecially ATGs that can’t withdraw. In a head to head scenario I’ll take the tank over the ATG assuming both are in range of each other, see each other, and can destroy each other. But with a d6 I wouldn’t say right now that I’d automatically give the tank an edge and penalize the ATG with a -1, especially since my premise is the crew quality is just as or more important. More interesting is comparing assault guns to ATGs…
Thinking off hand, I would rate in general order the following from better to worse:
Tanks with power traverse and 3 crew (cdr, gnr, ldr)
Tanks with power traverse and 2 crew
ATGs with with swivel/articulated mount and crew (like 88m AA)
Tanks with manual traverse and 3 gunnery crew
ATGs with full crew (CDR, gnr, ldr, + manhandle crew)
Tanks with manual traverse and 2 crew
Assault guns with 3 crew (cdr, gnr, ldr)
ATGs without full crew (ie no manhandle crew)
Assault guns with 2 crew
Tanks with power traverse and 1 crew
All Infantry Anti-tank Weapons
Tanks with manual traverse and 1 crew
Assault gun with 1 crew (don’t think there are any of these)
Not sure where to draw the line for +/- 1 in this case, but again first look is where I dashed it. Top is +1, bottom is -2 if I went that far. Optics are more important at longer ranges (ie when range estimation is important), or when the target is moving. In my mind the biggest advantage of power traverse and then tanks in general is tracking a moving target. I’d probably give a -1 to anyone firing at a moving vehicle during reactive fire.
I’d also allow ATGs to use the vehicle rules to take more than one action (at 4-6 plus modifiers), but only if the second or subsequent action was a fire action.