Andrew Coleby and I tried out my Moroccan Knives scenario set in the Spanish Civil War. Andrew wanted to try a Spanish Civil scenario for Crossfire and I wanted to experiment with a small table and lots of terrain; like the 2 Foot City but in the countryside. We only get a couple of hours to play when Andrew comes over so the game had to be small. All this meant we had small companies facing each other on a 4’x3′ table covered in woods features. It turned out to be a good little game.
4′ x 3′ Table Covered in trees.
The table was covered in trees. There was only one non-woods feature; the rough ground in the middle of the table. The features ranged from 4″x4″ up to 8″x8″.
You can see the first Moroccans arriving in the top left corner of the table.
My plans were pretty simple. Spread out across the table but have a couple of lines so that the rear line could protect the front line. Andrew’s looked to history for his plan of action … the Moroccan Regulares (and the Army of Africa in general) often tried to outflank defending militia … so Andrew intended to send troops down both flanks and ignore the centre.
In keeping with his plan Andrew brought on his troops onto the table on the two flanks.
Moroccan Company Commander with the right flank force (Platoon, HMG, FO)
Moroccan left flank: The other two Regulares platoons
The first platoon on the Moroccan left advanced along the table edge until it encountered the first Anarchist militia. The second platoon was a couple of features behind at contact. I did good in that I opened fire with an entire rifle platoon. Unfortunately I chose to do it when the targe was still in cover and I achieve nought.
First Contact: Anarchist platoon opens up on advance Moroccans to no effect.
Having revealed a platoon it didn’t take long before Andrew dealt to it. I foolishly fire again while he was moving in cover, went NO FIRE, then discovered the hard way why Green militia should not go toe to toe with Veterans.
The only benefit I got was the fact, after he killed my platoon, that he exposed himself to fire from my HMG. But continuing the trend from earlier I again took the shot when he was in covered. This killed a stand, and unsettle Andrew, and he got more cautious. After some more rounds of fire I ended up NO FIRE again but Andrew was pretty sure I had other troops around and didn’t go in for the kill. Phew!
On the Moroccan right flank Andrew made his one mistake of the game. He wanted to move into a wood and picked up the nearest stand and moved it. It was only when I revealed my hidden defenders and killed the moving stand did he realise it was his one and only HMG. Ooops.
Killing the Regulares HMG was the high point for me. It was all down hill from there. Andrew’s left flank pushed on along the table edge and got into my rear without mishap. He was a little unsure what to do with them then but, after some hesitation started the inevitable squeeze. I had Moroccans to the front of me and Moroccans to the rear.
Flank marching Moroccans
More Flank marching Moroccans
On the Moroccan right he managed to pick off one of my Squads with rifle fire and bayonet. I’d pulled another one back but, unfortunately, my PC was stuck in the woods feature with the hostiles. I was lucky in that Andrew elected to try for another woods feature (to the right in the photo) rather than finish off my commander. A squad of Moroccans rushed into the open and got hit by a triple-6, i.e. instant dead.
Triple 6 saves PC
Nominally that left me surrounding that platoon. An aerial shot shows two of my platoons around one of his. And that platoon only had a PC and one squad, with the CC and FO in back up. Andrew got a little nervous, dropped some smoke and pulled back.
About this time Andrew invoked the Political Cooperation special rule. This gave him two free PINs when I moved reflecting the particularly poor command and control in the historical Anarchist units. He used them when I pulled my HMG and Squad out of their central position away from the outflanking Moors.
Anarchists Surround Moroccans
And that was the thing. My local superiority was more apparent than real as Andrew’s other two platoons were fast approaching my rear. I had a war on two fronts. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I failed to rally one of the Politically uncooperative pinned squads. Even with a +2 Company Commander I managed to fail the roll three times. Mutter, mutter, Green troops, mutter.
Moroccans Surround Anarchists
And while I was failing my rally rolls Andrew was edging closer. He’d spotted an exposed flank of one of my platoons and brought two platoons to bear on it.
And on the other Flank too
The end came quick. It took just a single squad of Regulares, with their PC, to finish off my sixth fighting stand and take the game.
Coup de Grace
The game seemed fairly balanced. We both had a good chance of winning. Of course my Anarchists were Green and had no hope in close combat against Andrew’s Veteran Moroccans. But I had a slight edge in numbers and I started hidden.
Andrew played a good game, very good given it was only his second outing with Crossfire. His one mistake was sending a HMG to scout a wood rather than a rifle squad. And even that wasn’t deliberate; he just picked up the nearest stand and moved it. I’m pretty sure he’ll never do that again.
In hindsight my problem was I didn’t take enough advantage of being hidden. I should have waited for Andrew to walk into my occupied features so I could use Ambush fire. Too often I shot at him in cover when, with a bit more patience, I could have got him in the open. But that was no fault of the scenario. And I forgot to give myself any Snipers. Ah well, next time.
The Political Cooperation special rule added some flavour, was simple, and even affected the game.
I would make one change to the scenario. Andrew attacked but a more cautious player could have taken their time using Recon by Fire without risk to themselves. And that would have make the Republican position completely hopeless and lead to a longer yet more dull game. So for next time I would set a time limit. Either 2 hours real time, or just count the number of defender initiatives, or use the Moving Clock. Whatever the method, if the time expired the Republicans win. Andrew would have won comfortably within a 2 hour time limit.