Moroccan Knives – A Crossfire Scenario in the Spanish Civil War

This scenario came about because Andrew Coleby wanted to try a Spanish Civil War for Crossfire, or more specifically my variant called Fuego Cruzado. We only get a couple of hours to play when Andrew comes over so the game had to be small. Aside from keeping the forces small I also thought I’d experiment with a small table and lots of terrain; like the 2 Foot City but in the countryside. So this game has small companies facing each other on a 4’x3′ table. The title, “Moroccan Knives”, is because the militia were generally terrified of the Moroccans and their knives.


Setting: Guadalupe mountains; Aug 1936

In late Aug 1936, in the Army of Africa’s drive on Madrid, Yagüe turned east into the Guadalupe mountains (Beevor, 1982; H. Thomas, 1986). The government’s army of Extremadura awaited him under General Riquelme. Riquelme has 9,000 men, including 2,000 anarchist militia.

This scenario simulates a Nationalist attack on Republican militia in a wood. It is essentially a Search and Destroy mission. The attackers are Moroccan Regulares; good troops but lacking heavy support. The defending militia are green and also lack heavy weapons.


Table - Moroccan Knives - Spanish Civil War - Crossfire
Table – Moroccan Knives – Spanish Civil War – Crossfire

Key features are:

  • 4’x3′ table.
  • Aside from the rough ground in the centre the terrain is entirely woods.
  • Nationalists enter on the short western side.
  • The Republicans deploy in woods east of the line M-M.

Pre-game preparation

Republicans roll for the number of snipers.

Republicans deploy hidden.

Record the real time the game started (as there is a time limit).

Republican Player (Defending)


Kill Nationalists.

Forces Available

The republicans get a Anarchist militia century.

Republican Orbat

  • 1 x Anarchist Militia Century
    • 1 x CC (0/+2)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 3 x Militia Rifle Platoon: 1 x PC (0/+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
  • 1d3 x Snipers
  • Morale: Green
  • Command & Control: Dependent, i.e. Russian
  • Political Cooperation = +2

Militia PCs get +1 for rallying only. Militia BC and CC get +2 for rallying only.


Deploys first, hidden in woods features, east of the line M-M. No more than two squads or HMGs may be placed in each terrain feature. Commanders do not count against this limit.



Nationalist Player (Attacking)

Begins scenario with initiative.


Kill Republicans without taking too many casualties themselves.

Forces Available

The Nationalist forces are, largely, Moroccan Regulares.


Nationalist Orbat

  • 1 x Regulares Rifle Company
    • 1 x CC (+2)
    • 1 x Rifle Platoons: 1 x PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
    • 2 x Rifle Platoons: 1 x PC (+1); 2 x Rifle Squads
  • 1 x HMG
  • 1 x FO for an off table 75mm gun (12 FM)
  • Morale: Veteran
  • Command & Control: Independent, i.e. Commonweath
  • Reckless


Comes on via the western table edge.



Victory Conditions

Casualty (AD) objectives

The game ends immediately with a Republican victory when either of these conditions applies:

  • The Nationalists lose 5 fighting stands or
  • Two hours of real time passes

The game ends immediately with a Nationalist victory when:

  • The Republicans lose 6 fighting stands.

If neither side wins it is a draw.

Fighting stands include CC, HMG, Rifle Squads, Tanks, Guns, but not PC, FOs or on-table Mortars. AFVs count as two fighting stands each.

Scenario Special Rules

  • See Crossfire House Rules and Fuego Cruzado (Crossfire House Rules for Spain’s Wars).
  • The game ends after two real hours of play. Start the clock when the first player starts the first initiative.
  • Special Rule. Political Cooperation is in use. The Anarchist Militia have a political cooperation of 2. On two Republican move actions during the game the Nationalist can use the Political cooperation rule. One moving stand is immediately pinned. The Republican player must immediately try to rally the pinned stand. Success means the stand rallies and can then take the intended move action. Failure means initiative passes. In the case of a group move only one stand is pinned.


The scenario was inspired by the Green Hell scenario from Hit the Dirt.


Beevor, A. (1982). The Spanish Civil War. Cassell & Co.

Rutherford, B. and Lewis, J. (n.d.). Hit the Dirt: WWII scenarios for Crossfire. Quantum Printing.

Thomas, H. (1986). The Spanish Civil War. Simon & Schuster.

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