Snakes and Ladders Campaign for Crossfire

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.


Snakes and Ladders Campaign

The Snakes and Ladders campaign system lends itself well to a solo campaign for Crossfire. The campaign is for a small game with 80 points per side.

The objective of this campaign is to create a handful of battles leading up to a final battle. Good fortune and the outcomes of the earlier battles will give one side an advantage in the final battle.

I copied Peter’s board for a Generic 18th Century Snakes and Ladders Campaign to make the campaign map for Crossfire. I tweaked the battle squares to provide appropriate army lists for Crossfire and changed the descriptors of the fortune squares to give them more of a World War 2 flavour.

Crossfire - WW2 - Snakes And Ladders Campaign

Crossfire – WW2 – Snakes And Ladders Campaign

Recruit battle groups

Before the campaign the players create an large and small order of battle for their battle group:

  1. Large: 80 point force
  2. Small: 53 point force

Use the Crossfire point system for these. There are restrictions on your orders of battle:

  • You cannot use more points that the totals give (80 or 53)
  • All troops are Regular (no Green or Veteran)
  • All commanders are +1 for both close combat and rally (so no 0, +1/0, 0/+1, or +2 commanders)
  • Command & control is Okay i.e. Commonwealth (you can’t use Poor i.e. Russian or Good i.e. German))

The large order of battle is used to attack with. The small order of battle is used in skirmishes and to defend with. The defending force is smaller because they get to deploy hidden, which is worth roughly a 50% point bonus.

Example orders of battle are given below, see Eastern Front Orders of Battle.

Movement

Battle groups – represented by a counter – begin on the start square and roll a D6 dice moving forward the number of dice pips shown.

Fortune Squares

When a battle group lands on a fortune square it must follow the fortune arrow. Fortune only takes effect when you land on a fortune square at the end of your movement. Fortune squares passed across earlier in the movement are ignored. There are two types of fortune square:

  • Tribulations (bad fortune) replace Snakes: The battle group goes backwards, down the board, along the red arrow. Examples of bad fortune are: Mud means food and ammo can’t get through, Ordered to dig in and hold.
  • Successes (good fortune) replace Ladders: The battle group goes forwards, up the board, along the blue arrow. Examples of good fortune are: Men are confident of victory, Much needed food and ammo arrive.

Battle Squares

A battle group must stop if it reaches one of the double-sized battle squares, regardless of the number of used/unused pips. Fight the battle on the table top. The moving battle group is the attacker.

The result of the tabletop battle determines whether the attacker can move further. After the battle, if the attacker:

  • Wins: the attacking battle group gets a free move along the battle success arrow (green). Battle success arrows guarantee the move avoids tribulations.
  • Loses: the attacking battle group stays in place on the battle square.

One of the battle squares is labeled “Skirmish Battle”. This is the first battle with small battle groups. Otherwise normal rules for a battle square apply.

The “Final Battle” square has additional rules.

Final Battle Square

A battle group reaching the last battle square triggers the Final Battle. The orders of battle differ again, but the moving army (the attacker) gets an overall advantage.

If the attacker wins a final battle they win the campaign. If not they stay in place and can try again next turn.
The result of the final tabletop battle determines whether attacker wins the campaign. After the battle, if the attacker:

  • Wins: the attacker wins the campaign.
  • Loses: the attacker stays in place and can try again next turn.

Crossfire table top battles

Fight the battle using Crossfire. The moving battle group is the attacker and the non-moving battle-group is the defender.

Orders of battle

Before the campaign starts the players created large and small orders of battle (see Eastern Front Orders of Battle). Each side takes one of these orders of battle (large or small) into the table top game, however the battle squares specify tweaks to the original orders of battle. For a start the state which side gets a large order of battle (80 points) or a small order of battle (53 points). Platoons can be upgraded to Veteran and downgraded to Green. Early battles downgrade Command & Control to Poor (i.e. Russian). Defenders can get HMG and/or fortifications.

Table

Each battle is fought on a 4’x4′ table (if using standard sized bases). There should be about 40-50 terrain pieces on such a table. Common choices for terrain are woods, orchards, rough ground, fields (in-season or out-of-season), buildings (1 or 2 building sectors), building complexes (3+ building sectors), and/or hills / contour lines. But you can also have walls, hedges, fences, thorn hedges, bocage, depressions, cliffs, boulder fields, rock fields, waterways, and/or roads.

Crossfire - WW2 - Snakes And Ladders - Table Areas

Crossfire – WW2 – Snakes And Ladders – Table Areas

The table is divided into four equal sized areas: attacker rear area, attacker forward area, defender forward area and defender rear area. The table areas are used to limit the deployment of battle groups. The areas are also used for terrain objectives.

I’ve knocked up some example tables. You are welcome to make your own tables, but if you want to you can use these examples. Choose a example table and the defender’s rear area (perhaps randomly).

Crossfire - WW2 - Snakes And Ladders - Generic Tables

Crossfire – WW2 – Snakes And Ladders – Generic Tables

Terrain objectives

There are two terrain objectives and the attacker must capture both to win. After terrain is placed but before deployment, the attacker places one terrain objective and the defender places the other. The objectives must be in a area terrain feature.

The type of battle affects the area where the terrain objectives can be placed. Each side can place in any allowed table area as this is a tactical choice. The constraints are:

  • In a skirmish battle the objectives must be in a forward area, either the attacker forward area or the defender forward area
  • In a normal battle both objectives must be on the defender’s half of the table, so in the defender forward area or the defender rear area

Deployment

The attacker deploys in the attacker rear area. The defender can deploy anywhere on their half of the table (including both the defender forward area and the defender rear area). The battle square will specify whether the defender is hidden or visible.

Victory Conditions

The game ends immediately when a side achieves any of these victory conditions:

  • Defender wins if the Moving Clock advances six hours (from 1000 to 1600 hours)
  • Defender wins if they inflict 10 victory points of Casualties on the attacker
  • Attacker wins if they capture both Terrain objectives

HTD Special Rule 4: The Moving Clock is in use. The Scenario begins at 1000 hours and ends 1600 hours. The clock advances 30 minutes on 5+ at the end of each defender initiative.

The attacker must control both terrain objectives to win. 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. All objectives start controlled by the defender irrespective of their location.

If the attacker loses enough stands they lose the battle. Fighting stands include BC, CC, HMG, Rifle and SMG Squads, Tanks, Guns, but not PC or FOs. Tanks count as two fighting stands each.


Eastern Front Orders of Battle

I made up some orders of battle, either large 80 points or small 53 points. Any lists can be used for any nationality. They all use Okay / Commonwealth Command & Control. They are all regular troops. The large battles groups (80 points) always start visible. The small battle groups (53 points) start either visible or hidden depending on the battle square.

I have given all units infantry anti-tank weapons. By default these are anti-tank rifles as these were universal in the early war. If all players agree, and in a solo campaign that is just you, then you can replace all anti-tank rifles with Panzerfaust, Piat, or Bazooka.

Order of Battle 1 – Rifle Company with Assault Engineers

The first option is a large battle group (80 points) comprising a rifle company supported by assault engineers.

Order of Battle 1 – Rifle Company with Assault Engineers

  • 1 x Rifle Company
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x On-table 50mm Mortar (12 FM) or FO for off-table Medium Mortar (80-82mm or 3″) (8FM)
    • 3 x Rifle Platoon: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
    • 3 x Anti-tank Rifles: either one Rifle Squad per Platoon has ATR (Red dot) or all Rifle Squads in one platoon have Anti-tank Rifle
  • Supports
    • 1 x FO for off-table Medium Mortar (80-82mm or 3″) (12FM)
    • 1 x FO for off-table Heavy Artillery (3FM)
    • 1 x Assault Engineer Platoon: 1 x PC (+1); 3 x Assault Engineer Rifle Squads; One Squad has Panzerfaust, Piat, or Bazooka (Red Dot)

Deploys: Visible
Morale: Regular
Command & Control: Okay (i.e. Commonwealth)
79.5 AP

Order of Battle 2 – Rifle Company with SMG

The second option a large battle group (80 points) comprising a rifle company supported by submachine gunners.

Order of Battle 2 – Rifle Company with SMG

  • 1 x Rifle Company
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x On-table 50mm Mortar (12 FM) or FO for off-table Medium Mortar (80-82mm or 3″) (8FM)
    • 3 x Rifle Platoon: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
    • 3 x Anti-tank Rifles: either one Rifle Squad per Platoon has ATR (Red dot) or all Rifle Squads in one platoon have Anti-tank Rifle
  • Supports
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x FO for off-table Medium Mortar (80-82mm or 3″) (12FM)
    • 1 x FO for off-table Large Mortar (85-120mm) or Medium Gun (85-104mm) (12 FM)
    • 1 x SMG Platoon: 1 x PC (+1); 4 x SMG Squad; One squad has ATR (Red dot)

Deploys: Visible
Morale: Regular
Command & Control: Okay (i.e. Commonwealth)
80 AP

Order of Battle 3 – Rifle Company with Armour

The third option a large battle group (80 points) comprising a rifle company with armoured support.

Order of Battle 3 – Rifle Company with Armour

  • 1 x Rifle Company
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x On-table 50mm Mortar (12 FM) or FO for off-table Medium Mortar (80-82mm or 3″) (8FM)
    • 3 x Rifle Platoon: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
    • 3 x Anti-tank Rifles: either one Rifle Squad per Platoon has ATR (Red dot) or all Rifle Squads in one platoon have Anti-tank Rifle
  • Supports
    • 1 x FO for off-table Heavy Artillery (3FM)
    • 2 x Generic Tank1

Deploys: Visible
Morale: Regular
Command & Control: Okay (i.e. Commonwealth)
80 AP

Notes:
(1) You can use any model you like for the “Generic Tank”, however, you have to choose one of these two options for stats:
Tank Stats 1 (Panzer III G): ARM 2/1; ACC 0; PEN -2; MG 4; HE/EFF 2/1; Smoke None; Hull Down Y; Speed 2; Close Combat +3; 9 points.
Tank Stats 2 (2 man turret): ARM 2/1; ACC -1; PEN +1; MG 4; HE/EFF 2/1; Smoke None; Hull Down Y; Speed 2; Close Combat +3; 9 points.

Order of Battle 4 – Weak Rifle Company with Anti-tank gun

The fourth option a small battle group (53 points) comprising a rifle company with anti-tank gun.

Order of Battle 4 – Weak Rifle Company with Anti-tank gun

  • 1 x Rifle Company
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x On-table 50mm Mortar (12 FM) or FO for off-table Medium Mortar (80-82mm or 3″) (8FM)
    • 1 x Rifle Platoon: 1 x PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
    • 2 x Rifle Platoon: 1 x PC (+1); 2 x Rifle Squads
    • 3 x Anti-tank Rifles: either one Rifle Squad per Platoon has ATR (Red dot) or all Rifle Squads in one platoon have Anti-tank Rifle
  • Supports
    • 1 x Sniper
    • 1 x FO for off-table Medium Mortar (80-82mm or 3″) (12FM)
    • 1 x Generic Anti-tank Guns1

Deploys Visible or Hidden depending on Battle Square
Morale: Regular
Command & Control: Okay (i.e. Commonwealth)
52.5 AP

Notes:
(1) You can use any model you like for the “Generic Anti-tank gun”, however, you have to use these stats: ACC +1; PEN -1; HE/EFF 2/1; 3 points

Order of Battle 5 – Weak Rifle Company

The fifth option a small battle group (53 points) comprising just a rifle company.

Order of Battle 5 – Weak Rifle Company

  • 1 x Rifle Company
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x On-table 50mm Mortar (12 FM) or FO for off-table Medium Mortar (80-82mm or 3″) (8FM)
    • 2 x Rifle Platoon: 1 x PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
    • 1 x Rifle Platoon: 1 x PC (+1); 2 x Rifle Squads
    • 3 x Anti-tank Rifles: either one Rifle Squad per Platoon has ATR (Red dot) or all Rifle Squads in one platoon have Anti-tank Rifle
  • Supports
    • 1 x FO for off-table Medium Mortar (80-82mm or 3″) (12FM)
    • 1 x Sniper

Deploys Visible or Hidden depending on Battle Square
Morale: Regular
Command & Control: Okay (i.e. Commonwealth)
52.5 AP

Order of Battle 6 – Weak Rifle Company with HMG

Order of Battle 6 – Weak Rifle Company with HMG

  • 1 x Rifle Company
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x On-table 50mm Mortar (12 FM) or FO for off-table Medium Mortar (80-82mm or 3″) (8FM)
    • 2 x Rifle Platoon: 1 x PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
    • 2 x Anti-tank Rifles: either one Rifle Squad per Platoon has ATR (Red dot) or all Rifle Squads in one platoon have Anti-tank Rifle
  • Supports
    • 1 x Sniper
    • 2 x HMG
    • 1 x SMG Squad with Anti-tank Rifle

Deploys Visible or Hidden depending on Battle Square
Morale: Regular
Command & Control: Okay (i.e. Commonwealth)
53 AP

Order of Battle 7 – SMG Company with indirect support

The sixth option a small battle group (53 points) comprising a SMG company with more indirect fire support.

Order of Battle 7 – SMG Company with indirect support

  • 1 x Rifle Company
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x On-table 50mm Mortar (12 FM) or FO for off-table Medium Mortar (80-82mm or 3″) (8FM)
    • 3 x SMG Platoon: 1 x PC (+1); 3 x SMG Squads
    • 3 x Anti-tank Rifles: either one SMG Squad per Platoon has ATR (Red dot) or all SMG Squads in one platoon have Anti-tank Rifle
  • Supports
    • 2 x FO for off-table Medium Mortar (80-82mm or 3″) or Light Gun (61-84mm inc 3″) (9FM)

Deploys Visible or Hidden depending on Battle Square
Morale: Regular
Command & Control: Okay (i.e. Commonwealth)
53 AP


What has gone before

I included a lot of links on where the idea came from in my previous post on Snakes and Ladders Campaign for Tilly’s Very Bad Day. The short story is Peter of Grid based wargaming started the idea with is Snakes and Ladders campaign post. Stephen Smith has a cool “how to” video on his ECW campaigning with snakes and ladders. And Kaptain Kobold recently ran a ECW Snakes And Ladders.

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