Brett Simpson sent through another combined scenario and battle report from the Pacific. For Crossfire of course. Australians versus Japanese at Stoney Creek. Except where noted all words are Brett’s.
I had a couple of quite intense games of Crossfire this weekend. Both were based on my 3’ x 3’ Stoney Creek table, but I extended it out to the full length of my dining table by adding a foot of jungle at one end, and a foot of town at the other.
The mission was simple: the attackers were to get across the Creek and capture the town.
2 VP for each building held (5 VP to whoever held the Japanese command building to the southeast), and 1 VP for each surviving combat squad or CC, 2 VPs for each asset (tanks, HMG, gun, or medium mortar). The game would end after 70 clicks, with 1d6 clicks passing following each initiative (roughly 10 minutes to an hour of elapsed game time).
The forces were pretty basic:
IJA defending with a ‘39-‘42 (B-type or Otsu?) Company, reinforced with an 81mm mortar (on-table as I have a model for one and was keen to use it — and also with FO) and a 37mm ATG. There was a standard Japanese fortifications package (2-single squad bunkers, 2-wire, and a minefield). Reinforcements were a veteran platoon of SNLF with an AFV (captured Stuart), but heaven knows what happened to them, as they didn’t materialise until the second game!
The AIF were the attackers. A standard Commonwealth Infantry Company reinforced with two Stuart Tanks and a FO for an off-table 25-pounder. The 1st platoon had a +2 PC and a Boys ATR, but everything else was by the book.
I used a bog-down rule for the AFVs. They would get bogged on a roll of 6 following any manoeuvre (a 5 or 6 if moving through rough terrain, or 4-6 if they were reckless enough to try to cross the Creek other than by the bridge). Getting bogged would cost initiative, and AFVs could then only be un-bogged on a 4+ (with failure also costing the initiative). This worked really well in both games, and certainly put the focus back on the infantry (Stuart Tanks are like mobile machine gun nests against infantry anyway — as one veteran put it: “The main gun wouldn’t knock the bark off a tree!”).
One thing I did use for the Japanese was the anti-tank suicide squad rule you forwarded to me — this was great and certainly something I will be using again. It added a very interesting flavour and degree of tension to the game.
[Steven: this was my suggestion … ]
I don’t know much about the Pacific, but a “anti-tank suicide squad” sounds like a veteran rifle squad that gets +1 in close combat with tanks (a net +2). If you know that they were really, really effective, then give them a +2 against tanks (net +3). That will give them even odds against turreted tanks. And if the tank is in rough then the odds swing massively in favour of the Japanese with 20th century pole weapon.
The AIF had 5 PPB FMs (we said 25-pounder fire), and it proved pretty useless (I think I will start using it as a fairly standard thing though, as I have high hopes for it in the future!). The AIF 2-inch mortar team was killed almost immediately as it peeked across the Creek to the west, and the CC deployed the Vickers-gun to that point. It quickly knocked a hole in the Japanese creek defences and the AIF stormed across.
The Japanese ATG took out the first of the Stuarts very early on as it boldly tried to cross the bridge, but the gun was stormed by the AIF 1st Platoon a short while later and they then began to fire at the Japanese 2nd Platoon who were holed up in a field to the north. They continued to give the Japanese hell for the rest of that battle.
The AIF CC and FO crossed the Creek to the east, but were promptly bayoneted by the Japanese 3rd Platoon, which was very unfortunate. 3rd Platoon then withdrew to the command building to protect their CC.
The Australians were across the Creek by now and began occupying buildings — no sign of the SNLF! The remaining Stuart made its way toward the Japanese command building with the view of softening them up, but was charged by a pole-mine, and that was the end of that!
Too little too late for the Japanese though. I can’t remember the VP count, but I do know that despite still holding their command building at nightfall, the Japanese were forced to withdraw. They only just lost, but lose they did, and despite their best efforts in the following game (and the appearance of the long-awaited SNLF), they failed to recapture the town.
Conclusions and observations
All-in-all, it was a very interesting game with lots of fun twists and turns, and one that has really rekindled my interest in Crossfire (I had gotten a bit stale with it).
On the horizon: Japanese Landing Barges!