Waterborne Troops in Crossfire

Some musing on waterborne troops in Crossfire. Standard Crossfire doesn’t cover this. See also my musing on crossing rivers.

Moving across water

The sea or river is divided into a grid of 1′ x 1′ squares for movement purposes; each is effectively a terrain feature.

Assault craft includes powered assault boats, Buffalo and D.U.K.W. amphibious vehicles, LCM, Pontoon ferries like the Folkestone 50/60 Ferry, and Sherman D.D. tanks but also oared assault boats and improvised flotation methods (barrels, rafts or flotation rings) used by Soviet infantry, cavalry or crew served weapons stands to cross rivers. With the exception of jeeps and small oared or improvised craft, all assault craft are represented by 1 model for each vessel.

All assault craft have a speed of 1. This can be used to move 1 square of river or to land (i.e. touch the beach or river). Before moving a particular craft, you must indicate where it is moving to. The move can be preceded by a 90° or 180° pivot, but then is a straight line. Diagonal movement is not possible unless the vessel drifts.

Yes all assault craft may drift: when they move, or not move at all. Any that drifts off the table is lost, along with their passengers. Throw 1d6 to determine the result of a move attempt:

1d6 Result
1 Vessel founders with all passengers lost (given the modifiers below this will only happen to troops using improvised methods)
2-3 No movement. Stay in current location
4 Drift right. Instead of going to the target location go to the location diagonally to its right.
5 Drift left. Instead of going to the target location go to the one diagonally to its left.
6+ Movement as planned.


0 Manually powered assault craft including improvised flotation methods
+1 Allied Storm boats (which had unreliable engines) .
+2 Other powered assault craft of whatever type

Shooting at Assault Craft

Only indirect fire is allowed against assault craft in the water – use the special rule from HTD for Indirect Fire on Vehicles except the EFF is doubled. All stands in the same grid of the river and assault boats, amphibious Jeep or using improvised methods are considered within 1 stand width of each other for the purposes of EFF.

Vehicle ARM ACC PEN HE/EFF HD Land Speed Passengers Comment
Assault Boat or improvised craft 1 infantry Ignored for combat purposes. If their passenger squad is killed, so are they
Amphibious Jeep (including D.U.K.W) Fast 1 infantry Ignored for combat purposes. If their passenger squad is killed, so are they
Sherman D.D. tanks 4/2 0 0 4/2 SQ Yes Normal
Buffalo 1/1 MG 4/1 SQ No Normal 4 infantry or 1 gun and tow 28 man capacity.
LCM 1/1 MG 4/1 SQ No Twice capacity of Buffalo or 1 tank/assault gun 60 man capacity.
Folkestone 50/60 Ferry 1/1 Twice capacity of LCM in any combination A Pontoon Ferry

Infantry passengers can include BC, CC, Squads, Mortars up to 82mm and/or HMG. In all cases PC and FO ride for free.

Embarkation / Debarkation

Generally standard APC move/mounting/dismounting rules apply, even for Soviets using improvised flotation methods. That means it takes an initiative to board the assault craft and another to disembark. If the assault craft is amphibious the embarkation and debarkation can be on land otherwise must be on the beach or river bank. There is a couple of exceptions (suggested by Reda):

  • All passengers of dismounting from non-amphibious landing craft can and must do so all at once as a group move (regardless of commanders).
  • Reactive fire against troops doing such a dismount group move can not cause a change of initiative on a Suppress or Kill.
  • No Fire markers placed when doing reactive fire at such a dismount group move are removed at the end of the group move. (So when the landing troops move again the shooters can shoot again.)

Pontoon Bridges

Time consuming construction activities are a bit outside the scope of Crossfire, however, as I want to convert some larger Rapid Fire scenarios I thought I’d invent some rules for Pontoon bridges.

It takes a combination of skilled engineers, labour and time to set up a pontoon bridge. At least one Engineer stand must be involved in each construction attempt. Labour can be provided by additional Engineer stands or other infantry stands at reduced effect. Time is measured in construction points. It takes 1 construction point to cross 1″ of river, so an 12″ river would take 12 construction points. Any stands that move, are suppressed or fire at any time during the phasing initiative cannot be used for construction. All involved stands must be adjacent (stand width) to both the river and the pontoon equipment.

Throw 1d6 at the end of each phasing initiative in which a construction attempt was made; on a 5+ the attempt was successful and earns the player 1 construction point. Modifiers: +1 for each Engineer stand involved (minimum of 1); +1 for every two non-engineer stands involved.

The bridge is ready for traffic on the friendly initiative after the required construction points have been earned.

Pontoon Bridges can be attacked by HE weapons. Hits are cumulative. Each hit on a bridge under construction removes 1 construction point, meaning the bridge takes longer to complete. Similarly for a completed pontoon bridge, although traffic is still possible if only 1 construction point of damage has been taken; if the bridge takes 2 hits then it requires repairs before it is operational again. Apply any EFF to the stands involved in the construction effort.

Stands involved in construction can be targeted separately from the bridge.

Pontoon Ferries

Pontoon ferries like the Folkestone 50/60 Ferry are constructed in a similar way to pontoon bridges, however, they only require 4 construction points to become operational.

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