Category: Kursk 1943

The Battle of Kursk (July to August 1943) saw massive German and Soviet forces clashing near Kursk (450 kilometres southwest of Moscow) during World War II. The German offensive was code-named Operation Citadel and led to one of the largest armoured clashes in history, the Battle of Prokhorovka. The Soviets retaliated with two counter-offensives, Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev and Operation Kutuzov. Kursk was the last German strategic offensive on the Eastern Front. After Kursk the strategic initiative shifted to the Red Army.

2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2017

I have noticed that my The Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian of 2015 was literally a confession, describing my overly inflated ambitions and incomplete projects. But the 2016 edition was more a reflection on my progress against those goals. It has been a 23 months since the 2016 edition and it is time to revisit. But I’m going to split the reflection aspect from the confessions bit. So this is my reflection on the 23 months from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2017.

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Ponyri Station – A Hit the Dirt Blast from the Past

Ponyri Station 12

I was filing old papers tonight when I found a few photos of a very early game of Crossfire. Real photos, you know, the ones on photographic paper, from a shop. It took a while but I figure the game was Ponyri Station. I thought I’d share because, aside from the fact these are the only photos I have of a game of my favourite scenario from Hit the Dirt, they also show how I started out in Crossfire – using anything I had.

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Steven’s SU-122 Battery – 3rd Battery of the 1454th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment


I’m very interested in the fighting around Ponyri front on the northern flank of the Battle of Kursk. As it happens Vasiliy Krysov was at Ponyri. He commanded an SU-122 platoon within the 3rd Battery of the 1454th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment within the 13th Army. I fancied some SU-122s anyway, and reading about Krysov was sufficient excuse, so I purchased 3rd battery in 15mm scale.

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How to Use a Big Ruined Factory Feature For Crossfire?

WT Ruined Factory Front

I picked up a 15mm Ruined Factory feature from Wargames Tournaments. Perfect for snipers perched on an upper floor. The trouble is that Crossfire demands that building are made up of regular shaped building sectors. Mine are usually 3″ x 3″. So what should I do? How can I use that big feature in Crossfire?

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Russians Scouts – A Crossfire Battle Report 3

Back in June 2012 Andrew Fisher played my Russian Scouts scenario. Admittedly he did changed the theatre of operations, hence participants, and had the Axis attacking. In his game it was German recon troops probing a US position in Tunisia. Andrew published an after action report on the Crossfire Forum and I’ve reproduced it here with his permission. The battle report is Andrew speaking and I make a few follow up points.

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SU-76i in 1902nd SAP – A Crossfire Battle Report 2

Pak front surprise

I love the tension that comes with a good game of Crossfire. Chris Harrod and I had loads of tension in our game of SU-76i in 1902nd SAP. As a result of this game, and the earlier play test by Dick Bryant, I’m now convinced the secret to a good Breakthrough scenario is defence in depth. The game was knife edge but my Germans managed to hold Chris’s Soviet steam roller.

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Russian Scouts – A Crossfire Battle Report 2

Russian Scouts Table from on high

Chris Harrod and I played my Russian Scouts Crossfire Scenario. Despite the fact I’ve played this scenario before I really botched my job as a Russian scout. Sigh. Penal battalion for me I suspect. None-the-less there were some insights into reconnaissance scenarios and how, specifically, to improve this one.

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SU-76i in 1902nd SAP – A Crossfire Battle Report

Table SU-76i from Short Edge Annotated by Dick Bryant

Dick Bryant has been play testing my SU-76i in 1902nd SAP – A Crossfire Scenario. In his first go he found the same flaw I had previously, i.e. the attacker just makes a hole and pours through. I Mused about how to solve that and suggested he try attacking from the short edge. Dick tried this with much better results.

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Russian Scouts – A Crossfire Battle Report

Russian Scout Platoon

Mark Bretherton has a go at my Russian Scouts Crossfire Scenario. Mark’s experience echoed earlier play tests of this and other “reconnaissance” scenarios. Basically the attacker can go all out to kill the opposition rather than scout. I’ve made a few tweaks to the scenario to address this.

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SU-76 “Colombina” in Action – A Crossfire Battle Report

Table from German side

One Thursday night Chris Harrod and I played my SU-76 “Colombina” in Action Scenario. I picked this scenario because we have at most four hours to play in an evening, including set up. Being on the 4’x4′ table with a small company defending I figured this would be quick enough to fit.

Summary: Chris as the Russians won. Good game with some interesting choices for both sides. But the scenario does need some tweaking to make it even better.

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When are Soviet Fields In-Season or Out-of-Season in Crossfire?

Winter Wheat Growth Cycle

I was talking to Dick Bryant about my SU-76i in 1902nd SAP – A Crossfire Scenario. He’d noticed that is was quite hard to defend this terrain because the fields of fire were limited by the in-season fields. Dick suggested making the fields out-of-season. The question is, would Soviet fields actually be in-season or out-of-season in Aug-Sep?

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Russian Scouts – A Crossfire Scenario

Table Russian Scouts Scenario

A generic Crossfire scenario for WW2 with Russian scouts probing a German position. It is really an excuse to field my Russian Scout company and my new Russian farm buildings.

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Armour Fest – A Crossfire Battle Report

Crossfire recommends up to 3 tanks in a game, so Rich Wilcox was thinking – shock horror – of exploring other rule sets to allow him to put more kit on the table. I asked why Crossfire wouldn’t work, and suggested we try a tank heavy scenario to see if it worked. This is the battle report, be sure to look at the scenario as well.

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Armour Fest – A Crossfire Scenario with lots of Tanks

Table Armour Fest

Rich Wilcox and I were talking about whether a tank heavy scenario would work in Crossfire, so we decided to give it a go. The scenario is loosely based on Kursk, but only because I have a fair amount of Eastern Front kit for 1943, and we wanted to use all of it (or at least, most of it). See also my Battle Report.

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Ponyri Station and Hill 253.5 – A Big Crossfire Scenario during Kursk

Table Ponyri Station and Hill 253.5

I volunteered to run a day long Crossfire multi-player event for my old club in Guildford. This scenario represents one attack and counter-attack cycle of the battle around Ponyri Station and Hill 253.5 on 7 July 1943.

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