I’ve been talking to Arty Conliffe about potential Official Supplements for Crossfire. Official because they have Arty’s blessing and input. I’m thinking about both a commercial scenario book and some freebie booklets. My megalomaniac aspirations for 2022 mean I want to write one of each. There are lots of possibilities and I thought I’m share my thinking.
Chris and I had another go at ‘O’ Group sample scenario transferred to the Eastern Front. As in our first play test, “Cristot” became “Kristov” and the Germans were attacking a Soviet defensive position. Adam was umpire and provided rules knowledge, figures, most of the terrain, and narrative for the battle report. I add some extra thoughts at the end.
I’ve been reading about Soviet cavalry operations on the Eastern Front. And that, of course, has got me interested in expanding my Soviet cavalry collection. But before I invest further, I want to be really, really sure my cavalry basing is correct. The cavalry figures I already have are based on 30x30mm squares, like my infantry. But that is cramped. What to do?
Adam Landa was keen to try out ‘O’ Group, so we gave the sample scenario a go but transferred it to the Eastern Front. The objective, “Cristot,” became “Kristov”. We also discarded the tanks and anti-tank guns. I contributed the photos but all words are Adam’s, although I add a few thoughts at the end.
When I created my Terrain Cards – Random terrain placement for pick up wargames, Dick Bryant asked “When are we going to see the Crossfire version?” And then recently tiberius asked whether I had “considered creating a ‘modular tiles’ type map for Crossfire” (this was in the context of Mac’s Missions v3 – Revised Pick Up Games for Crossfire, although his comment was on v2). So here they are: modular terrain cards for Crossfire.
I’ve been gearing up to pay Dung Farm from Hit the Dirt for a couple of years now. I posted my Balagan version of the Dung Farm a few weeks back and, as you might recall, the table has lots of Ravines, thorn fields and thorn thickets. It took me a while to collect this additional kit. Plus the Kiwis in Italy. But finally it all came together – scenario, terrain, and figures. And Chris, Jamie, and Adam turned up to play. This is, of course, Crossfire for the Italian Campaign.
Summary: Really good game. Interesting challenges from ravines and thorns. The British need to use the terrain to their advantage. Chris and I, as the Germans, won.
Japanese Tank Hunter Teams in Crossfire
A few weeks ago I did some research on “Human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) – Japanese Suicide Anti-tank Teams. Now I have to decide how to simulate them in Crossfire. There are two parts to that: game effect of “Human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) and the organisation of Japanese Suicide Anti-tank Teams.
In my pile of lead I have two, count them, two battalions for the 14th Army in the Burma Campaign. One Welsh. One Gurkha. So I figured I needed a painting guide. Luckily most of the troops in the 14th army wore the same kit. Same with the Chindits. Whether the early redyed Khaki Drill (KD) or custom Jungle Green (JG) the troops in 1943-45 wore “grey-green” which was, once in combat, far more grey than green. Recommendations are for Vallejo Model Color although I occasionally mention alternatives using Humbrol paints.
I’m indebted to the various wargamers that have gone done this journey of exploration before me, particularly Mark Davies (aka Jemima Fawr), Doms Decals, Mick in Switzerland, and Paul Scrivens-Smith (AKA scrivs).
“Dung Farm” is one of the scenarios from Hit the Dirt (HTD, p. 15-16). It is Italy, 4 February 1944, and the Germans are attacking into the Anzio beachhead at the northern end of ‘The Thumb’. The “Dung Farm” of the title is the British nickname for the Italian Pig Farm that featured in the battle.
The Dung Farm scenario is interesting for a few reasons. It introduces some unique terrain features, has masses of thorns and/or barbed wire, is fought in mud, and has visible troops on both sides. It also doesn’t quite work as a four player game. So I’m going to make a couple of tweaks to the scenario before the guys turn up to play it, including changing the map.
Japanese infantry were already conducting “human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) against Soviet armour in 1939. In the absence of better anti-tank options they continued this practice throughout World War II, whether in China, the Pacific, or Burma. The death of the individual was accepted as the necessary price for the destruction of the tank, in accordance with the Japanese doctrine of “one soldier, one tank.” The goal was to combine honorable suicide with definite military results.
I discovered Moroccan auxiliary troops through my interest in Rif War and the Spanish Civil War. I already have the 2nd Tabor of Regulares of Tetuán, from the SCW. Now I’ve got another Moroccan unit. This time they are Goumiers, irregular Moroccan auxiliaries fighting for France in Italy during World War 2. This lot are for Crossfire.
Through the late 1970s and 80s, Gene McCoy wrote a series of articles called “Battle Stations: Small Unit Actions” for his magazine the “Wargamer’s Digest”. The Battle Stations posed tactical problems and then offered solutions. The idea was that wargamers could compare their solution to McCoy’s. The Battle Stations are good candidates for conversion to Crossfire scenarios.
Here is the first conversion based on “US Infantry Action”, originally published as a Battle Station in October 1978 (hence BS7810). A US Motorised Company is tasked with opening the supply route for the neighbouring division. To do this they must destroy the armoured German blocking force.
Download Crossfire Freebie 1: Mini-Scenarios. Introductory scenarios for Arty Conliffe’s Crossfire by Steven Thomas and Dick Bryant. Assisted by Arty Conliffe.