Saturday, February 18, 2017

Friday Night CROSSFIRE! HOLD vrs DIG-IN.....

Dave came over Friday night for another game of CROSSFIRE and suggested we do something a little different than Eastern Front gaming so we opted for a Western Front game with US vrs Germans utilizing the Mac's Missions mission orders from Steven's Balagan.

If you've been following the CROSSFIRE action from the previous few weeks, you'll notice we've been "fighting" through adapting Mac's Missions as well as utilizing the more enhanced vehicle rules from "Steven's Balagan"

Naturally, David rolls for the Germans and I roll the Allies (starting to see a definite pattern emerge here!).  The cool thing about this game is the US player (yours truly) has 5 Shermans, including 1 76mm-armed Sherman that we affectionately nick-named Fury.[BEST JOB I EVER HAD!]  The Germans have 2 x Panthers at their disposal and both of us are "Regulars."

I have to say fighting on the Western Front gives a different feel of a game, especially when there is closer, more dense terrain and more restricted lines of sight.

Unfortunately, I drew "dig in" and David drew "hold" which allows him some flexibility in conducting a defense.  While I did make cards for this week, I did not limit the defensive missions per Paul OG's recommendations, so we both embarked upon a battle with double-defense orders!

The addition of all those tanks definitely gives the game a meaner feeling and using the Balagan house rules, your tanks have much more flexibility, but it's still not too overpowering in the game.  Essentially just the right amount of offensive power (treating tanks more like infantry stands), and you get the feel of tank-infantry cooperation as you try to use your tanks to whittle down infantry positions and break through.

view from the German side.  Note the panthers watching over "Tank country" in the rear of the German position  Also note the upper left where all those Shermans are getting ready to step off

US Player view of the town

 David advances his shermans up to the town and moves his FO into the town.  he starts bringing down HE mortar fire onto my infantry in the field.  The US left is where the majority of the fighting will take place.

First blood!  A panther in the village "takes out" a Sherman.
 My rolling is even worse than usual this game and while my tankers' gunnery is solid, their shots fail to penetrate the tough hides of the Panther.  David's penetration modifier is +2 so all he has to roll is a "2" or higher and he'll KO a Sherman!  Yikes.

David pointing out which Sherman he'll target next.

Good kill!
 I have to do something about that big cat in the village so I smoke the Panther and bring my Armor up.  It works like a charm and I get my tanks on a better footing to secure the infantry's flank in case David tries to advance his infantry (I still don't know his mission is "HOLD").

blinding one big cat
 David advances his infantry up my left, his right.  Drawing on our past experience of how nasty infantry can be assaulting tanks up close, Dave (and if I'm honest, me too) is keen on close assaulting that armor.  We didn't check the mods first though...

Fury sitting there on the field, watching the approach to the US positions

Dave moves his entire platoon up to the hedgerow. They're in good shape to close assault the tanks!  Both tanks are facing well-away from the 45 degree arc to their left
 Dave's assault doesn't go well.  Even with the PC and outnumbering the defenders, Brad Pitt's tank Fury wipes out 2 squads and the Platoon Leader while the supporting tank wipes out the other assaulters.  It was a gamble admittedly, but turreted AFVs in the open get a +3 in close combat!

Dave loses a platoon but shakes it off quickly, and starts massing on his left.  I noticed David's infantry is concentrated around his "forward area" and Dave notices my guys haven't left the rear area.  We're about halfway through with the turn clock now.

PSC Panther 401 owns this town!

By the way, buildings are "Crescent Root" buildings

Some pictures of the close asasult

 To try and break the impasse (remember, both of us have defensive missions) I move a platoon out across the road to take up their sister platoon's positions.  David shot the daylights out of them and the platoon was essentially wiped out.

This squad, pinned from the Panther overwatching the road, was my first attempt at moving to occupy the old positions.

 We're at 50 out of 70 on the turn clock, and with the loss of another US platoon, I call the game (I think that's the first time i've ever called a CROSSFIRE game before!) but there was just nowhere to go.  I had virtually no reason to move into the forward area, and David had no reason to venture into my forward area.  Plus with Dave's skillfull maneuvering of his armor into position watching key avenues of approach, he had me bottled in.  As the Company Commander, we folded this flank!  Opening the way for Gerry.  (This had a very Mortain, Operation Luttich feel to it, despite out thoughts it could have been Normandy.).

Dave had my forces pushed into a Kessel, and you always know what happens after that!

Infantry platoon overwatching the US positions

Germans holding the flank!
Another good game of Crossfire although I have to say we did both draw defensive missions again.  I need to take Paul's advice and limit the total number of defensive missions so their ratio is 2 or even 3 to 1 so you can mitigate the odds of the other player getting another defensive mission.  The game would have had an entirely different feel if David had to move infantry into my forward area, or vice versa.

Playing with vehicles using Steven Thomas' house rules was great.  The vehicles add a really powerful offensive option to a player, and David used his decisively to lock down an entire flank!  Had I used my Sherman numerical advantage (IE not been afraid to lose any) I could have possibly changed the game a little but I was cautious and afraid to take too many risks on the left.

I'm going to take a look at the CROSSFIRE Mission Rules (Mac's Missions) and see what I can do to mitigate the possibility of both of us receiving defensive missions.

We both agreed to continue our Friday night CROSSFIRE games and also agreed I need to standardize my terrain packages better to make them more suitable for CROSSFIRE.


  1. Good stuff! Must look at Steve's vehicle rules. I think I just treated them like grunts. It's been such a long time since I've had a Crossfire game!

    1. That's what we've started doing Nick. Bottom line - vehicles get up to 3 move actions depending on their type, and they can fire like infantry. They can fire their main gun and on board MGs as a firegroup. Check out Steven's Balagan "House Rules for Crossfire."

  2. Table looks good. Never played Crossfire with tanks before. Does it unbalance things?

    1. Ken,
      Not really considering i had 5 shermans and dave had 2 panthers and he cleaned up. If anything the vehicles make the game meaner if that makes any sense. Now, with zero tanks things may have been a little unbalanced after i lost all those shermans :)

  3. Looks like fun despite the double defensive missions. I figure that when that happened for real it was "all quiet on the Western Front" and the scenarios instead depict days of action!

  4. Great report! For fun, here is the content of my house rules sheet for Tanks in Crossfire:

    First, I marked tanks either buttoned or unbuttoned move and shoot like infantry. Buttoned tank take one action like normal. Unbuttoned act as much as they want like infantry. Buttoned tanks can't be pinned are effected by small arms, but Unbuttoned tank can be hit by small arms and can be pinned, which also automatically causes them to become buttoned and means they can't take further action that initiative.

    Tanks main guns fire by process similar to infantry: Rolling a number of dice and looking for 5s/6s

    Vehicle / AT Gun
    Main Gun's Shooting Dice
    Armor Modifier when the target

    Sherman, StuG
    -0 die

    -1 die

    AT Gun

    Additional Modifiers

    Shooting a Vehicle from flank: +1 die
    Shooting AT Gun did not move, change targets *not reaction fire*: +1 die
    Shooting a Vehicle in cover: -1 die

    - Vehicles cannot Retreat Move or take Group actions.
    - Roll of “1” when moving into/through terrain causes loss of Initiative.
    - Vehicles do not receive Cover when attacked from units in the same terrain feature.
    - Rotating a turret does not cause Reaction Fire, though shots fired from behind a turret’s current facing count as Flank Shots.
    - Turreted Vehicles receive +3 in Close Combat.
    - Turretless Vehicles receive +2 in Close Combat.
    - Vehicles do not receive a Close Combat Bonus if fighting in terrain.
    - AT Guns and Inf. AT subtract 1 die when shooting at other Infantry or Guns. Do not subtract 1 die when shooting at Squads in buildings.
    - Unlimbered AT Guns may pivot and move once per Initiative.

    1. proof reading is a good thing... *smh*

    2. I like that, Brendan. It gives infantry a fighting chance against vehicles. Hey Im going to teach my buddy Dave "Hail Of Fire" very soon perhaps this or next weekend.

    3. Awesome :) Im going to contact you soon with some potential tweaks to get your thoughts.