Sunday, March 12, 2017

Saturday CROSSFIRE Double-Trouble

Got together with the usual suspects on Saturday for CROSSFIRE using scenarios inspired from Dick Bryant's Small 2x2 Crossfire games.  One of the guys cancelled on so I ended up floating around the first game and played during the second, instead of having 2 simultaneous games like I had originally planned.

One slight departure from the 2 x 2 Games was that we played the scenarios on a 2 x 4 table and elongated the maps.  First scenario was "THE WOODS" and featured a "regular" German "movement to contact" against hidden, veteran Russians.  

We set up the terrain as close to this representation as possible (we may have had some more pieces of terrain).  Ken took the Soviets and Dave took the Germans.  Ken picked some solid pieces of terrain to place his defense and was able to hem up the Germans for quite some time using a squad, the Forward Observer along with mortars, and a single rifle squad.  Not bad work!  Dave's lousy dice rolling didn't help in this game!

The Generals discussing Crossfire
 Dave set out with mutually supporting columns and fanned out once he hit the middle of the table.

Note the "Steven's Balagan" style labels! These guys are not yet drybrushed and unflocked but you get the idea. Can't stress enough how useful and inspiring that site is for Crossfire fans.

Germans fan out 
 David guess, quite correctly, that a particular field would be "key terrain" based on its position and the fact that it covered some key lines of approach.  He used more than a few initiatives "reconnoitering by fire" but in the end he guessed right!  HMG!

Note the Soviet HMG in the top of the picture.  The Germans are suppressed/pinned along the line.  Worth mentioning here that we were not using the target proximity rules correctly here.

Soviet squad pinned, along with the FO in another field.

Soviet HMG doing its deadly work

The Germans are in trouble.  Even when Dave manages to rally his platoon leader, he BOLO's a squad rally.  Initiative goes over to Ken who promptly suppressed the platoon leader again!

 The time clock (we used the Mac's Missions "Roll until 70" clock whenever the initiative switched to the Germans.) ran out at this point and the Germans were still hemmed up in that wood in the center.

The second mission saw the Soviets attacking after the successful repulse by the Germans.  We played "THE HILL" scenario from Dick Bryant's 2 x 2 Crossfire scenarios.

This scenario had Ken attacking as the Soviets with "regulars" and me defending as the Germans, also with "regulars."  Ken had a tough slog in front of him as he would be observed pretty much anywhere.  I started with hidden troops as well.  I organized the defense with the HMG in the center of the hill along with a squad, platoon leader and the FO and another squad were on the flank.  The remaining flank was secured by another squad.  No reserves.

The battlefield after 1 initiative switch.  Most of the Germans are visible now.  Ken smokes the hill to cover his approach

Another Soviet platoon moves forward

A German squad shoots and gets a NO FIRE.  This would quickly become a trend...

Hill smoked.  What's Ivan doing on the left?

Ivan moving more troops up!  Massing for the assault on the hill

 Ken goes for broke and charges the hill, bayonets glinting, kit rattling, sprinting across open ground to come to grips with the Germans.  It's a gamble but pays off big time when I BOLO all of my reactive fire attempts.  Read that as I roll ZERO hits while the Russians are on their way in.  I dont know if it's ever happened before, but my entire force has "NO FIRE" markers and Ken can maneuver at will.  German command paralysis!

Soviets close with the defenders on the hill

Red beads are NO FIRE markers in this game.  This squad was one of my last attempts to slow down the Russian steamroller.


Soviets charge the hill

I had a sniper.  He pinned a single squad then beat feet out of dodge...

Here comes Ivan!
 The resulting close combat was not even close and my troops go down fast.  Ken rolls the hill up quickly and sets his sights on the remaining squads in short order.  This has to be some kind of a record.  The turn clock read "6."  That's right.  We were 1.5 initiatives into the game!

We didn't have to call ENDEX, all of the German squads were wiped out/

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm to report for my court martial promptly at 8:00am this morning.

Great series of games!  We were able to play, through to completion, 2 games of Crossfire in an afternoon in a little over 4 hours and that was with snacking, coffee, and plenty of investigating the rules.  Crossfire always gives a good time, even when 100% of your troops are on NO FIRE and all you can do is watch as Ivan over runs your position!  I probably should have shot at Ken's FO as soon as he got into position.  I let the Russians get too close before I opened fire.  

After Ken's crushing series of victories, he and Dave left and I played a quick practice round of HAIL OF FIRE in preparation for the convention this weekend.

Not bad and made for a very enjoyable Saturday afternoon.  Cold Wars next week!  Hope to see you there!


  1. Crossfire continues to impress; excellent post.
    No plan survives first contact as Murph says - and I read that here with that Russian assault across open ground :)

    With modern small arms, and perhaps a few adjustments for automatic weapons, I'm seeing crossfire being perfect for Vietnam and Falklands firefights too.

    1. Thank you Darren. Yes we are finding that out week after week. It seems there is a little tactical "nugget" I am taking out of each game that I either watch or participate in.
      We were talking yesterday about the evolution of our games and how we've slowly adopted things like smoke into the games.
      As we play more, I'm hoping we pick up more tactical finesse.

      But sometimes the steamroller approach is necessary ;)

      There is a very good Vietnam supplement on either the Modern Crossfire or Crossfire yahoo group page. I'll look for it. HUGE potential for moderns I think.

  2. You guys are really making the most out of a great game system, - quick, snappy games which are infantry based which is where Fire's strength lies I think. Good to see Ken's good use of smoke, most players go for HE over it but the LOS blocking is key, particularly in CFire.

    I'd love a link to that Vietnam sup too pls!

    PS Did you see the BG Tobruk is up for pre-order? :-)

    1. Cheers Paul. It's on a yahoo group. Ill dig around and see what i can come up with.

      I had heard inklings of BG Tobruk. Oh man my poor wallet! Rommel is coming out soon, too!

  3. My opponents' die rolling was horrific. That was more responsible for my success than any tactical finesse.

    1. Ken, both of us were rolling so lousy i am not even sure how that is mathematically explainable...

  4. I'm glad someone's out there giving crossfire so much love. It's definitely a game more people should be playing regularly. Love it.

    1. It's a great game that will always have a home on my table next to "Hail of Fire" of course!