Wanting to do some more "company level" gaming, I agonized over some rules to try out. Having messed around a little with "A Sergeant's War" and "Iron Cross" I naturally came back to one of my all-time favorite games: Crossfire.
Same flavor of scenario with the Soviets invading the fatherland. Both forces are "regular" in this game. I also wanted to increase the number of tanks on the table to get out of my comfort zone and push these rules a little further. More on that later.
|Soviets advance into Germany! Again!|
|Armor stops at the edge of a wooded area. I rolled for bogging down as well in terrain. A nice touch.|
The Tigers open up on the T-34s and get a +2 to their penetration. It's going to be a long day for the Russians! T-34s start brewing up in the fields as the tanks advance into the Reich.
|You can just make out the Tiger in the picture upper left.|
Meanwhile first platoon advances and occupies a wooded area in front of the town and draws more German HMG fire. Luckily this time the Soviets have that advance covered better and return fire with their own HMG. Smoke would have come in handy here but I forgot about it...Oh well. Metal soldiers always live to fight another day!
|wooded area with 1st Platoon upper left. You can see the suppressed remnants of 3rd Platoon on the hilltop. In the woods to their front is a fresh German platoon with heavy weapons in support!|
|Their target building is ahead. When they pivot one direction they take fire from another! It's mayhem! Any man who is brave enough to raise his head up is shot by the flying lead.|
|This HMG would remain pinned for a long time.|
|This crew would be responsible for many Soviet casualties. They lived to see the end of the battle as well.|
The tricky part about having vehicles was maneuvering them. Shooting was lots of fun but do you risk not hitting? I needed to get my armor into position. I allowed movement groups of vehicles as well.
|Tiger I's earning their pay.|
|The remaining T-34s hug terrain features and dont risk open travel!|
|Killing the Germans in the outbuilding. Note the pin and suppressed markers.|
|Soviets isolate the Germans in the woods and maneuver to take out the German force in the buildings.|
|A messy and ultimately futile close combat as the Soviets would be wiped out by the German defenders.|
I used "some" of the Balagan House Rules for Armor and incorporated some neat tricks to keep things sane since this was a solo game. I'll explain. Many of the complaints about CROSSFIRE as a Company level rules set are that the armor rules aren't conducive to playing bigger battles. I wanted to see for myself so I used the armor rules mostly as-is save for a few exceptions:
I used Steven T's Accuracy modifiers and penetration values, and another rule of his from his North Africa ideas. I used range for armor.
Heresy you ask? Not really. The range was "2 terrain features." So armor technically could fire all the way down the board if they had the opportunity (an open fire lane) but with the many fields in play, I felt that the tanks could engage targets up to 2 terrain features out. This kept the engagements manageable and kept the Armor from causing too much trouble. The target proximity rules help out here alot too.
I decided not to use Steven's rules for tank shooting (tanks shoot like infantry stands) since this was a solo game and when Dave and I played the game like that, the tanks blasted the hell out of absolutely everything in their way. Instead I used the armor rules from the book allowing the tanks to move or shoot but allowed tanks to move in movement groups and shoot in firegroups provided they were from the same platoon/company. The movement rules with terrain helped out alot too (bogging check for terrain).
This gave the armor certain restrictions but at no time did I feel restricted if that makes any sense. The armor advanced as I felt it would have normally with some tanks falling out of the line (initiative switches from successful defensive fire or bogging down). Once the tigers started to pick the tanks apart, cohesion broke down and the Soviet tanks hunkered down where they were. It was pretty neat to see.
Anyways my thoughts on the battle? The Soviets had a tough job to capture the town. Probably could have had a better fire support plan and the idea of keeping second platoon out in reserve was a bad idea as there were way too many Germans on the objective for 2 platoons to handle.
All in all a great little game for a Sunday afternoon!