This scenario pitted a full strength German infantry Kompanie against a Soviet Infantry Company in terrain that is somewhat reminiscent of the Kursk battlefields.
|Good shooting, Ivan!|
|The Battlefield. The Germans have to cross their center line and seize 4 Soviet terrain pieces for at least 4 initiatives. A tough nut to crack! The Soviets are on all the hilltops in the foreground.|
|Before I started using my markers. 1 bead is PINNED 2 beads are SUPPRESSED.|
|The defending Soviet squads fought like hell and these Germans would be pinned as soon as they rallied.|
|Soviet platoon leader directing the action. COMRADE CAPTAIN! REQUEST ARTILLERY SUPPORT! THE GERMANS ARE MASSING IN FRONT OF ME! "NEGATIVE...YOU HAVE NO AUTHORIZATION...OR RIGHT... TO REQUEST SUPPORT OF ANY KIND, COMRADE"|
|Private Trotsky's gun|
|Soviet PL attempting to cross a linear danger area. Bad news for him and his runner.|
|Soviets bring up more troops|
|3rd Platoon's Day just got alot worse....|
|Germans attempting to move a platoon back behind cover|
|Very strong Soviet position with the HMG and an infantry squad. They would bring pretty effective fire down on the Germans for most of the game.|
|And the Soviets still have plenty of troops available.|
|Action heats up as the Soviets sense an opportunity - and then become suppressed in the open!|
|Germans making use of that 81mm mortar section finally get serious about moving under fire.|
|The Soviets have carved out a position in the crops on the upper left of the picture and more squads are en-route to reinforce them!|
|Finally we get to the matter at hand. The Germans are able to close with the Russians and after 2 rounds of ties, they win on a third die roll.|
|The Soviets are watching the combat carefully. They are from another platoon moving right in behind their comrades.|
|Smoke is visible through the trees|
|Meanwhile the rest of the Soviet platoon gathers to assault the German line!|
|The Germans would pay dearly for those 2 squads in the open like that.|
|Soviets commit more troops to their left flank, including the HMG.|
|OUCH! 4 hits against this squad moving in the open. They're done. The German assault peters out...|
Boy it's been a long time since I've gotten to play Crossfire. I have to admit, it's alot more fun with an opponent. It gets a little tedious by yourself but it's still a very fun and very satisfying (and also very realistic) game. There were a few times I had to look some things up, but the rules come back to you pretty quick, and true to form, I didn't even need the QRS after the first 25 minutes of playing.
I like the abstraction of time down to "bursts" of action that are most likely occurring simultaneously, but in a sequence on the table. I found that I rather fixated on one side of the line and would then transition over to other parts of the fight and here is where a play clock would ensure that I was making the best possible use of the initiatives I had. I squandered them away by shooting constantly which brings me to another point:
Making Good Decisions: In Crossfire, you're rewarded for using your troops and resources wisely. Hey I'm a former Artilleryman and I love blasting targets to hell, but many times you need to cover your advance with smoke so your troops can get there untouched.
Same with shooting or moving - you learn quickly that when you actually have the initiative, you should conduct actions that are more likely to enable you to KEEP the initiative - so move up your reserve if it's in cover. Because if you start shooting with your HMG, chances are you might not get a chance to bring them up and then you'll be in real trouble.
Something else I like about Crossfire is that games, just like battle, develop a momentum of their own and something can happen that changes the course of the battle - an untimely NO FIRE on your defending squad can mean an enemy breakthrough and all you can do is watch it happen!
In this case, a well-placed HMG grouped with a platoon commander and a handful of squads can wreak havoc on the enemy - case in point was this game where 1 Russian platoon was able to hold up a German infantry company for quite a long time. The way around this? Fire and maneuver.
The Germans should have used their platoons in conjunction with one another. The Russians were well placed, but they were also vulnerable to being isolated by fire as the terrain was much more open than Crossfire recommends.
Anyways, a very fun game. Reminded me of why I liked Crossfire so much in the first place. An excellent set of rules and just what I was looking for- where a stand equals a squad. I'm tempted to try this same scenario using Squad Leader in Miniature and see how it turns out.