This a sort of mini Market Garden-type scenario.
The board is rectangular. Across the centre width-ways, is a canal or
straight section of river, dividing the table into two squarish halves. In
the centre of the board is a bridge crossing the water.
As with near enough any Crossfire game, there should be plenty of cover.
I had lots of buildings on both sides of the river, pillboxes protecting
the bridge, and a fair amount of wire and anti-tank obstacles, as well as
the usual scattering of woods, fields, walls, hills, and rough ground.
The wire and obstacles should be mainly on the attacker's home side of the
table. The bridge and road are assumed to be used by the defending side,
so may not be blocked solid with obstacles or mines.
The defender has regular troops. He has two or three companies of these,
depending on the strength of his vehicles. He may deploy BOTH sides of the
water, and half his forces may be hidden. He has some decent anti-tank
guns, which may be deployed hidden. He also has a number of other vehicles
(SPGs, armoured cars, prime movers etc.) which are on the home side of the
river. Ideally, these vehicles should not be turreted tanks. On the home
side of the river, are the defender's mortars, on table. FOs may all be
Since the defending forces are not expecting the attack, they have not got
front-line vehicles such as heavy tanks, but do have defensive tank-killing
equipment. Also, the bridge has not been prepared for demolition.
The attacker has two companies of veteran troops (paras would be
especially suitable), with no vehicles and few support weapons (one
mortar per company max., one HEAT weapon per platoon max.) which may come
on from one or two (no more) places (perhaps one-foot sections, or defined
by one or two terrain features) on the edge of the defender's home side of
the water. The attacker may find that simply getting all his forces on the
board at this end of the table proves difficult (remember: the defender may
have placed units (perhaps hidden) within sight of the edge of the board
where the attackers are trying to come on). At first it may seem
impossible, but I find that eventually a breakthrough is made and the
troops rush on, though early casualties may be high.
The attacker also has a company of regulars and a few light vehicles
(scout cars, light tanks), and a significant number of decently heavy tanks
(I was using Churchills). These may come on to the board from the end edge
of the attacker's home side. This edge should have a road leading from it
to the bridge, preferably not straight, and perhaps with walls lining some
of it. The heavy tanks arrive on the road, but may leave it once on the
board. If there are many sections of wire and the like (you could add
mines, but I did without them), then the attacker should also have some
engineers with his regulars.
The attacker must get as many of his heavy tanks across the board as he
can. The more of his tanks he gets across, the greater his victory.
However, if he uses his tanks to smash through to the bridge, then he risks
losing some of them, and thus risks failure or a lesser victory. If he
keeps his tanks back too long, then the unsupported paras the far end of
the table may start to take too much of a beating, especially as the
defender can reinforce that end of the table from the other. The one
company of regulars must locate all the threats as far as the bridge as
quickly as possible, but if all the initiative is used up in this
endeavour, then the paras may take a beating.
It is assumed that the commander of the paras has a flare pistol with a
couple of different flare colours as ammo. With this he can signal "Far
end of bridge secure - advance tanks now" and one other pre-arranged
message, which his player must decide on before the game start.
Here we see a table set up for the playing of this game. For a lark, on this occasion I used a very long narrow table. In this play-through, the paras at the near end of the table got a thorough beating, and the advancing column of tanks (Shermans this time) had a tough time advancing against the panzerfausts of the defenders. We played that the field either side of the roads were boggy and liable to cause tanks to get stuck. We used my house rules in which tanks get more than one move action, and panzerfausts have very short range, and this gave what I considered to be very realistic results. The Germans couldn't stop a whole column of armour, but they made the tanks and their escorting infantry fight for every yard.