CROSSFIRE

Crossroads map


This one looks simple, but it is quite a challenge to play.

The board is much wider than it is deep. In the centre is a crossroads, from here, the two crossing roads form an X in the middle of the board. Each long edge therefore has two roads going off it, with some distance between these points and the corners of the board. The roads are clear apart from one burned-out armoured vehicle smack bang on the crossroads, which blocks LOS along both roads. Around the crossroads is a dense village. The rest of the board has a LOT of cover on it - there is not much open ground at all.

A couple of major buildings in the village are half-way between hardpoints and ordinary buildings (the models I used were of large stone buildings). Firing at these involves throwing one extra die and ignoring the highest result of all the dice. For example, rifles firing at a building would normally roll 2 dice. Instead, when firing at these buildings, they roll three dice, and get 5, 5, 3. One five, being one of the highest numbers, is ignored, so a pin, not a suppress, is the result. The probability of a suppress by this method is about half-way between the stats. for a hardpoint (6s needed), and a normal building. This gives the scenario some strategic positions which are not so strong as to threaten to dominate the scenario, but strong enough to be of interest.

The objective is either to defeat the enemy, or to take and hold the majority of the buildings in the village for a certain length of time, perhaps five initiatives. To win, a player must occupy buildings of at least three of the four sections of village. One could use the clock system in Hit the Dirt, and say that the side in control of the village when darkness falls, wins. Each time one side ends its initiative, a die is rolled to see how much time has passed, and the clock is advanced some amount (like half an hour) if the die roll comes up greater than a certain number. For example, the game could start at noon, and darkness could fall at 2200 hours, and the clock could advance half an hour each time one player rolls 3+. Obviously, if one side gets annihilated, the game ends in a victory to the annihilators.

One side has two companies of veterans, and one stand in three of infantry has HEAT weapons. The other side has three companies of infantry regulars, and all the infantry stands have HEAT weapons. This side also has more machine guns, and some MG-armed light vehicles (I used motorcycles with sidecars and the like). Each company has one 3" or 81mm mortar.

The side with fewer infantry has MANY more tanks, I used Churchills, Stuarts and Daimler ACs, also a 6-pounder, a 17-pounder plus towing vehicles. The other side has far less armour (I used one Panther, one 222, and one StuG III).

In playtest, it worked well. No one wanted to go all-out to take the village, fearing losing the flanks. At the start of the game we deployed one vehicle/platoon at a time along the broad edges, and where along the breadth of the table to put these was a major decision, given the central objective, and the proportions and dense terrain of the board. The tanks did not dominate - they were too scared to go on the roads, and too scared to advance without confident infantry support, which was unlikely to exist given the board. The anti-tank guns couldn't come forward without risking being seen by opposing FOs and mortared to oblivion. Infantry did most of the work, with the tanks standing by most of the time as an atmospheric menace threatening total destruction to the loser - they wouldn't be the beginning of the end, but they would be the end of the loser's force.

It is difficult to suggest tactics. Watch where you opponent masses his forces. He might mass on either flank or in the middle. If he masses in the middle and you don't, then he will probably take the village before you can stop him. If he masses on one flank, then you might mass to prevent his sweeping around, or perhaps you might put a small holding force on that flank, while hoping to surround the village from the other flank.

Another Crossfire enthusiast has tried this scenario, and written up his experiences with it on his website: Ian Hayward's version.



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