Sunday, August 16, 2009

Crossfire Colonial WWI Thoughts

Before I began to play in a club I gamed Crossfire quite often. It was, by far, my favorite set of rules (though WWII is not my favorite period to game). But my opponent moved away and I have never thought that I would be able to pull off a club game using these rules; so a number of years have gone by since I have thought to play it. What I forgot is that Crossfire plays as well as a solo game as it does a two-player game. So when the opportunity arose to put on a little game at home, I decided (after much worrying) to set up a small game on my small dining room table.

I used the standard Crossfire rules in my game with the following exceptions:

Armoured Cars: I allowed the Armoured Car 3 actions per initiative. Armor was 1/1. If you wanted to limit the aggression of ACs allow rifle fire to blow out tires on a “kill” roll (3 x 5 or 6). The firing player would lose the initiative (or fail to seize it) if he failed to blow out the tires. Tires may be changed as an action, which can draw Reaction Fire.

Command & Control: Infantry Platoons were required to stay in “formation”: column or extended line except when under fire. By 1918 the lessons of warfare on the Western Front so you should allow any infantry unit rated Regular or Veteran morale to operate by standard Crossfire c&c rules.

Barrages: In this game I allowed 6 missions of SOS Barrages. These were pre-plotted against specific Terrain Pieces and the FO could call in the missions as normal as long as his field telephone had an uninterrupted line of communication to a specific point at the Northern end of the table. The opposing force could cut this line, but in this game that was a moot point. All fire was considered to be Shrapnel and would have been ineffective against units INSIDE buildings.

LMGs: Lewis Gun Sections are assumed to be armed with 2 Lewis guns. I have stolen an idea from someone else and decided that if the Lewis Gun’s previous action was movement then it will fire at 3d. If this action is this stand’s first of this initiative, or the last action was a fire action, the Lewis Guns will fire with 4d.

* AP Ammo: Both HMGs were assumed to have been issued some AP ammunition. This allowed them the opportunity to try and knock out the AC. I upped the Penetration to account for the very thin armor of the era. ACC/Pen -1/-4. You might consider limiting the number of fire actions available with AP ammo.

Bombers: Bomber Sections are +1 in Close Combat. They may also make a 4d direct fire attack against targets within 2 stands range or in the same terrain piece. If this attack is made against buildings that the bomber section is in contact with the target receives no protective cover modifier.

Untested variants:

Close Combat: Grenade equipped vs non-grenade equipped +1 (in terrain piece only) (eg Gurkhas vs Arabs in 1920; South Africans vs Ruga-Ruga in East Africa1916); Cavalry vs. Infantry +1 (in open or fields)

Cavalry: Cavalry may be treated with the following options: a. allow a free pivot as part of any move; b. Treat as Japanese when initiating Close Combat, that is any pin caused by reaction fire is ignored, any Suppression is treated as a Kill; mount/dismount is a move action; cavalry is +1 against infantry in the open during CC; lancers are +1 vs non-lancer cavalry in CC; British Cavalry units should have attached HMGs at the Company level, after 1916 they may have one LMG stand per Company (per Troop in 1918).

All that being said, I do believe the closer you stick to the rules as written, the more Crossfire shines. Leave the nitpicking to others.

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