"CROSSFIRE is a unique set of rules for World War II company level wargaming written by Arty Conliffe and published by Quantum Printing in 1996. On this website you will find lists of CROSSFIRE websites, FAQ links, hints & strategies, as well as information regarding the CROSSFIRE supplement book 'Hit The Dirt'."

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The Raid!

U.S. Paras - The "Band of Brothers"

U.S. Paras - The "Band of Brothers"

In the centre of the board is a village. A road leads from one corner to the centre of the village. Either side of the road, at the table edge, is some good cover. As always, there’s lots of terrain/cover all around. The attacker’s objective is towards the edge of the village, thus reasonably near the centre of the board, but on the far side of the village from the road. For me, the objective was a V2 rocket on its launch pad. I also had a couple of large ponds, which were impassable areas which didn’t block line of sight, forcing troops and vehicles to circle around them, which worked quite well.

The defender has one company of green troops, which he may place on the board anywhere he likes. There is an on-table mortar or two, and machine-gun positions. The attacker has two companies of veterans (perhaps paras), with off-table mortar support, and some infantry anti-tank weapons.

He must get on the table and get some specialist troops next to the objective and leave them there for five of his phasing initiatives. He may come on the board from one or two positions of his choice (aerial photography has pin-pointed the position of the objective).

After an agreed number of initiatives, reinforcements arrive for the defender, coming along the road (vehicles) and alongside the road (infantry), having received an urgent request from the defenders. Die rolls should be involved for this, and the reinforcements should not all arrive at once. For instance, one might count a vehicle as one point and a platoon as one point. After, say, eight defender’s initiatives, a die can be rolled, to see if any reinforcements arrive next initiative, with a five or six indicating a yes. Every defender’s initiative thereafter, a die roll determines how many points arrive. I would suggest something like (1d6+1)-1d6, so a third of the time, no reinforcements show up, and possibly a lot show up. We diced randomly for what kind of reinforcement turned up: infantry or vehicles, or infantry in vehicles. You may allow the defender to choose. You may set a limit on the number of reinforcements, but we found this to be unnecessary. Reinforcements may be regular, but not veteran.

In the five initiatives that the attacker spends next to the objective, his specialist troops may photograph the technological marvel, or find the blueprints in the office, or find all the bits to the enigma machine, or destroy the mechanism which works the cable car, or plant the dead body with the fake plans on it, or set the charges on the pipeline junction, or break open the safe with the prototype device in it, or brief the double agent, or bury the homing beacon, or paint “Hitler has only got one ball” all over the staff HQ or do whatever it was which they had come to do. Once done, they get a major victory if they can get off table with most of their force.

Duane Warneke's Late WW2 German Infantry.

Duane Warneke's Late WW2 German Infantry.

Other things to spice up this scenario are: all units next to the objective are killed after a certain time (the charges go off, the rocket launches); (some of) the specialist unit(s) must get away after spending five initiatives next to the objective. I played the scenario with several units having been trained to do the main task. If only one squad could carry out the objective, this would make the scenario very brittle for the attacking player.

Perhaps the main choice for the attacker is whether to come on near the road or not. In the play test, attackers who came on the far side from the road, to concentrate on getting to the objective quickly with as many troops as possible, then found that they had no way of stopping the reinforcements from getting on the table, whereas the advantages of defence (not having to move, incurring reactive fire; protected machine guns) were such that it could take even veterans a lot of time time to get on to the table and to the objective, if not substantially out-numbering the defenders.

Nikolas Lloyd