Crossfire

"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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Hit The Dirt

The Crossfire scenario supplement by Bill Rutherford and John Lewis

Hit The Dirt

Hit The Dirt - The Crossfire Scenario Supplement.

When Arty Conliffe approached me about writing a scenario book for his rule set CROSSFIRE I was quite elated. John Lewis (my co-author) and I had already put many enjoyable hours into learning and playing CROSSFIRE. Most of our games revolved around pre-generated scenarios so it seemed a natural thing to properly research and document what we were already doing and to incorporate it all into a coherent whole – the work you are now reading.

John and I initially wanted to do scenarios covering all of World War II in all of its theaters. We quickly realized that this was not to be – there are simply too many good “scenario opportunities” for a single book – or several such! We decided, then, to limit ourselves to introducing the various campaigns in Europe, from the beginning of Barbarossa until VE Day. We’ve included eight scenarios each from the Eastern Front and the Western Front, and five from the Italian Campaign. Rather than break them out by theater, we presented them chronologically. If you simply must know how things turned out without wading through most of the war in Europe, go directly to Scenario 21, “Race for the Reichstag”, with the compliments of Chris Leach!

These scenarios were all designed with CROSSFIRE in mind. The orders of battle, however, can all be adapted with little or no effort to other games using the squad as the basic maneuver element. Though CROSSFIRE specifies no ground scale, one could safely assume any of the battle maps presented herein to measure approximately 500 meters (give or take 100 meters – but who’s counting?) to a four foot map edge.

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

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

When researching the scenarios we focused less on ensuring that every scenario represented an historical milestone in the history of infantry combat and more on finding enjoyable, gameable scenarios. People read the former; they play the latter. Though we tried hard to achieve a modicum of accuracy in our orders of battle and terrain, we cheerfully altered scenario details, when required, for the sake of the game. Generally we commented on our more egregious changes in the scenarios’ notes. As has been writ elsewhere, these scenarios do not put you in the Company Commander’s shoes to change history. They do give you a variety of frameworks for enjoyable games.

We tried to make our maps reasonably clear and consistent with the CROSSFIRE terrain types. In a couple of cases, new terrain types – or treatments – were necessary and we address those cases in the special rules or in the scenario rules. A short terrain key appears elsewhere on this page. We didn’t use any particular terrain system in designing the scenarios – we play locally using Geo-Hex, foam hills, cloth forests (with trees on them), corduroy fields, etc., as available. Due to the scale of the scenarios, the nature of CROSSFIRE, and the wide variety of scenery materials available, players will likely alter the scenarios’ terrain – either accidentally or on purpose. This should not adversely affect play as long as a couple of principles are adhered to. Be suspicious of lines of sight (LOS). If there’s a long LOS on a scenario map it probably belongs there. Don’t create them where they don’t exist, either. Key terrain features – buildings, bridges, etc., should not be moved more than necessary. Typically they’re objectives or have other significant impact on the scenario. Of course, if you move them and they change the course of your game, that’s not altogether bad as long as a good game results!

Soviet T-70 Light Tank & 7.62cm Anti-Tank Gun.

Soviet T-70 Light Tank & 7.62cm Anti-Tank Gun.

The bibliography lists only those sources that directly contributed to our scenarios. Numerous other books (including several good war novels) provided us with inspiration and general background information but didn’t make it into the bibliography simply due to space constraints.

We make no recommendations about using a referee in any but one of the scenarios because most of us want to play, not adjudicate gamer disputes. Though not required in any of the scenarios, a referee can prove useful in several ways, including varying indirect fire ammunition loads, placing barbed wire and obstacles, etc.

Your questions and comments are welcome. The special rules worked for us – how’d they work for you?

Enjoy! – Bill Rutherford

Acknowledgements

Late World War II German Panzer Grenadiers

Late World War II German Panzer Grenadiers

As is usual with this sort of thing, HIT THE DIRT is not the product solely of John Lewis’ and my efforts. Thanks must go to a number of people without whom these scenarios would never have seen light of day. Johnson Hood, of Wargames Inc, made the entire effort possible. Arty Conliffe gave John and me the chance to make something of this opportunity. Chris Leach provided (on his phone bill!) valuable rules feedback and even provided a scenario. Arturo Fillipo Lorioli provided information on the Italian Army in Sicily that we’d simply never have found otherwise. Charles C. Sharp did likewise for the Soviet Army – both in his books (see the bibliography) and in a couple of rather chaotic meetings, complete with documentation, held at HMGS conventions. The local gang of gamers, including (in no particular order) Russ Jenson, Scott Thompson, Victor Graulau, John Drye, Tom Lutke, and others, helped play one or more of the scenarios to ensure their playability – and inveterate tinkerers that they are, provided a host of suggestions to help the rules (and scenarios) play even better. Thanks to one and all!

All of the maps contained in HIT THE DIRT were produced using Campaign Cartographer 2, a simple-to-use game mapping program. A number of the building symbols were taken, with permission, from Phillip Rhodes’ symbols catalog (I promised I’d make him famous by naming him), available from the Campaign Cartographer website at www.profantasy.com. You may reproduce any of these maps for your personal use in playing the scenarios in HIT THE DIRT.

Hit the Dirt – Table of Contents

Green Hell
29 June 1941

Breakout at the Hinge
25 July 1941

Assault on Tula
29 October 1941

Battle for the Highway
9 April 1942

The Island
25 August 1942

Battle for Ponyri
6 July 1943

Roadblock on Highway 120
20 July 1943
Dung Farm
4 February 1944

Cassino Massif
4 February 1944

Reconnaissance Before Pontecorvo
19 May 1944

Breakout from Mogilev
27 June 1944

Scottish Corridor
28 June 1944

Bocage
11 July 1944

Monte Altuzzo
14 September 1944
Deadman’s Moor
22 September 1944

Hotel Brittania
3 November 1944

Germans in the Woods
17 December 1944

Sadzot
28 December 1944

Battle for Hardt
28 February 1945

Debacle at Hitdorf
6 April 1945

Race for the Reichstag
30 April 1945