Monday, 6 October 2014

Crossfire Somewhere In Greece

Good afternoon,

On Saturday Mark D and I got together at my place for an afternoon of Crossfire. Seeing as I am on holiday at the moment I of course did not take the time to come up with a couple of balanced lists (!), so...I winged it. Wang it? No, that doesn't sound right...

Anyway, I wanted to play with my Stuka and Hurricane using Steven's Balagan a/c suggestions for using aircraft in Crossfire, so I figured, since I'd made those two a/c for Crete, and I haven't finished the Fallshirmjagers yet, and since the Germans I have are in long boots and I wanted my Brit figs to be Kiwis...the pull out of Greece in 1941 it was!

I gave him one full strength, and one understrength, rifle companies, with battalion support...
  • Battalion Support Company
    • 1 - 3" Mortar
    • 1 - 2 Pdr ATG / Truck (we used the 6" and universal carrier as proxies - looks like I need to get a couple of 2 pdrs!)
    • 1 - Engineer Platoon - opps, I misread that! I gave him 1 engineer squad instead!
    • 1 - Carrier Platoon
  • 1 Infantry Company
    • 1 - CC (+2)
    • 1 - HMG
    • 1 - 2" Mortar
    • 3 - Rifle Platoons each with...
      • 1 - PC (+1)
      • 3 - Rifle Squads
  • 1 Infantry Company
    • 1 - CC (+2)
    • 1 - HMG
    • 1 - 2" Mortar
    • 3 - Rifle Platoons, one with...
      • 1 - PC (+1)
      • 3 - Rifle Squads

        and two with...
      • 1 - PC (+1)
      • 2 - Rifle Squads
  • 3 Hurricane Missions (HMG only). Arrival on the roll of a 6 at the start of each initiative.
I figured that they had to hold the crossroads for an undetermined amount of time in a prepared defence...

...against two full companies of Early German Leg infantry with two Panzer III Es and Stuka support.

  • Machinegun Company
    • 3 - HMGs
    • 1 - 81mm Mortar
  • 2 Infantry Companies, each with...
    • 1 - CC (+2)
      • Company Heavy Weapons
        • 2 - HMGs
        • 1 - 50mm Mortar (proxied by some 81mms - there's another necessary purchase!)
      • 3 Rifle Platoons, each with
        • 1 - PC (+1)
        • 3 - Rifle Squads
  • 3 Stuka missions (using 500 lb bombs). Arrival on the roll of a 5 at the start of each initiative.

With the Kiwis already set up, the Germans had to arrive one by one. I figured I needed a smoke screen, so first German on the table was a forward observer for an 81mm mortar.

Thankfully, Mark rolled no fires (the red dice - we switched to green later, since the red made more sense to represent pins...for the Kiwis...), so in roll the rest. To a rather hot reception from across the way.

Drats! My mortar spotter is supressed! Still, in roll the rest of the company... various suppression and pinned results. Thank goodness for those no fire reactive rolls! (It's a Crossfire thing! Basically, if your firing squad fails at least a pin result (less than a 5 on one of three die (- 1 die if the target is in cover, though HMGs get an additional die), then they can't shoot no more 'till their next initiative)

In rolls the first air attack of the afternoon!

To exactly no effect! Still, it looked cool!

I lay some smoke and roll in the Panzers.

And since these Kiwis can't shoot back, in roll another company of grunts. I wonder what is German for grunt? (Looks up Google...foot soldier grunt = Fußsoldat Grunzen. So I'll call 'em Grunzen!)

Seeing as I was applying pressure to the west (literally - the Southern Alps are visible across the plains out of that window to my right), Mark starts moving his grunts across from the east, only to have them pinned by reactive fire from my HMG across the way.

As Mark was thinning out his eastern flank, I was able to roll in some Grunzen (German nouns are capitalised) relatively unopposed. Though the Bren platoon did give it a go... little effect!

So I keep piling them in.

More ineffectual reactive fire from the Bren carrier, cute wee thing that it is...

...draws the attention of my second Stuka strike. Mark wasn't looking forward to this...

...and for good reason. Enemy caught in the open = 5 dice! The resulting kill suppresses the one squad nearby...though, as it was in the building (big buildings could hold three squads, the little ones, two), along with three others, and the kill potential for that attack was three squads within 1 squad diameter of the attack...I'm not sure we played that right. No matter.)

Note, that destroyed vehicle marker was animated!

I plant smoke...

...and roll in more Grunzen...

...who promptly got pinned or supressed by this chap at the corner of the wood, till he finally went no fire and I could sneak up the rest behind the hill.

So the picture mid game, east to west...

...and along the south of the table...

...he he he he!

So far that "2 pounder" had done nothing all game.

That's Mark's 3" mortar "off table" in the corner. We're keeping track of fire missions with dice.

Finally, Mark's Hurricane arrives! Huzzah!

An ineffective HMG strafing run against a German infantry squad, but hey, it was his first time during an actual game, so...huzzah!

Next German initiative I plonk some 81mm mortar goodness smack bang on Mark's 3" mortar spotter.

Boomshanka! So effective was the hit that one of the squads in hiding in the building also gets suppressed.

Up roll the Panzers (whose high explosive shots are so poor I just stick with their HMGs for the entire game!)... Mark limbers up the "2 pounder" to park it somewhere more useful.

In the meantime, on the eastern flank one of my HMGs barks louldy...

In rolls another Hurricane strafe...

...and he manages to suppress some Grunzen! Huzzah!

But, since the three Kiwi squads across the way are suppressed themselves, I drop smoke to stop those blokes in the woods shooting them up as they go in, and launh a close assault.

Bother! I had forgotten to move up my platoon commander with them, so lost that second assault. Ah well.

In rolls the Hurricane for his last snatch at glory... no effect! Still, it was nice to see him.

Mark attempts to move in some re-enforcements across the open. They all get pinned by my victorious assaulter...

...and then, in spite of the "2 pounder"'s best efforts...

...come under some nasty HMG action, courtesy of those tanks.

Resulting in a suppression.

By the way, that F/O in the wood has been supressed since the start of the game!

Again, the "2 pounder" speaks. Or is that coughs to clear it's throat, and then mutters "never mind..."

However, one plucky Kiwi squad rallies and assaults...

...possibly wishing it hadn't.

More group fire HMG action, taking out the suppressed squad...

...supressing another...

...then eliminating that one...

...and supressing another...

...before missing completely.

Which allowed Mark's Vickers in the wood to open fire.

To good effect.

Finally, after another swapping of initiative (we were both astonished at how short our initiatives were), the final Stuka flight arrives.

Bang! Don't get caught in the open from an air attack! Another Kiwi squad blown to bits, with the blown bits supressing both the remaining company commander and platoon commander.

But it did look cool!

It was at this point we decided that the Kiwis had held the Germans up long enough and declared the Kiwis' delay mission a qualified success.

It was a great game with both of us fully engaged for a good three hours (though it didn't seem that long - the "you failed to do anything significant with your turn so it's the other bloke's go" mechanic is really cool)...and I loved seeing my a/c in battle!

Thanks Mark, that was a fantastic use of a Saturday afternoon!



  1. An epic AAR, great to see the Kiwis hold on and delay the Hun.

    1. Thanks John. The a/c were a really nice touch, even if the Hurricane didn't achieve much. Well, it did supress the German HMG which the Kiwi Vickers gun finished of,!

  2. Too cool for after school...
    Great write up.

    1. Thanks Stan. Cup of tea? I'm here all week. Try the veal!

  3. Huge write-up Nick...great pictures...excellent to see the ESCI Figures at it - superbly painted too. Very enjoyable. Regards. KEV.

    1. Thanks Kev. I probably over did the pickies, but...they look great on the screensaver on the desktop!

  4. Cool game, more is better :)

    1. It was a cool game! Specially the a/c. And as they say, if less is more, imagine how much more more is!

  5. Very nice AAR Nick.

    Great to see the aircraft on the table...Or above it. Epic is apt. Well done.

    1. Thanks Paul. I enjoyed it, even if the Kiwis got quite a hammering!

  6. Looks like it was an excellent game of Crossfire. Thanks for the AAR - I'm inspired.

  7. Good to see somebody else using my aircraft rules. I do feel they add flavour. :)

    1. Hi Steven,

      Yep, they certainly did. I especially liked the "contested airspace" rule. Thanks for posting them, now I've got a decent excuse for some AA elements!


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