Thursday, 15 January 2015

The 'Crossfiregrad' scenario

This game was originally inspired by Steven Thomas' 2 Foot City, and my thanks are also due Nikolas Lloyd for his 'nearer than' house rule (see below). My version of this urban Crossfire game has been around for some time. After going through a number of iterations, it has finally solidified into a set scenario for staging at the Cavalier show in Tonbridge, Kent, next month.

The scenario represents a German company-level attack on Soviet positions.

DEPLOYMENT
The Soviets deploy first in features 14-24 (see map below). The Germans deploy second in features 1-7, and start with the Initiative.


OBJECTIVE
The German objective is to take either (1) the L-shaped flats complex, (2) the mill complex, or (3) the factory complex (outlined in yellow on the map). The actual target is randomly and secretly assigned to the German player, who must gain uncontested occupation of the respective complex, i.e. they must be in occupation of at least one section of the complex at the end of a Soviet initiative, and the other sections of the building must be free of any Soviets. The Soviet objective is to stop this.

Each side has enough ammunition for half-an-hour of action and must withdraw if ammunition runs out. This is measured by a chess clock. If a player's flag falls, they must immediately withdraw and have lost the game.

SCENARIO/HOUSE RULES
1. Squads in a building section can Group Fire, Group Move or Crossfire only with other squads in the same building section.
2. Each single-storey module can accommodate two full-size elements (Squad/CC). One extra full-size element is allowed for each additional storey, all positioned on the top floor. (I.e. taller buildings have more capacity and act as strongholds but all buildings are otherwise treated as single-storey for play purposes). No limit on PCs/Observers.
3. All contiguous building sections constitute Building Complexes.
4. Commissar rule: Soviet CC adds +1 when rallying squads but if the rally fails, Pinned become Suppressed and Suppressed become Killed.
5. Nearer than rule. Squads behind a rubble area may claim it as cover if the edge of the area is closer to them than the opposite edge is to the shooters.
6. Suppressed Squads may be ignored as a target priority.
7. Setting up an HMG on a given building face (or changing the face) is subject to Reactive Fire. (An HMG must elect to set up and will automatically succeed regardless of being pinned or suppressed as a result.)

SOVIETS
CC/PCs +1 in close combat only. CC +1 for Rallying subject to Commissar rule.

1 Co Regular (C&C: as German CC)

CC
1st Platoon PC, 4 Rifle Squads, 1 HMG
2nd Platoon PC, 4 Rifle Squads, 1 HMG
3rd Platoon PC, 4 Rifle Squads, 1 HMG
FOO (82mm Mortars) HE: 6, Smoke: 3

GERMANS
CC/PCs +1

1 Co Veteran (C&C: German)

CC (81mm Mortars) HE: 3, Smoke: 5
1st Platoon PC, 3 Rifle Squads, 1 HMG
2nd Platoon PC, 3 Rifle Squads, 1 HMG
3rd Platoon PC, 3 Rifle Squads, 1 HMG
FOO (81mm Mortars) HE: 3, Smoke: 5

Note: CC acts as FOO for one of the mortar batteries.

13 comments:

  1. Looks a good scenario - for both show/participation and for introduction to a novice.

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    Replies
    1. Concentrated urban environments are a rather special case for Crossfire, but the rules seem to deal with them surprisingly well.

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  2. I'm intending to try your scenario. Your building sectors are bigger than mine 4"x4" versus 3"x3" so I'm not sure the +1 storey = +1 squad capacity will work for me. I'm thinking of just saying 1-2 storeys = 2 squads and 3+ storeys = 3 squads. Do you think that will be okay for game balance?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Steven

      I'd be very interested to hear how you get on with it as most of the playing/testing to date has been by novice players. IMO the Germans should win this scenario but only if they do the right things and maintain momentum.

      I had this +1 squad per storey idea and ran with it. It could lead to some extreme situations so your variation might work better. In practice, nobody has exploited heavy stacking, possibly because most of the really tall buildings are peripheral on my layout. In theory vulnerability to artillery ought to balance over-staking, but I'm not sure in CF that it would.

      As you will have appreciated, the diagram shows almost everything aligned to a strict 4" grid so you can reproduce the topography exactly if you map everything to a 3" grid.

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  3. And in earlier versions you seemed to include armour in the orders of battle - have you dropped that?

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    Replies
    1. I took the armour and AT guns out to simplify the scenario so that it could be run as a public participation game. I wouldn't put them back in. They are not part of the core challenge and would be a diversion. Maybe they'll feature in a Stalingrad scenario of their own one day.

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  4. Final question, do the four zones you've marked in grey (commercial, industrial, residential) on the map make a difference to the game or are they aesthetic?

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    1. Purely aesthetic! The black area represents roads and the central square. The grey area is open ground.

      The zones are a very crude attempt to bathtub the whole of Stalingrad!

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  5. There's an AAR of the actual Cavalier participation games here:

    http://doctorphalanx.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/crossfire-at-cavalier-aars.html#more

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  6. Can't help it - a couple more questions. The Soviets start visible, right? I'm so used to hidden deployment I just assumed this scenario was the same, but re-reading suggests otherwise.

    Why have you made the German CC the FO for one of the mortar batteries? Why not have a second FO?

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Everyone is visible. It was just simpler for a public game. The extra battery was added for balance, but I didn't have another FO figure!

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  7. We played Crossfiregrad this week. Three times in an evening. "Cracking scenario" was the summary. I'll post a more complete commentary on Balagan.info.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much indeed. I certainly look forward to reading your commentary. There are certain tricks to exploiting the terrain, and I'll be very interested to see if you discovered them or found alternatives...

      It's the only scenario I've ever published. Of course, the inspiration all came from your original 2' city!

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