Friday, January 13, 2023

Crossfire action in Italy

I haven't played Crossfire for almost 7 years, and for Andy it has been longer. We both have 20mm collections that are well suited to the game, so we got together for a couple of refresher games focussed more on re-familiarising ourselves with the rules than anything. Andy has some Italian paratroopers, and amongst my significant collection are some British paras, so we put these out. We stepped through a small action aimed at checking out mechanisms, and then tried a small British para platoon assault against the Italian paras. As it was essentially our first attempt, we kept it simple, allowing Andy two hidden stands.

The Italian troops in position, with the British advancing in three platoons, the platoon MMG section with the left flanking platoon, and observer for the 3" mortar section with the centre platoon. The Italians had deployed left and right, with their MMG section deployed on their left, against the British  right

The British left flanking platoon

The right flanking platoon. The troops were painted in the 90's, for an Arnhem type game, and these three bases came with their very own portable Arnhem brick walls .. oh dear!!

The Italian left open fire pinning the British right, but with a 'no fire' result for one rifle squad


The right flanking British platoon is pinned

The domination of fire lanes by the Italian MMG prompted the British commander to lay smoke to try to allow his centre platoon to advance

The British centre is pinned, with one squad suppressed

The left flanking platoon enters the wood, finds the hidden Italian squads, and is pinned by their fire

At, this stage initiative is changing frequently, and the Italian right flank platoon suffers two 'no fires'


The British commander attempts a fire fight on his right, but is pinned, with one squad suppressed

... and then suffers the loss of one of its squads

The action shifts rapidly to the left where the platoon is pinned still, and now one squad is suppressed

... and then 'killed'

The Italian MMG is suppressed

But failure to lift the pin on the British right flank means they are unable to take advantage of the suppressed MG

The left flanking platoon suffers the loss of a second squad ...

At this stage it is clear that the British para platoon has come up against a position that it can't take on its own, it needs more support. They say you need 3:1 odds in the attack, with good reason!!!

I'd forgotten how engaging these rules are, the pace of the action with the chop and change of initiative, the challenge of trying to decide where best to focus attention, the need for covered routes of advance, to win the fire fight, al of these things echo a greater degree of reflection of command than any other low level rules set, and we have been reminded of why we liked the rules. 

Ever since I first tried Crossfire, I have had the opinion that they are amongst the cleverest set of rules I have ever used. That's why I like them. I'm just not very good at command!!!

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