Site created: August 25, 1996
Last update April 7, 1999
A Usenet search about Crossfire...... revealed some message threads. Sadly I lost track of the very first messages, but I recorded these semi-random thoughts !!
I don't know if they can help you in order to understand what is Crossfire, but surely it is simpler to read them here than to search it through the message's archive.
Re: Activation and Initiative
From "Philip Dutre"
There is a system for World War 2 infantry fighting, called Crossfire.
It uses a very new technique for movement sequences and even firing.
Basically, a player activates a unit. He can do everything with it, shooting, moving, whatever, as long as he succeeds in the actions he's doing. He can switch between units at will.
If an action fails, or if a moving unit is fired at by opportunity fire by the enemy, and is suppressed, initiative goes to the other side.
Note that in such a system you don't have any movement distances, units move as far as they want or untill they are intercepted by enemy fire.
Crossfire doesn't even use fire distances. Every weapon can cover the entire playing surface, but is blocked by cover of course. This game therefore works well where you have a lot of cover, let's say about 30% of the table.
The total lack of movement distances and firing distances makes some players uneasy, but actually it's a very novel system, it plays fast, and you can focus on the actual deployment and movement of troops.
The claimed advantages (with which I agree) is that it better simulates infantry firefights. I.e. flanks are vulnerable, you cannot attck without proper fire support, reserves are almost a necessity instead of spreading everything out on thin line etc.
Definitely worth trying out!
Re: What do you think of Crossfire ?
We have been playing Crossfire for about a year now, and overall, really like it. Keeping in mind the limitatioms of the system, ie it really is designed for small scale operations involving close terrain, it works well for a variety of actions in the World War II era, I am using it for the Spanish Civil War, and have even used it to do ground combat with Sci-Fi figures.
Re: What do you think of Crossfire ?
From: "Tim Marshall"
I've probably mentioned on the NG before that I rave about this game. We play the "vanilla" rules for pure infantry and have dropped in an armour/anti-armour mechanism to replace the simplistic armour rules Arty Conliffe provides.
In the latter games, we do introduce measurement, but still relatively simple 20" bands; the normal infantry firing applies only up to 20", beyond which only MG and guns can fire.
Bit complicated to get into here, but essentially we end up treating AFVs the same way infantry is treated. The result is the same sort of wonderful feel one gets with the infantry and tanks still do not dominate as much as they do in some rules sets. Both ways, the games go quickly.
Also, simplistic as some of the rules are in Crossfire, it really does give a good feel for the tactics needed in small unit action and plays easily.
As I've mentioned above though, we find the AFV rules too simple and have dipped one end of the Crossfire booklet into the flock pot of complexity to remedy this (and the same for indirect artillery fire).
Even so, the games we play with our add in rules are still simple, fast and furious.
Crossfire is quite a different approach from the traditional turn divided into phases/steps idea. There are many good rules sets out there which follow what I call tradtitional game design, but the different "design paradigm" Arty uses makes Crossfire a fascinating and refreshing change.
My 2nd game of Crossfire - WWII - company of US versus company of Germans.
From: "Jeff Preston"
Very interesting - the 1st shot of the game was reactive fire from the American bazooka which killed the German Tiger with a 6,6 score! Long faced Germans all around!
The more I play the game the less respect I have for cover. Just because you're in a building doesn't mean your essentially safe from the fire of even a couple of squads. Having said this, being in the open is virtual suicide!
I guess you need lots of smoke, but placing FO's in places where they won't get shot is tough! It is possible to place them in locations where they have LOS to the smoke target, but the target has no LOS to them, but this seems rather odd. I must be missing something here?
Having finished the 2nd game I am still a bit bewildered because the Americans basically went first, advanced under LOS blocks to a couple of buildings in the centre of the table and dominated the game from there.
Perhaps there was not enough true LOS blockage [as in blocked fields of fire] rather than just protective 'cover'.
The table had lots of terrain on it, but not much between the central position and other cover, so the Yanks
could just shoot straight into the cover the Germans were using.
Furthermore, if the enemy have 1 tank and you have none, (thanks to the US bazooka) it's rather sad for the other side. Perhaps 2 tanks per side (so as to soften the loss of 1)? Do I need some APC's on the table?
At the very least, as portrayed in the book, to get around an HMG position you attack from a flank (due to the fixed facing of the HMG in a building) and smoke the beggar first. Take PC's and/or a CC with you and you get some pretty bloody big pluses.
From: "Dan Cyr"
> The more I play the game the less respect I have for cover.
One must use cover to screen moves. Many of our players don't move cover to cover, but cover to "behind" cover, etc. The trick is to not get shoot at until it "matters". Use prep fire, cover fire, smoke and movement. Don't hesitate to use ground hugging once you get to a spot you want to establish a fire position at later.
> Furthermore, if the enemy have 1 tank and you have none, (thanks to the US
> bazooka) it's rather sad for the other side. Perhaps 2 tanks per side (so
> as to soften the loss of 1)? Do I need some APC's on the table?
APCs are cool, but HMGs can destroy them.
We use company level mortars and infantry guns as direct fire weapons, as well as off board artillery (rare as most would have been fired prior to the "attack" going in).
> · When to close assault a position.
Never. Well, maybe if the target is outnumbered, and surpressed. We rarely if ever have close assualts.
Comment: Usually we find that the game comes down to the defender's inital placement of troops, reinforcement moves to support a threaten sector, and a slight amount of luck (die rolls).
It is skill at combining offensive tactic moves, positioning of fire teams, etc., that determines the game for the attacker. The ability to "read" terrain determines the game more often than not.