Friday, May 22, 2009
Second Crossfire game, more 10mm WWII musings
I hosted another Crossfire game last week, this one at Chicagoland Games, the new game store that opened up just four blocks from my apartment in Chicago.
I had 3 players show up for the game, plus another who arrived after we started and provided tactical advice during the game. Since we had a lot of players, we decided to re-play my original scenario from last week (a Soviet raid against Germans protecting a StuG III in a small village) as a 2-on-2 team game.
I'd never really tried Crossfire with multiple players, and the structure of the game makes such setups kind of tough to execute—but we only played one company per side, which is still pretty small for Crossfire standards. Basically the two players on each side split control of their forces, with most players getting a platoon or two of troops to command, along with a vehicle or anti-tank gun.
We also stuffed a lot more terrain on the table, but I still felt like we could have used more. The Soviets advanced through the woods and farmland to find and disable the StuG III, which was being defended by Germans in the burnt-out ruins of a small village. The victory conditions allowed the Soviets to win if they had two infantry squads in base-to-base contact with the StuG III at the end of any initiative; the Germans, however, could win if they killed off 6 or more Soviet infantry squads.
It was a very well-balanced game, with the Germans having slightly fewer infantry troops, but more versatile support weapons (in the form of a PaK-40 antitank gun and the aforementioned StuG III assault gun). The Soviets had about a third more infantry units, and they had a single T-34/76 that arrived after Initiative 5.
The performance of vehicles in this game ran the gamut from great to terrible. The Soviets were a bit too aggressive with their T-34/76—plus we had never tried the vehicle shooting rules—and it was knocked out early by the PaK-40. The StuG III, on the other hand, managed to destroy several Russian squads during the advance—including the last action of the game, which killed a squad in the open and annihilated two adjacent squads (via the "Kill Potential" blast rule) in a single shot.
That action won the game for the Germans, as that represented their 6th enemy squad kill. It couldn't have come at a better time: the Soviets were grinding their way through the Germans' flank, chewing up squads in close combat and threatening the enemy's best-defended position. Another few turns and the game could have gone either way.
Anyway, this was another resounding success for the Crossfire rules. For our next scenario, I'm going to try out a battle that involves a lot more vehicles—maybe something with Panzergrenadiers?