Sunday, June 7, 2015


Unfortunately, I find this true about most of my games and have been trying for some 40 years to overcome it!  The AAR for this game, in two parts, is up on my other site:


Monday, April 13, 2015


 I have noticed several views by local gamers (I assume) - Milton, Raynham, etc. Why not contact me at and join us for a game on some Thursday night? Be sure to list a subject on your e-mail as I don't open e-mails eithout a subject line.
Dick Bryant

Monday, August 25, 2014

I recently created some 2' x 2' game boards for playing out the six 2' x 2' mini Cross Fire scenarios (see the next blog entry) at conventions to spread the word about Cross Fire. There are actually only 3 boards-6 players and 3 games being about the most a single umpire can handle when teaching  novices to a particular rule set.  An extra road segment and a river allow an additional two maps to be played, while the 3rd additional board just adds a hill. The original 3 tables are shown below.


As mentioned, the next three boards are made from the first three.


Friday, March 30, 2012


 I am always looking for small scenarios that can be played in an hour or less and that can be used to teach newbies the nuances of the game. There are several available from various blogs. Of note is and and , my favorite . I thought I'd try my hand at such a scenario and the result was 6 scenarios that can be played on a 2 ft. x 2 ft. table with a minimum of figures. All 6 scenarios use the same forces and we have played them out several times, taking about an hour/scenario.
Please let me know what you think and what your experience was.
The forces for all the scenarios are the same: 32.5 pts ea.

The defender (VETERAN) occupies squares D and C and starts hidden. He places troops first.
Platoon w/supports
1 sniper
1 PC (+1)
3 Rifle Sqds
1 Small Mortar (50mm, 60mm, etc.) 12FM
1 80MM  (or equivalent)Mortar off table with 12 FM and FO
1 minefield

The attacker (REGULARS) occupies  the “bottom” or southern 6” of squares A and B. Only units starting in buildings are hidden – none are “dug-in”. Places troops second and has initiative.

1 Small Mortar (50mm, 60mm, etc.) 12FM
1 120 MM Mortar (or equivalent) off table with 10 FM and FO
1 Engineer stand
2 Platoons ea. w/
          1 PC (+1)
          3 Rifle Sqds

NOTE: In “the woods “scenario, both attacker and defender start hidden, not “dug-in”.

Mortars: 1/3 of the FM can be smoke rounds.

Blds/Bunkers hold 2 stands not including commanders or FOs.
All terrain is “In Season” thus breaks LOS.

Victory Conditions: (Must hold for two initiatives)
THE FARM:  Attacker takes farm house.
THE CROSSROADS: Attacker must occupy house and hedge area.
THE RIVER:    Attacker gets the majority of his force into the bldg and right-hand woods. The river is a “linear obstacle”, but fordable.
THE TOWN:   Attacker clears or occupies 3 of the bldgs in D and C.
THE HILL:       Occupy the hill
THE WOODS: Find and destroy the enemy.

Monday, September 26, 2011



On several occasions, now, I have played in a scenario where the victory conditions depend on "real" time as opposed to "game" time. I understand the reasoning for such a limit. Usually it is because we only have a certain amount of time to play and we do not have the luxury of a room where we can leave the game set up until the next "game day". Yet the victory condition is unrealistic and artificial at best.

EXAMPLE: The sides start as shown on the table. Game start is nominally 7PM but we must be done by 9:30PM, so the Victory Points allocated at 9:30 determine the winner. Now the attacker's nearest unit is 4 ft from the enemy force that he must overcome to get the VPs. He must suppress enemy guns, cross rough terrain and a ford to to the objective, then fight a volley and melee battle when he gets there. It may take 2 or 3 attempts. If his max move is 12"/turn it takes 4 turns to get in position to attack the objective IF none of the obstacles that he has to overcome existed!  Then all it takes is an opponent constantly asking questions of the umpire or the umpire constantly looking up rules to slow the process even further so the objective of the best possible plan of attack is un obtainable!

Before setting up any "timed" game the author of the scenario must take into account the starting positions of the opposing units - at the best rate of speed, can a unit even reach its objective, never mind having to fight its way there? It must take into account the reduction in time available to meet the objective caused by looking up rules, etc which is inevitable in any game. 

I feel that a good rule of thumb to start with is to measure the distance from the attacking units' starting position to the objective and using the nominal movement rate (i.e do not include using roads, or crossing streams or other movement multipliers) divide the one by the other to determine the number of turns just to march to the objective. Then double that number. The result is the number of GAME turns within which the attacker can win (or loose). So if a unit has to march 4 feet to the objective and the march rate is 12"/turn, the unit would need 8 GAME turns to meet its victory conditions at a minimum.

Other drains on game time available to play out a scenario are the need for setting up the table or developing your plan for winning the game. It should be obvious that the game should be set up and the troops organized by the scenario desiger (umpire) before the allotted time for game start. The introduction to the scenario to the players, which includes each side developing its plan for it, can take up 25% of the time allotted to play the game, resulting in scenario designer using the artificial real time clock to determine win/lose.

In this day of computers and the internet, why can't the oranization of forces, the map and scenario sent on to the players (modified as per what side they are playing on) a few days before the game and the side commander duly bound to have written orders for each of his players to be handed out at game start, or even better, by internet before the day of the game. Failing that, use a Xerox machine and mail the info out, If time is a factor plan each game two weeks ahead which gives two weeks to get the info into the players hands. I have posted an EXAMPLE of an operational order for a subordinate below. It was used in a recent WWII Cross Fire game. Note that some game playing hints (see Red) are included for a gamer that has not had as much experience in the rules as the others.

The Battle of Weisse Swamp

A CrossFire Game
Operational Order

The enemy is trying to take and occupy the road exit to the South of the swamp. We must prevent him from coming within 1 ft. of the exit.

Expect between 1 reinforced Company (5 platoons) to two companies with armor support. His main effort is expected to be on our left as he has more covered approaches in that area. Though he may try an armor attack from our right.

2/9 Platoon
            1 PC (+1)
            2 Rifle Sqds
            1 Panzerfaust Sqd (also acts as rifle sqd)
            1 HMG
3/9 Platoon
            1 PC (+1)
            2 Rifle Sqds
            1 Panzerfaust Sqd (also acts as rifle sqd)
            1 HMG
In addition a FO reporting directly to the Company Commander with 2/9
 1/9 is on your left rear
A Co. of  Mk IV tanks are in immediate support to the rear.

Occupy the positions as shown on the map. You will dig in and remain hidden until detected by the enemy or forced to fire.

Hold your position (the center and right) as long as possible, causing casualties to the enemy as much as possible. If heavily pressed fall back to positions in the town, but maintain your zones of fire. If falling back, wood “A” must be held. Be prepared to reinforce the left by pulling straight back into the town on my order.

Bring all possible fire to bear on enemy when he shows himself except to keep one sqd from going “no fire”.

NOTE:             You kill the enemy by firing on him – do so!

If you pull straight back out of a defensive position you cannot be fired upon until you enter another terrain feature!

You do not have to place the units in the positions they are indicated on the map. When you have to reveal them put them in the MOST ADVANTAGOUS position for the situation at the time of placement.

I would be very interested in your comments.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Wanting to get away from the large Cross Fire games that we usually  have 6 to 8 players every Thursday night to fit in to a game, I thought of having 3 small identical games with one player on each side to see how they would do.
The result was a scenario that can be played as above or as a small 2-person game. The game was played several times and since both sides won about an equal number of times, I can assume that it is fairly balanced.
You can see from the name, I hope, that this is a totally non-historical battle.

Your orders are to take and occupy the German position in and about a small farm outside of the French town of Baiseque. It controls the approaches to the flank of their MLR.  You must take the farm house and the bunker (exact location unknown) with as few casualties as possible. You start on the table where shown on the map and with initiative.
You place your troops in the designated area, un hidden and NOT dug in. You may keep any amount of your force off table and enter at the Reinforcement Entry Point. You have the Inititiave

FORCES:                                                                                                   92points
1 Reinforced Company (VETERAN)
1 CC (+1)
1 60mm Mortar (on table)(12 Rds)
2 75mm Howitzers (offboard) W/observer 12 rds ea.
      4 Rifle Platoons
          1st Pl.
            1 PC(+1)
            2 Rifle Squads
            1 Bazooka Squad(2.5”)
          2nd Pl
             2 Rifle Squads
             1 Bazooka Squad(2.5”)
          3nd Pl
             2 Rifle Squads
             1 Bazooka Squad(2.5”)
           4th Pl
             2 Rifle Squads
             1 Bazooka Squad(2.5”)
Potential reinforcement may be called upon at your discretion. They enter where shown on the map and on your initiative following the initiative in which you asked for them:

A. 1 75mm AT gun w/truck3 pts
B. 1 M4 tank9 pts
C. 1 REGULAR platoon w/bazooka and PC(+1)13pts
D. 1 Engineer Sqd. W/ Halftrack11 pts

Your position is a small farm outside of the French town of Baiseque. It controls the approaches to the main position behind you. You must hold the position at all costs, causing as much damage to the allies as possible.
You start hidden and dug in on the table in the area North of the river.
1 company (REGULARS)                                            91.5 Pts
               1 CC(+2)
               1 HMG
               1 120mm Mortar (10FMs) w/FO
               1 81mm Mortar (12FMs) w/FO

               3 Rifle Platoons
                        1st Pl 1PC(+2)
                        3 Rifle Sqds –all w/Panzerfaust
                        2nd Pl PC(+1)
                        3 Rifle Sqds

                        3rd Pl PC(+1)
                        3 Rifle Sqds
               1 two stand bunker
               2 sections Barbed Wire
               1 Minefield

Reinforcements:Potential reinforcements that may be called upon at your discretion and enter anywhere along the North baseline on your initiative following the initiative in which you asked for them:

A. 1 PAC 40 AT gun w/ truck                          3 Pts
B. 1 Mk IV tank                                               9 Pts
C. 1 REGULAR Platoon                                  17 Pts
     w/1 Panzerfaust and PC(+1)
D. 1 HMG w/truck                                           6Pts

Fields are NOT in season 
River is a fordable linear obstacle 
Bog Down rule in effect for woods and river( 4- in river, 3- in woods. Unbog on a 5+, 1 is permanently bogged. +1 to Guns firing at bogged unit.) 
Constructions hold 2 stands not including FOs or Commanders

VICTORY POINTS                                                               GER                US
Ea. US Stand killed or suppressed at game end                        +2Pts               N/A    
Ea. Reinforcement Used                                                              -1/2 point value
Each US objective Held                                                            5Pts                 10Pts


"No Scenario Survives First Contact with a Wargamer"

NOTE: If you try any of these scenarios please let me know how it went. Think about submitting a battle report for inclusion here. Any questions will be answered and any suggestions as to how to improve them gratefully accepted.
First Contact July 5 1950

Col. Smith was tasked with stopping or holding back the North Korean advance along the main Seoul-Pusan highway. The position chosen was north of Osan. Only 1 in 6 of his force had any combat experience beyond boot camp!

The battle took place in two in two phases with a pause between. The first phase consisted of an advance of 33 N. Korean tanks of the 107th tank Rgt. down the road in several sections. It was here that it was discovered that the WWII 2.6” Bazookas were useless against t-34/85 tanks. The 75 mm RR also failed. The only success was a 105mm howitzer direct firing the only HEAT available on the Korean Penninsula, knocking out 4 tanks. The next phase of the battle started at 11:30 AM with the advance of a  more tanks and elements of the North Korean 4th Division. Task force Smith was able to hold on for about 3 hours before being forced to retreat.
It is this second phase that the scenario will simulate. The only tanks on the table at game start are knocked- out N. Korean tanks. They break LOS and give direct cover but due to their location on the table, you can eliminate them without damaging the scenario.


NOTE: 2 contour hills are impassible to tanks.
Terrain is the same as in Cross Fire and Hit The Dirt with  a couple of additions:

ROUGH TERRAIN: Represents broken and/or rocky ground. Breaks LOS and provides direct fire  cover only

RICE PADDIES: Provide Direct Cover only and do not break LOS. Vehicle bog down rule from HitThe Dirt applies.

RAILROADS: Always considered on embankments unless otherwise specified. Embankment breaks LOS except for sighting troops who are on 2nd or higher contour of a hill adjacent to the embankment. Embankment is a linear obstacle and troops on top receive direct cover.

Deploys first dug-in and hidden within map area designated by blue dotted line

Task Force Smith (GREEN)
Col Smith BC (+1)
1 Rifle Sqd.

Hvy Weapons Co
1 75mm Recoiless rifle
1 4.2” Mortar w/ FO (10 FM)
            1 105mm Howitzer w/FO (8 FM)
            2 HMG
            2 2.36” Bazooka teams
            B Company
                        1 CC(+1)
                                    2 platoons ea with:
                                                1 PC(+0)
                                                3 Rifle Sqd
                                    1 platoon with:
                                                3 Rifle Sqd
                                                1 60mm mortar (on table) (12 FM)

C Company
                        1 CC(+1)
                                    2 platoons ea with:
                                                1 PC(+0)
                                                3 Rifle Sqd
                                    1 platoon with:
                                                3 Rifle Sqd
                                                1 60mm mortar (on table) (12 FM)
Your mission is to hold the position until relieved, blunting the advance of the North Korean force.

The Americans win a minor victory if they have 50% of their forces not suppressed or dead by1330 hrs. They win a major victory if they still meet these conditions by 1430 hrs.

Deploys second. Marches on at the road entrance indicated by the red arrow

Elements of the 4th North Korean Infantry Division. (REGULAR)
            4 T34/85
            1-Commissar (+1)
                        Machinegun Company
                        Mortar Company
                                    3-82mm Mortars OT(8 FM ea.) w/FO           

            3-Infantry Companies, ea. with:
                        1-SMG Sqd.
                                    Company Heavy Weapons
                                                1 HMG

                                    3-Rifle Platoons; each with:
                                                2-Rifle Squads
                                                1-SMG Squad

Your Mission is to advance through Osan and take the port of Pusan.

NOTE: The North Koreans must march on the road until fired upon, at which time they can deploy to either side of the road. Following troops no longer have to come on the road but may enter anywhere on the entrance road side of the table. Once all three companies of the Btn have been commited,  As your troops are killed and or suppressed, you may take them off the table and reform into platoons/companies to enter as a new company on the table behind the lead troops. This represents the fact that the Americans were facing a DIVISION. Your  Mortars are at the end of your Battalion column and it takes 1hour, 40 Minutes -5 initiatives (moving Clock – see below) before the FOs to move on  table. The company HMGs arrive with their companies, the Btn HMGs when the whole Btn. has been committed.

The moving Clock (as in Hit the Dirt) is in effect. Game start is 1120 hrs and the clock advances 1/3 hr after every American Initiative in which a 5 or 6 is rolled on a D6.

The Americans win a minor victory if they have 50% of their forces not suppressed or dead by 1340 hrs. They win a major victory if they still meet these conditions by 1440 hrs.


North Korean Infiltration Sept 1950
In September 1950 the United Nations forces were defending the Pusan perimeter and building up for the breakout. That period saw major guerilla activity and infiltration  of UN rear areas by the North Koreans. The early morning of Sept, 3 1950 the N. Koreans surprised A Battery, 64th Field Artillery Btn in an attempt to overrun the guns and destroy them. The Americans were able to fight them off in a hard fought nose-to-nose action.

This is a small company size action suitable for 2 players.

It is 0245, defend your guns and hold your position until dawn  (0500)

Set on FIRST within the blue-dotted area shown on map.
Only Buildings SOUTH of the Chinjin-Masan road may be occupied by 1 Sqd ea.
Each 105 mm Howitzer is dug in and the emplacement may be occupied by 1 Sqd.  The HMGs may also start dug-in

A Battery
CC (+1)(Regular)
6 105mm Howitzers. w/1 sqd. ea. as rifle armed crew (Green)
Equivalent of 2 platoons of rifle armed crew (Green)
Platoon A
            1 PC (+1)
3 gunners/rifle squads
Platoon B
            1 PC (+0)
3 gunners/rifle squads

2 communication Squads w/rifles(Green)

1 M16 Quad ½ track mtd MG
This weapon was poorly maintained – if a pair of 1’s show up on any roll of the hit dice for this weapon, it jams and is useless for the rest of the game.

Possible Reinforcement.
Reinforcement arrives at the beginning of the American initiative listed. Roll a D6 for a 5-6. If reinforcement does not arrive, dice at the beginning of each subsequent initiative.
2 FM of 155MM anywhere on ridge line at 0415 or later.
1 M4 E8 tank arrives from the West at 0430.

It is 0245, attack and destroy enemy guns before until dawn  (0500)

You will split your force into 2 groups, equal in size as may be. They will attack from 2 of 3 possible directions from off table. From the North, South or West.

Set on SECOND and you have the Initiative.

1 CC(+1) (All Veteran)
 2 HMG
1 80mm Mortar w/FO and 10 FM
4 paltoons ea. w/
1 PC(0)
3 Rifle Sqds.

Possible Reinforcement.
Historically,  American ammo was hit by gunfire and caught fire illuminating much of the American position. At the beginning of the 0345 initiative or subsequent initiatives, roll a D6 a 5+, the ammo illuminates the American set on area except only inside the hill. Illuminated targets no longer get the one Die night cover. All other night fighting rules apply.

Night fighting: As per Hit The Dirt

Moving Clock is in effect: Whenever the American loose the initiative, roll a D6. The clock advances 15 minutes for a roll of 5+

The Pusan Perimiter, August 1950
HILL 303
Based on an actual battle that took place on the Pusan Perimeter Aug 14-17, 1950. The action started at 0800 on the 15th with the Americans holding out until they managed to break out late in the evening of the next day. Obviously a Cross Fire game representing 36 or more hours would be a little daunting – so I reduced the forces available and have set the end of scenario time at 1000 hrs on the 14th, a game length representing 14 hrs.
TERRAIN NOTE: Fields are IN SEASON, Houses hold 2 stands (CO, Observers do not count), 
Mission: To break through and relieve Coy G, 5th Cav Rgt that has been surrounded by the North Koreans and are in danger of being overrun.

Forces Available:
            Co B, 5th Cav Rgt. REGULARS
                        CO (+2)
                        1 HMG
                        1 76MM RR w/ Prime Mover
                        3 Platoons ea. with
                                    1 PC (+1)
                                    3 Inf Sqds
                        1 Mortar Platoon
                                    1 PC(+0)
                                    2 60mm Mortars
            Co C, 5th Cav Rgt. REGULARS
                        CO (+2)
                        1 HMG
                        1 76MM RR w/ Prime mover
                                    3 Platoons ea. with [EU1] 
                                    PC (+1)
                                    3 Inf Sqds
                        1 Mortar Platoon
                                    1 PC(+0)
                                    2 60mm Mortars
            Tank Platoon
                        3 M4 Shermans

            Support Artillery:
                        3 4.2" Mortars 12 rounds each. w/ 1 FO ea.

Company G will place first followed by the North Koreans then these US Forces will enter the EAST end of the table.


Co G,  5th Cav Rgt.
You set on first within the BLUE dotted lines on Hill 303. You have had heavy casualties and are completely surrounded by the North Koreans. Your mission is to survive and to break out to the East where friendly forces are moving towards your relief.
All your units start DUG IN But once a stand moves it looses the Cover defined by DUG IN.

Co G,  5th Cav Rgt. REGULARS
            1 CO (+2)
            1 HMG
            2 Platoons ea. with
                                    1 PC (+1)
                                    2 Inf Sqds
            1 Platoon. with
                                    1 PC (+1)
                                    2 Inf Sqds
                                    1 3.5” Bazooka Sqd
            2 60mm Mortars
            3 sections of Barbed Wire
            1 Minefield


Mission: Destroy the enemy position on Hill 303 but maintain the strength of you units as they are needed in a planned attack into the NAKONG BULGE. You place your troops second (after CO G) within the dotted red lines and have the initiative. Your tank force will come over the bridge over the Nan river to the west on the 0930 initiative. There is an enemy buildup of armor and infantry to the EAST.
            1 Btn CO (+2) (REGULAR)
            2 HMG
            Co A
                        CO (+1)
                        3 Platoons ea with
                                    1 PC (+0)
                                    3 Inf Sqds
            Co B
                        CO (+1)
                        3 Platoons ea with
                                    1 PC (+0)
                                    3 Inf Sqds
            Co C
                        CO (+1)
                        2 Platoons ea with
                                    1 PC (+0)
                                    3 Inf Sqds
                        1Platoon ea with
                                    1 PC (+0)
                                    3 SMG Sqds
            1 120mm Mortar (12 Missions) w/FO
            1  80mm Mortar   (12 Missions) w/FO
            Tank Platoon:
                        4 T 34 Tanks

The Americans win if they can get a platoon of infantry into the Co G positions, or if at least 4 elements of Co G pushes through the NK position to the East.

The Moving Clock is in effect. Roll a D6 after each American initiative loss. A 5+ and the clock advances ½ hour. If the clock does not advance for two initiatives in a row, the die roll requirement moves to 4+ until there is a clock advance, then it reverts to 5+. The game starts at 0800 and ends at 2200. Night fall is at 2000 hrs.

Initiative. There is ONE initiative for the Americans. The relieving force commander will decide which of the 2 American forces get the initiative or when and if one force will pass it on to the other.

Night. Nightfall is at 1000 hrs. The night fighting rules of Hit The Dirt then apply.
ED NOTE: Le Shako, a wargame club in France has published a scenario and battle report based on this one - see: