Sunday, August 21, 2011


Though I have not posted for a while (the usual suspects – work, home repairs, painting fantasy minis and writing on my other blog, etc. – and a not-so-usual suspect – starting play in a pbp Labyrinth Lord game), I have been moving forward with some items related to my WWII project (lots of stuff in progress, nothing finished, rather unusual for me).

"I do one thing at a time, I do it very well, and then I move on."
– Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, 4077 M.A.S.H.

Normally my mantra, but that's definitely not me at the moment.

First, I picked up a copy of the Crossfire rules, read them through, and loved what I saw. So I think these are going to be what I use to couple with the Platoon Forward solo campaign rules.

I've played Red Poppy/White Feather which works on a similar principle, and Crossfire looks even better to me. I have also decided that I want to go with a game where one stand equals one squad. So once I give Crossfire a play test, even if it doesn't work on the table as well as it looks on paper, I can still go with the simpler, more abstract Paper Tigers, my second choice, which uses one stand equals one squad and which I know from experience gives a fun game.

Second, I've primed and started painting more infantry (German at the moment), and hopefully I will soon have a full company of leg infantry ready to go.

Third, I've finally found a piece of felt of the right color that will cover my entire 6' x 4' table (until now I'd only found 6' x 3'). I've also got some additional materials for terrain (of which I will need lots for Crossfire).

Finally, I've gotten the wooden bases I'll need (I'm using 1.5" square bases for my infantry squads) and they're primed camo green and ready for mounting and flocking.

Now the key will be to get focused once again – the plan is to get that German infantry done before tackling anything else.

"I do one thing at a time... I do one thing at a time... I do one thing at a time..."


  1. Thanks for the update. I totally understand the whole problem or lots started nothing finished. Its been a while since I touched any of my WWII stuff. I know I have some figures primed and waiting to be painted, plus some stuff I got in a deal off of TMP. However, lately I've been totally caught up in starting my Dark Age Fantasy campaign. All that to say Im looking forward to seeing the developments in your WWII gaming and hope real life does not get in the way to much.

  2. Ugh, don't talk to me about unfinished projects. I too used to be pretty focused on one project at a time, but I've got several on my plate at the moment. Ah well.

    I played a few games of Crossfire back in the late 90s and really enjoyed it. In the end my group at the time was looking for more detailed 1:1 skirmish rules, so we moved on, but I fondly remember all the CF games I played being both immensely fun and immensely challenging (from a tactical standpoint). The two caveats are: you want lots and lots of terrain; and some people don't care for the simplified vehicle rules. If you care about that, the latter issue has been addressed online if you do some Googling for Crossfire house rules.

  3. Good update, pottering away at my own WW2 project but you sometimes feel you're not getting anywhere between painting, cleaning, priming, basing, varnishing etc....

  4. Love Crossfire and sadly miss it, such a shame it never really got the recognition it deserved...

  5. Dan: Thanks for the encouragement. I've really been enjoying reading about your dark ages campaign, and I'm looking forward to reading more. Of course, when you get back to your WWII stuff, I'll enjoy reading that just as much too.

    Sir Larkins: Nice to know I'm not alone. :) Your reaction to Crossfire confirms how I felt about it after reading through. Fortunately I have most (if not all) of the terrain covered, though I'm planning on doing some rebasing/reconfiguring of certain terrain pieces. As for the simplified vehicle rules, their simplicity is actually one of the things that's drawing me to Crossfire, so no worries there either.

    Lurker: You're absolutely right. Of course, whenever I see more of your models or batches of minis go up, it inspires me to keep chipping away at my own pile of models and minis. One of the things I like so much about the blogosphere is all the inspiration, both in terms of technique and just in terms of motivation.

    Monty: I agree it is a shame. I suppose people like it or dislike it depending on their gaming focus. For me the narrative of the game is becoming far more important than the technical details of weapon ranges, armor thicknesses and rates of fire. So a set of rules like Crossfire (or Paper Tigers, for that matter) works well in my case, since it seems to focus on the "flow" of a battle rather than the technical elements.


Two Up, One Back

"The dominant (though not the only) tactical formation for the infantry in both attack and defense remained 'two up, one back.' This was a product of the triangular organization that the infantry used from platoon to division level. Triangular units had three main 'maneuver' elements (weapons units did not count as 'maneuver' elements). Rifle platoons had three squads; rifle companies three rifle platoons; battalions, three rifle companies; and so forth. This encouraged commanders to place two of their maneuver units forward while keeping back the third so that it could relieve or reinforce a frontline unit."

--John Sayen, U.S. Army Infantry Divisions 1944-45 (28)