What is Crossfire?

Crossfire Rulebook Cover

Crossfire - The Rulebook.

Crossfire is one of those ‘inspirational’ games that once you ‘get it’ I think you never really look to go back. The fact that as a games system it makes you generally make the same decisions and actions that you would in real life, rather than what is perceived the most effective rules choice, makes it an intuitive natural system that rewards realistic behaviour, and as such becomes increasingly involving. Crossfire was written by Arty Conliffe partly in response to a challenge to design a set of rules with no fixed turns or measurements – Crossfire is the result. While other notable authors in the past (namely Jack Scruby and Paddy Griffith) pursued similar ideas (e.g. the variable bound for instance), Arty has been the first to take it to a natural conclusion into a fully playable commercial design. Crossfire also goes that extra step to provide the right amount of abstraction, something earlier authors struggled with as they were constrained with the self-imposed linear nature of their designs…

My regular opponent Kieran and I are both keen devotees of Crossfire and we are expanding its reach from just WW2 to play everything from the SCW (Spanish Civil War) to the Modern era.

Apart from what’s here at Wargaming.info there is a very good discussion of time in Crossfire and a FAQ page in Steven Thomas’s balagan, and advice for new players, several scenarios, and errata for Hit the Dirt in Nikolas Lloyd’s aspects. You’ll also find some great ideas for Meeting Engagements, Artillery Fire Plans, Universal Carriers and lots of inspirational photos at Tim Marshall’s Toys and there’s some really wonderful inspiration in the painting and models of Paul Ward at Matakishi’s Tea House (including ‘Dad’s Army for Crossfire’ and a set of rules for Commando Raids in Crossfire). And don’t forget the Official Crossfire Website right here at Wargaming.info.

Hit The Dirt Cover.

Hit The Dirt scenario book for Crossfire

Hit the Dirt Crossfire (HTD)

Hit the Dirt is the official Crossfire Scenario book, and it adds several additional rules for Crossfire with additional terrain types and such. We periodically play HTD scenarios and you will find accounts of some of our HTD games in the CF Game Reports section of this site.

World Crossfire Day

On the 04 April 2009 over 50 people in 7 Countries participated in an ambitious plan to play 19 games of Crossfire on the same calendar day, that not only formed part of a campaign of related scenarios, but that were also linked and each game would have flow on effects to the forces and events in the subsequent games! In effect there would be almost 36 hours of constant Crossfire Wargaming around the globe, with the result of each game affecting the conditions of the next. It was a huge success and we believe it’s also the first time anything like it has ever been done with wargaming. Read more about WCFD and the games and campaign here on the World Crossfire Day 2009 Page.

Arty Conliffe announces Crossfire II

AB Figures German Infantry.

German Infantry - AB Figures from my collection.

In 2009 Arty has taken the opportunity, with the success of World Crossfire Day, to announce that he is working on Crossfire II. It is not intended to rewrite the rules, but primarily to update them with any errata and also review how Vehicle’s operate in CF (and as needed the AT Fire process). The intent of the original rules will be clarified (such as vehicles & guns will all be represented at 1 model is 1 vehicle/gun as Arty originally intended, and the current slightly abstract features, such as APCs carrying 3 squads, will be revisited). An additional new facet may be added to the rules to help delineate Company Boundaries if it improves the game, so as in real life units may have to stay within their designated zones of the battlefield. It is envisaged the existing rules will still be compatible with the new as the main parts & mechanics of the existing rules system will be unchanged so players with original versions shouldn’t have any issue playing games with players who have Crossfire II. All going well Arty hopes it might be possible to publish the new version by sometime in 2011.

Crossfire House Rules & Tweaks

Just about everyone tinkers with Crossfire! Some just add special rules for unusual events, others incorporate their own vehicle or AT rules, or even more. In fact I’ve been through nearly the lot, including about 8 different variants of AT fire, 3-4 different systems for vehicle movement, alternate Sniper rules from those in the rulebook, More detailed Artillery Weapon stats and effects, playing at what’s called 1:1 scale (where a stand becomes a fire team of 4-5 men or an LMG team of 3 men, instead of just a Squad of 10 with the LMG as in the rules), and more. The irony is after nearly 10 years of tinkering I have almost entirely come back full circle to play the original rules as written!

Mi-24 Hind D targets a Challenger MBT.

Mi-24 Hind D targets a Challenger MBT.

At present the only things I am tinkering with are expanding the Armour & AT Stats for AFVS and Guns for AT fire as per the rulebook, and a way to make vehicle movement a bit more practical. Once I have my latest ideas more organised I’ll start posting them up here.

I’m also happily using Crossfire as written for the modern period, for games set in the 1980’s (Falklands War) and 1990’s (Yugoslav Civil Wars). I can happily report they work fine for the modern period too, simply by readjusting what a standard ‘Rifle Squad’ in Crossfire (the most common troop type) represents (i.e. a Squad with Automatic Weapons and M60 LMG or such) you can easily use the rules exactly as written for Modern Conflicts…

More Crossfire Inspiration

I highly recommend the following sites for more Crossfire inspiration, ideas, scenarios, and more…

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