Commandos for Crossfire
A Royal Marine Commando troop. Figures from Battle Honours. A RM Commando troop consists of two platoons with two rifle squads in each. There is a mortar and a sniper for support. That's less than half the firepower of a regular Infantry company but hopefully the fact that the Commandos are veterans will compensate during play.
A Royal Navy Commando troop. All these figures are from Black Tree Design. A RN Commando troop has three platoons with two rifle squads in each so is a bit better off than their Marine colleagues but doesn't have the mortar or sniper; still veterans though.
Here are the RN Commando canoes. One canoe per platoon to show when they're travelling by water.
Rules for carrying out Commando raids in Crossfire
The main thing about Commando raids is that they happen at night. It is the fact that the Commandos are trained to fight at night and that the troops they’re up against are not that allows a small raiding force to have some chance of success.
Here are my suggestions for night fighting
Firstly, darkness is the Raiders’ friend so all commando forces at night are considered to be in cover (for direct fire purposes only) at all times. It is necessary for the scenario to stipulate any lit areas. Inside a compound or installation could be lit as could any areas with buildings. Being in any lit are negates the darkness cover.
Secondly, Commandos are trained to operate independently so they use the German Movement/Command Control; i.e. a squad does not require a LOS to its commander in order to move.
Thirdly, if all the squads in a Close Combat are Commandos the controlling player receives a +1 modifier.
Fourthly, Commandos do not dice to get hung up on wire.
All this is terribly one sided. How is Jerry to cope with such supermen? Well, the simple answer is searchlights.
Each searchlight is manned by a machine gun squad, either in a tower or at ground level in a prepared position. Squads in towers receive no cover bonus but squads in prepared ground positions will have cover from sandbags. Some may even be in bunkers (bad luck Tommy) as the scenario dictates.
As an action the German player may place a searchlight template, a circle with a diameter of three squad bases, anywhere within the searchlight squad’s LOS. All enemy squads or other stands that the searchlight template touches are automatically pinned and may be fired on by the searchlight squad and any additional squads so long as existing fire team or crossfire rules are followed.
The searchlight template negates darkness but not any other cover bonus. If it is placed wholly on a terrain feature that whole feature is considered illuminated for the purposes of rallying, automatic pins and retreat moves.
It is not possible to make a retreat move away from the searchlight template.
Pinned or Suppressed squads in a searchlight template suffer a -1 penalty to rally attempts.
If a searchlight template is moved away from covering enemy stands by the German player (perhaps in reaction to an enemy move) or removed because the searchlight was destroyed any automatic pins it caused are removed at once with no roll being required.
The searchlight has no effect on squads or command stands inside buildings.
The searchlight has no effect on vehicles.
The searchlight template may be placed as a reaction to enemy movement to aid reactive fire. However the German player needs to make a placement roll to get it on target. Three dice requiring at least a pin result to succeed. If successful the template may be placed anywhere so long as it touches the squad that triggered the reaction and reactive fire may be carried out as normal. If the placement roll fails the searchlight squad and any others that were combining fire with it go to ‘no fire’. The template may then be placed anywhere in the squads LOS by the opposing player.
If the searchlight squad suffers the effects of enemy fire the light is affected also:
Pinned- light goes out, remove the template immediately, but may be turned on again by the German player during his next or subsequent initiatives once the squad has rallied.
Suppressed- light goes out, remove the template immediately. The German may attempt to repair it with a second successful rally roll during their next or subsequent initiatives once the squad itself has rallied. A failed roll will surrender the initiative.
Killed- light is destroyed along with the squad and may not be repaired; immediately remove the template from play.