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CoC compared to Crossfire

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:00 pm
by OT Tom
Hello Everyone,

I don't think this has been asked, sorry if it has.
I have become quite aware of TFL games since binge listening to the Meeples and Miniatures podcast. I recently heard the episode in which they visited Lard island to talk about CoC. The interview got me quite interested and very tempted to dig out my sadly dusty WW2 minis and give CoC a try.

I was/am a VERY big fan of Arty Conliffe's Crossfire rules especially for their fluid movement, lack of turns and enjoyable opportunities to try real world tactics. I get the feeling that CoC and Crossfire are different scales (company vs platoon) but was wondering how CoC and Crossfire compare as rule sets especially in terms of their mechanics?

I have however very recently splashed out on Dux, also M&M podcast's fault, so am reticent to buy another game so soon but am always open to being persuaded. Maybe I could get a copy at Hammerhead for my 3 year old daughter who I am hoping to take along. Bedtime reading perhaps? ;) ...

Many Thanks

Re: CoC compared to Crossfire

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:38 pm
by Archdukek
It's been a very long time since I played Crossfire and then only a couple of times so I can't offer you a direct comparison. However, here are a few observations about Chain of Command.

First Chain of Command is a platoon level not a company level game so is at the same scale as Crossfire. "I Ain't Been Shot Mum" (IABSM) is TFL's company level rules although there is a free supplement Big CoC which allows you to play with multiple platoons as a multi-player game.

CoC is played as a series of phases within a Turn with the possibility that one side may retain the Initiative over multiple phases if it rolls 2 or more '6's on its Command dice. The Command Dice mechanism introduces a realistically high degree of friction into the game which means you won't always get to move every unit each phase and you need to be prepared to exploit opportunities when they arise as you do in Crossfire.

Movement distances are random. Leadership and the role of Leaders is critical.

The rules encourage the use of historic forces and reward the use of historical tactics. To my mind they are the best set of rules for WW2 platoon level action on the market bar none and well worth the purchase price.

Finally if you search on the Lard Island Blog you will find some links to the Yahoo videos which the authors made which explain how the rules work.


Re: CoC compared to Crossfire

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:58 pm
by OT Tom
Hello John,

Thank you for your reply. Yes I am reading very good things about the rules. I'll have a look for the videos.
I like the idea that there aren't set turns and movement is more random. You shouldn't be able to see a surprise attack coming which from the discussion in the podcast these rules cater for.

What aspects do you particularly enjoy/value from the games?


Re: CoC compared to Crossfire

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:08 pm
by Seret
CoC turns are a bit more variable, but the game is essentially IGOUGO.

Each player rolls their command dice and then uses the results to activate units. The enemy has some ability to make some out-of-sequence actions like occasionally interrupting, but the normal run of play is one side activates some units, then the other side does. Occasionally one side will get two or more consecutive phases before initiative switches back to the other side.

CoC's main innovation is it's deployment mechanic. Everything starts in reserve, and when the player chooses to they'll deploy onto the table through "deployment points" that were grabbed in the pre-game patrol phase. There are no "deployment zones" and you don't spend the first hour of your game shuffling everything from the baseline into contact. You start in contact, and it all simulates fog of war and the empty battlefield very elegantly. There's a real value to reconnaisance. Particularly when you're attacking your first job is to actually find the enemy. Likewise when you're defending you'll want to hold your troops off-table as long as possible and you've got the ability hit-and-run ambushes (great for man-portable AT weapons).

Re: CoC compared to Crossfire

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:17 pm
by MLB
While I like Crossfire it can be a bit vanilla at times, in the sense any company A could be fighting any company B (insert nationality of your choice) and aside from the Command rules there is little else to reflect different doctrine, tactics or unit structure. CoC offers a more subtle nuance here and that's what makes it more appealing to me. So you still have the importance of leadership, command and unit cohesion, but you have it in a way that better reflects national characteristics.

While Crossfire's lack of turn structure adds excitement and tension it can be a little too free wheeling at times. I'm thinking of things like the defender all under No Fire while the attacker has unlimited freedom of movement, or the close combat rampage in a building complex when an attacker never runs out of steam going from one sector to another wiping out defenders while suffering no apparent adverse effect to themselves. CoC adds elements of the unexpected and has times when one side can enjoy multiple phases but in a slightly more plausible structure, so the player doesn't have total control but doesn't feel events are totally beyond control. CoC's premise is based on rewarding the player who can best impose some plan and order on the chaos and I think it manages to strike that balance very well.

Personally, I haven't played a game of Crossfire since I discovered CoC.

Re: CoC compared to Crossfire

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:30 pm
by OT Tom
Thank you both for your replies I am definitely starting to see the appeal to the system.

The deployment phase did indeed sound like an interesting feature I was intrigued to know more about.

As has been mentioned Crossfire has a nice 'you set up wrong and are out manoeuvred then you might not touch your toys' system but I think CoC offers a more satisfying game as even the best set up side may snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Re: CoC compared to Crossfire

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:34 pm
by mgluteus
I play both CoC and CF. They offer the different experiences you would expect from commanding a platoon vs commanding a company or sometimes a battalion. I don't agree with MLB that there is no variety! There are there are the variety of Green/Regular/veteran units and the command differences between US, German British and Russian troops. OR in my Korean war games in CF between Chinese, North Korean, US and South Korean troops. Also CF allows any astute scenario designer to manipulate the morale status and command capability of the units involved. Just visit ... fireh.html and to saee some of the possibilities. That said I love CoC and game it about as often as I do CF.
Dick Bryant

Re: CoC compared to Crossfire

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:41 pm
by Archdukek
Since you ask I do like the way that CoC captures the sense of the empty battlefield which Seret refers to. It does reward good reconnaissance and sound planning but is never predictable. If you use good tactics then you stand a better chance of success but nothing is guaranteed.

It also encourages you to try different tactics depending on the army you are fielding while the national characteristic rules add flavour without dominating the game.

I also enjoy the fact that it is predominantly an infantry game with tanks and other vehicles providing support not ruling the roost.

Re: CoC compared to Crossfire

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:15 am
by MLB
One other thing well worth mentioning are the pint-sized campaigns. These are well supported by the Lardies and give an extremely satisfying gaming experience that forces you to consider the longer term implications of your actions. Fighting to the death might win you a scenario but could leave you in bad shape for the battles to come. There are more in the pipeline and unlike Crossfire CoC gets a lot of ongoing support from the publisher.

Re: CoC compared to Crossfire

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:01 am
by Greg Bradfield
Tom if you are looking for a platoon sized skirmish game without the old predictable IGOUGO system, with a fog of war type condition created through its unique Patrol phase mechanic, its activation system whereby units are activated as teams or squads or leaders according to the dice that have been rolled and finally the force moral system then CoC is your go to game! I enjoy games that have unique mechanics and that is what drew me to Crossfire and now to CoC. As mentioned above two different games so one cant compare.