top of page

Crossbones 18-20 October 2024

CROSSBONES, 18-20 OCTOBER 2024, at the old Rivers Prison Hospital Complex in Milledgeville, Georgia is a shift from Third Coast’s normal phased force on force style events. TCA Force on force events like Stonebreaker, Starburst, Serious Viking, and Bone Crusher are designed an Area of Operations (the Maneuver Area or the Box) with set terrain objectives for each side to plan an operational strategy against (the how on each side plans to seize and hold terrain objectives for the given timeframe), disseminate the plan to their units, then come Event Day, execute and adjust as the other side fights against them. The TCA Staff has seen both Faction Command Groups develop strategies in terms of how they planned to win, holding certain objectives (OBJs), writing others off depending on the terrain analysis, taking the terrain into consideration and sometimes making bold maneuvers to seize OBJs for a short period of time.

This approach to the maneuver area (or box) often lead to some missed opportunities in terms of where the TCA Staff thought an excellence engagement or battle would occur. It didn’t mean that the Player Staff missed an opportunity or players were shorted, it just didn’t play out like we (the TCA Staff) had envisioned (most times it showed how players applied some unorthodox thinking or had a strategy that we didn’t think of). A classic example was the Valley of Death at Bonecrusher, both times where West and East had a turn to defend the Valley, each side’s Command thought it was prudent to withdraw back into close terrain to better tie down the attacker (the TCA Staff was impressed with this, though we wanted to see an Omaha Beach scenario similar to Starburst II-VI, (Big shout out to Todd T and the rest of the veterans of Sword Beach during the Victoria, Texas days)).

The directed missions or battles allows the TCA Staff much more flexibility in terms of shaping the AO for the player experience. For example, with the normal Force on Force, we couldn’t “flip the Assembly Areas” between phases, without derailing all the hard planning and strategy that the commands had done (it would be like Germany and Russia switching which side of the terrain front they were on during World War II, geography is geography), the directed mission/battle set of Crossbones gives the TCA Scenario Planners that freedom.

Next, moving the Tactical Assembly Areas (TAAs) or hard spawns from Mission Window to Window, allowing for more use of the terrain than the normal force on force. This comes with an investment from the players though, as you cannot mentally check out between phases and just show up late to walk on once a Mission Phase has started (because you won’t know where your hard spawn point is for that fight, let along what the objectives were for that battle period).

What carries over from the TCA Force on Force? What gets reinforced? What is added? Each company (Able, Baker, Chaos, etc) has an aide bag (the blue or grey bag carried by unit leaders) which allows for players who have “bled out” to head over to, use an “IV” and regen forward versus heading to the TAA (tactical assembly area).

The Crossbones format reinforces the use of the aide bags and knowing your unit leadership (it is a military simulation after all). Forward Tactical Command Posts (TACs) are not much more than just the black flag with the colored square (worth 5K in victory points), as the command teams will need to get their TACs out into the maneuver box (goodbye TOC-ma-halls). This is literally taken from the real battlefields as command elements are looking to get small to survive (a very real effort in today’s ground command and control). Think of a couple of ponchos, the flag, clipboards, a Cerberus IPAD, a map, and radios with 4-6 folks trying to track the fight and relay orders. The Faction Admin Tactical Operations Center (TOC) or main command post will still be at the TCA event, just set up in the ADMIN Area, where their Faction Command elements can relay UAV information/video feed, track/coord air support/artillery fires, plus PLAN THE NEXT fight.

The Recon Phase returns! Back in 2016-18, specialty units had what we designed as the Recon Phase, 15 minutes prior to the Main Units STARTEX; TF DARBY, RIPPER, 13th SOF, ROYAL RIFLES, Commandos, Airborne move out to start building the intelligence picture (and denying it) for their Factions.

Additionally, each Mission/Battle will have a staff supported FRAGO; where select staff, as faction supporting forces, will be executing a mission where each side has to either support them or take them down (example, STAFFOR supporting Western defending a radio relay site behind the lines, Eastern must kill the 4 and blow up the radio relay with Tier 1 detonators).

This shift from our traditional TCA Force on Force brings more player experience, uses our Areas of Operations in new ways, and brings in much more “mil to sim,” which our regular TCA Players and new to TCA are looking for. See you at CROSSBONES!


Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page