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Subject: Natural flanking rss

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Ronald Hundertmark
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With no one to teach me, a buddy and I just slogged through the rules for Up Front and tried the first senario. I'm excited for more but the learning curve on this one is mighty steep (granted, I'm a wargame newbie). One question came up that I couldn't quite figure out. My group A moved past my opponents group B (relative range went from 5 to 4) putting me in natural flank position on his group B (and vice versa?). He then played two fire cards with double the firepower per the flank advantage and decimated my squad. He played this from a marsh terrain card. Is this legit? The rules give me the impression that a flank position is driven by a movement card. Can someone shed some light on this one for me. Thanks in advance.
 
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Richard Irving
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Ron 100mark wrote:
With no one to teach me, a buddy and I just slogged through the rules for Up Front and tried the first senario. I'm excited for more but the learning curve on this one is mighty steep (granted, I'm a wargame newbie). One question came up that I couldn't quite figure out. My group A moved past my opponents group B (relative range went from 5 to 4) putting me in natural flank position on his group B (and vice versa?). He then played two fire cards with double the firepower per the flank advantage and decimated my squad. He played this from a marsh terrain card. Is this legit? The rules give me the impression that a flank position is driven by a movement card. Can someone shed some light on this one for me. Thanks in advance.


Flanking is pretty complicated. Probably the most complicated rule--until you get to AFV's and anti-tank weapons.

First, in order to flank an opposing group, you MUST have a directly opposing group (i.e. the same letter) to the group you are intending to flank AND EITHER
1) An adjacent group (i.e. one letter higher or lower) plays a FLANK movement card in sideways mode. (Lateral Flanking)
2) or advancing an adjacent group from RR5 to (what would be) RR6. (I know it gets converted to RR4.) (Natural Flanking)
3) or when your opponent advances an adjacent group from RR5 to RR6.

Situations 2 & 3 can be simultaneous--which seems to be the situation you are describing. So yes you could both groups flanking each other.

It looks something like this:

---> A RC3 RC0 A
B RC0 RC3 B

Black group has just moved forward from RC2 to RC3. Black's group A now has flanked Red Group B (Black has a group B & advaced from RR5 to RR6). And Red Group B also flanks Black Group A for the same reason.

By the way I positioned the text, it should be clear for the reason for natural flanking. The group has opposing groups both "in front" and "behind" it.

If say Black had no group B, then Black Group A would not receive flank fire when it advanced, but Red Group B would!

Play of the movement card allows placement of a Flank Fire chit immediately. (If two possible groups could be flanked, the flank chit must go on one group or the other, not both.) While a flank fire chit is in play, the flanking group's firepower is doubled on the flanked group only. The chit is removed in these situations:

- The flanking group has a movement card played upon it, even to remove wire.
- The flanked group has a movement card played upon it (even to remove wire or attempt to ford a stream.)
- The flanked group has a terrain played up on it.
- The flanking group rejects terrain played on them by the opponent. (This would also cause removal/rotation to sideways mode of the movement card used to create the flank. )
- Elimination or lateral movement away of either the flanking group or the "directly opposite group" required for flanking.

While the movement card the caused the flanking situation is in play the effect of both flanking and movement are in effect and they usually would cancel each other out. But note that if the flanking group does NOT lose the Flanking chit if they have terrain played on them (either play the player or by the opponent)--so generally you play terrain (any type of terrain, even Marsh (usually you choose something better)) on a flanking group to eliminate the movement card effects on firing.

The key point to remember about flanking:
- First you place the chit via either a FLANK Movement card in sideways mode or "Natural Flanking" IF you have directly opposing group to group you are trying to flank.
- So long as the CHIT is present the flanking group doubles its firepower on the flanked group. But get into good terrain first.
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Ronald Hundertmark
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rri1,
Thanks for the detailed explanation. If I understand you correctly, one must initiate a natural flank maneuver with a movement card. This gives one's opponent the opportunity to remove the flanking condition by placing a terrain card on the movement card that initiated the flank maneuver.

So, in our game, I played a movement card resulting in a natural flanking condition. I then should have placed a flanking chit on my opponents group. With a marsh terrain card in play, my opponent cannot claim to flank my group unless he in turn plays a movement card to initiate a flank manuever on my group. This gives me the opportunity to place a terrain card on my flanking opponent or play a movement card on my own flanking condition to disrupt the flank condition.

Is this correct?
 
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Craig Tenhoff
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Ron,

your mixing up two types of Flanking.

Natural Flanking occurs when you move from RR5 past your opponent to RR4 (or lower)

Flanking occurs when you play a sideways movement card that says FLANK. You then place a flanking chit on one of the groups adjacent to your group (i.e. A or C if your group is B), that has a group opposite it (continuing the previous example A or C).

So if the board looks like this

You: A B

Opponent: A B C

Your A can flank B, and vice versa
Your B can flank A, but not C (you have no group C), and vice versa
His C can flank your B

Flanking caused by a movement card lasts until the Target plays a Terrain, Rejects a Terrain, or plays Movement Card (this is from memory so double check your rule book ). Natural Flanking can only be broken by elimination of one of the groups or movement which eliminates the condition (i.e. one of the groups moves so as not behind the other any more).

Trying to move into a Natural Flanking position is usually very dangerous, unless the group your going to Naturally Flank is either: small or mostly pinned. OR you're in a Buttoned Up AFV and can ignore his small arms fire

In either case, the Flanking Group gets double FP when firing on the Flanked Group.

In your case, your opponent could shoot at you with the Flanking Fire bonus because it was Natural Flanking fire. The Marsh would've caused a -1 to the Fire Strength, but I'm sure with the Doubled Firepower he was able to combine a couple of fire cards for a big attack yuk

 
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Jeff Paul
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Um, no...

Quote:
one must initiate a natural flank maneuver with a movement card.


That is correct, to create any type of flank, you must start by moving into that position... but...

Quote:
This gives one's opponent the opportunity to remove the flanking condition by placing a terrain card on the movement card that initiated the flank maneuver.


This is wrong. When you play the movement card, you get into the flank position. A terrain card on the moving group that created the flanking fire opportunity DOES NOT cancel the flank. It just puts them in cover while flanking you.

In order to break flank, the group that is flanked must move (or someone must destroy the group that is flanking it). In the case of flanking fire due to the flank fire card, any move will do.

In the case of natural flanking, you must actually move away from the situation that caused it. IE probably retreat so that there is no longer a group behind and in front of you. In some cases a lateral group transfer might break flanking.

So, the opportunity to "break flank" is by either: moving or killing.

Have fun. Welcome to the game



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Ronald Hundertmark
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Thanks, guys. That makes a lot more sense intuitively. From what I could gather, the rules do not distinguish between breaking natural or card related flanking, so I appreciate the needed clarification.

Craig, you are right about natural flanking being very dangerous. Just as you said, my opponent was able to use two fire cards to cut my group to ribbons. Fun game.
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Andrew S. Fischer
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"Trying to move into a Natural Flanking position is usually very dangerous, unless the group your going to Naturally Flank is either: small or mostly pinned. OR you're in a Buttoned Up AFV and can ignore his small arms fire...."

OR if the flanking group has no group opposite it (which means it will not itself be flanked) -- which is usually the case.
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