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Subject: Session Report rss

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As Rick Thornquist was "hot" to play Up Front again after winning his very first two Up Front games ever, he and fellow Terminal City Gamer Andrew Nick got together at Andrew's place once again to battle it out in Scenario A, familiar territory now for both the novice Rick and experienced Andrew, with the second stage rules from the programmed rulebook. The second stage includes rules on Flanking and Encirclement, Individual and Lateral Group Transfer, Infiltration and Close Combat, Malfunctions and Weapon Repair and Exchange, among others.

In the first game, I took little Ricky to school. Getting cocky with ze Germans, Rick set up in an extremely unconventional 3 groups, with a tiny 3-man "firebase" in Group A (!), another small 3-man group in B, and his 4-man manoeuvre group in C. I asked him if he was sure he wanted to do that, and set up a fairly standard American squad with an 8-man firebase in Group B, and a manoeuvre group including my Squid leader and my 3 weakest morale men in A. Compounding his error in judgement vis-à-vis his initial set-up, Rick further jeopardized his men's lives by rushing them forward without suitable terrain waiting for them, and without so much as a concealment card to cover their advance. After placing his firebase in a stream and gaining flanking fire on it to boot, my firebase proceeded to mow down those as well as the men in his other groups. I broke his squad in one deck without myself suffering a single casualty.

The second game, on the other hand, was classic Up Front, a nailbiter right up to the very end. Rick set up his Germans in the more conventional 6-man firebase in B and 4-man manoeuvre group in A. Taking advantage of the lack of opposing group in C, I set up my 4-man manoeuvre group there, a 6-man firebase in B and my Squid Leader and weakest man in A. The early game was marked by two mistakes on my part resulting in the decimation of my advancing manoeuvre group by the German firebase on a hilltop. I should have set up my manoeuvre group with my ASL so he could lay down smoke, and I should have made a lateral group transfer to D first thing, but, once again, I failed my men, resulting in heavy casualties. With my manoeuvre group reduced to an ineffectual one man, I retreated and transferred the man to my firebase, which itself had suffered a casualty. In the meantime, Rick managed to advance his manoeuvre group up to range chit 2, but suffered a casualty in the process. His firebase then abandoned their hilltop purview to join his manoeuvre group at range chit 2, and himself transferred a man to his manoeuvre group and was once again off and running. At this point, with Rick's groups at range chit 2 and mine at range chit 1, the game slowed a bit. I had to start moving--we were starting Deck 3, and I was going to lose due to time limit. I had some great cards in my hand, however, and didn't want to discard them, so I discarded only one at a time. To my shock and surprise, Rick started moving again. He got his manoeuvre group to range chit 3. I held 2 streams in my hand. He went for it, moved both his groups and they both got hit by streams. I mowed them down, big time. Down to almost half his squad (but with his entire manoeuvre group somehow intact), Rick somehow managed to rally everyone, and his manoeuvre group successfully forded its stream--I was on the verge of defeat! I had but one choice, and that was to infiltrate his group with my Squid Leader. I was successful, and managed to murder his Squid Leader, and was winding up to waste the man that would finally break his squad, when lo and behold, the deck 3 ran out, and the time limit expired. Rick won with a majority of victory points, as he had just managed to pin almost all my guys the previous turn.

Another wild night on the front lines with Up Front! Next week, Scenario B ...
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