Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Up Front» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Newbies playing "Meeting of Patrols" rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Jon Grantham
United States
Bowie
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We usually play Euro games -- not out of a dislike of wargaming, but partially out of habit. We made a particular effort to designate this day for war games, since all of us enjoy them to some extent. Because there were four of us and practically every war game on hand is 2-player (another reason we don't play that many war games), we broke down into one game of Up Front and another of Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815.

Paul, our host and the owner of the game, explained the basic rules before playing Napoleon with Martin. Ben (who had played at least once) and I sat down to play Scenario A. We looked stuff up from time to time, or ask Paul a question, but all in all it was fairly straightforward. I feel like I could play again without looking at the rules too much.

I took the Germans, and Ben had the Americans. I set up 3 groups in a 3-4-3 configuration, and Ben set up as 4-4-4. I started out with 2 snipers. The second one got a lucky shot and took out Private Fox from Group A.

None of us drew anything useful early on -- no movement and the fire numbers were too high to do anything. Most of the early turns only involved discarding. Eventually my Group B was able to get off some shots, pinning 3 guys from the American Group B, who were immediately rallied.

At this point, Ben started drawing some movement and pressed forward. I pinned more guys in Group B and made two of them run. (One who had the same last name as Martin, which was the source of much teasing.)

Ben's Group C spent a lot of time in a gully, which meant I couldn't fire at it. Eventually he made it to range 4 (and 3 or 4 with his other groups), so we had about 6 or 7 turns of waiting for him to draw a terrain card so the game could end. (I tried firing on him to no avail.) He finally drew a terrain card and ended the game.

Observations:
*I only drew 3 movement cards the whole game, so I had no way of reaching the scenario objective. I suppose I could have delayed Ben some more until I drew movement, but it's hard to see how.
*Ben won without hitting any of my guys. This seems the wrong way to win a war game.
*If we played this scenario again, we agreed we'd organize in two groups instead of three, to get the firepower higher.
*I'm willing to give it another shot in the belief that an unusual distribution of cards may have made this session seem so flaky.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Reynolds
United States
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
About your observations:
grantham wrote:
Observations:
*I only drew 3 movement cards the whole game, so I had no way of reaching the scenario objective. I suppose I could have delayed Ben some more until I drew movement, but it's hard to see how.

The game is a card driven game, and things like this happens time and again. I do think that you were abnormally unlucky, especially since you were playing scenario A. You might have been able to delay your opponent some with the right card draws, as you could play a Minefield or Stream on one of his groups without him being able to reject it. Since he never had the opportunity to fire at you, rejecting other terrain cards you might play against him probably would have been best.
grantham wrote:
*Ben won without hitting any of my guys. This seems the wrong way to win a war game.

I believe scenario A was just created to get you used to the base ideas behind the game. I admit that the victory conditions are weak, but if you want to think of a rational situation for this to occur, perhaps the groups are advancing to an area of hard cover, like a town or a bunker complex. The first who arrives gets an advantage in the firefight that takes place later.
grantham wrote:
*If we played this scenario again, we agreed we'd organize in two groups instead of three, to get the firepower higher.

You definately will have a better opportunity for combat, but doing this usually causes me problems. You need less movement cards, and less useful terrain cards are necessary, so you definitely move faster. But with larger groups and larger firepower factors, a lucky set of rolls can really ruin your day. Also, when you have a bad situation with movement or terrain it stalls half of your units. I'm not an up front expert though, and it has been some time since I played, so these are really basic ideas. There are absolutely guys out there with more skill and a better understanding of the strategy and tactics for up front.
grantham wrote:
*I'm willing to give it another shot in the belief that an unusual distribution of cards may have made this session seem so flaky.

Yeah, I think that you just had a bad set of draws. Definitely try again. Scenario B (and many others) is a little more interesting.



1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Irving
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
grantham wrote:
We usually play Euro games -- not out of a dislike of wargaming, but partially out of habit. We made a particular effort to designate this day for war games, since all of us enjoy them to some extent. Because there were four of us and practically every war game on hand is 2-player (another reason we don't play that many war games), we broke down into one game of Up Front and another of Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815.

Paul, our host and the owner of the game, explained the basic rules before playing Napoleon with Martin. Ben (who had played at least once) and I sat down to play Scenario A. We looked stuff up from time to time, or ask Paul a question, but all in all it was fairly straightforward. I feel like I could play again without looking at the rules too much.


Even old hands look up rules from time to time. Don't worry about it.

Quote:
I took the Germans, and Ben had the Americans. I set up 3 groups in a 3-4-3 configuration, and Ben set up as 4-4-4. I started out with 2 snipers. The second one got a lucky shot and took out Private Fox from Group A.


You point out below that you would set in 2 groups in the next game. Especially with the Germans. A typical German set ups are 6(lmg & low morale guys) - 4 (high morale) with the goal of advancing to Range 4. The other commonly used setup is 2 (low morale) - 8 (everyone else) with the goal of breaking the opponent or possibly going for a VP win at the end.

Americans usually use 8-4 or 7-5 set ups for this scenario. The Russians since they have a enough men use 2-7-2-4 or 6-2-2-5 set up, to for the opponent to transfer to Group C top cover the flank.

Quote:
None of us drew anything useful early on -- no movement and the fire numbers were too high to do anything. Most of the early turns only involved discarding. Eventually my Group B was able to get off some shots, pinning 3 guys from the American Group B, who were immediately rallied.


Card flow is your friend. Any time you have a cards you cannot use immediately, you should consider discarding them. The Germans should discard any time they have a card left over that they don't expect to use in very near future. The Russians will often discard their entire hand when it fills with relative junk. The Americans have a bit of a problem since can only discard 2 cards when they do no other actions. Often they take this approach: if they can two cards, they should. If they can play only one, unless it absolutely vital do soemthing RIGHT NOW, like rally a bunch of men or get into safer terrrain, they should pitch 2 cards.

Discarding is also the only to play cards on your opponent: Snipers, bad terrain (like Streams & Marshes), and Wire (And Minefields in some s ceanarios, but not Sceanrio A.) These cards are very important for slowing down the enemy.

Quote:
At this point, Ben started drawing some movement and pressed forward. I pinned more guys in Group B and made two of them run. (One who had the same last name as Martin, which was the source of much teasing.)

Ben's Group C spent a lot of time in a gully, which meant I couldn't fire at it. Eventually he made it to range 4 (and 3 or 4 with his other groups), so we had about 6 or 7 turns of waiting for him to draw a terrain card so the game could end. (I tried firing on him to no avail.) He finally drew a terrain card and ended the game.


I am assuming his Group C was in the gully at CR 3 and then advanced. If you are range RC 1 in Group B or C, once he had played the movemnent card to move forward, his range chit immediately becomes 4--that puts you at Relative Range 5 to that group. Now you can shoot at his group C! Even if it still in the Gully (Groups in the Gully can be targetted from a Hill of from any group at RR5.)

Also you could infiltrate that Group C when it reached RR5--but beginners often don't use those rules for their first game. Infiltration prevents claiming men in that group for a vixtory at Range 4. The infiltrated men can either double the firepower for one shot OR go into close combat.

Quote:
Observations:
*I only drew 3 movement cards the whole game, so I had no way of reaching the scenario objective. I suppose I could have delayed Ben some more until I drew movement, but it's hard to see how.
*Ben won without hitting any of my guys. This seems the wrong way to win a war game.
*If we played this scenario again, we agreed we'd organize in two groups instead of three, to get the firepower higher.
*I'm willing to give it another shot in the belief that an unusual distribution of cards may have made this session seem so flaky.


Up Front is often won not on killing opponent so much as pinning him down so he can't react effectively.

Some points you may not have been aware of:
- You cannot play any Movement card on nay group if there any pinned men in the group. This includes use of movement for removing wire.
- Terrain placement does NOT require all men to be unpinned for placemnt.
- When you advance or retreat, the Range Chit changes immediately which can effect the firepower the other player can use against that group.
- Wire can be played at any time on an opponent, whether they are moving or not. But if they are moving with wire, they cannot play any terrain (except Open Ground, which would stop their movement) unit they remove the wire.
- There are many ways to win a scenario: Squad Break is always avialable. Otherwise, if the game goes the full distance, VP's (which happens in a patrol scenario) or defender automatic win (in Attacker vs. Defender scenarios) are also available.

Up Front is a great game to learn, I encourage you to keep at it.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.