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Subject: First basic game = fail.. what went wrong? rss

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UA Darth
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We played scenario A with all of the basic rules(up to 16 in the rulebook). I was german and she was american. At first it went well.. I moved one group up to range 4 and was one round from winning when I lost a man. Down to only 3 men in each group now, it was impossible for me to win the winning conditions. I would have to win with victory points.

I moved my second group up to 2 to make sure that its opposing group could not hit range chit 4 for the winning condition.

We settled into our positions with defensive terrain and threw wires/snipers as possible. I had 2 groups of 3 and she had a group of 3 and a group of 5. The game devolved into firing.. then opponent rallied... repeat about 5x.

Without the advanced rules of laterally moving, infiltrating, cc, weapon malfunctions, etc... all we were able to do was hope to get enough fire cards to take out more men before the opponent could rally.. but we both had plenty rally cards.. it was hard to muster enough firepower to use more than 2 fire cards...

We gave up knowing that we had 1.5 decks left and the game would have been fire/rally til the end. There was no reason to retreat.. just stay holed up in -2/-3 defenses and fire/rally as necessary.

We could have toughed it out just to add up the victory condition cards... I assume it would have amounted to stacking up on fire cards to use right before the end of the game so that we could reduce the opponent's aggression victory points... I was in higher range positions.. so I guess I could have very well become the winner.. but it had become too repetitive at this point.

Is this typical of the basic game?

I'm guessing we should slowly learn the advanced rules? Should we learn them in order in the rulebook or pick and choose the easiest and most game altering and continue in scenario A(with infiltration, cc, wounded, flanking, circling, and weapon malfunctions)?

Also, in which situations would you use a fire card, look at the modifiers, and choose to withdraw the attack? There is no penalty to attacking even with negative numbers in the basic game.

Thanks!
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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You are missing one victory condition: breaking the enemy squad.

One reason to withdraw a fire attack: when your chance of malfunctioning your machinegun is greater than your chance of hurting the enemy.

I think flanking fire is probably the most important rule to open up tactical possibilities in the basic scenario.
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Dale Martin
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shadow9d9 wrote:
We played scenario A with all of the basic rules(up to 16 in the rulebook). I was german and she was american. At first it went well.. I moved one group up to range 4 and was one round from winning when I lost a man. Down to only 3 men in each group now, it was impossible for me to win the winning conditions. I would have to win with victory points.


The Victory Conditions state that you must "have at least four unpinned Personality cards in one or more non-infiltrated groups.... So getting two groups that included a total of four or more men to the appropriate range and in the appropriate terrain would have satisfied the VC. Additionally, you could have possibly broken your opponent's squad (more than fifty percent losses) and won that way.

Quote:
I moved my second group up to 2 to make sure that its opposing group could not hit range chit 4 for the winning condition.


Good tactic.

Quote:
Without the advanced rules of laterally moving, infiltrating, cc, weapon malfunctions, etc... all we were able to do was hope to get enough fire cards to take out more men before the opponent could rally.. but we both had plenty rally cards.. it was hard to muster enough firepower to use more than 2 fire cards...


The first scenario does play significantly different when all of the rules that you mention get added.

Quote:
We gave up knowing that we had 1.5 decks left and the game would have been fire/rally til the end. There was no reason to retreat.. just stay holed up in -2/-3 defenses and fire/rally as necessary.

We could have toughed it out just to add up the victory condition cards... I assume it would have amounted to stacking up on fire cards to use right before the end of the game so that we could reduce the opponent's aggression victory points... I was in higher range positions.. so I guess I could have very well become the winner.. but it had become too repetitive at this point.

Is this typical of the basic game?


You've now learned the basic concepts of how the game works. The remaining rules should fall easily into place. The first play of the first scenario usually plays out the way it happened to you (when you limit yourself to the programmed instructions).

Quote:
I'm guessing we should slowly learn the advanced rules? Should we learn them in order in the rulebook or pick and choose the easiest and most game altering and continue in scenario A(with infiltration, cc, wounded, flanking, circling, and weapon malfunctions)?


Actually, just reading the rules through Section 21 (which takes you to the next programmed instruction stop) and replaying A Meeting of Patrols with those added rules will give you a better appreciation for what the game entails.

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Also, in which situations would you use a fire card, look at the modifiers, and choose to withdraw the attack? There is no penalty to attacking even with negative numbers in the basic game.


As an attacker, you may wish to cancel an attack (of any value) if you wish to avoid burning cards, thereby hastening the end of the game (due to the time limit). This is especially so when confronting a large defending group in substantial terrain. By at least playing the Fire card, though, you cycle the card through your hand.

It's an awesome game: don't give up on it. Feel free to pm me if you have more questions.
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UA Darth
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Breaking the enemy squad was not forgotten.. it just was insanely improbable.

We decided to finish the game and it came down to hoarding fires so they could be used one after the other if the first one did well enough to pin. She won. I was reduced to 4(german) and she had a total of 6(american).

Keep in mind that both my ranged chits were at 3 and both of hers were at 2.

Flanking(if learned), would not have been possible since maneuverability was gone with only 2 groups and no lateral transfers.

I think we need to learn entrenchments, flanking, circling, infiltrating, CC, lateral transfers, woundings, and weapon malfunctions to make Scenario A interesting... any other rules we should learn that would work fine with Scenario A?

Edit: After reading dmart's post... in retrospect, I could have moved up my 2nd group to range chit 4 early on... I had missed the part that said that it could be in more than 1 group.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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shadow9d9 wrote:
We decided to finish the game and it came down to hoarding fires so they could be used one after the other if the first one did well enough to pin.


This is a fundamental tactic.

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Flanking(if learned), would not have been possible since maneuverability was gone with only 2 groups and no lateral transfers.


You don't need lateral transfer or more than 2 groups to get flank fire on a group. Frex, Group A can get a flank fire on enemy Group B by playing a Move card to move laterally (without a change in Group ID chit) that has a "FLANK" indicator on it. Group A would then have double firepower against enemy Group B until either one moves (Group A could still play new terrain). This is a key tactic to force an opponent out of excellent terrain.
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UA Darth
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sdiberar wrote:
shadow9d9 wrote:
We decided to finish the game and it came down to hoarding fires so they could be used one after the other if the first one did well enough to pin.


This is a fundamental tactic.

Quote:
Flanking(if learned), would not have been possible since maneuverability was gone with only 2 groups and no lateral transfers.


You don't need lateral transfer or more than 2 groups to get flank fire on a group. Frex, Group A can get a flank fire on enemy Group B by playing a Move card to move laterally (without a change in Group ID chit) that has a "FLANK" indicator on it. Group A would then have double firepower against enemy Group B until either one moves (Group A could still play new terrain). This is a key tactic to force an opponent out of excellent terrain.


With a flank card, yes.. but not by maneuvering from a range 4 to 5 and back to 4... I had forgotten the flank card.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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shadow9d9 wrote:
With a flank card, yes.. but not by maneuvering from a range 4 to 5 and back to 4... I had forgotten the flank card.


You will see FLANK move cards used much more than "natural" flanking fire.
 
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James Fung
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shadow9d9 wrote:
I think we need to learn entrenchments, flanking, circling, infiltrating, CC, lateral transfers, woundings, and weapon malfunctions to make Scenario A interesting... any other rules we should learn that would work fine with Scenario A?

* Entrenchments are pretty easy to learn and use.
* Flanking will probably improve the scenario the most, as it sounds like your largest problem is not getting the firepower to use those big fire cards to pin men.
* Circling probably won't come into play. Up to you.
* Infiltrating and CC can make those last ditch plays to prevent RR4 victory condition exciting. Go for it, though I still wish they were more streamlined.
* Lateral transfers might be interesting. The Germans probably setup 4-6 with the LMG in B, right? The US can setup 2-6-4 and transfer C out to D and try to run it in.
* Wounds: I never liked these rules. Another thing to forget and doesn't add much to the game, I feel.
* Weapon malfunctions may also be a good addition. You can save cards to make your move when your opponent's MG malfs.

A couple other suggestions: since you got to R4 in about a deck, it sounds like you were moving pretty boldly and your wife missed an opportunity to throw a spanner into the works. Had she saved a couple cards (with the 6-card US hand, she can afford to save cards) like Stream, Wire, or Marsh, you could have found yourself in big trouble.

Also, instead of playing Scenario A again (it seems like you have the rules down), you can continue the programmed instructions and play Scenario B. Machine pistols and high relative ranges will make for some tense, high firepower situations.

Good luck.
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Nick Avtges
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shadow9d9 wrote:
Breaking the enemy squad was not forgotten.. it just was insanely improbable.

We decided to finish the game and it came down to hoarding fires so they could be used one after the other if the first one did well enough to pin. She won. I was reduced to 4(german) and she had a total of 6(american).


Not sure I get this...you say breaking the enemy squad is insanely improbable and then go on to say how the German squad was broken! And the American squad was nearly so. I think you're missing the forest for the trees here. Yes, there are other rules out there that you are going to want to learn and add to the game, but this sounds to me like a very exciting and tense game. All groups in good terrain, but at RR5, so big fire attacks going back and forth. That sounds like a big success to me. And the fact that you are eager about adding more rules makes it even more so.
 
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Up Front isn't any fun before scenario D, which adds the infiltration and close combat rules if I remember correctly.

And it only truly shines after you add in the vehicles, because only then you can do things like blowing up a Sherman with a Panzerfaust, which was the highlight of the best scenario I played so far. I guess it was F with an outnumbered German force defending against an American tank patrol.
 
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Richard Irving
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shadow9d9 wrote:
With a flank card, yes.. but not by maneuvering from a range 4 to 5 and back to 4... I had forgotten the flank card.


Me thinks, you don't Natural Flanking down, either. You do not naturally flank a group by moving backwards, you must move forward to "RR6". (The rules say you advance from RR5 to RR4--but RR4 in this case applying the adjustment when Range chits total more than 5--When the total on the range chits is more than 6, you subtract that total from 10.)

You also need a group directly opposite the flanked group in order to any type of flamking.
 
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Richard Irving
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Simon Mueller wrote:
Up Front isn't any fun before scenario D, which adds the infiltration and close combat rules if I remember correctly.


You remember completely incorrectly--these rules are actually introduced in Scenario A (2nd play through)

Quote:
And it only truly shines after you add in the vehicles, because only then you can do things like blowing up a Sherman with a Panzerfaust, which was the highlight of the best scenario I played so far. I guess it was F with an outnumbered German force defending against an American tank patrol.


You did not blow up a Sherman tank (or a Tiger, Panther, King Tiger or T34) in scenario F, OR ANY OTHER official scenario. Though these cards are included in the mix, none are used in an official scenario because they would totally unbalnced. (The American attacker in scenario gets a Greyhound.)

The only place where you might see these beast is a DYO scenario and then only as a 4th deck reinforcement, since they cost too much.
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Roar Stensrud
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Not entirely correct. You DO get to play with the T34 and Sherman in scenario G "Block Clearing". And if you can get your hands on a particular # (I don't remember the exact # but I have it in my collection) of "The General", you can try out some really exciting 3-player scenarios involving both the JS2 and the "King Tiger", as well as about any other "big bang" equipment in the game. Artillery and Infantry guns to mention some.

R.
 
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Hmm, it sounds as if there should be plenty of firepower available, at RR5?

One possibility may be to combine several fire cards in one attack - we find that attacks at fire strength 6 or greater start to get lethal, even against -2/-3 terrain.

Another opportunity which you mentioned is 'cross-fire' - fire from a first group causing pins, and then fire from the second to hopefully get some routs. Sometimes it's good to play the weaker fire card first (since it may draw out Concealments, and if no pins are caused then the second fire card might be withheld).

If the German is able to fire and cause pins, and then immediately discard a wire card onto that enemy group, that tends to be bad for the enemy's health (especially if another fire card is available in the next round)

The American on the other hand has the option to pass for quite a few turns and gather quite a strong fire hand to greet the Germans when they decide to come forward...

But yes, there seem to be times when the enemy is strangely silent when you go forward, and others when you're cut to ribbons despite being in good cover!

(One rule which we played wrongly for the longest time in Scenario A was allowing buildings to be played before the first 5 were removed! blush So that made our early games less lethal too)

shadow9d9 wrote:
Breaking the enemy squad was not forgotten.. it just was insanely improbable.

We decided to finish the game and it came down to hoarding fires so they could be used one after the other if the first one did well enough to pin. She won. I was reduced to 4(german) and she had a total of 6(american).

Keep in mind that both my ranged chits were at 3 and both of hers were at 2.
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