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Subject: “501 City Fight in Four”, US vs. Italians. Viva Italia! rss

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Roar Stensrud
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Having played at least 30 historical campaigns during the last couple of years, my friend and I decided to try our hands on DYO Up Front in the shape of the excellent “501 City Fight in Four”-system.
When deciding what to play, we’re both very fond of letting fate decide for us. And I have even devised a simple system for random picking of historical campaigns. For this scenario we also decided to randomly draw sides based on the “Random Scenario Selection” system. Only we did know what scenario to play… We also decided to let in the French and Italians on the scheme as they’re usually left out.
My friend ended up with the Italians whereas I drew the Americans. With a smirk on my face I thought “cake walk”. Had I said it out loud, it would have fit nicely in the “famous last words” selection…

We picked out our forces and set up. I started the game with nine men. Group A was composed of Cpl. Shelly (this must be a pun…) crewed by a morale 2 man. Group B was my fire-group composed of one BAR and four rifles. No man with less than morale 3. And in Group C I placed Sgt. Burnett and the early model Bazooka. Just in case I faced some armor from the start. As of reinforcements, I planned to enter Cpl. Hull with a FS5 Radio, accompanied by a high morale MP in deck 2. And deck three would see the arrival of the M8 HMC. It’s adequately armored considered that it would face Italian armor, which is mostly a selection of rolling junk. And its effect number of 4 should, in my mind, prove more than good enough to rout and panic enough of the Italians during the two last decks.

The Italians set up in four groups. Group A and C were quite similar in composition, both consisting of some rifles and an LMG. However, group C also contained a FS7 Radio. I didn’t worry too much about that one, considered the low amount of Radio-cards useable by the Italians (my friend had not chosen the Bersiglieri-option). Group B was the most threatening in my eyes, as it consisted of rifles along with the MMG and the ATR. Group D was no threat at all with only two lousy riflemen.

Then it was time for initial terrain. I got nothing, but the Italians managed to set up the MMG-group on a Hill and their group C in a building. This proved to be the shape of things to come.

We started to play and -horrors- the Italians actually opened with a useable Radio-card! The barrage bore in and killed two and pinned three of the five men in my Group B. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the bastards opened fire from the Hill, routing two of the pinned men in B. So now, after the Italian first turn, my fire-group was down to only one man. If he too was lost, the yanks would loose. Fortunately I had Rally and the lonesome cowboy in my B was relatively safe. And then Shelly started his shelling. He hit, pinned enemies, and saw the bunch Rally immediately. And then the Italians started to advance with their group C. Quite rapidly they were at Range 2 in a -2 Building and able to start firing. The Italian Group A also advanced while the group on the Hill continued to fire for a while without achieving other than a pin-result from time to time that was immediately rallied. And after some intensive firing on behalf of the Italians, the inevitable happened. The LMG in Italian C and the MMG in B malfunctioned in quick succession. Then I decided that I would have to start taking chances, so I advanced Burnett and the Bazooka to Range 1 in a -3 Building, bringing the two to Bazooka-range (RR3) with Italian C. I fired the Bazooka and the damn thing malfunctioned on the first shot!

About the only American soldier to achieve some success was the shelling Shelly in Group A. After the Italian MMG malfunctioned, he switched fire to Italian A. They didn’t like that very much and decided to try to get within firing range. They advanced to Range 2 and ended up in a stream. Shelly continued to lob mortar-shells into the river and soon after, the Italian Group A was reduced to two pinned men. They were effectively out of the game because an Italian group consisting of only pinned men, is considered surrendered until an unpinned man is transferred to the group. Italian A was, as mentioned, at Range 2, while Italian B was still sitting on the Hill at Range 0. And I figured those guys weren’t intending to go anywhere soon.

The end of deck 1 was now drawing near. Shelly decided to leave his Open Ground position and head for something marginally more protective, a Wall. The lone ranger in B had managed to dig himself a hole below some Brush and Burnett and Spoulos saw the Bazooka draw its last breath during a repair-attempt while the Italians directly opposite the two had advanced to RR4. It was high time to get some more help from the Radio-carrying ASL supposed to enter in deck 2. Unfortunately Shelly managed to tangle himself up in some wire and I had to do some discarding to get a movement-card. I would actually need another movement card to be allowed to enter Cpl. Hull & co as soon as deck 2 opened up, but now the Movement-cards proved to be few and far between. The discarding also led to Shelly loosing sight of the wall he was headed for, and when he finally got rid of the wire, he had to belly-flop in more open ground. Deck 1 ran out. The Italian MMG had recently been repaired and I was out of Movement-cards for my precious reinforcements. The cards were shuffled and deck 2 opened up. It must have been a particularily good day for the Italian artillery, because, like deck 1, the second deck also opened up with the Italians plastering my guys with another artillery-salvo, this time zeroed in on poor Shelly and his companion. Shelly was instantly killed and the game was over due to the American squad breaking. It had been a dark day for the Yankees.

I still think my setup had potential, but with the unusual effectiveness of the Italian artillery, I didn’t stand a chance. The Italians are challenging to play and I was almost certain my friend had gone for the Bersiglieri-option (I know I would have). Hi didn’t, but still played the Italians well. He did have a fair share of luck, but I think his setup was sound (except for the no less than two IGs he was planning to enter in deck 3). And he played his cards really well considering the grave difficulties facing anyone playing the Italians.

R.
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ian morris
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Good report. Sounds like a bloodbath !


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Kevin Reynolds
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Did you create personality cards for the italians, or just write the details down on paper?

Sounds like a good session.
 
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Roar Stensrud
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presence wrote:
Did you create personality cards for the italians, or just write the details down on paper?

Sounds like a good session.


The Italians are found in the "Desert War"-expansion for Up Front:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/3118

This expansion is hard to get nowdays, though.

R.
 
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