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Subject: For the Love of God, please change the "Middle of the Stream" rule :-P rss

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Chandler Braswell
United States
Biloxi
Mississippi
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Ok, this is only half joking but as the rules are currently and in the posted revised rules, a unit has to ford to move out of a stream forwards OR backwards.

Lt (probably British): Urm, Perkins it seems to be rather wet all of the sudden
Perkins: Yes sir, we, um, seem to have wandered in to a stream
Lt: Fine, every one back up
Perkins: well sir, that would work in theory and we do currently hold four movement cards all with red RNC's but none of them are a ford so we have to try for a black draw
(four red draws later)
Lt: Perkins, how in the Hades did we get to the middle of this stream with no one noticing?

Hated this rule since I learned how it really worked at my first Avaloncon and the dangers of teaching myself the game and then teaching everyone I played where reinforced.
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Rich James
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Like a lot of things in Up Front, the Stream terrain is abstracted somewhat. Just think of it as you've stumbled upon a stream that blocks whichever direction your ultimately ended up going. Like a fate card, I guess - "We were at range 3 and attempted a lateral group transfer to C, but we stumbled into a stream that we had to ford before retreating to that sturdy building at range chit 2."
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Tim Stellmach
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I can't figure out why you even play Up Front. The whole game is like that. Why single out this one thing?
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Rob Rob
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If you have to have "logic" in such an abstracted game, I suppose you could say the longer it takes to cross a stream = the wider it was.

You can't wade in and decide halfway across, "oh, I want to go back" and instantly appear back on the bank. If you really felt the need to reconsider, you could house rule it "moving back out of a stream doesn't require a ford card" but I'm not sure that really helps the game.
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Martin Gallo
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Robrob wrote:
If you have to have "logic" in such an abstracted game, I suppose you could say the longer it takes to cross a stream = the wider it was.

You can't wade in and decide halfway across, "oh, I want to go back" and instantly appear back on the bank. If you really felt the need to reconsider, you could house rule it "moving back out of a stream doesn't require a ford card" but I'm not sure that really helps the game.
I absolutely agree with this.

Except that the depiction on the card is just a little stream.whistle

Remember that this is what I call "penalty terrain" and is meant to hinder your movement.
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Chandler Braswell
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Hum ok so now I can see that like wire it just simulates a problem. I guess I can reconcile the having to play a ford to go backward as time wasted trying to find a way forward. Still feels a little silly that when the stream appears your troops are in the middle.
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Martin Gallo
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Bad leadership?

Flash flooding?

Too busy thinking about home?

Running from a bear?

"I thought it was smaller than this"/"It looked smaller from the bank"

Practice for Vietnam.
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Chris Montgomery
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Robrob wrote:
If you have to have "logic" in such an abstracted game, I suppose you could say the longer it takes to cross a stream = the wider it was.

You can't wade in and decide halfway across, "oh, I want to go back" and instantly appear back on the bank. If you really felt the need to reconsider, you could house rule it "moving back out of a stream doesn't require a ford card" but I'm not sure that really helps the game.


My logic is that it just represents any number of things that could take more time. It's deeper than you thought, your boots get stuck in the mud requiring lots more time to traverse, you have to navigate debris below the water, it's actually a couple streams separated by embankments and you didn't see them all as you began, you go "backward" but get disoriented and have to take a minute to get your bearings, vegetation obscures your sight, but you slow it down because the enemy is near, and any number of other specific events that are simply abstracted into the game - brilliantly abstracted into the game.
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Badger
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There was a stream near where I lived when I was younger that we used to play in and around. Some parts of the bank sloped down gently and other parts were dropoffs of about 5 or 6 feet. Sometimes, part of the bank that had appeared easy to get up would be almost impossible and you'd have to move along the stream, maybe only a couple of feet, maybe quite a way. I suspect attempting to do it whilst carrying a gun and backpack, possibly under fire, would make it harder. The stream in Up Front doesn't necessarily mean you're moving as a unit across a stream. It could mean that one of your guys has slipped down a steep bank into a gully and can't get out easily, it could mean that you find yourselves exposed on the bank, it could be a nice shallow stream with gently sloping banks that hardly causes a problem at all. You don't find out exactly how much of an obstacle it it until you try to ford.
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Orion J.N. Winder
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And the "stream" is one of those great moments in UF; it's Do or Die time. Makes the blood rush trying to extract those lads from a particularly sticky wicket they've gotten themselves embroiled in. Forward under fire? Attempt to retreat abit and approach from another path? Or find a flank to cross?

And it also makes you think twice about moving to that great cover you see later in the game. Wondering if your enemy has been "shorting" his hand abit, laying in a trap for your crossing to seen terrain. Has he been playing out his hand fully, or could he be holding on you?

A stream card is one that almost always make you think twice about the value of using up one of your valueable spots in your hand (unless of course you're the US or French, with really abit more space normally) to hold incase of being able to use later for devistating effects. Too early it's just a speed bump, and at the end manytimes you're more interested in pure firepower or rallys to finish the enemy or to save your bacon.

In our games steam plays and extractions/massacres were several times the stuff for great stories of the game; Heroic stands to dismal defeats. In our minds it could be any one of many problems, traps, mires, or predicaments that one's either gotten oneself into, or was wilely laid by the enemy. I remember one particullarly nasty "snow-covered ravine" (called by my brother, the Russki) as my Germans floundered in the snows of a wicked winter attempting to hunt the bear in his homeland.

Course if you're the very fun challenging Italians, you might just want to call it a day and go for a swim.
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Roar Stensrud
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Man! This sums up exactly what I also think about the stream. Thanks for a great post!

This might be one of those Up Front moments you sometimes come across in real life:



A glimpse from my military service some 20 years ago. The soaked, radio-carrying trooper in the foreground is me after having extricated myself from the stream in the background. We tried to jump from one side to another. An extra 10 kilos of radio didn't help... A good illustration of what a Stream card can be considered to simulate.

The radio still worked, by the way.

R.
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Jason Sherlock
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I think that a lot of us who have grown up in the city have no idea what it is like going through wilderness. You can't just go straight from point A to point B. the terrain just wont let you. Terrain features that you had no idea were there really do just appear in your way. This can be anything from a waterway to a shear drop off that looked perfectly flat 30 meters back.

Also, if you think that a California forest with big spaced out redwoods or firs is indicative of a European forest, you are in for a rude awakening. The trees in some of the French forests grow so close together that a person could barely squeeze between them (without carrying gear). Visibility is pretty much nil. I can only assume that forests in other parts of Europe may be similar.
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Martin Gallo
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After I moved to Missouri, USA from California about fifteen years ago a friend visited one spring. He took one look at the underbrush around here and declared that he would never complain about the MP costs to enter woods hexes in another ACW game for the rest of his life.
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dave Prasse
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jackalope wrote:
I think that a lot of us who have grown up in the city have no idea what it is like going through wilderness.


Very good observation !!

I grew up on a farm , in the rolling hills of N.IL ...
played "soldier" with a .22LR rifle and walkie talkies and backpack , growing up ( I saw Vietnam on the TV every night , those guys were my heroes as I grew up ...)

I guess the abstractions were very easy for me to grasp ....
we had woods ,One place was so thick a person could hardly move , next , spot , just a few yards over , one had clear vision for hundreds of yards ...

the creek was the same as described above ... eroded banks were straight "walls" , shallow approaches could be muddy silty goo one sinks up to your knees in , some places looked like a great "Ford" , but , half way thru , the creek became a 10 ft deep channel fit for swimmig in (slow waters run deep ..)... some places a guy could just splish splash run thru ...

the abstractions are the heart of UF , and they work so well....
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Edward Kendrick
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ChandlerB wrote:
Ok, this is only half joking but as the rules are currently and in the posted revised rules, a unit has to ford to move out of a stream forwards OR backwards.

Lt (probably British): Urm, Perkins it seems to be rather wet all of the sudden ...


Sergeant (probably American): OK, guys, looks like we’re in a STS here …
Private Zechi: Huh?
Sgt: Sub-optimal Terrain Situation, dumbass. So we’re gonna need to do a TRA …
Pvt Ikonowski: Huh?
Sgt: That’s Tactical Retrograde Adjustment … anyone got a Movement card?
Pfc Goldstein: Yep … hey it’s got red on it! I got another here .. but that’s red too …
Sgt: Damn! We got a UMR!
Pvt Donahue: Huh?
Sgt: Unforeseen Movement Restriction – don’t they teach you guys anything at base camp? Look out! Incoming! (half the group gets pinned)
Pvt Sabatini (wails): Sarge! We need a Rally card real bad!
Sgt (quietly): Well now we’re ITS.
Pfc Goldstein: You wanna tell us Sarge?
Sgt: Yeah, we’re In The Shit.
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dave Prasse
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TFSIDCWYR ....

(Thats Funny Shit , I don't Care Who You Are )
 
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