Patch came over yesterday for a second day of Up Front. It’s been a while, and neither of us had gotten much chance to read up on it before hand, so we started off a bit slow.

We started with a couple rounds of “City Fight”; I went down pretty hard in the first game with my Germans getting slaughtered by the Russians, and conceded before the first deck was done. The second game went much better, with my Americans in three groups, and two of them got into forward buildings. At one point, I had to pull a group back to get out of demo charge range, but that didn’t last long. On the other flank, my force was a little forward on a hill, and got slowly taken out by infiltration and close combat.

While the initial stages of that went solidly in Patch’s favor, I still had a good central firebase that kept disrupting him, even if it wouldn’t last long enough for me to do much else, but then close combat started going a little more even, and Patch’s force steadily eroded, until he had to concede near the end of the game.

Then we did a round of “Elite Troops on the Attack”, with my SS versus Patch’s Russian conscripts. It began about as well as you could ever hope: I placed a stream on his center group in the opening setup, and then discarded a sniper on that group on the first turn, which killed his light machine gunner, with the LMG sinking into the river….

Things continued well after that, with me tearing up a couple of his groups and causing a number of casualties. As I got closer though, Patch started getting some effective fire, and finally took out a member of my squad. After that, things came apart fast, with me getting ground down, unable to advance, or shake his remaining troops much. I dropped to three people (making a win impossible) somewhere in the third deck, loosing without even managing to go to the second round.

Finally, we tried “Surprise Attack” from Banzai. We’d been looking at other scenarios, but they kept wanting to add more rules than we were looking for right then. This one however just uses fairly basic squads. Patch had the defending Germans, who start all pinned except one rifleman, and he can’t rally until he either takes a fire attack, or manages to make one with his lone man. All buildings are discarded except the ones the defenders start in, and my attacking British had to occupy at least as many buildings as the defenders (which means kill/rout the defenders or capture buildings through close combat…).

We cycled through two thirds of the initial deck before things began in earnest. I naturally wanted to get close before starting things, hopefully from some form of cover. But movement cards just weren’t showing up, and I was still at around relative range 3 that far through the deck when Patch got a shot off to start the actual fighting. By that point, Patch had everything else he needed, and rallied everyone on the next turn. I got a force on a hill, and the firepower bonus from there, combined with a lot of good fire cards started causing him lots of problems. Meanwhile, my other group got stuck at a river, and took forever to get out (still no movement cards…).

As Patch’s position came apart, I did slowly get into motion again. Patch evacuated the last two guys from one group to the main one in a -3 building. This also got his firepower concentrated just as my streak of fire cards came to an end, and my position came apart hard and fast. Notably, as he swept up my flank force, he got a very strong attack on my main force as it got to range 5. I forget just what he attacked at, (12?), but one of the results was a 16! I don’t think we’ll ever see a higher total in Up Front.

As an 8+ is a kill, I ended up with my squad leader pinned and nothing else left, and five Germans still in the last building. Patch infiltrated a man into my position, close combat… and the SL shoots the hun! Patch got a second man in, close combat, he gets another kill! At this point, I finally got a rally card, and managed to infiltrate the German position, killing one of the defenders.

Sadly, after reducing the odds from 5-1 against to 2-1 against, the third deck ran out, ending the game on time, with a loss to me. Still, a great end to what was a surprisingly good scenario!