Patch and I just finished off another round of Up Front through Vassal on Tuesday (took three weeks, two of which were short sessions). We went for the next scenario in line, F “The Infantry’s Iron Fist”, which features an attack with a squad and light AFV against a squad with LATW. It’s the usual three decks, and the attacker has to get into cover at range 4 with four men to win. I ended up with defending Germans (who get a normal squad, except for using lower-morale leaders, and two panzerfausts), against Patch’s attacking Americans (who have a standard squad with higher-morale leaders, and are supported by an M8 Greyhound AC).

Patch followed my idea from the previous scenario we played, and put his M8 in the middle, so it could provide cover for two infantry groups, with Group A being the ‘strong’ group with six men including the assistant squad leader and BAR, while Group C had four higher morale men (5, 3, 3, 5) led by Sgt. Allen. I split into two even Groups, with A having the assistant squad leader and LMG, while B had two of my best guys with the panzerfausts and a couple of low-morale guys mixed in. We had some initial trouble with the deck shuffling bug, so we just kept individually shuffling it each time.

Patch led off with all three groups Moving up to range 1 at the same time. I responded by pinning two men in A with a Fire 2 (net 2 thanks to that AC…), while Group B also Moved up to 1. Patch moved into Woods with group A, while the other two stopped in open ground. Then his C Fired 1 (net 1 after Concealment) on my B, but only malfunctioned a rifle, while B Fired 2 with the MG on my B (net 3), but only pinned one guy with bad RNC cards (a red 0 was the best he got). I Rallied and A Fired 1 back at the AC for no effect. The AC Fired the main gun at B, and missed only thanks to the fact that B was still moving.

Up Front F1Right after that, Patch’s C Moved up to Range 2 and took cover in some Brush, while my Group B finally found a Wall to hide behind. The AC fired again, hitting (at -1 thanks to the wall) and doing no damage, while C got its rifle repaired. My Group A finally got a chance to Move up to Range 1 and Patch Fired 2 (net 2 after Concealment) to pin the LMG gunner and one other, while Rallying 1 in his Group A. My Group A ducked into some Woods, and then Rallied 2, and then Patch’s A Rallied 1 again for everyone to be in good shape at Range 1, except Patch’s Group C, which was at Range 2.

The AC Fired the main gun at my B again, hitting at a net strength of 1, pinning one man. Group C Moved up to Range 3 and took cover in Woods, while I Rallied my Group B. The AC Fired again (hit: net -1) and pinned a man again. His Group C followed that one up with Fire 3+1 (net 3) routing the pinned man, and pinning two more. I Rallied 1 before the AC Fired its gun again (hit: net -1 again) to re-pin the man who just rallied. This time a Rally 3 took care of the problem, while my Group A Moved up to range 2. The AC fired again, but malfunctioned its gun, as my A moved into Buildings -3 (we’d just burned through four building card removals).

In a better position, my A then Fired 6 at C (net 4) and pinned two men, including the SL, who immediately recovered on Rally 2. My Group B Moved forward to range 2, but got hung up on Wire. Soon after, the AC repaired its gun on the third try, but Group A Fired 4 at it (net 1 after Concealment) to pin it. More Wire was found around my Group A’s position, giving me more trouble with no movement in sight. Group A Fired 2 at C (net 0) anyway, pining one man. C Fired 1 back at my B (net 0 after Concealment) for no effect.

Group B finally got out from under the wire, only to run into a Stream. Patch’s B and C both Rallied 3 to put everyone in good order again. My A Fired 3+2 at C again (net 1 after Concealment) pinning one man, who immediately got a Rally 1. My Group B Forded the stream only to find more Wire waiting for them. The AC Fired at B, which missed, but it was followed up by C Firing 6 at them (net 7 after Concealment…) which killed one (only one!) man outright while pinning two others, including my SL. The last result was a red ‘6’ to malfunction a rifle. Rally All got my two men in good order again, while A Fired 2 (net 0 after Concealment) at the AC for no effect. The AC Fired at Group B again for another miss, followed by my A Firing 1 (net 0) at the AC again for no effect. Patch’s A Fired 1 at my B (net 2 after Concealment) to pin the SL again.

My A Fired 5 at his C (net 2) and pinned his SL and killed the man with the malfunctioned rifle outright with good RNC cards, while Rally 2 took care of my SL. Patch also got his SL in good order with a Rally 1. My A Fired 5 at C again (net 2) and pinned a man while suffering a rifle malfunction. Patch fixed his problem with a Rally 2. Group A Fired 4 at the AC for no effect.

I finally Moved B off of the wire, only to run into a Marsh, and had to fall back to the stream. Patch followed that bit of bad news up with Fire 3 from the AC against B (net 1 after Concealment) for no effect, and a Flanking move from Group C against my B. B then Fired 3 at C (net 1) for no effect. Finally, I Moved the wire off of Group A, shortly afterwards repairing the rifle in that group and getting B to successfully ford the stream again and got them into Buildings this time.

Group A Fired 7(!) at C (net 3 after Concealment) which pinned two men, quickly fixed with a Rally 4. My Group B Moved up to Range 3, and Patch’s A Fired 5 (net 0 after Concealment) for no effect other than malfunctioning a rifle, followed by the AC Firing at B but missing. Group B put themselves on a Hill while Patch repaired his rifle. B then Fired a PF at the AC (RR 4 = 0-1 TH, +1 hill, -2 Concealment), and barely got a hit, and destroyed the armored car!

With the cover from the AC gone, my Group A Fired 1+1 at his A (net 0) to pin two men. Patch Rallied 1, and then B Fired 1+1 at his A (net 0 after Concealment) to pin another man. Patch Rallied 2 to get the entire group back in good order. He then had a Sniper that pinned a man in Group A, but he Rallied on my turn (that was actually about the fifth Sniper of the game, almost all of them Patch’s, but it was the only one that had an effect). B Fired 2 at A again (net 1) and pinned two men, and Patch responded with a Rally 1 before Firing 3+3 at my A (net 0 after Concealment) to pin the LMG gunner.

Group C Moved up to Range 4 and into buildings (Patch later implied this was a mistake when he realized he was going past me and opening the range), while I Rallied my LMG. His A then Fired 4 on B (net 1 after Concealment) for no effect on bad cards (all red). I put some Wire on his Group A, which then Fired 5 at my B (net 3) to pin the entire group. Rally 3 fixed B, while A Fired 2+2 on his A (net 3) to pin two men, kill one outright, and kill the previously pinned man.

Patch decided to preserve his force by putting Smoke on his own Group A, and after a few turns of us cycling cards, I Fired 3+1 with A against his A (net 0 after Concealment) for no effect. Right after that, Patch finally Rallied 1 on his A, and then my B Fired 4 on A (net 1 after Concealment) to rout the remaining pinned man.

Patch managed to remove the wire on his A at that point, but it was also getting late, and Patch decided to concede at this point rather than continue next week. Considering that he was down to six men, and one more loss would be a victory for me, or I would win at the end of the current deck (probably around half of it to go), it was looking very unlikely that he could get me down from eight men to four with his remaining squad. He did have men in cover at Range 4, but there were only three men in the group, and no way to get a fourth in place.

Up Front F2Afterword

Actually, Patch mentioned that he’d forgotten the victory conditions for a bit, and that he’d just realized that he could win by getting C up another 2 Range when my lucky shot reduced the Group to three men.

I had a really bad stretch in the middle where Patch was shutting down all my movement and made Group B very vulnerable. Along with already having lost a man, and the AC burning through every junk Fire card Patch got had me convinced that it was just downhill from there. But I finally cycled Movement cards through to get out of trouble, and then managed to get into position to use PFs. Between woods, and wire, and the cover from the AC, my shots were at -4 against his main group in A for a while, and getting rid of the AC and wire one after another really changed things. After that, it was more a matter of letting the fire bonus from the hill and the LMG in buildings do their thing.