UP FRONT THIRD EDITION RULES CHANGES
Alan R. Arvold
Towards the end of May 2002, the working copy of the Third
Edition rules to UP FRONT was posted on the UP FRONT main website
by Andrew Maly, on Grognard.com. This was in response to a lot of
UP FRONT players requesting to see just what progress was being
done on the game. Mr. Maly described in separate articles both
the current status on the Third Edition as far as Multi-Man
Publishing is concerned and also his estimate on what the
possible cost would be and ways to reduce it. These articles
certainly helped the players to understand the situation better.
The Third Edition rules, when down loaded and printed out,
comprise 70 pages. These rules have all of the old Official
Errata skillfully woven into them. Within these rules one will
find references such as "insert picture here" on various pages.
These are places where the publisher is to place diagrams and
illustrations within the framework of the rules. These can be
ignored when reading the rules. On a whole these rules are far
better organized than the old First and Second Edition rules.
However one must remember that the old rules were organized using
the Programed Instruction Module system, a type of rules format
that was popular in the late Seventies and early Eighties. When
seen in that light, the old rules organization makes sense.
However this system is not used anymore. It was probably time to
use a more modern rules organization.
After carefully reading the Third Edition rules and comparing
them to the Second Edition rules, along with all pertinent
errata, I have come up with this list of rule changes. Some
changes are quite obvious at first glance, while others are
rather subtle and require intense study to ferret them out. These
changes are listed by page number, rules section, and subsection,
in the printed out format. Some of the these are out right rules
changes, others are clarifications which were never in the rules
(or errata) before now. Still others are rules which as written
in their present form, can cause contradictions with later rules
in the Third Edition. Players will note that two rules sections,
the Campaign Game and the DYO section, are missing from the Third
Edition rules. As I understand it, these are not finished yet and
will included at a later date when they are done.
Page 5, Chapter C, Scenarios; Action Deck Composition: In the
last sentence it says that a card that has to be removed from the
deck can not be used by the player. This refers to Action Cards
removed either by resolution of a game action or by discard. In a
later rule (Page 7, Rule D.2; Alterations) it says that such
cards can be used as Open Ground Cards by a player. A small
contradiction that can be easily corrected.
Page 6, Chapter C, Scenarios; Victory Points: In the first
paragraph it says that if a meeting engagement scenario ends due
to the Time Limit and both players are tied in number of Victory
Points that they each have, then it is the player who played
second (or Second Player) who is the winner. A major change which
eliminates the problems that tie games have caused in tournaments
and in improving one's ranking in the various rating systems.
Page 8, Chapter D, Rule D.3; The Battlefield: This section was
completely rewritten to reflect the new set up based on the use
of cards instead of chits in the game. There is even a table
showing how things are set up. It looks very interesting and I
look forward to trying it out when the Third Edition come out.
Pages 8 and 9, Chapter D, Rule D.4; Distance: This section was
also completely rewritten. Instead of measuring the separation of
groups in Relative Ranges as in the old game, they are now
measured in Distances. There is a table showing the Distances
from a group in a particular location on the new Battlefield set
up. A well done conversion from the old system to the new.
Page 11, Chapter D, Rule D.7; Basic Nationality Capabilities:
In the Nationality Capability Table there are some minor changes
that should be noted.
British - Radio Use: It says that British may only use those
Radio Cards which have both White Stars and Black Crosses on
them. In other words, they may use a Radio Card that is usable by
both the Germans and Americans. This is a carry over from the old
rules. Yet in the article 501 City-Fight-in-Four, the author
Marcus Watney clearly states there are no German Radio Cards that
are not usable by the Americans, so why mention the Americans at
all? It would be easier to just say that the British may only use
German Radio Cards (or as the table would say, with Black
Crosses). However, if they plan on altering the Nationality make
up on the Radio Cards in the Action Deck, then that is another
situation all together.
Italians - Broken Squad: It says that the Italians are broken
when casualties = 40% (except vs the Russians). This is a change
from the old rules where they were broken when casualties were >
40%. A minor change.
Japanese - Broken Squad: It says that the Japanese are broken
when casualties are > 75%. This is a change from the old rules
where they were broken when casualties = 75%. Another minor
Pages 12 and 13, Chpater D, Rule D.8; Special Nationality
British - It says that the Airborne (Elite) troops can discard up
to 2 cards per turn if no Actions are taken. This is a written
clarification of an already commonly held assumption that the
British can use their basic discard capability for their Elite
troops if they choose not to use their special discard capability
during a turn.
German - For their Elite troops, the name was changed from SS in
the old rules to Panzer Grenadier in these rules. A wise choice
given the evil connotations associated with the SS during the
war. Also it says that Panzer Grenadier troops can discard up to
one card if they take two or more Actions in a turn. Another
written clarification of an already commonly held assumption that
the Germans can use their basic discard capability for their
Elite troops if they choose not to use the special discard
capability during a turn.
Italian - The infamous Surrender Rule has been removed from the
Italians. This will certainly make them a more viable Nationality
to play in the Third Edition. But I do not think that the
Surrender Rule should be eliminated from the game all together.
Instead it should be a Scenario Special Rule to use in historical
scenarios to reflect the characteristics of a certain side in a
particular battle. This rule can be applied to all of the
Nationalities (except the Japanese) at some point or other during
Japanese - The Special Arms rule is extended to all Samurai
(Elite) troops, not just Paratroopers and Sergeants. It's hard to
form an opinion on this one. The Japanese were great scroungers
when it came to using captured weapons and I suppose that the
Elite troops had first call on captured weapons and equipment,
which of course would include pistols.
Partisans - The Partisans in the Third Edition use the same hand
capacities, discard conditions and capabilities, and squad broken
percentages of their "parent" Nationality. This is a major change
from the old rules where all Partisans, regardless of their
Nationality, were played with a Russian hand. The old rules
followed the lead of the Squad Leader/Advanced Squad Leader game,
from which UP FRONT was derived from, where all Partisans were
depicted as a variation of the Russians and used their counters
and colors. Russian Partisans are not hurt by this change and the
Italians are only a little. But the French are really hurt,
especially if they make one entrenchment attempt, as they will
loose their entire discard capability for the turn. On the other
hand, a French Partisan with a six card hand is quite intriguing
as he can hold on to those special Action Cards which are of
great value to Partisans for a long period of time until he can
use them to their maximum potential. An Axis player going up
against French Partisans will have to think twice before doing
Pages 15 and 16, Chapter E, Sequence of Play: A completely
rewritten and expanded Sequence of Play. Finally a detailed
breakdown of the sequence of event in a turn, not only of what
happens, but also the order in which events occur. This will
certainly eliminate a lot of the confusion from the old rules
where the sequence of events was a haphazard affair. Well done.
Page 18, Chapter F, Rule F.2; Terrain Play; General: In the first
paragraph, last sentence it says that a Terrain Card may not be
played on a Movement Card if a Wire Card covers the last Movement
Card played. This contradicts Rule G.15 (Wire) where it says that
an Open Ground Card may be played under a Wire card in order to
eliminate a group's moving status. Simple enough to correct.
Page 21, Chpater F, Rule F.4; Attack Results; Panic: In the
second sentence it states that if a Man has an exposed Panic
Value < the Final Combat Resolution Number, the Man first checks
for Wound status. This is a change from the old rules where if a
Man suffered a Panic Kill, he would have to first check the RPN under the "10r" column of the just drawn RNC to see if he Routed
or was Killed. If he Routed then he checked for Wound, if he was
Killed then no Wound check was necessary. A minor change.
Page 25, Chapter F, Rule F.11; Snipers: In the second paragraph
it states that if the Target Group has more than one Man, the Man
to be attacked is determined first by a RPC draw. In the next
paragraph it states that after the Man to be attacked is
determined, then the Sniper attack is resolved. Well, after 19
years, one of the oldest rules loopholes in the UP FRONT game
system is finally Officially plugged. I'll bet you that the
Elitists are real angry over this change.
Page 32, Chapter G, Rule G.17; Desert: In the eighth paragraph,
last sentence it states that you can discard a Wire Card on the
Soft Sand (Marsh) Card. You could not do that in the old rules. A
Page 33, Chapter G, Rule G.17; Desert: In the last paragraph it
states that a Man in a Wadi must play a Movement Card to the
discard pile in order to infiltrate, he can not opt to pass a
Morale Check. However the play of the Movement Card does negate
the need to take a Morale Check. This is not a change but merely
a written clarification of an assumed fact alluded to but not
exactly spelled out in the old rules, even though the Official
Errata made note of this.
Page 34, Chapter H, Rule H.2; Group Exchange: In the Conditions
and Restrictions section, in the first bullet, it states that a
Group with an IG may not participate in a Group Exchange. This is
a change from the old rules where they could. Given the
historical difficulty that crews had in manhandling small
infantry guns, this rule makes sense.
Page 37, Chapter H, Rule H.7; Individual Transfer: In the
Receiving paragraph, third sentence, it states that for each Man
received, the player assigns him a position in the receiving
group, but not crewman-weapon relationship can be broken by the
placement. Well, we all knew who was going to win the argument
over where the men go in the receiving group. But then if crew-
served weapons crews are not altered by placement of the new men,
then I can live with that.
Page 41, Chapter I, Rule I.2; Close Combat: In the Other CCV
Modifiers section, the fifth bullet, it says that Wire played on
an Infiltrator's Group, a Japanese Banzai Group, or a Group
counterattacking against a Banzai reduces the CCV of the attacker
by one for each Wire Card in play on the Group. In the old rules,
this was only stated in the BANZAI expansion, pertaining only to
the rules on Banzai charges. It has now been expanded to include
normal Close Combat as a result of infiltration as well. Actually
this is quite sensible when you stop and think about it.
Page 43, Chapter I, Rule I.4; Berserk: In the first paragraph,
first sentence, it says that any pinned Russian Man (but not
Partisan) can go berserk. In the old rules, Partisans were
allowed to go berserk by virtue of them being played as Russians.
This change is correct as Partisans, even Russian ones, conducted
hit-and-run type operations. They did not stay and fight to the
death, at least not by choice. A good rules change.
Page 50, Chapter K, Rule D.1; Ordnance: In the Restrictions
section, in the third sentence, it says that two or more ordnance
weapons in the same Group may each fire as part of the same
Action, but that each such ordnance weapon must fire at a
separate enemy Group, and each ordnance weapon that fires must
play a separate Fire Card. This is a change from the old rules
where two or more ordnance weapons in the same Group may fire at
the same enemy Group during a turn as part of the same Action,
provided they each play a separate Fire Card. Granted, ordnance
weapons in close proximity to each other, frequently had trouble
adjusting their fires as sometimes they could not tell which
impacts came from which rounds fired from which guns. But this
was a problem at longer ranges, not the relatively short ranges
portrayed in UP FRONT. But I don't see why this causes this new
prohibition. I think a negative fire modifier would be more
applicable to this situation.
Page 51, Chapter K, Rule D.2; Target Acquisition: In the list of
conditions under which Target Acquisition would be lost, there is
one condition that is conspicuously absent. This is the condition
where the ordnance weapon fires at another Target. This condition
was listed in the old rules. While it does say earlier in the new
rule that a weapon can only acquire one target Group at a time, I
can not help but wonder if some players will have a weapon
acquire one target Group, then take occasional pot shots at
another target Group, while still claiming acquisition on the
first target Group. Certainly a clarification is needed here.
Also another condition says that a Buttoned Up AFV can not gain
acquisition. This is a change from the old rules where they
could. This change makes sense, it was indeed more difficult keep
target acquisition when looking through a periscope or a gunner's
Page 51, Chapter K, Rule D.3; Mortars and Grenade Launchers:
There is not any real change here, just a clarification that
Grenade Launchers are equivalent to Mortars and that all
appropriate rules apply to both equally. It should be noted that
the Grenade Launchers meant in this rule are the Japanese Model
89 "Knee Mortar" or any other similar weapon. This rule does not
apply to "Rifle Grenades", which have been the subject of several
Page 51, Chapter K, Rule D.3; Mortars and Grenade Launchers: In
the first paragraph at the top of the page, it states that the
small arms firepower of a Mortar is retained, even if the Mortar
itself Malfunctions. It further states that the small arms
firepower is itself subject to Malfunction, but the effects are
only temperary for the current attack only. This is a change from
the old rules where if either the Mortar or small arms firepower
Malfunctioned, then both suffered the effects of Malfunction.
This change is certainly more sensible as the Mortar and the
Man's small arms are separate and independent of each other.
Page 52, Chapter K, Rule D.4; Light Anti-Tank Weapons (LATW's):
In the second paragraph, last sentence, it states that Bazookas
and Panzerschrecks may not occupy a Pillbox, but there is no such
restriction on a PIAT. In the old rules the PIAT was not allowed
in a Pillbox either. However the change makes sense. The Bazooka
and the Panzerschreck were not allowed into closed areas because
the back-blast would injure the occupants. The PIAT had no
back-blast due to the round being launched by a compressed
spring, not by a rocket.
Page 52, Chapter K, Rule D.6; Infantry Guns: In the General
section, in the second paragraph, it states that the IG must form
its own Group. This is a change from the old rules where the IG
could form its own Group or be part of another. This change is
certainly welcome as IGs within the scope of the game, are more
like AFVs than they are like individual Men.
Page 53, Chapter K, Rule D.6; Infantry Guns: In the Attacks
Versus an IG section, the attack procedure has been revamped and
easier to understand. The gun-shield which caused problems in the
old rules is now accounted for as a +2 Fire modification against
certain types of attacks. There is an apparent error though. In
the second paragraph, third sentence, it says that the +2 Fire
modification does not apply to the same attack against other Men
in the same Group. How can there be other Men in the same Group
if an IG is now its own Group? Surely this is a carry over from
the old rules where an IG could be in a Group with other Men.
Some clarification is needed here.
Page 53, Chapter K, Rule D.6; Infantry Guns: In the Concealment
Cards section it states that an IG may always play a Concealment
Card against an Artillery attack. This is a change from the old
rules where an IG could not play a Concealment Card at all for
anything once it had moved or fired. A good change as Concealment
Cards represent more than just hiding from the enemy forward
observers, they also represent in an abstract way the errors that
the observers made when adjusting artillery fire.
Page 54, Chapter K, Rule K.7; Artillery: In the Fire Strength
section, it states that the Fire Strength of a successful
Artillery attack is equal to the Fire Strength on the Radio Card.
What Radio Card? I do not think that they mean the Radio/Rally
card in the Action Deck. I think they mean the Secondary Weapons
Cards which have replaced the Chits in the old game. A little
clarification is needed here.
Page 55, Chapter L, Rule L.1; AFV Types: In the second paragraph
it lists an Open Topped AFV with a Panic Value on its reverse
side. This rule came from the British section in the old rules,
from the sub section that dealt with the Bren Carrier. Apparently
they plan to have more vehicles of this type, so they made them
into a separate AFV sub-category.
Page 56, Chapter L, Rule L.3; Bog: In the second paragraph, first
bullet, it states that in a Jungle scenario, the Movement Card
just played on the AFV is discarded and treated as a lost Action
in the event of Bog. This is a change from the old rules where if
the vehicle got bogged in the Jungle scenario, it would just flip
the Movement Card over to Open Ground. A minor change, but
necessary to reflect the more restrictive nature of Jungle
Page 57, Chapter L, Rule L.5; Combat Versus AFVs: In the
Resolving Attacks Versus AFV Morale and CE Values section, in the
third bullet, it states that if the AFV's Panic Value is face up
and is < the final attack result number, the AFV is eliminated.
Another reference to the new AFV Category listed above.
Page 57, Chapter L, Rule L.5; Combat Versus AFVs: In the
paragraph that describes the effects of being buttoned up, it
states that the AFV can not gain Target Acquisition. This is a
reiteration of the acquisition rules on Page 51.
Page 58, Chapter L, Rule L.5; Combat Versus AFVs: In the top
paragraph it describes the effects of having a 2 Crew Eliminated
Card on an AFV. One of the effects is its Overrun strength is
reduced by two. In the old rules this was not mentioned in the
effects for the old 2 Commanders Killed chit. Certainly an
oversight that has been corrected in the new rules.
Page 59, Chapter L, Rule L.5; Combat Versus AFVs: In the rally of
Stunned AFV section the conditions of the rally of an AFV are
divided into two sections, one dealing with AFVs in general, the
other dealing with Open Topped AFV in particular. The old rules
dealt with AFVs in general. A good improvement.
Page 59, Chapter L, Rule L.6; Boxed Firepower by Men Versus AFVs:
In the first paragraph it states that some Men have a Boxed
Firepower factor of 1 on their card in addition to their normal
firepower. It further states that designated assistant crewmen do
not have this Boxed Firepower. In the old rules all Men had this
Boxed Firepower of 1. There were no exceptions. A minor change.
Page 59, Chapter L, Rule L.7; Close Combat Versus AFVs: In the
General rule section it lists a Rule B.11. Where is this Rule
B.11? I could not find it anywhere in the Third Edition Rules.
Page 61, Chapter L, Rule L.8; Snipers Versus AFVs: In the results
section, in the first Bullet, it states that a Sniper that scores
either a "Pin" result or a "KIA" result in an AFV with a Panic
Value and that currently has its reverse side face up is
eliminated. If I read this right it says that the Sniper is
eliminated. What I think it means is that the AFV, the special
ones like the Bren Carrier, is eliminated. Needs some major
clarification on this one.
Page 61, Chapter L, Rule L.9; AFV Smoke Placement: This section
has been completely revamped from the old rules. It seems that
AFV cards will now have Smoke symbols on them, indicating whether
or not they can play smoke on themselves and whether or not they
can project smoke on other Groups. Not only that, AFVs will be
individually rated as to which individual Smoke Cards they may
use. These rules stem from the "Burning the Midnight Oil" article
in the magazine Relative Range #10. These rules are definitely
more historically accurate than the old rules. The old rules were
more generic in nature. It certainly eliminates a-historical
situations like the French Char B-1 Tank firing smoke in the
game, something it could not do in real life. A well deserved
Page 62, Chapter L, Rule L.10; Overrun: In the General section,
in the second sentence, it says that an Overrun can be made
against a non-AFV enemy Group at Distance 0. This means that it
can be made groups that are directly to the left or right of the
overrunning group according to the new Battlefield Diagram on page 9. This a change from the old rules where Overruns could be
made against enemy groups directly in front of or adjacent to the
overrunning group. This change is caused more by the new
mechanics of the Third Edition than by an historical reason.
Page 64, Chapter M, Rule M.1; Reinforcements: In the Entry
Conditions section, in the first paragraph, it says that
Reinforcements may come in a one Group or several Groups. This is
a change from the old rules where they could only come in as one
Group. Also in the second paragraph, it says that Reinforcements
may come into the game either as Group E or Group Z. This is
change from the old rules where they could only come in as Group
E. This new rule was taken from old rules for Random
Reinforcements where they could enter from either side. Good
changes reflecting the fact that they could indeed come in from
any direction and in one or several groups.
Page 65, Chapter M, Rule M.2; Random Reinforcements: In the
Designated Unit Not Available section, it says that if none of
the conditions for replacing an unavailable Man can be met, the
Man is forfiet. This is an addition to what the old rules say. A
good change as it eliminates the tactic of bringing in a Man
armed with a more powerful weapon than would normally be allowed
to, as in the old rules.
Page 65, Chapter M, Rule M.2; Random Reinforcements: In the
Sniper Random Reinforcements section, it states that if a player
has Multiple Sniper capability, a successful Sniper Check wipes
out the whole bunch, not just one Sniper as in the old rules.
The old rules caused problems, especially if player also had
Double Sniper capability too. While the Unofficial Errata solved
this problem in the Second Edition, I see that in the Third
Edition they are avoiding the problem altogether by changing the
result of a successful Sniper Check on Multiple Sniper
capability. It still leaves the question unanswered as to what
happens when a player has both Double and Multiple Sniper
capability, but since the subject of Double Sniper capability is
covered in the DYO section of the rules, a section that has not
been posted in the Third Edition rules, I guess we will just have
to wait until it comes out for the answer.
Page 66, Chapter M, Rule M.3; Night: In the Observation
Resolution section there is a missing circumstance in the Third
Edition that was there in the Second Edition. This is the
reference about AFVs. In the old rules AFVs are easier to observe
at night than in the new rules. I guess the original designers
assumed that the noise that AFVs normally make made them easier
to spot at night, but in the redesign AFVs are assumed to have
their engines off unless they are moving and thus are harder to
Page 66, Chapter M, Rule M.3; Night: In the Star-shell section it
says that a Commissar can not place a Star-shell, even if serving
as a Squad Leader. In the old rules it could if serving as an SL.
Uncertain as to why this change came about.
Page 67, Chapter M, Rule M.3; Night: In the Night Effects on
Attacks section, it says that the presence of a Flamethrower does
not negate the halving of total Fire Strength of all Fire Cards
played at night. This reference is new and was not found in the
old rules. This is a good point as flame attacks from a
flamethrower only light up the immediate area where they hit, not
a wide area that a Star-shell would illuminate. Also the fire
from a flame attack is short-lived and would not last as long as
a Star-shell, unless it set whatever it hit on fire. Also in the
same section, it states that Effective Artillery RNCs are reduced
by 1. The old rules do not make any reference to Artillery RNCs,
just Ordnance To-Hit Numbers which would be reduced by one at
night. Most players logically figured that Artillery would follow
this rule too as it says in Rule 40.21 that Artillery Fire
Missions are resolved in the same way as Ordnance attacks. Both
of these are just clarifications that were made into full fledged
Page 68, Chapter N, Rule N.4; Transfers: In this section of the
Team Play rules, in the General sub-section, the last bullet
reads that Groups must be adjacent to the LOS Divider when
starting the transfer between games. Merely a clarification of an
assumed fact from the old rules.
Page 69, Chapter N, Rule N.4; Transfers: In this section of the
Team Play rules, in the Conditions and Restrictions While
Transferring section, in the second sentence, it states that the
Movement Card used to transfer the Group to the LOS Divider does
count as a +1 modifier to attacks against the transfer Group, but
also qualifies the transfer Group as a moving target against
Ordnance attacks. This is not found in the old rules because in
the old rules is states that Movement Card used to transfer the
Group does not count as a +1 modifier. An important change.
Page 69, Chapter N, Rule N.4; Transfers: Further down in the
Conditions and Restrictions While Transferring section, in the
fifth sentence, it states the Group on the LOS Divider is subject
to attacks from any Group in either adjacent game, and may make
attacks against any Group in either adjacent game, but all
attacks are conducted at Distance 0. This is a mistake. I think
what rule means is Distance 5+. In the old rules all attacks were
made at Relative Range 0, which in the new rules is Distance 5+.
Certainly a correction is in order.
These were all of the changes that I could find. I may have
missed a few, but as one can see, there are a great deal many
more than we were led to believe. Still I look forward to the
coming of the Third Edition of UP FRONT, if and when it ever gets