Avalon Hill's Up Front is based (sorta) on their Squad Leader game. While no longer published by Avalon Hill, Multiman Publishing has plans to publish the 2nd Edition. At first glance this game breaks this week's theme - boardgames which rely heavily on cards - but since the playing table actually serves the role of battlefield positions, I will include it.
Up Front uses cards to play squad level WWII scenarios. Each player starts with a squad of troops (usually somewhere around eight to a dozen soldier cards). Each nationality tends to have differing degrees of ability in regards to speed/maneuverability, morale, and hand-to-hand combat. Of course, weapon stats vary as well. The Germans have good morale and maneuverability; the Americans tend to be less steady, but pretty good on rallying; the Russians are tough, but inflexible. I believe the basic game covered mid/late war Europe, but it's possible it was limited to the Western Front. The friend who introduced me to the game had all sorts of expansions for nationalities and vehicles, including French, Italians, and Japanese.
Gameplay: Squads (often split into 2-3 teams) move and fire until they achieve victory through using playing cards, which handle pretty much any actions or counter-actions. Playing cards include firepower, terrain, smoke, snipers, and other hazards, but they often serve as check functions for the success/failure of attempted actions (typically attacks, defense, and morale).
I learned this game from a well-versed pro. I would not have liked to learn this one from scratch on my own; glancing at the rules made my head spin. Thanks to D. Leavesly for keeping this game in play over the years.
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