“Up Front” card game


Game Summary:
Each player directs a squad of men in various World War II scenarios with cards driving the action (there is no gameboard).

About the Game:
This is a BGE digital game conversion of the long-out-of-print “Up Front” card game, by Courtney F. Allen (originally published by Avalon Hill in 1983). “Up Front” is a card game that is loosely based on Avalon Hill’s Squad Leader series of wargames. This digital conversion includes not only the basic Up Front game, but also the components from the “Banzai” and “Desert War” expansions, so you will be able to play any of the seven nationalities (Germans, Americans, Russians, Japanese, British, French, and Italians) covered in these games.

Number of Players:
2 (but there are variants and scenarios for accommodating more players, and even for playing solitaire)

Game Scale:
Each card and counter represents an individual soldier, weapon, vehicle, or piece of equipment.

Estimated Playing Time:
About 1 hour (use of VOIP is highly recommended for online games)

Complexity Level:
Moderate to Complex (depending on the use of optional rules and vehicles)

The rulebook for Up Front can now be downloaded for free from WargameVault. The original card game is also available as a print-on-demand title, in case you wish to purchase a physical copy of this great game.

Up Front for BGE (175.0 MB)

The above download contains everything needed to play the game (except the rulebook) if you already have at least one Gamer Client license (BGE v1.5 or higher). For multiplayer games, the extra players will either need a Gamer Client of their own, or they can use the free BGE Demo if the person hosting the game has enough free Player Slots available for them.

Installation and usage instructions are included in the download.


I would like to point out a couple of things:

1) An internet connection is required to play this game conversion (even if playing solo).

2) This free game conversion differs from other game conversions I’ve done in that it may not always remain available for download, and even if you already downloaded it, it may cease to work. There is a “kill switch” in place just in case Avalon Hill/Hasbro has a problem with this game conversion (not very likely, since this is a re-design with all-new artwork, and I am not including the game rules).

The following quotes are what some gamers on boardgamegeek.com had to say about this game (in reference to the original printed game, of course):

“A true classic. Strategy, tactics and tension in a relatively quick fun format.”

“One of my favorite games of all time. A card game which manages to capture the fog of war, the terror of combat, and the “make-do” ability of commanders all at once. The rules can be a bit of a bear, but start off slowly and you’ll be in for a treat.”

“Exciting, realistic, playable and rewarding to play. An excellent translation of squad leader to cards. Slight luck aspect but not that significant as the game is so enjoyable. Played countless games and still holds up today. One of the AH classics and one of my top 5 of all time games, a must have.”

“By far my favorite wargame. A game you can play in an hour or so and replay every scenario and never have it go the same way twice.”

“Strategy is very much rewarded and players who know how to employ the advantages of their squad (nationality, weaponry, group setup etc.) will beat their opponents most of the time.”

“In my opinion, the best wargame ever made. This was a couple of decades ahead of its time.”

“There are very few games that I have played in my life where I felt like I was in the presence of something truly great, innovative, and utterly magnificent. DUNE is one of them, SETTLERS OF CATAN is one of them, and UP FRONT is one of them.”

“I’ve played this game for twenty years and haven’t tired of it. Definitely worth the effort if you are interested in squad-level WWII infantry actions. Probably my favorite wargame of all time.”

“I paid a fortune to get a copy of it…But I’m very happy I did!”

“A real nail-biter, IMHO the best individual-level tactical squad game out there.”

“I bloody love this game. Best thing I ever bought and am still playing it 25-30 (?) years later.”

“The best tactical WW2 combat game in existence (and that’s saying a lot).”

“Astonishingly good. Just keeps getting better & better the more I play it. Much easier to play than a first reading of the rulebook would suggest. I still can’t quite work out how a card game can feel so realistic.”

“One of the very few wargames that forces you to “see” the situation not from a god-like top-down view, but from more of a first-person perspective. The only game I’ve ever played that smacks of genius.”

“Really good two player card games are difficult to design, but this is probably the best card game of any type that I’ve ever played.”

“A great game – the unconventional mechanics take a while to become familiar, but it’s well worth it. Almost infinite replayability, and a strong fan-base, with some good home-made variants. Don’t wait for the fabled reprint – bite the bullet and get a copy somehow now.”

“The cards make for a fast flowing, shifting game that still rewards the player who knows how to manage resources and risk.”

“It’s such a home run of game design, showing that playability and realism are NOT opposite ends of a scale. You CAN have both.”

Here are some screenshots of what the game looks like in Battlegrounds (they were taken in BRPG, but look the same in BGE).

Overview of a game in progress:

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A close-up of the cards and counters:

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Choosing a Scenario:

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Selecting your forces for a “Design-Your-Own” Scenario:

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Customizing the Action Deck for a “Design-Your-Own” Scenario:

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