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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition): Shattered Empire» Forums » Rules

Subject: Tactical retreat for defender only? rss

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Is only the defender able to perform a tactical retreat? Or also the attacker? I'm thinking only the defender since there is a distinction between retreat (defender) and withdraw (attacker). Not sure though.
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Scott Lewis
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Wakke wrote:
Is only the defender able to perform a tactical retreat? Or also the attacker? I'm thinking only the defender since there is a distinction between retreat (defender) and withdraw (attacker). Not sure though.

Yes, the Tactical Retreat option is only for the defender.

The primary reason for the rule is to allow a defender to have the option to retreat even if attacked before he has an opportunity to activate an adjacent system. The attack, being the aggressor, would have the option of preparing for a withdrawal beforehand by activating a system.
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Thanks mate
 
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Andy Day

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The difference in retreat options is fairly annoying. I wish there was 1 unified rule for retreating. I wonder if allowing tactical retreats for the attacker would cause problems? That'd make the rules simpler, which is good.
 
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Scott Lewis
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Gylthinel wrote:
The difference in retreat options is fairly annoying. I wish there was 1 unified rule for retreating. I wonder if allowing tactical retreats for the attacker would cause problems? That'd make the rules simpler, which is good.

I think it would, because it's much easier to abuse it as the attacker. For one thing, you could activate a system, move ships in to battle, immediately announce a "tactical withdrawal", and then withdraw an extra space. The defender would have very little way to defend against this if caught off guard.

With the rules as written, the attacker COULD do this, but only if he spent an activation first activating his desired "withdrawal" system, which would give the Defender enough time to prevent it.

Again, the main reason for this rule, I believe, is because the attacker has all the advantage of knowing where attacks will be. Especially if the attacker goes first in the initiative sequence, he could launch an attack which the defender would have absolutely no possible way to retreat, having not even had a chance to prepare for one, all because he happened to go second in the turn order. Tactical Retreat was meant to eliminate this by giving the defender the opportunity to retreat in situations like this. The attacker doesn't need it, as he already knows where his attacks will be, and can plan accordingly.


But really, the rules for retreating and withdrawing are identical. The only place it really matters is with Tactical Retreat, and even the rule does specifically mention "defender".
 
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Andy Day

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sigmazero13 wrote:
Gylthinel wrote:
The difference in retreat options is fairly annoying. I wish there was 1 unified rule for retreating. I wonder if allowing tactical retreats for the attacker would cause problems? That'd make the rules simpler, which is good.

I think it would, because it's much easier to abuse it as the attacker. For one thing, you could activate a system, move ships in to battle, immediately announce a "tactical withdrawal", and then withdraw an extra space. The defender would have very little way to defend against this if caught off guard.

With the rules as written, the attacker COULD do this, but only if he spent an activation first activating his desired "withdrawal" system, which would give the Defender enough time to prevent it.

Again, the main reason for this rule, I believe, is because the attacker has all the advantage of knowing where attacks will be. Especially if the attacker goes first in the initiative sequence, he could launch an attack which the defender would have absolutely no possible way to retreat, having not even had a chance to prepare for one, all because he happened to go second in the turn order. Tactical Retreat was meant to eliminate this by giving the defender the opportunity to retreat in situations like this. The attacker doesn't need it, as he already knows where his attacks will be, and can plan accordingly.


But really, the rules for retreating and withdrawing are identical. The only place it really matters is with Tactical Retreat, and even the rule does specifically mention "defender".

That seems to be the going theory. I’ve actually watched for this situation to come up IRL, and haven’t seen many-if any-opportunities for the attacker to really hoodwink a defender.


 
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Scott Lewis
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It happens a lot if the attacker has a lower initiative number in the round, and attacks before the defender even gets a chance to do anything.

It may not be a "surprise", but it certainly disadvantages the defender unfairly.
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Andy Day

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sigmazero13 wrote:
It happens a lot if the attacker has a lower initiative number in the round, and attacks before the defender even gets a chance to do anything.

It may not be a "surprise", but it certainly disadvantages the defender unfairly.

I meant, I haven't seen the attacker be in a position to have an advantage were he able to use a Tactical Retreat.

I love tactical retreats, I was really excited to see them in SE. Though I rarely see them used. If a player marshals a larger fleet, and then situates strategy cards so he gets to go first, it doesn’t seem “unfair” to the defender. Seems more like the attacker just out-witted him. There aren’t many war games where the attacker has to announce where he is going to attack a turn beforehand so the defender has a chance to get ready. Part of winning wars in these sorts of games is not just out-producing your enemies, its out-maneuvering them. Seems fair to me.
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Scott Lewis
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Yeah, for the attacker it's a little more rare, but if there is empty space behind the place they want to go, they could use it to get an extra space on movement. I've seen it attempted once, before we pointed out it was an illegal move. (I don't know if he was deliberately trying to do it, or just realized he had made a bad attack; it's been awhile).
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Andy Day

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sigmazero13 wrote:
Yeah, for the attacker it's a little more rare, but if there is empty space behind the place they want to go, they could use it to get an extra space on movement. I've seen it attempted once, before we pointed out it was an illegal move. (I don't know if he was deliberately trying to do it, or just realized he had made a bad attack; it's been awhile).

I had a thought on this whilst at the urinal.

In order to successfully pull off this sort of move, a player would have to risk his ships and spend a SA. His opponent would have to have enough ships to not be wiped out in the first round of battle (thus making a retreat impossible), and that means he'd inflict at least some kind of damage (assuming more than minimal forces, which should be assumed since PDS + DSC ensures that small fleets get spanked). The attacker would then have to spend an CC from SA. So that’s potentially some ship loss + the expenditure of 2 CC to make such a move. I don’t really see this as being a rule that anybody could afford to abuse. Though the Naalu would have to pay less.
 
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The few times I've seen this happen, it's usually been against small forces; ie, just big enough where they are unlikely to be wiped out, but just small enough where damage from them in one round is likely to be minimal.

I admit, it's not often, but it CAN be used as a way to get an extra space.

However, I think the big reason it's defender only is because it seems the main intent was to give the defender a chance to retreat when he's attacked before he has a chance to do anything about it (specifically, before he even has a chance to activate an adjacent system to retreat to).
 
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JH
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Couldn't an attacker with the Fleet Logistics tech pull off a "leapfrog" retreat of this type, using standard withdrawal rules? Just activate the true destination system as the first Tactical Action, then invade/withdraw with the second. No time for a defender to anticipate and prepare a defense, in that case. It's an expensive tech to get to, but if you're playing as L1Z1X and have Inheritance Systems in play ...

I could see situations where a Skilled Retreat card or (for defender only, and with more risk) a standard tactical retreat could be used to move deeper into enemy territory for free, too. The latter case would be a gambit predicated on drawing an attack to the defender's fleet, though.
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Andy Day

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Sarcasmorator wrote:
Couldn't an attacker with the Fleet Logistics tech pull off a "leapfrog" retreat of this type, using standard withdrawal rules? Just activate the true destination system as the first Tactical Action, then invade/withdraw with the second. No time for a defender to defend, in that case. It's an expensive tech to get to, but if you're playing as L1Z1X and have Inheritance Systems in play ...

I could see situations where a Skilled Retreat card or (for defender only, and with more risk) a standard tactical retreat could be used to move deeper into enemy territory for free, too. The latter case would be a gambit predicated on drawing an attack to the defender's fleet, though.

I think if you can dream up a legit reason to take Fleet Logistics, you should get a metal!
 
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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition): Shattered Empire » Forums » Rules
Re: Tactical retreat for defender only?
A player used it to win in a PBF game I ran over the summer — he had the "control a bunch of systems" secret objective, and was able to spread out a bunch of small ships from large fleets into empty systems very quickly.

I haven't played enough games of Twilight Imperium to use Fleet Logistics myself, but the Conquest card's supremacy bonus in Runewars does pretty much the same thing, without the ability to attack, and it can be really useful for moving one large army to attack, and then bringing in units that were too far away to join the fight to shore up your defenses in the space you just left (for example). But that's a standard card, not a tech way down the line the way Fleet Logistics in TI is.
 
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