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Christopher O
Canada
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Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
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Playing Nightmarish Crossroads "tourney scenario" 18.1, I'm coming back to the game after playing other things for a while, so some rules are a tiny bit hazy.

Situation: Combat phase, two hex combat vs. German strongpoint in close terrain with two SS platoons and a reduced SS HT. Attacking forces are two British infantry companies plus Centaur plus Firefly in one hex; one British company, MG platoon and Centaur in the other. Target hex has been target of massive artillery barrage, resulting in 2R shift, German artillery ineffective.

Number Crunching/Outcome of Combat: Odds are worked out, dice are rolled. Result is a 0/3. Germans may ignore first loss due to Strongpoint. Germans must satisfy two losses.

Observations and Rule Look-ups: Obviously the Germans don't want to suffer the losses as two step losses and lose both recce platoons (2 VP). The Germans elect to take the losses as a retreat, retreating two hexes.

Now, here's the hazy part (for me... it might be crystal clear for others). The rules specify that if losses are taken as a retreat, "all involved units of the affected hex" must retreat (8.5.2). However, 12.1.1 'AFVs and Losses' indicates that "AFVs ignore all losses (Retreats and step reductions) resulting from the CRT".

If the recce infantry elects to retreat, the non-AFVs units in the hex were not eliminated, so Voluntary Withdrawal is not an option (or is it?). The reduced HT may elect to take a loss as a retreat per this rule: "In a combat or assault, AFVs may choose (but are not required to) take losses as retreats regardless of whether other units in the hex retreat." (12.1.1 again).

Questions: If the recce infantry in this situation retreat, does the HT have to retreat as well? My interpretation is no, it does not have to retreat, and that is how we played it.

The way I'm parsing it is that a the hex elects to take some or all losses as a retreat, all units in the hex must retreat, except AFVs, who may elect to retreat or not because they may ignore the losses taken.

As the British player, who needs to take ground extremely rapidly in this scenario, I really wanted the HT to have to retreat, but I think we played it right by having it remain in place.
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Mark Mokszycki
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Quote:
The way I'm parsing it is that a the hex elects to take some or all losses as a retreat, all units in the hex must retreat, except AFVs, who may elect to retreat or not because they may ignore the losses taken.


You are correct. AFVs have some special rules in 12.1, one of which is their ability to ignore losses (including Retreats) from Combats and Assaults.

When possible, try to pick off any AFVs in the target hex with AT Fire before declaring your Combat or Assault. Sometimes, having the Tactical Advantage is enough since your infantry will pick them off with PIATs before rolling on the CRT. But any AFVs which survive up to that point can indeed ignore any losses and remain in the target hex, preventing the attackers from capturing the hex for that particular attack action.

Half-tracks shouldn't pose much of a problem in 18.1 as the Brits have plenty of Shermans to take them out. If your opponent is using them to guard Strongpoints, he's basically giving you some free VPs. Just destroy them before attempting to take the Strongpoint. It's just a matter of conducting your attacks in the right order. Keep in mind that vehicles don't benefit from Strongpoints so there will be no negative DRM to your AT Fire.

Good luck!
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