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Dennis Kahlbaum
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According to a post on "The Bitter Woods Online" website (www.bitterwoods.net), the rules differences between the two editions are as follows (Designer Edition pages/rules sections cited):

1. ZOCs – Peiper Alternative (PA) subunits now have ZOCs. (p. 5)
2. Road jumping – bullet 3 was added to 9.7 to force a retreating unit to retreat to a supply road if that was a viable route. (p. 8)
3. Retreat restrictions: 9.7. The restriction against retreating into an enemy occupied hex has been removed in the Compass rules. Being able to retreat into enemy leader spaces (no ZOC) thus is no longer explicitly illegal. (p. 8).
4. Peiper Alternative – Item #10 is new, Peiper ER benefit exists regardless of the number of PA units are in the hex. (p. 16)
5. Peiper Alternative – leader rule section, item #6, Peiper can stack with other leaders. (p. 17)
6. Example of Play #1 is wrong. Hex 1601 is also a valid retreat path. (p. 20)
7. Example of Play #3 is wrong. A D4 result must result in 4/12 ending up on 2032, 2133, or 2233, per bullet 3 of 9.7. (p. 20)

Questions:
Q1) Are these really the only rules differences? If not, please add any others.
Q2) Are the rules interpretations in Items 3 and 5 correct?
Q3) Since its been stated that the Designer Edition has no errata, are the "wrong" allegations in Items 6 and 7 rules misinterpretations?

Thanks!
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Tom Gregorio
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Q1) I'm sure there are other differences, Dennis, but since there is no authoritative reference, you'll have to discover them like everyone else. If you find some, let me know and I'll add them to the list.

Q2)
#3: Compare 9.7 in the two versions and you'll see there's no 'interpretation' involved. The new rulebook dropped the prohibition against retreating into an enemy-occupied space.
#5 The last bullet point of 36 (The Peiper Alternative) specifically says the Peiper leader can stack with other leaders.

Q3) I recommend you read the rules and then judge for yourself. I would not assume that because someone says "there's no errata" that that actually means there's no errata. If that were the case, I wouldn't have had to document these and use them when I administer the BWD tourney WBC, right? =)

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Dennis Kahlbaum
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Tom: Thanks for your responses, and your website!

Regarding Item 3: I still believe that no retreat through or into a Leader hex is allowed, per Rule 5.1 (last sentence): "A friendly unit may never move through or end movement in a hex occupied by an enemy unit."

Regarding Items 6 and 7: I believe the controversy occurs because of implied assumptions. If it's assumed that the other roads are not supplied, then the rulebook retreat results are correct. However, if it's assumed that the other roads are supplied, then the posted retreats are correct.

BTW, Randy Heller (DEBW’s co-designer) was the one that stated that the game was “Pretty much errata free by now”. Nevertheless, clarifications are still needed.

Thanks again!
 
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Tom Gregorio
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You're welcome, Dennis. This continues to be one of my favorite games - I'm sure I've put in thousands of hours into Bitter Woods-related activities over the years. =)

Going back to your comments:

Regarding Item 3: Rule 5.1 is specific to movement, the leading sentence is "During the appropriate movement phase". Different rules exist for things that result in counters "moving" outside of the movement phase including: Advance after combat, retreats, and bridge build advances, for example. (ZOC treatment is a specific example of where the rules differ between the movement phase and advance after combat.)

Regarding 6 & 7: Yes, the road leading off through 1802 is assumed to be an Allied supply road, thus making 1601 a valid retreat. (This is true for all prior versions of BWD as well.)

Part of the challenge with regards to the new retreat rules is that one co-designer patched up some retreat rules ("road-jumping") and the implications were not fully grasped by the other co-designer. Another challenge is that no one outside the development team reviewed the examples of play, otherwise these things would have been quickly spotted and corrected. Reasons like this point to why now, even after five editions, the game has NEVER been errata free and never will be. (Not that it matters, of course, some of the situations requiring clarification are very obscure.)

Glad I could help!
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Robert Lenz
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kbomb wrote:
[...]
BTW, Randy Heller (DEBW’s co-designer) was the one that stated that the game was “Pretty much errata free by now”. [...]

hi dennis!
you should definitely check out the bitter woods forum on CSW! it's an eye opener in every aspect and your everytime-again-stop for all things bitter woods! really, the game and it's designer(s) shine over there - so MUCH MORE! (i had the chance while being sick in bed with the flu to read the whole forum - it was a BLAST!! recommended!!!!) afterwards you'll know the story to 'errata-free', 'all-things-monty', 'the gambits'... and so much more useful stuff!!

cheers!
chem!

here's the link:
http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX/.ee6ca36
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Dennis Kahlbaum
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Robert: Thanks for the link. I will check it out.

Tom: Thanks for the clarification about Rule 5.1 not applying during retreat. However, some confusion remains. Here’s why:

In Section 9.7 a bullet states: "Retreating units may not end their retreat in violation of the stacking rules."

In the Stacking rules, Section 6.3 states: "Units may never be moved into or through hexes occupied by enemy units."

The Section 9.7 bullet implies that a moving retreat can ignore the stacking rules, but they are enforced at end of the retreat.

Another Section 9.7 bullet provides more information:

“Retreating units may not enter a hex occupied by an enemy artillery unit or a hex in the ZOC of an enemy unit, regardless of the presence of a friendly unit or friendly ZOC.

With this clarification, it appears that enemy units without a ZOC (i.e., Leaders) can be moved through or into without restriction. As a result, a very odd situation can occur: enemy and friendly units occupying the same hex!

But there's more...

According to Leaders Section 24.3: “Leaders have no ZOC, no combat strength, and if alone in a hex in an enemy ZOC, they are immediately eliminated.”

Therefore, based on this rule, it appears that if a retreat causes a unit to pass through or end its movement in a hex occupied by a lone enemy Leader, that Leader is instantly eliminated.

Is all this correct?
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Tom Gregorio
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With regard to the leaders rules: You are correct, they can be "overrun" by a retreating unit. Oddly enough, there are situations where that same unit can't be overrun during normal movement or advance after combat. Specific example, a leader behind the Meuse can block movement across a Meuse bridge because of 5.1. Because ZOCs don't extend across such hexsides, the leader is NOT automatically eliminated.

And, yes, you could have a have a defending leader unit retreated through a friendly leader unit. The friendly leader would NOT be eliminated as it was never alone in an enemy ZOC.

There's a whole lot of weird leader situations, including combat against unaccompanied leaders behind the Meuse, that was discussed a few years ago on CSW that was entertaining for the rules aficionados. Of course, all hypothetical situations, fit only for those really intent on bending, twisting, and spindling the rules in ways never envisioned.

PS: If calculating the combat odds against a solitary leader, with no combat strength, isn't errata worthy, then I'd be hard-pressed to figure out what would qualify as "errata"...
 
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