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The Guns of Gettysburg» Forums » Rules

Subject: March Move Limitations on a Long Turn rss

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Harley Metcalfe
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New York City
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My friend and I played our first game. She played the Union, I the Confederacy. Many of her units entered earlier, and her cavalry successfully delayed my marches after entry. Our forces became heavily (many 3 unit positions) clustered around Gettysburg. After a large attack that turned out largely a draw, the Union right wing was in Gettysburg. It was obstructed, but I had field of fire on it. Additionally, I had two units flanking east of town. Finally, one objective was at Stevens' Knoll, East and South of town, unopposed.

I had declared a hold after my attack. Because of the high number of units on the board, the next turn was a 5 hour turn. According to the march rules, I, still the second player, was able to do some very long marches. I marched the flanking units their two allowed steps, putting them within a few squares of Stevens' Knoll. I then marched my most of my east wing, not under field of fire of her units in Gettysburg, to Stevens' Knoll. Because I had two units there to provide adjacency, I was able to march my units an extremely long distance in one sweeping maneuver. Two turns later, I took the knoll and won the game.

Is this mechanic intended, that she paid so dearly for leaving an objective relatively undefended? Or was there some rule (I mean something that I was prohibited from doing, not just her ability to withdraw and attempt to shore up her defenses) that we may have overlooked that would have stopped my rapid maneuver? I know that she should not have left a point undefended, but it still seems like my maneuver violated the spirit of the rule notation that says that such long moves were typically used for marching in units or reinforcing the end of lines. This move, in contrast, was definitely a coup de grace.

Please find attached a picture shortly before the end of the battle that demonstrates the result of my maneuver. Go easy on us! We were both new to the game.

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Dan Silverman
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Well, one thing she could have done is declared attack orders which makes the turn length 1 hour guaranteed...
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Stephen Rochelle
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Yes, that's as intended. The objective of the historical battle wasn't to hold Gettysburg town; it was for the Union to prove that they could stand intact on the field of battle (and thus force the Confederates to abandon their dispersed raiding deployment in the north) or vice versa. And so, to that end, the precise area that was fought over wasn't all that critical in terms of ownership.

The game reflects this by having the objective markers and by having them be reasonably well-separated. That's the representation of "hold the field of battle", wherever they happen to fall. Your friend failed to do so, allowing her flank to be badly turned and her lines of supply, retreat, and communication to Baltimore and DC to be cut. GoG doesn't specifically model those, but the separation of the objectives means that it should be really hard for the Confederates to do that sort of envelopment without achieving the in-game victory condition.

And given that, it's not unreasonable to expect that the historical Union army, if met with this sort of battlefield, would have come to disaster. The brand-new commander has gotten himself surrounded, cut off from the capital, and is going to have the options of (1) assaulting fixed positions, which hasn't had a good track record yet, or (2) attempting to exfiltrate as much of the army as possible via the Emmitsburg road before it is completely enveloped. Maybe a full corps or two are left behind to hold the line and surrender. Lee can't conquer and hold Pennsylvania, certainly, but maybe he heads back to York or Harrisburg before calling it a campaign.

The question that comes to mind for me is: where's the third objective? I assume off the south edge of the picture. Given that you commented on the Union corps arriving early, you may want to re-check the rules for how often the objectives are moved; that looks like a fairly rearward defense for the Union which would correspond to more Confederate units early. Also, there's a good takeaway for both parties to be careful about stacking your blocks, especially three-deep. The Union doesn't have anywhere near the breadth to defend its front, but the Confederates have gotten themselves badly locked into a fixed front with that Union mass; there's nothing left that could pry loose to threaten the other flank without having to declare a withdrawal.
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Claudio
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That type of move is precisely what the rules are intended to enable. While the troops were all clustered around Gettysburg, their baggage train would have been behind. And those roads were lines of communication. To get behind the army like that would have been devastating.

In fact, Longstreet had proposed a similar move around the Union's left flank, south of the Round Tops, I believe. As it was he still made a long march, undetected (until he almost wasn't, then countermarched and went several extra miles to remain undetected). Traditional uniform turn lengths wouldn't allow for this. Omniscient opponents would be able to respond. Combined with the field of fire rules, it is just pure brilliance. You got it right.
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Scipio O.
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Handelskogge wrote:
Go easy on us! We were both new to the game.


Welcome to this terrific, absorbing game.

Handelskogge wrote:
Two turns later, I took the knoll and won the game.


I will only add that, while this may be short hand, the Union generally has some time to react, however desperately, once an objective is flipped or under threat. The game ends only when the tokens run out.

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Claudio
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Scipio Oaklandus wrote:
Handelskogge wrote:
Go easy on us! We were both new to the game.


Welcome to this terrific, absorbing game.

Handelskogge wrote:
Two turns later, I took the knoll and won the game.


I will only add that, while this may be short hand, the Union generally has some time to react, however desperately, once an objective is flipped or under threat. The game ends only when the tokens run out.


Or night falls on day two or three.
 
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Kåre Dyvik
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I lost my last game as the Union due to a surprising 5-hour flanking march by the Confederates through rugged terrain around Culp's Hill. The objective in question changed hands several times during the following hours, but I ran out of strength in the end.

I trusted that the terrain would hold the rebels at bay, and deployed my units elsewhere (I had two other objectives to defend, remember!), but I neglected to count the required number of movement steps properly, and was caught off guard.

Remember that a multi-hour march must end adjacent to a friendly unit (which you say you did).
 
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Bob S.
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Handelskogge wrote:




Just for my own clarity: which of the five units pictured near Steven's Knoll are the two originally marched units to that position? I think you did a splendid job of making the flank march. I have pictured such an "extended" march as having to end with literal adjacency to a previously marched unit. (So each extended marched unit would end next to a unit marched their using its regular two points.)

Thanks,
BobS
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Harley Metcalfe
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Borz wrote:


I can't remember, to be honest. In any case, this move certainly relied upon an interpretation of the rules that allowed for a unit to move the extra distance as long as the unit to be moved ended its move adjacent to any friendly unit. So the two-step move provided a base from which the rest sort of unfurled into this shape. (Which was actually not ideal, and I had to take an extra turn to re-orient my units. This position does not allow the second and third blocks, counting from left, to participate in a group attack. That error was injurious to my plans, as the two troops facing the Union rear eligible to attack were both one-strength.)
 
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Stephen Rochelle
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Handelskogge wrote:
In any case, this move certainly relied upon an interpretation of the rules that allowed for a unit to move the extra distance as long as the unit to be moved ended its move adjacent to any friendly unit. So the two-step move provided a base from which the rest sort of unfurled into this shape.
This, by the way, is the correct interpretation.
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Bob S.
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lomn wrote:
Handelskogge wrote:
In any case, this move certainly relied upon an interpretation of the rules that allowed for a unit to move the extra distance as long as the unit to be moved ended its move adjacent to any friendly unit. So the two-step move provided a base from which the rest sort of unfurled into this shape.
This, by the way, is the correct interpretation.


Ah, thanks Stephen. Think I've been "harshly" interpreting the rule lately to mean the "anchoring" blocks could not have moved via extended march. (Went back to look at your Longstreet tutorial too.)
 
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Ethan McKinney
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El Segundo
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Beware of being tarpitted in Gettysburg. There are a lot of reasons that Civil War armies didn't defend in towns ...
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Ethan McKinney
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So, yeah, the game couldn't have ended right then, even if night fell (did it?) because it was still the 1st.

Where was the third objective, anyhow?
 
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