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

Subject: Fighters and Retreats rss

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Jon Horne
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In a recent game, I had a fleet consisting of a Carrier, a few Fighters, and a couple of Destroyers and Cruisers. The Mindnet player attacked me with 0.0.1 and 5 Dreadnaughts. I announced a Tactical Retreat on the first Combat Round, hoping to salvage some ships. The Mindnet rolled spectacularly, and 0.0.1 made me take all of the hits on non-Fighter ships. At the end of the round, I had 4 Fighters remaining and that's it.

The question is, were my Fighters obligated to retreat at this point and kill themselves due to lack of support?

The other players took pity and let me continue the fight. I didn't even spend the Command Counter to activate the system to which I intended to retreat. Rereading the rules later, I discovered that I should have dropped that Counter at the time I announced the retreat. Furthermore, a strict reading of the rules seems to indicate that the fighters should have retreated even though they are normally incapable of independent movement. Opinions?

Edit: I just realized that I posted this in the Shattered Empire forum. I meant to post in the Shards of the Throne forum, due to it being tangentially related to flagships. Sorry!
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Martin DeOlden
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The fighters Should have retreated but cannot due to lack of movement on their own so the fight would continue. You are correct in the loss of the Command Counter as that would go immediately upon declaring the Tactical Retreat.
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Scott Lewis
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AxleKerrigan wrote:
In a recent game, I had a fleet consisting of a Carrier, a few Fighters, and a couple of Destroyers and Cruisers. The Mindnet player attacked me with 0.0.1 and 5 Dreadnaughts. I announced a Tactical Retreat on the first Combat Round, hoping to salvage some ships. The Mindnet rolled spectacularly, and 0.0.1 made me take all of the hits on non-Fighter ships. At the end of the round, I had 4 Fighters remaining and that's it.

The question is, were my Fighters obligated to retreat at this point and kill themselves due to lack of support?

No, in fact the opposite - fighters CANNOT move on their own and thus CANNOT retreat; they must stay and fight it out.

If you declare a retreat, and your fighters don't have enough support to move out, they still stay and fight. Only units that can actually move are allowed to retreat.
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Martin Presley
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Without any carriers present, aren't the fighters destroyed automatically as they aren't supported anymore?
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Martin DeOlden
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hoobajoo wrote:
Without any carriers present, aren't the fighters destroyed automatically as they aren't supported anymore?


The check for fighter support is not done until after the fight is over.
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Martin Presley
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Quote:
Note that a system's Fighter capacity is not relevant during a Space Battle. This means that Fighters participating in a Space Battle can continue to fight even if their Carrier has been destroyed. After a Space Battle has ended, however, Fighter units without sufficient supporting capacity are immediately removed.


Oh snap, how did I not notice that? I'll make sure we keep that in mind for our games in the future. Thanks for the heads up!
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Jon Horne
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tawnos76 wrote:
The fighters Should have retreated but cannot due to lack of movement on their own so the fight would continue. You are correct in the loss of the Command Counter as that would go immediately upon declaring the Tactical Retreat.

That was my opinion as well, but I couldn't find justification for it in the rulebooks or FAQ, unless you make the assumption that all "retreats" are inherently also "moves."

Among you, me, and sigma, we seem to have a consensus, which is good enough for me. The ruling makes sense, after all. I just wish I had a rules lawyer-proof line to point to in the books or FAQ.
 
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Jeff Poole
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Only units that can actually move are allowed to retreat.


I don't see where that is in the rules. Both types of retreats say you simply retreat to the adjacent hex.

What rule prevents a fighter from retreating? Fighters may not move, but it does not say they may not retreat.

Rather, it seems movement and retreats are actually two different things. This is evidenced by Saar Space Docks. They can move, but cannot retreat. Fighters cannot move, but can they retreat?

Sure there is the implication that movement precipitates retreating, but there no rule stating as such. The rules don't use the term move, they use the term retreat. Other similar things have different effects in this game already. For instance, PDS fire is still a combat roll, but it does not break trade agreements.

While I would probably rule in conformity with Sigma, I wouldn't say this result is clear from the RAW.
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Scott Lewis
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Agreed, it's not clear from the RAW, but I'm fairly certain that this was confirmed by Corey way back when.

Hopefully someday the ti3wiki site will come back, as there were quite a few threads where people posted rulings.
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I submitted the following question to FFG:

"If I declare a retreat, and all my non-Fighter ships get destroyed, am I still able to retreat with my Fighters, even though they aren't able to move anymore?"

And got this as response:

"No. Fighters can only retreat if your other ships have sufficient capacity to transport them.

I hope this answers your question!
-Corey Konieczka
VP of R&D
Fantasy Flight Games"

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Jeppe Nybo
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I don't think Corey's answer is in line with the wording in the basic rules. It states that (core rules p. 17):

"After a successful withdrawal or retreat, make sure
that the withdrawing/retreating player is still in com-
pliance with his Fleet Supply (see rules for Fleet
Supply on page 21) and has sufficient Fighter capacity
(see the Fighter units description on page 29) in the
new system. If not, he must immediately destroy the
excess ships."

It would not be relevant reducing excess fighters if you didn't have to move along all fighters - including excess fighters - when performing a retreat.

At the same time, the ability to force a combat to continue after a retreat is a bit finicky, as it might influence on what ships with capacity you decide to take as casualty in a round leading up to a retreat or if considering the effects of forced retreat from Territorial Concession or some Action Cards.
 
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Scott Lewis
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That rule is probably covering the instance of Advanced Fighters which could retreat on their own. In such cases, it's possible that a retreat would cause the Advanced Fighters to exceed both capacity and fleet supply.
 
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