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Guns of the Askari» Forums » Rules

Subject: Some comments on Rules Nuances rss

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J.D. Webster
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These are things I picked up from my first playing of the game and from discussion on the Consimworld site for the game.

Movement:

1. Individual units or individual stacks of units must complete their movement and any resulting combat before the next unit or stack of units is picked to move.

However, it is permitted for a moving unit or stack to pass over another friendly unit that has not yet moved, and pick it up, forming a new stack or changing the size of the existing stack.

Likewise, a moving stack may drop off or leave units in hexes it enters during its move. Units that are dropped off or left behind when a stack moves out of an entered hex are considered to have completed movement, unless they were left behind from where the stack originated its move (in this case, they are deemed not to have moved yet).

These nuances are important if you are doing something like heading down a rail line, as it lets you gather forces along the way for a final move or attack once you get at the end of the rail run.

2. Don't forget, it costs one extra MP to enter an enemy occupied hex. This means that many times, units in the "bush" with no line of communication, whose movement allowance is reduced by 1, will NOT be able to enter an occupied hex without first getting directly adjacent on a previous turn. This often means the hex to be attacked will be "telegraphed" one turn in advance.

3. The above rule means there may be safe havens on the map. If you want to hole-up in a swamp, mountain jungle, Hill or mountain hex, which normally costs two MPs to enter, this will require the enemy to have three MPs to enter from an adjacent hex. If the enemy is not in supply during movement, units with a normal MA of 3 or less will not have enough movement to ever enter your position for battle until a supply line is established.

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Combat

1. Don't forget that a suppressed, already reduced combat unit can never be affected by bombardment, so don't waste your shots against them.

2. With bombardment, the shooter picks the target unit.

3. In the MG Quick Fire segment, shots are resolved one at a time, but the target is not picked. If a hit occurs, the defender picks which unit takes the step loss and then resolves a morale check for that unit, which means it can become broken and flee the battlefield before the next shot is resolved.

4. In the RIFLE fire segment the process is different. The side doing its shooting does all its shots first, and totals the number of hits achieved. The defender must then casualty reduce (take a step loss) units, as long as there are units still in the battle, equal to the number of hits achieved.

I take this to mean that the defender has to match step losses to hits. However - one caveat, as each full strength unit takes a step loss to absorb a hit, it gets to do a morale check and if it fails, it is broken and removed from the battle, even if there are hits that have not yet been matched with a step loss. This means some units may escape destruction by running away after taking one step loss, even though there are "unmatched" hits the other side obtained.

Though not explicitly stated in the rules, the way rule 11.10.7 is worded implies that all units that started the battle on one side must take a step loss before any of the units in the battle are forced to absorb a second step loss in this round.

If all units on the target side are eliminated or broken (removed from the battle) before all the hits are matched with step losses, the excess hits are simply forfeit as they can't be applied.

So, while the rifle phase attack is generally less likely to produce hits because of smaller gun values than the MG phase, more units are involved and so it can be deadlier at times. This also means that there may be battles in which you might be better off sticking your artillery in the rifle ranks rather than the usual bombard rank.

JD
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J.D. Webster
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Movement - The game's developer has recently clarified that land movement does not have to be done to conclusion with one stack or unit, before another starts to move.

Although entering an enemy hex creates a battle that has to be resolved at that time, it is allowed to gather forces together from different locations, staging them to an adjacent hex, and then advance into battle all together as a stack, as long as all forces have sufficient MPs available to enter the battle.

This is a non-traditional movement rule in wargames. Most games say that once you place a piece, and start moving another, the previously moved piece is finished for the turn.

According to the developer, a unit's movement only ends for the following reasons:

1. It has expended all available MPs.

2. It enters an enemy occupied hex initiating a battle.

3. It has disembarked from a naval transport.

And, that it is allowed to partially move one unit or stack, and then begin to move another unit or stack, before returning to finish the first unit or stack's move. Of course this puts the added burden on the player of remember which units have not finished movement and how many MPs they have left.

JD
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J.D. Webster
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Invasion Nuances

Here is one that is easy to miss.

Though it is clear in the rules that you can reinforce a battle as the defender, using rail lines per rule 11.6, it is NOT clearly evident in the rules that the attacker can reinforce an attack, before resolving combat in a coastal hex by also invading the hex from the sea with naval transported units.

The key is rule 12.3.11 that says that naval movement can be interspersed with land unit movement combined with rule 12.6 that says Naval vessels can participate in a land battles and rule 12.2.1 which defines abstract naval transports as "vessels".

So - according to the developer - a land battle can have its resolution delayed in order to bring in naval vessels to assist the battle.

So combining all of these rules together with the developer's clarification permits the following sequence of actions, alluded to rule 10.3.5 which mentions disembarking units joining in a battle with units not disembarking:

1. Land unit or stack moves into enemy occupied coastal hex, ending its move and initiating a battle.

2. Naval vessels move to coastal battle hex to assist battle, which includes abstract naval transportation of land units (Which can embark for free from someplace else).

3. Transported units can then disembark (as part of the NAVAL move), though still required to have sufficient MPs to enter the enemy occupied hex, to join the battle.

Note - This is not considered a separate land unit move, which by the rules could not occur until after the battle was resolved. Therefore, to do this, the transported invading reinforcing units would have to have pre-positioned in a coastal hex for pick up, or already be at sea, before the original land forces moved to initiate the battle (and still have enough MPs to disembark).

Very subtle rules interpretations, but all legal according to the developer.

JD

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J.D. Webster
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Lines of communiations & invasions & carriers

The British have to keep a carrier unit with their invading force in order to form an LOC "node" in a coastal hex they occupy.

Note that since the Entente LOC can be traced from a coastal hex node, directly to the Indian Ocean patrol box and to Mombasa, it is very easy for the British to land on the Indian Coast of German East Africa and attack while in supply and march inland (once) at full speed.

This means that each turn in the early going, the British can support one coastal attack point with a carrier. Which - in my mind is far more useful for the British than trying to march inland with a string of carriers in trail.

JD
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