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The Guns of Gettysburg» Forums » Rules

Subject: Flank threat against enemy attacked from the rear? rss

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Rich James
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In a game I am playing, we had a situation where I attacked an enemy block from his rear. I also had a block that was adjacent to this enemy that could pivot around the common endpoint and arrive at the enemy position within 2 steps (factoring in terrain). When my attacking block closed for close combat, the enemy had to reverse to face him (but defend with 0). This exposed his rear to my other block and raised the question if I can count a flank threat here.

We ruled that I could, since the adjacent block met all the criteria for a flank threat. But it only becomes a flank threat after the enemy reversed to face my attack.

Now I simplified the situation in my description. In fact, I attacked his block in a fully obstructed position and we are playing with advanced rules. I already had a block in his same position. They were locked in place, face-to-face. My attack forced him to reverse, but he was stuck in a sandwich between my two blocks. What is interesting to me is that my other block that was already in the enemy's position doesn't qualify as a flank threat, as far as I can see (he isn't in an adjacent position). So it was my other, adjacent block that enabled me to count a flank threat, which resulted in a +3 result on the attack and me not having to take a reduction.

Does it sound like we got it right?
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Scott Kinsey
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It sounds like we need some pictures
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Rich James
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OK, here are pictures to illustrate what I was talking about. The first situation (i.e. the simplified case) looks like this:



Sickles attacks Johnson's rear. Johnson will have to reverse facing to resolve the attack, making his rear area the same as Slocum's front area. Is Slocum a flanking threat in this attack? We ruled he was. Anyone disagree?

The second situation is similar to the actual one we had in game:



Johnson and Sykes were already locked together in the same position. Sickles then attacks from Johnson's rear. Again, Johnson has to reverse to face the attack. In this case, both Sykes and Slocum can threaten him from his new rear area. But for a flanking bonus, I think the rules only provide for Slocum to be a threat. It would seem like Sykes should also be a threat, but he is not in an adjacent position to Johnson. We ruled there was a flanking threat from Slocum, resulting in a +3 win for the attacker.

If Slocum weren't in the picture, I think this would only be a +2. Anyone think otherwise?
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Garry Haggerty
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arjisme wrote:
Is Slocum a flanking threat in this attack? We ruled he was....

There's no doubt this is correct -- it's covered in the rules. See the 2nd bullet under step 3 of Close Combat:

"...reverse the front of the defender. (The defender still has a zero strength for the purpose of calculating the result, but the reversal affects flank threat calculations below."


arjisme wrote:
....But for a flanking bonus, I think the rules only provide for Slocum to be a threat. It would seem like Sykes should also be a threat, but he is not in an adjacent position to Johnson.


I agree. Strictly applying the rule that defines flank threats ("a friendly block is a possible flank threat to an enemy block if it is in an adjacent position") leaves Sykes out of the calculation.

arjisme wrote:
We ruled there was a flanking threat from Slocum, resulting in a +3 win for the attacker.

If Slocum weren't in the picture, I think this would only be a +2.


I agree. The combat "sandwich" is only possible when using the Fully Obstructed Positions advanced rule. But that rule's discussion of the "sandwich" attack doesn't include an exception to the flanking definition that Sykes could use. (It only makes an exception to its own withdrawal rule for fully obstructed positions.)
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Rich James
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G Haggerty wrote:
arjisme wrote:
Is Slocum a flanking threat in this attack? We ruled he was....

There's no doubt this is correct -- it's covered in the rules. See the 2nd bullet under step 3 of Close Combat:

"...reverse the front of the defender. (The defender still has a zero strength for the purpose of calculating the result, but the reversal affects flank threat calculations below."

Ah! That seals it then. I don't know how I managed to overlook that rule. Thanks for pointing it out. This removes all doubt about applying a flanking threat to a rear attack.

I don't know if Bowen intentionally meant for no "flanking" threat in the sandwich case from the non-attacking block in the same position, but we agree the rules do not provide for one from there. Again, thanks.
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