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Subject: Calcutta in supply from Bombay if Ceylon occupied? rss

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Yiannis Hadjikyriakou
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My regular gaming buddy and I were giving PV its first outing, and we hit a supply question. He was the Japanese and had captured Ceylon, and I was trying to trace sea supply to Calcutta from Bombay to keep Rangoon and then a blockade in Singapore in supply.

There is a little bit of sea in the Cochin-Madras hexside. He thought technically it would therefore mean that Calcutta would be in supply, but I pointed out that the FAQ said naval units could not move between those two hexes and one could imply from that that sea supply was not possible. Which is the correct interpretation?
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Jeffery Bass
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What's this? Why, it's the Hiller Flying Platform! It flew in 1955.
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You are correct. The FAQ makes it clear that sea movement between Cochin and Madras through the straight is not allowed. "The Palk Straight can only accommodate shallow draft vessels." So, unless you invoke the little known "Supply By Canoe" variant rules, you can't trace Sea Supply though the Straight.
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Yiannis Hadjikyriakou
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Thanks for the reply. My concern is more with play balance than realism, i.e. was it the designer's intent to have supply be able to be cut that way and was it tested that way? We play the reduced Japanese victory requirements variant (16+ = decisive), and the whole game hung on that one point. I emailed Columbia for a clarification and I'll post here if I hear back.

Update: I heard back from Columbia, and supply cannot be traced through the Palk Strait, and they will be updating the FAQ accordingly.
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C Sandifer
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This is one rules issue that took me a while to understand, and at times I do wonder what was actually intended by the designer.

If you read the "Pacific Victory Indian Theater" strategy article on the Columbia web site, you'll notice the following statement:

For the Japanese player, the 4 victory or production points in India are tempting targets. All but one of these are accessible by land, reducing the number of strategic invasions required.

Clearly, in this quotation, Ceylon is the one VP supply source that is NOT accessible by land. This means that army units can't march directly (by land) from Cochin to Ceylon. An Infantry Sea Invasion (4.91) is necessary.

That said, the Palk Strait is shallow enough that ships can't get through either! So the Palk Strait blocks both land invasions from mainland India and direct Sea Supply between Madras and Cochin.

It makes realistic sense, I guess, but it makes for funny and unusual game rules.

Edit: Click here for an interesting article that discusses the Palk shipping lane.
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Yiannis Hadjikyriakou
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wkover wrote:
It makes realistic sense, I guess, but it makes for funny and unusual game rules.


I agree. The problem of how mixed medium hexes are handle in Columbia games seems to be the source of a lot of rule complications and oddities ("Athens and Sparta" comes to mind). I'd happily give up the naturalistic map with a superimposed hex grid for something more stylized that was less quirky, but I guess not everyone would agree.
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