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Dead of Winter (second edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Refused Flank? rss

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Why can a unit only refuse a flank while in attack orders? It doesn't make sense to me! Refusing seems like a defensive move. You can't move while refusing, and the only reason to be in Attack that I can see is that it allows you to move and fire in the same turn and close with the enemy. If you aren't going to move, and are bracing for an enemy assault, it's better to just stay in advance (you can retreat from shock); and it is at these times that you would refuse, to reduce the likelihood that you will be flanked.

Could someone try to explain the rationale for this rule?
 
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Cyrus the Great
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As best I understand it (and my memory may be a bit foggy) Attack mode is more like Engage mode. It implies proximity to the enemy and readiness to fight more than Advance or March mode.
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William Byrne
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Agree with Cyrus. I've even thought of Advanced Orders as representing "Column of Divisions" (i.e., a two-company front) which would facilitate moving but restrict the ability to engage without changing to Attack Orders. Or, I suppose it could represent a modified March column, with Skirmishers & Flankers posted. It's probably meant to stand for the whole range of tactical formations bridging the gap between a march column and a line of battle.

The rule applies to individual regiments, and I've never read an account of a regiment refusing its line which didn't involve that regiment being in line of battle. As far as I know, GBACW models line of battle with Attack Orders (even if you aren't actually attacking).
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It still doesn't make sense to me. I mean, what you guys are saying sounds good, but it feels like you're making up a rationale....it doesn't seem to fit the rules to me.

For instance you've come up with a good story about what differentiates Advance from Attack orders, but within the game there is little difference from a defensive perspective. Being in Advance does not adversely affect your fire or shock combat--it just means that you can't move adjacent to the enemy, and you cannot both move and fire in the same activation. If Advance orders represent what you claim, then it seems Advance should confer a -1 fire penalty or something.

But if you're on the defensive, then there's little reason to go into Attack orders in the first place, because perhaps you want the extra mobility to react to the attacker, or to be able to retreat before shock. You'll still get the +1 prepared fire bonus in reaction fire!

But I might want to refuse my flank if the attacker is threatening a flanking move.

And Refused Flanks in GBACW don't represent an oblique attack, either. There's no benefit at all. If anything, it weakens an attacking shocking unit because it means it has more frontal hexes, which could force it to shock even more units than it might want.

 
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Tim Wilson
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I'm a bad person. I allow refused flanks in Advance mode largely because it makes sense. I base this on years of reading and reenacting. You don't need to be charging to refuse your flank.

Usually you are not. I see Advance as being in line, but perhaps with skirmishers out. The main difference between that and Charge is charge represents the coordinated attempt to get multiple regiments to close with the enemy--not so much a formation change.

Making that happen was a continual problem throughout the war, unless the other guy ran away.
 
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