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Subject: Engaged status rss

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William Jason Raynovich
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Another "Engaged" status question

So, if there is a two lines of Hoplites which become Engaged, are they "locked" into who they must attack every round until one of the units break. . .

Let me use an example:

Say you have five Athenian Hoplite Phalanxes all in ONE line interlocked with four Spartan Hoplite Phalanxes all in ONE line. None of the nine units rout after the first round of combat.

The Athenians will have an advantage on one of the combats if they initiated the combat. Otherwise, the Spartans will choose which combat gets a bonus on the first combat.

Now, my question is: On the next combat should the Shock Combat that has the bonus for the Athenians be the exact same one? Or does the person who initiates the modifier on the next Shock Combat be chosen by that player?

My sneaking suspicion is that the units do not remember who they were Engaged with in the initial combat and it is one big fracas. However, does that make sense from a simulation perspective, not that we really know what the combat was like?

I guess this question is pertinent to me because of my queries on the Advance after Combat rules. It seems odd and messed up how the units advance into a empty hole when they rout an enemy in Shock combat. And the fact that the advancing unit will most likely have very little cohesion left, it will not be able to attack again (I am thinking and have played out Tanagra only once at this point.) because it will not want to wheel or move front-to-flank due to additional cohesion loss.

Now, I understand the chaos of 5th century BC warfare and we should not be able to make so many choices. In addition, I realized that the way I was placing the Engaged markers was that I was placing the marker across the two units, not one on each unit. This implied who was Engaged with who. Sorry for the rambling. Thoughts?

William

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Erik Syvertsen
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I've wondered about this same thing as well. I too have been placing engaged counters across the engaged units, partly because the game came with so few that I thought this was the intention.

So is "engaged" just a general state of being, or are units engaged with specific enemy units?
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Clayton Capra
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"The Athenians will have an advantage on one of the combats if they initiated the combat. Otherwise, the Spartans will choose which combat gets a bonus on the first combat."

William, what bonus are you referring to?
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William Jason Raynovich
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The column shift for the ratio of number of units involved in an individual Shock Combat.

William
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Thomas Marshall
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Man, you guys on here are great! This is one of the best things about the Geek - I'm happily playing my games (solo - which is fine, but I always tend to think an opponent would be setting me straight on my errors I don't know I'm making), thinking I have the rules down correctly. And then I'll see a post and I suddenly see the same situation from an entirely different perspective.

William, I have been playing it (quite possibly incorrectly, now that I read your original question) that on the 2nd and/or subsequent Shock phases, you could switch the original shock designations (or "assignments"), so that the 2-1 advantage two of your units had in the first Shock Resolution could be "re-designated" the next time you had a Shock Resolution ending one of your Order Phases.

But I can completely see your rationale as to why, once engaged, they could have to maintain the same Shock designations.

I guess my interpretation was based on Rule 8.12, which concludes with the statement that other than the preceding restrictions, the attacking player can divide the attacks of his units any way he sees fit.

I had been reading 8.12 (and 8.11 for that matter) as steps that are done anew each time you have a Shock Phase at the conclusion of one of your own Order Phases.

But, as I said, your question is making me wonder now.

Thanks so much for your posts on this; they're helping me learn this GBoH offering, which I think is outstanding.

Tom
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William Jason Raynovich
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Hey,
thanks for the compliment. . . And why have we not set up a game yet to play. We are close to each other?

William

PS And I am glad you understand my question. It is a question. I am interested in the reasons behind the rules in these games.
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Ryszard Tokarczuk
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I must say that I always played "Engaged" rules just like @paradoxes said - Engaged markers land between engaged units. Therefore "Engaged" is not "general state of being", but units are engaged with particular units. That`s my understanding.

In other words, in example with five Athenians and four Spartans... if Athenians advanced and attacked Spartans - Athenian player decide which Spartan unit will be attacked by two Athenian units... and such "pairing" stays that way even during Spartan activation. Until one side breaks... or someone will add more units to combat.

I`ll try to look up the rules and how they are worded... but once again - that`s how I always did it
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Thomas Marshall
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Here's my interpretation - up until this string of posts anyway; you've all driven me back to take a more "strategic" look at the rulebook, rather than the "tactical" view I've been learning the game with.

The reason I've been placing Engaged markers on each unit engaged at the end of the Shock Phase (rather than one marker on the units that just fought) is both Rule 10.31 ("An Engaged marker is placed on each unit to indicate its status.") and the illustrated example on the left top of page 23 ("An Engaged marker is placed on both the Hoplite Phalanx and the Phrygian LI unit.").

My read is of the Engagement status is that, once locked in combat, you can't move (out of it - at least without a FC ordering it, or to change facing) or fire missiles. All you can do is fight in front of you. (when Engagement was an Optional Rule in SPQR, my gaming colleagues and I called it the Flypaper Rule).

In the 5 vs 4 of William's original example, the reasons I play it that you can change your "2 vs 1" designation to "1 vs 1" (and subsequent other changes that same phase, obviously) in the next phase (or to put it another way, why I do not play it that the original designation assignments are locked in place as long as the Engagement markers are in place) are based on two interpretations: the rules of Shock Combat, and my perceptions of what the frontages would be like.

In the rules, bullet 2 of 8.11 says "Activated Shock Capable Engaged units must shock." It does not say must shock "the unit they were originally engaged with." I come from the Rules Interpretation school that says play the rules as they're written, not on what is not written but could be inferred (though I've most definitely been proven wrong over the years doing that...and happily so. Just want to get it right).

And if you think about the 5 front hexes of two phalanx units side by side, facing enemy in those hexes, I don't think it unreasonable to assume that in the thrusting and slashing going, and as front rank casualties mount, a phalanx that had been thrusting to its center right (in game terms) couldn't thrust to its center left minutes later (or, in the next Orders Phase's Shock Combat Segment), since each hex is about 100 yards wide and the phalanx frontage is 150-200.

So...that's why I'm playing it that way. That said, I absolutely can see the value of the other interpretations shared above - it is a compelling debate. I just want to play it the "right" way, so hopefully we can figure it out.
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Ryszard Tokarczuk
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I went through the rulebook - and I find nothing against "not mine" interpretation of the rules. Could be quite right... it`s just that I`ve never seen it that way

Well, one thing one can do is to ask a question on Consimworld to Alan Ray and come back with the results
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Thomas Marshall
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Done. Hopefully we'll get a response over there soon. I'm about to start the battle of Delium - think I'll have the boys hide behind the hill a bit longer until we get an answer.
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Thomas Marshall
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We have our answer, Gentlemen; from Alan Ray. Game on!


I've been playing that you could reassign the 2 to 1 advantage in each Shock Phase, even though the units are engaged, as long as the restrictions in Rule 8.12 were adhered to. But after discussion on another board, I'm not sure I'm playing it correctly.


You are correct. The only requirement is that Engaged units must Shock. The attacks are allocated per 8.12. The "center" attacking unit is adjacent to both defenders so is de facto Engaged with both, so the choice is yours which to attack within the restrictions of 8.12.

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Kev.
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CubbieBlues wrote:
We have our answer, Gentlemen; from Alan Ray. Game on!


I've been playing that you could reassign the 2 to 1 advantage in each Shock Phase, even though the units are engaged, as long as the restrictions in Rule 8.12 were adhered to. But after discussion on another board, I'm not sure I'm playing it correctly.


You are correct. The only requirement is that Engaged units must Shock. The attacks are allocated per 8.12. The "center" attacking unit is adjacent to both defenders so is de facto Engaged with both, so the choice is yours which to attack within the restrictions of 8.12.


Take a step back.
Combats are resolved 'simultaneously', you do TQ checks, for every one, then the next roll, then the next step etc etc.
So, while fighting is occurring all ALONG a line, the fight may ebb and flow, you are able to 'adjust' your effort , or exhortations to your men, from one 'engaged' section to another.

I think your original approach is right, and now validated. That is how I do it also. Its more 'natural' to me. This is not ASL for Ancients.
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Thomas Marshall
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hipshot wrote:
This is not ASL for Ancients.


And thank God for that.
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Clayton Capra
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I'm glad you can adjust who you are attacking after the initial engagement. It gives an incentive to trump or make a momentum roll and strike back.
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