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Subject: Isolated Minors and National Supply rss

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Patrick B
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We're going over the rulebook again, in prep for another game (it's been awhile); have some questions. We're not sure we have good grasp over Isolated Minors and National Supply.

1. What exactly is the definition of an 'isolated minor'? We can see them described in 20.64, what can't find a simple definition of what they are.

2. According to 20.63: are we correct that any major or minor power that can't trace LOC to their supply source (London or Berlin) has out of supply units, all of them?

3. If #2 is true, then if Poland 39 and Finland can't trace LOC to London or Berlin, respectively, then shouldn't they be completely unsupplied, instead of being able to build from their pool at all?

Or is it the case with Finland, that they are tracing LOC through Sweden, but can't trace rail through it, because the rail in Sweden is neutral, not friendly?
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Paul Lags
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From memory isolated minor rule is more about using the minors production. You can only trace a loc through neutral hexes so the minor can stay in supply but any production has to be tracked separately and doesn't join the major powers pp 'pool'

It's been awhile for me too!!!
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Marty M
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bignickel wrote:
We're going over the rulebook again, in prep for another game (it's been awhile); have some questions. We're not sure we have good grasp over Isolated Minors and National Supply.

1. What exactly is the definition of an 'isolated minor'? We can see them described in 20.64, what can't find a simple definition of what they are.

2. According to 20.63: are we correct that any major or minor power that can't trace LOC to their supply source (London or Berlin) has out of supply units, all of them?

3. If #2 is true, then if Poland 39 and Finland can't trace LOC to London or Berlin, respectively, then shouldn't they be completely unsupplied, instead of being able to build from their pool at all?

Or is it the case with Finland, that they are tracing LOC through Sweden, but can't trace rail through it, because the rail in Sweden is neutral, not friendly?


1. 11.7 of version 1.15 of the rules defines Isolated Minors as those which have National Supply, but no Rail/Sea Supply. Their PPs are tracked separately, and they can build only with National PPs.

2. Yes, once a Minor Power can no longer trace National Supply, its capital can not be used as a supply source, and its remaining troops suffer attrition every turn that this situation remains. This is the usual way that Germany will knock Poland out of the war, for example.

3. National Supply can be traced through neutral nations, so Poland in 1939 is able to trace National Supply through USSR at the start of the game. They are isolated, however, as Rail Supply cannot be traced through neutral land territory.

The same applies to Finland, as you have described above.

They have National Supply, so their capitals act as Supply Sources. They are Isolated, however, so their PPs are tracked separately, and can only be used to build up their own nationality units (and they cannot use Allied/Axis PPs respectively to build up their own units).
 
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Patrick B
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If Finland is allied with the Axis, then I'm assuming that they can't get sea supply to the Axis via the Gulf of Bothnia, in order to not be an isolated minor.

However, if Sweden was an Axis ally, then the Gulf of Bothnia would be a friendly controlled sea for the Axis, yes? And if that was the case, then Finland wouldn't be an isolated minor, correct? (in that they could trace rail/sea supply through Sweden)
 
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Patrick B
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Ok, trying to get some clarification on Finland and "isolated minor"

In the S44 scenario, it explicitly says "Finland is an isolated minor using its own production (FL in effect but Allied may occur)."

Now, I'm looking at the map: The Axis have control of Tallinn, which should give them control of Gulf of Finland and they already have Eastern Baltic friendly as well.

As a result, the Finns should have a rail/sea supply to Berlin via Gulf of Finland and E Baltic Seas.

So why are they an isolated minor?
 
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Patrick B
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As for S44: my theory (currently) is that Finland is NOT a full Axis nation. Only nations that have completely joined the Axis get to contribute their PP if they trace rail/sea supply. If the axis does DE FX, THEN Finland no longer is an isolated minor and it's PP gets transferred to the Axis.
 
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Craig Besinque
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Finland?44:

This is wrong, an uncorrected artifact of the change of control of Gulf of Finland from Helsinki to Tallinn.

Finland has Rail/Sea Supply in 1944 until Tallinn is lost.
Corrected for v1.16.

Craig
 
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Patrick B
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Hmm, so, is Finland an Axis minor in 44, and it's PP gets sent to Axis (and is not considered an isolated minor)?

DE FL does make Finland an active Axis minor?
 
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Craig Besinque
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Hi,

Yes, Finland is a normal Axis minor in 1944 from FL (except that German units are prohibited from most of its territory unless FX occurs).

Since it does have Rail/Sea Supply to Berlin (with the Tallinn control change, as long as Axis controls Tallinn), it is NOT an Isolated Minor and its PPs do go in the Axis PP pool.

Does this need further clarification (aside from correcting the misstatement that Finland is an Isolated Minor in 1944)?

Craig
 
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Patrick B
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Well, I think rewriting the diplomatic events FL and FX in 1.16 would allay such confusion, especially since in 1.15, FL explicitly says that they're an isolated minor.

Perhaps, "Finland is an isolated minor if it can't trace sea/rail supply to Axis (remember, can't trace rail/sea supply using Swedish ports)" or such.
 
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Matt
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Yes, this requires a huge amount of clarification. I was shocked by this thread. Craig, please understand that I have great respect for you as a designer; I have bought all your games; everyone in my wargaming group plays your games; but I am a frustrated player, and I think it is important that you know that as the designer. Also, please know that I realize you are out on these forums supporting your games (and that Columbia Games isn’t doing zilch). I respect that. That being said, I am frustrated by the fact that Eurofront retails for $300 (players in my group have purchased an additional $300 in extra copies of Eastfront) and we have put hours into knowing the rules and properly teaching them, and then in a flash a rule is completely reversed that has real game implications—a rule that in 1.16 is going to say the exact opposite of the rule in 1.15. What? The other possibility, Craig, is that this thread is in error—that 1.15 is correct in the first place. This is actually what I would argue is the case (see below). But if I am wrong and 1.15 is wrong, then I am blown away. This edition of Eurofront has been in print now for eight years, and if one includes the previous Eurofront edition, then it has been in print for nineteen years. I understand adding clarifications and correcting typos—but completely wrong rules? My response to this has been (I actually said this aloud to players in my group this week): “If we are that wrong about Finland, we have no means by which to read the rulebook and play this game.” Lately, my group is spending more time debating rules questions in Eurofront than playing. This thread didn’t help. It’s just not fun. I can only hope, Craig, that you misread this thread and responded in haste.

That being said, this is why I think 1.15 is right and this thread is wrong. Sea/rail supply is completely irrelevant to DE FL as well as which year it is. By definition, Finland is isolated diplomatically, not physically. All that matters is whether or not Finland has a LOC. If not, it is unsupplied and its units suffer attrition. Regardless, as far as PP, if DE FL is in effect, Finland may not spend Axis PP; Finland is limited to its national 3 PP per Production Phase. This is historical. Hitler was much more concerned about the British invasion of Norway than Finland—a Finland that was interested in primarily defending its own borders from the Soviets. If DE FX is in effect, then sea/rail supply matters. Then Finland can used Axis PP. This is an ahistorical game result.

Page 91, DE table—“Finland = isolated pro-Axis minor (see 20.64).” The bold is yours.

Then we go to 20.64—the clarification added in 1.15: “Isolated Minors with National Supply only (e.g. Poland/39, and also Finland under DE FL) spend/save PPs from a National PP pool, completely separate from their faction’s PP pool).” The underline is mine.

Also, rule 11.34—again, a clarification added in 1.15: “NOTE: When belligerent by DE FL, Finland is also an isolated power.”

If DE FL is not an exception for minor powers, why add the previous clarifications in 1.15?

Please help us. We really want to know how to play your game.

Thanks,
Matt





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Juan de Marco
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The rules are relatively solid for a game of this complexity(say compared to Paths of Glory). What the rulebook could use is an editor, I think a lot of things are easier to explain with better wording and structuring of the text.

Take for example how the diplomatic explanation of how nations surrender is in one spot, the line of communications (for minors) in another, then the NF and MF rules somewhere else, then the winterwar exception is located under the Soviet nation explanation, and for the campaign game the diplomatic events are somewhere else again.

Also, explaining with diagrams is helpful! See page 18, sidebar. Excellent example with that little arrow.
An editor is a real job, it's not easy explaining the content of a text logically.
 
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Craig Besinque
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Guys,

Yes, I did respond to this question quickly and without consulting the map or rules. I should not have answered hastily (obviously) as I haven't played EuF2 in some time, and forgot that FL specifies Finland (permanently) as an Isolated Minor. Sorry about the confusion.

Matt is correct: as the rules state, Finland under FL is played throughout as an Isolated Minor (unless FX occurs). Otherwise, the wording he cites would make no sense.

So seemingly everything is working properly as written. No need for anything new, except that possibly the definition of "Isolated Minor" in 20.64 needs further clarification that the meaning is "National Supply only" is "Nation Supply but no Rail/Sea Supply".

Are we good now?

Craig
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Matt
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Yes, Craig, thank you. Faith and sanity restored. Thanks again for supporting your games. Without you, we’d be on our own. We are looking forward to the release of your new game Triumph and Tragedy.

What the Eurofront rulebook seems to lack is a clear sense of precedent—in other words, which rule exception has priority over another rule exception when the exceptions seem to conflict with one another. Does DE FL override the normal sea supply and LOC rules? It does, but if the players don’t figure that out, then they are confused and start a thread similar to this one. Another example: SS armor and SS mech get triple-fire on defense; cities are double-fire, double-defense. Are SS armor and SS mech only DF in cities? What about fortress units? Are they no longer triple-defense in cities? Of course not. While a strong rules reader could “figure it out,” they couldn’t “prove it” with the rules as written. So the chance of players playing wrong or posting a thread similar to this one goes up. Incidentally, the Eastfront II rules say “DF or better” in cities, but I was glad to see this dropped because many players didn’t know what it meant. I ran into players who were giving regular armor triple-fire (+1 to hit) in defense of cities because of that “or better.” A clear hierarchy of precedent would solve the problem (unit exceptions have precedent over terrain exceptions, for example). Unlike Eastfront or Rommel in the Desert, Eurofront has enough exceptions that it may require a professional tech writer to rewrite the rules. The game Squad Leader is a perfect example of this. Without a total rules rewrite as a tech manual, Squad Leader would never have evolved into ASL and ASL would not be the playable game it is today. Just some thoughts that I hope may be helpful.

Matt
 
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