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Subject: In A Battle What Happens If ... rss

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Jim Cote
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dipdragon wrote:
1) No Attackers or Defenders
No battle, tile removed, defender gets 2 cubes in City


Defender?

dipdragon wrote:
3) Defender trireme and no other units
Defender wins and gets tile

9) Defender hoplite and no other units
No battle, tile removed, defender gets 2 cubes in City


This seems inconsistent.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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dipdragon wrote:
The rules say that the "main defender" gets 2 influence cubes, they don't say what happens when there are no attackers and no defenders.

I can see two options - the one outlined above in that the Leader of the controlling City of the Location gains 2 influence cubes, or no cubes are gained by anyone. I prefer the idea of the Leader gaining 2 cubes, simply to punish everyone else for not attacking him, but I realise that others will have a differing opinion.

An official ruling on this will probably be required whilst the controversy rages unabated.


Not required at all. If there are no attackers and no defenders, the tile is simply discarded. And the players can all kick themselves for being really, really stupid and giving up (at least) two free victory points. Even if you needed the units elsewhere, it's *always* worth giving up an extra cube on the city display to place TWO units on the board, one of which is deployed to this battle and earns you TWO cubes. But you don't get those two cubes unless you defend the location.

Note that in my interpretation, you need to defend with EFFECTIVE units. That means in a trireme then hoplite location, you have to deploy at least one hoplite in order to claim the tile or the cubes - there's simply no way to "win" the important second round of combat with no units of the right type. You can manage without triremes at such a location (if neither side has them, the first round is simply skipped) but you can't do without hoplites.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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It's a Warfrog game, not a FFG one. You can tell this in two ways; firstly the rules aren't always too clear (typical Warfrog), and secondly the game is fantastically well-balanced (which would be a first for FFG).

We need an official Frog to answer (ideally M Wallace, Frog 1). Martin's usual response is to use common sense. Of course, having spent all ay Saturday wearing a Warfrog T-shirt and demo-ing Perikles might imply that I'd got a reasonably good handle on the rules by now, but I might be wrong. It did happen once if I recall - in 1976, I think.
 
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Jim Cote
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dipdragon wrote:
I will email martin and see what he says. Hopefully he can provide definitive answers and this information can be disseminated to the FFG and BGG sites.


Try to make your questions of the yes/no type. In my experience, if you leave the questions wide open, his answers often are as ambiguous as the rules you are asking about.
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James Hamilton
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I am not directly involved in Warfrog but did playtest the game and was involved in proofreading the rules. My take is as follows:

1) No Attackers or Defenders
No battle, tile removed, Defender gets 2 influence cubes in City

Hammy>No battle, tile removed, nobody gets anything (there is no defender)

2) Attacker trireme and no other units
Attacker wins and gets tile

Hammy> Outcome as 1), this battle is a hoplite battle with triremes in support. A trireme can't win it on it's own.

3) Defender trireme and no other units
No battle, tile removed, defender gets 2 cubes in City

Hammy> Agree, there is no battle but there is a defender.

4) Attacker trireme and Defender trireme
Fight one round and winner gets tile

Hammy> Fight one round, then the defender wins regardless (possibly a bit contraversial but that is what makes sense to me. There is a defender and the attacker does not win as he has no Hoplites)

5) Attacker hoplite and no other units
Attacker wins and gets tile

Hammy> Agree

6) Attacker trireme and hoplite and no Defenders
Attacker wins and gets tile

Hammy> Agree

7) Attacker hoplite and Defender trireme
Defender wins first round, Attacker wins second round. Attacker wins and gets tile

Hammy> Agree

8) Attacker trireme and hoplite and Defender trireme
Fight first round and winner gets Battle Token, Attacker then wins second round and gets tile

Hammy> Agree

9) Defender hoplite and no other units
No battle, tile removed, defender gets 2 cubes in City

Hammy> Agree

10) Defender hoplite and Attacker trireme
Attacker wins first round and Defender wins second round. Defender wins and gets tile

Hammy> Agree

11) No Attackers and Defender hoplite and trireme
No battle, tile removed, defender gets 2 influence cubes in City

Hammy> Agree

12) Attacker trireme and Defender hoplite and trireme
Fight first round and winner gets Battle Token. Defender wins second round and gets tile

Hammy> Agree

13) Attacker hoplite and Defender hoplite
There will be a second round of combat with the winner getting the tile. But what happened in the first round where there were no units? My guess is that nothing happened and that the second round is fought with both sides needing to win 2 Battle Tokens to win the tile. But it might also be argued that both sides only need 1 Battle Token to win as this is the second round of combat and someone (both sides?) should have won a Battle Token. This is ambiguous and needs an official answer or an agreed House-Rule to cover the situation. The best rule seems to be that no first round happened and everything is decided by the second round with 2 Battle Tokens required for a win.

Hammy> As there was no first round neither side gets an extra token. Your initial opinion is correct

14) Attacker trireme and hoplite and Defender hoplite
Attacker wins first round and gets Battle Token. Normal second round with Attacker having an advantage, winner gets the tile

Hammy> Agree

15) Attacker hoplite and Defender trireme and hoplite
Defender wins first round and gets Battle Token. Normal second round with Defender having an advantage, winner gets the tile

Hammy> Agree

16) Attacker trireme and hoplite and Defender trireme and hoplite
Two rounds of combat with the winner of the first round getting a Battle Token to take into the second round as an advantage. Winner of the second round gets the tile

Hammy> Agree

Overall your understanding is pretty much the same as mine with the exception of the bit about it being a hoplite second round so triremes only cannot win.

Martin probably won't be online today as he has just returned from Essen but when he does it will be interesting to see if he agrees with me.

Cheers

Hammy
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Richard Dewsbery
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dipdragon wrote:
Also, just because you have been part of an official demo group does not mean you have all the answers. You could easily be falling into a group think situation, where everyone has a common understanding of how the game "should" be played, but where this view is not supported by the rules as written.


Indeed. Except that the "faulty group-think" (if we were wrong about anything) could easily have been corrected by the games' designer, who was present on the stand for most of the day. And frankly if the designer thinks that a game should be played in a particular way, and the written rules as interpreted by others contradict that, then I'll go with the designer's intention every time. The answer to the philisophical question "how many rules lawyers can you get on the head of a pin?" is properly answered with "None - you should immediately incinerate the pin and solve both the philosophical and the practical problems with one fell swoop."

I'll try to persuade Martin not to assume that all of the players of his games are imbued with common sense; on present evidence it's a misplaced assumption. What sort of general sends triremes instead of soldiers to fight a hoplite battle anyway?
 
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Jim Cote
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RDewsbery wrote:
I'll try to persuade Martin not to assume that all of the players of his games are imbued with common sense; on present evidence it's a misplaced assumption.


Uncalled for. Persuade him not to assume that people can read his mind.
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Richard Dewsbery
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dipdragon wrote:
1) No Attackers or Defenders
No battle, tile removed, Defender gets 2 influence cubes in City


Page 5, seond column, line (I can't be bothered to count) -
"If a location is not attacked then it is not claimed by the defender. It is placed face up on display by the side of the map. The main defender must now place to of his cubes in the city of the same colour as his tile."

You only get cubes if you are the main defender. You only become the main defender if you put at least one unit on the display.

Contrary to my earlier answer (before I had gone and fetched the rulebook) it doesn't matter what type of unit you defend with - effective or ineffective, so long as you put down a unit on one of the main defender boxes, you become the main defender and are eligible for the cubes.

No units, no eligibility for those two cubes, and the tile is simply discarded as I said. It's quite simple when you read the rules, and there's no need for anyone to interpret anything.

Next controversy - can you win the second round without the right units? Of course you can't.

Same page, a few lines higher - "The winner of the second combat wins the battle. The winner of the battle takes the Location tile." You only win if you have two tokens on your side at the end of the second round. No units of the right type, you're never going to get that second token even if you won the first round. What happens? Nothing, the second round of battle never takes place, the conditions for taking the tile are never fulfilled, so the tile must be discarded as if it were never attacked.

Hence attacking a "triremes then hoplites" tile with only triremes will NOT earn you a tile; it's crystal clear from the rules that you can't win the second round so you can't take the tile even if the defender never showed up. It's not just common sense, it's the only way to read the rules.

What is uncalled for is my accusing dipdragon of being a mathematician. Or possibly a computer programmer. But no-one else would attempt to solve a rules query with a table of all 16 possible results.
 
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Jim Cote
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RDewsbery wrote:
What is uncalled for is my accusing dipdragon of being a mathematician. Or possibly a computer programmer. But no-one else would attempt to solve a rules query with a table of all 16 possible results.


I found the enumeration to be very useful and enlightening. Your insulting and defensive attitude in response to legitimate questions makes it sound like you wrote the rules yourself. While your answers may be correct (and even semi-authoritative), I don't find your conclusions from the rules you post to be necessarily true. I've seen much more solid inferences completely negated by the designer in other games. Mr Wallace's history in writing rules is enough to make anyone question anything.
 
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Martin Wallace
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Please consider these the decision of the designer, Martin Wallace.

dipdragon wrote:
In a two-round battle there are a number of possibilities depending on which units have been deployed to fight. However, it seems to me that some of the possibilities are not adequately covered by the rules and require clarification or a House-rule just to make sure rules lawyers don't interupt the game.

Assume we are talking about a two-round battle defended by Sparta, that triremes will fight in the first round and that there are no intrinsic defenders or rebels in the battle. (Where triremes fight second, just swap trireme for hoplite to get the same 16 possibilities.)

Here is my understanding/interpretation of the rules as they apply to each situation. Units can be placed in the following 16 combinations:

1) No Attackers or Defenders
No battle, tile removed, Defender gets 2 influence cubes in City

YES

2) Attacker trireme and no other units
Attacker wins and gets tile

YES

3) Defender trireme and no other units
No battle, tile removed, defender gets 2 cubes in City

YES

4) Attacker trireme and Defender trireme
Fight one round and winner gets tile

NO - DEFENDER WINS THE TILES ON THE GROUNDS THAT THE ATTACKER IS UNABLE TO OCCUPY THE TERRITORY. TRIREME BATTLE SHOULD STILL BE FOUGHT.

5) Attacker hoplite and no other units
Attacker wins and gets tile

YES

6) Attacker trireme and hoplite and no Defenders
Attacker wins and gets tile

YES

7) Attacker hoplite and Defender trireme
Defender wins first round, Attacker wins second round. Attacker wins and gets tile

YES



8) Attacker trireme and hoplite and Defender trireme

Fight first round and winner gets Battle Token, Attacker then wins second round and gets tile

YES



9) Defender hoplite and no other units

No battle, tile removed, defender gets 2 cubes in City

YES


10) Defender hoplite and Attacker trireme

Attacker wins first round and Defender wins second round. Defender wins and gets tile

YES


11) No Attackers and Defender hoplite and trireme

No battle, tile removed, defender gets 2 influence cubes in City

YES


12) Attacker trireme and Defender hoplite and trireme

Fight first round and winner gets Battle Token. Defender wins second round and gets tile

YES


13) Attacker hoplite and Defender hoplite

There will be a second round of combat with the winner getting the tile. But what happened in the first round where there were no units? My guess is that nothing happened and that the second round is fought with both sides needing to win 2 Battle Tokens to win the tile. But it might also be argued that both sides only need 1 Battle Token to win as this is the second round of combat and someone (both sides?) should have won a Battle Token. This is ambiguous and needs an official answer or an agreed House-Rule to cover the situation. The best rule seems to be that no first round happened and everything is decided by the second round with 2 Battle Tokens required for a win.

ONLY SECOND ROUND OF COMBAT OCCURS, WITH BOTH SIDES REQUIRING TWO BATTLE TOKENS.


14) Attacker trireme and hoplite and Defender hoplite

Attacker wins first round and gets Battle Token. Normal second round with Attacker having an advantage, winner gets the tile

YES


15) Attacker hoplite and Defender trireme and hoplite

Defender wins first round and gets Battle Token. Normal second round with Defender having an advantage, winner gets the tile

YES


16) Attacker trireme and hoplite and Defender trireme and hoplite

Two rounds of combat with the winner of the first round getting a Battle Token to take into the second round as an advantage. Winner of the second round gets the tile

YES
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Jim Cote
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dipdragon wrote:
4) Attacker trireme and Defender trireme
Fight one round and winner gets tile

NO - DEFENDER WINS THE TILES ON THE GROUNDS THAT THE ATTACKER IS UNABLE TO OCCUPY THE TERRITORY. TRIREME BATTLE SHOULD STILL BE FOUGHT.


I don't have the rules. What is the purpose of fighting the trireme battle if the result is known? Is there some side affect?
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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The losing side will take a casualty, so there is some point to it.

Sorry if I'm coming across as a bit cranky - 4 days of new games with a day of explaining Perikles (loud & slow, on the usual English assumption that speaking in that manner makes it easier for people without English as their first language to follow what you are saying), combined with 6 straight nights of too little sleep, plus a long journey home (though at least we didn't break down like Martin, or sink like we did in 2001), followed by real work this morning, has lead me to post a little more rashly than usual.

But most of the "problematic" combinations are things that just won't occur with semi-competant players after the first ever turn. Cubes & VPs are simply too valuable, for example, to attack with the wrong sort of units or leave locations completely uncontested.
 
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Jim Cote
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Frog1 wrote:
Please consider these the decision of the designer, Martin Wallace.

Quote:
1) No Attackers or Defenders
No battle, tile removed, Defender gets 2 influence cubes in City

YES


Is this YES answer meant to imply the leader of the defending CITY gets 2 cubes?
 
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Jim Cote
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So that means any player can "steal" the glory by defending the city before the city leader does. For example, if I am winning the game, but player B could win by winning that tile, I could send a crappy 1 unit to defend (even knowing it's likely to lose) just to prevent them from winning the tile. Since they can't attack their own city, there's nothing they can do. Even if they support the defense, they get nothing, right?
 
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Jim Cote
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dipdragon wrote:
A better strategy is to make the leader win control of 3 or more Cities and then attack all the Locations corresponding to those Cities. He'll be unable to cover all the Locations with his 8 units and will either lose the Location tile, and have his Cities sacked, losing both the Location VPs and reducing the value of his leader/statues or he'd have to burn influence cubes to put out more forces, thus losing influence in the cities anyway. This is in addition to losing influence to win control of the City that turn as well. In effect, you gang up on the leader, who should have seen it coming and positioned himself accordingly. If you can make the leader win control of Sparta and Athens in the last round, he'd have a tough time defending against the other 4 Cities.


Remind me not to play this game against you. arrrh
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Martin Wallace
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This whole thread is making my head hurt.

Please ignore my last posting - typed it late at night when I had other things on my mind.

Let see if I makes things absolutely clear.

The big question is what happens if there are absolutely no attackers and no defenders. In this case the tile is discarded and nobody gets anything, no cubes, no nothing. It has to be said that this situation has never occured in any playtest. It would require many stupid moves by many people to create this situation.

The next issue is what happens in those cases where there are no units involved in the second round of combat. There are a number of permutations.

If the attacker is the only side with units in the first round of combat but neither side contest the second round of combat then neither side win the tile. I would also say that the defender does not get two cubes as he has not sent any units to that location. In all cases the defender must send something to get cubes.

If the defender is the only side with units in the first round of combat but neither side contest the second round of combat then neither side win the tile but the defender does get two cubes.

If both sides have units in the first round of combat but neither have units in the second round of combat then the first round is still resolved to see who loses a unit. The tile is then discarded but the defender gets two cubes on the grounds that he can claim he won the war even if he lost the battle - some politicians do lie!

I hope that is clear, although it will probably just start a new round of discussions.

Martin Wallace
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Jim Cote
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Ok, so does this sum up all the cases?

+ All battles must be fought regardless of (known) outcome of the war
+ You must win the 2nd battle (if there is one) to win the tile
+ There must be a defending unit (of any kind) to get cubes if there's no battle
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Jim Cote
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I was just going over the combinations again since I now own the game. #9 and #10 seems to be a little non-intuitive. I'll add this further clarification to my 3 rules above:

+ There must be at least one Main Attacker unit for a plyer to win the tile.

That being said, what if the battle was Hoplite-only and the Attacker placed a Trireme unit? Is this even allowed? If so, does it count as a battle taking place? The reason I ask is that in combination #10, there is no real combat, yet the defender gets the tile.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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It's a bit like swapping three brick, two wood and a handful of stione for one sheep in Settlers; there's no rule STOPPING the attacker being stupid and just using a trireme, but it's pretty unlikely that it would ever be a good move.
 
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Jim Cote
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ekted wrote:
If so, does it count as a battle taking place?
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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This came up in a game at Essen which Martin was watching. IIRC his answer was along the lines of the tile does go to the defender, that it does count as a battle taking place, and would the attacker like to have his head examined next time?
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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His rationale was that as there WAS a Main Attacker - even one who could not win the battle - the tile still got given out to the winner; and only the Defender would be eligible to win in your scenario.
 
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Kurt Rompot
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I missed the second page of this thread at first and was really confused. If anyone else reads this thread, ignore everything except the very first message. It contains all the information you need to know.
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Mario Aguila
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Frog1 wrote:

If both sides have units in the first round of combat but neither have units in the second round of combat then the first round is still resolved to see who loses a unit. The tile is then discarded but the defender gets two cubes on the grounds that he can claim he won the war even if he lost the battle - some politicians do lie!
Martin Wallace


Martin:
Why do you consider that there was not attack without the second battle?
Probably nobody will win the battle, but undeniably the attack existed. And if it existed, you cannot apply the rule of giving ONLY two cubes to the defender.

The rules says:
Quote:
If a location is not attacked then it is not claimed by the defender.
It is placed face up on display by the side of the map. The main defender must now place two of his cubes in the city of the same colour as the tile.


Let me repeat: "if a location is not attacked then it is not claimed by the defender"...contrario sensus, if attacked, the defender could claim the tile if the attack is not successful.
You said that in this case the defender won the war... then, why not to give him the main trophy?

The logic indicates me that an attack exists, independently of the success of the same one. I believe that USA attacked Iraq, although it has been an absolute failure.
 
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Jim Cote
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I visualize it like this: They sent ships. We sent ships. They fought, and some losses were taken. The final battle was on land. But no one sent any armies, so there was no battle. The city rejoices and support for the leader goes up.

Edit: I know. It's silly. But the image works for me.
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