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Subject: Questions about moving as a stack rss

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Andrew Swan
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Disclaimer: I know it's a bad idea to move as a stack if there's a chance of being fired at; this thread is about the rules, not what constitutes sound tactics!

In a recent game, a stack containing two elite MMCs and a leader set off with the intention of spending all 6 of their leader-enhanced MF. My questions are:
1. if one of the MMCs spends 2MF to lay smoke in an adjacent hex:
a. (and the defender fires at him when he does it), does the defensive fire take place before or after the attempt is resolved, i.e. will the defensive fire be affected by the smoke if the placement dr succeeds?
b. does the 2MF come off that one MMC's MF, or that of the whole stack? If the former, will the smoke-laying MMC run out of MF before the rest of the stack and therefore risk being left behind later in the phase?
c. if the smoke-laying MMC rolls a 6 (ending its MPh), can the rest of the stack carry on as normal?

2. if the leader is wounded during the stack's MPh (reducing his MF to 3):
a. does that take effect immediately?
b. if so, does the leader still give a 2MF bonus to the MMCs?

Chapter and verse from the SK rulebook would be appreciated...

TIA,

Andrew
 
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Jim Cote
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Sorry, I don't have the rules.

1a. Defensive fire takes place AFTER the action/movement that used up MP.

1b. Using MP is per-unit. The notion of a stack is only relevent for movement.

1c. Yes (per 1b).

2a. Yes. There are very few (if any) things in ASL that are delayed.

2b. I don't recall the rules for a wounded leader. If the leader has to stop (broken or pinned), then the other units moving with the leader lose any further movement bonus, but may otherwise continue.
 
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Andrew Young
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game_boy wrote:

2. if the leader is wounded during the stack's MPh (reducing his MF to 3):
a. does that take effect immediately?
b. if so, does the leader still give a 2MF bonus to the MMCs?

Chapter and verse from the SK rulebook would be appreciated...

TIA,

Andrew


Sorry, don't have the SK rules in front of me. But, the 2MF ceases when the leader is wounded, if he was wounded on the 5MF then everyone stops with him. Since he can't move any further. If wounded on the 3rd MF, the units can use their 4th to move but don't get his bonus- think of it like he's not there to crack the whip of progress.

Andy
 
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Jeff Thompson
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Jim,

Careful with the letters "MP" because Infantry expends "MF." When SK#3 comes out you'll know what I mean.

Andrew,

When a unit in a "moving stack" expends MF, they all expend those MF, so when the first squad uses 2MF for smoke, the whole stack is using those 2MF. Now, you could state that both squads are using 2MF to lay smoke, then if the first fails, then the 2nd one can try.

If one of those squads rolls a 6 only that squad ends its MPh.

Sorry I don't have any SK rules.
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Jim Cote
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Tompy wrote:
When a unit in a "moving stack" expends MF, they all expend those MF, so when the first squad uses 2MF for smoke, the whole stack is using those 2MF. Now, you could state that both squads are using 2MF to lay smoke, then if the first fails, then the 2nd one can try.


Are you sure about this? This is contrary to the way I was taught, and also seems odd. Is it because the other units have to "wait" for the MF to be expended?
 
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Jeff Thompson
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ekted wrote:
Tompy wrote:
When a unit in a "moving stack" expends MF, they all expend those MF, so when the first squad uses 2MF for smoke, the whole stack is using those 2MF. Now, you could state that both squads are using 2MF to lay smoke, then if the first fails, then the 2nd one can try.


Are you sure about this? This is contrary to the way I was taught, and also seems odd. Is it because the other units have to "wait" for the MF to be expended?


No, it's because it's a stack. If the stack consisted of units that were required to spend a different amount of MF to accomplish something, then the unit that required the most MF would require the entire stack to expend that many MF.

This is one of those things that doesn't come up often because it's not good practice, (moving in stacks).

If you declare a stack to be moving, and one attempts a Smoke Grenade, when the Defender First Fires, he'll be affecting the entire stack, because the entire stack just expended 2MF.

Now, if two squads are attemptig Smoke Grenades, then they both expend their 2MF simultaneously, then one rolls for Smoke. The other can wait the outcome of the first, but regardless, it has expended 2MF (as part of the stack). If one of the squads rolls a 6, then only ITS MPh is over, the rest of the stack can continue. But if both squads do decide to roll for Smoke, then they both get to roll before any First Fire.

Again, in practice you move a single squad, have him throw smoke, then move the other squad with the leader regardless of the outcome (or perhaps this second squad would also attemp smoke first). But this is not a stack, this is 2 separate squads/stacks moving by themselves.
 
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Jim Cote
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But the notion of a stack is for movement. If I have 2 units in a hex, and one of them lays smoke, the other has not expended any MF at all. There is no stack. What you seem to be talking about are units that move together as a stack THEN do other things.
 
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Kevin Moody
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I'm unclear on this, too.

If a unit in a stack began its movement by attempting to lay smoke, would the defender then be able to attack the entire stack before any of the other units have moved?
 
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Jeff Thompson
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Exacty.

In the example, the player wanted to move a leader and 2 squads as a stack. he wanted to give each squad the 2MF bonus. So therefore, they are both moving a the same time.

Attempting a Smoke Grenade IS movement.
 
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Jim Cote
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I don't see why you need to declare the stack before attempting to lay smoke. I don't recall anything in the SK2 rules about this sort of thing. Can you please post paragraph references.
 
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Kevin Moody
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One thing I admire about the game is that the rules make sense on a "realism" front (i.e. whether or not the rule adds anything to play value, it usually seems understandable as to the designer rational for using it), but that one doesn't make sense to me.

Are the other units just standing around, out of cover, as their brothers-in-arms attempt to place smoke?

This is a rare case where the semi-simutaneous fire/movement aspect of the game is difficult to envision.
 
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Ralph Reinert
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Kevin Moody wrote:
One thing I admire about the game is that the rules make sense on a "realism" front (i.e. whether or not the rule adds anything to play value, it usually seems understandable as to the designer rational for using it), but that one doesn't make sense to me.

Are the other units just standing around, out of cover, as their brothers-in-arms attempt to place smoke?


I also don't have the rules in front of me, but it makes perfect sense to me that the other units are "just standing around, out of cover, as their brothers-in-arms attempt to place smoke." The leader has expressly ordered all units to remain in formation as a stack in order to gain the benefits (if any) of remaining together. True, this is not usually the wisest course of action, but there can be advantages to doing so. Without scouring through the ASL rules (I don't have the complete SK rules), I believe that in the Movement Phase, the leader only adds his leadership modifier to units in his stack. Perhaps he might feel it is worth the risk of placing all his men in danger of Defensive Fire to have them arrive en masse at their destination.

Damn! I've got to play this game again soon. I am so out of practice. arrrh
 
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Jeff Thompson
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Either you move as a stack or you don't.

Attempting Smoke Grenade placement is MOVING.

So if you are MOVING as a stack, then you are moving as a stack. If you decide to move each unit separately, then you are not moving as a stack.

If you want a leader to imbue his +2MF bonus to both units in the Location/Hex, then you need to MOVE as a stack. So if you decide to do this, and want to expend 2MF to place a Smoke Grenade, then you are MOVING as a stack when doing so.

If you want a single unit to use 2MF to place a Smoke Grenade, then you want to use a leader and a squad together as a stack with 6MF, then the first unit is MOVING independently (and ha 4MF available). Then his movement phase ends. Then the stack of the leader and squad MOVE as a stack with 6MF.

I know I'm not quoting ASLSK rules, but trust me, this is how it works.

later,
Jeff
 
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John Brady
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You have to declare the smoke grenade placement attempt, either by saying:

a) "the 447 at the bottom of the stack is attempting to place smoke in an adjecent hex for 2MF"...which means you *aren't* moving the whole stack, only that specific unit; or by saying:

b) "the whole stack is moving, and the 447 at the bottom is attempting to place smoke in an adjacent hex for 2 MF". This uses 2MF for the whole stack.

You can't just say "I'm placing smoke in hex so and so...you have to identify which unit(s) are making the attempt...and that's the point at which you've made your choice as to whether or not it's the whole stack doing it, or just one unit.

Either way, your opponent can shoot at you twice for the 2MF expended for the smoke attempt in an adjecent hex (and you do get the +2 for the smoke if you succeeded in placing it); if you chose option a), the other units aren't effected by any FF or SFF, if you chose option b), they are.
 
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Jeff Thompson
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Thanks John. I couldn't figure out a way to word the examples. Well done.
 
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John Brady
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Tompy wrote:
Thanks John. I couldn't figure out a way to word the examples. Well done.


Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once and a while. This is quite possibly my *one* moment of clarity in this lifetime, such that I will ever be able to explain an ASL rule to myself, much less to anyone else, and have them understand it.

You should have seen me and a buddy the other night at about 2:00am, trying to figure out how to handle an MG that kept ROF when it first fired...it was quite entertaining, to say the least.

 
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Jay Richardson
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Andrew Swan wrote:
Chapter and verse from the SK rulebook would be appreciated...

"Chapter and verse" he says...

Quote:
1. if one of the MMCs spends 2MF to lay smoke in an adjacent hex:
a. (and the defender fires at him when he does it), does the defensive fire take place before or after the attempt is resolved, i.e. will the defensive fire be affected by the smoke if the placement dr succeeds?

3.3.1, 1st para:

"Any time a unit or stack expends MF..."

Simply announcing the expenditure of MF does not trigger defensive fire, you must actually spend them, so the smoke attempt is made first, resolved, and only then can the defender fire.

"...the ATTACKER must give the DEFENDER ample opportunity to declare his fire before moving on..."

So the ATTACKER must make a move, then pause while the DEFENDER decides whether to fire or not, again reinforcing the idea that defensive fire occurs after the move in question has been completed.

The big exception to this is in placing a Demo Charge, 4.3, 2nd para:

"Should a placing unit survive all resultant Defensive First Fire, Subsequent First Fire, and FPF then the DC is operably placed."

Even though the DEFENDER cannot fire until after the moving unit has expended the MF to place the DC, the DC placement is not successful unless the placing unit survives (unpinned and unbroken) all defensive fire triggered by that movement.

So the rules specifically allow defensive fire to interrupt a DC placement attempt; no such specific allowance is made for smoke placement, so smoke placement cannot be interrupted or cancelled by defensive fire.

Quote:
b. does the 2MF come off that one MMC's MF, or that of the whole stack? If the former, will the smoke-laying MMC run out of MF before the rest of the stack and therefore risk being left behind later in the phase?

3.3, 4th para

This is a COWTRA situation: Concentrate On What The Rules Allow. The rules allow multiple units to move as a stack... they allow units moving in a stack to break apart and move in separate directions... they DO NOT allow a unit to spend some MF on its own, and then join a stack to continue moving. That is, thinking that "there is no rule that forbids this, therefore it must be legal" is wrong – there is no rule that allows it, therefore it is illegal.

When units move as a stack, they all move together and spend MF equally. If a unit moving in a stack decides to spend MF on its own, it is no longer a member of that stack.

Quote:
c. if the smoke-laying MMC rolls a 6 (ending its MPh), can the rest of the stack carry on as normal?

As above, the rules allow a unit to leave a stack at any time and move separately... even if that "movement" is only to stop moving.

Quote:
2. if the leader is wounded during the stack's MPh (reducing his MF to 3):
a. does that take effect immediately?
b. if so, does the leader still give a 2MF bonus to the MMCs?

I think that "combat results take effect immediately" is one of those things that are just assumed. I can't even find a full ASL rule that says this specifically. (You'd be surprised at some of the things that ASL doesn't have rules for.)

A wounded leader still gives a 2 MF bonus to accompanying MMCs – nothing in 3.3, 2nd para requires the leader to be unwounded. But, under the ASLSK rules, this bonus becomes useless because the wounded leader only has 3 MF of his own to use. Under the full ASL rules, the wounded leader can be carried by a MMC and still give them the benefit of his 2 MF bonus (A17.2, last sentence).

If a leader is wounded after already expending more than 3 MF he simply stops moving. In full ASL, the wounded leader would be pinned in this case (A17.2 again), but I don't see this rule in the ASLSK rules.
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Todd Pytel
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Good to see that this question of smoke and stack moves has been discussed, since I was just about to ask it. It seems the consensus is mostly that a unit cannot spend MF for smoke placement independently of the stack, I'll ask a follow-up question - if two MMC's were stack-moving with a leader, could the stack use 2 MF and have each MMC place smoke in a different adjacent hex?

This situation was actually relevant to a game I just finished, so this is not just an idle question.
 
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Jay Richardson
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Todd Pytel wrote:
I'll ask a follow-up question - if two MMC's were stack-moving with a leader, could the stack use 2 MF and have each MMC place smoke in a different adjacent hex?

Yes.

Nothing in the rules limits smoke placement to a single squad or requires squads moving together to select the same location for placing smoke.

However, because they are moving as a stack, they will place smoke simultaneously. This means you would have to choose the location for each squad's smoke placement attempt before rolling for any of the attempts. If you wanted to see if the first attempt was successful before deciding where to place the second attempt, you would either have to move each squad separately, or the stack would have to expend MF for two separate smoke attempts.
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Jim Cote
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richfam wrote:
However, because they are moving as a stack, they will place smoke simultaneously. This means you would have to choose the location for each squad's smoke placement attempt before rolling for any of the attempts. If you wanted to see if the first attempt was successful before deciding where to place the second attempt, you would either have to move each squad separately, or the stack would have to expend MF for two separate smoke attempts.


Is this also true of stacks when using Prep Fire, Defensive Fire, or Assault Fire? My recollection is that you can fire one unit at one target, see the results, then decide where to fire another unit (except not at the same target). Of course, you can also move 2 separate stacks one after the other based on the results of the previous movement. Do the rules actually say 2 stacked units expending MF individually do so in parallel (ie you must declare everything up front)?
 
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Jay Richardson
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Jim C wrote:
Is this also true of stacks when using Prep Fire, Defensive Fire, or Assault Fire?

No. Firing and movement are two entirely different activities. The stack rules apply to units MOVING (i.e. expending MF) as a stack; the Fire Group rules apply to units in a stack FIRING together.

Jim C wrote:
My recollection is that you can fire one unit at one target, see the results, then decide where to fire another unit (except not at the same target).

Correct, assuming that the firing units are stacked together.

Jim C wrote:
Do the rules actually say 2 stacked units expending MF individually do so in parallel (ie you must declare everything up front)?

Yes... although (and by now you should know what I'm going to say next) that rule doesn't seem to be included in the ASLSK rules. Grrrr!

So, once again we must refer to the full ASL Rulebook, A4.2:

"Units moving as a stack expend MF simultaneously and need not spend MF for the same purpose, but must designate at the same time all actions for the same MF." (my emphasis added)

I don't have the slightest doubt that this basic ASL rule is also intended to apply to ASLSK.

***

To recap, then, when units in a stack make multiple attacks, they do so sequentially, one at a time.

But when units in a stack expend MF, they do so simultaneously and equally. If the MF expenditures are not simultaneous and equal, then they are no longer moving together as a stack.
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Christian Sperling
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Hi

richfam wrote:
However, because they are moving as a stack, they will place smoke simultaneously. This means you would have to choose the location for each squad's smoke placement attempt before rolling for any of the attempts. If you wanted to see if the first attempt was successful before deciding where to place the second attempt, you would either have to move each squad separately, or the stack would have to expend MF for two separate smoke attempts.


Is this correct?

In the Rulebook under A24.SMOKE it states:"Units attempting to place SMOKE grenades must specify the hex they wish to place them in before rolling the placement dr, but are otherwise free to observe the placement attempts of previous moving units before designating their own placement attempts.."

The quote from Jay would count for "WHITE PHOSPHORUS": "The rules for placement of WP grenades are identical to those of conventional smoke except that such use must be announced prior to the Placement Attempt dr."

Right??

Greetings,
Chris
 
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Christian Sperling
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konsum24 wrote:
Hi

richfam wrote:
However, because they are moving as a stack, they will place smoke simultaneously. This means you would have to choose the location for each squad's smoke placement attempt before rolling for any of the attempts. If you wanted to see if the first attempt was successful before deciding where to place the second attempt, you would either have to move each squad separately, or the stack would have to expend MF for two separate smoke attempts.


Is this correct?

In the Rulebook under A24.SMOKE it states:"Units attempting to place SMOKE grenades must specify the hex they wish to place them in before rolling the placement dr, but are otherwise free to observe the placement attempts of previous moving units before designating their own placement attempts.."

The quote from Jay would count for "WHITE PHOSPHORUS": "The rules for placement of WP grenades are identical to those of conventional smoke except that such use must be announced prior to the Placement Attempt dr."

Right??


Forget my suppositions, they're totally wrong.blushshake

Greetings,
Chris

 
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