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Subject: Lateral Group Transfer (LGT) and Relative Range (RR) rss

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Chris Clarke
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I have follow up questions, but I'll start simply because they become moot depending on the answer.

[A]
3

[A]
3

Can this exist? Or any permutation where two "opposite" groups are at a range whose sum is greater than 5?
 
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Erich Schneider
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The rules and errata don't cover this situation with respect to groups of men (although Encirclement partially relates to it), however, rule 29.5 states that AFVs which make an Overrun attack on the group opposite them may then play movement cards to move through that group, which implies that said situation can exist.
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Chris Clarke
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And thus my confusion...

So...

[A]
3

[a]------ [b]
2 ------- 3

'b' has advanced to naturally flank 'A'

Then...

'A' performs LGT to become 'B'

----------[A](becomes B)
-----------3

[a]-------- [b]
2---------- 3

And my brain explodes...

So what I see here is that 'a' can now RETREAT 1 and thus naturally flank 'A'...is that correct? i.e. the battlefield has "flipped"...


EDIT: OR...are 'A' and 'b' facing away from each other?
 
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Richard Irving
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aram12 wrote:
I have follow up questions, but I'll start simply because they become moot depending on the answer.

[A]
3

[A]
3

Can this exist? Or any permutation where two "opposite" groups are at a range whose sum is greater than 5?


Short answer. Yes. See Scenario X: Surrounded. (More below)

Yes, 2 groups with different Group ID's can pass each other get to range chit total of 6 or more and then lateral transfer to then have the same ID. (Though this is rare. The rules only disallow groups at RR5 with same ID chit from further advancement (i.e. "going through") with the exception an AFV after an overrun.

This happens all of the time in Scenario X: Surrounded--where the attacking side splits his men into 2 "forces": one starts at RC0 the other at RC10. Encirclements/Natural flanking are only allowed in this scenario when accomplished using two groups from the same "force".


This does create a few issues to consider with regards to encirclement and natural flanking--but they aren't really that hard to figure out (the "front" group would be at RR6 (or higher) and "Flanking/encircling" group have to be at RR4. (To answer your second question is YES--the Flanking would have to retreat to RR4 to reflank. Note this disallowed if the group is encircled.)

But this situation comes up so rarely it really not worth thinking about--it's a bit like asking what happens when when you are traveling at light speed and you turn on your headlights?
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Chris Clarke
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I've only been playing for a short time, but it seems that the situation would come up quite often...a solitary group moves to flank from RR5 to RR4, just like I detailed above...amoung all the other things that remove the natural flanking, an LGT does so as well...if you don't have wire, an LGT seems the best way to get out of flank. As someone who has seen and played more games than I have, what am I missing here?
 
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Erich Schneider
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What you're missing is that only certain particular group arrangements allow this sort of thing to happen, and they don't arise all that often. For example, your initial example requires the capital-letter side to have no group B, which means either they have groups A and C (and maybe D), or just a solitary group A. In my experience, a situation where you have A and C but no B is rare (you usually want an A and B for effective concentration of fire), and if you have just an A and no other groups, you have worse problems to worry about than strange flanking situations and are likely going to lose the game soon (due to your opponent having a larger hand due to Unbalanced Position and due to you only being able to take one action a turn).
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Chris Clarke
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Ah, okay...


When I said,
"but it seems that the situation would come up quite often"

I was extrapolating the situation found between those three groups to a larger game...such as

A B C
a b

or

A B C D
a b c

I guess it's also possible that Up Front players don't generally setup unevenly; or that uneven group states are rare for whatever reason. In my first game, the game looked like the second example, and D was moving to naturally flank c. To avoid the flank, c's only option was to laterally move to d and be in the situation detailed in my first and second post...
 
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Richard Irving
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aram12 wrote:
Ah, okay...


When I said,
"but it seems that the situation would come up quite often"

I was extrapolating the situation found between those three groups to a larger game...such as

A B C
a b

or

A B C D
a b c

I guess it's also possible that Up Front players don't generally setup unevenly; or that uneven group states are rare for whatever reason. In my first game, the game looked like the second example, and D was moving to naturally flank c. To avoid the flank, c's only option was to laterally move to d and be in the situation detailed in my first and second post...


There are many reasons why your situation doesn't happen too frequently.

A) A lateral transfer is not required to break the flank--any movement card, even to remove wire, break the flank. You could move sideways (without transfer) or retreat. Natural Flanking is INITIATED when the movement card is played to put the Flanking group at RR6. A Flanking Chit is always removed (whether acquired naturally or through a Flank card) when the FLANKED group moves (even to remove wire), enters terrain or if the FLANKING group moves or is put in wire or if either the Flanking or Front groups are eliminated.

B) Another reason is that if a group has reached lateral flanking, that means if there are enough men in it, you have no way from stopping it reaching the necessary RC for victory. In Attack/Defender scenarios, the defender has little incentive to advance so rashly. If it is VP only scenario, like City Fight, this gives up potentially a lot of VP.

The moral here is always pay attention to Victory conditions. If the outside group is a threat to win, you laterally transfer before your situation can come up.

C) Moving at RR5 to any group is highly dangerous--opposing groups will high firepower and you give yourself an additional +1 modifier. You could get stuck in wire or a stream or abandoning good terrain for not so terrain. Etc. When groups try these sorts of things, they usually end up dead. The other way to lose is get your squad broken.

I have played over 1000 games of Up Front, I doubt natural flanking has come up more than 10 times.


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Chris Clarke
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Everything you mentioned I'm clear on, rules wise, so that says good things about my comprehension...

I had meant to say "my only option was to move" not "laterally move"...the point was that I saw an opportunity to LGT and got confused by "being behind" with the same ID as detailed above. Don't remember why I had decided to LGT instead of just retreat or lateral.

It probably came up in my first game by pure chance or sub-optimal play.

Anxious to play again.

The reason it seems to bother me so much is that encirclement requires an adjacent group to move laterally (at RR4 of course), but the group stays "adjacent"...if that same flanking group instead of encircling, LGT'd to "behind" his opponent, that wouldn't be encircling or flanking or anything...it's just...nothing except the weird inverted battlefield.

Actually, I just thought of something...do the rules outside of scenario X prohibit more than 2 groups sharing an ID? I mean, I'm not about to house rule a game that's been played the same way for 30 years, but as far as design space goes, why NOT have encirclement be a group in front and a group behind all sharing the same ID...it's certainly easier to understand intuitively. Would that significantly change something mechanically or in the balance?

Gotten beyond my question, kind of. Now I'm just curious.
 
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Erich Schneider
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Quote:
do the rules outside of scenario X prohibit more than 2 groups sharing an ID?


Yes. Rule 17.7 on Lateral Group Transfer, second and third sentence: "In doing so, [a group] attempts to assume the identity of an adjacent, previously non-existant group. Such a group ID transfer can occur only if there is no other friendly group in that position at the start of the turn."

There is of course the exception later in the rule about groups swapping position. The rule also does not specifically forbid the situation where groups A and C both attempt to transfer to a previously-nonexistent group B slot, but I think the intent is clear. (In that case I would think groups A and C could both declare they were transferring to the B slot, but the first one to have terrain played on it and accepted becomes group B and the other one is now simply moving sideways in the usual way.)
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