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Subject: ZOC and aircrafts rss

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Matteo
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A german aircraft in Batum is in a friendly hex but in an enemy ZOC. It is not stacked with a friendly land unit. Is it able to trace supply out of the ZOC, through the black sea that is controlled by its side?

I say yes, because the unit must trace the supply path out of the hex towards the supply source, and thus the first hex of the path is not in an enemy ZOC. My friend says it can't, but I can't find any reason in the rules that denies the supply.

Thank you in advance
 
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Bruce Jurin
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Matteo,

This is a very good question – it seems simple, but there are a lot of complexities here. I can’t assure you at all that I have this 100% right. So make sure that your opponent and you are cool about this, this isn’t a crazy interpretation like the earlier one about invasions and paradrops. Having said that, I do think a strict reading of the rules lead to a clear answer.

Now some background:

Is an air unit sitting in a primary supply source hex without a land unit with a ZOC, in an enemy ZOC, in supply? The answer is ‘no’, which I know because Harry Rowland ruled on this point; unfortunately I don’t think the ruling is in print. But it does come from the strict interpretation of the rules:

2.4.2 Tracing supply

To be in supply, a unit must be able to trace a supply path back to a primary supply source.

Supply paths

You trace a supply path from a unit to a primary supply source.

Limits on supply paths

You can’t trace any supply path:
ï into an enemy ZOC (unless the hex contains a friendly land unit);

So even though the air unit is in the hex, it still must trace back to the primary supply source, and it can’t.


Now, your situation:

Overseas supply paths

To trace a basic supply path overseas, the unit must be in a coastal hex or trace the path via a port

So let’s read this carefully. In your case, the unit cannot trace to the port of Batum, for the same reasons that the air unit above is out of supply, it cannot trace a path to the port.

However, the rule says ‘the unit must be ‘in a coastal hex or trace the path via a port’. This language clearly indicates that a unit in a coastal hex does not have to trace to the port, it can trace an overseas path directly.

So my view is that the unit is in supply. The rules never say that an enemy ZOC can block a supply path from the coast – they block supply paths traced through hexes.

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Matteo
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Hello Bruce, and thanks for answering!

Breunor wrote:
Matteo,

This is a very good question – it seems simple, but there are a lot of complexities here. I can’t assure you at all that I have this 100% right. So make sure that your opponent and you are cool about this, this isn’t a crazy interpretation like the earlier one about invasions and paradrops. Having said that, I do think a strict reading of the rules lead to a clear answer.

Now some background:

Is an air unit sitting in a primary supply source hex without a land unit with a ZOC, in an enemy ZOC, in supply? The answer is ‘no’, which I know because Harry Rowland ruled on this point; unfortunately I don’t think the ruling is in print. But it does come from the strict interpretation of the rules:

2.4.2 Tracing supply

To be in supply, a unit must be able to trace a supply path back to a primary supply source.

Supply paths

You trace a supply path from a unit to a primary supply source.

Limits on supply paths

You can’t trace any supply path:
ï into an enemy ZOC (unless the hex contains a friendly land unit);

So even though the air unit is in the hex, it still must trace back to the primary supply source, and it can’t.


Mmm... I don't agree. Supply path is always FROM the unit TO the supply source. So, the supply path does not have to enter the hex with the airplanes, because it's actually exiting it. And nowhere it's written that supply can't exit a ZOCced hex, I think.

Now, if Harry has stated otherwise it should be in the FAQ, but I didnt' find anything. My fault?

Breunor wrote:
Now, your situation:

Overseas supply paths

To trace a basic supply path overseas, the unit must be in a coastal hex or trace the path via a port

So let’s read this carefully. In your case, the unit cannot trace to the port of Batum, for the same reasons that the air unit above is out of supply, it cannot trace a path to the port.

However, the rule says ‘the unit must be ‘in a coastal hex or trace the path via a port’. This language clearly indicates that a unit in a coastal hex does not have to trace to the port, it can trace an overseas path directly.

So my view is that the unit is in supply. The rules never say that an enemy ZOC can block a supply path from the coast – they block supply paths traced through hexes.


Ok, this is a good piece of information, and I think it's enough to say it's in supply.

 
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Bruce Jurin
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I don't think Harry Rowland published it unfortunately, but he claimed he didn't need to. I do think it should be clarified. Interestingly, my group had been playing it wrong but my son's group played it right which is odd since he learned the game from me! I had this wrong for a very long time .....

Specifically, the air unit sitting on the supply source still has to trace to the source, it is a path of 0 hexes. I had thought the unit could 'sit' in the supply source, but Harry basically had said that the plane must still trace, even if it is 0 hexes.

After he said that, I looked through the rules really carefully and I think he is right now by the way it is written, but it is a real rules' interpretation issue. I do see his point - it really comes down to that the rules literally say you must trace a path to a supply source, the rules never say that if you are 'sitting in' a supply source you don't have to trace; and if the rules don't say it, we shouldn't infer.

Hrrumph, my record against Harry is pretty good but I agree I had been wrong here.

I'd be surprised if there aren't a lot of people playing this differently (I don't even want to say 'wrong'....)

Note it is the same reason though that your unit in Batum is in supply - the enemy ZOC blocks any supply coming to Batum, so you can't trace to the port, but you can trace out.



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Matteo
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I think the scenario where you're sitting on the supply source is different and more restrictive: in fact in that case you have to trace both FROM and TO the hex where you're sitting (even if the range is zero). And it's the "to" part that screws your supply.
Instead, if the source is in another hex you don't have to trace TO your unit's hex, but only FROM it.

I think they're two completely different cases of study.
 
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Bruce Jurin
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Yes I think that is it. Basically you can trace from a hex in an enemy ZOC, but not to a hex in an enemy ZOC. The case of the plane sitting in a hex that is a primary supply source isn't the best example because both the hex it is tracing from is in the ZOC, which doesn't matter, but the hex it is tracing to is in the ZOC, which does matter.

But that is why I say the unit in Batum is in supply - you are tracing from the hex, not to it. You can't use the port in Batum because you need to trace to a port to use it, but you can trace from the coastal hex directly.


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Matteo
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Makes sense
 
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Alessandro Ricco'
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I still have some doubts if you will kindly forgive my insistence.

In my opinion the unit being on coast is misleading and possibly irrelevant.

The crux of the matter seems, whether the hex where the non-land unit is located, is part of the supply path and therefore subject to the path's usual limitations.

I understand that the supply path's length is counted by how many hexes must be crossed to reach the supply source. That makes sense, it's a measure of distance. However, the rules also state that you start the path from the unit, not from the first hex you enter after leaving the unit's hex.

Does that include the starting hex as the origin of the supply path?
How could an obstruction right in the starting hex not stop supply?

I hope I am making sense.
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Matteo
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Just to add another point to my reasoning, rules say:

Quote:
Limits on supply path

You can’t trace any supply path:
ï into an enemy ZOC (unless the hex contains a friendly land unit);or
ï into a hex controlled by another major power unless it agrees; or
ï into a hex controlled by a neutral country (exception: Vichy territory ~ see 17.4 and Sweden ~ see 19.7); or
ï across an alpine hexside; or
ï across a lake hexside (except when frozen); or
ï across an all sea hexside that isn’t a straits hexside (except as an overseas supply path); or
ï for any Soviet unit, into a hex controlled by any other Allied major power (and vice versa) unless the USSR is at war with Germany.


The first bullet point says "into", and I don't think it's a coincidence. It could have said "through", or "from or into", but instead Harry chose "into", and I think it was done on purpose. But even if it wasn't, those are the rules as written and they seem quite linguistically clear to me (unless there's something else, somewhere else, which I'm unaware of).
Just my opinion.
 
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Bruce Jurin
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Giringiro wrote:
I still have some doubts if you will kindly forgive my insistence.

In my opinion the unit being on coast is misleading and possibly irrelevant.

The crux of the matter seems, whether the hex where the non-land unit is located, is part of the supply path and therefore subject to the path's usual limitations.

I understand that the supply path's length is counted by how many hexes must be crossed to reach the supply source. That makes sense, it's a measure of distance. However, the rules also state that you start the path from the unit, not from the first hex you enter after leaving the unit's hex.

Does that include the starting hex as the origin of the supply path?
How could an obstruction right in the starting hex not stop supply?

I hope I am making sense.


This is exactly why it is hard - we are making rules based on literal readings, and ideally there would be more clarity.

But the reason the rules are specific that you trace from the unit to the source is to try to give some direction here. Yes, I agree I am interpreting it as meaning that when you trace a supply path, you don't have to trace the path into your starting hex. That is, I am stating that I feel saying it comes from the units hex does not mean it has to trace through the hex.

The main reason I say this is the following rule:

A supply path, basic or railway, can be up to 4 hexes. Each Asian or Pacific (AfA/AiF/AsA Option 1: or African, American or Scandinavian) map hex you trace into counts as 2 hexes. Each off-map hex counts as 4 hexes, so you can only trace a basic supply path into an adjacent hex during clear weather.



It is clear from examples, games played at tournaments, etc. that the 4 hexes do NOT include the starting hex but do include the supply source hex.

And the ZOC blocking comes from:

You can’t trace any supply path:
ï into an enemy ZOC (unless the hex contains a friendly land unit); or


Taking these together, the enemy ZOC blocks a supply path, the four hexes FROM the unit to the source, which does not include the starting hex.
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Andrew
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You can always trace out of a ZoC.

You can only trace supply into a ZoC if you have a friendly land unit.

Note that Air/Naval units on an unoccupied home country city are in supply, as they don't have to trace 'into' the hex, they're already on it.

Resources can get a little more tricky, since you have to stop when you hit a ZoC, occupied or not, but you can still trace out of and into, just that you have to stop. You can even trace to an adjacent hex despite both hexes being ZoC'd. (For instance, if Germany controls Metz and the resource west of it, even there are ZoCs on both, Germany can transport the resource west of the city to Metz and use it)
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Bruce Jurin
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AndrewFW wrote:


Note that Air/Naval units on an unoccupied home country city are in supply, as they don't have to trace 'into' the hex, they're already on it.



This is where I disagree, based on the question going to Harry Rowland. (I wasn't asking but was cced).

I can try to find the e-mail but I would have to look a bit, but the key here is the rules that back it.

2.4.2 Tracing supply

To be in supply, a unit must be able to trace a supply path back to a primary supply source.


So every unit must trace a supply path - there is no provision for 'sitting in' a supply source in the rules. The unit in the same hex as a supply source must trace a path of 0 hexes - but an air unit in a city cannot trace supply if it is in an unblocked enemy Zoc.




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Andrew
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You may well be right in that, but I'd always understood that you didn't need to trace to something you were stacked with. I could well be wrong in that.
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Bor Onx
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A fictional reason for why an air unit in a primary supply source can be unsupplied would be that the enemy has made movement in the hex so dangerous that it's impossible to set up supply into the airbase without significant land forces to protect it.

If we accepted that reasoning, it's clear that an air unit in a port without protection on the ground would have the same problem.
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