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Subject: Advancing Into Routed Units Should Result In Destruction rss

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Caralon the Survivor
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Hello all. I had my first play last night, and while we didn't finish (turn 5 after 5.5 hours! We had some slow players and long rules practice bit), I loved the game.

I think that one of the rules has a strange effect, though, and wondered if you guys thought it was intentional or why it would be this way. Based on our reading, if player A advances into a planet controlled by Player B, and ALL of Player B's units there are already routed, Player A immediately wins the combat, controls the planet, and Player B's unit retreats if it is possible to do so.

This situation happened to me, and it felt kind of janky. I advanced into a world controlled by an enemy, and all of his units were already routed (because they had fled there from another battle). Unless we read the rules wrong, the enemy routed units get to retreat. This felt bad for me because I had an overwhelming advantage, and would likely have been able to directly kill the enemy units (or some of them), even if they had not been routed when combat begins. The enemy units fled to a planet where they were able to reinforce on a later turn to my distinct disadvantage.

I think this is how the rules as written go, but it doesn't make much sense to me and led to a small situation that seemed vaguely out-of-sync. There are other possibilities for how the rules COULD have been written. I think there is probably no combat with cards and such in order to save time. It seems like it would also be reasonable for the already routed units to be destroyed if attacked by enemies. I think a reasonable compromise would that if a defender has only routed units, one unit is destroyed for each plastic attacker, and the rest are able to retreat.

I'm pretty sure that my interpretation of the rules is correct, but does anybody have an opinion about whether that is how the rules SHOULD be, or if there is a reason for them being set up like that?
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Jonathan Maisonneuve
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Yes the way it is currently is how it should be. Even in real life, if you are fleeing, and you see more enemies coming, you will just flee farther.

If you want to destroy your opponent, corner him with no retreat path available.
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Calixtus Wee
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This might actually make it more strategic, having to cut off the supply lines of the enemy, and prevent any possible retreat. Btw, what is "janky"?
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J Kaemmer
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Advancing into routed units often results in some death. One rule often overlooked is that the defender MUST retreat into a friendly area if possible. This has the effect of usually forcing your opponent to exceed their unit capacity on a world or void, you can usually kill 1 or 2 units this way (of course its their call on what dies). If they can't retreat to a friendly area THEN they may retreat to an unctrolled area (almost no uncontrolled planets mid-late game). If there are none they all die.
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Doug Epperson
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iswearihaveajob wrote:
If there are none they all die.


This (FS) is clearly NOT a Euro-Weenie game!!

Muhahaha devil
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stephen biggs
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The way the rules are is fine. If routed units were automatically destroyed when attacked. That would make game strategy more ami-trash & it would also not be historically accurate. Routed units were usually fine if they could withdraw to supply depots/reinforcements. Only if they were encircled or forced to withdraw away from their own supply path could they be easily destroyed.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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It makes perfect sense the way it is. You might want to read up on some military history books. I think the problem is your interpretation of routed is not historically accurate. And that's fine, many people would interpret the situation as you have.
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Tim Bell
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XAos wrote:
it would also not be historically accurate.


Wait...41st millennium is in the past?! What?!
 
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Björn
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He's referring to the history of warfare in general.
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Animate
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There is a direct relation between morale and number of casualties in modern warfare.

Routed units disengage if they can. Makes sense.

I understand how frustrating it might be. All you need to do is to plan around it.
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Pierre-Alexandre Fortin
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Just another 2 cents:
- if you have a combat where the attacker is against 3 defending units, and 2 of them are routed: a combat still occur where you can kill routed and unrouted unit? I think so...
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Robert Nix
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So, I understand that I am reopening a dead thread. And I also understand that another thread claims the designer says that routed defenders can retreat, but I can't find the quote (attributed to designer Sam Bailey). And I debated on whether to ask this here, or ask it there...or ask the designer directly. But since this was a thread actively pursuing the problem at hand, here goes!

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/19792275#19792275

The problem is that in this case, what happens to the defender appears to be undefined in the rules reference.

Specifically, the reference says that
Quote:
If the defender does not have unrouted units or bastions in the area at the start of a combat, the attacker immediately wins the combat. Players skip the preparation and execution steps and move directly to substep b) of the resolution step.


However...subsection b) happens after the defender retreats, which occurs in subsection a) ! No retreat happens during subsection c) cleanup, either, so clearly, as written, the area is still contested at the end of combat and combat will begin again, looping forever until the players die from dehydration.

The roles as attacker and defender remain unchanged, as this is still happening inside of the context of the advance order, I think.

I don't see where the designer states intent, and I disagree that destroying the routed defender does not make thematic or historical sense--typically, routed soldiers running away were (and are) at great risk if the victor chose to pursue them. As a tactical example: What happened to greek hoplites that broke and ran? The enemy's lighter troops and/or cavalry ran them down and slaughtered them.

An in-game analogy to cutting down the hoplites is an Eldar player using Wave Serpent to cut off a retreat. As I understand things from this thread ( https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1555277/wave-serpent-cuttin... ) if Chaos were to advance from planet B (and only B) and attack the Eldar on adjacent planet A, the Eldar wave Serpent to B, and then Chaos tries to retreat (which must be to B) one of three things will happen:

1) If B is occupied by unrouted units or a bastion, combat begins with Chaos as defender, but with some routed unit(s). No surprise.

2) If Chaos left B unoccupied, then Serpent makes it an Eldar controlled world. The retreating Chaos forces cannot start a new combat, as this retreat is part of the original advance order, and advance orders can only start one combat. The Chaos forces thus have no valid retreat space, and are destroyed. Tricky rules, easily misunderstood, but ok. Makes sense.

3) If B is occupied only by some combination of factory/city/routed units, then by the text on the Wave Serpent card, the area is contested and a new combat will begin at the conclusion of combat on A. The routed Chaos forces arrive on B, combat concludes on A, Chaos is treated as the defender in this new combat, and all routed defender units...get to run away again if there is a path to do so? Even though the well organized Eldar just stole the march and cut the disorganized rabble off? I mean, the Eldar used an ability, got there first, and were waiting for Chaos. Guns drawn, as it were. It ought to be a turkey shoot. Instead, they run right through the trap like is isn't there. This seems to both violate theme and somewhat punish good gameplay on the part of the Eldar.

 
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Colin Sham
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That's exactly what a Cylon would say!
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There has been no specific statement from FFG Rules Questions that I can find, but here are all the threads where this question has been discussed:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1400250/some-questions-espe...
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1397058/questions-playing-g...
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1416665/attacking-routed-un...
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1386788/attacking-systems-o...
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1423612/question-regarding-...
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1465453/couple-movement-que...

I've bolded the thread that is particularly relevant, since the subsection argument has been brought up before. Mihai's answer here was concise and direct: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/20238378#20238378

Since I love the 40k fluff, thematically, routed units act nothing like units "in retreat". Consider that an army entirely routed continues to battle for all 3 execution rounds. They are still fighting and killing, shown via icons on dice and battle cards. They can eliminate enemy units, and take damage. Sure they contribute no morale and they no longer function 100% by not triggering unit abilities, but does that sound like a broken unit to you?
 
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Robert Nix
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Of course! Stupidity is my specialty; the last post cleared up what I think I already knew. Thank you.

However using the term 'rout' does imply that, thematically, routed units are not just retreating (which implies at least a somewhat organized and deliberate withdraw), but doing so in a disorganized and ineffective manner. They have been broken, I assume they leave their dice for gameplay reasons during combat.

In Game of Thrones routed units that retreat get destroyed, although marching into a territory containing only routed units results in a normal round of combat (with the routed units providing 0 combat strength). To me that makes more sense thematically, although the combat system is arguably less interesting. And, of course, Space is Big. Really Big...so retreating again is probably more feasible.
 
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Will Curran
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I think the rules are fine as written and the intent is that routed units flee a system to and choose not to fight. It is your job to trap them if you want to destroy the force completely.

But I cringe a bit at some of the comments telling others to read their history.

Which history?

In ancient warfare battles were typically a shoving match until one side broke and then that is when mass casualties occurred. Routed armies were often slaughtered. Meaning that if I was to read my (ancient/medieval) history, then I would conclude that routed units die and don't retreat to another country/world.

In modern warfare (say WW2) things are aren't so straightforward. Retreating armies can still be deadly, attacking armies often have trouble pursuing routed armies due to the massive requirements of fuel/ammo/supplies, or in some cases routed armies surrender in large groups. There's a moral/supply/leadership component to scenarios involving routed/retreating armies.

Anyway, it's a strategy GAME, in a fantastical futuristic universe. It's a good strategy game. There are spaceships and demons and laser guns. No need to (incorrectly) throw the "historical accuracy" barb around. <groan>
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