Vez A
Germany
Kiel
Germany
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
Hi all.

I always found the NVAbot march one of the most tricky bot moves. There are at least two passages the tackling of which I've found particularly tricky. Here my attempts to think through these passages.

Certain to Enter Earlier Group's Origin

The NVAbot March instructions vouch for leaving an NVA base unprotected "only if another Marching group is certain to enter the earlier group’s origin space". I've often wondered how to best go about detecting on the board situations in which such a certainty obtains? Here's an idea.

It'll probably save you time to look first for spaces in which a base might possibly be left unprotected. Here you're looking for base spaces with a large enough group of NVA able to take control in an adjacent top 3 highest 1+ pop space (if Trail at 4, then also spaces further away).

Btw, one thing I'm constantly tempted to forget, but that greatly eases the execution of the NVAbot March is that the NVAbot does not split or combine existing groups of march-eligible pieces. (Or do they sometimes do? See below.)

If you've found a candidate base space in which a base could possibly be left unprotected, next you look for a march-eligible group of NVA able to reach the candidate space. If there's such a group, next you make sure there's no chance (including via a random space die roll) that they'll be marching to some other space instead.

If you've got this far, then it'll be the last bullet of the NVAbot March that triggers the base protecting March.

Must End in Different Space

So the NVAbot never splits or combines marching forces, or does it? Consider this passage:

"Each Marching group must stay together [i.e. do not split]. If possible within the priorities below, they must end in a different space than all other groups [i.e. do not combine]."

What's the exception alluded to there by the words "if possible"? One I can think of concerns combining groups consisting of (perhaps single) march-eligible NVA pieces that together could march into a single space to protect an unprotected NVA base.

There are two other cases where the NVAbot does seem to both split and combine forces (although I am not sure that the passage above refers to these cases as in the NVA March priorities they occur above, and not below, the passage).

1. The NVAbot's attempts to get "as close as possible to 4 NVA Guerrillas" into a baseless Laos/Cambodia space with less than 4 existing guerrillas. It seems the NVAbot, if needed, is willing to both split and combine groups of pieces to achieve that aim.

2. The NVAbot's desire to get 1 guerrilla onto 1 LoC will also potentially involve splitting off a guerrilla from a group (unless it's a lone guerrilla).

I hope I'm not too far off with these ideas and that they help someone out there to make sense of the NVAbot March.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Ladson
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
On the NVA Troops March, I try to keep in mind that the separate-group instruction is trying to prevent blobbing but that is not absolute. It's secondary to the primary point: adding NVA Control. So when I calculate 3-highest pop spaces next to NVA troops I see if one group will be sufficient to Control it and if not, is there anything nearby that can help and is eligible. If a group is Marching and adding Control, it's untouchable and won't split even if the forces are in excess of what is needed for Control. If it's just sitting there, it is possibly eligible to contribute. If I overlook the "if possible" part, as the NVA spread thinner into S. Nam, they will get stuck and will hover around 8 to 12 Control points.

Regarding 4-guerillas in Laos/Cambodia, Oerjan confirmed that the intent of the instruction was to get 4-guerillas in 1 Laos/Cambodia space and when that is achieved, you don't have to keep trying to get 4-elsewhere, or keep moving 3 of the four around. Otherwise, you may end up with nomadic guerillas bouncing all around Laos/Cambodia gratuitously chewing up resources.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oerjan Ariander
Sweden
HUDDINGE
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
* The "Marching groups stay together" bullet applies to the priorities below it, i.e., not to the "4 Guerrillas" and "to 1 LoC" bullets. Note that you don't even identify the Marching Groups until after you've already executed those two Guerrilla movements...

* "If possible" means "ignore this restriction if there is no way to meet the priorities below without combining groups".

/Oerjan
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vez A
Germany
Kiel
Germany
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
Oerjan wrote:


* "If possible" means "ignore this restriction if there is no way to meet the priorities below without combining groups".


Damned. This goes into the long list of things I haven't understood or have understood wrong about this game. Thank you Scott and Örjan for getting me back on track.

Perhaps it's just me confused by this passage, but might one consider a reformulation something like this:

"Each Marching group must stay together. Unless it's otherwise impossible to meet the priorities below If possible within the priorities below, they must end in a different space than all other groups."

Alternatively, how about

"If possible within meeting the priorities below"?

I guess my original confusion stemmed from thinking "possible within priorities" referred to something (a bit of text) in the priorities below that would allow (make possible) combining forces after all, while of course the priorities never say anything of that sort.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Sherlock
United States
Anaheim Hills
California
flag msg tools
badge
Admin @ www.cigargeeks.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oerjan wrote:
* The "Marching groups stay together" bullet applies to the priorities below it, i.e., not to the "4 Guerrillas" and "to 1 LoC" bullets. Note that you don't even identify the Marching Groups until after you've already executed those two Guerrilla movements...

* "If possible" means "ignore this restriction if there is no way to meet the priorities below without combining groups".

/Oerjan

I have been enlightened once again. I feel like I am getting near 98% understanding of the nuances of the bots.

If I ever reach 100%, I believe that I get to ascend to a higher plane of existence.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Taylor
United States
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oerjan wrote:
* The "Marching groups stay together" bullet applies to the priorities below it, i.e., not to the "4 Guerrillas" and "to 1 LoC" bullets. Note that you don't even identify the Marching Groups until after you've already executed those two Guerrilla movements...

* "If possible" means "ignore this restriction if there is no way to meet the priorities below without combining groups".

/Oerjan

Hi Oerjan,

Based on your answer in my thread on 3.3.2, though, your first point isn't even necessary, right? A space can donate pieces to multiple locations, i.e. Quang-Tri to the Hue-Da Nang LoC AND if needed, pieces to say Hue, and/or Quang-Nam. As long as all the pieces moving from Quang-Tri to Hue, or Quang-Tru to Quang-Nam move together, Quang-Tri could send pieces to all 3 places.

Or do the main rules and bot rules differ slightly in this respect?

Thanks,

Colin
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oerjan Ariander
Sweden
HUDDINGE
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Er, no.

3.3.2 reply, extended version: "No, the 3.3.2 rule does not mean that pieces from a space can only move together in to one other space." IOW, they may split up to go to different destinations if they wish; it is only when they're all moving to the same destination that they move as a single group. I apologize for not being clearer in the other thread.

8.6.5 bullet 6 says that the groups identified in bullet 5 will not split up, even though 3.3.2 allows them to do it.

Regards,
Oerjan
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Taylor
United States
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oerjan wrote:
Er, no.

3.3.2 reply, extended version: "No, the 3.3.2 rule does not mean that pieces from a space can only move together in to one other space." IOW, they may split up to go to different destinations if they wish; it is only when they're all moving to the same destination that they move as a single group. I apologize for not being clearer in the other thread.

8.6.5 bullet 6 says that the groups identified in bullet 5 will not split up, even though 3.3.2 allows them to do it.

Regards,
Oerjan

Got it. So in my example of a situation where Quang-Tri could send a Guerrilla to the Hue-Da Nang LoC, and also could take control in both Hue and Quang-Nam, in a solo game you would use the remaining hierarchy to decide which one they would go to as a single group, after fulfilling the LoC move. Is that correct? But in a multiplayer game, the NVA could move to all 3, should they so wish?

Thanks,

Colin
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Taylor
United States
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ColintheFlea wrote:
Oerjan wrote:
Er, no.

3.3.2 reply, extended version: "No, the 3.3.2 rule does not mean that pieces from a space can only move together in to one other space." IOW, they may split up to go to different destinations if they wish; it is only when they're all moving to the same destination that they move as a single group. I apologize for not being clearer in the other thread.

8.6.5 bullet 6 says that the groups identified in bullet 5 will not split up, even though 3.3.2 allows them to do it.

Regards,
Oerjan

Got it. So in my example of a situation where Quang-Tri could send a Guerrilla to the Hue-Da Nang LoC, and also could take control in both Hue and Quang-Nam, in a solo game you would use the remaining hierarchy to decide which one they would go to as a single group, after fulfilling the LoC move. Is that correct? But in a multiplayer game, the NVA could move to all 3, should they so wish?

Thanks,

Colin

Actually, I think I'm getting hung up on what a Marching Group is. Is it all the pieces in a space that are able to move (excluding the prior moves of LoC and 4 Guerrillas), ergo that each space donating pieces can only donate to one other space? I think that is what you are implying with the difference between the main rules and solo, i.e. in multi, you may create multiple Marching Groups in a space that are each headed to a different destination, but in solo, only 1 Marching Group per space is created and they all go to the same destination.

Thanks,

Colin
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Sherlock
United States
Anaheim Hills
California
flag msg tools
badge
Admin @ www.cigargeeks.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ColintheFlea wrote:
ColintheFlea wrote:
Oerjan wrote:
Er, no.

3.3.2 reply, extended version: "No, the 3.3.2 rule does not mean that pieces from a space can only move together in to one other space." IOW, they may split up to go to different destinations if they wish; it is only when they're all moving to the same destination that they move as a single group. I apologize for not being clearer in the other thread.

8.6.5 bullet 6 says that the groups identified in bullet 5 will not split up, even though 3.3.2 allows them to do it.

Regards,
Oerjan

Got it. So in my example of a situation where Quang-Tri could send a Guerrilla to the Hue-Da Nang LoC, and also could take control in both Hue and Quang-Nam, in a solo game you would use the remaining hierarchy to decide which one they would go to as a single group, after fulfilling the LoC move. Is that correct? But in a multiplayer game, the NVA could move to all 3, should they so wish?

Thanks,

Colin

Actually, I think I'm getting hung up on what a Marching Group is. Is it all the pieces in a space that are able to move (excluding the prior moves of LoC and 4 Guerrillas), ergo that each space donating pieces can only donate to one other space? I think that is what you are implying with the difference between the main rules and solo, i.e. in multi, you may create multiple Marching Groups in a space that are each headed to a different destination, but in solo, only 1 Marching Group per space is created and they all go to the same destination.

Thanks,

Colin

It is your choice, and the bot chooses not to split up. Also, you pay for the destination, so splitting can cost you quite a bit if you scatter into provinces.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Taylor
United States
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jackalope wrote:
It is your choice, and the bot chooses not to split up. Also, you pay for the destination, so splitting can cost you quite a bit if you scatter into provinces.

Yes, that's a nice, easy summary. I'll probably use that as a margin note in my rules, to help me remember for the first few games. I assume if I can tackle the NVA March, then I'm probably well on my way.

Colin
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls