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A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Attacking without a legal retreat (supply) rss

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Ser Frederick
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So the rules state you can never take an action that would violate supply.

Jason Walden clarified how marches work with this statement
Quote:
Combat (and all of its subsequent steps) does not occur until all units utilizing that March order fulfill their movement. Thus, you can move units into an area containing enemy units and then, using the same March order, move other units into a friendly area all before actually playing out the combat in the first area moved into.

Hope that helps.


Therefore, it would be possible to initiate an attack in which after resolving combat, you have no legal retreat, as you are supply locked, so losing combat would result in the death of all your units.

To me this seems like a very straightforward thing

HOWEVER, I am currently dealing with people who believe that the attack could not be initiated to begin with, since the rules say
"you cannot take any action that would violate supply"
And they infer that the entire march itself is illegal, as losing the combat would violate supply.

To me though, the "attack" and the "retreat" are clearly two separate "actions" for the purposes of "any action that would violate supply", especially since winning the combat would result in no supply violation.

I am almost certain that I am correct, but is there any text or FFG response that supports my position?
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Matteo Angioletti
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The exact period in the rules which states that you can never take an action that would violate supply gives some examples of actions:

Rulebook p8 wrote:
A player is never allowed to take any action in the game
that would cause him to exceed his actual supply limit
as dictated by his position on the Supply track (such as
mustering, marching or retreating, all explained later)


Marching and retreating are therefore separate actions.


The edge case of a supply limited retreat for the attacker is not explicitely regulated, but we can infer it using the defender retreat rules:
Quote:
A player may not retreat his defending units to an area
containing friendly units if this would cause him to
exceed his Supply limit. If a player’s only option is to
retreat to such an area, he must first destroy as many
retreating units as necessary to be compliant with his
Supply limit after retreating to the area. After taking such
losses, he may retreat the remaining units.

If there is no legal area in which to retreat, all retreating
units are destroyed.


So the attacker would lose his units as there is no legal retreat.
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Joel Schuster
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Violating supply at any time is illegal.

What if you win that battle? You do not know the outcome when starting it.

If you violate your supply after the battle, you already violated it while marching, which is clearly against the rules.

You can never, not even temporarily violate supply.
 
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Michel Kangro
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But the rules clearly state how a violation of supply while retreating is dealed with, thus the order is valid since there is a legal way to produce a legal outcome, even though it means all the forces in that case are lost.
 
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Joel Schuster
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Sure but retreating as a defender is a situation you are forced in. Attacking is a choice. You can never chose to violate supply. The rules also clearly state that.

As long as you have valid options to retreat as a defender without violating supply, you have to take that option, even though it might be a bad tactical choice. It also says there that you may never intentionally destroy units by violating supply.

Violating supply is never an option, you just have to take it when there is no other way. Having to retreat as a defender actually is the ONLY other way
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Joel Schuster
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Reiper wrote:
Therefore, it would be possible to initiate an attack in which after resolving combat, you have no legal retreat, as you are supply locked, so losing combat would result in the death of all your units.


Surely not. If you do that, you violate supply during your march action.

Retreat is listed as a separate action as it might happen to a defending player to lose a battle. Listing actions such as marching, mustering and retreating makes it clear that you can neither violate supply in that case.
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Ser Frederick
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Umbratus wrote:
Violating supply at any time is illegal.

What if you win that battle? You do not know the outcome when starting it.

If you violate your supply after the battle, you already violated it while marching, which is clearly against the rules.

You can never, not even temporarily violate supply.


Emphasis is mine, what you just said there is incorrect. There are situations where you can attack someone without violating supply, where losing the battle would result in being over supply

FOR EXAMPLE:
-I am baratheon, I am at my supply limit of 4/3/2/2
-I have 3 units with a march in kings landing, and 1 unit support in the kingswood
-I attack the reach by first moving a unit into the reach, and then moving a unit into the kingswood

If I lose this battle, my unit would attempt to retreat, but doing so would cause my supply to look like this 4/2/2/2/2. Therefore the retreat is illegal and the unit dies

The attack however, was perfectly legal
 
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Björn Grafström
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Reiper wrote:


Therefore, it would be possible to initiate an attack in which after resolving combat, you have no legal retreat, as you are supply locked, so losing combat would result in the death of all your units.


I fail to see the possibility of this. As the attacker you must retreat to the area you marched from. That area was fine with your supply before your march and will be so after it as well. If not you violated supply even before your march.
 
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Joel Schuster
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Reiper wrote:
-I attack the reach by first moving a unit into the reach, and then moving a unit into the kingswood
...
The attack however, was perfectly legal


Nope. This move is illegal.


Quote from the rules, 2ed page 15:
For each March Order, a player may move units into only one area containing units of another House. In other words, while the marching player may split his units and move them into several adjacent areas, only one of those
areas may contain units from another house.

When a player moves one or more units into an area containing units from another house, he starts a combat as the attacker. See rules for combat on page 17.

Before resolving combat, all other non-combat movement from the area assigned the March Order must be completed.
 
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Joel Schuster
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And this rule never changed since the game came out in 2003
 
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Ser Frederick
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Umbratus wrote:
Reiper wrote:
-I attack the reach by first moving a unit into the reach, and then moving a unit into the kingswood
...
The attack however, was perfectly legal


Nope. This move is illegal.



You're wrong though, did you read my original post? Let me quote it again

Quote:
Combat (and all of its subsequent steps) does not occur until all units utilizing that March order fulfill their movement. Thus, you can move units into an area containing enemy units and then, using the same March order, move other units into a friendly area all before actually playing out the combat in the first area moved into.

Hope that helps.


This is an answer from the game designer, there is no disputing this.
The keyword in the rule you quoted is "resolve combat", you would only be right if it said "begin combat"

bagisbjorn wrote:

I fail to see the possibility of this. As the attacker you must retreat to the area you marched from. That area was fine with your supply before your march and will be so after it as well. If not you violated supply even before your march.


Refer to the post above yours, it shows how a situation like I describe is possible
 
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Matteo Angioletti
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bagisbjorn wrote:
Reiper wrote:


Therefore, it would be possible to initiate an attack in which after resolving combat, you have no legal retreat, as you are supply locked, so losing combat would result in the death of all your units.


I fail to see the possibility of this. As the attacker you must retreat to the area you marched from. That area was fine with your supply before your march and will be so after it as well. If not you violated supply even before your march.


There is possibility, but it is not very likely:

1. You have to march from an area which contains 3/4 units
2. You have to be at maximum army capacity
3a. You have to move 1/2 units to a non-combat area to create a new army (which means you need to already have at least one unit there in the 3 starting units scenario)
3b. You have to march 1 non-Siege unit to initiate combat and leave 1 unit in the starting area
4. You have to lose the ensuing combat and do not take casualties

At the end of step 3b you are compliant to supply limits (the original army is disbanded and a new army is created), but after step 4 you are no longer in the supply limit due to the forced retreat.

 
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Robert Kukovica
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This exact situation has been discussed before and someone got an official answer from FFG. You can find it here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/752416/official-responses-f...

Jason Walden wrote:
If a player is using his march order to move units into two separate areas (one empty/friendly area and one enemy area where a combat would ensue), he must first move the units that are moving into the empty/friendly area and then move the units that would start the combat.

The issue of supply is thus very relevant, as you suggested. But the other instance where this rule will matter most is retreats. If you march into an empty area adjacent to the area that you are also attacking, you are reducing the options for your opponent to retreat into if he loses.

I hope that clarifies your question.
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Ser Frederick
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Odrl wrote:
This exact situation has been discussed before and someone got an official answer from FFG. You can find it here:


https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/927319/move-order-clarifica...

Post 19

The Jason Walden quote you have was one in a series of back and forth emails about this question, and the one I quoted in my OP is more recent.

I do find these contradictory rulings frustrating...
Definitely prefer my way though, it makes the game feel more fluid
 
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Joel Schuster
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FFG support is known to produce inconsistent replies to the same or slightly differently phrased issues.

This rule however is clear: When you do a split march, combat always takes place last.
 
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Michel Kangro
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Does it solve the issue that combat takes place last? Is the attack as last part of the move order valid, if a lost attack would mean armies are destroyed through retreat?
 
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Joel Schuster
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Facts.

1) Marching to combat always takes place last when you do a split march.

2) There is no single case where units must be destroyed because of supply violation when you attack. If that were the case, you violated supply earlier already.

3) Having to destroy units due to supply at the end of the battle when you retreat may only happen to the defending loser of combat. If he has no other valid retreat location that allows retaining supply limits.

Anything else is a made up case that does not exist in the game. The point it derails is allowing split marches after initiating combat, which is clearly against the rules as quoted above. Stretching things even further, the author assumes that first his attack happens, then a split march and then the retreat of the combat. I think this is what confuses people most here, as it is rather unique interpretation.

Official rules:
a) Optional split marches
b) Battle
c) Retreat


What the author does:
a) Battle
b) Split march
c) Retreat

This is of course causing issues.
 
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Matteo Angioletti
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Umbratus wrote:
Facts.

1) Marching to combat always takes place last when you do a split march.

2) There is no single case where units must be destroyed because of supply violation when you attack. If that were the case, you violated supply earlier already.

3) Having to destroy units due to supply at the end of the battle when you retreat may only happen to the defending loser of combat. If he has no other valid retreat location that allows retaining supply limits.

Anything else is a made up case that does not exist in the game. The point it derails is allowing split marches after initiating combat, which is clearly against the rules as quoted above. Stretching things even further, the author assumes that first his attack happens, then a split march and then the retreat of the combat. I think this is what confuses people most here, as it is rather unique interpretation.

Official rules:
a) Optional split marches
b) Battle
c) Retreat


What the author does:
a) Battle
b) Split march
c) Retreat

This is of course causing issues.


You can cause the issue also by using official rules (see my post above).

There are no rules for attacker retreat other than
Quote:
If the attacker lost the combat, his surviving units must retreat
back to the area from which they marched


so you either use

A) RAW interpretation: you can never be in a position where the attacker cannot simply retreat to the previous area, so the whole marching cannot performed as it is potentially non-compliant to supply limit

B) Loose interpretation: Marching and retreating are two different actions and can independently be supply-legal; this specific scenario was simply not considered in the rulebook
 
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Michel Kangro
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Umbratus wrote:
Facts.

1) Marching to combat always takes place last when you do a split march.

2) There is no single case where units must be destroyed because of supply violation when you attack. If that were the case, you violated supply earlier already.

3) Having to destroy units due to supply at the end of the battle when you retreat may only happen to the defending loser of combat. If he has no other valid retreat location that allows retaining supply limits.

Anything else is a made up case that does not exist in the game. The point it derails is allowing split marches after initiating combat, which is clearly against the rules as quoted above. Stretching things even further, the author assumes that first his attack happens, then a split march and then the retreat of the combat. I think this is what confuses people most here, as it is rather unique interpretation.

Official rules:
a) Optional split marches
b) Battle
c) Retreat


What the author does:
a) Battle
b) Split march
c) Retreat

This is of course causing issues.


OK, consider this scenario:
I have an army in territory A. It consists of three units. I have a single unit in adjacent territory B. Adjacent territory C contains enemy units. I have other armies elsewhere, filling up my supply, so I am not allowed to create another army. With my move order, I order on unit from A to B and one unit from A to C. Since this splits up my army in A, the army in B may be created. (Maybe here is a mistake.) Then I do battle in C. I loose, but keep my unit. If I were to retreat to A, it would (re)create an army, which is not allowed due to supply.

I have three "solutions" for that scenario:
A) Each single split march must in itself honor supply, thus I cannot move a single unit from A to B, because in that very moment, I have created another army, violating supply.
B) The march order is considered a move alltogether, but before a possible retreat, so supply must only be honored after all splits were done. This would allow the attack, but would lead to the loss of the attacking unit in case of retreat.
C) The march order must also consider a possible retreat. Thus the attack already is illegal because a retreat would lead to a violation of supply.

I am in favor of B, but maybe there is support for A? I think C is unlikely, as it opens more questions then it answers, example: What if I KNOW from the avaiable house cards, the valyrian steel sword and so on that I will win? Does that knowledge make the move legal? If so, what if I do have a house card that makes my win certain and one that makes me loose. Since I can, if I want, win with 100% certainty,, is the move now legal? If so, am I still allowed to play the loosing card? The complications that arise by this interpretation lead me to disbanding C and allowing only A and B. :-)
 
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Pasi Ojala
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mideg wrote:
A) Each single split march must in itself honor supply, thus I cannot move a single unit from A to B, because in that very moment, I have created another army, violating supply.

I am in favor of B, but maybe there is support for A?

Yes, the rules say you cannot violate supply at any time. I.e. there is no such thing as "temporarily being over the supply limit", because where do you draw the line then?
GoT rules, page 8 wrote:
A player is never allowed to take any action in the game
that would cause him to exceed his actual supply limit
as dictated by his position on the Supply track (such as
mustering, marching or retreating, all explained later).


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Michel Kangro
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a1bert wrote:
mideg wrote:
A) Each single split march must in itself honor supply, thus I cannot move a single unit from A to B, because in that very moment, I have created another army, violating supply.

I am in favor of B, but maybe there is support for A?

Yes, the rules say you cannot violate supply at any time. I.e. there is no such thing as "temporarily being over the supply limit", because where do you draw the line then?
GoT rules, page 8 wrote:
A player is never allowed to take any action in the game
that would cause him to exceed his actual supply limit
as dictated by his position on the Supply track (such as
mustering, marching or retreating, all explained later).




The question would be, if that means every partial march or only a singular march order. The order alltogether doesn't violate supply.
 
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mideg wrote:
The question would be, if that means every partial march or only a singular march order. The order alltogether doesn't violate supply.

The march order can never violate the supply, because the order by itself does nothing. It is perfectly valid to move 0 units to resolve a march order. What you choose to do with the order (your actions) must be according to the rules at all times. If part of your march order violates the supply limit (even temporarily), your actions are violating the supply limit - you can't say -see, magic happens- and end up with a situation where you do not violate the supply limit without going through the intermediate steps.

(Edit: I'm not saying that retreat could not ever become invalid though. That is completely separate from marching. If you can't retreat without violating supply limits, some or all of the retreating units are killed off. This with my small knowledge with 2nd ed.)
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Umbratus wrote:
Facts.

1) Marching to combat always takes place last when you do a split march.

An official FFG response states that this is not a fact, as can be seen here.

There is a precedent for what happens when combat is started and the attacker does not have a legal area to retreat to afterwards as well, as is shown here.

If the attacker can't retreat their units due to supply limits, then the rules governing how to handle retreating units exceeding supply, as Tuzzo90 quoted, should apply.
 
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Joel Schuster
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You are misreading both linked topics. Totally different things are discussed there.

Fact is, you can never voluntarily violate supply. What you are doing by split marching and attacking, assuming to win that fight is just that.

Your problem arises once you lose that battle and must retreat. This should never have been allowed in the first place.

One of the linked threads clarifies that if you attack out of another players home region but do not leave a power token you cannot even retreat to there as control is reverted to the home region owner. You get rid of your only retreat option like that. Makes perfect sense.

The second thread is splitting hairs when a battle actually is started. The official answer is that the battle does NOT start right away, but you may finish any other split march you want to do before battle finally commences. This is just what the rules say that combat always takes place last, after all split marches are done. Also makes perfect sense according to the rule book.

Nothing to do with this topic at all.
 
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Ser Frederick
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The question seems to boils down to this
"When a player executes a march, does the unit that initiates combat have to be the last piece that is moved from the initial area."

I believe the answer is no, both for the sake of fluid gameplay, and because of the Jason Walden quote in the OP
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