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Paths of Glory» Forums » Variants

Subject: Alternate out of supply rule rss

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Scott Hutchison
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I am not too fond of the out of supply rules for units cut off. I feel like the units who are cut off should be able to "fight" their way back into supply if possible. Here's a scenario that just happened to me. As Russia, I had a stack of two armies and a corps get cut off by a single AH army. I was unable to active this unit stack (since it was OOS), however, I feel like I'd have a good chance of pushing the single army back to regain supply for my unit. It just seems like a cut off unit should be able to participate, or at least attempt to participate, in some sort of break-out campaign for itself. I think it would even make sense for this unit to suffer attition quickly to prevent OOS units from running amok before they died behind enemy lines. Unless I'm reading the rules or applying them incorrctly, a half strength german corps can pin a three army stack out of supply and the three army stack can do nothing to escape and must rely on other units assisting them getting back into supply. I'd like to hear what the community thinks of this as a house rule:

- Each unit OOS suffers a 1 step deduction in rank for each round it is OOS. This occurs prior to unit activation. A reduced stength army turns into a full stength corps. A reduced strength corps would be removed perminantly. For instance, a stack with two full armies and a reduced stength corps would turn into two reduced strength armies immediatly following the round it gets cut off. It could then activate and fight the unit that just cut it off, or move around it to get back into supply if possible.

- OOS units can be activated, but can only attack or move towards becoming back in supply.

Would this have any unintended consequences? It seems to make sense to me. Units suffer attrition quickly, and full strength army would be reduced to nothing in at most 4 rounds of cards being played. I think the attrition reflects what would acctually occur. I don't think a unit is just going to "give up and dissapear" in real life. They are going to actively fight to get back into their lines of supply. The casualties will be great (reflected by each unit losing a step each round).

I know this should just re-inforce the "well don't let your units get trapped in that situation" argument, but I think the OOS rule overly penalizes a mistake which should be punished, but it shouldn't be a whole flank ruining action. What do you guys think?
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Jeff Thompson
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Play Barbarossa to Berlin instead? In BtB, the units are riding tanks and half-tracks so they can move faster.

The best thing to do is play the rule as written and NEVER allow your units to be cut off...

...which means you can't just move your units around like panzer divisions.

This argument is 15+ years old as is my counter argument.

It's an odd way to create the effect of static units as it isn't obvious why the rule exists until you experience it and realize what it is doing.

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Krister Dahlgren
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Well, the discussion may be 15 years old but still valid imho.

Tompy wrote:

...which means you can't just move your units around like panzer divisions.

But this is exactly what the encircling units can do, without fear of retaliation in most cases since the encircled units become totally incapacitated.

The written, extremely harsh supply rules "work" in a game sense that they force the players to form coherent front lines. However, they fail in that they are so harsh that they regularly decide even high-level games on small mistakes. I also find all these encirclements extremely unhistorical. This is not a WW2 blitzkrieg game where tanks run in circles around defenders, cutting their supply lines. This is WW1, where the only thing that comes close to an encirclement on a larger scale are the battles around the Masurian lakes, and even then the circumstances where extraordinary with very poor communication between Rennenkampf's and Samsonov's armies that enabled the German 8th army to defeat them both.

I feel that the major issue is not the harsh supply rules per se, but instead that it is so easy for a lowly corps to move deep into enemy territory unopposed (same MP cost as friendly territory) and take control of everything as it runs forward. The game is also void of any Fog of War aspects as the exact position of all enemy troops is known at all times, which also adds to the abuse of the written rules.

There are variant rules that allow the encircled units to break out (at a severe combat penalty, if required to fight) and also rules that makes it harder for units to move into enemy controlled territory, both of which I find are improvements over the written rules. The supply effects are still harsh so you want to watch your supply lines but not to the point where a small mistake breaks the game. Encirclements are still possible, but will probably have to be full-scale, in-depth operations rather than unhistorical, opportunistic raids against a momentary enemy weak spot.

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Charles Finch
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You would have to make it one attack, and if not back in supply you are eliminated. The supply requirements for units on this scale and period are extreme and they quickly became ineffective. Add no movement as well , but that means a corp with a space between would also be unattackable, but it may work in most cases

Maybe also a column shift use to oos...
 
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John David Galt
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I've had whole fronts be knocked out of supply that way -- but only when I was learning the game. The rule as written isn't a problem because you simply learn to prevent it.

In my view it is much more of an abuse that a lone German corps can sneak behind Russian lines, take Vilna, and be immediately put OOS -- but the Germans nevertheless "own" Vilna for long enough to enable them to play "Tsar Takes Command", and the corps is not even perm elim because it is a corps. I think this makes the fall of Russia too easy.

(I am working on a "Russian Civil War variant" which will address this by making "Bolshevik Revolution" more than a simple card play. In the variant, when BR is played, Soviet units will appear on the board and have to fight and defeat the Tsar's forces.)
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