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The Caucasus Campaign» Forums » Rules

Subject: Mech units and Forest / Marsh / Mountain rss

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Face Hugger
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Really confused about how mech units interact with Forest/Marsh/Mountain, the rules are unclear, so I am curious how others are playing it.

Take Forest. The terrain chart says for mech, the movement cost is "2/Stop". During the Primary Movement Phase, it seems clear if a mech unit moves in, it costs 2 MP, and the mech unit then has to stop.

During the Secondary Movement Phase, things get messy.

1. If a mech unit starts next to Forest and spends 2 MP to move in, and then Stops pursuant to the chart, does it still have 4 MP left that it can use to "buy" an Assault marker for the Secondary Combat Phase?

2. If a mech unit starts next to Forest and spends 2 MP to move in, and then Stops pursuant to the chart, does it have 4 MP it can use to do a Mobile Assault against an adjacent enemy? If so, can it Advance if it clears the hex?

2. If a mech unit starts next to Forest containing enemy units, can it spend 3 MP to Overrun the enemy units? If it clears the hex, can it Advance into it? What then? Does it still have 3 MPs left that it can use to Assault? Can it do another Mobile Assault into another Forest hex with the 3 MPs? Or does the "Stop" from the chart just eat all its remaining MPs after doing the Overrun? What if it doesn't advance? Can it Mobile Assault two different Forest hexes, or the same one twice, so long as it doesn't actually enter one of them?

How are you guys playing this?

How about marsh and mountain? It seems clear mech can attack, and presumably Assault, into hexes it is not allowed to enter (which is very strange). Does that mean it can Mobile Assault into such hexes so long as it doesn't advance into them?
 
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Face Hugger
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Never mind, I decided to sell this mess of a game after trying unsuccessfully to solitaire it with my nose in the rulebook most of the time. Too many inconsistencies in the rules, too much chrome, too hard to divine the designer's intent, too much work for a limited situation. See my Comment for more info. The high ratings for this game baffle me, but that is often the case on BGG.

Just looked up who the developer was. Somebody I never heard of whose posts on BGG indicate they are clearly not a native English speaker. (They also seem to be ignoring the Caucausus Campaign forums and have never posted here despite being active online here since 2006 till now.) This could explain some of the problems with the language of the rules....The guy even has a counter from TCC as an avatar yet never answers rules questions here...

Wish this game had gotten some real development work by Ty Bomba and been a Command game. Then the playability and rules might have matched the nice map and counters. As it is, these are the most ambiguous rules I have seen since Chariot Lords. At least that game got a much simpler set of rules later to make it playable.
 
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Tom Stearns
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Sounds to me like you made this game more difficult than it is. If the rules don't prohibit it then it is logical to assume it isn't prohibited.

To answer your questions:

1. Yes- rules don't say they cannot, Pg7 7.3 Assault Markers last sentence: Mech and Cav units may always move one hex and Assault even if they have insufficient MP's to do so.

2. No- Mobile Assault is a function of movement, all terrain and supply rules are in effect

3. What you are calling an Overrun is actually an Auto Elimination. There is no "Overrun" in this game. Pg8-9 under 8.5 Automatic Elimination Movement Phase it clearly states that the units used to achieve this are marked with Auto Elim markers and may not move or take part in any other combats that turn. They can advance after combat into the hex during the COMBAT phase.

4. Mech units can assault into marsh and mountain hexes but may not advance. Again Mobile Assault is a function of movement and I would say would not be allowed.

This is not a difficult game. Sometimes we make things harder by trying to read more into the rules instead of taking them as they are. BGG is not a war game site and many of the designers/developers do not follow threads here. You are better off going over to ConsimWorld and posting your questions there.

This is a Mark Simonitch game and if you give up on him due to your experience with this game you are going to be missing out on some very good games.
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Quote:
If the rules don't prohibit it then it is logical to assume it isn't prohibited.


I can't remember ever coming across this school of thought before, except perhaps in Illuminati, which explicitly encouraged cheating.

Quote:
To answer your questions:

Quote:
1. If a mech unit starts next to Forest and spends 2 MP to move in, and then Stops pursuant to the chart, does it still have 4 MP left that it can use to "buy" an Assault marker for the Secondary Combat Phase?


1. Yes- rules don't say they cannot, Pg7 7.3 Assault Markers last sentence: Mech and Cav units may always move one hex and Assault even if they have insufficient MP's to do so.


That weird little exception doesn't really get to the root of my question. Perhaps this will illustrate the problem more clearly: If the 6 MP mech unit moves one hex of clear (1 MP), then moves into forest (2 MPs and "Stop" whatever that means), does it still have 3 MPs left that it can use to "buy" an Assault marker for the Secondary Combat Phase? Note it moved two hexes so that weird little exception doesn't apply. Or does the "Stop" eat up its three remaining MPs, turning the forest into a 5 MP hex because the mech moved one clear hex first? (Which makes no sense.)


Quote:

Quote:
2. If a mech unit starts next to Forest and spends 2 MP to move in, and then Stops pursuant to the chart, does it have 4 MP it can use to do a Mobile Assault against an adjacent enemy? If so, can it Advance if it clears the hex?


2. No- Mobile Assault is a function of movement, all terrain and supply rules are in effect


13.1 does indeed state "All combat rules, terrain rules and supply rules are in effect." It also states "the MP cost to enter the hex is ignored." (Note "Stop" is part of the MP cost on the TEC, which we are supposed to ignore.)

It is hard to imagine a more contradictory pair of statements. They cannot be reconciled. Either all terrain rules are in effect, or they are not. If the MP cost to enter the hex is ignored, then clearly, all terrain rules are NOT in effect.

Note the game also explicitly allows units to attack hexes they are not allowed to enter, unlike every other wargame I have ever seen.

The statement "For game purposes," (are there some other purposes we need to be concerned with besides game purposes?) "a Mobile Assault is considered a function of movement." What does this mean, exactly? We know that
- the movement cost to enter the hex is ignored
- the attacking unit need not enter the hex, even if it wins the mobile assault
- any entry of the hex would be pursuant to an Advance After Combat, which is treated differently than movement, and also ignores movement costs.

So what, really, does it mean to say the mobile assault "is a function of movement" ? The answer is, it is not defined within the rules what a "function of movement" means, and here, it seems to mean nothing other than that it costs 3 MPs.


Quote:

Quote:
2.[sic, should be 3)] If a mech unit starts next to Forest containing enemy units, can it spend 3 MP to Overrun the enemy units? If it clears the hex, can it Advance into it? What then? Does it still have 3 MPs left that it can use to Assault? Can it do another Mobile Assault into another Forest hex with the 3 MPs? Or does the "Stop" from the chart just eat all its remaining MPs after doing the Overrun? What if it doesn't advance? Can it Mobile Assault two different Forest hexes, or the same one twice, so long as it doesn't actually enter one of them?


3. What you are calling an Overrun is actually an Auto Elimination. There is no "Overrun" in this game.


Actually there is, in 13.2 in the Living Rules it is used as a synonym for a Mobile Assault, which is exactly how I am using it. Your Auto Elim answer does not address my question, which was about Mobile Assaults.

Quote:
4.[I had no 4, so presumably this continues answering 3] Mech units can assault into marsh and mountain hexes but may not advance. Again Mobile Assault is a function of movement and I would say would not be allowed.


So you would allow a Combat (first combat phase) and an Assault (3 MPs during Secondary Movement and then executed in Secondary Combat Phase) but not a Mobile Assault (also 3 MPs in Secondary Movement Phase). I see no logic behind this interpretation, especially since mech can advance into Marsh and Mountain if there is a road there. Or are you saying a road would allow a Mobile Assault? If so, it means you are not following the "the MP cost to enter the hex is ignored" rule. You are looking at the MP cost to enter the hex (in this case, a P, or 1 for a road) and then reasoning backward to disallow or allow a Mobile Assault. Which means you are not following the rules about ignoring the MP cost to enter the hex.


Quote:
You are better off going over to ConsimWorld and posting your questions there.


The designer stopped monitoring the TCC folder on CSW years ago. I have been on CSW since it was founded, I am quite familiar with it (and its problems).

TCC is a mess of a game. Most of the action takes place in woods and mountains after the first few turns. The answers to my and similar questions determine whether the Germans (who usually lose) can squeeze 2, or 3, attacks out of their panzers each turn. In a game with sudden death victory conditions on every turn past the first few, it is hugely important whether the panzers get to attack two versus three times per turn. The Germans have to be hugely efficient, and how you interpret the many ambiguous situations determines how hard their task is.

What I am reading is that you apply movement costs like "Stop" during Mobile Assaults (though the rules say to ignore all MP costs during Mobile Assaults), and also during Advances after combat (which also are supposed to ignore movement costs and just use hexes). It sounds to me like you are just picking and choosing which of the conflicting rules to apply at random. Which I guess you have to do if you want to play this game.

Quote:
This is a Mark Simonitch game and if you give up on him due to your experience with this game you are going to be missing out on some very good games.


I am curious which ones you like. I sold Decision in France as it was horribly broken in favor of the defender. I avoided Campaign to Stalingrad for the same reason. The Legend Begins is very rules heavy, I find it hard to find the motivation to play it. I think the last time I played it was in 1992. The Caucasus Campaign is such a rules mess I can't tell how it is supposed to be played. Normandy '44 has a reputation as allowing advances far faster than history, and being very chrome heavy. Ardennes '44 is about a topic I have little interest in, so I have avoided it, especially since the time scale (12 hour turns) and the retreat-heavy CRT really do not appeal to me.

I am solitairing France '40 right now and it is by far the best of the bunch in terms of rules clarity and a clean sequence of play. I have the feeling this is the best Simonitch design to appear so far, especially for someone of my tastes, since basically the attacker has to destroy huge amounts of enemy units and cross most or all of the map in ten or so turns, rather like Proud Monster: The Barbarossa Campaign, one of my favorite games. I like games where huge amounts of territory change hands and there is lots of maneuver and exploitation, with tanks running free over the countryside as far as they dare.

I am considering getting Ukraine '43 2nd edition, which oddly doesn't seem to have its own entry on BGG. If it is like France 40 then I am tempted to get it, if it is a mess like TCC then I want to avoid it.
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Tom Stearns
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I guess chalk it up to this game isn't for you. I've played it as have many many others. Obviously you don't like the game, the developer and I guess you don't think much of the designer.

This game has its critics and of MS designs it's not my favorite, but it has stiff competition. Most of the criticism I've read has to do with the difficulty for the Germans to win.

I like that it follows same basic mechanics as MS other titles. It also plays faster than some of the others. I think N'44 and A'44 are two of the best games I've ever played.

I gave you my interpretations of the rules you questioned and pointed out the rules I based my interpretations on. You don't like or agree with my interpretations. That is A-Ok with me. I think you are way over thinking and making this more complicated than it is. The level of frustration the exudes from your post indicates to me you probably should do what you said and put this back on the shelf.
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It's already followed Decision in France to Ebay. It won't be missed.

What encourages me is the Designer's Notes from the 2nd edition of Ukraine '43:

Quote:
Two years ago when I started to prepare this game for a reprint, I figured it would it would go pretty quickly. I wanted to simplify it and incorporate some of the ideas I developed in France ‘40. As I went through the old rules I realized I’ve come a long way from the complicated systems I used to enjoy in the past. I began to dread the idea of playtesting the game and even working on it. If I was going to spend 100+ hours on the project, I had to change it so I would gladly play the game. So this game became an entirely new game.

What is New?
Everything. The order of battle is still there and many of the core concepts but a lot of unnecessary complexity was deleted. I doubled the number of examples of play and was still able to cut down on the length of the rules. The biggest change is the sequence of play — before it was Move-Fight-Reaction-Move-Fight; now it is just Move-Fight.


Sounds like Mark has moved away from the kind of needless complexity I didn't like in his older games and into more of a France 40 direction.

Most of the rules problems in TCC come from the Secondary Movement and Combat phases. I am glad to see them gone in France 40 and Ukraine 43.
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Tom Stearns
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For whatever it's worth, Ukraine'43 is my favorite east front game. I'm not a big east front guy. I've played both sides in Uk'43 and think it's excellent.
 
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Are you referring to the first edition or the second? Apparently they are quite different.
 
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I have the second edition. I never played first edition.
 
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A friend of mine is starting a game of the Second Edition right now. I am eagerly following the game.
 
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