$15.00
$30.00
$5.00
$20.00
Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

The Great War in the East» Forums » Rules

Subject: "Ils ne passeront pas!" rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Paul
Switzerland
Basel
flag msg tools
designer
"Capitaine Conan," by Roger Vercel (1934).
mbmbmbmbmb


I have an observation on the "Ils ne passeront pas!" rule, I want to make sure I'm not misunderstanding the rule and its intent.

This rule allows you to sacrifice a unit(s) when suffering very bad results and not allowing the phasing player to advance after combat. The rule as it stands causes the implausible situation that in combats where you really lose badly you have more chance of stopping the enemy than in marginal results. In other words, a single reduced cavalry unit that loses badly during a 6-1 attack can keep the enemy from advancing by choosing "Ils ne passeront pas!"

I had the situation occur more than once in my solo game where a reduced AH cavalry division chose this option after being defeated with a 3 result on the CRT.

I would suggest the player should only be able to exercise this rule if he has at least 1/2 as many steps in units as the attacker, or if the odds are less than 4-1 perhaps. This would stop reduced 1 strength AH cavalry divisions from sacrificing themselves each turn to hold a valuable objective. I'm sure this wasn't the intent of the designers, but the way the rule reads now allows this (rather powerful tactic) to be used.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael McCalpin
United Kingdom
Ealing
London
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
That's an excellent point, and your suggestion seems like a reasonable work-around for it.

In a somewhat related matter, I recall playing JENA! with the designer in attendance some years ago when a question came up about the CRT, which seemed unduly merciful at high odds. His response was obvious in hindsight: you are more likely to cause defender's casualties at 2-1 or 3-1 than at 6-1, because at 6-1, the defenders are going to simply retreat no matter what their commanders have ordered them to do, so a die roll that might cause casualties at 3-1 might cause a retreat at 6-1.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kim Meints
United States
Waterloo
Iowa
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I like that Paul. Wrote it down and now with my copies as I'm going to start playing all of them from the Quad/S&T.(games now on my table)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Sommers
United States
Clinton
New Jersey
flag msg tools
I think the rationale for the rule is that the elimination of the defenders was the result of them fighting to the last man, so to speak. I think the attackers can't advance in such as situation is more the result of the action taking more time than if the defenders had retreated; there just isn't enough time in the turn to fight the battle to the elimination of the defenders and then advance. I'm not sure the rule needs any modification.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul
Switzerland
Basel
flag msg tools
designer
"Capitaine Conan," by Roger Vercel (1934).
mbmbmbmbmb
tms2 wrote:
I think the rationale for the rule is that the elimination of the defenders was the result of them fighting to the last man, so to speak. I think the attackers can't advance in such as situation is more the result of the action taking more time than if the defenders had retreated; there just isn't enough time in the turn to fight the battle to the elimination of the defenders and then advance. I'm not sure the rule needs any modification.


Hi Micheal,

Under the rule the defender can choose option 1 (actually 1.2) on the combat options table when they receive a result of 2 or 3--choosing to self eliminate to prevent an advance after combat.

Logically, I'm not sure looking at the CRT this makes sense. There are more 2 and 3 results the higher the odds go, making this option more likely for the defender--in other words, the worse the odds are the more frequently the defender can choose the "Ils ne passeront pas!" option.

At 1-1 (TCR 1)the defender has the chance to chose "Ils ne passeront pas!" 33% of the time, at 6-1, the chances increase to 50%.

This causes the unlikely circumstance that a reduced strength AH cavalry division (1 strength) defending against 4 Russian corps, at 6-1 odds has a 50% chance of stopping the advance by choosing to self eliminate while the same weakened division defending against a weakened Russian cavalry division at 1-1 would have a 33% chance. This is because if the defender cannot choose to eliminate under result 1--if they do the attacker can still advance.

At odds 1-3 the attacker has a 50% chance of being able to advance against a single reduced (1 strength) unit, at 6-1 the odds are the same (two E results and one 1 result).

Logically, I don't see anything that makes it more likely that a unit outnumbered 6-1 has any more likelihood of going Rambo and stopping a vastly superior attacker than a defending group that is evenly matched. I would guess the 6-1 group, no matter how valiant they are, would most likely be steamrolled, making the attacker much more likely to advance.

So what I did in my game was this: I was defending Kovel against heavy Russian attacks by the Special Guards Army. I placed only a reduced AH cavalry division in the city (I had plenty of them around). This gave me a 50% chance each turn to hold the city while taking a 1 step loss by exercising "Ils ne passeront pas!". It the unit was eliminated using this option, I could just move another in the next movement phase. If I had defended with large forces, let's say 1-1, I would have been able to stop the attacker for sure, but at the cost of all or half of my units--big losses I could ill afford.


edits: typos
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Sommers
United States
Clinton
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Yes, I understand the situation, but I think my comment stands. As I said, I think the result represents the defender delaying the attacker long enough to consume the entire turn more than actually stopping the attack. And remember that elimination results in wargames can represent different things; sometimes literal elimination, more often just rendering the eliminated unit ineffective. In this case, the 1 option would represent something close to literal elimination. Perhaps the solution, if one is needed, is an extra VP to the attacker, since the defending unit has literally gone away.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul
Switzerland
Basel
flag msg tools
designer
"Capitaine Conan," by Roger Vercel (1934).
mbmbmbmbmb
Micheal, I'm not disputing that the rule simulates a unit fighting to the death and delaying the defender--that's the intent. In practice it's allowing ANY unit, no matter the odds, to do this--that's fantasy.

House rules are called house rules for a reason--you're king in yours and you can play as you like.

For me, a half-strength cavalry division stopping four infantry corps from advancing 50% of the time in a game with 3-days turns and 14km hexes is a gamey loophole and I'll be closing it in my house.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Bruce
United States
Colchester
Connecticut
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Interesting point. Personally, I think a realistic modification to the rule could state that *cavalry* are not allowed to choose the "ils ne passeront pas" option. While cavalry still had a role on the Eastern Front in WW I, suicidal defensive stands were certainly not part of it. I think I will try that as a house rule to plug the gamey loophole you have detected here and see how it works.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul
Switzerland
Basel
flag msg tools
designer
"Capitaine Conan," by Roger Vercel (1934).
mbmbmbmbmb
Old Professor wrote:
Interesting point. Personally, I think a realistic modification to the rule could state that *cavalry* are not allowed to choose the "ils ne passeront pas" option. While cavalry still had a role on the Eastern Front in WW I, suicidal defensive stands were certainly not part of it. I think I will try that as a house rule to plug the gamey loophole you have detected here and see how it works.


Heya,

I extended it to infantry as well as there comes a time when it doesn't matter how determined you are--unless there is some terrain feature at your disposal (think Thermopylae pass) that a force, even infantry, would simply be overwhelmed now matter how hard a defensive stance it takes.

Let us know how your games goes!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.