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Subject: Retreat in circles? rss

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Heiko Moeller
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Hi there,

Could a unit that becomes routed retreat in circles if that's the only option there is?

We had a case in wich a french unit in Salamanca had to retreat 5 hexes, but the way to their LOC was completely blocked by enemy units and there weren't enough hexes left to move them in one direction, unless they would traverse the same three hexes again.

Quote:
9.8 says: If a unit is unable to Retreat within the following restrictions, it's broken.


But i couldn't find any restriction about re-entering a hex that one already retreated through.
 
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Lance McMillan
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Without seeing a specific diagram of the situation, it's difficult to say what the requirements would be. Normally speaking, you can't "re-enter" a hex unless there isn't any other option. The key is that retreating units rarely have much leeway about the direction of their path, and often that path requires them to head away from their LOC, cross rivers or enter ZOCs (resulting in Hazardous checks), or put themselves into very unfavorable situations. Re-read the retreat rules carefully and you'll see that there's actually very little flexibility in where you can go.

Lance McMillan
Developer for VPG's "Napoleoic 20" series
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Heiko Moeller
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Thanks Lance, i think a re-entry would apply but to make sure here's the
situation. The AdN unit has to retreat 5 hexes.



As i understand the AdN unit would bounce between the british LOC, the
salamanca outskirts & the hex north of salamanca.

 
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Lance McMillan
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Okay, that makes the situation much clearer... sort of. I no longer have a copy of Fading Glory to refer to, so you'll have to bear with me.

First off, the French player can choose which of his four possible LOCs to have the unit retreat towards (this won't really make much difference, but it's worth pointing out). Regardless of the direction of the first hex of the retreat, it's going to either cause the unit to perform a Hazard Check (for entering an EZOC) or the unit will Break (because it can't cross the Major River). Assuming it elected to retreat towards the LOC in 0901 (and survives the Hazard Check) it would then Break because of the stipulations of the final paragraph of [9.7.7]: "If none of the above situations exist and the unit is unable to retreat (typically because the Retreating unit is completely surrounded by enemy units and/or prohibited terrain), it Breaks in its hex instead."

Effectively the unit is trying to retreat off the map (which would Break it) but it can't, which causes it to Break.

Clear as mud?
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Heiko Moeller
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Oh that's a game changer, because i was under the impression that,

Quote:
rule 9.8.2 Retreat Hex Priority
Whenever and wherever possible, you must Retreat units into and through
vacant hexes not containing EZOC.

was preempting

Quote:
rule 9.8.6
While always yielding to Rule 9.8.2, whenever and wherever possible, you
must Retreat your units in such a way that, with each hex they Retreat,
they move closer to a friendly LOC hex (see the Exclusive Rules) than the
hex Retreated from.


So that if a unit had to choose between either routing into an EZOC hex
that is closer to their LOC or into a EZOC-free hex wich is further
away from their LOC it had to choose the EZOC-free hex.

But it seems that they always have to move closer and if they can't they break?
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Lance McMillan
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That loud banging noise I'm sure you heard all the way in Berlin was me, slamming my head against the desktop.



You are correct.

The Retreat Hex Priority rule (numbered as [9.7.3] in the most recent version of the rules) does take precedence. And based on that the cavalry are going to bounce back-and-forth, avoiding the ZOC of the British infantry unit sitting on the LOC, between the empty road hex directly to the north and then the Salamanca hex; it'll end up in the empty road hex. It can't go off to the NW (into the town hex) because that takes it further away from any of the possible LOC destination hexes.
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Heiko Moeller
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Great! And of course the unit bounces between 0501 & 0502 to stay closest to
their LOC while salamanca is a "safe" EZOC-free hex because of the
"no-ZOC" bridge & fortification.. glad i posted this

You created a great system that i'm using almost every week to introduce
newcomers to the marvels of wargaming.
 
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Lance McMillan
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YoloGames wrote:
You created a great system that i'm using almost every week to introduce newcomers to the marvels of wargaming.


Appreciate the compliment, but I'm not the system's creator -- that's Joe Miranda.
I'm just the series developer for VPG, sort of a "Keeper of the Privy Seal" if you will.

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Paul Farrell
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YoloGames wrote:

Great! And of course the unit bounces between 0501 & 0502 to stay closest to
their LOC while salamanca is a "safe" EZOC-free hex because of the
"no-ZOC" bridge & fortification.. glad i posted this

You created a great system that i'm using almost every week to introduce
newcomers to the marvels of wargaming.


While this might adhere to the letter of the rules I think it is rubbish. The British unit would not stand around for an hour or two while some French cavalry unit put on a multi mile dressage demonstration. They would immediately have followed up and occupied Salamanca. That French cavalry would have completely disintegrated historically or would have run (off the board) into what ever open space they could find. The first section of retreating after combat states that the routing unit will (quite sensibly) move the appropriate number of hexes AWAY from the battle hex.

A flaw in an otherwise very good game.
 
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Lance McMillan
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Never2manygames wrote:
While this might adhere to the letter of the rules I think it is rubbish.


Well, then propose an amendment to the rules that corrects the situation in a manner acceptable to you. If it's a good one, we'd be delighted to incorporate it into the next rules update.

We've tried to do something similar but found that it took about a half page of rules to address a situation that only comes up once in a blue moon and typically has little if any impact on the game's outcome -- thus the situation falls into the "just live with it" category. But again, if you can find a short, simple solution to this situation, we're very interested to hear it.
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Roel van der Hoorn
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Lancer4321 wrote:
... if you can find a short, simple solution to this situation, we're very interested to hear it.

A retreat path can never include the same hex more than once (including the start hex of the retreating unit).
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Paul Farrell
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I like Roel's answer.

When I play a game I like to get some sense of why troops, generals, armies etc. made the decisions they made in the historical situation. The official result just seemed so ahistorical. When I play solo or with friends we usually just work out something plausible if a rule seems to make no historical sense. I appreciate that this was a bit of an unusual situation in the original game.

Happy gaming,

Paul
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