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Subject: Clarification on retreating from a 3 player battle rss

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Sean M
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Hey everyone, something came up in our game of Eclipse last night and we couldn't find an answer anywhere. Apologies if this has been discussed.

How do the retreat rules work when 3 players are in a hex, and both players want to retreat from the initial battle (leaving the hex for the third player)?

For example:

Player A occupies a hex
Player B moves an interceptor in
Player C moves an interceptor in

Player B and C battle first. If they both decide to retreat during their battle, what happens? Does Player A get to shoot at any of those ships, or do they all retreat and not fire at one another?

And, can both players retreat all ships from a battle that is not a stalemate?

After thinking about this, I'm guessing the rule goes:

Player B's interceptor goes first and decides to retreat
Player C's interceptor goes second and can choose to retreat or shoot. They choose retreat

Player B's interceptor now fully retreats and the battle is over. Player C's interceptor did not get to fully retreat, and now battles Player A's army. Player A never gets a chance to fire at Player B, but now has a chance to fire at Player C. (if this is true, then obviously Player C would never actually choose to retreat in the scenario I described above)

This came up because two of our players moved ships in to pin a big fleet in the middle, but knew they didn't want to fight the main fleet of the first player. When the weaker players fought, they both wanted to retreat, leaving the stronger fleet unable to shoot at any ships because their battle hadn't started yet (there was no winner from the first battle).

Thanks!



 
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seanmess wrote:
Hey everyone, something came up in our game of Eclipse last night and we couldn't find an answer anywhere. Apologies if this has been discussed.

How do the retreat rules work when 3 players are in a hex, and both players want to retreat from the initial battle (leaving the hex for the third player)?

For example:

Player A occupies a hex
Player B moves an interceptor in
Player C moves an interceptor in

Player B and C battle first. If they both decide to retreat during their battle, what happens? Does Player A get to shoot at any of those ships, or do they all retreat and not fire at one another?


Combat only happens between two players at a time, so the fact that there's a third player is irrelevant until there's a winner of the first battle still in the tile. If the player with initiative (say, B) decides to retreat with his one interceptor, then it's Player C's turn; if he chooses to also retreat with his one interceptor, then he doesn't shoot since page 20 of the rules say you choose to attack or retreat.

In the next combat round, Player B moves his interceptor to a valid retreat location. At this point, the text from page 20 that says combat ends when "one of the sides has been completely removed from the hex" triggers and their combat is ended. Then, since there are two players with ships in the same hex (C and A), they begin combat.

seanmess wrote:
And, can both players retreat all ships from a battle that is not a stalemate?


You could, but there's no reason to, unless each is only retreating with some of their total ships.

So yes, following the instructions on page 20, the way you played it was correct.
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ATT_Turan wrote:
So yes, following the instructions on page 20, the way you played it was correct.


From the OP's description I don't think they played correctly:

seanmess wrote:
This came up because two of our players moved ships in to pin a big fleet in the middle, but knew they didn't want to fight the main fleet of the first player. When the weaker players fought, they both wanted to retreat, leaving the stronger fleet unable to shoot at any ships because their battle hadn't started yet (there was no winner from the first battle).


A occupies the hex, B moves in with an interceptor, then C moves in with an interceptor. B and C engage first and both choose to retreat. Whoever has initiative retreats first and the engagement ends immediately with the other remaining in the hex.

RAW is a bit ambiguous since it talks about engagement rounds but also combat continuing "until one of the sides is completely removed from the hex." However, Touko confirmed in a ruling that one side clearing the hex ends combat with the other staying put.

What should have happened, assuming B's and C's interceptors had equal initiative with B as the defender, is that B -- having the defender's initiative -- retreated without consequence. But C still had to battle A, which means A should have gotten one shot at C's interceptor before it retreated.

Otherwise this would lead to the absurd conclusion that two players can collude to pin a third without risking any of their ships.
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dpbush wrote:
ATT_Turan wrote:
So yes, following the instructions on page 20, the way you played it was correct.


From the OP's description I don't think they played correctly:

seanmess wrote:
This came up because two of our players moved ships in to pin a big fleet in the middle, but knew they didn't want to fight the main fleet of the first player. When the weaker players fought, they both wanted to retreat, leaving the stronger fleet unable to shoot at any ships because their battle hadn't started yet (there was no winner from the first battle).


A occupies the hex, B moves in with an interceptor, then C moves in with an interceptor. B and C engage first and both choose to retreat. Whoever has initiative retreats first and the engagement ends immediately with the other remaining in the hex.

RAW is a bit ambiguous since it talks about engagement rounds but also combat continuing "until one of the sides is completely removed from the hex." However, Touko confirmed in a ruling that one side clearing the hex ends combat with the other staying put.

What should have happened, assuming B's and C's interceptors had equal initiative with B as the defender, is that B -- having the defender's initiative -- retreated without consequence. But C still had to battle A, which means A should have gotten one shot at C's interceptor before it retreated.

Otherwise this would lead to the absurd conclusion that two players can collude to pin a third without risking any of their ships.


From the OP:
seanmess wrote:
Player B's interceptor goes first and decides to retreat
Player C's interceptor goes second and can choose to retreat or shoot. They choose retreat

Player B's interceptor now fully retreats and the battle is over. Player C's interceptor did not get to fully retreat, and now battles Player A's army. Player A never gets a chance to fire at Player B, but now has a chance to fire at Player C.


This is correct
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ATT_Turan wrote:
From the OP:
seanmess wrote:
Player B's interceptor goes first and decides to retreat
Player C's interceptor goes second and can choose to retreat or shoot. They choose retreat

Player B's interceptor now fully retreats and the battle is over. Player C's interceptor did not get to fully retreat, and now battles Player A's army. Player A never gets a chance to fire at Player B, but now has a chance to fire at Player C.


This is correct


I was responding to his description of what actually happened, not his later analysis.
 
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Sean M
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Thanks guys! That definitely clears it up.

In the game we played, one of the players in the first battle actually couldn't retreat (no legal place to retreat to), so he had to battle and lost. So I think we ended up playing correctly, even if our understanding at the time was not 100% correct.
 
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