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Subject: Terrain capture from Stream rss

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Roar Stensrud
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Hi all. Going to run this delicate rules problem by the Group here and see what's Your take on it.

A Group is in an unforded Stream, at relative range to an enemy Group in buildings. One man of the Group sucessfully fords, infiltrates and subsequently infiltrates the enemy Group, killing the last enemy in CC.

Now, rule 20.8 says:Whenever the last man in a Group is eliminated while his Group is infiltrated, the Terrain card his Group occupied (including entrenchments)n is subject to capture by any Group currently infiltrating that Group.

While rule 8.53 says: A Stream can be left only by fording.

Which rule takes presedence? Fording has occured, yes, but only by one man. So how is this going to go down?

R.
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Bryan Felsher
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No clue Roar, but damn that's a good question.
 
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Brent Pollock
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I can't recall if UF has the same rule as ASL: highest number rule wins.
 
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Andrew Walters
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That's a tough one. Particularly since that's likely a game-deciding incident.

I think 20.8 gives us some help a little later on, though...

"Whenever the last man in a groups is eliminated while his group is infiltrated, the Terrain card his group occupied (including entrenchments) is subject to capture by any group currently infiltrating that group regardless of the movement status of either group. The captor has the choice of replacing his own Terrain card with that of the eliminated defender's or..."

Of course when you hear "movement status" you think 'whether or not there's a movement card on the group", but if I asked you if it would include Wire you'd probably say "yes" so I'm going to say it includes Streams. It would also mean you could move the group into the building if there were pinned men in the group.

They absolutely could have said "except for unforded Streams, Wire, pinned men, men in the middle of a lateral transfer, flanked groups, yada, yada". Up Front is not shy about mentioning exceptions. But they didn't say any of that, they just said "regardless of movement status".

So I think you can capture the buildings. And someone gets a medal.
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Richard Irving
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Roar asked this question and I thought I answered it directly, but I can't find the reply in my outbox. I apologize to Roar for possibly being remiss in not replying.

Though I prefer people post rules questions publicly so others can learn from them and can comment on them.

I interpret as the infiltrator has to ford the stream to infiltrate (per the 20.24--a man must use a movement card to ford (either by RNC draw and printed Ford card) from an unforded stream.)

Since 20.8 says the "Whenever the last man in a group that is eliminated in a group while is infiltrated, the terrain card his group occupied (including entrenchments) is subject to capture by any group currently infiltrating that group regardless of the movement status of either group" (as Andrew pointed out)

That last clause creates an exception to the normal movement rules--you don't need a movement card on the capturing group for them to "leave" their old terrain.

So, from an unforded Stream, an infiltrator (who has has by definition forded the stream--though other men in the group may not have) can capture the opposing group's terrain.


Now this brings up another question: Can a group in wire that is infiltrating an opposing group capture terrain? My answer would be "No, because rule 13.34 'Neither Movement nor terrain can be placed on top of a Wire card by either player; the Wire card must first be removed by play of a temporary Movement card.'"
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William Garramone
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I always look forward to your answers on these Up Front questions, Richard. Thank you for your ongoing insight.
 
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Roar Stensrud
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Thanks for the answers.

This came up in a recent game, but we didn't deal with it at the time as I preferred to take the discussion after the game instead. It turned out not to be crucial in the end anyway.

My take on this, as I have defended with, in my opinion, very good arguments is that it is not allowed to capture terrain from an unforded stream. Basically because the infilitrator is the only one who has forded the Stream. And I regard it unrealistic that a Group with four men, not yet forded, in a Stream and one guy forded, should be allowed to capture the terrain since the Stream rules point out that fording is the only way to leave a Stream.

However, I see now that the phrase "regardless of the movement status of either Group" can imply that I am not right. At least not according to the rules.

My problem might be that I always try to see things from a realistic point of view (as opposed to "gamey"). If this was a real-life event, you would have five infantrymen struggling in a Stream. Then suddenly one of them manages to get out of the Stream and kill an enemy in a building at the stream's edge. In reality it's not like a golden path out of the Stream then suddenly emerges (that only happens in PC games when you kill a boss at some Level...). The four other soldiers would still be stuck and have to find a way out of the Stream to be able to get into the building.

My chief concern over this is that it suddenly creates a shortcut out of a Stream and I think it undermines the "power" of a Stream. It also creates a situation where leaving a Stream is different at RR5 than at any other RR. Which neither sounds correct to me.

However, the game might possibly have a different intention with the rule. Maybe it has been considered that ending up in a Stream at RR5 is so serious and possibly game-losing to the side ending up in the Stream that they have created this little loophole to ease the pain and give the poor guys in the Stream a flicker of hope.

I would very much like to see more people's opinions on this, but as much as I dislike it, I will bow to the rulings of Richard and you other guys. In my point of view it is not realistic, but as said, the Game might have an intention with it that I do not clearly see.

After all, Up Front IS still a game.

R.
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Andrew Walters
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If we wanted to go in the direction of "what would really happen" you'd split the men into two different groups, the one in the building and those left in the stream. That's ridiculous, though.

I'm not sure this si

I don't think it undercuts the power of the stream - infiltration and elimination of the opposing group is far more difficult than fording a stream. Nigh miraculous, really.

I don't have difficulty imagining a rationalization, either. When struggling to ford everyone is looking for a path, one person finds it, they all follow. In this instance one guy finds the shallow spot and the claimable bank, hops through it, into the building, scuffles, wins, and turns around to see that his buddies have followed, too late to help with the fight but there nevertheless. Not a stretch.

If you want to get all simulation-y you would split the men into two groups, since their positions and status are so different. But then you wouldn't be playing up front.

Honestly, if I were really in this situation I would round off in my opponent's favor.No mater how you slice it we're bordering on a quibble, and no one likes to win by a quibble.
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Martin Gallo
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My opinion?

Conceptually it makes sense to get the captured terrain (and freely leave the stream). The likelihood is that the guys are stuck in the stream because their heads are down because they think there is an enemy nearby. Once the enemy is cleaned out, no more impediment.

It probably depends on how deep that stream is. Perhaps take the terrain on a black RNC?
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Roar Stensrud
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andreww wrote:

I don't have difficulty imagining a rationalization, either. When struggling to ford everyone is looking for a path, one person finds it, they all follow. In this instance one guy finds the shallow spot and the claimable bank, hops through it, into the building, scuffles, wins, and turns around to see that his buddies have followed, too late to help with the fight but there nevertheless. Not a stretch.


Kind of agreeing, but don't forget that all infiltration attempts out of a Stream must be done by playing a movement car, proceeded by a successful ford. I Guess the argument could be that once the enemy Group is in fact eliminated, the guys in the Stream doesn't have to be as careful anymore (playing movement, ford and infiltrate). Thus making it easier to find a (the) way out of a Stream. Much like Martin points out above.

andreww wrote:

If you want to get all simulation-y you would split the men into two groups, since their positions and status are so different. But then you wouldn't be playing up front.


Yes, I feel this would be more correct. However, as you say, it would no longer be Up Front.

andreww wrote:

Honestly, if I were really in this situation I would round off in my opponent's favor.No mater how you slice it we're bordering on a quibble, and no one likes to win by a quibble.


Exactly. And that's just what we did. I fully agree with you in this. And had the way we played it actually been deemed wrong and my opponent in the Stream did win because of it, it would still count as his victory since at that time we decided to play it that way.

There were a lot of "touch and go"s in this scenario. While my opponent's Group was in the stream, my lone guy in buildings had the opportunity to infiltrate them back before they were able drum up movement cards to start their own infiltration. My guy was a morale 5, equipped with a DC to top it off. He failed his morale check to infiltrate and throw the DC! Had he not and had been able to infiltrate to throw the DC, that surely would have spelled the end of the guys in the Stream. Then he was able to rally and even kill one of the two guys that attacked him in CC before he was taken down by the last infiltrator. So the guys in the Stream sure had to work and make sacrifices for the building.

In the end the game was decided by my second group mustering massive firepower and be able to drum up enough good fire cards before the end of the game to reduce the number of enemies in the newly conquered building enough to secure the victory.

So it truly was one of those tight, intense scenarios, played against a skilled opponent with a keen sense for the game, that make this game so great.

Well, I've had my victories in rules discussions, so I'll bow to this now that the community has discussed it.

R.
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Edward Kendrick
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One can think of other odd situations where the infiltrating group would normally need more than just a Movement card (conceptually provided by the elimination of the infiltrated group) to enter new terrain, such as:

1) The infiltrating group being under Wire (as a poster mentioned),

2) The infiltrating group containing an IG in terrain, which would normally need two Movement cards to move,

3) the infiltrating group containing pinned men, which would normally prevent them moving at all.

I don't think one would be concerned about case 3, nor would case 1 give most people a problem. Case 2 would be highly unusual but one could swallow it I think. In general terms the infiltrators find a way into the infiltrated group and capture the terrain and the other members of the group quietly follow them.

That being so, I'd say the case Roer has brought up can safely be treated the same way.

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Brian Sielski
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This was with me ... and at times, one has to put on their ASL rules hat, and then see things clearly clear.

As Brent Pollock above posted, if this was ASL, it would be easy to solve. The ASL Rule Book clearly states, when there is a conflict between rules, the higher order rule number takes precedence. We don't have that luxury in UF. Additionally, there is no official Q&A mechanism anymore, such as MMP who have the rights to ASL now. So we are left with the rule book and ourselves.

Indeed Rule 8.53’s first sentence does state “A Stream can only be left by fording.” The first sentence of 8.53 needs to be read in context with the rest of paragraph 8.53. Not as a stand-alone sentence to laser in on. The rule discusses one way of how a GROUP moves off a Stream. And yes, "a Stream can only be left by fording." How? Continue to read the next sentence. It plays a Movement card and draws a black RNC or a Movement card that is also a ford. The rule is discussing how a Group can move off a Stream.

And of course, as others have pointed out, Stream is Terrain. And 20.8 lists another way to acquire new Terrain through CC. And Rule 20.24 lists the extra requirements to enter CC if you're in a Stream.

If I've satisfied the requirements of 20.24, I can now apply 20.8 and make my choice. The first sentence of Rule 8.53 is not in play, as this is not a movement action for the Group, rather it is a CC action.

And as Richard Irving points out, I do agree with the Wire discussion. First, it is Artificial Terrain. Second, 13.34 when read in the entire context of the rule citation does limit placement of Terrain at any time (including CC). There is no correlation of 13.34 to 8.53 however. The "mandatory" portion of 8.53 is mandatory in respect to 8.53, which means when a group wishes to move off a Stream, they can do so only by Fording, which means to play of a Movement card on THAT Group in Sideways mode.

I’m glad that I can contribute to the group.
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Roar Stensrud
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Yeah, the arguments I put forward were indeed based on the status of the group.

Since other rules clearly state that the infiltrator is always considered a part of his originating group and in that group's terrain. And the fact that capturing the terrain does indeed move the group out of the stream and into some other terrain (although without the use of a movement card for the group), I personally found it more logical that new terrain cannot be occupied while the infiltrator's group is still in an unforded stream.

But, as previously discussed, I see that the capture of terrain from an unforded stream can be defended.

Besides, it does provide the defender with another set of challenges and choices when an enemy group lands in a stream at RR5. Which, at least, can be more entertaining for both sides.

Now when we have settled this one, but have had logics up in the discussion, here's another, closely related situation, which can challenge logics:

This applies to terrain capture in general, not capturing from stream in particular, but I'll use our situation as the basis.

Had I moved my lone trooper back one step to RR4 while infiltrated, CC could no longer have taken place, but the guys in the stream could still have fired with double FP from one of the two infiltrators. If my guy then had died, the building could have been captured. However, had my guy survived, even if pinned, the building could NOT have been captured as soon as I had hit new terrain, since infiltration would then have been lost.

In my mind the building, as long as infiltrated, should be subject to capture regardless of it beeing vacated as a result of my guy dying or if he just decides to leave. However, the rules say that if he dies, the building can be captured, but if he merely leaves (rules say the group must be eliminated), it cannot. Most likely because, by the letter of the rules, it is the group that is infiltrated, not the terrain.

By the abstract nature of the game, I'm sure this can have it's explanaition, but it does defy at least my logics.

In hindsight, this is probably a tactic I should have used had I been able too. As it would have cheated Brian's Group of the building and left them hanging in the stream. But it would have made the game much less exciting...

R.
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Mark J
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I'm still trying to figure out how you can have one man only in a group successfully ford a stream. Can this be done for transferring as well as infiltration attempts? What's the process in both cases?
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Edward Kendrick
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The man has to play a Movement card - either a Ford card to ford automatically, or make a black RNC.

Transferring is described in 17.81:

If the transferring man starts in an unforded Stream, his transfer is conditional on his successful fording of that Stream. If the transferred man starts in a Marsh, he cannot transfer unless his group already has a Movement card in play (in which case he need play only one).

And infiltrating from an unforded Stream, in 20.24:

A man in a group currently occupying a Minefield, or terrain containing a Wire card may not attempt to infiltrate. A man in a group currently occupying an unforded stream may attempt to infiltrate only with the aid of a Movement card. Unless the Movement card is a Ford card, that man would have to draw a RNC to determine if the Ford attempt was successful. Only if he succeeds in fording the Stream, may he then check for infiltration using that same RNC as the infiltration attempt RPC. Similarly, a group in Marsh terrain may not attempt to infiltrate until the Marsh card has been covered by placement of two Movement cards.
20.25
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Richard Irving
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I think it should be pointed out that infiltrating or transferring from a an unforded are rarely done, though they are legal. (I am not sure if I have seen an attempt.)

Most players will attempt to get the entire group out of the Stream rather than just one man--and then have additional +2 FS penalty (if transferring) or fail on the actual infiltration attempt.

But I can think of one very good reason where one might need to infiltrate/transfer: the end of the final deck is fast approaching and it's the only chance I got!
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