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Subject: Fight, then move rss

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Eddy Sterckx
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A thought experiment.

We've all been trained to accept the paradigm of first moving your units and then doing combat with them.

But what if you reversed that ?

What if, on your turn, you perform combat first and then moved your units ?

Top of my head it would make fighting retreats a bit more viable / realistic and you wouldn't have to muck about with breakthrough / exploitation phases.

Any downsides ?

We actually once tried this with a tabletop ACW skirmish game and while a bit weird it worked just as well.
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Michal K
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Very interesting idea. I sow such mechanics in some of the games (Assault Fire in CCE) but rather as special actions rather then as a rule.

That definitely changes game mechqanics and indeed - makes it much more realistic.
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Mike Whittemore
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In Barbarossa: Kiev to Rostov, 1941 and related games, the Germans move and attack, but the Soviets attack and then move. It gives each side a definite difference in play style, with the Germans being mostly the aggressor and the Soviets performing mostly a fighting retreat.
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Pelle Nilsson
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I thought of this since I tried Het Stratégisch Spel, Of Militaire Uitspanning, with combat that is resolved during the attacked player's turn, which is a bit like having combat first, so it got me thinking about that, and about where in a turn to put retreats to make them conflict less with other things.

And also it would make reaction movements of sorts a more natural part of the game since you always get an opportunity to react to your opponent's moves before they can attack. For better or worse depending on what it is you are trying to simulate.
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Darrell Pavitt
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Several Ty Bomba games on the eastern front use this mechanism to demonstrate Soviet inflexibility at the start of Barbarossa.

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Thierry Michel
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It works well for Hell's Gate.
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Russ Williams
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I've seen various wargames that work that way as published; seems fine.

I recently played Paul Koenig's The Bulge: 6th Panzer Army which has a neat mechanism where you choose each turn! Each player turn, the active player decides if they will move-then-attack (with attacks at half strength), or attack-then-move (with half movement allowance). That was fun.
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marc lecours
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I have played a game with that system but I can't remember which one. It was difficult at first to accept. But as you pointed out, it makes a lot of sense.

Exploitation flows naturally from this.
So does the defensive advantage of firing first.

It does tend to make players hesitate to advance next to the enemy and that can lead to a more defensive game. But that feels realistic.

One disadvantage is that the regular "move then shoot" allows a certain fog of war in the sense that the attacker can concentrate on one weak point before the defender can respond. If I was designing a "shoot then move" game I would include some dummy counters that the attacker could move adjacent to the enemy. This would allow at least some "fog of war".
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Eddy Sterckx
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rubberchicken wrote:
If I was designing a "shoot then move" game I would include some dummy counters that the attacker could move adjacent to the enemy. This would allow at least some "fog of war".


That's a very neat idea. It would really make 7th Panzer a "ghost division" without much overhead.
 
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Carl Paradis
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eddy_sterckx wrote:

Any downsides ?


I have played a GDW Russian Front game using that system.

The Great Patriotic War



And it was a dismal failure, the game was broken.. The Defender could just withdraw one hex away from the enemy with his units, he could then not be attacked since Combat was before Movement! In 1941 the Soviets could just slowly withdraw one hex at a time in most places, and continue doing this for quite a while.

Eventually the game rules were completely re-written with a more traditional sequence of play and it worked well.

Perhaps if you used "Locking" ZOCs? But that would cause other problems.

IMHO this is a sequence of play system that favors the defense. It could be probably interesting to use for some very specific battles where movement is already restricted. But I am at a loss to see which ones for now. meeple
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Stewart Thain
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The old SPI naval game CA also had the "fight then move" sequence and it caused the same problems that Carl described in that unless 1 fleet was faster than the other, it was possible to fire and then move out of range repeatedly.

Perhaps if the turn sequences are interleaved, so both players fire and then both players move, or a chit activation mechanism is used to avoid 1 player being able to exploit the sequence.
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Robert Stuart
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As Russ mentioned, Paul Koenig's The Bulge: 6th Panzer Army allows this as an option (you can either move-then-fight or fight-then-move).

The system which does this the best, in my view, is the one created by Roger Miller in Battles of the Bulge: Celles and Gazala: The Cauldron.

Assault costs movement points, and one can conduct an intensive assault, which gives a favorable die-roll modifier, a normal assault, with no modifier, and a limited assault, with a negative DRM. An intensive assault uses all the unit's movement points -- hence is possible only against units which start the phase adjacent to the attacker. A normal assault requires 2/3 of the unit's movement allowance, and a limited assault 1/3 of its movement allowance. Hence, the farther a defender is from an attacking unit at the start of the phase, the weaker the attack will be against him. And if far enough away he will be safe from any attack in the coming turn. This creates a marvellous dynamic in these games regarding trading space for time. The defender has choices to make regarding the pacing of his retreats, and the attacker regarding the pacing of his advance and assaults.
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Steven Mitchell
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MikeWhit wrote:
In Barbarossa: Kiev to Rostov, 1941 and related games, the Germans move and attack, but the Soviets attack and then move. It gives each side a definite difference in play style, with the Germans being the mostly the aggressor and the Soviets performing mostly a fighting retreat.


This and Red Star Rising were the first to pop to mind on that. In both cases, it's meant to create a distinction between the more mobile Germans and the more static Russians.
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Carl Paradis
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patton1138 wrote:
MikeWhit wrote:
In Barbarossa: Kiev to Rostov, 1941 and related games, the Germans move and attack, but the Soviets attack and then move. It gives each side a definite difference in play style, with the Germans being the mostly the aggressor and the Soviets performing mostly a fighting retreat.


This and Red Star Rising were the first to pop to mind on that. In both cases, it's meant to create a distinction between the more mobile Germans and the more static Russians.


Right.

In my upcoming No Retreat 3: The French and Polish Fronts I use a somewhat similar ploy.

The Allies must declare their attacks BEFORE moving (There are "Target" markers for that effect) and are only allowed to do so against hexes that their units are already adjacent to in most cases; then Combat is done (after moving). This shows the ponderous "WWI" mentality of the Allied Armies in 1939-40 compared to the "Blitzkrieg" Germans. meeple
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Russ Williams
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The old classic Battle for Moscow (second edition) uses a sort of hybrid, with "fight, then move", except that German panzers can also move before attacking, and Russians can do rail movement before attacking:

German Player Turn
1. German Replacement Phase. The Germans receive replacements.
2. German (Special) Panzer Movement Phase. All German armor (i.e., panzer) units may move.
3. German Combat Phase. All German units may attack.
4. German Movement Phase. All German units may move (including panzers that moved in Phase 2).

Russian Player Turn
5. Russian Replacement Phase. The Russians receive replacements.
6. Russian (Special) Rail Movement Phase. All Russian units that begin this Phase on a rail line may move along it.
7. Russian Combat Phase. All Russian units may attack.
8. Russian Movement Phase. All Russian units may move (including those that moved by rail in Phase 6).

It seems to work OK, as I recall. (I don't recall doing the tactic Carl mentioned of the defending Russians simply retreating back each turn, so that the attacking Germans can't attack on their turn, but perhaps if they try that, the Germans have enough Panzers still hit them with a lot of force on the German turn? I dunno; now I want to try it and see...)
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M St
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There are quite a few such games.

48th Panzer Korps uses this mechanism to show prepared assaults, and unlike Great Patriotic War, the GDW game, works excellently this way. It's a minor classic. Descendants of its system are Red Sun/Red Star: The Nomonhan Campaign, 1939 and (I think) Wintergewitter.

For the modern era, Flashpoint: Golan is an extremely interactive system, but major set-piece attacks are only allowed at the beginning of a player's phase, before movement.

And of course many Ty Bomba games from the era of Command onwards allowed choosing between Move-Fight and Fight-Move impulses, with a beneficial shift to combat if you choose Fight-Move. Probably the best one is Iron Dream.
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M St
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russ wrote:

It seems to work OK, as I recall. (I don't recall doing the tactic Carl mentioned of the defending Russians simply retreating back each turn, so that the attacking Germans can't attack on their turn, but perhaps if they try that, the Germans have enough Panzers still hit them with a lot of force on the German turn? I dunno; now I want to try it and see...)

The main difference is that Battle for Moscow has a very limited map so the Russians run out of space. That was not the case in GPW.
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    What Price Glory? allow you to do one or the other on a turn, not both. So to some extent it models what you're talking about.

    You have to just leave troops in harm's way in order to attack. Certainly changes the feel.

             S.

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PJ Cunningham
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I appreciate having the tactical flexibility to fight/move in either order, on a unit-by-unit basis. HoldFast does this, for example. I'm sure there are many others.
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Curtis Kitchens
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Here is a concept as PJ stated above. Allow each player to chose each turn which they prefer to do first. They must chose, then execute either the move or the combat, followed by the other. Subsequently the next player does the same.
 
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Andrew Kluck
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I like the OP's idea, with sticky ZOCs it would even make reserves vital because your opponent gets to react with available uncommitted men before the shooting takes effect.
 
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Josiah Davoli
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RIVET WARS!
That game uses that mechanic for every unit, I'm kind of surprised nobody's mentioned it yet, I love it.
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Karl Hiesterman
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Red Storm Rising used this mechanism to show the doctrinal and objectives differences between the attacking Soviets and the defending Nato forces in a theoretical WWIII. The Soviet's main goal is to use their superior numbers to smash through the thin Nato line, achieve breakthroughs, and then rush their forces into the rear lines and take cities. Nato is trying to stop this by slowing the Soviets down at every turn and slowly trading space for time.

So in this game the Soviets attack and move, but Nato moves and attacks. So the Soviet player has to build up forces the turn before a big attack, hoping to create a hole that they can drive through. And Nato is well suited for filling weak spots and adjusting lines, but can't pull off the same kind of blitzkrieg-like maneuvers the Soviets can. It works really well!

Also as a similar twist, the game S.F.3.D. Original had a one player moves BOTH players fire sequence, which was crazy bloody...
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Bob Zurunkel
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In Operation Konrad, combat comes before movement. Also, ZOCs are locking and the only way out is to force the enemy unit to retreat or retreat yourself as a result of combat.
 
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Robb Minneman
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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Star Wars: Armada is the first game I can think of that comes to mind that uses this mechanic. That, and the alternating move sequence (each side alternates moving ships, one at a time) reinforce the ponderous nature of maneuver with capital ships in the Star Wars universe. You have to accept that you're coming close to your enemies before you can open fire, unless you're clever and you have the initiative.
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