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World in Flames» Forums » Rules

Subject: Combat Engineer Benefits to Units in Their Hex rss

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Perry Lee
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Another weird issue came up in our group recently. The USA player was attacking 2 different adjacent hexes, both across a river. His engineer was stacked with 2 corps. He wanted to have 1 corps attack the first hex and the other corps attack the other hex and use the engineer's ability to prevent their factors from being halved due to crossing a river. We checked the rules under combat engineers and it appears to be legal. Here is the text near the end of section 22.4.1:

Face-up ENG are not halved or thirded when attacking or
overrunning across a river, canal or fort hexside. They also provide
this benefit to as many land units they are stacked with as the ENG
unit’s combat value.


If you read the entire section it doesn't make any restriction that all of the units have to attack the same hex. We did interpret from the rules that if there was a combat casualty from the battles in either hex, the first loss must be the engineer.

We want to get a second opinion. Did we overlook any rule or FAQ? Thank you.
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Charles Finch
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Not halved...attacking across...river...hexside...and as many units as they are stacked with

I'd interpret the hexside part more strongly, and then the part of units stacked with meaning all are possible IF they attack across the hexside the eng is crossing. Eng doesn't benefit multiple hexsides / crossings.
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Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
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Is the USA player the same as the CW player?

As Charles noted, engineers ONLY give the 'negate river' benefit to units STACKED WITH THE ENGINEER. That is crystal clear in 22.4.1/engineers:

"Face-up ENG are not halved or thirded when attacking or overrunning across a river, canal or fort hexside. They also provide this benefit to as many land units they are stacked with as the ENG unit’s combat value."
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Grog Jones
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well, to be honest a strict rules lawyer like me could possibly argue that the rules doesn't explicitly say 'provide this benefit to units they are stacked with and are attacking the same hex'. However, it seems to me that this is the intent - otherwise you could declare an attack with two units stacked with an ENG but not commit the ENG (so avoiding having to take it as a casualty), but still claim the benefit - this is clearly not allowed as the key element is that the ENG gets the benefit in its attack, and shares that benefit with other units stacked with it, the implication being that they are in the same attack.
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Perry Lee
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Yes, Wendell. The CW and USA player are the same. It seems like there is often a new rule challenge each session. He tried to retreat the Eisenhower HQ-A from Calais to the UK after a German Blitz. He thought there was an exception for Calais, so we paused the game to search a PDF of the rules using CTRL + F for all instances of the world Calais. He was also placing 1 CVP a turn as reinforcement in any major port and I only discovered when I realized the airforce in Malta was getting bigger, without any transports shipping new planes. He also gave USA an extra 0.25 production multiple (house rule) from 1940. I think he is good intentioned, but is using old house rules I wasn't aware of, or is mixing up rules from other games.

I have to agree with Grog. A strict reading of the rules as written says the combat engineer gives his benefit to all units he is stacked with in the same hex. Remember, units don't enter another hex until the Advanced After Combat step, therefor a strict reading of the rule would allow the units in the hex to make two separate attacks and remain stacked with the engineer. I agree that this doesn't seem to be the intention of the game, but I didn't want to make any assumptions, so I am checking with the greater community.
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Wendell
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Sorry, I obviously read this too quickly.

I would say in this case that the engineer only negates the river for the hexside over which the engineer is attacking. Its mere presence isn't enough; it has to be involved in the combat and just being there isn't involved.

Personally, I think this is quite obvious. I'd add that the fact that an engineer has to be the first loss in any combat in which it confers a benefit reinforces my interpretation. It has to be in the game to give the benefit, and it's the first one to be lost. Can't lose a unit that isn't in the combat.
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