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Bonaparte at Marengo» Forums » Rules

Subject: Shuffling in an Approach rss

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Clark Millikan
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In my current B@M ladder game, I was surprised to see my opponent shuffle pieces that were in an approach. I had thought only units in reserve could be shuffled, so I checked the rules.... Sure enough, they say units in the same place may be shuffled, no reference to reserve or approach. In several ftf and cyberboard games (admittedly against only a small number of opponents), I haven't seen this happen before, so I'm wondering if anyone else has the same misconception I had. It also doesn't seem intuitive to me that units can hide when you are staring at each other across an approach, but rules are rules, or at least, unambiguous ones are.

 
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Garry Haggerty
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Quote:
...I'm wondering if anyone else has the same misconception I had.


Not in my experience. Although the opportunity to shuffle units in approaches doesn't arise that often, everyone I've played has been aware that the rule allows it. Either that, or a natural eagerness to shuffle seems to kick in.
 
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Rachel Simmons
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spotcard wrote:
It also doesn't seem intuitive to me that units can hide when you are staring at each other across an approach, but rules are rules, or at least, unambiguous ones are.


Pieces occupying an approach together can be shuffled.

With regard to its historicity or lack thereof:

(1) A chronic problem on the Napoleonic battlefield, as with all battlefields in the black powder era, was smoke. Even where no terrain features impeded visibility, huge clouds of smoke could and routinely did. It was common for soldiers not be able to clearly see enemy units even fifty yards away as a result.

(2) A second problem, which is by no means restricted to the Napoleonic period, was different information available at different levels in the command structure: even if a soldier could see the enemy unit opposite him, that made it by no means certain that a general multiple steps up the command tree and in a different part of the battlefield, had access to the same information or had it with the same degree of confidence.

Of course, hidden units in general only provide a pretty rough simulation of the above, but I do think that if anything, the simulation would be improved if there were less information available to the players than the game allows rather than more. The amount of information available to the players in the game is higher than the ideal in part because of the physical limitations of board games, and in part because of the decision to design the rules such that there were no trust issues involved. (A trust issue is a design problem resulting from a rule restricting the actions of a player which his opponent cannot enforce because he lacks sufficient information -- his opponent has to take it on trust that the player is following the rules.)
 
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Clark Millikan
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Thanks for the explanation Bowen. The excellent support you give the game here is much appreciated.
 
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