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Subject: Combat is considered to be simultaneous. Really? rss

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Bruno Ducharme

Quebec
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Page 18 of the rules
http://www.axisandallies.net/public/tourneys/Rule%20Files/2n...
defines the process of conducting combat. It also says that 'combat in Axis & Allies is considered simultaneous', which allows defender's casualties to shot back. Good.

But then, the actual rules of combat are anything BUT simultaneous: attacker fires a few dice, defender pick up casualties, attaker fires again, defender picks up some more, etc.
This process can repeat itself FOUR times, once for each column of the combat chart!
AND THEN defender fires, with yet another four-part sequence!

Definitely NOT simultaneous: in particular, choosing WHICH units will be taken as casualties could be seriously different if combat actually was simultaneous.

Someone in my playgroup proposed a house rule, reducing the official rules' 8-part sequence into a 4-part sequence. I'd like your opinion on that house rule:

Part 1: attacker throws all required dice, keeping scores on the total number of successful hits.
Part 2: defender throws all required dice, keeping scores on the total number of successful hits.
Part 3: defender chooses and removes casualties.
Part 4: attacker chooses and removes casualties.

What say you?
 
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Chris Ley
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Your change is irrelevant. You will always pick the cheapest casualties first. The only exception is if you have air units and one land unit left. But making that decision also doesn't really matter if you do it on the last roll or the first roll, you're committing one way or another.

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Lewis Goldberg
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No components handy, but I seem to remember the combat board had a rear area lined off where you would slide your casualties backward but not in the dead pile yet, so you would remember what still gets to shoot back.
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Erik Stonemark
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It is a theoretical simultaneous combat. Any units at the start of any combat round that is able to "fire" does indeed "fire" whether they get hit or not. If a defender is hit, he is simply put in the casualty space but still gets to fire back. So in essence both sides are theoretically firing at the same time, even tho you roll dice at different times.
Feel free to "house rule" it any way you see fit, but just rolling dice at the same time, or in a different order does not change the outcome of a particular round of combat. You still roll untill the defender is eliminated or the attacker calls of the attack or is eliminated, so it does not change anything.
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Bruno Ducharme

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Thank you Chris and Erik for taking time to reply. Still, I must disagree with you both: the proposed house rule does make a difference, and a huge one.
It could indeed induce very different decisions from the players. As Chris said himself, the attacker might make very different decisions if he knew the total number of hits rather than having to split such decision into 4 SEQUENTIAL (read: not simultaneous) sub-decisions. Defender's casualties choices might also be different in the case of naval battle involving an aircraft carrier carrying fighters.

Thank you Lewis for taking time to reply.

Anyone else wishes to comment?
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Michael Korson
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The only reason the phrase about combat being 'simultaneous' is included is to explain why the Defender's destroyed units still get to fire during the round that they were eliminated.

But I don't see the huge difference this house rule makes one way or the other. 99% of the time, you will just choose the cheapest unit or the unit that brings the least value to the current round of combat. I've honestly never found myself in the situation thinking that I would have made different removal choices if I knew the total number of hits that I was going to suffer ahead of time.
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T. Dauphin
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I can't imagine how it would affect my choices either, but I've always seen the writing of this rule as a way of presenting a potentially complicated process in the simplest terms--and not as written in stone that you must conduct combat in the defined 8 steps.
Right from the beginning we got tired of throwing dice so many times, so when we play we gather up all the dice in the house and allot each unit type (or rather, each hit number) its own colour. Then gather up as many of them as we can get in our hands and do it in as few throws as possible (only one if we can). In any one game we end up assigning the same colour to the same value throughout the game so we have a default in case someone neglects to declare what their assignments are ahead of time.
Essentially we do what you have suggested, but for us it's about the convenience of dice rolling.

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Geoffrey Burrell
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It only usually matters if there isn't a superior force on either side. If there is a superior force then it comes down to the die rolls to be one-sided. If the forces are near equal strength then it matters which pieces are used a casualties first.
 
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Bruno Ducharme

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tanik wrote:
I've always seen the writing of this rule as a way of presenting a potentially complicated process in the simplest terms--and not as written in stone that you must conduct combat in the defined 8 steps.
It is, in fact, a 16-step sequence. Check page 18, lower left corner:

''the battle board is divided in four columns. Resolve combat in Column 1 first, then Column 2 and so on. (...) Each time a hit is scored, the defender must choose one of his or her units as casualty...''

That's a 2-step sequence: throw dice, choose casualties.
Repeat for each of the four columns: we're up to 8 steps.
Then the defender fires back: another 8 steps.
Quite simple, as you said, but certainly not simultaneous!

My choice of which units I pick as casualties may very well be different if I knew how many of mine (and how many of theirs) will be killed all in all, rather than having to choose after each and every dice thrown.

I really believe they meant it when they wrote that combat is simultaneous: ALL units fire together, and all hits should happen (almost) simultaneously.
 
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Erik Stonemark
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As per rules, section 5 Combat, end of first paragraph in middle column: "These casualties are not out of the game yet. They will be able to counter attack because in Axis & Allies is considered simultaneous."

Seems to me that the whole discussion about "simultaneous" is merely semantics. The sequence of how one resolves combat is not what is considered to be simultaneous. It is, as said before by another poster, merely a way to consider that all units get to fire whether they are hit or not. All attacking units get to fire, all defenders get to fire.(with the exception of victims of AA fire).

Also, if a group chooses to roll all dice at the same time, that eliminates the idea of initiative. If a different thought process is employed depending on whether or not all hits are taken at the same time or not, it seems to me that the attacker looses the initiative. In the very few cases where this might make a difference, the defender is absolved of the choice of loosing one unit over another unit after each column is resolved(even though defenders would get to fire back).
As written in the original process, the defender would have to make the tough choices first, giving the attacker an advantage(I still think the difference in thought process to assign casualties is minor in difference between the rolling by column or all at once).

It is all personal interpretation, and as I said before, and as Larry Harris Jr. has said before, feel free to "house rule".
To me, according to the rule as written, combat is considered simultaneous, even tho the process to resolve combat is not.

It is all semantics.

Happy Gaming!
May all your rolls be 1's(simultaneous or otherwise)
 
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T. Dauphin
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redblackmonkey wrote:
As per rules, section 5 Combat, end of first paragraph in middle column: "These casualties are not out of the game yet. They will be able to counter attack because in Axis & Allies is considered simultaneous."

Seems to me that the whole discussion about "simultaneous" is merely semantics. The sequence of how one resolves combat is not what is considered to be simultaneous. It is, as said before by another poster, merely a way to consider that all units get to fire whether they are hit or not. All attacking units get to fire, all defenders get to fire.(with the exception of victims of AA fire).

Also, if a group chooses to roll all dice at the same time, that eliminates the idea of initiative. If a different thought process is employed depending on whether or not all hits are taken at the same time or not, it seems to me that the attacker looses the initiative. In the very few cases where this might make a difference, the defender is absolved of the choice of loosing one unit over another unit after each column is resolved(even though defenders would get to fire back).
As written in the original process, the defender would have to make the tough choices first, giving the attacker an advantage(I still think the difference in thought process to assign casualties is minor in difference between the rolling by column or all at once).

It is all personal interpretation, and as I said before, and as Larry Harris Jr. has said before, feel free to "house rule".
To me, according to the rule as written, combat is considered simultaneous, even tho the process to resolve combat is not.

It is all semantics.

Happy Gaming!
May all your rolls be 1's(simultaneous or otherwise)


Well, except you're not describing a simultaneous process.
You're defending the process that has the defender choose losses before knowing what the attacker's losses are.
That's not what simultaneous means to me.
I can think of 1 situation where I might make a different decision based on knowing all the losses. Have I wiped out the opponent? If so maybe I don't need to leave a ground unit behind and can save my air. In certain circumstances this might be strategic. And on the water a similar concern would be, "Have I wiped out the enemy so I can save my invasion force and lose the battleship instead."
I just took them at their word when they said simultaneous and preferred to treat it that way--completely.

I think what might be an interesting twist, would be to resolve the 'blitzing' units first, ie first the aircraft--on both sides--then the armour, then the infantry. Each side taking losses before moving on to the next category. Still allowing losses to fight back--or not.devil

 
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Erik Stonemark
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Yes, I am describing a process that as conducted per rules is not "literally" simultaneous. It is "considered" to be simultaneous for the purpose of defender's casualties being able to fire back.
It is an abstraction, a hypothetical, an attempt to explain how a unit that was already hit can still fire back.
And that is all it was ever meant to be.

To me, literally resolving all hits at the same time takes an advantage away from the attacker, and removes an element from the process that makes this game good, a little fog of war during the process is a good thing in my opinion, a little unknown makes for tougher decisions, which leads to more challenges and unexpected twists and turns and in the end for me a more enjoyable game.

To each their own,
Happy Gaming!
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Bruno Ducharme

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I've just finished reading the 50th anniversary edition rules; seems they adressed this very question.

http://www.axisandallies.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Axis...

Page 18: General Combat Sequence
In summary: attacker first throws ALL his/her dice,
then defender chooses casualties,
then defender throws ALL his/her dice,
then attacker chooses casualties.

Not quite the way my playgroup house-ruled it, but still a significative improvement toward simultaneity.
 
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Christian Kalk
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chaikov wrote:
I've just finished reading the 50th anniversary edition rules; seems they adressed this very question.

http://www.axisandallies.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Axis...

Page 18: General Combat Sequence
In summary: attacker first throws ALL his/her dice,
then defender chooses casualties,
then defender throws ALL his/her dice,
then attacker chooses casualties.

Not quite the way my playgroup house-ruled it, but still a significative improvement toward simultaneity.


That's the way I always played it (and the way all the online implementations handle it). I still think it would be better if the Defender got to roll dice before allocating casualties...for the small number of cases where it makes a difference, it would be much better.
 
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