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The Eastern Front: 1914-1917» Forums » Rules

Subject: Divisional Breakdown rss

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R Hilton
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Suppose at the start of a movement phase there are two under-strength divisions of the same type in separate hexes. May they both divide into component regiments at the beginning of the movement phase, then move to the same hex (and for the record, a hex that does not contain an HQ), and then recombine into one division whose strength equals the combined value of the original two divisions?

Rules 27-1 and 27-2 seem to allow this, according to my understanding, but I wanted to check my interpretation.

In fact, these rules would seem to allow the two original divisions in my example to "recombine" into any number of full and under-strength divisions whose total strength equals the combined value of the original two divisions.

If the above is allowed, for convenience and to avoid unit clutter, may any divisions and regiments of the same type that are in the same hex at the end of the movement phase "recombine" into any new combination of full or under-strength divisions of the same type, regardless of the presence of an HQ unit in the hex and whether they did or did not move? I.e., simply overlook any need for a division to divide into component regiments at the start of the movement phase. I realize this is pushing the distinction between Recombination and Divisional Breakdown (and divisional reconstitution).

By the way, I post this question in the Eastern Front forums because that is the game I was working through when this issue came up, but it is really a general rules question for the system. Is there a better forum for posting general rules questions?

Thanks


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Russ Williams
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shilton wrote:
Suppose at the start of a movement phase there are two under-strength divisions of the same type in separate hexes. May they both divide into component regiments at the beginning of the movement phase, then move to the same hex (and for the record, a hex that does not contain an HQ), and then recombine into one division whose strength equals the combined value of the original two divisions?

Rules 27-1 and 27-2 seem to allow this, according to my understanding, but I wanted to check my interpretation.

FWIW I recently was looking for this info too, and at consimworld got this explanation (which I added to Der Weltkrieg FAQ):

Robert Lloyd explains in http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?13@@.ee6bea9/12443 that the intention is flexibility rather than having to literally make exchanges from a limited countermix:

I have had some exchanges with David Schroeder recently which suggest one should not be concerned with counter mix limits. In his conception the unit is just a repository of Strength Points with which you can be quite flexible. The counter mix if you have all the modules is quite generous and has some redundancy in it.

I would add a caution in relation to this. The principle of flexibility is not completely unlimited and there are certain rules that constrain it. Most possibly all of these are in the campaign game. These are designed to ensure you do not subvert the production system by using replacements to build new strength (as opposed to replace it). These include the rules which say you cannot build a unit past its initial strength.

To answer your question if you combine damaged divisions into one full strength Division, then that is OK so long as the Division you build up was already existing either on the map or in the dead pile. The Divisions which you then reduce to zero strength go into the dead pile and could be brought back with replacements. There is no need to go through the brigade level in any of this nor need you worry about whether you have enough brigade counters.

Think of dead pile units as existing units with zero strength.

The Vassal module is great here because it effectively is an unlimited potential force pool with all allowed variations. However, you must still not breach the prohibition of creating new strength from nothing. An example of that would be if you converted an 8 strength division into two 4 strength divisions where the extra division was not in the dead pool or already on the map and part of a recombination.


Quote:
By the way, I post this question in the Eastern Front forums because that is the game I was working through when this issue came up, but it is really a general rules question for the system. Is there a better forum for posting general rules questions?

Maybe the forum for the family Der Weltkrieg Series, but family forums don't have Rules subforums. So probably The Eastern Front makes most sense in practice (I think it's the most popular/owned game of the series?) I'm not sure.
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R Hilton
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Thanks. Those are helpful responses. I see a few implications of this flexible application of Rule 27 - Divisional Breakdown.

For one, it can relax the constraint imposed by the stacking limit. For example, a player could move, say, 7 or more understrength divisions (or their regimental equivalent) into a hex and then re constitute them into 6 or fewer divisions which, combined, are of equal strength but which fall within the stacking limit.

Also, it may effectively allow understrength divisions to be built up with replacement unit strength points without the understrength divisions ever having to be in the same location as an HQ unit, as Rule 23 – Recombination requires. For example, suppose a Replacement unit and an HQ end a turn in the same hex, without either having moved or been in combat. The Replacement unit could then be replaced by regiments of equivalent strength. The following turn those regiments could move into hexes occupied by understrength divisions (or other regiments) of the same type, and then be recombined into stronger divisions. It may be advantageous in some situations to avoid having to move understrength divisions to the same hex as an HQ, or vice versa, just in order to build up such divisions with replacement unit strength points.

Finally, Rule 23 – Recombination states that a unit can have its strength built up only to the lesser of either its front side printed strength or the value of its Full Strength Symbol. This restriction does not appear in the procedures for building up divisions from component parts in Rule 27 – Divisional Breakdown (perhaps it is supposed to apply nonetheless?). And I see there are some units whose front side printed strength is higher than the value of the Full Strength Symbol.

I like the greater flexibility offered by Rule 27 - Divisional Breakdown as compared to Rule 23 - Recombination for purposes of building up understrength divisions, but want to be careful not to push it beyond its intended purposes.
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