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Subject: Minimizing desert attrition rss

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Bradley Fletcher
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Maine
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To minimize attrition (especially the desert) can you split a moving force into smaller groups--Say you're using a campaign card (4) and want to move ten Russians from Orenburg to Khiva which is across two desert tracks. Can the Russian force be divided into two groups, each moving two spaces, to minimize attrition?
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John Gorkowski
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Yes, but that's two actions vice one.
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Bradley Fletcher
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Sorry, not sure what that means. Does it mean that they can't be done on a single campaign card?
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John Gorkowski
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The campaign card has a value of 4 which means it allows four "moves." A "move" is when you move a single stack with any number of points one space.

So, moving a stack of 10 Russian points one space would be one move. If instead you split that stack of ten into two stacks of five, moving one after the other, you would then have to make two moves to move those troops one space. Moving the second stack of five would be another (2nd) move. As you point out, you would do this to blunt desert attrition. The downside is you would use up more "moves" of the card's value to propel 10 strength points the same distance.

Therefore, if you move all 10 points together you "burn" one point of the card's value per space entered. So, a stack of 10 could move four spaces. If instead you chose to break that stack of 10 into two stacks of five then you'd have to move two stacks and thereby burn the card's value twice as fast. In effect, two stacks of five could move two spaces each, or one such 5-point stack could move three spaces and the other stack one space, etc.

Further note that the trip from Orenburg to Khiva requires a two-space move. That is, you travel from Oburg via Slavers to Khiva. So, a single stack of 10 could do that and use only two moves, leaving the remainder of the card's value for action elsewhere. If you break down into two stacks of five, you will burn the card's entire value getting that same force from Oburg to Khiva.

Breaking down to avoid attrition is historically accurate, as is the greater "charge" on your resources. One group of 10 can feed off the same baggage train. Separate groups of five each require their own train. Also, making two groups of five could mean staggering the forces so they cross the desert at different times. That also requires more resources (time).
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Lee Troutman
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Bowie
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Any Luggage Sir? - No, just this carrion.
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I think you've handled the subject of logistics very elegantly with a low rules overhead.

The movement rules force the players to think (however abstractly) about supply considerations without a lot of (possibly) fiddly detail.

The OPs example is a good one. Two smaller armies make it to Khiva intact, at the cost of no other operations elsewhere. Is that worth it? Maybe. It's up to the player.

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Bradley Fletcher
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Definitely worth it--I just used the method to take Khiva in two turns without significant loss, whereas previously, moving a single large force (10 or more) across TWO desert tracks (2X attrition and -1 both times) I never managed to pull it off. I've submitted a short AAR of that solo game (it is pending review) but grabbing Khiva changes everything for the Russians--as hopefully you'll soon read. Really enjoying the game--and as a solo player I've never liked CDG's, so kudos! Thanks.
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John Gorkowski
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Great! Are you playing the solo, "Russians conquer Central Asia scenario?"
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Richard Hecker
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Kallista, jewel of the Dandenongs
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bfletcher wrote:
Can the Russian force be divided into two groups, each moving two spaces, to minimize attrition?


Note that you'll make an attrition roll after EACH yellow space, so there will be four attrition rolls. Also when the first 5 SP group moves into Khiva it will face the fortress alone.

Khiva - and for the same reason the Turcoman spaces - are tough to take - usually mid-to-late game if at all. Geok Tepe resisted the Russians until the 1870s.
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John Gorkowski
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Excellent points.
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Chick Lewis
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Sounds to me as though bfletcher may have been bending the rules in his conquest of Khiva mentioned above.

Bradley, did you perhaps ignore the fact that the first 5sp formation to arrive would need to immediately fight Khiva before the 2nd formation arrives to reinforce?

 
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Attilio Tribuzi
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I find the best way to take Khiva is to use the Gunboats in conjunction with a smaller force moving through the desert...of course you have to get the right card...so a lot of Russians may be sitting in the desert for awhile...
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