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878 Vikings: Invasions of England» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Leader withdrawal from battle rss

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Terry Maciw
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Ok, I've only played once solo, core game with no expansions and really enjoyed the game. It was a close game where the English won the key final battle that looked beforehand as a safe Viking victory.
As I see it, to keep a leader as safe as possible always drop a unit in a shire adjacent to the battle to make a retreat path. Then when entering the battle shire drop off all units apart from one black unit.
During the battle, if things start to go pear shaped, use any command result to retreat the single unit on the leader card and therefore the leader can also retreat. Continue the battle withdrawing other units when possible to rally with the leader.
Assuming the battle goes well and you don't retreat the leader, you may then pick up the units and continue moving.
My point is that it is always best to drop off all but one unit before a leader battles as it has no impact on future moves as a leader can pick up and drop off units before, during and after movement.
Anyone have other thoughts on this?
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Anton Nieuwkoop
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keep in mind that only last unit on the shire (also on the card) can use a command die result (or last units if you roll more then one command result)

So you can't decide for yourself when a leader retreats.
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Terry Maciw
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antoi wrote:
keep in mind that only last unit on the shire (also on the card) can use a command die result (or last units if you roll more then one command result)

So you can't decide for yourself when a leader retreats.


Hi Anton, that's the way I played and I lost my leaders each turn. Re-reading the rules this morning I saw the following statement in rule 5.2 on page 9:

"All of a Faction’s Units in a Shire participate in the Battle, those on a Leader’s card and in the Shire itself. Battle Dice results can be applied against a Faction’s Units in theShire or on a Leader’s card.

Units on a Leader’s Card may use a Command result to move out of a Battle (4.4). If the last friendly Unit on a Leader’s Card uses a Command result, the Leader may move with it."

So that's when I came up with the strategy above to try and save my leaders. Of course, always fighting too much and depleting my leader units was the main cause of my leader's demise.

But I can't see anything illegal with my strategy?
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Jelly Pantz
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Quote:
use any command result to retreat the single unit on the leader card and therefore the leader can also retreat. Continue the battle withdrawing other units when possible to rally with the leader.


NOPE.
Although the drop off strategy is good for most battles and leaders are the best way to do this without squandering movement points, leaders still have a restriction on when they can withdraw from a battle.
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Niko
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maciwt wrote:
antoi wrote:
keep in mind that only last unit on the shire (also on the card) can use a command die result (or last units if you roll more then one command result)

So you can't decide for yourself when a leader retreats.


Hi Anton, that's the way I played and I lost my leaders each turn. Re-reading the rules this morning I saw the following statement in rule 5.2 on page 9:

"All of a Faction’s Units in a Shire participate in the Battle, those on a Leader’s card and in the Shire itself. Battle Dice results can be applied against a Faction’s Units in theShire or on a Leader’s card.

Units on a Leader’s Card may use a Command result to move out of a Battle (4.4). If the last friendly Unit on a Leader’s Card uses a Command result, the Leader may move with it."

So that's when I came up with the strategy above to try and save my leaders. Of course, always fighting too much and depleting my leader units was the main cause of my leader's demise.

But I can't see anything illegal with my strategy?
Agreed that the rules section you quote sounds the way your interpret it, but unfortunately the rules simply aren't very clear.
Based on my reading of the rules in their entirety and official comments on these forums my understanding is that there is absolutely no difference between units in the shire with the leader and on the leader card. Unfortunately the rules make it sounds like there is, when all the leader card does is simplify movement of large armies across the map...
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Terry Maciw
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Ze_German_Guy wrote:
Agreed that the rules section you quote sounds the way your interpret it, but unfortunately the rules simply aren't very clear.
Based on my reading of the rules in their entirety and official comments on these forums my understanding is that there is absolutely no difference between units in the shire with the leader and on the leader card. Unfortunately the rules make it sounds like there is, when all the leader card does is simplify movement of large armies across the map...


I agree that I don't think my interpretation is as the game is supposed to be played. In fact I played another solo game this morning and I find it much easier just to place all the leader units on the board. I can't see anything wrong with this approach as leaders can pick up and drop off units as they move anyway. If during a battle the leader is able to command move away with the last remaining unit in the shire that's great, if not he dies. The only restriction I can see is that units can't move twice when dropping and picking up units. This seems the best way to play in my mind.

An enjoyable game though and I have not added any of the expansions yet, although reading through them, I'm not sure that I will ever use most of them as they just add more random elements. Thanks everyone for their comments.

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Mark Pinner
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Perhaps you could do this in defence - drop off all units bar one - but not once you move into an enemy controlled area?
 
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Terry Maciw
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Marcus Antonius wrote:
Perhaps you could do this in defence - drop off all units bar one - but not once you move into an enemy controlled area?

Yes, in defence it might allow you to retreat the leader if the battle is not going well and save him for another turn.
I think the point of my OP was that I could not see a reason for keeping the units on the leader card. I like to place them in the shire with the leader figure. Because the leader can drop off and pick up units during the move I could not see a reason for keeping the units on the card. Reading the rules through again the only difference I could see was the one outlined in the OP but I don't believe this was the intended use of having units on the leader card and not on the shire with the leader figure. Not having played the other titles in the series, I was hoping someone might explain why I should place the units on the leader card.
 
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Kevin Duke
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There are no other Leader units in other games, so you can't get any help there.

But no, most certainly no, you cannot do what you have described as a way of saving your leaders.

No, never, no, utterly no.

Leaders are hard to 'save.' They are supposed to be. You are supposed to have to weigh carefully how far you want to push your leaders and whether they could be lost in a battle-- or so weak that the Saxons can follow up in their turn and finish them off.

You can only move them with ALL the final units IN THAT BATTLE get to make the move. While the rules say "the final," it's possible that you might have 2 or even 3 black units left and roll "horns" for all of them in a single roll, and then you could move the leader with them. But the leader only goes if it's with the LAST units leaving the area.
 
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Terry Maciw
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kduke wrote:
There are no other Leader units in other games, so you can't get any help there.

But no, most certainly no, you cannot do what you have described as a way of saving your leaders.

No, never, no, utterly no.

Leaders are hard to 'save.' They are supposed to be. You are supposed to have to weigh carefully how far you want to push your leaders and whether they could be lost in a battle-- or so weak that the Saxons can follow up in their turn and finish them off.

You can only move them with ALL the final units IN THAT BATTLE get to make the move. While the rules say "the final," it's possible that you might have 2 or even 3 black units left and roll "horns" for all of them in a single roll, and then you could move the leader with them. But the leader only goes if it's with the LAST units leaving the area.

Hi Kevin, yes I do agree with you. My OP was just raising the question, as the rules seem to imply that you can do as I suggest. Can you explain why I should leave the units on the leader card and not just place them all in the shire (which makes it much easier to see the overall strengths of each side) and move them when the leader moves.
I'm asking, what's the purpose of having units on the card as I feel I'm missing something?
Being an almost exclusively solo gamer it's easy to misinterpret the rules as you don't have an opponent to bounce questions off.
 
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Kevin Duke
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You have to close one eye and hum to the the rules "imply" that you can play like this. By the way, let's damn to hell rules that "imply" anything. We want rules to tell us what we can do and what we can't do, and we want to avoid playing with someone who wants to do the ridiculous and say, "The rules don't say I can't."

But let's work with the rules as written.


Quote:
All Units on a Leader’s Card form one Army
and are represented by the Leader on the map...
Leaders are moved during the Leader
Phase (5.0), before any other Armies are
moved during this Movement Phase.


So one reason for putting the units on the card is simple-- the game says to. And the game has lots of reasons for saying so.

As you drop units off, you can leave them in the areas. As you pick units up, you can place them on the card.

If two leaders are in an area, you can share units between them, by moving them from one card to another-- DURING MOVEMENT.

Viking reinforcements or returning fled troops are allowed to be placed on any controlled coastal hex or with a leader. Putting them on the card makes it a lot clearer what is happening.

Units with leaders move during the leader phase. Units NOT with leaders move later. Using the cards helps avoid confusion over whether units moved with the leader OR will move on their own. The Leader cannot drop units off in an area and move on and THEN those same units move after Leader movement ends.

More than once they direct us to use the card.

Quote:

5.0
A Leader’s Army is comprised of all Units on the Leader Card
bearing the symbol that matches that of the Leader on the
map.
All Leaders move and battle during the Leader Phase
before Armies without Leaders move and battle in the
Movement and Battle Phases.


So it is only the units ON THE CARD who get to move with the leader.

Quote:
5.1
5.1 Leader Movement
A player may move Units between a Leader’s Card and the
Shire the Leader occupies at any time during the Movement
Phase.


Quote:
5.2 Leader Battles
A Leader battles immediately when he moves into a Shire
occupied by enemy Units.


That means you suspend "movement" when the Leader enters an area with enemy troops. You go IMMEDIATELY to battle.

The section someone is wanting to use to skate on the rules is:

Quote:
All of a Faction’s Units in a Shire participate in the Battle,
those on a Leader’s card and in the Shire itself. Battle
Dice results can be applied against a Faction’s Units in the
Shire or on a Leader’s card.


Except that this applies to DEFENSE. Based on the sequence of play, there ARE no friendly units "in the shire" when the Leader is moving, because leaders move before armies without leaders. But the Leader could be in an area with units not on his card at the end of a turn. And if that area is attacked, yes, they all fight together and you can take losses from the area or the card, but you can't move units from the Leader card to the area during this battle, because the "freely" stuff is only during Leader movement.

Thinking about this while standing on my head, I can see that you could finish moving to an area and not fight, and then-- since it is "during movement,"-- you could move most of the units from the Leader's card and leave them in the area and play this dirty game. When the Leader moves again, he can pick up units from the area to take with him-- but keep in mind that the Leader only moves if he has the active faction's color.

Hmmm. How to continue the cheat? Yeah, you could leave one red and one black on the leader card, knowing that this would mean either faction could activate the leader when they next get the chance and if the leader is attacked in that area (where the other units are) you could take your first loss-- berserker-- to clear the card of the red guy and then wait for a black horn to scoot your leader away while the remaining units keep on fighting on defense.

I'm wondering about the risk factors of moving the leader to a new area with one or few units and potential attack on future movements, but I grant that extending a Leader life is better than losing him in battle, even though that is clearly what the rules tell us, unless they happen to get lucky enogh to get the horn with the last 1 or several units. (Which, by the way we have seen happen.)

So there could be a way to make this work, sometimes, but who would want to play with someone twisting the rules that badly?

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Terry Maciw
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kduke wrote:
You have to close one eye and hum to the the rules "imply" that you can play like this. By the way, let's damn to hell rules that "imply" anything. We want rules to tell us what we can do and what we can't do, and we want to avoid playing with someone who wants to do the ridiculous and say, "The rules don't say I can't."

Hi Kevin,

As I said in my initial post, I only play this solo, in fact I play 99% of my games solo, so I'm not trying to 'cheat' anyone with the rules, I was just asking the question as to why I should leave units on the leader cards and not place them directly on the board.
But thank you for you insight into the rules, I do think you have a valid reason to leave them on the cards, which is what I shall do in my future solo games.

Regards,
Terry
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