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Subject: Defense rss

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Doug Kewley
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Am I correct that, over a narrow approach, if the defender has a 3 strength and a 2 strength unit, the attacker cannot win? As I see it, the most the attacker can lead with is a 3 strength unit, which ties the 3 strength lead defending unit. The defending 2 strength unit then counterattacks, raising the defense to 4.

I am not considering any other approaches.

Therefore, if the defense lead unit is a 3, then the attacker is best served by attacking as an independent attack with his smallest unit. Correct?
 
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Tobias Fromme
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Sounds correct to me so far. If the defender is not blocking the approach, a preceding artillery strike can overcome the 3inf+2inf. If blocking, not even that will help (except in a guard attack). Not considering other approaches "chewing through" with 2inf's sacrifices is an option (independent or detach commands both work).
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Dan Silverman
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Sounds right to me too.

Throwing 2 str infantry into a massive meat grinder in a narrow approach is a great way to lose. Don't do that! Flank them instead, they've got strong units right in a narrow approach, and usually there's a good way around.

Or there becomes a big line of entrenched strong units, at which point it becomes an artillery battle, and hopefully you want to be on the defensive.
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Tobias Fromme
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Dan, we both got only two game microbadges and chose the same ones surprise.

Repent, the end is near!
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Doug Kewley
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I thought of the artillery ploy, but that requires the artillery to already be on the approach. Why is it not effective if the defenders are on the approach (other than a defense approach with an artillery symbol)?

I also thought about changing the attack to a two strength independent attack, but that means you will lose 2 morale points each time. Of course, you also convert the 3 strength defender to a 2 strength unit and there are only so many of those 3 strength units.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Think in terms of a major battle across a single approach as occurring over more than one turn. As others have suggested, the best way to take a position is indirectly by getting at the flanks, but in cases where you must power through with a frontal assault it will take more than a single hour. In that case your goal initially is attrition at as favorable a rate as possible, and preservation of the units you hope to use in the final assault.
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Doug Kewley
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One last question.
Am I correct that a declared Guards attack which then discovers the lead defender is a 3 strength unit means that the Guards will receive no bonus since the bonus appears to only apply to 1 and 2 strength units?
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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dakjck wrote:
One last question.
Am I correct that a declared Guards attack which then discovers the lead defender is a 3 strength unit means that the Guards will receive no bonus since the bonus appears to only apply to 1 and 2 strength units?

That's right, and furthermore it can't be declared a feint. Not a happy moment for the attacker, especially if it's the first time the Guard was committed. Between that 4-point loss, the 3-point loss for the failed attack and the points lost for actual losses taken, the Morale toll can be staggering.

When assaulting unknown defenders, only a commander with nerves of steel (or one who is foolhardy or desperate) will launch a Guard attack.
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Scipio O.
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dakjck wrote:
if the defense lead unit is a 3, then the attacker is best served by attacking as an independent attack with his smallest unit. Correct?


This is generally correct, but not always. It depends on the circumstances. You may not want to see your unit disappear, and thus need to put up a 3-strength block. It's rare but possible that you will want to use your whole corps rather than an independent order. Etc.
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Scipio Oaklandus wrote:
dakjck wrote:
if the defense lead unit is a 3, then the attacker is best served by attacking as an independent attack with his smallest unit. Correct?


This is generally correct, but not always. It depends on the circumstances. You may not want to see your unit disappear, and thus need to put up a 3-strength block. It's rare but possible that you will want to use your whole corps rather than an independent order. Etc.

If you're not doing anything else with the corps that turn, a Detach Move is often best in that situation.
 
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Tobias Fromme
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dakjck wrote:
Why is it not effective if the defenders are on the approach (other than a defense approach with an artillery symbol)?


If the defender is in the approach, the artillery will reduce them (starting at strength 3 and 2) to either 3/1 or 2/2. In the former case, you are still up against a 3 strength unit that automatically wins ties (because it blocks). In the latter case, a counterattack is possible to yield final strength 3 => again a tie automatically won be the defender (if he blocks).
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Justus Pendleton
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dakjck wrote:
Am I correct that, over a narrow approach, if the defender has a 3 strength and a 2 strength unit, the attacker cannot win?


FWIW, a long long time ago I created https://rpggeek.com/filepage/48678/battle-results-tables which shows this kind of calculations for all possible scenarios.

Though re-reading the file after all these years it is a bit....terse wow

Across a narrow approach, the defender doesn't even need 3+2 to assure victory.

If you're blocking the approach then a single 3 guarantees victory.

If there's a terrain penalty and you're blocking the approach then a 2 guarantees victory.

If you're not blocking the approach then 3+1 is enough to win. A 3 by itself guarantees a tie...which would then go to tie breakers.
 
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