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Subject: Help with reinforcements being blocked rules scenario rss

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Mike M
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I’m looking for some rules interpretation help for the scenario shown in the picture. It’s still early in the morning at South Mountain and one of the two Union brigades went around the fight to the north to make a minor stand at the creek near the only CSA reinforcements entry hex from Boonsboro in the upper left corner (northwest I believe) of the map. This was a purposeful attempt to block or stall Longstreet’s reinforcements and may be against the game designers intent, but nonetheless here we are.

According to series rule 6.13, units under march orders cannot be or advance to within 4 hexes of any enemy combat unit. In my scenario, the Union brigade is already within four hexes of the CSA’s only entry hex. I believe the implication is the CSA reinforcements, previously put under march orders, may not enter the map unless they successfully undergo a brigade orders change first. Is that correct? I don’t think series rule 9.72 addresses this unique case.
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William Byrne
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You are correct; the CSA reinforcements will have to attempt a Brigade Orders Change if they wish to enter. 6.13 actually says units under March orders cannot move within 4 hexes and LOS of enemy units, but LOS exists in this case.

I'm curious, however:

-- How is it that the Reb player assigned this group of Reinforcements March Orders with a Union Brigade headed for the entry hex?

-- That Union brigade is Crook's, right? No matter what brigade it is, it came a long way. South Mountain features 45 minute turns. Did you limit Crook to a maximum of 3 activation equivalents per turn? Also, I don't see any Fatigue marker for Crook's brigade. Did you apply Battle Book 17.22, Causes 1 and 3?

-- Was there no chance to block its progress using the very same restrictions on units in March Order? Sounds like a perfect job for 5th VA Cav. Set-up instructions for the Rebs allow them to easily block such a move.

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Mike M
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1) I am playing as both sides and so both sides are aware of the Union's attempt to use that small creek as a blocking terrain feature, so it essentially was a race against myself to see which side would get there first, negating the others' ability get close when its march activation came up. I make no claims of good judgment here, and I did think about if it was in the CSA's best interest to enter under march or advance orders, but decided to take a gamble at getting to the creek first (depending on the chit pull). I guess it could be argued that both sides didn't know each other was headed the same direction in terms of realism. Obviously it didn't turn out well for the Rebs.

2) You are correct, it it Crook's Federal brigade. I actually limited him to 2 AM equivalents per turn because the Union are only allowed 2 activations per turn unless an in command corps commander can increase the activations to 3 per turn, but I believe that is not the case. I may have made a mistake in this accounting, though. You are also correct that there are no fatigue markers. I acknowledge this failing but don't feel ready yet to start accounting for fatigue. I know I should, I just need to sharpie some of my tile markers or something to get going learning that mechanic. This probably plays a big part into why the situation exists at all.

3) In hindsight, DH Hill (me) is regretting his initial deployments and choice to keep a brigade guarding the eastern approach to Fox's gap despite the fighting going on around Turner's Gap. The 5th VA Cav was also deployed as a skirmisher-type unit with the same purpose. They could easily have been put to better use as you suggest. One of Harvey Hill's brigades was essentially routed in the early fighting around Turner's Gap so while they had a chance to harass the one Union column heading toward Boonsboro, they were too focused on retreating to the safety of the southern hills around Turner's Gap. I make no claims that I am competent yet as a general, but I hope to learn better judgment with experience.
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William Byrne
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Thanks, Mike. On the basis of your reply I do not feel that any changes are needed to the scenario or the series rules, but I do see the need to clarify that units under March Orders can move the equivalent of 3 activations in South Mountain, regardless of whether their corps commander is capable of awarding them a 3rd AM or not.
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Mike M
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Good to know, thanks Bill. I was not aware of that. I hope this helps someone else who picks up the game.
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Mike M
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Just to follow up on this for fun, the southern brigade was able to change orders to attack and although a wide battle line couldn't be established, the activations worked out nicely and the northern brigade could not change out of march orders before said engagement, so the lead CSA regiment (10 SP) smashed through several Federal units including a complete rout of one regiment and disruption and retreat of several others. The Federals established a new line and the Rebs look to have their other regiments catch up and join the battle line. Should be another fun showdown coming up.
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William Byrne
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That'll teach those March Order tricksters! shake
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