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Here I Stand (500th Anniversary Reprint Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Winter return home fortified/unfortified rss

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Mark Thomsen
Denmark
Odense C
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Hi

A newbie question here: It appears when excess forces (5+) need to return home for winter, they have fewer options, if they are in a fortified space (must go to capital) than if they are in an unfortified space (can go to any fortified space with less than 4 regulars). This seems strange to me.

Anybody know the reasoning behind this rule?

Kind regards Mark
 
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Don G.
United States
Riverside
California
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Hey Mark,

I always considered the stack limitation being directly related to the inability to wage effective war during winter months, and the limited resources available outside the capital or fortified spaces. Think of fortified spaces as both forts and developed areas where food and drink might be better stockpiled and distributed to the people, especially to your troops. It also serves as a reminder that your units need precious time with their families in order to encourage future generations to service the crown.

Though this article covers a time a number of years before 1517, I can see hazards like these: https://www.historyextra.com/period/medieval/10-dangers-of-t..., prevailing in Europe during the early 16th Century.

Best,
Don


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Denis Cobrousev
Russia
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Mark_T wrote:
they are in an unfortified space (can go to any fortified space with less than 4 regulars).
Wrong. They can go only to the nearest, not any, fortified space. Or to the capital.
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Mark Thomsen
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chakaal wrote:
Though this article covers a time a number of years before 1517, I can see hazards like these: https://www.historyextra.com/period/medieval/10-dangers-of-t..., prevailing in Europe during the early 16th Century.

Best,
Don
Thanks for the link

With regards to the rules on the destination itself, these sections/paragraphs relate the issue, as far as I can see (I may easily have missed some):

19.3 Land Units Returning Home

Quote 1
Quote:
Land units in either unfortified spaces or fortified spaces not controlled by their major power must return to a fortified space that is controlled by their power (with a limit of 4 per space except capitals). Land units already in fortified spaces controlled by their power have the option of returning to their home capital.
Quote 2 (just for attrition purposes)
Quote:
Check for an open path of any length of adjacent land spaces or sea zones from the stack’s current location to its destination.
19.3 Land Unit Return Home Procedure

Quote 3
Quote:
Review all land units that are stacked in fortified spaces controlled by their power (other than the major power in question’s home capital). For each such fortified space that contains more than 4 units, the power must return the excess units to their capital
Quote 4
Quote:
Now review all land units in unfortified spaces and in fortified spaces not controlled by their major power. These units must either:
• Return to their home capital
or
• Return to the nearest fortified space controlled by their power (but not if that would put more than 4 land units in that space). The nearest space is always computed using a direct path to the destination without regard to which power controls any of the intervening spaces.
Quote 5
Quote:
If more than 1 fortified space is “nearest” (i.e. they are equidistant from the stack’s current location), the player may move units to each of these spaces, as long as the limit of 4 land units is observed.
Quote 6 (not specifically related to the destination)
Quote:
If a power’s capital is currently controlled by an enemy power, none of its land units may be returned to the capital. All units that would normally have been required to return to the capital are eliminated instead.
Interpretation

It seems a stack can be located in either of the below, depending on whether or not there's room for it) before winter and should (perhaps?) do the following come winter:

Stacks not in excess of 4 units:

1) In controlled home capital => must stay
2) In uncontrolled home capital => move to nearest (possibly multiple candidates) only (direct path) controlled fortified space with room (if no room in nearest, they are eliminated)
3) In controlled fortified space => stay OR may move to capital
4) In uncontrolled fortified space => return to capital OR move to nearest (possibly multiple candidates) only (direct path) controlled fortified space with room
5) In controlled unfortified space => return to capital OR move to nearest (possibly multiple candidates) only (direct path) controlled fortified space with room
6) In uncontrolled unfortified space => return to capital OR move to nearest (possibly multiple candidates) only (direct path) controlled fortified space with room

Stacks in excess of 4 units:

7) In controlled home capital => stay
8) In uncontrolled home capital => move to nearest (possibly multiple candidates) only (direct path) controlled fortified space with room (if no room in nearest, they are eliminated)
9) In own controlled fortified space => return to capital
10) In own uncontrolled fortified space => return to capital OR move to nearest (possibly multiple candidates) only (direct path) controlled fortified space with room
11) In own controlled unfortified space => return to capital OR move to nearest (possibly multiple candidates) only (direct path) controlled fortified space with room
12) In own uncontrolled unfortified space => return to capital OR move to nearest (possibly multiple candidates) only (direct path) controlled fortified space with room

Is this correct?

I'm wondering a few things:
* Is the nearest fortified space only the nearest, or is the next-nearest calculated, if the nearest is full? It does not appear so.
* If more fortified spaces are of the same distance, all these are available. This seems a bit strange or counter-intuitive, compared to the above notion of moving to the nearest only. As if the troops see the nearest city(-ies) and will only go there or die if they can't.
* Why does the units in unfortified spaces have the option of both the capital or the nearest fortified space, when units in fortified spaces must go to the capital? It seems as if the units are focused on moving to a "better" (capital>fortified; fortified>unfortified) place. This seems a bit strange. It would mean that it's better (more options open) to keep units out of fortified spaces. Why couldn't they also go to the next nearest space?

I hope I'm making sense

Best regards
Mark
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Denis Cobrousev
Russia
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Mark_T wrote:
If more fortified spaces are of the same distance, all these are available. This seems a bit strange or counter-intuitive
For me it seems intuitive and not strange. I don't see why one of equidistant spaces should be prefered to another.

Mark_T wrote:
Why does the units in unfortified spaces have the option of both the capital or the nearest fortified space, when units in fortified spaces must go to the capital?
Think all units have two options: to the nearest fortified space and to the capital. But for units in a fortified space nearest one is the space where they are.
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Ståle Mellesdal
Norway
Lillestrøm
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You are correct that you do not calculate next nearest if the nearest is full.

As Denis above points out, you could see it as all units having 2 options: Nearest fortified or the capital, it's simply that the nearest fortified space could be the one they're already in. Remember that stacks can be split as well, sending some to the capital and some to the nearest fortified space.

Also note that protestant has no capital, and Habsburg has 2, which affects their options. It doesn't have to be the nearest capital for the Habsburg, so a stack one step away from Valladolid (or besieging a conquered Valladolid) could return to Vienna.
 
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Mark Thomsen
Denmark
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Hi Denis and Ståle

Thanks for the feedback.

Denis Cobrousev wrote:
Mark_T wrote:
If more fortified spaces are of the same distance, all these are available. This seems a bit strange or counter-intuitive
For me it seems intuitive and not strange. I don't see why one of equidistant spaces should be prefered to another.
What I mean by this, is that it appears the units consider options. If there were 3 controlled fortified spaces nearby and 2 were 1 space closer than the third, why would they rather be eliminated (if their capital was not controlled), than march 1 step more, especially considering they would march across the whole of Europe, if their capital was located far off.

Denis Cobrousev wrote:
Mark_T wrote:
Why does the units in unfortified spaces have the option of both the capital or the nearest fortified space, when units in fortified spaces must go to the capital?
Think all units have two options: to the nearest fortified space and to the capital. But for units in a fortified space nearest one is the space where they are.
Yes, I could see it that way. I suppose it's mainly a way to keep the duration of the game down, so you wouldn't spend time calculating paths to various possible fortified spaces, although I think it shouldn't be so hard. I wonder if that's the only intention behind these rather complicated rules. Why not just let the player find a spot for his forces, if available?

It is also a bit unclear in the rules which path you must take to the nearest space. The rules only indicate which space must be your destination. Actually it seems you could take any path (quote #2 above). This means you could move through empty controlled fortified spaces, but must keep moving to arrive at the nearest space from your original space (possibly eliminating some troops along the way). This also seems a bit weird to me, but I guess you could argue that you arranged winter quarters with a specific space before winter, and only that space can accomodate you, when winter has come.

This would however not help keep game time down, but would rather increase it with more complicated calculations.

Regards
Mark
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Ståle Mellesdal
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You are correct that you are allowed to trace a circuitous route to the destination space to avoid attrition (this only has any effect if a direct route would cause attrition and a longer route would not).

From a "realism" point of view, it's certainly possible to see these rules as odd. If you want to rationalize it, you could probably imagine that the local commander on the groundknows whether there are adequate winter quarters available in the nearest available locations, and knows the capital will always be available, but doesn't know if other locations aren't already at caapacity. If you try hard enough, you can always make the narrative fit the rules.

On the gameplay side, I can't speak for the designer, but the way I see it, these rules are very important indeed for the way the game plays, and I don't think it's about simplicity. One central aspect of the game is that moving armies is expensive: You usually can't afford to transfer an army from one front to another using normal moves. This makes the spring deployment and winter retreat moves very important, and I believe it's stated outright in the designer's notes that this is a deliberate choice to emulate the difficulty in mounting separate simultaneous campaigns. If you could return units more freely, it would give you much greater operational freedom, to focus on one front one turn and then be able to reinforce other locations during the winter, ready to defend come spring. You can still use the spring deployment to reinforce a single location, but then you've spent your one tool for offensive focus as well.
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