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Subject: Winter Campaign and Sallying Out! rss

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Andrew Borgelin
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Guys I'm looking for another bit of help!

Scenario

Winter Campaign has been played. The Saracens have been laying siege to Antioch for most of the year. They have an army consiting of six blocks undertaking the siege. They decide not to storm but to continue the siege over the winter using Winter Campaign.

Can the Frank player decide to sally out at this point?

And if he can and he is killed in battle and this action leaves no other Frank block left in Antioch does that mean, as there is no longer a current siege going on, the Saracen player would loose 3 blocks due to winter attrition? I stress Antioch as the city under question as in terms of regrouping there would be nowhere for the surplus Saracen blocks to go for winter garrisoning. Is there a sneaky tactic in this?

If this is the case it means a sacrificial block could cause some considerable difficulties for a beseiging player.

Cheers

Andy
 
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Jeff Johnson
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Hmmm. Good question.

I think the Franks are under the limitations of 9.02 and so can't sally because they can't 'start a battle'. I'm not sure about this, though; it may be that the prohibition from 'starting a battle' doesn't let them move into a new battle but would still let them sally where they were already besieged. And I think they could still sally if the Saracens activated the battle, stormed, and then withdrew before round 4, (though that'd be pretty rare) since they wouldn't be starting the battle in that case.

It might be better to redefine the Winter Campaign card yet again, to allow ignoring winter attrition for blocks that aren't sieging as well. It doesn't make sense that an army has enough supplies for the winter if they're besieging but not if they're sitting in more comfortable quarters. This would make the card more powerful, allowing big forces to be massed to start the next year, but would eliminate the paradoxical situation of a huge besieging army being afraid to storm and finish off the last step of a besieged unit.
 
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Chris Valk
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Winter Attrition is ignored for the besieger in a Winter Campaign turn, but both players must roll for siege attrition (9.12).

In the scenario you present, the Franks can sally after conducting siege attrition. (Siege combat during a Winter Campaign is allowed per rule 9.12; this is not considered starting a new battle per 9.02.) Any surviving Franks would then conduct winter attrition, but the Saracens would not (due to the play of the Winter Campaign card, in all other cases they would be eliminated through attrition).

Alternately, if the Franks are eliminated and the Saracens take control of Antioch, then they would have to lose 3 blocks per the Winter Quarters rule.

It helps to remember that "Winter Quarters" in the rules refers to non-siege situations and "Winter Attrition" to sieges. Both occur at the same instant, after movement and combat and before replacements.

Also make sure you're using the most recent version of the rules, which differ from the original printed rules in several areas including this one. They can be found at http://www.columbiagames.com/resources/3226/3226-crusaderrul...
 
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Jeff Johnson
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It still seems silly that the Saracens would be able to support their entire army if there were Franks besieged in the castle, but would lose units if the besieged Franks sallied and died.

The 'Winter attrition' and 'winter quarters' losses being separate isn't all that clear to me. I'm not sure why the 'Blocks that exceed town ratings are eliminated' text is in both sections - unless Winter Campaign doesn't let you overstack/exceed the town rating, just keep guys supported at a siege (just lets you ignore the fact that you don't control the whole area yet)? That'd make sense, and would avoid the weirdness.
 
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Chris Valk
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Oakfed wrote:
It still seems silly that the Saracens would be able to support their entire army if there were Franks besieged in the castle, but would lose units if the besieged Franks sallied and died.

I agree that situation does have a "gamey" feel to it. The way I look at it, using "Winter Campaign" in a siege equates to the leadership inspiring exhausted troops for one final Heraclean effort to reclaim the infidel's city for Christendom/Islam. When it falls, the majority of the troops go on a pillaging frenzy and melt away into the countryside until springtime, leaving the veteran die-hards to garrison the city over the winter.

Oakfed wrote:
The 'Winter attrition' and 'winter quarters' losses being separate isn't all that clear to me. I'm not sure why the 'Blocks that exceed town ratings are eliminated' text is in both sections - unless Winter Campaign doesn't let you overstack/exceed the town rating, just keep guys supported at a siege (just lets you ignore the fact that you don't control the whole area yet)? That'd make sense, and would avoid the weirdness.

I find Winter losses confusing in this regard, too. My interpretation of the rules is that the losses are not separate, per se, but that the situation drives how winter losses are determined: eg, Winter "quarters" applies to all non-siege situations and "attrition" to sieges. Unless a Winter Campaign is played, all besiegers are eliminated to a man. If you do play that card as a besieger, you have to roll for regular Siege Attrition at the same time as the defender does, but ignore the Winter Attrition rule stating 'Blocks that exceed town ratings are eliminated'; this only applies to the defender, who has to apply Winter Attrition in addition to Siege Attrition (it's simply not named "Winter Quarters" because they're under siege).

This is a confusing area, but I believe it really accounts for the game being as enjoyable as it is. Sieges wouldn't be nearly such tense affairs if the countdown toward Winter wasn't ticking away each turn, and, like any good design, the possibility of a Winter Campaign provides an exception to the rule.
 
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