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Texas Glory: 1835-36» Forums » Rules

Subject: Can artillery defend a mission fort alone? rss

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Caleb
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Rule 6.7, under "6.0 Combat", states:
Quote:
Artillery cannot retreat from a battle. The last step of an artillery block cannot be eliminated; it surrenders if alone with an enemy block. Exchange it for the enemy artillery at same strength. Artillery always defends inside a fort/city (not in the battlefield).


Rule 7.27, Artillery in Sieges, states:
Quote:

Artillery may CANNONADE, STORM, or SALLY. Defending artillery have double defense in all cases. Also, see: 6.7.


So here is my question: can artillery defend a mission fort alone, withdrawing into the fort, and forcing the besiegers to cannonade or storm? In my solo play-through today, the Mexicans abandoned Goliad with their troops (but left the artillery since it only moves 1 space) to attack some Texans in San Patricio. The Texans moved a large force into Goliad. At that point I wasn't sure if the single Goliad artillery left by the Mexicans could withdraw into the fort and force the Texans to storm or cannonade.

If the artillery can withdraw, will they automatically "surrender" and be changed to Texan artillery if reduced to a single step? Or must artillery have at least 1 other unit to assist in the defense of a fort/city?

I will post this on the CG forum also and post here if I get an answer there.
 
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Pete Gelman
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Maybe the artillery defends as normal, until eliminated, except elimination here transfers ownership of the artillery, now appearing as a strength 1 unit of the other side... ?
 
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Caleb
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Coffeebike wrote:
Maybe the artillery defends as normal, until eliminated, except elimination here transfers ownership of the artillery, now appearing as a strength 1 unit of the other side... ?


The thing that has me confused is the fact that artillery surrenders when "alone" with an enemy block. But, that's under the 6.0 Combat section, not the 7.0 Siege section. But the Siege rule refers back to 6.7, so it leaves me confused. Is artillery really "alone" with enemy blocks if it's in the fort, being besieged?

In my solo run-through, I played that when it was reduced to 1 step (via assault), it was captured. But that's probably not right.
 
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Caleb
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Response from Carl Willner:

The answer under the rules should be yes, the artillery can defend the mission fort alone, so long as it has more than one step remaining. However, if it only has one step, or during the siege of the fort is reduced to one step by cannonade or storming, it will surrender and be replaced by the corresponding artillery block of the other player.

So it looks like I played it correctly, which is rather surprising to me


Carl goes on to describe a specific scenario where this might occur:

To illustrate, here's how the historical capture of Goliad on Turn 1 of the 1835 scenario by the Texan would work in game terms. The Texans use a Surprise card, gaining initiative, and Milam moves from Victoria into Goliad before the Mexicans can send any other block to reinforce Goliad. The Mexican Goliad artillery, with two steps, withdraws into the fort - it has no choice, since the artillery always defends inside the fort under 6.7. The Texans then storm Goliad, and the Surprise event allows Milam to fire first on the initial round, even though he is a B and the artillery would normally go first as an A. Milam scores two hits, eliminating one step of the Mexican artillery which has double defense inside the fort. The remaining step of the Mexican artillery then promptly surrenders, and the Texan takes control of Goliad and places his own Goliad artillery block there at one step strength, which he can later build up to two using forage.

This leads me to the following observation, because as I understand the rules, in the game itself the Mexicans could theoretically reinforce Goliad on their move before any battle is fought. But that would be a field battle in which the Goliad artillery could not participate, because it has withdrawn into the fort.

I further assume that any Mexican units moved to Goliad in this manner (i.e. to attack the Texan besiegers) would not be permitted to "retreat" into the fort since they are relievers. In fact, I guess by definition they would be the "attackers" in the combat since the Goliad Artillery would not be part of the battle, so the besieging Texans would be considered defenders.
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Caleb
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I got a further response from Carl with a detailed "play by play" illustrating the combination of artillery, forts, withdrawing, etc. Posted here in its entirety:

The Mexicans' ability to reinforce Goliad on Turn 1 before the Texans attack it, in my historical scenario, depends on the card play. If the Mexicans had initiative and enough CPs, they could send nearby units such as Lipantitlan and Garza to defend Goliad, and when the Texans attack, they could fight in the open (without the help of the artillery which has to fight inside the fort where there is a fort), or withdraw inside the fort and accept siege. At that point the Texan could continue to storm Goliad in the same turn if he wants, or pass. If the Texan gets initiative and goes to Goliad first, the Mexican could still send one or both of the same blocks to Goliad too, if he has enough CPs, but then as you say it would be a field battle. This is where it gets a little complicated. The artillery has to be inside the fort in round 1 in a hex where a friendly fort is available - it can't fight outside. The Mexican cavalry is coming to reinforce a battle already started by the Texans, so under rule 6.32 they become reserves and don't get to fire or take hits until round 2 when they fight normally. Under 7.0, a normal field battle occurs outside the city on round 2 without the artillery. Because the Texans "won" the field battle on round 1 since the artillery could not contest the field, under the sidebar on "battle reserves" on p.6, the Mexican cavalry arriving from the reserve is now put in the position of being the attacker on round 2 and the Texan has the more advantageous position of defender. The situation is much like relief forces under rule 7.25. The Mexicans could withdraw their cavalry into the fort too on round 2, or fight in the open on round 2 in the hope of preventing a siege and making the Texans retreat. But if they don't eliminate the Texans or force them to retreat on round 2, on round 3, as the new attackers, the Mexicans cannot continue to fight - they must either withdraw into the fort which they can do as cavalry, or retreat away from Goliad themselves. Once all the Mexicans have either been eliminated, withdrawn into the fort or retreated, the Texan could continue to activate siege combat and storm Goliad in the same turn. So, if the Mexicans don't get to Goliad first before the Texans, it's a more difficult task to send reinforcements and try to break through. Historically, the Mexicans did not try to relieve Goliad on Turn 1 with either of the cavalry blocks within range. In game terms, that presumably means they only played a 1 CP card and didn't think the risk was worth taking with just one cavalry unit, and preferred to keep all their cavalry mobile rather than bottling a block up inside Goliad.

As for your other questions, yes, artillery can defend or attack in a field battle where there is no fort or city present, provided that it has more than one step, or if it is down to one step is at least not by itself but has another friendly block to protect it. This logically follows from the ability of artillery to move, though slowly, to non-fort/city hexes. And it is also possible for a player to capture one of the two artillery blocks from the other side, convert it into one of his own, and march it (slowly) to another mission fort or city and use it to attack that fort. Artillery always defends inside a friendly fort or city where there is one available, but if the player does not control the fort or city in the hex, the artillery could help storm or cannonade the fort or city as long as it has more than one step, or if down to one step has at least one other friendly block to protect it. The cannonade rule, 7.24, refers to players cannonading with artillery and leaders, and doing counterbattery with artillery and leaders. Both players could not have an artillery block in the same hex doing this unless it were possible for artillery to move to an enemy fort/city hex and help attack it. But bear in mind that artillery is not allowed to retreat or withdraw from a battle -- if the rest of the attackers have to give up the attack on the fort/city and withdraw (the only option if storming) or retreat (e.g., from a sally), they lose the guns. This is not a problem on cannonade siege combat since that ends after one round with neither side withdrawing, but can be if the guns are used to support a storming attack that does not succeed and leads the attacker to withdraw. (To correct the language of my previous reply, technically the artillery does not "withdraw" into Goliad in my example of the Texan attack on round 1 because artillery can't retreat or withdraw under 6.4 - the artillery is just placed inside the fort/city from the outset and can't contest the field.) Note that in a sally, when artillery supports an attack out of the fort, it is firing from inside the walls against the besiegers, not being moved into the open, which is why it still has double defense.
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