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Subject: Attack led by artillery, and feint rss

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Patrick Jamet
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I’m just realizing one thing: an attack lead by artillery must be a « detach move » or a « unit move » and both commands detach the unit. The rules state that « A commander cannot detach its last unit ». So a corp of only one unit that is a battery cannot attack. It’s rather strange that a battery alone may shot but a battery with a commander may not. This commander should be fired! On an other hand, a commander with two batteries may shot. It’s indeed a more secure position.

A question now. After an attack where the defender chose to retreat before combat, may the attacker move a battery alone which is in reserve if he has another unit which could have lead the attack? If he has not such another unit, is this attack illegal? or if the defender choose not to retreat, may the attacker just feint (ie, with the battery in reserve)?

Sorry if this has been discussed elsewhere. Thanks.
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Garry Haggerty
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Pyjam wrote:
A question now. After an attack where the defender chose to retreat before combat, may the attacker move a battery alone which is in reserve if he has another unit which could have lead the attack?


He could use either unit to make (not "lead") his attack.

The attacker doesn't make his attack declaration (i.e., "announce the command and pieces he will use to make the attack") until after the defender retreats. So the attacker doesn't have to choose which unit to use until after the defender has decided to retreat (or not).

Pyjam wrote:
If he has not such another unit, is this attack illegal? or if the defender choose not to retreat, may the attacker just feint (ie, with the battery in reserve)?


It's legal. If the defender doesn't retreat, the attacker may either feint or not . But, if he doesn't feint, his attack will have zero lead units as artillery in reserve cannot be named a lead unit (in step 5).

If the defender does retreat, the artillery would have to enter the defense locale (because the artillery was in reserve, not in the attack approach, which would have made it eligible to use the artillery exception noted at the end of step 2).
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Rachel Simmons
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Neither of these armies are WWII-era soviet armies and did not form artillery corps. The game does not support them, which is a conscious design decision. On historical grounds, I think it was the right decision.

There are no leading units in an attack which is declared a feint; leading units are not declared that early in the attack sequence. You can always choose to feint. There are rules restricting what sort of units can be leading units, but there are no rules restricting what sort of units can feint. (Note also: there is no requirement even for a non-feint attack that the attack to have leading units. Attacks with zero leading units are explicitly permitted. Check steps 4 and 5 of the attack sequence.)
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Patrick Jamet
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No critic. It’s just paradoxical that the presence of a commander forbids a battery to shot, and I wanted to be sure that it was not an error of mine.

Thanks to both for your answers.
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Yiannis Hadjikyriakou
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bowen wrote:
There are no leading units in an attack which is declared a feint; leading units are not declared that early in the attack sequence.


Hi Bowen,

Your response here confuses me. Section 11 Attacks, subsection (3) Feint Option, first bullet point opens with "The attacking player makes his attack declaration ...". "Attack declaration" is defined under subsection (5) as "The attacking player must name the attack command, the attack width and the attack lead units."

If this definition isn't applicable here, where in the rules does it say the attacker must expend an attack (movement) command for a feint, or even identify the feinting unit .i.e. if the attack sequence terminates at subsection (3) then no expenditure of a command is called for, and no unit identified as the feinting unit.

Your wisdom here would be welcome as I think this is the last rule, after three plays of the game, that I'm still not clear on.

Thanks, Constans

 
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Jim Cote
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All attacks are basically the results of move commands. This is true whether any units physically move on the board or not.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Pyjam wrote:
It’s just paradoxical that the presence of a commander forbids a battery to shot, and I wanted to be sure that it was not an error of mine.

Is it clear now that the presence of a commander does not prevent the battery from firing? What is not possible is for the battery to remain under the command of that officer after firing - it had to detach one way or another to execute its attack.


Constans wrote:
Your response here confuses me. Section 11 Attacks, subsection (3) Feint Option, first bullet point opens with "The attacking player makes his attack declaration ...". "Attack declaration" is defined under subsection (5) as "The attacking player must name the attack command, the attack width and the attack lead units."

If this definition isn't applicable here, where in the rules does it say the attacker must expend an attack (movement) command for a feint, or even identify the feinting unit .i.e. if the attack sequence terminates at subsection (3) then no expenditure of a command is called for, and no unit identified as the feinting unit.

As ekted says, the whole attack sequence is initiated by a movement declaration. The procedures you enumerate follow from parent rule 11. Attacks, which begins with this:

Quote:
An attack is when pieces attempt to move into an enemy-occupied locale. Attacks occur during movement and are part of movement.

Just as attacks are part of movement, subsections 3 and 5 are part of attacks.
 
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Yiannis Hadjikyriakou
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Thanks for the responses.

Of course, it's clear from the rules that attacks are just a special case of movement, what I'm suggesting is that there is a slight ambiguity in the sequence of play (I don't suggest this lightly! In my 35 years of wargaming these are the most unambiguous set of rules I've ever come across). So in the part that I quoted in subsection 3 on feints about the attacker making his attack declaration, am I correct in assuming this attack declaration means the following:

a. the feinting unit(s) is identified (but not turned face up);
b. the movement command is stated.

And following this declaration:

c. in the special case of cavalry in locale A making a feint by road against an approach in locale C, that cavalry unit MUST be moved to the intervening locale B;
d. in all other cases no units are REQUIRED to move OR be detached, unless the attacker so chooses.

Do I understand this correctly?
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Constans wrote:

So in the part that I quoted in subsection 3 on feints about the attacker making his attack declaration, am I correct in assuming this attack declaration means the following:

a. the feinting unit(s) is identified (but not turned face up);
b. the movement command is stated.

And following this declaration:

c. in the special case of cavalry in locale A making a feint by road against an approach in locale C, that cavalry unit MUST be moved to the intervening locale B;
d. in all other cases no units are REQUIRED to move OR be detached, unless the attacker so chooses.

Do I understand this correctly?

Sounds like you've got it all correct, with the possible exception that if the declared move was by road, the moving unit(s) must be turned face up briefly, to confirm that they are cavalry, per the rule at the bottom of the middle column on page 5.
 
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Garry Haggerty
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Constans wrote:
bowen wrote:
There are no leading units in an attack which is declared a feint; leading units are not declared that early in the attack sequence.


Hi Bowen,

Your response here confuses me. Section 11 Attacks, subsection (3) Feint Option, first bullet point opens with "The attacking player makes his attack declaration ...". "Attack declaration" is defined under subsection (5) as "The attacking player must name the attack command, the attack width and the attack lead units."


The general definition of an attack declaration is actually found in Section 11, step (1):

(1) "Attack Threat. The attacker names the
attack approach. He does not yet announce the
command and pieces he will use to make the
attack. That announcement comes later in this
procedure and is called the attack declaration."


The requirements of an attack declaration for a feint do not include naming lead units -- only the command and pieces used to make the attack per the step 1 definition -- because the attack procedure ends in step 4 (feint).

Only an attack declaration that's made for an attack that reaches step 5 (i.e., there was no defender retreat and no attacker feint) require attack lead units be named. That's why it's specified in step 5

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Yiannis Hadjikyriakou
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Sphere wrote:

Sounds like you've got it all correct, with the possible exception that if the declared move was by road, the moving unit(s) must be turned face up ...


Thanks for the confirmation. I've been playing the turn face up bit I just didn't mention it here, although I should have for completeness.
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Yiannis Hadjikyriakou
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@Garry. Ah, yes, "attack declaration" is in fact defined here. How did I miss that? I of course understood that the feint terminates the attack sequence of play before step 5, but in the absence of a definition of "attack declaration" elsewhere, this was the only place I could find it. The rules again have demonstrated their awesomeness and current status of undefeated challenger to Goedel's theorem (i.e. all systems must be either incomplete or inconsistent).
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Constans wrote:
The rules again have demonstrated their awesomeness and current status of undefeated challenger to Goedel's theorem (i.e. all systems must be either incomplete or inconsistent).

The Simmons exception to Goedel's theorem?

Seriously, Bowen does have a remarkable ability to write a complete and internally consistent set of rules. It doesn't make them easy to learn, but if you take the jedi route and trust the force, you realize in time that they always do mean exactly what they say. Like you, I've never encountered wargame rules as unambiguous as Bowen's, and I've read a staggering number of wargame rulebooks in the last 40 years.
 
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Yiannis Hadjikyriakou
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And it's not just that they mean what they say, it's also that almost every word is important, not just commentary, preamble etc. For instance, the reason I missed the definition at the beginning of section 11 is that I thought it was just a piece of introductory text so never really appreciated that it contained an important nugget of information.

I think the almost Zen economy of the rules makes them hard to digest for some reason. I've read a lot of wargame rule books over the years, and these are the hardest to internalise (that I remember anyway, but my friend and I have 70 years of wargaming experience and seven university degrees between us and we, after three plays, are only just now feeling like we have a handle on them). I know this has come up a few times, but a sample of play explained in COMPLETE detail, covering two or three turns of an actual scenario with commentary about strategies and possibilities not taken would make it a lot easier. I know the rules have some examples, and I've seen the graphical AAR, but I mean something that has the detail of the examples combined with the scope of the AAR. It won't help me, as I think I have a handle on it now, but it might help others.

Having said that, this is definitely a contender for my all time favourite wargame. It really feels like a simulation and not just a game. Also, it feels fair ... hard to explain exactly what I mean by that, but when I sit down for a game I feel that victory or defeat will go to the better player on the day, and not be decided by hot dice, rule loopholes or lopsided design.

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