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Rommel in the Desert» Forums » Variants

Subject: Recon variant rss

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This suggestion might be a bit early, as I got introduced to the game the other day and just played the 1940 scenario once. But something that struck me (being used to the PC game The Operational Art of War III) is that the recon unit doesn't do much recon. Maybe a variant may be that the Brits can, when adjacent to Axis units, announce that he has a recon unit. If he chooses to do so, the Axis player must reveal one (or maybe more) of his units.

What do you think about that?
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Matt R
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I recently got the game and haven't played it yet, but couldn't either side use recon units to "attack" a large enemy force and then retreat? I think according to the rules that the speed of the recon unit should allow it to have a much better chance of escaping.

If I am correct in the above assessment, then wouldn't that achieve the same effect (actually, a better effect but at the cost of losing the recon unit).

But I'm going to wait and see what a RitD veteran has to say as I was thinking similar questions while reading the rules myself...
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I was thinking it wouldn't be at the cost of a supply card, but rather at the start of the player turn, or something like that.
 
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Matt R
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I actually starting playing the first scenario today solitaire just to help learn the rules.

I'm not really finding a good way of using recon units yet in this game to actually perform reconnaissance. So far the only way I can think of getting it to do recon work is to move it into a group of enemy units and hope that it can survive one round of combat prior to retreating.

Although I'm already finding uses for it to help put pressure on the enemy flanks (or the threat of it anyway).
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Noonespecial wrote:
I recently got the game and haven't played it yet, but couldn't either side use recon units to "attack" a large enemy force and then retreat? I think according to the rules that the speed of the recon unit should allow it to have a much better chance of escaping.

Your "at the cost of losing the recon unit" comment is right, I think, which makes it not worth it.

Although it might be interesting to have a rule where you can reveal a recon unit in exchange for flipping down one or two random enemy blocks in an adjacent hex (or something similar), I'm not sure how often I would use that, because your recon units are most valuable when the enemy doesn't know where they are. (Well, second- most valuable; they are most valuable when they park on an enemy supply line right after the enemy uses his last good supply card, ha ha.)

Think of them not so much as "recon" but "long-distance raiders." When the enemy doesn't know where they are, he has to guard against the possibility that any given block could be recon. The other case where you will wish you'd kept them hidden is when you wind up having to use a lone recon unit to hold a vital supply line.
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Ted Kostek
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kuhrusty wrote:

Think of them not so much as "recon" but "long-distance raiders." When the enemy doesn't know where they are, he has to guard against the possibility that any given block could be recon. The other case where you will wish you'd kept them hidden is when you wind up having to use a lone recon unit to hold a vital supply line.


Kuhrusty has the center of the thing.

Another handy thing to use recon units for is to retreat. They are faster than everything else, so it's easy to disengage them from battles. That's the 'recon' aspect. Go ahead and attack w/ them; you can always pull back. Other units have to take pursuit fire during a disengage.

I applaud your creativity, but play the base game a few more times before you start messing w/ the rules.
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I do feel some means of gathering information is called for in a game which place such heavy emphasis on fog-of-war. It would certainly make it less luck-dependent. However such an intrusive variant would certainly change if not break the game. Definitely a great idea for the next Columbia game. Do write them, they read emails.

In RitD, I would always avoid committing my main forces before I have an idea of what's in the stack. As in poker, you can read it from your opponent's face and that's what I love about this game.

I agree with Krusty that you should think of recon units as raiders in this game. British LRDG are famous for this. SIG, a clandestine unit recruited from Jewish Germans, was also heavily involved in such operations. If you have seen the movie "Tobruk" you may be surprised to know that the movie was based on a true story, complete with a German mole.

For humorous purpose, see my "Bedouin Camel Raiders" variant rule at the variant section.
 
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