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Subject: Question Regarding Area Control (10.0) rss

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Leo Zappa
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Just finished playing my first game of Grand Fleet. First - it appears to be an excellent game! The fog of war aspect brings a whole new dimension to the "War at Sea" model.

Now, for the question - we had a situation come up on the first turn and I'd like to know if we handled it correctly. I was the Germans, my buddy Tim the British. On turn one, we both moved forces, including multiple separate battle groups (not grouped under a Fleet marker), into the Nord Sea, which starts the game uncontrolled by either side. The Brits win the Search Segment and I tell him how many counters are in each of my separate BG's (let's call them BG-A and BG-B). He chooses to engage BG-A with one of his BG's. My BG-A win the Screen Battle in that clash, and I choose to have BG-A Disengage by Screen Superioity. The Brit player decides at this point NOT to engage my BG-B, since it has more counters than his BG.

So, since the Brit player had won the Search phase, and has now decided not to attack any further, the battles in the Nord Sea are done for this turn (that's how we understood the rule in 8.2 - the successful Search Segment player (in this case, the Brit) is not obligated to continue to attack a second enemy BG after defeating the first one - he could voluntarily stop if he felt the next battle would not be favorable to his side. Let me know if we were right on this as well). At this point, the combat for this turn is over and we go to the Area Control and Victory Points step in the turn.

In the Nord Sea, we both have BG's left in the area, neither of us won a Battle Line Combat Resolution, and the Screen Segment Resolution was not a draw (My BG-A won the Screen Segment against his BG). By reading rule 10.1C, this would tell me that the area would remain in the control of the player who last controlled it. In this case, the player who last controlled it was nobody - it started the turn uncontrolled. Therefore, we ruled it remained uncontrolled. Were we correct?

To summarize the two questions:
Rule 8.2 - can the side who won the Search Segment fight one battle against an enemy BG, win that fight, and then choose to stop fighting even while there is still another enemy BG in the same area?

Rule 10.1C - if both sides still have BGs in an area, neither side won a Battle Line Combat Resolution, and the Search Segment Resolution was NOT a draw, the area control remains with player who controlled it previously; if the previous status was "uncontrolled", does the area therefore remain uncontrolled in this circumstance?

Thanks in advance for the answers.

*note* - I've cross-posted this to CSW under the Grand Fleet folder, since I know we have some wargamers who only go there, and some who only come to BGG. Me, I visit both.
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Leo Zappa
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Thinking on this a bit more, I am now wondering this in regards to rule 8.2:

The Germans and Brits both have two separate BG's in the same area. The Brits win the Search Phase and the German reveals that he has 11 counters in BG-A and 21 counters in BG-B. The Brit decides to have his BG-1 engage the German BG-A. The German player wins the Screening Force battle, the British player reveals he has 17 counters in his BG-1, and the German player then chooses for BG-A to Disengage by Screen Superiority, as he won the Screen Battle combat resolution. (note: I am assuming this decision has no bearing on the disposition of German BG-B.)

Now, does the German player's decision to disengage by Screen Superiority constitute a win for the British BG-1, despite the fact that the German player actually won the Screen battle? I assume it does, which again allows the British player, as the original winner of the Search Segment, to choose to either engage the other German BG in the area (BG-B), or (and this goes back to the original question) stop attacking, without disengaging, which would leave both sides with BG's in the area.

I am further assuming that while the British originally won the Search Segment, they had only one opportunity, right at that moment of Search Segment success, to choose whether or not to disengage by Discovery, since there is only one Search Segment per area. This means, if I'm right, that when the British player won the Search Segment and chose NOT to disengage by discovery, they could not later chose to disengage by discovery after defeating the first German BG-A and now considering their options regarding the second German BG-B.

Again, I look forward to hearing the answers, and can't wait to play the game again!
 
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stephen newberg
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Yes, just answered these over on CSW. Briefly, yes you were correct and yes both of your rules judgments are sound. Assuming I have read you right, of course.

pax, smn

PS: I should have put some quote in so it was more clear which answer was to which, but this is to your first crossed post, Leo, and the one below is to your second thoughts.
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stephen newberg
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No, I would think they could decided individually about disengaging by discovery for each separate BG they discovered, hence the answers I supplied to the questions. I do see your point, but think I like mine better, as it relies less on sequencing but rather on the concept behind the rule and further keeps in mind that resolving an area means resolving for actions that take place over a period of months, rather than forcing it all to be a single action if more than one set of battle groups are involved.

pax, smn
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Leo Zappa
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stephen newberg wrote:
No, I would think they could decided individually about disengaging by discovery for each separate BG they discovered, hence the answers I supplied to the questions. I do see your point, but think I like mine better, as it relies less on sequencing but rather on the concept behind the rule and further keeps in mind that resolving an area means resolving for actions that take place over a period of months, rather than forcing it all to be a single action if more than one set of battle groups are involved.

pax, smn


Stephen, I have to say, your level of support for your game is simply outstanding. I really didn't expect an answer so soon - thank you.

Now, this answer above is one I understand from the concept of operations happening over a number of months represented by a turn. However, it does beg another clarification request from me (forgive me, I'm an engineer by education, and we tend to be like this! )

In the previous example, our British player won the original Search Segment in the Nord Sea, and therefore, had the 'initiative' in choosing battles. The British player chose his first one, engaging one of two separate German BG's, and while the German player won the Screen Battle (and chose to disengage his first BG via Screen Superiority), the British player retained the initiative as the Search Segment winner. He now has the choice of either engaging the second German BG or, and this is where my question now lies:
a) simply stopping, as Tim and I did in our game, which resulted in the combat for that area coming to an end, and us determining that control remained unchanged (in our case, it remained uncontrolled)...

OR...

b) disengaging by discovery, as you indicate in your answer in this post.

I guess my question is, if the British player, as the initiative holder from the original search segment, chooses to not engage the second German BG after forcing the first German BG to disengage (via screen superiority), then why would he ever feel compelled to himself disengage by discovery from the area? If the British player just 'stops' after getting the first German BG to disengage, it looks like he can just chose to stop any further action in the area and allow the area to remain unchanged in terms of control. If on the other hand, he would choose, after the first battle in the area, to disegage by discovery in the presence of the second German BG, he would possibly cede control of the area to the German player (assuming the British player didn't have any other BG's left in the area in question). Since the German player, as the loser of the original Search Segment, can't initiate any battles on his own in that area, why would the British player ever consider a subsequent disengagement by discovery?
 
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stephen newberg
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Perhaps because he feels he would loss the battle if he did not disengage and instead of leaving the area uncontrolled the loss would then give control of the area to the German player? That is my guess as to what you are after, again, assuming I understand what is going on, and it is always possible I do not. Actually, I am starting to think it more likely I do not, but will wait and see before going down that road.

pax, smn

PS: I suppose I should go put this over on BGG too. We should stay at one place more, though, and then just put the results in both to try to cut down on the traffic, though, I guess, others seeing the full exchange cannot hurt, and I guess in some measures, traffic is good, so whatever you want.
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Leo Zappa
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stephen newberg wrote:
Perhaps because he feels he would loss the battle if he did not disengage and instead of leaving the area uncontrolled the loss would then give control of the area to the German player? That is my guess as to what you are after, again, assuming I understand what is going on, and it is always possible I do not. Actually, I am starting to think it more likely I do not, but will wait and see before going down that road.

pax, smn

PS: I suppose I should go put this over on BGG too. We should stay at one place more, though, and then just put the results in both to try to cut down on the traffic, though, I guess, others seeing the full exchange cannot hurt, and I guess in some measures, traffic is good, so whatever you want.


Hi Stephen,

I do think you understand my question, but I will try to state it more clearly - is the British player, as the player with initiative in the area due to winning the Search Segment, compelled to either engage the second German BG or disengage by discovery, or can he simply choose not to engage that second German BG and "stop", without having to resort to disengagement by discovery?

I guess it boils down to what choices the British player in this example has to pick from regarding what to do with any remaining German BG's in the area after that first German BG disengaged by screen superiority:

Summary:
Which of these three choices are legal choices for the British player in the above described situation?

1) Engage the next German BG in battle (we know this is legal)

2) Disengage by Discovery

3) Do not engage the next German BG, and do not disengage by discovery - just "stop", which brings combat in that area to a close with both sides having BG's left in the area.


Right now, I think I'm reading that you are saying all three are legal choices. I just wanted to confirm before my next game. Thanks for responding and for being patient with these questions of mine!!!

Best regards,
Leo
 
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stephen newberg
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desertfox2004 wrote:
stephen newberg wrote:
Perhaps because he feels he would loss the battle if he did not disengage and instead of leaving the area uncontrolled the loss would then give control of the area to the German player? That is my guess as to what you are after, again, assuming I understand what is going on, and it is always possible I do not. Actually, I am starting to think it more likely I do not, but will wait and see before going down that road.

pax, smn

PS: I suppose I should go put this over on BGG too. We should stay at one place more, though, and then just put the results in both to try to cut down on the traffic, though, I guess, others seeing the full exchange cannot hurt, and I guess in some measures, traffic is good, so whatever you want.


Hi Stephen,

I do think you understand my question, but I will try to state it more clearly - is the British player, as the player with initiative in the area due to winning the Search Segment, compelled to either engage the second German BG or disengage by discovery, or can he simply choose not to engage that second German BG and "stop", without having to resort to disengagement by discovery?

I guess it boils down to what choices the British player in this example has to pick from regarding what to do with any remaining German BG's in the area after that first German BG disengaged by screen superiority:

Summary:
Which of these three choices are legal choices for the British player in the above described situation?

1) Engage the next German BG in battle (we know this is legal)

2) Disengage by Discovery

3) Do not engage the next German BG, and do not disengage by discovery - just "stop", which brings combat in that area to a close with both sides having BG's left in the area.


Right now, I think I'm reading that you are saying all three are legal choices. I just wanted to confirm before my next game. Thanks for responding and for being patient with these questions of mine!!!

Best regards,
Leo


Very good. You made me actually look in the printed rules to be sure I had it right, but yes, the answer is you are correct, all three are allowed as it is specifically indicated to be conditional ("may") as to if engagement of a second group happens.

Do you think we should cross post this one to the CSW folder also just to make sure everyone is up to the same speed?

pax, smn
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Leo Zappa
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Just cleaning up this thread a bit for the benefit of anyone else checking out questions and answers on this great game. After the above exchange of posts, I then posted the following on CSW, illustrating my question through the use of an example of play:



Here is an example I've created which illustrates the question I have regarding how an area with multiple separate battle groups for both sides gets resolved. This example does not illustrate optimum play for either player, but the moves are, to the best of my knowledge, legal.

In this example, assume all counters are face-down (hidden info) to start.

On Turn 2, the British player moves two BG (#1 with 21 counters and #2 with 20 counters) into the Nord Sea. The German player responds by moving four BG into the Nord Sea (A with 15 counters,B with 10 counters, C with 9 counters, and D with 5 counters). No fleet markers are used.

There is no mine warfare in the Nord Sea that turn.

The search segment is conducted. The British player's highest SV beats the German player's SV, so the British player wins the Search and will retain the initiative for the rest of the turn in that area.

The German player is forced to flip his counters, revealing BG's A-D, and he announces the number of ships in each.

The British player likes his chances. No disengagement by discovery for him! The British player selects his BG #1 (21 counters) and the German BG D (5 counters) for his first battle. The Screening Forces battle is easily won by the British. The German player would have liked to have disengaged by Turn Away at this point, but he didn't have 3 ships left in his Screen for D, so he has to stay and fight. The Battle Line combat is conducted and the German force is destroyed for only the disabling of one British ship. The German BG D marker is moved back to a friendly port. The British player has therefore won the battle as all of the German forces in BG D being either disabled, destroyed, or made to disengage.

The British player decides to keep it going. He now selects the German BG C (9 counters) to fight his BG #1 (now with 20 counters, due to one being disabled in the last fight). The Screening Forces Battle is fought and once again, the British player wins it, and chooses to engage in Battle Line combat. This time, the German player has 3 ships in his Screen Box for BG C and decides to disengage by Turn Away - he moves the BG C marker back to a friendly port. As the British player once again saw the entire battle force of the opposing BG disengaged, he has won again!

Well, why stop now, says the British player? Let's go for three! The British player now selects the German BG B (with 10 counters) for a fight with his BG #1 (still with 20 counters). The Screening Forces Battle is fought, and the British player wins again. He wishes once more to engage in Battle Line combat, and this time, the German player, feeling a bit bolder, does not disengage by Turn Away. The Battle Line combat is fought. The German player is rolling hot, and the British player can't buy a 5 or a 6. The German player wins the Battle Line combat, as the British BG #1 is completely destroyed or disabled. The British player moves the BG #1 marker back to a friendly port. The German BG B still has 2 counters left.

OK, so at this point, in the area, we have the British with BG #2 (with 20 counters) remaining, and the Germans still have two BG in the area, B, with 2 counters left, and A, with 15 counters. The British player was the search winner, so he still has the initiative. However, he just lost a battle, with the involved BG, #1, being forced to disengage. What is the situation now? Is it:

1) Since the British player, as the search winner, just lost a battle (with his involved BG, BG #1, being forced to disengage), the combat in that area is over, and play moves to the next area, or...

2) Since the British player still has another BG in the area, he can choose to use that BG to engage one of the two remaining German BG's, and in essence, start the combat process over again?

Different parts of rule 8.2 seem to say both things, so this is where I'm stuck. An answer here should clear everything up for me.

Thanks for bearing with me - I know this seems tedious, but it's where I'm stuck, and I'd like to get this resolved so I can play the game knowing I'm doing it right!

Regards, Leo


Stephen conclusively answered this as follows:

OK, now I do think I finally understand, and the answer is that as soon as the player that won the search loses a battle, its over for that area. Until he loses a battle, he can keep using previously unengaged BGs in the area to try to engage other opposing previously unengaged BGs in the area.

pax, smn


Issue Resolved! The key is that as soon as the Search winner in an area loses a battle, which is to say that one of his battle groups or fleets is forced to disengage from a battle with an opponent's battle group or fleet, his turn in that area is over, period. Search winner loses a battle and that does it, regardless of whether or not he still has other battle groups or fleets in the area.

I want to thank Stephen again for being patient with helping me figure this out. Now I can't wait to play again - maybe I can con my wife into playing!
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