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Subject: Legal Attack Threats rss

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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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The questions revolving around whether an attack threat can or cannot be made in various circumstances has been swirling around for years now. Each time it seems to be resolved, somebody dredges it up again. My intention here is to provide an image which we can reference when arguing specific cases. I want to pin down the most widely understood case, and clear that up first. If we can nail that one down, the rest should be easy.

Situation:
It's the end of the French turn. All three four independent commands have already been used, and every corps commander other than Murat has already issued a corps command. The French commander can issue a corps command for Murat, and nothing else. The only Allied units within 27 light years of Murat are in Constantine's corps, so all complications have been removed. It looks like this:


The question is, can the French player make an attack threat in this situation?

The key to understanding the situation is that the player making the threat must be able to make a legal move no matter what the defender does. This was pointed out here by Garry Haggerty, and emphatically approved by Bowen in the subsequent post. (I thought that would be the end of it, but no such luck.)

Determining whether the attacker can make a legal move in all cases shouldn't be unreasonably difficult, because once the threat is issued, the defender has only two choices.

Step 1: Attack Threat
The French commander announces a threat across the 66/67 approach.

Step 2: Retreat Option
The Allied commander has two choices. Let's examine both, and see whether the French commander is able to respond with legal moves for each.

Step 2a:
The first possibility is that the Allied commander chooses to defend. He announces which specific units will defend, but which specific units he designates does not matter in this discussion. The key point is that Constantine's corps remains in place in locale 67.

Step 3a:
A corps of two or more units must stop when it moves by road into a locale that has an enemy corps of two or more units adjacent. Since Constantine's corps is still in 67, the French corps cannot legally move through locale 66 and attempt to enter 67, therefore moving the full corps would not be a legal attack threat.

If independent commands were still available, one of the French cavalry units could detach itself and move by road into 66, then feint, but we specified that in this case there are no independent moves remaining.

There is still a solution available: the French commander issues a Corps Command to move. Immediately before moving, he detaches both 2-cav units, then advances along the road into 66 and declares a feint. Since the moving corps has only one unit attached, it is not obliged to stop due to the adjacent enemy corps, and the attempt to enter 67 was entirely legal.

Now let's examine the other case.

Step 2b:
The second possibility is that the Allied commander chooses not to name any defending units and retreats. As required by the retreat rules, he must detach all but one unit from Constantine's corps and retreat all the units into one or more adjacent locales. For our example, all the units retreat to locale 68.

Step 3b:
Now we have a very different situation, because there is no enemy corps with two or more units adjacent to locale 66. The French commander must advance into locale 67. He may detach units before moving just as in the previous case, but is no longer obligated to do so. For our example, he issues the corps command and advances the full three unit corps along the road through area 66 and into area 67.

Once the French player ends his turn, he must reveal the units in the corps to confirm that they are all cavalry and were thus eligible to make a threat along the road, but that needn't happen yet. If he chooses, the French player can announce another threat, this time across the 67/68 approach. Should he do so, the Allied commander will again choose whether to defend or retreat. Only when the French player has made it clear to the Allied player that the corps has ended its turn will he reveal the units.

Note that if a second Allied corps of two or more units had been in area 56, the French player could still have made the initial threat against the 66/67 approach, but would have been forced to detach all but one unit to resolve the threat regardless of whether the Allies defended or retreated.

I hope I've not made any stupid blunders in what I've written above (it wouldn't be my first time). Please let me know whether this helps, or whether more clarification is needed.


Warning!
If you've read (and understood) the post above, you know everything you need to know on this subject. Reading further can, and quite likely will, lead to madness. Bowen did respond here, if you'd like to read his comments.

If you found that even the explanation in this post was too complex for easy digestion, the gist of it can be boiled down to two key points:

1) If you could make the attack with an independent cav, you could make it with a 1-unit cavalry corps (detach units as necessary). A corps with a single cavalry unit moves in precisely the same way as independent cavalry unit.

2) If there is an enemy corps of 2 or more units adjacent to the attack locale at the moment you enter it, you must use either an independent cav or a 1-unit cavalry corps.



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Jim Cote
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If the Allies retreat to 76, then the full corps may not advance into 67.
 
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Jim Cote
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I think I've had 3a wrong all this time. I thought that, since the attack must be a feint, and since the corps stops when it must, that it's legal. Now I see why the confusion exists: in some cases the rules apply to the current situation, and in others they apply based on what "might not have been possible".

It's as strange as saying, "You can't enter the defense locale if the defender retreats, because you would not have been able to do so if he hadn't."
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Bob Roberts

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Quote:
It's the end of the French turn. All three independent commands have already been used


Three?
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ekted wrote:
If the Allies retreat to 76, then the full corps may not advance into 67.


Corps would break up and no longer be a corps of two or more units so it would not prevent the french move.
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Jim Cote
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Zarion of Arabel wrote:
ekted wrote:
If the Allies retreat to 76, then the full corps may not advance into 67.

Corps would break up and no longer be a corps of two or more units so it would not prevent the french move.

Haha. Thanks.
 
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Lets say they break up and all retreat into 68.... couldn't the attackers move into the Approch on 67/68 on the red road? Couldn't press into the approch if they went to 57 though....?
 
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troypage wrote:
Lets say they break up and all retreat into 68.... couldn't the attackers move into the Approch on 67/68 on the red road? Couldn't press into the approch if they went to 57 though....?


Can't move into 57 its not on the red road, you could go to 77
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badinfo wrote:
Three?

Fixed - thanks for the good catch, Bob. I knew I'd have a typo in there somewhere.
 
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Zarion of Arabel wrote:
troypage wrote:
Lets say they break up and all retreat into 68.... couldn't the attackers move into the Approch on 67/68 on the red road? Couldn't press into the approch if they went to 57 though....?


Can't move into 57 its not on the red road, you could go to 77

Thank you for providing excellent answers, Zarion.

As for continuing to an approach, there are actually eight approaches in which the French corps might theoretically end its turn: the four crossed by connected road in 67 should they end movement there, or the the two crossed by red roads in either 68 or 77, should they succeed in entering one of those locales with their third road move. Some of those are unlikely, but all are legal.
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ya i know.... i was just testing u.... surprise
 
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Alan Richbourg
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Another potentially interesting or helpful situation to analyze (for some) would be if Constantine's corps filled say the 57/67 approach. Then a full corps attack by Murat by road is legal, because the Allies must retreat, because they cannot name even one defending unit.
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Garry Haggerty
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chargetheguns wrote:
Another potentially interesting or helpful situation to analyze (for some) would be if Constantine's corps filled say the 57/67 approach. Then a full corps attack by Murat by road is legal, because the Allies must retreat, because they cannot name even one defending unit.


Murat's full corps would have to stop in 66. It could not legally threaten 67.


I was wrong (again)...
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Quote:
Murat's full corps would have to stop in 66. It could not legally threaten 67.


Yeah, I think this whole thread is wrong, sorry folks. If the French had a single indie command left then they could attack. But with just Murat's corps it would be illegal simply because if the allies defend the french cannot make a legal attack move.
 
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G Haggerty wrote:
chargetheguns wrote:
if Constantine's corps filled say the 57/67 approach. Then a full corps attack by Murat by road is legal, because the Allies must retreat, because they cannot name even one defending unit.

Murat's full corps would have to stop in 66. It could not legally threaten 67.

No, I thought the answer here (which you linked to earlier today!) was that if the Allied corps retreats before combat, the whole French corps can move in!
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Zarion of Arabel wrote:
Yeah, I think this whole thread is wrong, sorry folks. If the French had a single indie command left then they could attack. But with just Murat's corps it would be illegal simply because if the allies defend the french cannot make a legal attack move.

No, as Sphere noted in 3a, it's only a corps of two or more units which must stop when adjacent to an enemy corps of two or more units. Murat can detach all but one cavalry and attack anywhere he likes.
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kuhrusty wrote:
No, I thought the answer here (which you linked to earlier today!) was that if the Allied corps retreats before combat, the whole French corps can move in!

It scares me to disagree with Garry, but Rusty had 21 years to think about this while sitting on Mars.
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kuhrusty wrote:
Zarion of Arabel wrote:
Yeah, I think this whole thread is wrong, sorry folks. If the French had a single indie command left then they could attack. But with just Murat's corps it would be illegal simply because if the allies defend the french cannot make a legal attack move.

No, as Sphere noted in 3a, it's only a corps of two or more units which must stop when adjacent to an enemy corps of two or more units. Murat can detach all but one cavalry and attack anywhere he likes.


my fail
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Garry Haggerty
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kuhrusty wrote:
Zarion of Arabel wrote:
Yeah, I think this whole thread is wrong, sorry folks. If the French had a single indie command left then they could attack. But with just Murat's corps it would be illegal simply because if the allies defend the french cannot make a legal attack move.

No, as Sphere noted in 3a, it's only a corps of two or more units which must stop when adjacent to an enemy corps of two or more units. Murat can detach all but one cavalry and attack anywhere he likes.


Exactly.

I hate to interject an editorial note in a rules thread but, really, maybe the attack by road move rule needs to be put to sleep. It's official now, but precisely no one can apply it consistently and confidently.
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G Haggerty wrote:
I hate to interject an editorial note in a rules thread but, really, maybe the attack by road move rule needs to be put to sleep. It's official now, but precisely no one can apply it consistently and confidently.

You mean none of us lab rats can apply it consistently and confidently. But there is that guy in the lab coat...
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Garry Haggerty
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kuhrusty wrote:
G Haggerty wrote:
chargetheguns wrote:
if Constantine's corps filled say the 57/67 approach. Then a full corps attack by Murat by road is legal, because the Allies must retreat, because they cannot name even one defending unit.

Murat's full corps would have to stop in 66. It could not legally threaten 67.

No, I thought the answer here (which you linked to earlier today!) was that if the Allied corps retreats before combat, the whole French corps can move in!


Oops!

I officially give up.
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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G Haggerty wrote:
I hate to interject an editorial note in a rules thread but, really, maybe the attack by road move rule needs to be put to sleep. It's official now, but precisely no one can apply it consistently and confidently.

Yeah, as Bowen said in one of those links above:

"Do I wish I had made 2-unit corps road move attacks illegal and avoided such a subtle and hard-to-grasp ruling? You betcha."
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Honestly,

I can't remember the last time I used an all cavalry corps, perhaps that's why it's hard to grasp. It just never comes up...
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Hey, we're just warming up. Wait till Walter gets here!
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Garry Haggerty
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Sphere wrote:
G Haggerty wrote:
I hate to interject an editorial note in a rules thread but, really, maybe the attack by road move rule needs to be put to sleep. It's official now, but precisely no one can apply it consistently and confidently.

You mean none of us lab rats can apply it consistently and confidently. But there is that guy in the lab coat...


Well, perhaps. Compare and contrast 2007 and 2009:

2007 (item 2)

2009

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