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Shiloh: April 1862» Forums » Rules

Subject: Optional Flanking Rule rss

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Mark Kwasny
United States
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I have wanted to try the Flanking optional rule, but realized quickly that it is unworkable as written. Here is the rule:

[ ]Flanking (optional)
When attacking via two or more borders, one border (attacker choice) must be declared the Main Attack. Blocks crossing all other borders are placed in Reserve. Reserve blocks are delayed one round but have +1 firepower (C2=C3) on their first battle round only. This flank attack bonus does not apply if the main attack blocks are eliminated in round 1.

Flanking rules also apply when Player 2 is attacking or reinforcing. Main reinforcements arrive in round 2 and flank reinforcements arrive in round 3.

The problem is simple: if the defender has 6 blocks, and you attack, the most you can attack with is 2 or 3 blocks. There is a good chance your blocks will be eliminated (or at least very badly damaged) before any reserves can arrive.

So here is a fix I tried for the rule:

When attacked, a defending player can only use a maximum of 2 blocks (in Woods) or 3 blocks (in Clear) in round 1. Any other blocks already in the area enter in round 2 with no Flanking bonus (in addition to any other blocks in Reserve).

I have played only the first day once with this addition, but I think it is worth trying further. The day ended with 6 Union and 2 Confederate blocks eliminated.

The overall rule helps lessen the immediate impact of luck as well, because at most 3 blocks on each side will roll in round 1. It allows battles to grow and unfold, and if nothing else, it makes it possible to try this rule (which otherwise cannot be used, as far as I can tell).

If anyone else tries this, or has an opinion on this idea, I’d enjoy hearing it.
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Jan van der Laan
Netherlands
Leeuwarden
Friesland
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Als u begrijpt wat ik bedoel.
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For sure it's worth a try.
 
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C Sandifer
United States
Lutherville
Maryland
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We're also looking for Shiloh variants to improve gameplay.

Based on our handful of games, two problems with Shiloh are that (1) it's too easy for the Union player to consolidate forces and (2) the Union player (as the defender) has a significant combat advantage.

Possible fixes to address these issues:

The Confederate player gets 4-5 SP each turn rather than 3 SP.

Confederate cavalry have increased firepower (B1=B2) on round 1 of combat.

Union forces don't roll for movement without command; hits are automatic.

Players have timed moves, with the Confederate player given more time than the Union player (5 minutes vs 3 minutes, e.g.). (Or perhaps the Confederate commander plays without a timer, but Union moves are timed.)

We've tried the optional Frontline Limits rule, but the rule seems to hurt the Confederate advance as much as it hurts the Union withdraw.

Any thoughts?
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C Sandifer
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Lutherville
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A different approach from the suggested flanking variant (above) would be to allow all defending units to defend, and simply allow the attackers to overstack by a few units in the battle area.

Has anyone tried opening up the stacking limits for the attackers to help balance things out? Even allowing the attacker to have two additional units (above the stacking limit) would help.

 
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