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Subject: Can engineers begin already loaded in air cars during a soft landing? rss

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Gregory Wong
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I got to play this game for the first time in a many years. A question came up regarding air cars and soft landing.

The Terrans located an Arachnid tunnel hex, and the soft landing boat carrying the engineers was going to land near this hex. It would have been desirable for the Terrans if the engineers could already be aboard the air car when the retrieval boat landed. Then the air car could go directly to the tunnel hex and unload. The following turn, they could begin demolition emplacement.

However, the rules stat that an air car cannot load and unload in the same turn. If the engineers could be already on board an air craft when the retrieval boat lands, then the above maneuver could be done. But if the engineers are not in an air car in the retrieval boat, then an extra turn would have to be spent loading the air car and moving to the tunnel hex. Then the engineers would have to unload in the following turn.

So which is it?

 
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Paul Coons
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Though I know of no rule reference that states it, I have always played that they may be loaded while on the retrieval boat. There are some vague references that give a clue.

V.B.4 says "...units that are in or enter the Boat’s hex are assumed to be loaded aboard it, regardless of their condition."

V.D.1 says "A Retrieval Boat delivering units for a soft landing uses the same procedure as when landing for unit recovery."

This could use some clarification in the rules.
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Ryan Hanson
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The question of whether or not a Combat Engineer unit can be loaded in an Air Car during a soft landing is irrelevant. I think the confusion arises from the timing of when they load and unload. They can't move in the Air Car and unload in the same turn. They must unload the following turn during the special function phase, and even then the engineers can't start demolition emplacement until the following turn.

Just to be clear, this is the entire process.
We will call the turn the beacon lands turn 1.

Turn 1: Rocket Beacon Lands
The Rocket Beacon lands at the end of the movement phase. (page 10 D.1. and page 10 B.2.)

Turn 2: Retrieval Boat Lands
The Retrieval Boat lands at the end of the movement phase. (page 10 B.3.)
And, units debark from the Retrieval Boat in the turn after it lands. (page 10 D.2.)

Turn 3: Air Car Loading and Moving
On the turn they debark, the Combat Engineer unit is starting the turn in the same hex as the Air Car, so it can load during the special function phase. (page 9 C.2.)
And, then the Air Car may move normally during the movement phase. (page 9 C.5.)
The Combat Engineer unit would then be able to unload from the Air Car on the following special function phase. They don't move and unload during the movement phase, even if they were loaded on a previous turn. Loading and unloading happen during the special function phase. (page 9 C.5.)

Turn 4: Unloading
During the special function phase, the Combat Engineer unit unloads from the Air Car. And, during the turn they unload the Combat Engineer unit may not move, attack, or engage in demolition operations. (page 9 C.4.)

Turn 5: Combat Engineer unit finally gets his freakin turn to do something.
During the special function phase, the Combat Engineer may begin demolition emplacement. (page 9 B.2.)

Turn 6: Boom goes the dynamite
In the next special function phase, the demolition counter is turned face-up. It may be detonated in the same special function phase (page 9 B.2.c.)
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Gregory Wong
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ryanhanson wrote:


...

Turn 4: Unloading
During the special function phase, the Combat Engineer unit unloads from the Air Car. And, during the turn they unload the Combat Engineer unit may not move, attack, or engage in demolition operations. (page 9 C.4.)

...


Thanks for clearing that up. Here's where I was confused.

In C.2, the rules explicitly say CEs load the ACs during the Special Function Phase.

Quote:

To be transported, the Combat Engineer unit first must be LOADED into the Air Car during the special function phase.


The fact that they unload during the Special Function Phase is a bit more subtle. Namely, in C.4...

Quote:

They may NOT, however, load and unload in the same special function phase.


It would have been clearer if they used wording like C.2 and said CEs UNLOAD during the special function phase.

Ah well, it's clear now that you've pointed it out to me. Thanks.
 
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