Michael Sosa
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6.32 Battle Reserves states in part "Blocks moved by Player 2 to reinforce a battle caused by Player 1 are placed in Reserve ... they are revealed in combat round 2, even if all other friendly blocks have ... withdrawn."

7.0 Sieges states in part "If the defender deploys any blocks outside the fort / city, a normal field battle occurs but blocks inside the fort / city cannot fire or be fired upon."

7.23 Sallying states in part "besieged blocks may Sally in a player's combat phase to ... assist a relief force (7.25)."

7.25 Relief Forces states in part "A besieged player may attempt to relieve a siege by attacking into the town with external forces."

Can blocks that withdrew to the fort/city sally in round 2 of combat when reserve forces arrive? Is a reserve force the same as a relief force? If not the same then when exactly those a siege begin?

This situation happens frequently in 1835, when the forts are attacked and counterattacked by both players. For example on the very first turn a Texan player moving first can attempt to take Goliad with his four starting blocks. The Mexican player can bring in up to four blocks as reserve. The defending Goliad artillery has to withdraw to the fort. R1 of combat sees the Texans taking the field as there are no field defenders, R2 has the Mexican reserve column arriving as the attacker. Can the Goliad artillery sally in support?
 
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Carl Willner
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Michael,

I am not surprised that you've finally gotten around to this issue, after all the other good questions you've been asking about the Texas Glory rules. This is one of the trickier areas in the rules, but fortunately arises mostly in 1835 and especially, as you've recognized, in the initial actions around Goliad.

We envisioned the provision about sallying to aid a relief force in 7.23 as dealing with situations where a player is in the attacking role at the outset in trying to relieve a besieged fort, rather than the special situation you have here where the player has only become the attacker as a result of the withdrawal of his defending forces that started in the fort hex into the fort on round 1 of the battle. As a general matter, a player doesn't get to rejoin a battle that he has already retreated or withdrawn from, and so I think the best solution to this situation is to preclude the player who has already withdrawn into the fort from bringing those same forces out again in a sally on the same turn to aid his reserves arriving on round 2 that have now been forced into the role of attackers. The player has the choice of standing in the field and awaiting the arrival of his reserves, hoping he can hold out a round until they come, or pulling back and letting the reserves fight on their own. I realize that the Goliad artillery has no choice but to withdraw into the fort - it can't fight in the open in a fort hex -- but that fairly reflects the real situation. Goliad's Mexican garrison was a token force that historically was taken down by Milam on his own without even the aid of the other Texan forces from Gonzales. Think of it as the Texans intercepting the reserve Mexican cavalry at some distance from the fort, out of range of the guns inside the fort.

To handle this the other way - letting the artillery go into the fort and then start firing again as a sally to aid the reserves - would make it much easier for the Mexicans to hold Goliad than was historically the case, and make it obvious that the Mexicans should always send the reserves to Goliad on turn 1 if the Texans get there first. Historically, the Mexicans did not attempt this. Without the aid of the artillery, it becomes a tougher call for the Mexicans whether to risk the cavalry on its own attacking Milam, Austin and the Gonzales militia.

By the way, you referred to four Mexican blocks arriving at Goliad as reserves, presumably meaning Cos and the Alamo cavalry from the Alamo, in addition to the two cavalry blocks the Mexicans have in the south. But the Texan, if he moves first, can block the arrival of any Mexican reserves from the Alamo at Goliad on Turn 1, by detaching Kimball to the hex on the Chihuahua Trail between Casablanca and Espiritu Santo first. That precludes any Mexicans, even by force marching, from getting all the way there from the Alamo, and Kimball can retreat from the Mexicans (he is a B but they are also all no better than Bs) so assuming that blocking role doesn't mean suicide for him. Use cavalry in the open where it's most effective rather than frittering it away in fort sieges. Taking one Texan block away from the siege to keep two Mexicans from arriving is a pretty good tradeoff. With only the two cavalry blocks in the south, against Milam, Austin and the Militia, and without the aid of sallying artillery from inside Goliad, the Mexicans' chances of driving the Texans back from Goliad don't look so good.

Carl
 
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C Sandifer
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A relief force is a force (friendly to besieged forces) that is being used to break a siege. It isn't a reserve force.

If Texas Glory is anything like Crusader Rex (and if memory serves, it is), the besieged units can immediately sally out onto the field when the relief forces arrive. So the sallying and relief units will fight together.

Edit:

Sniped by the designer! If anything I said was incorrect, go with his interpretation.
 
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Michael Sosa
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Carl we have been playing it as you interpret it because we had determined that a siege had not yet been established, therefor no sallying is possible. You provide additional historical support for this. I just wanted to confirm whether we had been playing it correctly. Thanks!

Now forcing the artillery to automatically withdraw into the fort, while a good idea at the start of 1835, isn't something we like though. The victory conditions state that besieged units will surrender, so both sides often want to fight a field battle at these locations on the last turns and the defending artillery refuses to participate!
 
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Carl Willner
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Michael, the rule about artillery having to go into the fort when in a hex where a fort is available was intended to reflect the nature of the fort artillery - a powerful force but with very limited mobility - and also historical experience. For example, at the Battle of Concepcion in 1835, Cos attacked the Texans with infantry, and a few light guns that are considered part of his integral strength, but did not attempt to bring out the mass of the Alamo fort artillery even though there would clearly have been a considerable advantage from having it to add to his strength, if feasible to do so. From this, we concluded that it wasn't considered practical to bring the fort guns off the walls and drag them outside for a field battle. To be sure, we do allow artillery to be evacuated from a fort, as Fannin tried to do at Goliad in 1836, and then it has to fight in the open if it's caught where no fort is available, as happened to Fannin's forces at Coleto Creek - trying to save the slow-moving guns was likely what doomed them.

I appreciate that having the guns in the open could be an advantage at the end in trying to prevent a siege of a fort in 1835 -- but the Mexicans didn't attempt to use their guns that way and it appears likely that they lacked the transport to make many of the guns usable in a field battle (if the guns do try to move outside the fort hex, their slow movement reflects this transport problem). Where a fort was available the heavy fort guns (such as the Alamo's famous 18 pounder) could be better used firing from the walls. I do recall one game I played as the Texans in 1835 where my besieging force at the Alamo at the end was small enough that the guns inside, the only remaining garrison at that point, had a chance of breaking my siege just with a cannonade - the game came down to the last artillery die roll, but I had one step still alive and so the Alamo had to surrender. Historically, Cos gave up at the end even though he still had more men inside the Alamo than the Texans outside.

Your conclusion that there is no siege yet, so no sally, in the situation you describe, was also a good way to analyze this. Though Mr. Sandifer's note recognizes the ability of besieged forces to sally to join a relief force in Crusader Rex -- and indeed that was the game-rules precedent for including the provision in Texas Glory for forces to sally in the Combat Phase and join a relieving force -- I don't think Crusader dealt either with the problem of a defending reserve force that get converted into an attacking one by the withdrawal of the original defenders into the fort (I haven't seen the latest edition of Crusader yet so I don't know if that is addressed now), and certainly Crusader didn't have to deal with fort artillery.

Hope you're continuing to have fun with Texas Glory, and if you are coming to Prezcon next February, hope to see you for the TG tournament!

Carl
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