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Rise and Decline of the Third Reich» Forums » Rules

Subject: Supply fleet designation and supply capabilities rss

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Doug Poskitt
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Hi all,

A question about supply just to ensure it's determined correctly.

Assume the Allies have a British and an American airborne unit both in Ajaccio (the hex itself is British controlled).

Further, there is a British 1-4 airwing in Cagliari (as above, the hex itself is British controlled).

The island of Sicily is totally controlled by Britain, all hexes under her control. There is a BH counter in Syracuse. Also, there is a 5-6 Arm and a 3-4 Inf in Messina.

How many fleet factors of supply are needed to accomplish all of the following?

a) Ensure both Ajaccio and the two airborne units are supplied at the start of their movement/combat phase;

b) Ensure that Cagliari is supplied for SR purposes;

c) Ensure that the two ground units in Sicily are supplied at the start of the movement phase and that all Sicilian hexes are supplied for the SR phase.

Many thanks in advance Gentlemen.
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Patrick Bauer
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While I am on the receiving end of this, I think this is such a good question I can't help but chime in right away:

2FF for the two airborne + 2FF for the two ground units in Sicily + 1FF to supply the hexes in Sardinia. The supply to the airborne supplies the hexes in Corsica and the supply to the ground units supplies all the hexes in Sicily. The last supply is only because you want the ability to SR to Cagliari otherwise the air could operate from there without supply.

IMO
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Paul Edwards
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I think you only need 4 fleet factors to supply the units and the hexes. Merely designating any supply fleet gets all the hexes. 27.232 says that "One fleet counter could provide supply to more than one port/Bridgehead on the far shore."




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Patrick Bauer
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rokeater wrote:
I think you only need 4 fleet factors to supply the units and the hexes. Merely designating any supply fleet gets all the hexes. 27.232 says that "One fleet counter could provide supply to more than one port/Bridgehead on the far shore."


That's a good point. I do think they are implying that a 9FF, for example, is not limited to providing all of its supply to just one port. But rules as written, your explanation is good. So essentially the only time you supply a hex is when you are not supplying a unit on the front.
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fangotango
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rokeater wrote:
I think you only need 4 fleet factors to supply the units and the hexes. Merely designating any supply fleet gets all the hexes. 27.232 says that "One fleet counter could provide supply to more than one port/Bridgehead on the far shore."


I thought that rule simply referred to the fact that separate fleet counters are not necessary for each port through which supply will be carried.

So if even one unit on a front receives sea supply from a 1-factor fleet, all hexes on that front that can be potentially supplied by that fleet are in supply for purposes of SR and exploitation?
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Quote:
27.232 Each naval factor may supply one ground unit (or airbase)—thus a 9-factor fleet could supply nine ground units, partial fleet counters could supply lesser numbers. One fleet counter could provide supply to more than one port/Bridgehead on the far shore.


One fleet counter can supply multiple ports / bridgeheads. However, I do not believe that extends to a single factor being able to do so. Of course the question comes back to the concept of 'supplying' hexes. I believe it is absolutely clear that 2 naval factors will supply 2 units, plus all controlled hexes, on Corsica. Another 2 naval factors will supply the 2 units, plus all controlled hexes, on Sicily. Those 4 factors could come from a single naval unit. However, my reading, is that another factor would be required to supply hexes on Sardinia, since that is a separate port. The 1-4 itself does not require supply of course, however, if the hexes are to be supply for purposes of SR I believe a fifth naval factor would be required.

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Doug Poskitt
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Thank you gents, for all your contributions to this matter.

I'm glad I asked, because I was unsure whether the supplying of controlled-hexes required an extra FF per Corsica and Sicily.
 
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fangotango
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But it seems there is no resolution - we have votes for both interpretations.
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Ultimately I'm not sure there is a definitive answer provided for, as the entire concept of 'hex supply' is not really explicitly laid out in the rules. There is do doubt that a single counter is divisible for purposes of supplying multiple ports. The question as to whether a single factor is, is not addressed. Again, that is because the supply rules are written, for the most part, from the perspective of supplying units, not hexes. So getting away from the specific, if there were distinct seperate 'zones' within one front (e.g. in the Med, North Africa, Italy, islands, Syria etc.), that required 'hex supply' (ignoring units for the moment), could a single naval factor supply all, or would each port require its own factor?
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Doug Poskitt
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I was never under the impression that a single FF was capable of supplying multiple ports.

For example, as I understand it, say there was a single 9-FF in Port Said. That would be capable of carrying supply to nine seperate ports for the purpose of ensuring all the port hexes were capable of receiving SR (assuming no adjacent enemy units).

Is there general agreement that 2-FFs could supply the two para units in Ajaccio and that would also suffice for making Ajaccio capable of receiving SRs?
 
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fangotango
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Aye!
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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dougposkitt wrote:
....Is there general agreement that 2-FFs could supply the two para units in Ajaccio and that would also suffice for making Ajaccio capable of receiving SRs?


IMHO, definitely yes. If any naval factors are providing supply to a port, then hexes that can trace to that port are supplied. It does not require any additional factors to supply hexes, above and beyond those that are providing supply to units. The only question is regarding the situation where there are no units requiring supply via a port. My view is that at least one factor would have to be designated as supplying that port.
 
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Steve Carter
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I agree with Kenny that the one extra factor should be required in this scenario to supply the port for SR purposes.
 
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Konstantinos K
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I am with "rokeater" on this! I think 27.232 is very clear that fleet factors are linked only with number of counters supported, and not at all with numbers of ports or bridgeheads. An 1FF factor is sufficient to supply all ports of bridgeheads and hexes associated with them, (but only 1 unit counter or airbase counter).
I don't actually find any ambiguity to this rule, so I am not sure what is the basis for the alternative explanation...
Perhaps I am missing something?
 
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Christopher
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I am with Doug, Steve, Kenny, Patrick, and Fangotango. I'll quote Patrick in an email he sent me (we had this issue come up in a game Patrick is refereeing).

Quote:

A 1FF could supply through a port a unit and an infinite number of contiguous hexes. In fact that 1FF could simply supply the hexes.

But if say the Brits want to supply Corsica and a previously occupied Sardinia, then a 2FF would be needed.


That's exactly the way I see it too.
 
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Patrick Bauer
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This really is one of those "I hate this game" ambiguities.

Here I am refereeing a game. The Axis have an airborne in Rosyth, supply and drop the airborne on Harwich. Now I read the rule as an extra fleet factor must be designated as supply to make the airborne immune to permanent elimination, but the player makes his move under the presumption that since 1 fleet factor can supply an unlimited number of hexes and there is no rule saying it can't supply multiple ports that his supply to Rosyth also supplies Harwich.

Now I know how I feel on the subject but there is no definitive rule, DQB, or any other fact that fully supports any position. But I blithely answer to one player an opinion, never even having it occur to me that there's any other way to view it.

Face to face, players would probably say, "Hey you realize your airborne is in jeopardy", "No, it isn't", and hash is out before moving on. But via vassal things like this get dropped until it's way too late with each player thinking the other knows what he's doing. Then there's a conflict that leaves no one happy.
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Yes, it is a difficult situation. IMHO to salvage the game you have to allow the move rolled back if you're going to rule that supply isn't possible to multiple ports with a single naval factor (which is what I believe). A permanently lost airborne is a pretty big consequence in such an ambiguous situation.
 
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Konstantinos K
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I am completely disengaged from this particular game situation with the airborne loss, (so no skin in this game for me on this), but I read 27.232 (and the full rule 27-supply) and it is crystal-clear to me that fleet factors have to do only with the number of counters and nothing with the numbers of ports or bridgeheads that they are supplying. Is there any DQB somewhere I am missing? And even from the point of view of what makes more sense, I totally understand why a full fleet factor is needed for the supply of a military unit or airbase counter, but I don't understand why a full FF would be needed for each port just to supply police detachments, when that need is not mentioned anywhere in the rules.
To me it makes total sense to use 1FF for all ports, as when there are no counters to be supported, the supply needs are only for the "police detachments" so 1FF is enough for everyone in every port (plus Sea Transport rule allows fleets to do things in multiple ports, pick up, deliver etc. supply for some token force is much less of a job...). Furthermore, rokeater's (and mine) interpretation makes the game a lot simpler to understand and easier to play: Counters need supply by fleet factors, hexes only need a "supply line" not factors, as the rulebook says...1FF can supply unlimited hexes via controlled ports, nice and simple...But more importantly, I believe that by assigning fleet factors to ports, we are essentially "altering the game" from what the designers intended, as it is nowhere in the rules that ports need dedicated fleet factors for supply. On the contrary 27.232 implies they don't...this is IMHO and if I miss some DQB somewhere, please help me find it, and I am happy to change my view. But in my reading this rule is one of the less ambiguous in the rulebook...there is much worse in there (like DoW revocations, attrition retreats, adjacency issues for exploitation, lending units etc. etc.). 27.232 doesn't seem to me like one of those...
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Well, I'm not sure why you're so "crystal clear", given the lack of explicit mention of "hex supply". As one counterpoint I would offer the following:

Quote:
27.24 The supply line is now traced from the source, by land, to the base of the designated fleet, thence across water to a port or Bridgehead...


Note it says "a port or Bridgehead". Your reading would mean that a single naval point would allow supply to be traced to every port and Bridgehead on the front. Mind you, I'm not claiming to be "crystal clear" on this, because it simply isn't explicitly described. In fact, as I've said previously, the supply rules are written from the perspective of supply units, and the concept of supplying hexes (for purposes of SR for example) is only briefly mentioned. Given the lack of explicit description, the only possible interpretations that aren't clearly houserules would be the extremes, i.e. 1 factor for each port / bridgehead or 1 factor for every port and bridgehead on an entire front.
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Konstantinos K
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deadkenny wrote:
Well, I'm not sure why you're so "crystal clear", given the lack of explicit mention of "hex supply". As one counterpoint I would offer the following:

Note it says "a port or Bridgehead". Your reading would mean that a single naval point would allow supply to be traced to every port and Bridgehead on the front.


I believe in many languages, and also in English the "or" is not exclusive and it is closer to and/or than to either/or.

But I believe rokeater's (and mine) stronger argument is this rule:

27.232 Each naval factor may supply one ground unit (or airbase)—thus a 9-factor fleet could supply nine ground units, partial fleet counters could supply lesser numbers. One fleet counter could provide supply to more than one port/Bridgehead on the far shore.
27.24 The supply line is now traced from the source, by land, to the base of the designated fleet, thence across water to a port or Bridgehead (islands without a port may also be supplied by sea etc. etc.

Please note that in 27.232 supply by fleet factors is clearly "by counter". Then it specifies one fleet counter can supply multiple sites (not excluding 1FF counters, or adding caveats on the number of sites supported). Then 27.24 follows right after using again the exact "or" language you quoted, indicating clearly this is a lot closer to "and/or" than to "either/or".
To me it is clear, already, but may be I am wrong...
Furthermore, in other rules in the game it is obvious it is quite legal, and actually a great tactic for a fleet to do multiple jobs in many ports without any penalty (such as in sea transport, and supply, but not in sea escort on invasion). The onus is nevertheless always the number of units or factors carried, sea escorted or supplied, and never the number of ports or bridgeheads the fleet touches. Adding this onus seems to me completely made up and inconsistent with any other rule in the game. Perhaps this is true and realistic in other games but not in the way 3R fleet supply rules have been conceived. This is a second argument.
The third argument is the simplicity: Even if there is admittedly some ambiguity, Occam's razor directs the simplest solution and explanation is the best. The alternative explanation requires additional clarifications as is thread shows, while rokeater's is very plain and simple. Counters require fleet factors, hexes do not, they only require an open supply line, so the factor is there to keep an open supply line.
Finally, it also makes sense on terms of the logistics burden as I explained earlier.
I have to admit I have never learned well or played any other serious game, other than 3R, so my reading is not biased at all of how other strategy games work and is based solely of my understanding of reading the rulebook.
On the contrary from the literature I have read (General and other magazines on 3R), as well as my playing experience in the game so far, (which admittedly is often with a certain group of people who read rules perhaps the same way I read them) I have been reinforced on my strong belief that my interpretation of this particular rule is correct. (We do often disagree on other rules, but this one never came up...). But of course I respect all other opinions.
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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I fully admit that I may be wrong, because, as I stated previously it is not explicitly stated. I think it depends on how one sees the game working, and what appears to fit with ones view of it. You are of course emphasizing the rule that one counter can supply different ports. However, IMHO, this is in the context of supplying units. So a 9 factor fleet counter allows the supplying of 9 units. All the rule you've quoted is saying, IMHO, is that there is no need to breakdown a fleet counter in order to supply units through different ports. A 9 factor fleet counter could supply 3 units through one port, 2 units through a separate port and 4 units in a beach bridgehead. The very problem under discussion is the supplying of hexes rather than units, and whether or not a single factor can supply hexes through different ports. IMHO the RaW simply don't address this, as the naval supply rules are written from the perspective of supplying units, so in that context obviously 1 naval factor would only ever be providing supply to one port or bridgehead.
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Konstantinos K
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I am not too familiar with A3R rules, but sometimes it is a good gauge of elucidating "designer's intent" as Larry Bucher was involved in the design of A3R very extensively. Is this issue addressed in the A3R rulebook?
Sometimes, I wish Larry Bucher would follow our discussions and help us. But it is not going to happen, I know...
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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In this instance I do not believe there is any assistance from A3R rules. Sea supply works quite differently in that game. IIRC you do not need to designate any naval factors, there is simply assumed to be a supply route by default. However, the opposing player can attempt to interdict the sea supply route. So one can designate naval factors to "defend" the supply route from enemy interdiction. However, the naval factors allocated will be related to what the enemy has available to interdict, not the units being supplied.
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Christopher
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deadkenny wrote:
Yes, it is a difficult situation. IMHO to salvage the game you have to allow the move rolled back if you're going to rule that supply isn't possible to multiple ports with a single naval factor (which is what I believe). A permanently lost airborne is a pretty big consequence in such an ambiguous situation.


Interesting that you say that.

I came to the same conclusion the day before you posted your comment. I offered to have his airborne not be dead permanently this turn, but in the future to make a port safe to drop on requires 1 fleet factor for that purpose. He accepted and we've moved on.

Kenny, you validated my actions as reasonable. Thanks.
 
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Konstantinos K
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deadkenny wrote:
In this instance I do not believe there is any assistance from A3R rules. Sea supply works quite differently in that game. IIRC you do not need to designate any naval factors, there is simply assumed to be a supply route by default. However, the opposing player can attempt to interdict the sea supply route. So one can designate naval factors to "defend" the supply route from enemy interdiction. However, the naval factors allocated will be related to what the enemy has available to interdict, not the units being supplied.


Thanks for reminding me why -despite all its shortcomings- 3R4 is a better game overall than A3R. Why they had to complicate a relatively simple issue such as supply, on a game of grand strategy? It does add unnecessary steps, I believe...Wasn't the game complicated enough already? Plus it makes it more difficult to plan moves with precision, with all these steps that you may or may not succeed after all..
 
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