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Subject: Is full supply over a lake possible in winter? rss

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John Lapham
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The question came up in a recent game when the Americans saved a large number of cards going into a winter turn with the express purpose of launching a campaign to take Isle aux Noix and destroy the British fleet stuck in the port for the winter. The Americans had positioned a 17+ army in Vergennes for an invasion of Canada during the fall of 1813, but the British had a huge ship advantage on Lake Champlain. Rather than face the fleet or suffer the adverse modifier lake control would give in a land battle, the Americans waited until winter to launch their offensive. This prompted the question of whether full supply was possible during winter. We could not find a specific rule on this, but the last sentence of 7.2 sugggests that full supply might not be possible over frozen lakes. It reads: "Also note that Winter Supply is checked just before the Great Lakes freeze up for Winter." This implies that the lakes cannot be used for combat supply in the winter. Is this a correcct interpretation of the rule?
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Paul Borchers
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I believe the caveat about checking supply before the lakes freeze for winter has more to do about who controls the lakes before they freeze rather than the freezing itself. Full supply via a lake is determined by who controls the lake; both sides can use a lake for supply if neither side controls it. So, the check before the lake freezes over is enforcing attrition based on who controls the lake before it freezes, because neither side will control it after the freeze (all lake expeditions have returned to port).

Regarding the level of supply in winter on a lake, the rules draw no distinction between winter and any other season. The movement along the frozen shore is 1 MP per space, the same as a river in any season, so I see nothing that changes the full supply status because the lake is frozen. Perhaps the designers can weigh in with the rationale.
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John Lapham
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Thanks, Paul. Your reading makes sense to me. I had not considered the winter move rate along the lake shore.
 
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Kevin McPartland
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Quote:
Perhaps the designers can weigh in with the rationale.


It is assumed that the supplies were brought across the lake in fall, and laid up for the winter. That is why it is important to check winter supply before lake expeditions are brought in for the season: control of the lake at the end of the sailing season determines which side has the ability to gather those supplies.

The 1 movement point along lake shores simulates the ability to move troops, supplies and equipment along the frozen lake shore. This was a much better route than rutted or muddy roads, or even some rivers in dry weather. It's true that the south shore of Lake Ontario does not freeze very reliably, but we didn't make an exception for this... the other lakes provide a good frozen path.
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Randy C
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I am confused.

How does conrol of the lake affect how many cards you can save?
 
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Kevin McPartland
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There is no connection between lake control and saving cards, except in the example of the original poster. He had saved several cards in order to launch a winter offensive, and wanted to know if lakes can provide Full Supply in winter. The answer is yes.
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