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Subject: Almost Surrounded rss

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G W
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Why do the rules allow you to surround a force with 1 factor SP, except the attacking force, but leave one hex open and the defending force withdraws but has to retreat to the 1 open hex?
Seems to me a 10 factor withdrawing force could "over run" a 1SP hex to retreat to the nearest supply source.
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Jeffrey Milloy
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Interesting. So you don't think it is realistic for an attacking force to be able to corral a huge defeated enemy with just one SP, and I can see where you're coming from. I have just started this game, but here's what I think.

One consideration is that the retreating force may not be able to tell that there is only 1 SP in a hex. Only you can see that from your unrealistically omniscient perspective. Retreats were hugely disorderly affairs, whereas an overrun apparently takes coordination and time (to the effect of 1 out of just 3 movement points for the month!).

Certainly a force that is out of supply, which could not overrun even on their own turn (see L.2), should not be able to accomplish a heroic retreat-overrun. In fact, the opponent can "corral" an unsupplied retreating force away from a certain hex even if there are no SPs there at all (see Q.1.a)! No need to spread out and "almost surround" first.

For withdrawing troops that are still in supply, my best reconciliation is that if your opponent spreads out as such, you will be able accomplish an official rule-sanctioned overrun anyways on your very next turn. Supplied, retreating forces are really only temporarily corralled into the empty space before they regroup and overrun weak forces.
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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I don't even entirely agree that the 'corral' approach works in all cases. Hexes containing enemy SP's are 'porous' with respect to retreats, meaning that they can be retreated through. If the 'open hex' that you left was not in the direction of the retreating force's supply source, then my reading of the retreat rules is that the retreating force would retreat through one of the enemy occupied hexes, not into the vacant hex that was not 'in the direction' of the retreating force's supply.
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Jeffrey Milloy
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deadkenny wrote:
I don't even entirely agree that the 'corral' approach works in all cases. Hexes containing enemy SP's are 'porous' with respect to retreats, meaning that they can be retreated through. If the 'open hex' that you left was not in the direction of the retreating force's supply source, then my reading of the retreat rules is that the retreating force would retreat through one of the enemy occupied hexes, not into the vacant hex that was not 'in the direction' of the retreating force's supply.


This is a great point, and I chose not to bring it up because I've been struggling with these retreat issues and the precedence of various retreat rules. In fact, it's another issue that has possibly become less clear in the later editions, which say in Q.1.d "A force may retreat into an enemy occupied hex, if no other retreat path is open..." and also specify that an opponent "cannot retreat [an unsupplied] force into a hex his units occuy if any other hex is available."

I've asked this before, but I'll ask it again. What takes precedence, the rule that you cannot retreat away from a supply source, or the rule that you can only retreat through enemy forces if no other retreat path is open? To interpret Q.1.d, we need to know if retreat path means any adjacent hex or only hexes that are not farther from a supply source. Either way, though, the new Q.1.a contains two clauses that can be mutually incompatible. How to resolve them?

It seems that some people choose to prioritize supply sources, such that you cannot corral your opponent away from a supply source because he will retreat through the hexes you used no matter what. However, other people (such as GW who asked this question) prioritize moving towards empty hexes if they are available, as the rules I quoted strongly suggest. What was the original intent? What makes for the most realism? What makes for the best gameplay?
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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My preference is to favour an interpretation that allows all explicit rules to be followed - i.e. to avoid an interpretation which results in conflicts between rules, whenever possible. In this case, what exactly is meant by the phrases "if no other retreat path is open" or "if any other hex is available". If one reads 'open path' or 'available' as implicitly having to satisfy Q.1.a, i.e. 'towards its supply source' or 'no further from a supply source', then there is no conflict or incompatibility.
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John Gant
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DeadKenny, I like your thinking.

Back to the OP.

Here is what I wrote in response to an emailed form of this question:

An overrun is absolutely not in the cards for the scenario you outlined. I assume this is the same question you posed in BGG? I subscribed to that post to see how others respond, rather than always trying to be the voice for this game. An overrun is only an option for the active player.

I think the rules for this make sense historically. Retreats were often very messy affairs. Troops were often spooked and any peek at an enemy formation would be enough to push them away. No, the open retreat path is the one that makes sense.

In my opinion, the scenario you outlined is the result of poor operational work on the part of the inactive player in the turns leading up to combat. The game of maneuver is very important and this game system does an adequate job of capturing that (enhanced in the sequel). I suggest the defender should have been more wary of his opposition's moves prior to closing for combat. Don't forget though, marge de manœuvre is critical and Napoleon was a master at burning up his opponents options. The French, with their superior mobility should be able to put their opponents in awkward and unfavorable situations during the operational portions of the campaign. Thus the game without the game and within the game.


Happy gaming,

--JokerRulez
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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JokerRulez wrote:
...Back to the OP.

Here is what I wrote in response to an emailed form of this question:

An overrun is absolutely not in the cards for the scenario you outlined....


I agree entirely. I do not agree that a retreating force should be able to overrun, that is rightly restricted to the player's turn during which offensive action can be initiated. One area that could potentially be 'elaborated' on is the 'attrition' that is suffered when a retreating force retreats through a hex containing enemy SP's. As it stands, a retreating force, of any size, loses 1 SP when it retreats through an enemy occupied, regardless of the number of enemy SP's present. Arguably, it would be more 'realistic' to factor in the number of retreating and number of enemy SP's present, and base the losses on that. It might even be a probabilistic loss, rather than the existing deterministic one. However, that might be too much for a 'high level' relatively abstract system such as WaP.

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Jeffrey Milloy
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deadkenny wrote:
Arguably, it would be more 'realistic' to factor in the number of retreating and number of enemy SP's present, and base the losses on that.


I considered using the overrun ratios for this. A retreating force to enemy force SP ratio of 4:1 (or 5:1 through mountains) would be no loss, and anything else would be 1 SP loss.
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Bindusri de Silva
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JokerRulez wrote:


In my opinion, the scenario you outlined is the result of poor operational work on the part of the inactive player in the turns leading up to combat. The game of maneuver is very important and this game system does an adequate job of capturing that (enhanced in the sequel). I suggest the defender should have been more wary of his opposition's moves prior to closing for combat. Don't forget though, marge de manœuvre is critical and Napoleon was a master at burning up his opponents options. The French, with their superior mobility should be able to put their opponents in awkward and unfavorable situations during the operational portions of the campaign. Thus the game without the game and within the game.[/i]

Happy gaming,

--JokerRulez


Just as a quick preface, as I believe I am GW15's opponent. This occurred on Turn 1 of the Grand Campaign. Mack et al were encircled near Ulm, but I left only path open to them to the west, ie towards France and away from their supply sources. It was hardly Gerry's fault as he had only just placed his army down and had not had any chance to move his units as this was the first turn and in the Pro-French Segment. It is a bit harsh to say that was poor operational work on his behalf. Anyway I rolled 1+1=2 for the battle though lol, so he could have got away... Got him the following turn however!
cheers Bindusri
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John Gant
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Oh, then no problem at all. Much like history in your session. Thanks for the info.

--JokerRulez
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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So actually the situation was the 'result of poor operational work in the turns leading up to combat'. However, rather than the 'inactive player' being responsible, it was the fault of Mack historically, prior to the start of the scenario.
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John Gant
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Oh that is very good sir.

--JokerRulez
 
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