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Algeria: The War of Independence 1954-1962» Forums » Rules

Subject: Couple of rules question rss

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Ahmad Siddiqi
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Brian,

I just bought the digital download version of Algeria and am enjoying your design immensely! I think it is an excellent simulation of the Algerian war and thematically I can't find anything to quibble about.

Couple of questions about rules:

The rules says patrol is the only mission that static units can perform. Non-neutralized static units (i.e. Algerian police) are required for the intelligence and pacification missions, but these do not count as missions for them.

Does that mean that some mobile unit is also required to be in the area to conduct the mission, and if so does it go to the OC box on mission completion? Or does it mean the mission can be done without requiring any unit to 'do' the mission?

Also, a general question of strategy. Why would you go to remote areas at all, given that they don't count for control and can't be used for propaganda or civil affairs missions?

Thanks a lot,
Ahmad
 
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Ahmad Siddiqi
Pakistan
Lahore
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Also, during Depreciation, I assume the second roll is multiplied by the original number rolled and not the adjusted number? If latter, it would lead to situation where French player rolls 1 and has PSL less than 30 (adjusted die roll 0), meaning no depreciation would happen (0 x 1d6) even though he has rolled the 'worst'n= number.
 
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Ahmad Siddiqi
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Am I correct in assuming that the French player can always opt (during the reinforcements phase) to not pay maintenance for any of his units (thus removing them but saving valuable PSPs?)
 
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Ahmad Siddiqi
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And another question. In cases where the adjusted contact ratings of units participating in intelligence of flush are greater than or equal to 6, I take it success is automatic? (no such thing as 6 being an automatic failure, etc.)

In 10.3 (the redeployment segment), if the French player redeploys his static units (or changes divisions to concentrated mode) in such a way that he would lose control or contestation of some regions, is control adjusted immediately for the final PSL adjustment summary, or does it remain as assessed in 10.1 (control/depreciation) until the next control/depreciation segment?
 
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Ahmad Siddiqi
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Lahore
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Is control determined at the beginning of the game (to give FLN APs in reinforcement phase), or only at the turn interphase after the first turn? If latter should we assume no control on either side at the beginning of the game?

Apologies for all the questions, just want to make sure I'm playing it right!
 
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Brian Train
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No problem Ahmad, thank you for the questions. I will answer them all at once, here.

Patrol: static units (police) can perform Patrol, without the need for a mobile unit to be in the same area. The advantage of having a mobile unit perform Patrol is that it can React to an enemy mission (after which it goes to the OC box). A static unit cannot React - but it does affect FLN Strikes, Propaganda and Movement while it is on Patrol.

Intelligence and pacification missions: non-neutralized Police must be in the area for these missions to be conducted at all. There is only once case where having mobile units in the area will help, i.e. the +1 DRM per Elite unit assisting in Neutralizations.

Why go to remote areas? Because the other player is there; while the FLN player does not get any AP for controlling them, a controlled remote area does count for the total of controlled areas differntial PSP award - if you don't contest control of the countryside you can lose a lot of points - there are 25 areas and nine of them are remote. If you have even just one little Cadre or Company there, and the other player has nothing, then you control the area.

Depreciation: this is a simple thing and I can never seem to explain it clearly the first time. You multiply the first, adjusted roll by a second, non-adjusted roll, if the first roll is equal to or less than the Loss Number (which gets larger as you have more points mobilized). So yes, the -1 DRM for having low PSL does make it more likely that there will be Depreciation, but if you have a small number of Air/Helo points to begin with it may not happen after all.

Maintenance: Yes, if the French player does not pay Maintenance on a unit it is removed (6.3, second sentence).

Contact ratings more than 6: yes, success is automatic.

Redeployment: Contorl of an area is judged just once per turn, in 10.1, so if you redeploy out of an area, or change mode, you keep control of it until the next control/depreciation segment.

First turn: No areas are controlled at the start of the game. Judge all areas' status in the first turn interphase. The FLN player starts with 2d6 APs in compensation, and will start getting AP due to control of areas at the beginning of the second turn.

Brian
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Ahmad Siddiqi
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Thanks a lot, Brian! I was playing them all correctly except for depreciation (which wasn't significant in the larger context) and remote areas (which certainly was!)

Regarding timing of missions, I read 8.0 to mean that the FLN player can always choose the order of operations. So he could, for example, do all his operations first (with the exception of React, which the French player could always choose to do immediately when FLN completes an operation), or alternate, or make the French player do his first, or any combination of the above. Is this correct?

I take it any French elite infantry units (not just the paratroopers) can be air-mobilized? (As well as, of course, any French infantry regiment at a cost of 3 points.)

I didn't realize at first that the Strike operation represented the calling of a general strike (as in the battle of Algiers). Makes perfect sense, in how that has a potentially high payoff but exposes the Front to serious danger!

I played two games solo on Vassal after purchasing the game. The first hardly counts, since it was more of an ok, let's see what the different things do/how does this all work game. French won handily after I made the cardinal mistake as FLN of giving all my Fronts operations in the first round, leading to the elimination of at least two of them.

In the second game I used the optional recommended rule limiting French mobilization/pacification/intelligence until FLN PSL exceeds French. FLN was able to take advantage of that to spread out well, having Fronts or Cadres in at least two cities as well as some rural areas. FLN was able to counter French attempts to reveal Fronts through frequent use of Intimidation to neutralize Algerian police. Coupled with regular Propaganda operations in France (very useful to get a cadre there early, esp. given the x2 bonus!) and relatively safe areas, FLN was able to get PSL up steadily and once around 90, decided to start applying points to bring down French PSL.

The French side, given the relatively slow military progress, soon found itself in a bind. Later, I managed to improve military success by concentrating in only a couple of urban areas a turn (rather than a more spread out response earlier), but at the cost of allowing FLN in other areas to do as they would. But even with limited French troops on the ground and 4-5 PSPs per turn from control, PSL dropped steadily and in the end it was an easy victory for the FLN.

Looking back, there were probably a few things that could have helped me as French:
1. More use of Civil Affairs operations - this seemed unappealing once French PSL was already low, but could have been used earlier to keep FLN PSL rising so fast.
2. Use of Neutralization operations to take out Fronts and Cadres - especially with a large proportion of my Algerian police neutralized at any one time, I could have brought several elite units together to try to get the 6 or higher result to neutralize underground Fronts.
3.I mobilized all the Algerian mobile units and a fair number of police relatively early (with a few elite units and the two divisions) to avoid paying maintenance on large numbers of French units, but found this combination vulnerable to Intimidation. Perhaps it would have made since to mobilize a larger number of French troops at a time and then demobilize them once their task was done, rather than having a smaller number of troops around permanently. Probably the most cost-effective of doing this would be to recruit regular French regiments - which I did not do at all in this game (because elite units cost only one more point to mobilize and are significantly more effective), but perhaps this might be the best way of using those units.
4. Could have spread out a bit more to gain a few more PSL for control - I only understood the rule for remote areas partway through the game, at which point I had no more Algerian mobile units to deploy and recruiting police to man far-flung areas seemed unappealing because of their higher mobilization cost, but could make sense if done earlier.
5. I also found myself making little use of Air, Helo and Naval points and did not build border zones even though FLN got a Front in Tunisia relatively early. I think the last made sense in this game, because the Tunisian Front was not very important with so many FLN still in Algeria and the border zone would have been too costly. But I'll keep an eye on how these options might be utilized more effectively.

With the FLN player, I was pretty satisfied with how I played. I managed to incorporate most of the available options into my strategy (Strike was used very infrequently, but I think that's how it's meant to be). The one exception was that I built very few companies and rarely used Harass. Thinking about it now, it would make sense to incorporate both as an inexpensive (unless the company is eliminated) second-line defense for a Front that is revealed by intelligence, AND as a possible way of reducing the number of elite units gathered for a Neutralization operation. (The latter, of course, French could counter by air-mobilizing those units, if he was willing to spend the PSPs).

On the whole, although it does took some time to understand what to do in this game, I'm very pleased with how it simulates the conflict. For now I think I'll keep the limit on French mobilization and see whether incorporating the above elements in French strategy leads to a closer game!
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Brian Train
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Thanks Ahmad, the answer to all your questions is "Yes."

I'm glad you were able to analyze your play so well after only a couple of games.
There is a learning curve to this game, and to the others using the same system, not because the game systems are complex (they aren;t), but they are fairly subtle in their effect.
You will find there are many different styles of play, and that you can switch between them over time to keep the enemy off balance.
You may find people who go for simplistic brute-force solutions, and stick to them past their usefulness, may not last long.

Brian
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