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Subject: road movement and maneuver attacks rss

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Ted Kim
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Hi folks,

I have been trying to follow along the discussion about road movement being thought of as three "20-minute" movement segments (within the 1-hour turn).

Just to make this more concrete, imagine the Austrians in locale 8 and in locale 12 with cavalry and the French in locale 15. If the Austrian cavalry in locale 12 moves via road through locale 7 to maneuver attack locale 15, it would enter locale 15 in the second 20-minute segment. Assuming the French retreated and cleared the road, could the Austrian units in locale 8 use road movement into locale 15? If so, would they only be able to move in the third 20-minute segment (i.e. move one locale), since they would be waiting the first two segments for the Austrian cavalry to push the French out?

What if instead the maneuver attack was mounted from an Austrian infantry unit in locale 7? Assuming again the French retreated, would the Austrian unit in locale 8 be able to use road movement to locale 15? Or not (presumably because the Austrian unit in locale 7 used the whole hour to maneuver attack into locale 15)?


 
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Quote:
Just to make this more concrete, imagine the Austrians in locale 8 and in locale 12 with cavalry and the French in locale 15. If the Austrian cavalry in locale 12 moves via road through locale 7 to maneuver attack locale 15, it would enter locale 15 in the second 20-minute segment. Assuming the French retreated and cleared the road, could the Austrian units in locale 8 use road movement into locale 15?


Yes.

Quote:

If so, would they only be able to move in the third 20-minute segment (i.e. move one locale), since they would be waiting the first two segments for the Austrian cavalry to push the French out?


They could move from 8 in the first segment. The time segments are applied individually to each specific road. Since the units from 7 enter area 15 from a minor road, they have to pay a command point, but their movement in no way inhibits movement via the major road from 8 to 15.

Quote:

What if instead the maneuver attack was mounted from an Austrian infantry unit in locale 7? Assuming again the French retreated, would the Austrian unit in locale 8 be able to use road movement to locale 15? Or not (presumably because the Austrian unit in locale 7 used the whole hour to maneuver attack into locale 15)?


Infantry cannot use a road to maneuver attack. Visualize them as deployed in combat formation across the breadth of the approach. Non-road movement always requires the full hour to execute, and has no affect on road movement even across the same approach.

 
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Ted Kim
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George, I don't quite understand your response. Plus, I probably wasn't clear on my reasoning.

w.r.t. to the first example -- Since to use road movement a locale has to be devoid of enemy units and locale 15 is not emptied of the French until 40 minutes past the hour, won't the units desiring to move by road from locale 8 have to wait until then to move by road into locale 15 (and therefore can only move 20 minutes worth -- i.e. one locale).

on the second example -- I didn't mean to imply the infantry used the road, hence their start from an adjacent locale. But since it does take an hour to get the French out, is there any time for units from locale 8 to move down the road to locale 15? Otherwise, aren't you saying the units moved by road while the French were still in locale 15 ("pardon me, but another unit will be clearing you out shortly, don't mind us").

I think you mentioned that each road has it's own reckoning of 20-minute increments, but doesn't that conflict with the idea that a locale has have no enemy units to even allow road movement in the first place. It seems a wierd time warp. Either the enemy is there or not, right?
 
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tedhkim wrote:
George, I don't quite understand your response. Plus, I probably wasn't clear on my reasoning.


Your reasoning is fine. You make good logical points. I can only say that the answers I've given are the ones that I have seen used in play through 4 rounds of the BaM ladder, and other games as well.

Quote:

w.r.t. to the first example -- Since to use road movement a locale has to be devoid of enemy units and locale 15 is not emptied of the French until 40 minutes past the hour, won't the units desiring to move by road from locale 8 have to wait until then to move by road into locale 15 (and therefore can only move 20 minutes worth -- i.e. one locale).


In practice, we've always treated each road segment separately by placing markers on them as units cross the approaches. We also follow the rule that each unit must complete its movement before another unit starts. I see where this creates a logical inconsistency, but it keeps the game playable.

Quote:

on the second example -- I didn't mean to imply the infantry used the road, hence their start from an adjacent locale. But since it does take an hour to get the French out, is there any time for units from locale 8 to move down the road to locale 15? Otherwise, aren't you saying the units moved by road while the French were still in locale 15 ("pardon me, but another unit will be clearing you out shortly, don't mind us").


When I said the attacking infantry required the whole hour, I meant that they could move no further after their maneuver attack, and that the clock was effectively off. Do the other units clear out after 5 minutes or 55 minutes? It really doesn't matter for this purpose. If they go away, subsequent units moving by road are free to enter the area. The units moving by road are the only ones that deal with time segments.

Quote:

I think you mentioned that each road has it's own reckoning of 20-minute increments, but doesn't that conflict with the idea that a locale has have no enemy units to even allow road movement in the first place. It seems a wierd time warp. Either the enemy is there or not, right?


Much like a novel, time telescopes in different areas of the battlefield as we focus on events in some areas and and ignore others. In reality, units that don't move during a turn experience the passage of time just as moving units do, but in game terms there is no point in 'running the clock' for them. I think that if you take the rules as presented, and play them out, the entire gestalt will work when you view the battle as a whole. There are certainly compromises and abstractions in any simulation, but once accepted (the "willing suspension of disbelief") the total experience becomes immersive.

There is always the chance that I have misrepresented the actual rules in some way. If so, I'm sure Bowen will appear soon and correct me.

 
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Rachel Simmons
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tedhkim wrote:
Just to make this more concrete, imagine the Austrians in locale 8 and in locale 12 with cavalry and the French in locale 15. If the Austrian cavalry in locale 12 moves via road through locale 7 to maneuver attack locale 15, it would enter locale 15 in the second 20-minute segment. Assuming the French retreated and cleared the road, could the Austrian units in locale 8 use road movement into locale 15? If so, would they only be able to move in the third 20-minute segment (i.e. move one locale), since they would be waiting the first two segments for the Austrian cavalry to push the French out?


Yes, the Austrian unit in locale 8 could move by road into locale 15 by road. No it would not have to wait until the third segment. It would be more logical and consistent if they did, but as written they would not. The 20 minute segment idea is a very useful abstraction in helping people understand how road movement works, but it doesn't actually exist in the rules themselves. The specific limitation is that the road movement sequencing is applied on a per-approach basis: it is not global across the entire mapboard. Thus, in some situations you can get some results which if closely examined are revealed to be out of order. It is a limit of the design.

If in your example, the cavalry that started in locale 12 were to move ->7->15->25, then the unit in 8 would not be able to enter locale 25 itself, because the cavalry unit would have entered locale 25 in its third segment; the unit in 8 would, however, be able to enter locale 24.

Quote:
What if instead the maneuver attack was mounted from an Austrian infantry unit in locale 7? Assuming again the French retreated, would the Austrian unit in locale 8 be able to use road movement to locale 15? Or not (presumably because the Austrian unit in locale 7 used the whole hour to maneuver attack into locale 15)?


The Austrian unit would be able to use road movement to enter locale 15. There is no timing interaction in the rules between units which are moving off-road and those moving by road.
 
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Ted Kim
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All right, I guess I was taking the 20-minute segment thing too far. As George said, each road has its own reckoning. And Bowen further added that roads and non-road movement are also separately reckoned.

Now for assualts there is a prohibition about moving into a locale that an attack cleared out. But given the discussion here, I think the proper conclusion is that there is no analogous prohibition for a similar situation where a maneuver attack clears out an area. Other units are free to enter whether by that approach or others (except that using the same road is of course still subject to the per road limits).
 
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Rachel Simmons
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tedhkim wrote:
All right, I guess I was taking the 20-minute segment thing too far. As George said, each road has its own reckoning. And Bowen further added that roads and non-road movement are also separately reckoned.


Your thinking was by no means illogical, but resolving problematic situations get increasingly difficult and complicated if you try and extend the idea too far. The problem is one of trying to draw the line between playability and realism. I must say that I get more questions about road movement than any other subject, which has left me with the strong impression that a little more playability and a little less realism there would have been generally welcome. Maybe next time...

Quote:

Now for assualts there is a prohibition about moving into a locale that an attack cleared out. But given the discussion here, I think the proper conclusion is that there is no analogous prohibition for a similar situation where a maneuver attack clears out an area. Other units are free to enter whether by that approach or others (except that using the same road is of course still subject to the per road limits).


No, there is no analogous rule for road movement. The assault prohibition is to basically deal with the problems inherent in concentric attacks within a space small enough to be crossed by direct fire weapons: friendly fire becomes a deadly problem in such situations and Napoleonic attacks on that level tended to come only on a single axis, which also vastly simplified command and control.
 
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Justin
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i went on a minor tear playing this quickly after i bought it, but i haven't played it since. i'm more inspired to play other war games because i don't feel restrained by the movement rules, and i feel i can teach certain ones to non-gamers fairly easily.

for what my opinion is worth, i would absolutely love a simple movement system. i only really care about balance/function. as long as it doesn't change the game it would be great with me. i don't know if others share my view, but "the game" to me is in the positioning - and road movement is something unfortunate i have to go through in order to play that positioning game.
 
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Jeff K
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astroglide wrote:
i don't know if others share my view, but "the game" to me is in the positioning

This is absolutely true. However:
astroglide wrote:
- and road movement is something unfortunate i have to go through in order to play that positioning game.

Keep in mind, there must be a limitation placed somewhere. The road move rules do a good job of this, even if they are a little clunky at times. Honestly, I found that after an initial period of confusion, problems rarely arise.
 
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astroglide wrote:
i'm more inspired to play other war games because i don't feel restrained by the movement rules, and i feel i can teach certain ones to non-gamers fairly easily.


I've played a lot of wargames over the last 40 years, and I can't think of many that are simpler than BaM, road rules included.

Quote:

i don't know if others share my view, but "the game" to me is in the positioning - and road movement is something unfortunate i have to go through in order to play that positioning game.


I certainly don't share your view. I think the road movement rules are an integral part of what makes the maneuver element in this game so delightful to play.

Yes, the movement rules are the most complicated part of BaM. That is a relative statement. It shouldn't be surprising that the movement rules are the most complex part of a game that focuses on maneuver.

In absolute terms, the movement rules aren't that tough. They certainly are not as complex as the movement rules in modern era tactical games like Lock'n'Load or Panzer Grenadier, and they are orders of magnitude simpler than simulations like Under the Lilly Banners or Prussia's Glory.

I'm not writing this to convince you, astroglide, you're certainly entitled to your own opinion. I'm really addressing others who haven't played that read these threads in order to determine if they should try the game. I would hate to see them scared off by the 'road movement is soooo hard' posts.

The truth is, wargamers are used to playing new games that have movement rules which they already know from previous experience with other games. BaM has new concepts, so they have to learn something new. This leads to the statement I've often seen to the effect that Euro gamers learn BaM more quickly than wargamers. My take is that anybody with an open mind can learn BaM easily. It is something new, but it truly isn't that difficult.
 
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Garry Haggerty
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I uploaded a pdf file called "Road Movement Diagram" to BGG about a week ago (so it's still in the admin approval queue).

It illustrates the fundamentals of BaM's road movement rules with three annotated examples. I hope those three will be enough from which to interpolate answers to most situations that occur.

My intention was to provide enough visual info to make grasping the road movement rules easier. I know from experience that having to draw word pictures to make or demonstrate a point can make a rule or concept seem more complex than it is.

 
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Justin
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i'm a eurogamer too. infact, BaM is the first real war game i've ever played.

i agree that they're not impossibly difficult, and that once you've got them down, you've got them down. this doesn't change the fact that TO ME they only feel like they get in my way, and that it is the only thing i actually dislike about what i feel is otherwise such a pure, streamlined, and elegant game.

i only responded in here because bowen had already raised the issue, and it's embedded a bit down into a rules question thread. out of respect and enjoyment of the game i wouldn't want to start a "FIX THIS" thread for the very reasons you outline - it is a very good game, it's an innovative system, and i absolutely want to encourage people to try it out.

it does seem like some sort of optional, simpler road movement rules could be possible though, and perhaps the announcement of this could push out a second wave of interest in the game. for example, i am a big hammer of the scots fan and i stayed away from crusader rex because of all of the balance debates. i know several others who have as well. the designer released new rules to address this, and i ordered the game recently.
 
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astroglide wrote:
it does seem like some sort of optional, simpler road movement rules could be possible though, and perhaps the announcement of this could push out a second wave of interest in the game. for example, i am a big hammer of the scots fan and i stayed away from crusader rex because of all of the balance debates. i know several others who have as well. the designer released new rules to address this, and i ordered the game recently.


The key difference here is that Jerry Taylor changed the Crusader Rex rules after having it demonstrated to him that play balance was badly off given a particular Saracen strategy.

BaM is finely balanced, and its play revolves around how quickly the Austrians can get to the East board edge to force a conclusion. Any tinkering with movement would tend to have a big impact on play balance. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but it would take someone smarter than me (luckily few if any are disqualified on that count) to accomplish it.

It will be fun to see how the movement rules evolve when Napoleon's Triumph reaches its final form.
 
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