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Memoir '44» Forums » Rules

Subject: Retreating toward enemy? rss

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James C
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On a few occasions, I've had my forces deep behind enemy lines (near the board's edge). As a result, sometimes the enemy units that attack them are positioned in between my side of the board and my unit. When a flag is rolled, the retreat rules would have my unit move one space closer to my side of the board - and, consequently, one space closer to the attacking unit! This seems to make no sense to me whatsoever, but appears to be what the rules literally require. Is my interpretation correct or am I missing something?
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George Curtiss
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Dothan
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Your interpretation is correct. In fact, if the enemy attacks from the two hexes your unit must retreat via, your unit will lose a piece for every hex it is unable to retreat, thus flags can score hits as well as grenades and unit symbols.
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James C
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Thanks. Drives me crazy to "retreat" into enemy fire. Other games have rules about this - precluding any retreat movement that would bring your unit closer to any enemy unit

I'm not one for house rules (as I don't design games for a living - j just play them !). That said, here I'd be willing to adopt one:

Just as a unit cant retreat into and ocean or river hex, I'd say the shouldn't be able to retreat if if means moving closer to an enemy unit (or, at a minimum, the attacking enemy unit). As per the rules, a unit suffers a causally for each flag rolled that cannot be executed. I'd say this represents panic and abandonment. Surrounded by enemy, members of the frightened unit freak out / surrender.

This would make it extremely risky to go too deep into uncleared enemy territory - or to get yourself surrounded. Seems more realistic IMHO.
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Trent Howell
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Utah
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But from the opposite point of view, I definitely use that to my advantage when attacking. Knowing that a an opponent unit may have to retreat, I plan which units I have fire first. I love it when a roll of mine forces their unit to fall back closer to a second active unit of mine.
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John Eldon
United Kingdom
Verwood
Dorset
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I understand your point of view but i believe that the rules as stated work very well

If you were advancing towards major emeny positions and were suddenly attacked from behind or found the ememy in front to strong for your liking, you would retreat.

Now do you retreat forward towards the area were you know most of the main enemy forces lie or do you try to retreat back towards your own friendly troops even if some emeny units have managed to outflank you!

In reality you would always try to get back to your troops and friends not foreward directly into the bulk of the oncoming enemy forces.

The tactic of blocking the retreat options thereby causing even flags to kill men is a valid and usful tactic which the more experienced players will often exploit to good advantage, particularly were tanks are involved!
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Rick Rodrick
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Portland
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I would also point out that if you have put yourself in a position where the enemy is able to block your retreat you have made a tactical error. The game penalizes you appropriately for not considering the consequences of pushing too far into enemy territory and being cut off by the enemy.
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Phil McDonald
England
Staffordshire
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Better to retreat towards a single enemy than towards their entire army and retreating is a fairly panicky event anyway. This will occur only if you are not playing very well anyway in most cases.
 
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Scott Wheelock
Canada
Woodstock
New Brunswick
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Despite all of the historical scenarios and army badges, M44 is still a boardgame. While making a house rule may satisfy your need for thematic accuracy, the game ultimately functions best when played according to the rules as written. In my opinion, of course.
 
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James C
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These are all good responses - and I appreciate them.

But a simple rule stating that retreat is considered blocked if retreat movement would bring the retreating unit closer to another enemy unit still captures my interest.

That said , my bias against tinkering will probably prevent me from implementing it!
 
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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Torrance
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I find this situation happens more in C&C:Ancients and when using the Breakthrough deck than in standard M'44.

One must be mindful when risking an advance deep into enemy territory or when trying to encircle/trap a unit. You have to have the cards and assets to support these actions for a few turns. Unfortunately these tactics can backfire miserably with bad dice.
 
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James C
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I guess I'm saying that it's not dangerous enough! You can be surrounded on all sides, but so long as there's on open space toward your unit's side of the board, it may retreat to that space - even if that would bring the unit right next to the very enemy unit that had fired upon it and caused its retreat in the first place! The concept of "retreating" toward one's attacker sits very poorly with me.

I appreciate that the genius of M'44 is to simplify a battle down to its core - to maximize fun and minimize tedium. And I've quickly become a huge fan. I just don't think it would over complicate things to forbid a "retreat" toward one's attacker! (I am far more willing to relent and give up on a rule that would preclude a retreat toward any enemy unit whatsoever.)
 
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Dale Hurtt
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Huachuca City
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OP: Don't think of it as a retreat, but as a morale failure and that the four figures represent a wearing down of the unit's morale and effectiveness. When you get a hit, you get some reduction in manpower, but more in morale and combat effectiveness. A Flag is a lesser result, thus requiring you return to your side of the line (if you are deep within enemy territory, as you say). When a unit's retreat is cut off, the panic gets greater, thus turning the movement back into a hit.

Thinking about it as retreating into the guns of the enemy is thinking about it more on a squad or platoon level. Most scenarios are much larger in scale (such as when a large town is a single hex or a small city three hexes).
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Clexton27
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Think of it as SURRENDERING!
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James C
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Seems more like a rally to me. An armor unit fires upon infantry three spaces away. Flags are rolled, moving the infantry two spaces toward the armor (more than it could ordinarily move). Next turn, infantry engages in close combat using 3 dice - something it would not have been able to do if it had to move on its own, but rather something that was enabled by its "retreat."

I find the results bizarre.
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David Kennedy
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Professor X wrote:
I find the results bizarre.

Dude, this is classic design for effect. You are trying to literally map the actions on the board to reality. Once you start down this path, there is literally no end. You might as well move over to ASL. M44 is a highly stylized board game. Highly.

If the rules tell me the retreat rules work this way, I say "Great!" Then I look for ways to leverage these rules and kill the other guy and win the game.
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