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Subject: Help with attritional attacks. rss

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David Hansen
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Well, the lights are flickering on as I get more experience, thanks in large part to the helpful folks here.

Still getting my head around attritional attacks. In my last game, I tried what I believe are attritional attacks.

Imagine: I've got a French corps facing a beefy Allied corps. I threaten the approach that separates us, perhaps with the intent to feint. He defends with two blocks from his corps of eight. I decide to try my luck; no feint. He turns up a 3-strength infantry. I've got a 3-strength myself, and four 2-strength infantry blocks as well. Rather than turn up my 3-strength infantry, though, with the certainty of losing by counter attack, I give an independent command and lead with a 2 strength. I lose the battle, my 2 banger, and 2 morale, but I take his 3 banger down to a 2, ready for a bigger attack in a later turn from my own 3 banger.

Is this sound strategy? Are there other methods of doing attritional attacks?
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Dallas Tucker
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That sounds good to me. I prefer to just lose a block outright and keep my 3s for the final attack most of the time (obviously the rest of the board is a factor).
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Brian Evans
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I probably would of made it a a corps detach move that way I can save the independent for else where. If you're wanting to eventually break through you will need to attrition his forces down, and nothing does that quite as well as forcing your opponents to use Counter Attacks. Also, you should consider that failed attacks force the defender to send a unit into the approach, much the same as a feint. You can use this to your advantage. For example, if your opponent had instead defended with 3 blocks and lead with a 2-strength you might want to consider leading with your 3-strength block. This scenario might force him into counter attacking with both of his extra blocks (if they are 2s). The end result being you lose two steps (and morale) but your opponent would be down 3 steps and would have to put a 1-step infantry block into the approach. He would then have to spend valuable commands bringing in extra blocks into the approach or in taking his 1-stepper back to reserve.


But really, the biggest thing is to not try attrition attacks when the defender has twice as many blocks as you.
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Z A
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Hmm...

As a general rule I would say attrition attacks only work if the attacker has at least twice as many units as the defender. Otherwise it's suicide for the attacker. Hell, it is half the time anyway. Attrition attacks should be a last resort or the culmination of a specific strategy so the defender is weak before the attrition attack begins.
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David Hansen
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Very interesting...

Not to ask the obvious and tired question, but if attrition attacks are suicide, then how does the attacker break through a big enemy corps?
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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DeathMosque wrote:
Very interesting...

Not to ask the obvious and tired question, but if attrition attacks are suicide, then how does the attacker break through a big enemy corps?

The defender wants to force you to break through his big corps; cooperating as the attacker is not in your best interest. Surely it's more profitable to break through a smaller one and worry the big one from its flanks.
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David Hansen
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Sphere wrote:
DeathMosque wrote:
Very interesting...

Not to ask the obvious and tired question, but if attrition attacks are suicide, then how does the attacker break through a big enemy corps?

Surely it's more profitable to break through a smaller one and worry the big one from its flanks.


By 'worry the big one from its flanks,' I presume you mean with feints, yes?
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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DeathMosque wrote:
By 'worry the big one from its flanks,' I presume you mean with feints, yes?

You could say that, although I really meant what I said. Peeling units from his corps and stranding them in approaches with feints is very useful, but in some cases you may force a withdrawal, or commitment of additional forces, without burning an action. It isn't all mechanics; you're playing against the mind of the opposing commander.

My original point was that your goal isn't to attack your opponent's strong points, it is to find his weaknesses and attack those.
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David Hansen
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Well put, sphere.

I still have some doubts about my ability to do that; my primary fear is that, while I'm beating up on his weak spots, the strong spots I'm ignoring (or improperly addressing) will simply steamroll me.

In any case, I have a few games lined up for my weekend. Wish me luck!
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Brian Evans
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In my experience, NT is a game of maneuver. Flank and harass. Those attrition assaults are so... messy. Makes one late for dinner. If you're in a situation where you have to go uphill (so to speak) against a large corps, at least throw some artillery at it first. Also, a well timed Guard attack will help you break through much more quickly.
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Kåre Dyvik
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Sphere wrote:
It isn't all mechanics; you're playing against the mind of the opposing commander.

Well spoken! Bluffing, scaring, luring into a trap, is so much a part of this. This is where I need to improve my game most: Becoming better at it myself, and calling my opponent's bluffs.

Furyn wrote:
Also, a well timed Guard attack will help you break through much more quickly.

You can say that again.
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Mark Christopher
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Those little 2-strength infantry are really very good at taking the place of artillery that you just couldn't get to the point of attack. Throw them at the enemy to probe for weaknesses! Long attritional slogs across approaches can be rather fun.

I'm sure I'd be extremely unpopular as a general...
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Sphere wrote:
It isn't all mechanics; you're playing against the mind of the opposing commander.

In one sentence you summed up my main weakness! War has everything to do with the human mind. The unknown enemy is always 8-feet tall.
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