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Subject: ZOCs, bridges and Cavalry disengagement rss

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Rule 1: ZOCs do not extend across bridges.
Rule 2: Cavalry can disengage after the enemy movement phase.
Rule 3: Disengagement is not retreat after combat.

Does this mean a cavalry unit can prevent an enemy infantry unit from ever crossing a bridge by following these steps?

An enemy infantry unit is on the north end of a bridge:
1. I move my cavalry unit to the south end to block the movement of the enemy infantry unit. I don't have to attack because of rule 1.
2. After the enemy movement phase, I move my cavalry unit away per rule 2.
3. The enemy infantry unit cannot advance because of rule 3.
4. During my turn, I go back to step 1 above.

Is this correct?

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Kim Meints
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Well basically yes but there is no reason why your cavalry unit would disengage from behind the bridge unless combat was declared between them and the Infantry unit.

If the Infantry doesn't declare an attack the cavalry can just sit there blocking movement over the bridge since ZoC do not extend over bridge hexsides(the favorite tactic on this).

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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Kim, the infantry cannot cross the bridge because the opposite bank is always occupied during its movement phase, but neither can it attack because the cavalry disengages before the combat phase. Without some outside force or circumstance, the infantry will never cross the bridge.

It's one of those oddities where combat makes units move faster (because of advances) - the infantry above can only ever cross if the cavalry allows combat by not disengaging.
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Lance McMillan
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Kim's statement also misses one other element at work here: the infantry don't "declare" their attacks until the Combat phase, after the cavalry has already completed reacting.

The simplest fix would be to change rule [8.3] so that it uses the more restrictive requirement of the reacting cavalry to be in an EZOC to disengage, rather than just adjacency. If this were the case, the cavalry would be unable to disengage and would be forced to stand its ground to fend off the attacking infantry. Of note, the cavalry would still be able (if it desired) to countercharge, because the countercharge rules mention neither ZOCs or adjacency as a pre-requisite for the countercharge.

My concern would be about whether this change would adversely impact cavalry being able to disengage in other situations (e.g. if the cavalry were occupying a redoubt or fortified hex).
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Another option is to allow Infantry to advance after a disengagement if the disengaging cavalry was not exerting a ZOC on the infantry (this would allow infantry to advance to capture river crossings, fortified hexes, etc - important objectives that infantry would not leave alone).
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Lance McMillan
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Okay, so I just had a lengthy conversation about this issue with Alan. We agree with Scott that it's an oddity that needs to be fixed. Indeed, we came up with something that makes it even worse: if the cavalry unit defending the bridge is a Cossack you can't even force your way across by attacking with cavalry, because Cossacks can disengage from other cavalry.

The proposed solution is to modify rule [8.3] to read as follows: "A Cavalry unit that starts its Reaction Phase in the Zone of Control of any enemy unit can move away via 'Disengagement.'"

This would mean that the cavalry defending a bridge would have no option but to either countercharge or stand and receive the attack.

Before we make this an "official" change, I'd like to afford folks an opportunity to weigh in on the proposal.

Lance McMillan
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sdiberar wrote:
Another option is to allow Infantry to advance after a disengagement if the disengaging cavalry was not exerting a ZOC on the infantry (this would allow infantry to advance to capture river crossings, fortified hexes, etc - important objectives that infantry would not leave alone).


We (Alan and I) discussed that as an option. It's not an unreasonable "fix," but there are some potential unintended consequences involved in taking that course.

First is that the "advance after disengagement" allows the "attacking" unit to potentially move further than normal -- this is a minor issue, but it does present some problems with enabling units to move further than they should be able to.

Second, it allows a unit that "advances after disengagement" to be used for a subsequent attack in the immediately following Combat Phase, possibly even against the cavalry unit that just disengaged (or, in other words, why would the cavalry want to disengage at all)? If you look at the situation where you have a cavalry unit in a fort/redoubt that chooses to penetrate rather than disengage (assuming you're using the optional penetration rule), then the attacking unit gets to move in and occupy the fort/redoubt and is can now able be used to attack out in a completely different direction.

Third, you potentially end up with an almost panzer-division style multi-phased attack/advance sequence for a unit that "advances after disengagement:" my unit moves up preparatory for an attack, your cavalry disengages, my unit "advances after disengagement," it now gets to attack during the combat phase, then it gets to advance after combat (and even potentially pursue, if my unit is cavalry). That means we're looking at some units being able to potentially move up to 8 or more hexes in a single turn (cavalry force marches on a road for 5 hexes, does an "advance after disengagement" of 1 hex, attacks and advances after combat into the vacated hex, and then potentially pursues for up to 2 more hexes). That seems excessive...
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Stig Morten
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Forgive me if I'm wrong here, but I think you are fixing a problem that doesn't exist.

Minor rivers can be crossed by units so a cavalry unit can't hold a bridge by this tactic as the infantry unit can just cross the river at +1 MP.

Rule 7.0 says "Important: Units separated by MAJOR river hexes(even at bridges and fords) are not considered "ADJACENT"."

8.3 says "A Cavalry unit that starts its Reaction Phase ADJACENT to an enemy can move away via "DIsengagement"."

To me it looks like Cavalry can't hold a Bridge over a Major river by this strategy.

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Lance McMillan
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ad79 wrote:
Rule 7.0 says "Important: Units separated by MAJOR river hexes(even at bridges and fords) are not considered "ADJACENT"."

8.3 says "A Cavalry unit that starts its Reaction Phase ADJACENT to an enemy can move away via "Disengagement"."


Thank you, Stig. I'd missed that subtlety entirely. Non-existent problem, solved!

(It might be wise for us to re-iterate that fact in [8.3], just to make sure folks don't overlook it -- like I did!)

For Wandererdog: does this (finally) answer your question?

Lance McMillan
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Kim Meints
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My answer was based on always playing solo because I already know when I advanced that infantry unit next to the bridge if that cav unit is going to be attacked by it or not.And if not the cav is not going to disengage but hold in place at that crossing spot.

Now playing FtF the cavalry player wouldn't now if said opponent with the infantry was going to attack across that bridge or just hold the other end.

But I also answered thinking(as Stig mentioned) the example was a bridge over a Major river which the Infantry unit and Cavalry wouldn't be adjacent since ZoC do not extend over major river bridge/ford hexsides.

But again in the example that cavalry unit is not going to know if the Infantry unit is going to make an attack or not across that bridge since combat is voluntary over said hexsides.So they could in fact decide to make an disengagement if they feared that attack(you still don't know what that other player is going to do with that Infantry unit).

I think thats what the question was trying to ask-I don't know what that Infantry unit is going to do so I'm going to disengage just in case he does want to attack.Ok,that Infantry unit didn't make an attack after all so I'm now going to move my cav back next to the bridge in my movement phase.

And frankly thats not a bad tactic to use.Dancing away from the Infantry and then moving back up to the bridge in your movement and repeating as many times you want unless you gamble and hold in place and accept combat or the risk of a Countercharge made on that Infantry.

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Stig Morten
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Only happy to help, but it might bring up another issue.
In the combat procedure in 9.0 point A it says" Designate which of your units are attacking which ADJACENT enemy unit(S).

THis might suggest that you can't attack across bridges over major rivers.

Quick fix here would be to something in after this point in 7.0 where it says "Important: Units separated by MAJOR river hexes(even at bridges and fords) are not considered "ADJACENT". (Units can still attack across bridges and fords over Major Rivers even if these units are not considered "ADJACENT")

The underlined text is my proposal for inserted text.
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Kim Meints
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Rules can be clarified on this but the TEC chart does refer that attacks are possible across Major river bridge/ford hexsides as it says- Zones of Control do not cross.
And since ZoC do not cross any attacks would be voluntary and not mandatory.
And this then leads us to-

"Rule 9.1 Mandatory Combat-All phasing units in an EZOC Must make an attack.If you choose to have a unit which is Not in an EZOC(e.g. a unit in a redoubt)attack then all Non-phasing units in your units ZOC must be attacked".

This also applies to major river bridge/ford hexsides

Being "Adjacent" due to EZoC makes an attack become "Mandatory". If you are across a major river bridge/ford ,in a redoubt/fortified or in adjacent towns you are not adjacent and therefore attacks are not mandatory but at the discretion of the phasing player.
So just because your units aren't considered adjacent because of ZOC extending over or into doesn't mean that no combat can take place
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jackiesavon wrote:
Rules can be clarified on this but the TEC chart does already refer that attacks are possible across Major river bridge/ford hexsides as it says- Zones of Control do not cross.


Yes, it is mentioned on the TEc and also in the example under 9.4.2 in the Fading GLory rulebook, where the unit in question attacks across the bridge into Wavre.

BUT

There is a conflict between Point A in the Combat Procedure 9.0 and 7.0 and that could be clarified by adding to 7.0.

I agree it is a small issue.
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Lance McMillan
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jackiesavon wrote:
...the example was a bridge over a Major river which the Infantry unit and Cavalry wouldn't be adjacent since ZoC do not extend over major river bridge/ford hexsides.


Whether a ZOC extends over the river or not doesn't enter into the equation, rule [8.3] specifically says that to be eligible to disengage the cavalry unit must "...start its Reaction Phase adjacent to an enemy unit..." (emphasis mine)

jackiesavon wrote:
...know if the Infantry unit is going to make an attack or not across that bridge...


"Knowing" whether the phasing player intends to attack or not during the Combat Phase is irrelevant becaue attacks aren't declared until the Combat Phase. The phasing player has the option of changing his mind after seeing what the non-phasing player does during the Reaction Phase.

jackiesavon wrote:
Dancing away from the Infantry and then moving back up to the bridge in your movement and repeating as many times you want...


It may not be a bad tactic in game terms, but it's completely unrealistic from an historical perspective. If the cavalry "dance away" what would prevent the infantry from simply marching over the now unguarded bridge?
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Lance McMillan
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Currently [9.0] (A) says: "Designate which of your units are attacking which ADJACENT enemy unit(s)."

ad79 wrote:
...fix here would be to add something in after this point...


How about this: ""Designate which of your units are attacking which adjacent enemy unit(s); attacks across unbridged/forded Major River hexsides are not allowed."
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Kim Meints
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Yes to all of that but if you still don't know what that other guy is going to do being adjacent or not doesn't matter as you still don't know if an attack was going to be made.And with that you can disengage from that bridge hexside to make sure you aren't attacked and then in your movement turn if not attacked move back up again.

Me,I would hold that crossing spot and not disengage knowing the Infantry would if it advanced face a Hazardous die roll if I counterattacked and won.

Sounds good on the last Fix

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Lancer4321 wrote:
Currently [9.0] (A) says: "Designate which of your units are attacking which ADJACENT enemy unit(s)."

ad79 wrote:
...fix here would be to add something in after this point...


How about this: ""Designate which of your units are attacking which adjacent enemy unit(s); attacks across unbridged/forded Major River hexsides are not allowed."


I'm sorry, but I don't feel this fix you proposed addresses the conflict between 9.0 and 7.0,it just states that you can't attack across a major river, so I would still insert something after the 7.0 rule as that is the exeption to the normal adjacency rule and clarifying that an attack can still be designated between these units despite them "not Adjacent" would clear it up.



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ad79 wrote:
I don't feel this fix you proposed addresses the conflict between 9.0 and 7.0,it just states that you can't attack across a major river, so I would still insert something after the 7.0 rule as that is the exeption to the normal adjacency rule and clarifying that an attack can still be designated between these units despite them "not Adjacent" would clear it up.


Hmmm. I see your point but I'm not sure that your suggestion is the answer. Part of the problem is that space in the rules booklet is at a premium -- there isn't enough room to add as much text as you're proposing.

We need to re-state the "units separated by a Major River are not adjacent" clause with [8.3], and that's going to be added -- this discussion makes that clear (if Kim and I, and several other members of the test team, didn't realize/catch the implications of [7.0](A) after so many years, it definitely needs re-stating). I'm less convinced the [7.0]/[[9.0] disconnect needs to be treated with the same urgency, especially since the [9.4.2] example covers the situation, albeit indirectly.

I think it boils down to this: which is more important from a clarity standpoint, re-stating that you can't attack across unbridged/forded Major Rivers, or stating that you can attack Major River hexsides that have a bridge or ford?
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Stig and Lance,
Thank you for the terrific discussion and answers--very helpful indeed.

I agree with Stig's observation regarding the potential new problem, another excellent point. I also agree that the "exception" wording is a better solution because it brings sufficient emphasis.

Quote:
I think it boils down to this: which is more important from a clarity standpoint, (A) re-stating that you can't attack across unbridged/forded Major Rivers, or (B) stating that you can attack Major River hexsides that have a bridge or ford?

I prefer (B), i.e. Stig's proposed additional sentence in 7.0: Units can still attack across bridges and fords over Major Rivers even if these units are not considered "ADJACENT."

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What I'm wondering is, will you have Stig on board for proofreading/testing before the next title ships? devil
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Sphere wrote:
What I'm wondering is, will you have Stig on board for proofreading/testing before the next title ships?


I'm *ALWAYS* on the lookout for volunteers to help with testing and proof-reading. Anyone interested in joining the team simply needs to send me a private e-mail and we can work out the details. Now's actually a perfect time to sign up as we're just about to wrap up testing on our current project ('Wallachia 20' which is about the Russo-Turkish war of 1806-1812) and begin our next one ('Bailen 20').

Lance McMillan
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Lancer4321 wrote:


Hmmm. I see your point but I'm not sure that your suggestion is the answer. Part of the problem is that space in the rules booklet is at a premium -- there isn't enough room to add as much text as you're proposing.


Challenge accepted!

I can see in the rulebook for Fading GLory that there is one(1) free line in the right column on page 4 so something could be added after 7.0 without adding real estate to the rulebook. (For the Danube 20 rulebook there are two(2) line available at the column in question so no real estate added there either)

My proposals are one of these which all fit on one line in the Fading Glory rulebook and on 2 line in Danube20's rulebook.

Attacks are allowed across these bridges and fords
But attacks are still allowed across bridges and fords.
But you can attack across bridges/fords over major rivers.
But you can attack across major rivers at bridge/ford hexes.
But attacks can still be done across these bridges/fords.

I like nr. 3 best, but I like this one better still: Units can still attack across bridges and fords over Major Rivers even if these units are not considered "ADJACENT."

That one clarifies the issue and also explain why there is an exeption.


As to 8.3 you can simple add (But see 7.0) and that won't up the real estate needed either as there is room on the line in question in both rulebooks.




I don't feel there is a need to reistate that you can't attack across major rivers, because that is the rule. (The Bridges/fords being allowed is the exeption and as such I think that needs to be clarified and that can be done in 7.0)

Great game by the way and I hope we see more Fading GLory packs soon.
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Kim Meints
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Stig

How has Danube20 been for you with balance,questions ,liking it ,etc?
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jackiesavon wrote:
Stig

How has Danube20 been for you with balance,questions ,liking it ,etc?


I don't own that game, so can't give you an answer. I just downloaded the rulebook to see if my proposals could fit in that one too without upping the real estate of the rulebook.

Fading Glory is my first and so far only Nap20 experience, but it has sparked my interest in the series.

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Kim Meints
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Well I'm glad there was even room in the Danube rulebook to fit it in.
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