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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: Flanking bonus rss

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Philippe Sergerie
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I've started reading a book on Rome ("Rome and her ennemies") after playing my first game this week-end. It occured to me that there are no actual advantages to flanking an ennemy position (the real battle of Cannae for example). There's no actual bonus for attacking on flanks.

The only thing that could be considered an advantage is blocking the retreat hexes of a unit. But it puts your unit in a similar position of the ennemy choose to battle back or to attack you.

Your thoughts?
 
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Mark Christopher
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Recall that a unit on a flank won't get support from 2 adjacent units (allows it to ignore 1 retreat flag). Not much of a bonus, perhaps, but it helps to disrupt a line.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Units in the middle of the line can ignore a retreat flag. The last unit on the flank can't. That in itself is a big bonus. Secondly, as you note you have the opportunity to move around behind a flank and block retreats. Yes your units behind the line would have their retreats blocked as well, but you normally put them behind a line only if you have good attacks from the front. I think flanking works quite well.
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Mark Christopher
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It frightens me when we give similar answers within minutes of one another, George.
 
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John O'Haver
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AS I see it, flanking attacks are not so much a bonus for the attacker as they are a subtle penalty applied against the defending unit at the end of line due to lack of support. (What George Fagin said.)

Considering that a retreating unit must retreat its full movement allowance, multiple retreats against the end unit, which is usually a light or cavalry unit can be deadly even if the retreat path is not blocked by friendly units.

Those retreats can remove support from the next unit in line an so on.

In the dozen or games I've played or watched it does not seem too terribly difficult, given the proper cards, to position the attacking units and Leaders in a manner that above average die luck instead of exceptional luck can roll up a flank and score multiple unit kills with Momentum Attacks succesfully if the correct attack sequence is chosen.




 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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markus_kt wrote:
It frightens me when we give similar answers within minutes of one another, George.


Yeah, I guess we were writing them at the same time, but my synapses don't fire as quickly as yours.
 
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Robin Reeve
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Philster74 wrote:
The only thing that could be considered an advantage is blocking the retreat hexes of a unit. But it puts your unit in a similar position of the ennemy choose to battle back or to attack you.
You are right, but note, too, that a flank attack can force a unit otherwise able to evade to stand and risk much more being hurt.
The flanking force, if well manoeuvered, will manage to hold a line, so that next turn the enemy won't be able to counter-flank.
As flanking forces usually are fast paced units (cavalry or light foot), it will have some opportunity to evade in case of counterattack.
Its units often will be able to take ground and bonus battle too, wrecking the enemy line a bit more...
The fact that defending units may battle back simply underlines that even a flank manoeuver can imply some costs and that one should ponder about the risks one is taking.
Battling back, BTW, makes the attacker hesitate to throw already reduced units in bold assaults - unless he considers their loss more bearable than the survival of the defender's unit...
 
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Kevin Duke
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Yes, Battle Back is a key element in the game. It makes it that much more important to not have to retreat and supports the whole system, providing some counterbalance to a system which, inherently, favors the person playing the card.

Remove it and I think the game is a LOT less interesting.

 
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