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Captain_Orso
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Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:16 am

As far as Retreat goes, as has been stated, the change of the rule to allow retreat into a region in which you have 0% MC was more than likely to prevent situation in which a force was prevented from retreating into an otherwise empty region simply because that side didn't control it. In reality, I think a commander, weighing the alternatives, would take the lesser of two evils and retreat into the empty, uncontrolled region.

As has also already been stated, there is gamey taste to "retreating through the enemy". This of course will only occur if the defending force is trapped by enemy and/or unpassable territory. This also assumes that a line of battle is always formed perpendicular to the line of march of the attacking force and that therefore the line of retreat must also be perpendicular to the attacking unit's line of march.

Were there only friendly controlled regions "behind" a defender I don't think many players would argue about any line of retreat into any of them. I know that the devs went to great lengths to try to tune the game to have retreat occur in logical direction - towards a depot, friendly fort or town, or I think friendly forces, but I'm not sure on that last one.

To expect retreat to only be in the opposite direction of the strategic move of the advancing force is not realistic. This game is on a strategic level and there is no representation or consideration of how a line of battle within a region might be oriented.

In general military forces positioned themselves between the perceived goal of the attacker and the attacker and therefore a retreat would coincidentally be in the opposite direction of the attack. I can think of one major exception to this and that is the Seven Days Battle. The attacking CS forces sortied out of the Richmond defenses to attack McClellan to the north-east of Richmond. After a week of running battles however, McClellan ending up almost directly south of his original position.

The few theoretical and anecdotal examples of forces "retreating past" an attacking force show to me that the player was throwing all of his eggs into one basket with the assumption that there was only one possible outcome of the battle in question. But holding some reserves to cover these unexpected avenues of retreat would have changed the situations completely with devastating affects on the defender and the expected annihilation of the of the enemy would have been forthcoming.

aariediger
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Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:57 am

Hey, I understand that retreating into an empty area should be fine. However, that includes the area the attacker just vacated. And that is just unacceptable. Look at just about any board game that simulates warfare. You would be hard pressed to find one that allows retreating through the attacker. It’s a simple rule that has to be implemented in some way. If you don’t want your army getting torn to bits, throw a cavalry screen around them. Like they did back in the 1860’s.

John Schilling
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Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:27 am

Captain_Orso wrote:As far as Retreat goes, as has been stated, the change of the rule to allow retreat into a region in which you have 0% MC was more than likely to prevent situation in which a force was prevented from retreating into an otherwise empty region simply because that side didn't control it. In reality, I think a commander, weighing the alternatives, would take the lesser of two evils and retreat into the empty, uncontrolled region.

As has also already been stated, there is gamey taste to "retreating through the enemy". This of course will only occur if the defending force is trapped by enemy and/or unpassable territory. This also assumes that a line of battle is always formed perpendicular to the line of march of the attacking force and that therefore the line of retreat must also be perpendicular to the attacking unit's line of march.


No, it merely assumes that a successful attacker will have positioned his forces, including reserves, in such a way that he will be able to actively block any attempt by a defeated enemy to maneuver into his rear. A perfect line of battle perpendicular to the line of march is only one of many ways this can be accomplished, and not the most likely. We have, as other contributors to this thread have amply demonstrated, a fair bit of historic precedent to work from here, so your simplistic strawmen are not helpful.

Also, you seem to be assuming the enemy commander gets to weigh the alternatives and chose where to retreat. In practice, controlling a retreat is one of the most difficult feats of military command, and one that even the best commanders can typically manage only within fairly narrow bounds. Retreating through, or even around, an attacking force, is almost never something a commander can chose to do, no matter how he weighs the alternatives. Even retreating into unoccupied but enemy-controlled territory to the defender's rear can be problematic; to the extent that the retreating force has actually routed, there needs to be a rally point in secure, friendly territory or the retreat will
never stop.

If practical, yes, we should hope for a provision by which an army retreating with reasonable cohesion could force its way into unoccupied enemy territory rather than surrendering or dispersing. But not at the expense of "retreat through the attacker" being the default behavior of a trapped and defeated force, as is presently the case.

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Captain_Orso
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Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:00 am

aariediger wrote:Hey, I understand that retreating into an empty area should be fine. However, that includes the area the attacker just vacated. And that is just unacceptable.

But that will only happen if there are no other places for a stack to retreat, ie. if they are in a cul-de-sac. In the example given in which Butler was kicked out of the Fort Monroe region, he should have retreated into Fort Monroe. Admittedly, it feels wrong when something like that happens.

Unfortunately the game only knows that enemy stacks are in one region together but not from where they came. If you don't want the enemy to "slip past" your attack, leave a reserve unit in the region from which you are attacking. If the defender loses the battle and retreats into the region from which the attacking stack has moved they will be in bad shape and land right on top of the reserves, who should beat them again. If they now have to retreat again, the region from which they just retreated will probably still have some MC for them and will likely be the target of their second retreat, where they will meet the main attacking force again.

If the attacking stacks are corps and army they will MTSG each time that they can and it will look really bad for the defender. I did literally wipe out an entire army like this once within a couple of turns, and this was vs Lee, Longstreet, Jackson and co., and it wasn't even a cul-de-sac, but through a stroke of lucky and some negligence on the part of my opponent that allowed me to get behind the ANV with 2 corps and attack their left flank.
aariediger wrote:Look at just about any board game that simulates warfare. You would be hard pressed to find one that allows retreating through the attacker. It’s a simple rule that has to be implemented in some way.

In all the paper-board-games that I have played you attacked by standing in a region/hex/field adjacent to the defending unit and declared your attack. If you succeeded, the defender was eliminated or retreated, without moving through an enemy unit or an enemy zone of control, unless that region/hex/field was currently occupied by a friendly unit. Only then could the attacker select a unit to move in and occupy the vacated region/hex/field. In an UGIG (yoU-Go-I-Go) type of game it is much easier to regulate such retreating movements simply through the way the mechanics of the game work; no special rules needed.
aariediger wrote:If you don’t want your army getting torn to bits, throw a cavalry screen around them. Like they did back in the 1860’s.

If you don't want your army to get torn to pieces, leave the back door open at all times!

aariediger
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Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:19 am

The game I was thinking of is Hannibal: Rome versus Carthage, a spectacular game in its own right. It has a point-to-point movement system that resembles the way we move in this game. All of the points in the game can contain a Political Control marker from either side. After a battle, the loser must retreat to a space that their side controls. Every space they travel through that isn’t friendly they lose a unit. If you have to go more than four spaces, the entire force is captured. Also, if the attacker loses he must first retreat to the space he came from, if the defender loses, they cannot retreat into the space the attacker came from. Those are four sentences that explain the retreat rules in that game. Why can’t we have a system that is as simple and works as well as this one?

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Captain_Orso
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Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:41 am

I can't speak for the devs, but my guess would be that they did not specifically think of allowing a stack to retreat out of a cul-de-sac and into a region from which an attacker just move. The parameters specifically steer a retreat toward friendly territory. Only when there is no friendly territory in which to retreat do such anomalies occur.

To fix this, from my understanding of the game engine, would require a major change. For a situation which rarely occurs, and that, if the player is aware of it, can be alleviated in that the player takes it into account and counters it, from all my experience of three and half years with the game and in the forum, I would be very surprised were a change to be forthcoming.

aariediger
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Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:38 am

I think we have a difference of opinion about what level of the Civil War this game is trying to represent. You seem to think this more of a Grant Strategy type of game, while I think it is based on simulating the Operational Level of the conflict, since you give orders to the separate corps of every army, detail their line of march, their rules of engagement, and how aggressive to push the fight. I like the idea of an operational level game, it allows me to feel like a commander in the field rather than an officer simply reading reports. If the only reason that the retreat rule was changed was to prevent armies from being destroyed left and right, then I think the better idea is to better explain the rules to everyone so that it doesn’t happen as often, not to outlaw the possibility.

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