LHTR rules amendment...

Here are the Tournment Rules for Revised Axis & Allies
BlackWatch
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Post by BlackWatch » Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:26 pm

Krieghund wrote:OK, now that we've got all the rules and nuances straight, I'll offer my opinion. I have to agree with Larry's initial statement that "no defender should have the ability to manipulate a situation to the extent that an attacking player’s retreat can be denied by simply submerging a defending sub." With certain defined exceptions, such as defending subs retreating to escape destruction and amphibious assaults being unretreatable, the attacker should be in control of the direction of the battle. This is the way the rules are structured, again with certain limited exceptions.

I don't see any reason to introduce another exception here. The ability for a defending sub to escape destruction is powerful enough without it being able to "pin" an attacking fleet in place and prevent retreat. With that in mind, I would prefer the simple order of retreat of:

1) Attacking subs submerge.
2) Attacking units, including unsubmerged subs, retreat.
3) Defending subs submerge.

While this does not mirror the combat sequence exactly, it does mirror the philiosophy that the attacking is the acting player, and the defender is the reacting player.
It is also possible for the attacker to "manipulate" the rules.

The actual battle that gave rise to this whole discussion went as follows:

UK had 10 inf in Fin, and 6 trns in the Baltic (other UK boats were there too, but did not play into the move).

Germany took Karelia in force, threatening the troops in Finland, who could not be supported by sufficient additional defenders. Germany bought and placed a sub in the Baltic.

UK wanted to try to save the Finland troops. Under LHTR rules, the UK player could only use the 6 transports in combat. Building the sub in the Baltic "fleet stalled" the transports.

UK declared a battle as follows:

Move 6 trns from Baltic to North Sea zone, load 10 inf on 5 transports, return to the Baltic with ONLY the 5 loaded and one empty transports to engage in the following two stage amphibious assault:

6 trns v sub, followed by

10 inf Baltic v EEu (mt)

Obviously the attacking trns could not defeat the sub in open battle. The plan was to do one round of battle, then retreat to North Sea Zone, with 5 or 6 trns and all 10 inf safe aboard. This was a well thought out tactical response to the situation in hand.

However, if the defending sub elected to submerge, the scheme collapses, as the 10 inf which would then have to land in EEu would be toast.

Either way, one player or the other gets to push the rules to the limits to achieve their goals. IMHO, neither is "sneakier" or "more manipulative" than the other - it's all a matter of how the rule is actually decided which plan or response gets to succeed.

From the point of view of play by email, your solution may even be preferable, as it will make for faster pbem play. Either the attacker retreats (by whatever means), or he asks if the defender wants to submerge, meaning that he will be staying around otherwise.

It would not make any difference in face to face play, since both players are right there, playing in real time.

If we go your route though, I may ask that the order of rolling also be switched (for the same time saving reasons in pbem play). Roll ALL the attackers first, then all the defenders. Then you don't have to wait for intermediate decisions by both players in the middle of a round as to which losses they will take.
BlackWatch

trihero
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Post by trihero » Sat Oct 01, 2005 5:07 pm

I think the answer is pretty simple. A sub is like any other naval unit. It can retreat to another sea zone like any other naval unit. It does not have to submerge in order to retreat. It is just special in that it can also do a retreat by submerging.

If you look at it this way (submerge as just another form of retreat) then it becomes quite apparent that the order goes like this:

1. Attacker declares a retreat, either by submerging or moving to another sea zone.
2. Defender declares a retreat by submerging.

It is always given to the attacker to take action first. I simply see submerging as the same as retreating so it goes in the same step. So the attacker gets the chance to pull away from combat before the defender decides to (which he can only do by submerging). So the defender can't use trick to force the assault to continue because it is up to the attacker first to retreat or not. If the attacker wishes to continue the attack, then yes that's fine - the defending player can submerge and let the amphibious assault continue. But it's like what Larry said about defenders not really supposed to be manipulating the attacker's choice to attack or retreat. The attacker gets the choice first. I think it just has to be worded so submerging goes in the same step as retreating.

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Larry
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Post by Larry » Sat Oct 01, 2005 6:16 pm

Well put Tri.

BlackWatch
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Post by BlackWatch » Sun Oct 02, 2005 9:10 am

trihero wrote:
...It is always given to the attacker to take action first. ..
ALMOST always, but not quite....

If a BB attacks two subs, the defending subs fire first and could conceivably blow the BB out of the water before it gets a shot.
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Craig A Yope
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STEEL TRAP!!!!!!!!

Post by Craig A Yope » Sun Oct 02, 2005 10:24 am

Ya can't get anything past the man! :wink:

Craig

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Krieghund
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Post by Krieghund » Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:20 am

OK, here's something else to consider. In Europe and Pacific, defending subs may submerge instead of rolling. This sub behavior was changed in Revised when both attacking and defending subs were moved to the Opening Fire phase, and is the genesis of this problem. Since in both of those games the defending sub could invoke the same situation of keeping an attacking fleet from retreating by submerging first, perhaps it would be consistent within the A&A "universe" to reflect that behavior here.

I am not sure that this is really relevant, since the changes in Revised conflict with Europe and Pacific in a lot of ways (causing much confusion, I might add!). But if it is, it adds weight to BlackWatch's argument.

Thoughts?
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BlackWatch
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Post by BlackWatch » Sun Oct 02, 2005 12:30 pm

Krieghund wrote:OK, here's something else to consider. In Europe and Pacific, defending subs may submerge instead of rolling. This sub behavior was changed in Revised when both attacking and defending subs were moved to the Opening Fire phase, and is the genesis of this problem. Since in both of those games the defending sub could invoke the same situation of keeping an attacking fleet from retreating by submerging first, perhaps it would be consistent within the A&A "universe" to reflect that behavior here.

I am not sure that this is really relevant, since the changes in Revised conflict with Europe and Pacific in a lot of ways (causing much confusion, I might add!). But if it is, it adds weight to BlackWatch's argument.

Thoughts?
I must admit I have not tried the Europe or Pacific games (nor have I poked through whatever rules problems might be inherent in those rule sets). :)

Having slept on the whole thing after a very lively discussion yesterday, I think I prefer to keep the retreat order the same as the rolling order, for a few reasons:

1) The LHTR rules now have a history of more than a year of play, and much of the furor over the rule set has died down as people have adjusted to the rule set and have developed stategies and game plans within the rule set. The order proposed (attacker may submerge, defender may submerge, all other attackers, including any unsubmerged subs may retreat) is a clarification of an existing rule, not a change. A clarification is needed, and for the most part, it will not affect how anyone actually plays their games.

2) It was always the intent of the original team that developed the rule set that a 12 year old could pick up the rule set, read through it, and play the game CORRECTLY from the get go. To that end, we set about writing non-conflicting rules wherever we could, and any exceptions were immediately juxtaposed to the baseline rules. Also - we did try to keep a rhythm and sameness so that the rules "felt" consistent throughout.

None of us were completely satisfied with ALL the rules as they were written, but we did all agree that they "hung together" in an overall consistent fashion.

We had extensive "discussions" on the effects of sub stall and fleet stall, and finally decided that the principles could be easily enough understood to allow these tactics to remain in the game. There were two principal defenses: buy destroyers and keep them with your transports if you wanted to avoid sub stall, and don't park your fleet of transports next to an enemy IC if you don't want to risk fleet stall.

These two principles will still be in effect with the revised rule.
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trihero
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Post by trihero » Sun Oct 02, 2005 3:31 pm

It's quite obvious that some units fire before others like AA guns and subs regardless of who initiated the attacking, but whenever there's "simultaneous" firing or a confusion in who is going first, the attacker takes precedent. He chooses what territories to attack, in what order to attack, and when to retreat as long as there's remaining units left. Just as that's the case, so it is the case that the attacker gets to choose to retreat first - the defender can't "trick" the attacker into forcing an assault by retreating first through submersion because it's the attacker's choice to retreat first.

I think that is simply the best and easiest way to clarify it - using submarine's submersion as a retreat move, rather than a separate end-of-combat-round-but-before-retreat phase type thing that just creates confusion.
The order proposed (attacker may submerge, defender may submerge, all other attackers, including any unsubmerged subs may retreat) is a clarification of an existing rule, not a change.
I suggest you change your proposal to fit what the intention of the rules is - that the attacker is in control of attacking and retreating in all cases but the land portion of amphibious assault. It just makes too much sense that submarine's submersion is a retreat move (it's worded to say a submarine can retreat, so you would think that this happens during the press attack or retreat phase). Retreat moves are just part of the retreat phase, and the attacker is allowed to retreat first in the same manner that he rolls first and chooses the order of the battles.
Submarines:
Submarines on both sides may retreat during
this step by submerging. Return the submarine
to the game board and tip it onto its side to
mark it as submerged. It remains submerged
until the end of the noncombat move phase.
(Submerged submarines do not stop enemy sea
units from moving through their sea zone.)
I definitely think this is the most confusing paragraph that brings up BlackWatch's issue, because it says that submarines submerge at the same time and somewhere vaguely in "this step" (Press Attack or Retreat). I think the sumbarine submersion step needs to be clarified exactly when it happens in the attack or retreat step. The way it's written, you can interpret the submarines to retreat before the attack retreats, but I don't think it was really intended to be that way.

Or perhaps the wording should be changed so that you can retreat even if there are submerged units in play; you could keep your proposed order of submerging then retreating, but the attacker could still retreat even if all units have been submerged. Like Larry said, that would be reason enough to retreat from the seazone if you saw submarines submerging in it. It just doesn't make too much sense that you're really supposed to be able to trick the attacker into attacking like that.

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