LHTR rules amendment...

Here are the Tournment Rules for Revised Axis & Allies
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Post by BlackWatch » Mon Oct 03, 2005 1:08 pm

Krieghund wrote:BlackWatch, I know the question of submarine withdrawal vs retreat has been argued to death, but in my opinion neither the Operations Manual nor the quote you cited from the Revised Orders precludes attacking subs from retreating on the surface with other units. I believe it is just another case of poor and unclear wording in the rules.
I couldn't agree more.

Maybe the best way to view the whole mess is that the "base" rule is that all attacking sea units can retreat on the surface. The ability of subs from BOTH sides to submerge is an additional power granted to subs only.

This additional power of submerging can be repressed by the presence of destroyers, but destroyers cannot affect the base ability for attacking sea units to retreat to an adjacent seazone.

By regarding the ability to submerge (in any round) as an additional power rather than a substitute power, the problems associated with destroyers causing havoc with mixed fleet attacks goes away. While it would not happen often, you can be sure there would be howling and gnashing of teeth if someone were compelled to lose air or non-sub sea units because a destroyer was present.

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Post by trihero » Mon Oct 03, 2005 1:24 pm

think it also applies to attacking subs. They can retreat in any round by submerging INDEPENDENT of what any other attacking units are doing. The language cited above (LHTR Rules) grants them the ability to submerge during step 7 - it does not mandate that all other units must retreat at the same time as them.
Yes, that is true. I never said all units have to retreat. I simply think that subs have a special way of retreating on their own, just like air units can retreat from an amphibious assault. I think there is no reason to give subs a separate, preemptive retreat before other units. Subs indeed do have an INDEPENDENT way of retreating, just like air units in an amphibious assault have an INDEPENDENT way of retreating, but it still goes in the retreat step. I see no reason to give subs the option to submerge FIRST. It is an independent WAY of retreating, but it is not a separate step. If you retreat, you retreat. There's no preemptive about it. You either go downwards or backwards immediately based on the commander's decision. You don't wait for the defender to retreat, that's just silly.


1. Attackers get to retreat. They can do some combination of submerging subs, or running all normal naval units and some subs away, whatever. Submerging, like you pointed out, is NOT some special in-combat move. It is just like retreating. The attacker clearly should get the chance to retreat first, since he is always given precedent with equal opportunities.

2. Defenders get to retreat by submerging.

I still completely fail to see why you want to give defending subs a chance to retreat before all attackers to retreat. It makes zero sense. There is no mandate that gives subs a preemptive retreat. How can you preemptively retreat and therefore force an amphibious assault to continue? Again, to me retreating is an instantaenous decision made by the attacker after a round of firing. He should not be forced to wait for enemy subs to submerge, and even more grossly wrong is that if they do submerge then he is forced to continue battle. Retreat should always be given to the attacker to decide provided he has any units left after a round of combat. It is not for the defender to decide to run away first, and thereby force the attacker to continue. This is completely unfounded in any sort of combat wording.

I completely agree with you that it may be the intent for subs to be only able to retreat by submerging. That is an entirely different point, but in any case, it is just that - a retreat. It is not a preemptive retreat that influences the decision of other units to retreat. Opening fire makes sense, but not opening retreat.

And I definitely think there is something that needs to be fixed with the wording. It is just very unclear per the rules out of the box when subs retreat during the press attack/retreat phase, and what it means for subs on both sides to retreat at the 'same time.' I still however, strongly believe that you're trying to create a separate, preemptive retreat step for subs that I can find no basis for. You can argue as much as you want that subs are supposed to be able to only retreat by submerging, but I don't see how you can argue that defending subs can somehow retreat before the attackers retreat.
Maybe the best way to view the whole mess is that the "base" rule is that all attacking sea units can retreat on the surface. The ability of subs from BOTH sides to submerge is an additional power granted to subs only.

This additional power of submerging can be repressed by the presence of destroyers, but destroyers cannot affect the base ability for attacking sea units to retreat to an adjacent seazone.
Yeah, that's precisely how I look at it. I don't see the connection between this and subs retreating before other units. Just because it's an additional power doesn't necessarily mean it gets to go first or something. It is just a different way to retreat, not a preemptive mode of retreat. Instead of running away laterally, you dive. Diving down doesn't somehow go before the decision for other units to run away, nor does it somehow force an amphibious assault to continue against the attacker's will.

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Pre-emptive retreats

Post by BlackWatch » Mon Oct 03, 2005 2:06 pm

If you regard the ability of subs to submerge within a seazone as a power separate from the ability of all sea units (including attacking subs) to retreat to a different sea zone, it will become easier to follow. No restriction was included in the rule that allowed both sides to submerge stating that they could ONLY submerge in the final round of rolling. What can happen if an attacking sub is allowed to submerge "mid-battle"?

Suppose an attacker wants to submerge a sub, but continue with the rest of the attack. This could arise if an attacker has, say:

2 subs, 1 transport and 9 air units attacking 5 subs and a BB.

If the attacker submerges his subs, the BB might hit a plane and the defending subs could only hit the transport (saving the attacking subs). If the attacker leaves the attacking subs in play he will probably lose 4 units (subs, trn and air).

Now, if the attacker submerges his subs, the defender has a choice too - how many subs will he submerge? He can't duck out of the way with his whole fleet - he still has a 2 hit BB to protect.

You seem fixated on the one case of a solo defending sub compelling an amphibious assault (which may have been declared as a "tricky" ploy to begin with) by "trickily" submerging. No matter which way we settle this, some clever SOB is going to concoct a "tricky" play based on the final ruling.

I am not sure if you accept that attacking subs may submerge, while other attacking units continue on with the battle. Can we try to resolve this one at least - then deal with order??

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Post by Larry » Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:36 pm

First of all there is only one designer and that’s me. Mike was a developer and hard working and effective one at that but he'll be the first to tell you he was or is not the designer. That does not mean that he did not get some rule changes that he wanted. We usually discussed them. I may have given in to some of his request, that I regretted but at the same time he brought in many great ideas that absolutely improved the game. It was a give and take process. A game, or anything for that matter, is better if good people work together.

Every now and then I read the words designer’s intent.

My first intent was to make a game and supporting rules that did not make my eyes glaze over when reading them. I think this is all a simple thing that is being made into a big bad complicated problem… That’s too bad. I wish it could be made clear and simply stated. Let's work towards that end.

I realize that certain issues MUST be made even more clear then they are now. I really appreciate those of you (Krieghund, Blackwatch, Pagan and I’m discovering Mr. Trihero) who can really get into these rules and dissect them. I also appreciate comments from Yope. I wish all of you would work more like a team. I say this because I can how effective you’d all be if you were pulling the load in one direction instead of in different directions.

What can I do to harness your valued input?

Let me say this, under the banner “Designer’s Intent

Submerging a sub is nothing more than a fancy way to retreat a sub. It retreats at the same time as any attacking or defending ship retreats. The only difference is that it does not have to leave the sea zone it’s in. I wanted to give the sub a little personality.

Submarines, from a rules point of view have always caused far more problems then they are worth (from a design point of view). My INTENT was to simply give a sub a slight point of difference from other ships. It’s a sexy ship type and is surrounded with myths.

I’m probably not helping much here but I’m trying to cool things down and get those great rule skill heads of yours to pull together.

Do you have simple little questions for me – that if answered could help solve this mess?
No long post or ATTITUDEs please.

The Creator/Designer
Axis & Allies
Last edited by Larry on Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Craig A Yope » Mon Oct 03, 2005 11:18 pm

It sounds like you are saying that an attacking sub was meant to only be able to retreat by submerging.

Is that true?

I would lean towards allowing to do either- submerge in place after any round of combat or have it retreat out of the zone with the rest of the attacking surface units.

I truly do understand the point that trihero is trying to make and I do like the simplicity of his approach.

I also understand where Blackwatch is coming from concerning how all this plays out from a rules writing perspective.

Larry, when I saw you looking at my copy of the LHTR at Origins, we talked about my working with Blackwatch and Panther on editing it with an eye towards clarity. You asked me if I ever thought we would get it 100% clear. As I said then, and as I say now, it is the best version we have.

Is it perfect? No.

Can we strive to make it as good as possible? Yes.

Do we get a little torqued-up in the process? Absolutely!

Don't worry. We all have the same goal. To make A&A an enjoyable experience.

Sometimes it just takes a reality check to get us back in line.

Thanks for pointing us in the right direction.


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Post by Krieghund » Mon Oct 03, 2005 11:24 pm

Larry wrote:Do you have simple little questions for me – that if answered could help solve this mess?
Thanks, Larry. I think all of this comes down to 2 questions:

1. Is submerging the only way an attacking sub can retreat from a battle, or can it also retreat "normally" with the rest of the fleet?

2. In what order do units act in the Press Attack or Retreat phase? The possibilities laid out are:
a) attacking subs submerge, defending subs submerge, remaining attacking vessels retreat
b) attacking subs submerge, remaining attacking vessels retreat, defending subs submerge

Version A mirrors the combat cycle, and incidentally resembles the order in Europe and Pacific.
Version B simply mirrors the model of the attacker acting before the defender.

I think this is basically it, with the arguments pared down to bare bones. Does this cover it, guys?
A&A Developer and Playtester

"War is much more fun when you're winning!" - General Martok

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Post by Larry » Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:20 am

Again, “Intent” – I don’t have all the rules of all the games in my head. The fact is I have rules that never came to fruition (never published) in my head. It all gets confusing after awhile. That’s why I love you rule guys and admire your work. Don’t get that wrong… when I write up a game I spend a great deal of time on rules rules. However, when I’m done, I move on to the next baby. I guess it may look a bit strange that the game designer screws up on his own rules now and then. Believe me, its not just rules that I screw up on a regular basis.

No. I think I have no problem with an attacking sub retreating or submerging. Again, submerging is special form of retreating allowed to a sub (attacking or defending).
Thanks for your comments.

Krieghund – my rules workhorse, or should I call you Krieghorse?
Hummm comes down to two questions…
As I stated above subs have two retreat options, move off or submerge.

Hummm I wish all the games had the same retreat system. I was not consciously aware that they were not until I was reading this thread. Too bad. I usually pick up on these things. I don’t want to complicate Blackwatch’s life. The LHTRules have got to stand as they are. They cannot be changed. We should always try to keep them as they were originally posted. With that said - I like version “B”. It makes more sense. The only thing special about subs is their two retreat methods. An enemy sub should not be able to submerge in the middle of his opponents turn. There are only two blocks of actions Attacker retreats –with all his stuff and then a defending sub can submerge.

Remind me… where is LHTR on this point?

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Post by PAGAN » Tue Oct 04, 2005 5:41 am

I think Larry takes care of this completely.

---subs can retreat OR submerge WITH a full naval retreat

---destroyers present take away the ability to submerge

---defending subs can submerge during an attacker's naval retreat
-------odds are that defending subs will never submerge, but that's thier choice

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