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Defender Retreats

Posted: Tue May 22, 2007 4:23 pm
by Flashman
An old chestnut, I know.

http://www.harrisgamedesign.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=229

The basic proposal is:

After any round of combat the defending force may retreat to any appropriate friendly area (e.g. land units may not retreat to sea, except via transports).

The usual argument against this is that it just leads to "tit for tat" rounds of attacks with nobody getting anywhere as the weaker force always retreats and then hits back with reinforcements etc, etc, etc.

But this assumes that tactics remain the same. I suggest that entirely new tactical play will be required, which will actually produce a more historically accurate picture of the war.

Essentially players will tend towards making ONE BIG ATTACK per round instead of several piecemeal actions. They will have to think more carefully about where to attack. This is because in order to
1. Inflict serious casualties on the enemy in the target area
2. Hold the target area with sufficient force
they will need a much bigger initial ratio of forces over the defender.

This is surely more accurate. Think of the Soviet campaigns: even when the Germans were being driven back, and the Soviets held a huge advantage in numbers, the Red Army only tended to attack in ONE PLACE at a time - in overwhelming force - usually at the Germans weakest point. Anything less, and the enemy can retreat in good order and annihilate any gains you have made on their next attack.
Conversely, the German invasion floundered because (amongst other things) Hitler insisted on attacking three large targets simultaneously, often denuding one front of vital units to reinforce another.

An anomaly that comes up with this: suicide units cutting retreat. This comes about when a large attack is supplimented by sending a "suicide" unit to attack those enemy areas to which the defending side might retreat. There are several solutions to this problem:

1. Don't allow suicide attacks. The attacker must ALWAYS have at least half as many units as the defender. There are problems with this, for example subs attacking convoys.

2. Allow defenders to retreat to an area where a battle is still to be fought (but they cannot join in this battle). If this battle is subsequently lost they are eliminated (they cannot retreat twice in the same turn!)

3. Allow defenders to choose the order in which battles are fought so they can establish "escape routes".

4. Enforce a rule whereby all battles in a turn in which the outcome may effect another battle (i.e. in a adjacent or close territory) must ALL be fought round by round, that is you fight the first round of combat in EVERY battle, then determine retreats, then fight the second round etc. This might be confusing until players get the hang of the idea, but it should eliminate those pesky suicide units.

Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:52 pm
by Imperious leader
yes , yes, yes, i allways say yes to this topic. defender must be allowed to retreat obvious. Penalties can be assigned. Im not totally against that, but it has to be fair.

You will find a number of other who share the opposite view. They will soon appear before long if im not mistaken.

but these retreats do not lead the game into directions that they will claim. I have played with these rules for years and i speak from experience. They do not. they dont want another change in their strategy papers to happen yet again.

Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 10:30 pm
by elbowsanchez
yes, but with penalties...ie must leave a percentage of units

ES

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 3:21 pm
by Flashman
IL, how did you deal with the "retreating to friendly areas under attack" anomaly?

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 6:12 pm
by Imperious leader
One of three ways:

1) If their is no possible escape route then you perform all combat in effected territories one combat round at a time until one of these territories are clear for a retreat or...

2) you do not allow defender retreats in these cases.

3) or you alternate combats with the defender then attacker picking which territory the attacker will resolve combat first.