Help! Rules debate

Naval strategy and wise economic moves are both critical in waging this far-flung war across an entire hemisphere. To the familiar elements from Axis & Allies, Axis & Allies: Pacific adds convoys, island air and naval bases, kamikazes, destroyers, and the Chinese army.
frog
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Help! Rules debate

Post by frog » Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:10 pm

My opponent and I have a disagreement. I need clarification and How I can prove it in the rule book.

I am Japan, He is the allies.

In combat he successfully takes some sea convoys, then in Non-Combat he wants to move a sub into the Borneo convoy, but not take the points or the control marker off. He believes he can non- combat into the Borneo convoy as long as there are no "ships" in the territory. He doesn't think the convoy marker makes it a combat move if he doesn't take the convoy.

Thus on Japan's turn, I still own the convoy, but with his sub in the territory. Now I can't move through the territory because he has a sub there.

MY contension is- A enemey controlled convoy can only be entered during combat,

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Krieghund
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Post by Krieghund » Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:04 pm

He can indeed move into the convoy route sea zone in Non-combat Movement without its changing hands. Each convoy route or convoy center is contained within a sea zone, but it is not the same thing as the sea zone itself. The sea zone is neutral and can't be captured, but the convoy route or center within it can. Control of a convoy route or center can only be changed by a Combat Movement (and resulting Combat, if any) by a warship (not a transport). Non-combat Movements simply pass through or into the sea zone containing the route or center without affecting the ownership of it.

Page 22 (Resolving Combat):
As stated earlier, sea zones are not captured, controlled or affected by the outcome of a battle. However, convoy routes and convoy centers within a sea zone can be successfully held by a defender or captured by an attacker.
Page 24 (Non-combat Movement):
Naval units may be moved into any sea zone within range as long as there are no enemy units (except submerged subs) in the sea zone. Enemy NCMs on convoy centers and convoy routes are not removed during the Non-combat movement phase when friendly ships move into or through those sea zones.
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Saburo Sakai
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Post by Saburo Sakai » Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:54 pm

Kreighund,

I agree with everything you said, but...

If the UK moves a sub into a sea zone during it's NCM, the control of that convoy route does not change on the UK turn. However, at the end of the US combat turn, if you check the sea zones, only the UK will have a combat unit in the sea zone and the ownership of the convoy route or convoy zone will change to the Allies (liberated if UK or US, captured if Japanese).

The process for determining convoy ownership is as follows (as stated in my essay #5):


The ownership of the Convoys/Centers is checked at the end of EACH nations combat phase.

1. If the convoy is empty or contains only submerged subs or transports, the ownership does not change.
2. If only one nation has ships (neither submerged subs or transports count) present, that nation controls the zone.
3. If opposing nations have ships (neither submerged subs or transports count) present the ownership does not change.

This rule clarification was developed by Rob Daviau in conjunction with Days of Infamy shortly after AAPacific came out and is (was) a standard rule for games at Days of Infamy.

SS

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Krieghund
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Post by Krieghund » Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:45 pm

Saburo, that is indeed the standard rule at DOI, but there is no rule in the rulebook or the FAQ to support it. There is, however, on page 22:
Submarines that begin a turn in an empty sea zone containing an enemy convoy route or convoy center may spend one of their two moves to remain in the sea zone and take control of it before using their second move to go to an adjacent sea zone.
This would indicate that a nation may only take control of a convoy route or convoy center on its own turn.
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Post by Krieghund » Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:10 pm

I feel that a further note on this subject is in order. When answering rules questions I generally bow to designers' clarifications. However, in instances where such clarifications seem to contradict either the letter or the spirit of the rules as written, I don't believe they should be allowed to carry any weight until or unless they appear in an offiicial capacity, such as the FAQ or a subsequent edition of the rules. This is due to the fact that the average player only has access to the rules as written and the FAQ, and must play the game based on these sources.

While Rob Daviau was one of the original designers, I feel that this is one of the above-mentioned cases. The rules as written indicate that convoy zones and centers may only be captured on the acting player's turn. In the absence of any "official" contradiction of this, my opinion is that the clarification by Rob Daviau should be disregarded when making official rulings on the "standard" rules. If you wish, we can take this up with Larry to see if the rules should be officially changed.
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Post by Larry » Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:12 pm

It really concerns me when two really strong authorities on the Axis & Allies game line find themselfves in opposing positiions. With that in mind (Saburo and Krieghund) here's my response to this latest A&A controversy.

Frog believes – An enemy controlled convoy route can only be entered during the Combat Movement phase
.
He wants this confirmed and he wants it confirmed by what’s in the RULE BOOK.

I think we can all agree that control of a convoy route can only be changed during a combat movement.

This is not what Frog is asking however. His contention is that an enemy controlled convoy route cannot be entered during the Non-Combat Movement phase.

Do the rules say that enemy controlled convoy routes cannot be entered during the Non-Combat Movement phase?

Page 24 is the only rule book entry that comes close to addressing this issue:
Naval units may be moved into any sea zone within range as long as there are no enemy units (except submerged subs) in the sea zone. Enemy NCMs (National Control Markers) on convoy centers and convoy routes are not removed during the Non-combat movement phase when friendly ships move into or through those sea zones. Wow that’s pretty clear!

This statement can be correctly understood as saying that friendly ships can move into or through a sea zone that has an enemy controlled convoy route in it, and that this movement can be done during the Non-Combat Movement phase. It does however make it clear that National Control Markers are not removed.

This clearly indicates that a naval force can be moved into an enemy controlled convoy route during the Non-Combat Movement phase. Thus Frog’s contention that enemy ships cannot be moved into an enemy controlled convoy route during the Non-Combat Movement phase is wrong. The rules as presented permit this to happen – That’s too bad.

There seems to be a hole in the rules on this issue. At one point the rules say (Page 22): if, DURING COMBAT MOVEMENT, you move a naval unit (except a transport) through or into an empty sea zone containing a convoy route or convoy center, you take control of that route or center. The idea here is that at the end of the combat phase one player, having the only war ship(s) in the convoy route takes control of the route. That’s not what we’re talking about however. What happens if the ship(s) were moved into the convoy route during the Non-Combat Movement phase? The rules do not specifically address what happens if a ship is moved into a convoy route during a Non-Combat Movement phase. They do say (as Saburo Sakai contends) that ownership of the Convoys/Centers is checked at the end of EACH nation’s combat phase. I can assure you that the intent here was to resolve and update the changes that JUST occurred for this player and not to update and make changes for players that have already had their turns. I have worked hard to resolve all outstanding issues before moving on to a new phase or certainly to a new turn player in the rules of all the Axis & Allies games. I hate dangling unresolved issues in a game. To me the idea that at the end of the American player’s combat phase the British player takes control of the Borneo Convoy route is not in the tradition of Axis & Allies. Please don't write back about aircraft and AA guns...

Simply stated, I don’t think that an enemy ship should be able to move into an enemy controlled convoy route any more then a land unit should be able to move into an enemy controlled territory during the Non-Combat Movement Phase.

It seems that Days of Infamy and my good friend and co-designer Rob Daviau tackled this issue and made a ruling.

Saburo Sakai spelled out the 3 rules that seemed to cover this issue:
1. If the convoy is empty or contains only submerged subs or transports, the ownership does not change.
2. If only one nation has ships (neither submerged subs or transports count) present, that nation controls the zone.
3. If opposing nations have ships (neither submerged subs or transports count) present the ownership does not change.

These three statements, which I agree with, still do not address the Non-Combat Movement twist to this issue. I say this with the following rule entry in mind (page 22) “If during COMBAT MOVEMENT, you move a naval unit through or into an empty sea zone containing a convoy route or convoy center, you take control of that route or center.” What about during a Non-Combat Movement? The rules do not specifically address the issue. So what to do? You probably want to move on and come to some kind of understanding with your opponent. If you are a club or organization you probably want to make a ruling. That’s what Rob and DOI had to do.

Unfortunately Frog wants written rules that addresses his question. Sorry Frog there are no such “Official” rules anywhere. I must admit that the Rob /DOI are pretty official but the thousands of players that don’t know DOI don’t play by DOI rules. I’d want to consult with Rob on this but my feeling is that one cannot move into an enemy controlled convoy route during his or her Non-Combat Movement phase.

Perhaps there will have to be a LHTR for A&A Pacific or better yet, an updated new set of out-of-the-box rules.

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Post by Krieghund » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:45 pm

I'm a little confused, Larry. Are you saying that Rob's clarification is correct, but only insofar as it applies to sea zones involving the acting player's units?

The rules seem to me to be saying that convoy routes and convoy centers are contained within sea zones, rather than the sea zones themselves actually being the convoy route or center. This makes control of them inherently different than control of land territories, in that a unit may pass through a sea zone without passing through the convoy route or center it contains. This concept resolves the Combat/Non-combat Movement dichotomy rather neatly, as only the sea zone is entered during Non-Combat Movement, not the convoy route or center within the sea zone. The convoy route or center within the sea zone may only be entered, and control of it changed, during Combat Movement. This allows the sea zone itself to remain neutral (as is any sea zone) and allow passage to any unit if there is no opposing unit there to stop it. The rules I've quoted in the above posts seem to support this concept.

The reason that I believed Rob's clarification to be not within the spirit and letter of the rules is both that it violates the concepts I've outlined above and that it violates the "standard" A&A concept that a player may only take control of a space on his or her turn. As you pointed out, the clarification stays within these parameters when applied to the acting player, but doesn't when applied to a non-acting player.
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Post by Larry » Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:40 pm

I agree with you. I guess if I were to sum it up… I wish the rules clearly indicated that a player could not move into an enemy controlled convoy route or center during his Non-Combat Movement Phase. This would avoid this issue entirely.

I base this point of view on the fact that the control/ownership of the convoy route, with the present rules, is not immediately resolvable.

So what to tell Frog? Remember, he is looking for an out of the box rule to cover this particular situation. The rules point out that movement into a convoy route can be made during a non-combat movement phase but that control is not lost, or if you will, the moving player does not take control. It remains in the original player’s control. The rules go on to say however that if only one nation has ships (neither submerged subs or transports count) present, that nation controls the zone.

The question becomes – When does this control take place. I think it should take place at the end of “moving players” combat movement phase. Unfortunately that phase has already occured. Consequently the new ownership of the convoy route can only take place at the end of the “moving player's” next Combat Movement phase.

It is my understanding that Saburo and Rob think the conversion happens at the end of the NEXT players Combat Movement Phase. I don't agree with that.
Last edited by Larry on Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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