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Pocket Battles?

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:04 pm
by ruggermike
I'm excited to find this vibrant community discussing A&A, which I've been playing since the original in 1984...and I'm enjoying the global40 game with 5 players right now.

To the point, I wanted to float the 'pocket battle' balloon.

The genesis of this 'house rule' idea is the Russo-German conflict, and the ability of either player to screen their front line with single infantry units that bring to a halt even the largest stack of armor/mechanized attacking units for an entire turn..essentially a 'soakoff' stack. I'm not aiming for a purely historical effect, but I do aim to increase the need for less gamey strategies, and more mobility.

My proposal is to allow the 'pocket and bypass' option to highly mobile attacking this manner:
1) numerically superior attacking forces that include tank/mech units may dropoff ground units to pocket the defenders if they choose, allowing excess tank/mech forces to continue the attack into another adjacent space.
2) the forces doing the pocketing must have a minimum 2-1 ratio to defenders IF they have an overall mobility advantage vrs the pocketed enemy...and a 3-1 ratio if they do not have an overall mobility advantage. (eg: 2 defending infantry can be pocketed by 6 attacking infantry/arty OR 3 attacking infantry + 1 attacking tank/mech.)
3) non-pocketing tank/mech units may continue to a second area, whether occupied by the enemy or not.
4) both combats are resolved normally during combat resolution.

The attacker in this case does risk losing the pocket battle if he applies insufficient forces therefore limiting his ability to bring additonal forces to his furthest front line, while allowing him to utilize an advantage in mobility in the attack. An additional consideration for the attacker is distribution of his air forces, whether to assist in reducing the pocket or assist the penetrating mechanized forces...or both.

The purpose is not to complicate the game, but to open up a further strategic option for both attacker and defender.


Welcome Ruggermike - This actually sounds very interesting from many points of view. If someone wants to play test this (perhaps limited to the Europe 40 area) I'd be interesting in finding out how that goes. Is Moscow and Berlin suddenly half as far away as it was?


Re: Pocket Battles?

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:40 pm
by MarkM79
ruggermike, this has potential. We can play test a few times on the Russo-German front. See ya on the field of battle.

Re: Pocket Battles?

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:16 pm
by ruggermike
Glad you like the idea, Larry...Mark and I will investigate further.

Re: Pocket Battles?

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:55 pm
by Krieghund
Welcome, ruggermike!

I also think that this sounds like a very interesting concept. I may try it out. I think it would be even more interesting combined with some sort of supply rules.

Re: Pocket Battles?

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:08 pm
by ruggermike
Thanks Krieghund!

Personally, I shudder at the idea of supply complications, but it is a natural extension that had occured to me.

Re: Pocket Battles?

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:54 am
by Natasin
It almost sounds like an amphibious assault to clear the seazone before moving on. It's a fascinating idea that would make mech and tanks more useful.

Great idea

Re: Pocket Battles?

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:15 am
by QuakerGeneral
I also want to add my voice to those thinking this is a very good idea. One related idea that had before was to allow combat moves into all territories reachable by land forces, so that one could "clear" land territories for waiting blitzing tanks, mechs similar to the way one now clears sea zones before landing amphibious assaults. The second attack would never occur and the units would remain in their original territory if the first attack failed.

Re: Pocket Battles?

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:35 pm
by Oakshield
Excellent idea. I prefer the 'pocketed' action instead of the 'clear' variant, it fits very well with panzer offensives to just bypass defenders. This would end all discussions on tanks being too expensive. For the sake of simplicity I'd keep the 2/1 proportion for all units, mechs/tanks become more useful anyway for their ability to carry on.

I wonder if this could be applied to sea battles as well...