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Author Topic: rocket attack on falling capital (technical LHTR question)  (Read 525 times)
Sihrtogg
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« on: July 31, 2017, 01:23:23 am »
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First let me quote some relevant passages from LHTR for reference.

Quote from: LHTR 2.0 (Phase 4: Conduct Combat)
Rockets
You attack enemy production with your antiaircraft guns during this step, if you have the Rockets
development, and if you declared the intended rocket attack during the combat move phase. (See
"Rocket Strikes" for more information.)

Rocket Strikes
If you have the Rockets development, your antiaircraft guns can act as rocket launchers. You can
conduct an economic attack against an enemy industrial complex to 'destroy' IPCs.
During the combat move phase, declare which antiaircraft guns are making rocket strikes. There
is no defense against this attack. From each territory, one antiaircraft gun may attack an industrial
complex within 3 spaces, though each industrial complex may be attacked by only one rocket
launcher in a turn.
Roll one die for the rocket. The result of that roll is the number of IPCs destroyed by that rocket.
The maximum combined damage inflicted in one turn by all strategic bombing raids on one
industrial complex and any rocket attack on the same industrial complex is the territory's income
value. The opponent must surrender that many IPCs to the bank (or as many as the player has,
whichever is the lesser amount).

Step 8: Concluding Combat
If you win a combat as the attacker in a territory and you have one or more surviving land units
there, you take control of it, otherwise it remains in the defender's control.
(...)
Any antiaircraft gun or industrial complex in the captured territory remains there but now belongs
to your alliance

OK so here we go. Let's say Moscow is under attack twice from Japan: once from a rocket attack and once with a regular attack (just 1 sneaky tank blitzing in with some air support, with a small yet worthwhile chance to capture Moscow). This double attack is legal under LHTR and are seen as two separate combats. My question is regarding the order these two combats are resolved as chosen by the active player.

On regular IC captures with rockets, you roll the economic attack first (while the IC is still Russian controlled) then capture the IC to avoid any problems. However, in this case where you might capture Moscow and collect all remaining Russian money things get complicated. The attacker can choose what combat he wants to resolve first. Suppose he picks the regular combat first, before the rocket attack.

If Russia defends Moscow, then the rocket does damage as usual.

If Japan captures Moscow, what happens to the rocket attack?
- Is it cancelled?
- Does it attack the IC as if it was still Russian? (but it will do no damage because Russia has no money)
- Does it do damage to Japan? (which at that point will have the Russian money on hand)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 02:13:53 am by Sihrtogg » Logged
Krieghund
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2017, 03:02:20 am »
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Rocket strikes are carried out during the Combat Move phase, so they will occur before any standard combat is resolved.  In your example, the Soviets will lose the IPCs before Japan captures them.
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Sihrtogg
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 03:01:30 pm »
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Rocket strikes are carried out during the Combat Move phase, so they will occur before any standard combat is resolved. 
Where does it say so in the rules?

Quote from: LHTR - appendix I
Weapons Development - Rockets: If you have the Rockets development, your antiaircraft guns
can act as rocket launchers. You can attack enemy production with your rockets during the
opening fire step of combat.

As far as I know there is no opening fire step in the Combat Move phase.
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Krieghund
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 03:34:04 am »
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Where does it say so in the rules?

In the passage you quoted above: "During the combat move phase, declare which antiaircraft guns are making rocket strikes."


Quote from: LHTR - appendix I
Weapons Development - Rockets: If you have the Rockets development, your antiaircraft guns
can act as rocket launchers. You can attack enemy production with your rockets during the
opening fire step of combat.

As far as I know there is no opening fire step in the Combat Move phase.

Rocket strikes were moved to the Combat Move phase in LHTR to avoid exactly the type of conflict you're describing.  The passage you've quoted was copied and pasted from the Revised Rulebook, and was apparently missed when the change was made.
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Sihrtogg
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 10:36:55 am »
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Where does it say so in the rules?
In the passage you quoted above: "During the combat move phase, declare which antiaircraft guns are making rocket strikes."
Declaring and executing are two different things. Any unit you move into battle during the combat move phase is essentially a declaration that said unit is going to be executing an attack during the conduct combat phase. AA-guns don't move prior to their attack, but you still have to declare the attack in advance.

There is absolutely no indication in the document that suggests the dice roll linked to a rocket strike is rolled during the combat move phase. It's quite the opposite: in three different locations it is explicitly stated that the die is rolled / the attack occurs during the Conduct Combat phase.

Quote from: LHTR page 12, PHASE 4: Conduct Combat, Step 2: Conduct Opening Fire
You attack enemy production with your antiaircraft guns during this step, if you have the Rockets
development, and if you declared the intended rocket attack during the combat move phase. (See
"Rocket Strikes" for more information.)
Quote from: LHTR page 18, PHASE 4: Conduct Combat, Special Combat
Roll one die for the rocket. The result of that roll is the number of IPCs destroyed by that rocket.
Quote from: LHTR page 24, Appendix I
You can attack enemy production with your rockets during the opening fire step of combat.

Furthermore, if hypothetically you would roll the die during the Combat Move Phase, wouldn't that allow the attacker to base the decision what combats to do that turn on the damage dealt by the rockets? This seems really awkward.
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Krieghund
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 01:44:03 pm »
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It really makes no difference when the strike occurs.  It's declared in the Combat Move phase, so it will be carried out regardless of the results of battles, whether before or after.  In either case, Japan will lose the IPCs if it takes Moscow.  If the strike occurs first, the Soviets will lose the IPCs and Japan will get less.  If the strike occurs last, Japan will strike its own IC and lose the IPCs.
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Krieghund
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 01:49:56 pm »
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Well, it actually could make a difference if Japan didn't spend all of its IPCs.  In that case, doing the strike before taking Moscow would limit the damage to the IPCs the Soviets were about to hand over.
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Sihrtogg
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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 03:06:17 pm »
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If the strike occurs last, Japan will strike its own IC and lose the IPCs.
Yes! This is exactly what my original question is about: can Japan be its own 'opponent'? It seems to me the rules are ambiguous in this situation. I can't find a passage myself that convinces me one way or the other.
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MidSpeck
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2017, 11:08:16 pm »
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This double attack is legal under LHTR and are seen as two separate combats. My question is regarding the order these two combats are resolved as chosen by the active player.

If Japan captures Moscow, what happens to the rocket attack?
- Is it cancelled?
- Does it attack the IC as if it was still Russian? (but it will do no damage because Russia has no money)
- Does it do damage to Japan? (which at that point will have the Russian money on hand)

Great question!  You're right that the rules don't explicitly state this scenario.  Here's my take, and the reasoning why:
For all intents and purposes, the rockets (and/or strategic bombing) always hit first and takes away the IPCs before the capital is captured.

Any following quotes are from LHTR v2.0.
Quote
All combat movement is considered to take place at the same time
You've declared the Rockets in the combat move phase, so they are already in the air, and there's nothing about skipping the first round of combat once you've made a combat move.  (Those rockets are gonna hit.)

Quote
All combat takes place at the same time, but each affected territory or sea zone is resolved separately and completely before beginning to resolve another combat.
So officially, those rockets (and/or strategic bombs) are hitting the factory at the same time as your tanks are rolling in and fighting with the infantry.  The fact that the game lets us split up placing units on the battle board is just to keep things clean, in my opinion.  (Less confusion: "was that bomber attacking or strategically bombing?")

Quote
Resolve a strategic bombing raid in the same way as a regular combat. ... you may also conduct another (conventional) attack on the same territory this turn.
This seems to (very slightly) imply that the strategic bombing raid happens first, but I could argue it either way.

Quote
The attacker decides the order, but any antiaircraft shots at air units passing through a territory on the way to a battle must be resolved before that battle.
This seems unrelated since it's about antiaircraft guns shooting at planes flying over on their way to other targets.  But note that it's pointing out that enemy antiaircraft guns are still owned by the enemy, regardless of which order you decide to resolve the battles.  In other words, you cannot go conquer a territory and take over its antiaircraft gun before your other planes fly over.  Why is this important in this case?  Because you capture antiaircraft guns just like you capture industrial complexes.  So if hostile antiaircraft guns always get to shoot, then I could argue that the factories always get bombed while still being hostile as well.

So, since the rules don't explicitly state what to do, that's how I would piece together my argument.  Since all combat happens at the same time, the factory gets hit with rockets and I kill all the bad guys, and then I take control of the territory.  Even if you "resolve" it in the other order, you can imagine that's still what "actually" happened.  The mechanics of the game are there to try and make it simple and this edge case just wasn't considered.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 11:11:35 pm by MidSpeck » Logged
Sihrtogg
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2017, 02:24:25 am »
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But note that it's pointing out that enemy antiaircraft guns are still owned by the enemy, regardless of which order you decide to resolve the battles.  In other words, you cannot go conquer a territory and take over its antiaircraft gun before your other planes fly over.  Why is this important in this case?  Because you capture antiaircraft guns just like you capture industrial complexes.  So if hostile antiaircraft guns always get to shoot, then I could argue that the factories always get bombed while still being hostile as well.
Excellent observation! This is exactly what my opponent argued as well and with the simultaneous time frame principle in the rules this is what I would believe to be true as well (rather than Japan attacking its own IC). Of course I'm playing devil's advocate here, so let's follow this line of thought and assume that indeed the rocket attack involves the AA-gun targeting a Russian IC (even though on the board there is already a Japanese control marker in Moscow).

Quote from: LHTR, Capturing and Liberating Capitals
In addition, you collect all unspent IPCs from the former owner of the captured capital. For
example, if Germany conquers Moscow while the Soviet Union�s player is holding 18 IPCs, these are immediately transferred to Germany�s player.
Notice the IPCs are transferred immediately as Japan takes control of the territory. This means Russia has no cash on hand anymore when the Rocket Strike is resolved.
Quote from: LHTR, page18, Rocket Strikes
The opponent must surrender that many IPCs to the bank (or as many as the player has,
whichever is the lesser amount).
The player controlling Russia in this scenario is the 'opponent' in this battle. Russia surrenders 0 IPCs (lesser amount) to the bank. End of combat.

Quote from: MidSpeck
So, since the rules don't explicitly state what to do, that's how I would piece together my argument.  Since all combat happens at the same time, the factory gets hit with rockets and I kill all the bad guys, and then I take control of the territory.  Even if you "resolve" it in the other order, you can imagine that's still what "actually" happened.  The mechanics of the game are there to try and make it simple and this edge case just wasn't considered.
I agree that it is 'in the spirit of the rules' that you'd roll the rocket strike first. It also seems more 'realistic', yet this alone cannot be a reason to play that way. There are many very unrealistic things occurring every turn (even the concept of a turn is very unrealistic) and it's not necessarily the best course of action to explain what happens on the game board with what happens in a real war.

Another situation that is at odds with the simultaneous time frame principle for example is the ability for the attacker to retreat with one force based on the end result of another combat. You could consider this 'unrealistic' and 'not within the spirit of the rules', but it's also a clever use of game mechanics that can be used to gain an advantage. It's a game that you want to win after all.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 02:30:04 am by Sihrtogg » Logged
MidSpeck
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2017, 12:50:35 pm »
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Of course I'm playing devil's advocate here
You play a good devil's advocate.  In fact, it was enough to make me reconsider a few things that I hadn't thought of last night.

Quote from: LHTR, Phase 4: Conduct Combat, page 11
All combat takes place at the same time, but each affected territory or sea zone is resolved separately and completely before beginning to resolve another combat. The attacker decides the order...
I had focused on the first half of that sentence.  But it does specifically call out to resolve it completely in the second half (side note: does this mean you have to do the strategic bombing immediately before or after the regular attack?  In other words, you can't go resolve a different country and then come back?)

Anyway, the real question we are asking here is how many IPCs end up being captured.  The issue is that the amount is different depending on how we interpret the rules.

I make two assumptions for the next scenarios: Japan saved 10 IPCs before making their attacks.  Japan will roll a 6 on the Rockets.
  • USSR has $11 > Rockets hit > USSR has $5 > Japan captures > Japan has $15
  • USSR has $3 > Rockets hit > USSR has $0 > Japan captures > Japan has $10
  • USSR has $11 > Japan captures > Japan has $21 > Factory remains hostile for now* > Rockets hit (USSR $0 stays at $0) > Japan still has $21
  • USSR has $3 > Japan captures > Japan has $13 > Factory remains hostile for now* > Rockets hit (USSR $0 stays at $0) > Japan still has $13
  • USSR has $11 > Japan captures > Japan has $21 > Factory becomes Japan's > Rockets hit** > Japan now has $15
  • USSR has $3 > Japan captures > Japan has $13 > Factory becomes Japan's > Rockets hit** > Japan now has $7 (less than they started with!)

* This assumes industrial complexes remain hostile until the end of all combat.
** This seems to run afoul of the rule:
Quote from: LHTR, page 9
At no time may an Allies power attack another Allies power, or an Axis power attack another Axis power.
Then again, it does say "another" power.  Nothing about yourself.

Since the last two options (with **) seem to run afoul of another rule, I would argue that that interpretation should not be used.
Which leaves the first 4 scenarios and it seems that Japan should always try to capture first, then do Rockets.
Of course, if someone argues that Industrial Complexes do not remain hostile (that they are immediately captured) then I'd say that they are arguing that Rockets MUST be resolved first.  Because otherwise, we need to make up rules that either Rockets/strategic bombing can be cancelled, OR that you are allowed to attack yourself.

So one of these rules/clarifications needs to be added:
1) Rockets and strategic bombing must be resolved before a regular attack on the same territory.
2) Captured industrial complexes don't become friendly until after all combat is resolved.
3a) Rockets/strategic bombing raids can be called off, OR
3b) Rockets/strategic bombing raids can be called off if it would hit your own factory, OR
3c) It's possible you end up in a situation where you have to bomb your own factory and that's allowed.

Personally, I think option 2 is the best since it keeps the "attacker decides" rule intact.  Option 1 isn't bad either since that's basically what I argued for last night.  Any of the third options seems to change too many fundamentals.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 12:54:46 pm by MidSpeck » Logged
TripleA Xray
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2017, 07:13:50 am »
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You're right that this rule is ambigious in this rule book. But to me the intention of the game makers is very clear. That shows not from this rule book, but from all rule books after this version. For example in the rule book from 1943 2nd, They state specifically that all strategic bombing raids take place first. This resolves any argument about who pays the IPC's to the bank, the attacker or the defender! Since they solved this in the next rule book, i think it is quite obvious what they intended and tried to correct.
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