Question on Combat Initiative and choosing attacking hexes.

  • Customizer

    Sorry if this has been answered, but I can’t find it.
    First both players roll for Combat Initiative. The player that wins Initiative then completes the 8 steps of the Ground combat. Once all combats have been resolved, Initiative goes to the 2nd player. Once the 2nd player completes steps 1-8, or simply has no attacks, then Initiative passes BACK to the 1st player who goes through steps 1-8 again. This continues until both players have no more attacks.

    In Step 1, it states: You can only choose to attack from one of your hexes that hasn’t already attacked this turn.

    Here is my question: Let’s use the Axis forces starting in Dosburg attacking the Allied forces starting in Clervaux. Axis start with 4 tanks, 1 inf and 1 art. Allies start with 1 inf, 1 art and 5 supplies. Axis rolls on attack and get a bad roll – result 1 Allied inf destroyed, 1 Allied supply destroyed. So there are 1 Allied Artillery and 4 Supplies remaining in Clervaux.
    Now, in turns 2-8, the Allies would get the Combat Initiative. In Turn 1, the Axis retains Combat Initiative (because the Allies don’t attack in turn 1) so it’s still the Axis turn.
    Can the Axis forces in Dosburg pay a supply token and attack the remaining Allied forces in Clervaux? OR is that attack totally done now?
    If this were turn 2+, and the Axis attacked Clervaux from Dosburg but failed to clear all Allied units. Then the Allies attack Dosburg from Clervaux but fail to clear all Axis units. When the Axis gets Initiative back, can the Axis attack Clervaux from Dosburg again? OR do they have to wait for the next turn? Is it same when the Allies get the Initiative again?

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    I don’t think you are understanding initiative correctly. Remember not to bring any ‘baggage’ from other A&A games into BOTB. You’ll end up reading things into the rules that aren’t there.

    On the first turn only the Axis makes attacks. There is no roll.

    On each subsequent turn (Turn 2 onward) roll initiative to decide which side gets first choice of hex to attack from. Once the initiative winning player chooses a hex, pays the supply or supplies (if attacking multiple hexes,) and resolves the attack- then the other player chooses a hex to attack from, pays the supply and resolves the attack. Each side alternates choosing a hex to attack from.

    A hex may only attack once per turn.

    The players continue alternating until either all hexes have attacked (you keep track of this by flipping the required supplies to the arrow side into the attacking hex pointing where they are attacking) or both players pass consecutively (when it is your turn to choose you are not required to declare an attack.)

    You then proceed to movement and reinforcement and cleaning up the spent supplies and moving the front line markers.

    You roll each turn to see who gets to choose the first attacking hex. If the Axis wins on turn 2 it does not automatically give the Allies first choice on turn 3.

    Each turn each hex that is in supply may attack.

    It is possible that one side will never get first choice.

    In air turns the initiative winner gets to choose who will place their aircraft first. It is usually an advantage to be able to react to the opposing air force.

  • Customizer

    Yeah, after re-reading the instruction book 2 or 3 more times, it finally clicked in my slow brain. I think I was bringing some “baggage” from other A&A games. I was thinking the first player chose ALL of his/her combat hexes, then the second player did the same. It kept bugging me as to why there would be a second round of attacks by either side.
    Now I understand: the first player attacks from ONLY one hex. Then the second player attacks from one hex. Then it goes back and forth until all available hexes on both sides have made attacks, then it moves on to the movement/reinforcement phase.
    Now I better understand why it is really hard for the Germans even with their overwhelming material superiority. The Allied player can screw up a possible German attack if they get the initiative first. While they may not wipe out the German force, they can damage it enough so that the German attack will not clear the Allied hex. After all, the Allied game plan is not to destroy the German forces, just to hold out and keep the Germans from scoring too many points.
    Thanks for the quick answer. Me and a friend pulled this game out after not having played it for some time. We misunderstood the Combat Initiative and ended up playing it more like other A&A games. Germany won in 3 rounds and that just didn’t seem right. That is what led to my question. I think it will be a lot more challenging this time.

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    Well you aren’t the first player to arrive here having made mistakes with the rules by reading ‘regular’ A&A stuff into them. It is really important in BOTB and GCNL not to read any ‘regular’ A&A rules into the games. Most of the non strategy questions start by correcting a false premise. We had one player moving his attacking units into the hexes he wanted to attack for instance.

    Here is a link to the FAQ.

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