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Naval Retreat & Pursuit


  • Customizer

    Now that we know broadly speaking the rules of naval combat, I would like to suggest how sea battles might develop away from the “risk everything” attacks that the game effectively limits ships to making (in view of the fact that they cannot retreat and thus become sitting ducks). This gives a new dynamism to sea combat, albeit not particularly typical of the period.

    In my version, attacking Navy can retreat after any round of combat, but the defending navy then has the option of becoming the attacker and pursuing the enemy back where it came from, even into enemy controlled (mined) waters. Pursuit may become a worthwhile risk in order to finish off a weakened enemy fleet before it gets the chance to repair and reinforce with new units.

    This can go on for as many turns as one or both sides want it to; the rival navies can pursue each other all over the map if they wish. Only when one side is destroyed, or both have had enough, does the combat end.

    It may be used by a certain type of player to lure enemy ships out of safe harbour and into the open sea where they can be securely neutralized.

    One possible mechanism to add fog of war variables to pursuits, in which case:

    When deciding to pursue a retreating enemy fleet, roll a die:

    1: You lose touch with the enemy and cannot pursue. The combat ends.

    2: Only your cruisers stay in range of the enemy; you may pursue with cruisers only or call off the pursuit.

    3-4: Your fleet keeps up with the enemy and you reengage the combat.

    5: You manage to cut off the enemy retreat (they remain in the SZ they attacked).

    6: You cut off the enemy retreat AND any cruisers in your fleet get a free shot at the enemy.



  • Seems to have promise

    My rule would be this
    Battle example
    2 German cruisers attack a French dreadnought. The dread sight sinks 1 cruiser and the German player decides to retreat. Here would be my options for the reteating player.

    chose to stay in the contested seas zone or
    Retreat to open Sz and allow the Defender to roll a die
    Roll of 1-2 results in a hit and all reteating ships are sunk

    Roll of 3-6 is a miss and the shops get to retreat.

    That is as complex as it needs to br


  • Customizer

    And you’ll find the naval aspect very boring.

    In A&A WWII ships just sit there waiting to be sunk.

    In A&A WWI they’ll just sit there waiting to rust.

    Unless…



  • First post here on the forums - I’ve been following along for a while but it feels good to finally get involved in discussions.

    Flashman - Very interesting concept for Naval retreat and pursuit, it seems to follow the Law of KISS everyone has been harping about, while adding a bit more realism to naval combat in the game.

    This may be more relevant in a Europe 1940 or Global 1940 thread, but I wonder if this concept could also be applied to the impact of retreating from combat/halting an attack on  land, particularly with the presence of a General/Commander unit that many have used under various house rules. In my games, we have usually limited all combat to three rounds to add more urgency to attacks so that you cannot hammer away at a defender forever simply because you have enormous numerical superiority. Many times an initial round of combat has gone poorly for the attacker and they wish to not press the attack, or “retreat” - One house rule we have used with this is for the defender to roll a die: on a 1 or 2, they may take a free shot at the retreating attackers, at a -1 for normal atk (Tanks hit on a 2, artillery and mech. infantry with artillery support hit on a 1, etc).

    This seems to me like a more realistic opportunity to represent the influence of a General/Commander unit; rather than simply adding an atk/def bonus to a few units, the presence of a General would impact an enemy retreat. Adapting from your Naval retreat rules above, it may look something like this:

    When deciding to pursue a retreating enemy army, roll a die:

    1: You lose touch with the enemy and cannot pursue. The combat ends.

    2: Only your tanks and mech. infantry stay in range of the enemy; you may pursue with these units only or call off the pursuit.

    3-4: Your army keeps up with the enemy and you reengage the combat.

    5: You manage to cut off the enemy retreat (they remain in the territory they attacked). The combat ends with the territory contested.

    6: You cut off the enemy retreat AND any tanks/ mech. infantry in your army get a free shot at the enemy (at -1 from normal attack).

    I feel that this might help represent the tactical advantage that Generals such as Patton and Rommel brought to the war, by outmaneuvering an enemy and not allowing a retreat, you may allow them to remain in the territory and contest it but position yourself to better counterattack and destroy them on the next turn.

    Again I feel this is much more relevant to any of the WWII games since the warfare and tactics then were much more fluid that the static war of attrition in WWI, but thought I should bring it up here since your naval retreat rules inspired the idea. Thoughts?



  • I was actually thinking of something a little more simple.
    The defender CAN roll a die at the end of each round of naval combat.
    If he rolls less than the current round number he can end the combat.

    So on the 3rd round of combat, you would need to roll a 2 or less.
    On the 5th round, a 4 or less.
    Naval combat cant last more than 7 rounds if the defender doesn’t want it to.

    No pursuit, or swapping attacker for defender. Just as the combat draws on the sides get weary and the defender can slip out of the fighting more easily.



  • I like your thinking oz, although the other concepts are good ideas they will add much more time to the game then needed, because each dice roll relates to a different action and the def would be performing attacks on the attackers turn etc….

    For Oz proposal I would probably allow the def to start rolling at the end of the first round of battle though where a roll of 1 allows him to retreat some units one space. End of round two would require a roll of 2 or less … Maybe only allow him to retreat the number of units that was rolled, and you can have multiple partial retreats (end of each round). Like it’s the third round of battle, and you rolled a 2 (which would allow retreat because it was 3 or less), so you can retreat up to 2 ships (units) one space. Would be like some ships are covering for the others to retreat.

    If you want more options (more complex) you could probably allow the attacker to roll a retreat (pursuit) dice as well (after the def roll & retreat). This would allow some of  his attacking ships to retreat (or pursue retreating def ships) from that front line sz also linked to the round of battle as above. Could probably extend this house rule to the ground battle too, so the def can do fighting retreats, and the attacker can pull back units from the front lines (or mech units can pursue) if he wants to.

    BTW Flash with the OOB rules for this game if the attacker pulls out of the battle (basically retreats in the same sz) the def really gets the option of retreat or a pursuit later on his turn (if he wasn’t killed by a second enemy attack). Your going to have to use the turn order to influence the sea battles to decide if/when to attack. I do give you credit for trying to blend this from the turn based game that it is, to allow freedoms that you would get if multiple powers where able to take their turns together though. Your retreat/purse options would build a bit of a bridge between the two, but would also add a lot of time to what I expect to be a rather fast paced game (which will be like a breath of fresh air to me). With that said I am open to house rules adding more complexity and length to the game once we’ve played it OOB for a while, and you guys are a great source for them.



  • @Squadron:

    When deciding to pursue a retreating enemy army, roll a die:

    1: You lose touch with the enemy and cannot pursue. The combat ends.

    Welcome to the forum, S.C. and I see you have done a lot of thinking, but I dont like it. I know A&A is supposed to be a dice game, but I dont want to let a dice decide what I shall do. As a force commander I want to do the decisions myself. In A&A the turn sequens is supposed to be simultanesly, so if you want to attack the enemy that just retreated, then you do it in your turn. If you can combat move and attack in somebody elses turn, then your units get dobble duty, and that is not fair. This is WWII and not the Pelopponnes war year 100 BC where the retreating army got slaughtered. In WWII the retreating army usually laid a minefield to cover their retreat.

    I also dont think you could lose touch with an enemy army during WWII. Not in a land battlefield. Naval battle is different, the ocean is vast, with lots of fog. But if the enemy retreat into Stalingrad, its not like you wake up next morning and the city is suddenly gone, like it moved some miles to the other side of Volga during night. And if it did, you could still send up a plane to do air recognizing.

    No sir, I’ll say let the commander do the desicions to fight or not to fight, not a dice. And do the attacking in your own turn, not your fellow players turn. Play fair.



  • @Squadron:

    . In my games, we have usually limited all combat to three rounds to add more urgency to attacks so that you cannot hammer away at a defender forever simply because you have enormous numerical superiority.

    I am intrigued about this issue. When I study the real war, it seem to be some pattern here. It looks like during summer campaigns, the attacker can hammer away for ever. Just look at the attacks on Poland, France and Barbarossa 1, they happened in plain terrain during summer, and the attacker hammered away and fought huge battles in short time. When a campaign was halted during summer, it looks like it was a decision made by the commander, because they were not in superiority.

    But when you look at campaigns during winter, or in terrain like mountains, forest, swamps etc, or weather like blizzards or rain, factors that favour the defender, and make it hard to supply an attacking army, then it looks like they rolled for one round of combat only. Compare the Russian winter attack on Finland with the German summer attack on France. Its obvious that if it was an A&A game, the combat in Finland lastet one round and made Finland a contestet territory, when the combat in France lastet several rounds until the French army was finished off and France become conquerd territory.

    I think an A&A game that want to be close to the real war, should have specific turns, like a winter turn, a spring turn, a summer turn and an autumn turn, and in the winter turn you could only roll dice for one combat round, leaving a lot of contestet territories, when in the summer turn you could roll dice forever in unlimited rounds until the enemy was gone. And you would have some territories with mountians too, with one combat round only.
    Now that would make for some nice rule



  • Thanks for the welcome, Razor. My view on the pursuit of a retreating army was that it would be a rare occurrence (and it has indeed been rare for us), as usually a defender will only try to prevent the attacker from retreating untouched if the first round(s) of the attack went dreadfully wrong for the attacker (to the point that the attacker’s army was now only equal to or weaker than the defending army, assuming the attacker had some sort of numerical advantage when the attack began).

    While this is not an impossible scenario, the likelihood of the defender trying to cut off the escape is made increasingly less likely by the fact that on their turn, they might be able to bring in units from multiple territories to counter attack (not to mention nearby air units) that certainly wouldn’t be available to them while defending/pursuing on the opponents turn. I don’t think this constitutes pulling double duty, as it is not necessarily a free shot at the retreating army out of turn, but usually just a continuation of the combat that the enemy had already engaged in. Any casualties suffered by the retreating army would obviously only be taken out of the forces that attacked (not from units that stayed behind), and any units not taken as casualties would be allowed to return to the territory they originated from as normal.

    I agree with your point that naval combat and land combat was drastically different for obvious reasons, and “lose touch with” was probably not the best choice of words. As you pointed out though, there would certainly be ways or opportunities for an army to retreat (relatively) untouched, such as laying mines, and I would possibly add certain elements of weather and nightfall to that (not that no one ever fought in the snow/rain or dark, but it would have hindered things to a point).

    All things said, all the die rolling for this would only happen if the defender chose to try and engage the retreating army. I do think maybe it could be more fairly balanced to allow the attacker to retreat if they wanted, but should still allow the defender at least a chance to snipe at them while they leave. If they defender gets a “successful” roll allowing it to continue the combat, basically it just represents the case that an attacking force overextends itself and is unable to form an orderly retreat, allowing the defender the continue to engage them while they fall back. Does this seem better?

    Roll (if defender wishes to pursue):
    1-3: The retreat is successful and you are unable to pursue. Combat ends.
    4: Enemy army retreats but tanks and mech. infantry are able to pursue for a short while. May conduct one additional round of combat with only these units (if the defender wishes).
    5-6: Enemy army is unable to form orderly retreat: continue all combat for one round (if the defender wishes)



  • Razor, in regards to seasonal turns, it makes more sense to only have 3 seasons. Because there are 2 months of fair weather for every 1 month of poor weather.

    The turns would be

    March-April-May-June                            FAIR WEATHER
    July-August-September-October            FAIR WEATHER
    November-December-January-February  POOR WEATHER

    In a WWII setting, fair weather attacks can last up to 6 rounds, then the defender can end the attack. The attacker can retreat BEFORE the 6th round and return to his original territories.
    Or remain there for a 6th round, hoping to win, otherwise it will become a contested territory.

    In poor weather, the defender can roll each turn. If they score equal to the current round, they can end combat (becomes contested)

    I wonder what Global 1940 rules will come about because of what we learn from 1914.



  • @Razor:

    @Squadron:

    . In my games, we have usually limited all combat to three rounds to add more urgency to attacks so that you cannot hammer away at a defender forever simply because you have enormous numerical superiority.

    I think an A&A game that want to be close to the real war, should have specific turns, like a winter turn, a spring turn, a summer turn and an autumn turn, and in the winter turn you could only roll dice for one combat round, leaving a lot of contestet territories, when in the summer turn you could roll dice forever in unlimited rounds until the enemy was gone. And you would have some territories with mountians too, with one combat round only.
    Now that would make for some nice rule

    A great point, especially since the Russian winter contributed so greatly to Operation Barbarossa stalling out just short of taking Moscow. This seems like it would be easy enough to adapt (especially with Flashman’s map that breaks rounds down into a season of each year). A Winter round would only allow one round of combat as you said, Spring/Fall would maybe have some limits (maybe more like four or five rounds instead of three?) and summer would be unlimited or nearly unlimited attacks.

    Exceptions to this could be made depending on territories too - Winter in Leningrad would obviously be a lot harsher than winter in Rome, Greece, or Egypt (North African territories and some Middle East territories could possibly be totally exempt from winter combat limits - this would add a further dimension to the game in that combat focus during the winter would shift to territories around the Mediterranean that would be less affected by the seasons and could continue normal combat).


  • Customizer

    My point is that with the OOB rules naval attacks are simply too risky - far more than even in the real war - because if the attacker rolls poor die his entire fleet is dead in the water.

    Therefore allow him to retreat his fleet back into the SZ it attacked from, which may mean withdrawing from an enemy mined area to one with “friendly” mines.
    Then, by way of balance, the defender should be allowed to counter attack while the attacking fleet is crippled; that is before it can be reinforced by another player.

    No fleet ever attacked on the assumption that was initiating a fight to the death. A fleet cannot “entrench” in enemy waters to defend itself; if it stays there it will be annihilated. Moreover it would be out of supply.

    I’m less convinced that the rule would work for land battles, simply because an attacker can entrench; contested areas makes sense in land combat. They make no sense in sea battles.

    I’m not suggesting that contested SZs are not allowed - if both sides end up in the same waters and neither wishes to continue firing then by all mean allow it. Think of this as one fleet “shadowing” its opponent; keeping it within movement range. But an attacking fleet should always have the option of running for safe harbour.

    I like that the mines give a fleet some protection, but the lack of a retreat option gives them no incentive to leave home waters at all.

    I tend to agree that die rolls to decide what units do feels wrong for the game; I introduced the possibility as a further element of risk in naval combat. Just finding the enemy was a major skill in naval warfare. Also, pursuit gives cruisers a special role they otherwise don’t seem to have.

    @WILD:

    BTW Flash with the OOB rules for this game if the attacker pulls out of the battle (basically retreats in the same sz) the def really gets the option of retreat or a pursuit later on his turn (if he wasn’t killed by a second enemy attack). Your going to have to use the turn order to influence the sea battles to decide if/when to attack. I do give you credit for trying to blend this from the turn based game that it is, to allow freedoms that you would get if multiple powers where able to take their turns together though. Your retreat/purse options would build a bit of a bridge between the two, but would also add a lot of time to what I expect to be a rather fast paced game (which will be like a breath of fresh air to me). With that said I am open to house rules adding more complexity and length to the game once we’ve played it OOB for a while, and you guys are a great source for them.



  • @Flashman:

    contested areas makes sense in land combat. They make no sense in sea battles.

    . Just finding the enemy was a major skill in naval warfare

    It depends on the size of the seazone. If one seazone covers most of the Atlantic then its pretty obvious that more than one nation must share seazone. In some games that is resolved with a search roll. Since the ocean is vast, many fleets can sail in the same water, and never find each other. So they roll a search die, and if its a hit, they find each other and start a naval battle. I think they can retreat at any time, and still stay in the same seazone, since its a vast area. Just look at the Jutland battle, the Germans put out a smoke screen and disappered out of sight, but both fleets still was in the North Sea. Its not like one fleet run away to the Mediterrean to hide. They both remained in seazone 7, but since they had broken the battle contact, the seazone was not contestet.



  • The naval combat is risky to make amphibious invasions into hostile waters suicidal.
    There was no D-Day in WWI.
    Land at a friendly port, march to the front. No tomfoolery behind enemy lines.
    I dont want to see some grand American army sail into SZ 11 and dump 6 loaded transports on Berlin.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    To a KISS idea would be to keep the OOB naval rules, except defending ships can retreat if you roll above their combat value. This makes cruisers the easiest to retreat. Of course transports ( AKA Ocean liners) don’t retreat.


  • Customizer

    That gives me an idea for a new icon - icebergs.

    Any ocean liner moving into a SZ with an Iceberg icon must roll a dice; a 1 means they get sunk.

    Burgers.PNG


  • Customizer

    @oztea:

    The naval combat is risky to make amphibious invasions into hostile waters suicidal.
    There was no D-Day in WWI.
    Land at a friendly port, march to the front. No tomfoolery behind enemy lines.
    I dont want to see some grand American army sail into SZ 11 and dump 6 loaded transports on Berlin.

    I feel like, between the mine rules and the new preemptive strike artillery get during amphibious assaults, Larry has pretty well discouraged that type of move.



  • Not sure how grand the american navy will be at 20 IPCs/turn.



  • 10 loaded transports making an amphibious invasion in the Baltic would be pretty grand.



  • 10 loaded transports are a significant investment for a country making 20 IPCs.

    Does the US start with 20 units?  Looks like 6 Inf, 2 Art to me.

    Also, one Battleship and one cruiser.  I suppose that could be enough escort, combined with the British ships, but I’d like another cruiser at least.

    therefore-

    10 transports = 60 IPCs
    starting 6 Inf, 2 Art
    Buy:
    5 Inf = 15 IPCs
    1 Art = 4 IPCs
    2 Tank = 12 IPCs
    1 Cruiser = 9 IPCs

    This gives you 100 IPCs.  I guess if you are waiting until turn 6 to start moving the US fleet then more power to ya (You’d get there turn 8).  I would rather get to France with 5 loaded transports on turn 6 and follow that with 1 or 2 loaded transports every turn.

    This all assumes the US can’t move forces to Europe before at war (the way I’m going to play, rules or no).



  • If the allies are stable it might be worth waiting as the US so you can set sail with an annoyingly large transport fleet that can D-day somewhere in germanys backyard.


  • Customizer

    I think we may not be quite grasping the feel of this game. I keep seeing posts about grand maneuvers like ‘Land a large invasion force in Germany’s backyard.’

    I think when it comes down to it, players will be forced to throw any and all available troops at whatever front is most critical, in order to avoid being overrun…you may not have extra men to make sneak attacks on Germany when Fritz is knocking on Paris’ front door.

    Also remember that a ‘front’ is not going to be just one or two territories, but possibly all tt’s on one’s border. Feeding the meat grinder is going to be more expensive than I think we realize.



  • @oztea:

    If the allies are stable it might be worth waiting as the US so you can set sail with an annoyingly large transport fleet that can D-day somewhere in germanys backyard.

    True, but I hope the allies aren’t stable otherwise the writing is on the wall by the time the US can make landings on turn 6.  Would you risk DDay if naval mines can hit transports? (Can they?  Not sure).  May be better to land in friendly territory in France or Italy.



  • Naval mines can hit transports. You call out mines on ships one by one. (to distinguish transport w/2 INF vs transport with INF+Tank)

    So yea, amphibious invasions are risky, but if you have naval superiority why march through France as the US when you can land and Greece and be super annoying.


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