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Possible Rules Change


  • Official Answers

    I want to discuss a possible rules change.  Currently, the rule for land units moving out of a contested territory (as clarified in the unofficial FAQ) looks like this:

    Land units that begin the turn in contested territories can only be moved to territories that at the beginning of your turn were either controlled by your power or were also contested and contained units belonging to your power.

    This restriction was designed to disallow “can openers”, which would allow the Central Powers to “leap frog” into Russia too quickly.  However, some folks find this rule overly restrictive, finding that it hinders retreat movement.

    It has been proposed the rule be changed to this:

    Land units that begin the turn in contested territories can only be moved to territories that at the beginning of your turn were either controlled by your power or contained units belonging to your power.

    Note that requirement that the destination territory be contested has been removed from the proposed rule.

    I would like to discuss the pros and cons of this change here.  I would also like for folks to post their experiences playing with the proposed rule, especially in regard to the ease of penetrating Russian territory versus under the existing rule.

    Thanks for helping out!



  • To be honest I never had any problem with that rule.
    To be clear let me see what you mean by leap frog.

    Scenario:  Ukraine is contested by 12 Austrian infantry and 3 art. They are fighting against 10 russian inf. On Austrias turn, instead of fighting the battle decides to push all of its units into British controlled Tarastan. Is this allowed?



  • According to the rules, if Vienna is contestet by 7 german and 1 russian units, and Budapest is contestet by 21 Austrian and 1 russian units, then this 21 Austrian units are not allowed to move into Vienna to protect their own capital ? Because one lonely russian is blocking them ? Sorry Mack, but I dont love your rules.

    In the real war, the generals didn’t need to obey some silly rulebook with complicated and intriguing rules for movement. If Ludendorf wantet to move a German army from Sillesia and into Poland then he just did it, and he sure gave a fokk if there were any russians there, or in the next territory. Si why cant I too ? Lets say I got 20 german inf in Sillesia, but they are blocked by one russian inf, so the holy Rulebook dont allow me to let this 20 units break through the one russian inf line, and join the 30 Austrian inf that are already in Poland, because there are currently no german inf present there ? But if I got just one german inf in Poland, then this move is legal ?

    If you ask me, I’d say let people move units to any territory they want, and let the enemy units there decide if the move is rational or not. If you are so afraid that Germany will leap-frog into Russia too early, why didn’t you give Russia more territories ? You made a map where Moscow is closer to Berlin than Paris are, and now you try to fix this error with silly rules that restrict movement, in a game that is already too slow.


  • '10

    MANY TIMES I found that a lone infantry would remain and leave the territory contested.  This really slowed down the game……

    I think a good rule change would be that the lone infantry is forced to retreat.

    This would speed up the game IMHO

    Jeremy


  • Official Answers

    @Siris101:

    Scenario:  Ukraine is contested by 12 Austrian infantry and 3 art. They are fighting against 10 russian inf. On Austrias turn, instead of fighting the battle decides to push all of its units into British controlled Tarastan. Is this allowed?

    That is not allowed under either version of the rule.

    An example of what I’m talking about would be if there were a German force contesting Poland with Russia, then Austria-Hungary on its turn moves into Ukraine.  The rule prevents Germany from abandoning its fight in Poland to jump into Ukraine and get one step closer to Moscow without having to fight to get there.

    @FieldMarshalGames:

    MANY TIMES I found that a lone infantry would remain and leave the territory contested.  This really slowed down the game……

    I think a good rule change would be that the lone infantry is forced to retreat.

    This would speed up the game IMHO

    Jeremy

    Let’s try to keep the focus on the topic at hand, please.



  • Well I imagine that a contested territory is in a state that its borders are very porous. Meaning that the Austrian control of Ukraine allows for the Germans to bulge out their trenches to meet up with the Austrian trenches, allowing moment between the two territories.

    Im just trying to add some conceptualization to how contested territories operate. If both sides contest a territory their movement into and out of it should be allowed into friendly territory also.

    trenches.jpg



  • @Krieghund:

    An example of what I’m talking about would be if there were a German force contesting Poland with Russia, then Austria-Hungary on its turn moves into Ukraine.�  The rule prevents Germany from abandoning its fight in Poland to jump into Ukraine and get one step closer to Moscow without having to fight to get there.

    Yes but that is exactely how they do it in a real war, they find the soft spot in the frontline, and make a breakthrough there. Its called mobility warfare. Happens all the time in every war, so why should it be banned in A&A 1914 ? A war is about survival of the fittest, not of the gentleman that follows OOB rules.

    The German player should decide if its a rational idea to leave Poland empty, not the game designer.



  • @oztea:

    Well I imagine that a contested territory is in a state that its borders are very porous. Meaning that the Austrian control of Ukraine allows for the Germans to bulge out their trenches to meet up with the Austrian trenches, allowing moment between the two territories.

    Im just trying to add some conceptualization to how contested territories operate. If both sides contest a territory their movement into and out of it should be allowed into friendly territory also.

    That is how it works in a real war. But allowing that in A&A would disturb the game balance, even if both sides may abuse it.



  • Could you really call WWI a ‘mobility war’?



  • The question is, if germany contests Poland, does it have dominance over enough of the territory to move forces behind its own lines eastward to Ukraine?
    Is it fair if they can?


  • Customizer

    I played the game with, in effect, the new rule because I hadn’t picked up that you couldn’t move into a friendly tt containing your own unit; it wouldn’t have made any sense. I don’t think this has been a significant advantage; I tend to see it as balancing the fact that allies can’t attack together.

    However I’d need to play under the old rules to make a definitive judgement on it.

    Something I suggested a day or two ago was that in order to move out of a contested tt, you either have to

    1. Leave at least as many of your side’s units there as there are on the enemy side.

    2. Abandon the tt altogether.

    This aims to prevent the tactic of leaving just a token force to contest a tt and hold up the enemy. Perhaps this could be worked into a new rule?



  • @Razor:

    @Krieghund:

    An example of what I’m talking about would be if there were a German force contesting Poland with Russia, then Austria-Hungary on its turn moves into Ukraine.� ��The rule prevents Germany from abandoning its fight in Poland to jump into Ukraine and get one step closer to Moscow without having to fight to get there.

    Yes but that is exactely how they do it in a real war, they find the soft spot in the frontline, and make a breakthrough there. Its called mobility warfare. Happens all the time in every war, so why should it be banned in A&A 1914 ? A war is about survival of the fittest, not of the gentleman that follows OOB rules.

    The German player should decide if its a rational idea to leave Poland empty, not the game designer.

    Dude, what are you talkin about.  So the germans which are entrenched in a battle against an entrenched russian force should be allowed to just pack up, walk past the russian forces and advance to the next territory?  WW1 was a war of inches in some sorts not this walk wherever you feel like it war you imagine.  And it doesnt matter what happens in any other wars as this is a game modeled after one war and rules are necessary to make it a game and not some fantasy where you have germans walking wherever they please in the middle of a war.

    But on topic, I think the reason why this rule makes sense and the original wording doesnt is just the advantage given to movement when moving to a contested territory as opposed to an uncontested one.  Why would you in one situation be able to move into a warzone but not into a friendly zone, especially when retreating.  The current rule means that when the allies need to retreat back towards paris or the germans/austrians away from Russia, they can be stuck with no way to back out when they have already conquered the territories behind them or they were friendly to begin with.  If you make it such that you have to have units there already then that kind of prevents the leapfrogging as you had to actually find an uncontested path there anyway.  The only way I could see it abused is in the case of a german fighters flying over a contested poland to an austrian Ukraine and then being able to pass through an entrenched russian force in a quicker way then it makes sense.

    With limited game experience and planning strategies based on the rules the only time this situation has come up as been in retreating.  Will have to see how it works out in future games but it seems to make sense.



  • Krieg, forgive me but in the rule does “power” mean just your nation, or any member of your faction?

    I played it that it meant any member of your faction, so in effect I was already using the 2nd rule option?

    I am very confused…… :oops:



  • yeah it means your specific power.  Options for moving out of contested territory as they currently are are
    1. Into a territory that your specific power (not a friendly power) controls.
    2. Into a territory that your power (not a friendly power) is already contesting.


  • Official Answers

    “Power” refers to a single nation.  “Side” refers to an alliance.


  • Official Answers

    @ksmckay:

    yeah it means your specific power.  Options for moving out of contested territory as they currently are are
    1. Into a territory that your specific power (not a friendly power) controls.
    2. Into a territory that your power (not a friendly power) is already contesting.

    Correct.  The proposed rule adds the possibility of moving into a territory controlled by a friendly power, so long as you already had units there at the begining of your turn.



  • Well now that it has been explained I am for the proposed change.
    Perhaps with the caveat that you can’t totally vacate the contested territory. (ie you can’t empty Poland into Ukraine, one unit must stay behind at least)



  • @oztea:

    Well now that it has been explained I am for the proposed change.
    Perhaps with the caveat that you can’t totally vacate the contested territory. (ie you can’t empty Poland into Ukraine, one unit must stay behind at least)

    Unfortunately thats where you can game the system.  Now the germans can move to Ukraine, leave 1 unit behind in Poland and then all of a sudden the Russians are completely stuck in Poland and cant follow the germans which just effectively gave up the front, away from Ukraine.  If you had to fight every round this wouldnt be a problem but since you can leave a unit behind to be slaughtered and stall the russians it is a move that forces the russians to retreat to Moscow or wherever and give up Poland and Ukraine, possibly just because of 1 or 2 german units (1 left in Poland and 1 already in Ukr).  I guess thats where the actual playtesting and less theorycrafting comes in.


  • Customizer

    Well exactly, hence either - stay to fight it out; leave an equal or greater force in the tt and move the surplus out; or abandon the tt altogether leaving the enemy freedom of movement.

    The one infantry spoiler isn’t absolutely unhistorical, but it shouldn’t be allowed to hold up a big stack, especially given that the Central Powers are struggling to move fast enough already.



  • Just saying me and my group support the propsed rule change also.



  • @ksmckay:

    @oztea:

    Well now that it has been explained I am for the proposed change.
    Perhaps with the caveat that you can’t totally vacate the contested territory. (ie you can’t empty Poland into Ukraine, one unit must stay behind at least)

    Unfortunately thats where you can game the system.� � Now the germans can move to Ukraine, leave 1 unit behind in Poland and then all of a sudden the Russians are completely stuck in Poland and cant follow the germans which just effectively gave up the front, away from Ukraine.� � If you had to fight every round this wouldnt be a problem but since you can leave a unit behind to be slaughtered and stall the russians it is a move that forces the russians to retreat to Moscow or wherever and give up Poland and Ukraine, possibly just because of 1 or 2 german units (1 left in Poland and 1 already in Ukr).� � I guess thats where the actual playtesting and less theorycrafting comes in.� �

    Hi all, I was the one who proposed the change initially and I am sorry I did not join the conversation earlier to justify it; it was a long day of work and I just got back.

    It seems like a lot of people are worried that “Oh no! if we do this change Germany (etc.) will be able to just move through enemy forces without having to stop!”

    As I will show, that is already the case that they can do that, but it is even more ridiculous now than I think you might be worrying the change will do. I will quote some of the examples from the other thread I have posted.

    For example, let’s say Austria takes switzerland turn 1. Germany moves in.
    Turn 2, Germany moves into Burgundy, contesting it, leaving 1 unit behind in switzerland. Italy moves in and contests Switzerland, the German inf there survives.
    Turn 3, Scenario 1: Austria does not attack in switzerland, it remains contested with 1 Germ inf, Germany can move from contested burgundy to switzerland because it is contested.
    Turn 3, Scenario 2: Austria attacks in switzerland, and wipes out the Italians. Austria takes control since it was the attacker. Germany CANNOT move from contested Burgundy to Switzerland, even though they still have an inf there.

    The above is an example where the rule makes it harder to retreat into an ally’s territory than a contested one. Paradoxically, clearing enemy units out to secure an ally’s retreat avenue (as would be the case logically), makes it harder for them to retreat.

    Here’s an example from round 2 let’s say.
    Austria’s turn, they move into Ukraine to contest it. Germany’s turn they move 1 unit in and don’t have to battle since it was already contested. At the same time, Germany moves into poland and contests that.

    Turn 3: Austria attacks and wins in Ukraine. Germany cannot move in (from contested poland).
    OR
    Turn 3: Ukraine remains contested (whether through failed Austrian attack or they don’t attack). Germany CAN move in.

    This is the big one, above. The worry about making the change is can opening, but it turns out that by contesting like this can opening is already quite possible. To avoid this Russia would have to abandon the territory round 2 so that Austria controls it. In the rules now, Russia would make it harder for the enemy to move its units into the territory by moving its units out. To put it bluntly, this is messed up. This only encourages Russia and other powers in similar situations to contest less territory, which isn’t to hard to predict will turn into turtling or worse.

    With the change, since the movement requires a unit of your power already be there, there still will not be situations where one power just takes a territory and then its ally can move in immediately from a contested, which would have been a problem IF I had proposed the rule to be ANY friendly territory instead of one that already had a unit of your power.

    If we are worried about it getting “gamey” or whatever, don’t be. It will get BETTER with my rule change. � Think of Russia’s position in the current game where they move out of the territory in question to make it no longer contested and therefore Germany would not be able to move in. Russia stops opposing the CP in a territory, and that makes it harder for the CP to move in? That’s what’s truly gamey and will lead to nonsensical gimmicks in-game.

    Britain, France, and the CP contest Belgium.
    Britain, France, and the CP contest Lorraine also.
    CP controls Ruhr and Alsace, France controls Picardy.

    France moves into Lorraine from Belgium.

    Now, if they attack and win, Britain CANNOT move their forces in to Lorraine. But, if it remains contested, Britain could move in. Unless Britain has enough transports for all the units in Belgium or they somehow have units in another adjacent territory that is contested with the CP (Which in the above scenario they don’t), they are trapped in Belgium.

    By clearing out Lorraine of enemy units, France actually traps its ally in an adjacent territory, even though logically it is doing the EXACT OPPOSITE.

    However, if there are CP forces remaining in Lorraine to oppose the Allies, Britain has no problem moving in.

    Now, you might say “well, just don’t trap your ally then.” Well, for me that’s not good enough. A bad rule is a bad rule, and avoiding its nonsensical-ness does not make it go away, it just makes the game bizarre.

    It seems like the main worry is that it will allow can opening more than is already allowed, which is not the case as I have shown above.

    Right now, it’s easier to move into a territory when there are enemy units there opposing you than when your ally has the whole thing locked down. The current rules encourage retreat and turtling. My solution provides a little bit of logic to a bizarre situation, and most importantly, still avoids the problem (can opening) that this current rule was established to prevent in the first place.

    The real question to ask is what would get worse with the rule change? We already know for a fact that the change would make more sense logically, and it is quite probable that the change will make for a better game anyways (where powers won’t be giving TT’s to the enemy to avoid allowing an ally of that enemy to move in), so what is worse about it, if anything?



  • I would keep it simple. Choose on of these two options:

    1. Free Movement: a player may move units in a contested territory into any adjacent contested (at his turns start–by his or an allied power) territory or any adjacent friendly territory.

    2. No Movement: a player may not move units from a contested territory. Units in a contested territory are pinned until one side wins.



  • @hasdrubal207:

    I would keep it simple. Choose on of these two options:

    1. Free Movement: a player may move units in a contested territory into any adjacent contested (at his turns start–by his or an allied power) territory or any adjacent friendly territory.

    2. No Movement: a player may not move units from a contested territory. Units in a contested territory are pinned until one side wins.

    Actually the No Movement might be the best solution. WWI was a static war, units were not pulled out of a combat sector on one end of the front and shuffled over to another sector hundreds of miles away (the scale of the territories) just to get an advantge where the line was weaker.

    The war WAS a meat grinder. This rule is more consistant with the WWII games in that the defender NEVER gets any choice to withdraw from an attack and must keep fighting till it is destroyed or the attacker calls it off. If the attacker calls it off and you don’t let them move out of the contested area, you are still commited to that sector of the battlefield and will fight as the defender.

    This way only new troops coming to the front have a choice as to where the get deployed, and if you what to form a new defensive line in the next area back, you start building it up while your troops at the fron hang on as long as they can.

    That rule would be simple and solves all the problems about “can openers” etc. The only caveat I would add is to allow Fighters to leave the territory, and they could go anywhere.

    Neeed to think more about how that changes the game, but it would end the nonsense.

    Kim


  • Official Answers

    @KimRYoung:

    The only caveat I would add is to allow Fighters to leave the territory, and they could go anywhere.

    This is already true.

    Again, folks, please contain this discussion to the topic at hand.  We are NOT considering radically changing the movement rules.



  • The question is, if germany contests Poland, does it have dominance over enough of the territory to move forces behind its own lines eastward to Ukraine?
    Is it fair if they can?

    This is probably a common version of the question that a lot will ask so I will address it quickly, read my posts above for more detail.

    They already CAN do what the quoted post worries about, Ukraine just needs to be also contested with 1 German unit there. As soon as Ukraine is no longer contested and becomes controlled by Austria, Germany all of a sudden can’t move in, even though logically it should be easier.

    This rule currently also has bizarre implications with reinforcement (see the britain/france example) and retreat (see the Switzerland example).

    The “thesis” would basically be this:

    Preventing movement from a contested to a friendly was done to prevent can opening. However, it doesn’t even do that currently, and the rule makes movement for retreats, advances, and reinforcements incredibly bizarre and nonsensical. By changing the rule to allow a power to move into a ally’s territory if there is a unit of the moving power in there at the start of the turn, the head-scratching movement restrictions are removed while still preventing the can openers the restriction was included to prevent.


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