• '19

    While the retreat rules I think are obvious and I like the proposed change it does change the dynamics of advancement in a way that can be somewhat abused.  You can argue that you can abuse the original rule in different situations and thats fine but it doesnt change the fact that this can create some issues as well.

    Scenario

    Large Russian force in Belarus, large german force in East germany, large Austrian force in Galicia.

    Austians move several units into Ukraine, most units into Poland
    Russians want to attack the Poland force as it is the more dangerous and this gives it a chance to whittle it down.  Maybe it can spare some units into Ukraine maybe it cant, either way Ukraine is either contested or its not.  Battle ensues in Poland, something happens, remains contested use your imagination on how it went.
    Germans move a ftr from east german front to Ukraine move large stack into Poland, engage or dont engage, whatever.

    Next turn
    Austria reinforces Ukraine, if there were any russians it wipes them out.
    Russia has to decide now continue to defend in Poland where it might have good odds and can prevent the dangerous germans from advancing or retreat into Bel.  They would like to stay and hold the germans back which they can do in current rules.  But with new rules they dont have a choice, they have to retreat because if they dont the german stack will float through their lines into Ukr and then Russia is in true danger.  As the dangerous german force has leapfrogged Poland into Ukraine.  This is preventable in the current rules but in the second the options are less for the defender.  Thats kind of the 1-2 can opener scenario that the original rule prevents and isnt really that farfetched.

    I think the main reason the rule needs tweaked is for retreat purposes.  I dont have a problem with the rules as they are when attacking (the retreat - a lone inf is the annoyance there) but when retreating in foreign territory you are basically screwed in a number of legitimate cases.

    I think the rule should be tweaked to allow retreat into territories you control, territories you are contesting, and then friendly territories that are original allied territories (or central powers territoires for the cp).

    The current rule does prevent can-opening.  The current rule provides more of a defenders advantage except when the defense is going poorly and it needs to retreat.  The new rule allows retreats under some circumstances, why should I need units behind me to retreat - not advance - into friendly territory.  I think the reason currently is to make the rule wording simpler which it does but also is a little too limiting.  Axis and Allies is a somewhat complicated game, adding another line to the rules doesnt all of a sudden make them unintelligible and for tricky things there are already tons of questions - thats what an official faq is for.


  • Your story is irrelevant because Germany could not move the plane that way (bottom of page 15 of rules).

    Also realize that if Germany had gotten an infantry to Ukraine, and Ukraine had remained contested rather than Austrian controlled, Germany still could have moved through under the current rules. What makes my change NOT abusive is that it requires that a unit of the moving power already be there.

    What would have happened in your example if Germany got a land unit to Ukraine and Austria had NOT won in Ukraine on the Next Turn?

    The way that leapfrogging is preventable is the current rules is by retreating out of territories that would be contested, where your retreat from a tt makes it harder for the enemy to move in. Wha….?

    What’s abusable is that a power retreating, like Russia out of a contested Ukraine, actually slows the enemy down more than remaining in the territory.

    As Krieghund has showed, the wording will still be quite simple if and when the rule is changed, so keeping the wording simple just isn’t a good reason to resist the change.

  • '19

    ok didnt feel like checking the rules on that one.  so replace it with an inf.  In the current rules.  Russia has the choice of retreating from Ukraine or poland or not.  Then it can continue to engage the dangerous force in Poland without being leapfrogged.  In the new rules it doesnt have that choice.

    Im not saying that keeping the wording simple is necessary, im saying thats why they are what they are now.

    And this discussion isnt about the retreating from a terrritory and leaving a unit behind and slowing the enemy so that part doesnt matter and I wont continue the discussion on it.

  • '19

    And to add some other things/answer all  your questions -

    If Ukraine had remained contested with germany having a unit there then at least the russians in Poland would have the option to engage the Ukrainians instead of being forced to be leapfrogged or retreat out of everything.  In the new proposed rule it helps in some situations but can be abused in other situations.  And in this case it helps the attacker and hurts the defender and allows leapfrogging/can-opening in a way that the original rules dont.  That doesnt necessarily mean that the rule cant go forward but it should be and is part of the discussion.

    And not everything has to make sense historically, and there is no way this game ever will.  It is first and foremost a game and that means having rules, some of which might be tougher to justify but are necessary to improve playability.  The goal should be to satisfy both of course but thats not always possible.

    I think the inability to retreat severely affects the playability as do many people.  So the question is how to adjust the rules to satisfy that without allowing for new abuses - such as can opening.  Maybe this proposal is the answer, maybe its a different version, or maybe its leaving things as they are.


  • @ksmckay:

    And this discussion isnt about the retreating from a terrritory and leaving a unit behind and slowing the enemy so that part doesnt matter and I wont continue the discussion on it.

    Perhaps you may not want to continue discussion on it, but this issue is central to why the current rules are so bizarre.

    Under my rule change, a power MUST have a unit in the destination territory to move there.

    The fear of can opening was in a scenario where, for example, Germany and Russia contested Poland, and Austria conquers Ukraine. Suddenly, Germany would be able to move through to Ukraine. That is not what I am talking about allowing.

    Under the change, there needs to have already been a  German unit there.
    Currently, if there is a German unit there and the TT is contested, Germany can move into it from contested Poland.
    Currently, if there is a German unit there and the TT is NOT contested, Germany can’t move from contested Poland there.

    What does this do? Well, first of all, not only is it blatantly nonsensical, it also has effects on the game in other ways. First, it penalizes the attacker for taking enemy territory, since keeping Ukraine contested would have allowed them to move faster. Second, it rewards the defender for retreating out of contested territories, since putting less units in the way of the enemy actually slows the enemy down more in these cases. The potential for abuse here is quite high

    What is the potential for abuse with my change? Well, it allows a power to move units into a territory it already had units in. It allows allies to create avenues of retreat for each other. It allows a power to attack and clear out a territory and having that attack allow and ally to move in rather than trapping that ally in an adjacent territory where before the attack, they were NOT trapped.


  • Just my two cents without having played with the rule change. I like because it streamlines the rules a bit more. There is no need for a difference in rules in regards to contested vs. controlled. Also… from what I have played, it appears that the Central powers have trouble enough as it is, and Russia is no piece of cake to beat. This could serve to make Russia more cautious about advancing, helping the central powers advance as Russia hangs back.

  • '19

    @vonLettowVorbeck1914:

    Perhaps you may not want to continue discussion on it, but this issue is central to why the current rules are so bizarre.

    Perhaps you should read the discussion, Krieghund mentions several times that he doesnt want to discuss that issue and since what he says goes - perhaps you should listen and save that discussion for another place.


  • @ksmckay:

    @vonLettowVorbeck1914:

    Perhaps you may not want to continue discussion on it, but this issue is central to why the current rules are so bizarre.

    Perhaps you should read the discussion, Krieghund mentions several times that he doesnt want to discuss that issue and since what he says goes - perhaps you should listen and save that discussion for another place.

    Then maybe I did not read what you meant, only what the words seemed to me to say. It seemed like you were talking about the situation where in the current rules, it slows down the CP more when Russia retreats than when they stay contested in the Ukraine in the example. Were you talking about something else?

  • '19

    @vonLettowVorbeck1914:

    blatantly nonsensical

    Not making sense historically doesnt make it nonsensical.  There are a hundred other things one could complain about the game about that are just as nonsensical historically but still are in place to make the game playable.

    What is the potential for abuse with my change?

    See scenario described above. That is a type of can-opening and one that is preventable in the current rules even if it is done in a way that someone might not like. It gives more options to the attacker than the defender.  You can argue thats a good thing and thats fine - dont really care, thats not the point I am discussing.  But it still affects the way the game is played, and has an affect on balance.

    There are other ways to allow retreats then the exact wording proposed.


  • In the first game (practice) I went hard at Russia with Austria/Germany (even the Turks were on Russian soil). The Russian player sucked the CP deep into the belly of the beast and very little came back. The Russians were forced into a turn 5 revolution (had a chance of a turn 4 rev, but my Austrians didn’t survive my 35 unit assault on the the 64 unit Russian stack which would have locked the Russians in their capital as a contested territoy). The 5th turn I was able to lock down the Russians w/a 2nd wave of Austrians/Germans by contesting their capital essentially keeping the Russians locked down to a couple territories, as they were unable to perform attacks they clearly would have won. They revolted with the upper hand, with about 25 units left on the board (I don’t think I could have taken Moscow). This new rule could have aided the Russian only if the UK was also deep in side Russian territory to possibly give them an avenue, but it would have been more likely the UK would have been used to attack German/Austrian units to un-contest Russian territories to allow the Russians to launch attacks. If this rule will gives a slight advantage to the CP on the Russian front I think it would be worth the change, because the CP units I lost just to force a rev and the fact the any survivors are a long way from home makes it very difficult on the CP in my very short experience. BTW with what it cost to force the Russians out, I was losing ground to the advancing French/English. We didn’t play it through, and the western allies would have had a hard time dropping Berlin. I was defiantly on the down slide though. Both the Turks & Austrians had troubles of their own too, and the front lines were on their own orig territories.

    In our 2nd game (now starting turn 3) I’m Russia (and France BTW), and both these super powers are going hard for Germany, hitting German stacks every chance I get. I’ve won some good battles, and Austria is going to have to give up some of its offensive positions against Russia (I think) to bail out the Germans. My Russians just broke through the German line (may have trapped themselves in Prussia though), and the French are on the move on their front. The Germans are having a hard time already w/multiple fronts (they have lost some pretty big battle already).

    In both these games the allies got total naval dominance early (everywhere), even though the Germans go hard against the UK Atlantic/Canadian fleets because the French have a couple battleships to gain the upper hand. The CP were (are) hard pressed in both of these games, and movement is a problem for them (w/o the sea’s). This is only a couple games, but most are reporting serious problems w/CP so far. If this change gives the CP a slight advantage against Russia I think it is worth further testing, and we will most likely use it as a house rule until we get official word one way or the other just to see what effects it may have.

  • '19

    I think the biggest impact of this rule will be the affect on retreating mixed stacks which comes up on the western front more than anywhere else as the allies have stacks with french, UK, and US (with limited play experience so far).  I think this rule will tend to help the allies more than the CP.


  • @ksmckay:

    I think the biggest impact of this rule will be the affect on retreating mixed stacks which comes up on the western front more than anywhere else as the allies have stacks with french, UK, and US (with limited play experience so far).  I think this rule will tend to help the allies more than the CP.

    Yeah your right it will help the allies when retreating. It will also have an impact when any two (or more) powers are retreating. This could also happen for the CP. If they are dominating the western front, they very well could be losing ground on the Russian front and need to back peddle together out of territories they contest with Russia. They would need to split up if one of them couldn’t retreat to a friendly they have unit(s) in.

    I also think that powers like the US & UK that don’t have many (any) territories on the continent, it would get them trapped quite often w/o being able to retreat to a friendly land that has your units in it. Keep in mind that this will also slightly weaken the UK front lines too, keeping an inf or two in reserve for an escape route. In these contested territories 1-2 units can make a big difference.

    Plus it really doesn’t make sense that you aren’t given the option to retreat to a friendly territory when you already have units there


  • @ksmckay:

    @vonLettowVorbeck1914:

    blatantly nonsensical

    Not making sense historically doesnt make it nonsensical.  There are a hundred other things one could complain about the game about that are just as nonsensical historically but still are in place to make the game playable.Â

    😉 But as I have shown it makes it less playable by encouraging retreats to slow the enemy down. The rule was the way it was to stop the can opener where Germany moves into a formerly allied controlled territory Austria has just taken. The change still maintains that as impossible.

    @ksmckay:

    What is the potential for abuse with my change?

    See scenario described above. That is a type of can-opening and one that is preventable in the current rules even if it is done in a way that someone might not like. It gives more options to the attacker than the defender.  You can argue thats a good thing and thats fine - dont really care, thats not the point I am discussing.  But it still affects the way the game is played, and has an affect on balance.Â

    There are other ways to allow retreats then the exact wording proposed.

    What sort of ways? If it moves you farther away from an enemy capital or something like that?Â

    Don’t you mean the current rules give more options to the defender?

    I don’t recall anyone saying that there would be no effect on the game, what I do recall saying was that it would still avoid the can opener issue, since the power moving into the territory must already have units there. Germany can’t just move through to the territory Austria has taken, and they can’t just move a plane into a territory to move their units in later. The current rule is not just a way that “someone might not like” The whole rule discourages powers like Russia from contesting their territory, powers like Germany and Austria for actually taking Russian territory, and powers like Britain and France from doing anything other than sitting in a big stack, all because the rule is “preventing” something that the change to the rules that I proposed prevents anyways.

    Would it really be so terrible to make it that a power at least try to take a territory from an enemy to prevent them from moving into it, rather than the power abandoning the territory to prevent the enemy from moving into it? This would encourage conflict which encourages resolution of the game.

    Maybe you are just playing devil’s advocate, or maybe you do believe the rules are better as they are now, either way I appreciate you taking a stance that the change is not obviously better, it gives us a chance to see if there are more drawbacks than benefits.


  • @WILD:

    I also think that powers like the US & UK that don’t have many (any) territories on the continent, it would get them trapped quite often w/o being able to retreat to a friendly land that has your units in it. Keep in mind that this will also slightly weaken the UK front lines too, keeping an inf or two in reserve for an escape route. In these contested territories 1-2 units can make a big difference.

    Plus it really doesn’t make sense that you aren’t given the option to retreat to a friendly territory when you already have units there

    Bill,

    I do like the new rule proposal, but I’m still miffed that on the western front especially that the French have different rules for retreating then their UK and US allies fighting in the same territory. Clearly the allies fighting in France were partners through thick and thin and I see no reason to have to have even a single unit in the same territory the French can retreat to for them to be allowed to retreat or they are trapped. Still makes no sense.

    I like the new rule proposal, but I would add that you can treat friendly “Original owned territories” of your alliance the same as if it was yours. This way the US and UK fighting in France could withdraw exactly the same as their allies, the French.

    In occupied territories, having at least one unit makes sense.


  • The main reason to require the inf is that that provides one rule for the movement whether an advance or retreat and is very simple. From a contested tt you can go to a transport, a territory you control, or a territory that started the turn with at least 1 of your land units. Most importantly, the change does not allow the rampant can opening the current rule is in existence to prevent.

    I agree that it is not perfect logically to disallow UK from retreating to a French controlled tt back towards paris, but at least by leaving an inf behind the UK has SOME way to do that. I fear that any change much greater in scope than the one that I had presented will not be considered, so that is why I am quite satisfied with the rule as I presented it.

    The game is far better with my proposed rule change than it is without it, and I don’t think it’s worth it to lose that change by demanding an even more intrusive one. If I were starting the game from scratch I might support your idea.

    I guess the question is, if there were either the change as written or no change at all, which does each person support as being better for the game, and why?

  • Official Q&A

    More specifically, the question is does the proposed change help the game without opening up the possibility of the Central Powers blitzing into Russia too quickly by leap-frogging over each other.


  • Considering the power that would like to do so must already have an infantry in the destination before its turn started under the change, and that the CP can already do this if the destination tt is contested anyways, it’s safe to say the answer is no. The key is that the infantry must already be there, which totally throws out the window the worry of a move-through more potent than the CP can already currently do with contesting a tt.

  • Customizer

    Yes, and bear in mind that the western allies will be doing the same against Germany on the western front soon enough.

    With the great Moscow Revolution swindle likely denying them Moscow, I’m prepared to give the CPs a break in the east.

  • Official Q&A

    Consideration must be given to the change both with and without the Russian Revolution, as it is an optional rule.

  • '19

    @Krieghund:

    More specifically, the question is does the proposed change help the game without opening up the possibility of the Central Powers blitzing into Russia too quickly by leap-frogging over each other.

    Whats your definition of leap-frogging?  Currently the CP can do a type of leap-frogging if both territories are contested.  But Russia can choose to not contest the second territory and prevent the movement and thus leap frogging.  with the change that choice is taken away from the Russians.  Or are you looking for a different type of leap frogging or just waiting to see more in game results and how it is actually used rather than hypotheticals?


  • @ksmckay:

    But Russia can choose to not contest the second territory and prevent the movement and thus leap frogging.  with the change that choice is taken away from the Russians.Â

    This isn’t exactly a bad thing. Having a choice isn’t a good thing if it leads to abuse of rules and gamesmanship.

    I think it might be exaggerated in some minds how easy it is to pull off a “can-opener” with the rule I proposed. It’s harder than you might think. This example is with the proposed change.

    Let’s look at Germany and Austria in Russia. Poland is Rus/Ger contested.

    On Germany’s turn they would need to move a unit in Ukraine (from Galicia let’s say) to move into there on their NEXT turn from the contested. Let’s not ignore that the German unit has to get to a place where it can move into the location that it would like to move through to in the first place. Next it needs to be even possible to move a unit into Ukr and it survives this turn. This means either Germany needs to be strong enough to move into that territory, or Austria must have already cleared that out for them. In addition, the German unit needs to survive on Allied turns through to the next German turn.

    Compare this to the dreaded actual can opener situation where on Austria’s turn they can attack Ukraine, and on Germany’s turn they can just move in if controlled. The change does NOT allow that, and fear of that is the reason why the rules disallowed movement from contested to allied.

  • '19

    Don’t mistake discussion for some personal attack or even a lack of support for the rule.

    @vonLettowVorbeck1914:

    This isn’t exactly a bad thing. Having a choice isn’t a good thing if it leads to abuse of rules and gamesmanship.

    Im not saying one way or the other.  Just pointing out the change.  Its not an abuse of the rules, it is the rules, and could very well have been part of the design and intent.  I dont know and unless you were there and part of the design team you dont either, whether you think its dumb or not isn’t the question.

    Saying over and over that there is nothing wrong with the rule is unproductive.  Spending time thinking about ways to abuse it and see how that affects the game is productive, if there is a way someone will find it and the purpose of this discussion is to do that now.

  • Official Q&A

    @ksmckay:

    Whats your definition of leap-frogging?

    An example would be if there were a German force contesting Poland with Russia, then Austria-Hungary on its turn moves into and contests Ukraine.  The current 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.  Leap-frogging is basically taking advantage of the turn order to capitalize on your allies’ advances, which circumvents the purpose of contesting territories.

    @ksmckay:

    Spending time thinking about ways to abuse it and see how that affects the game is productive, if there is a way someone will find it and the purpose of this discussion is to do that now.Â

    Well said.


  • @ksmckay:

    Don’t mistake discussion for some personal attack or even a lack of support for the rule.

    @vonLettowVorbeck1914:

    This isn’t exactly a bad thing. Having a choice isn’t a good thing if it leads to abuse of rules and gamesmanship.

    Im not saying one way or the other.  Just pointing out the change.  Its not an abuse of the rules, it is the rules, and could very well have been part of the design and intent.  I dont know and unless you were there and part of the design team you dont either, whether you think its dumb or not isn’t the question.

    Saying over and over that there is nothing wrong with the rule is unproductive.  Spending time thinking about ways to abuse it and see how that affects the game is productive, if there is a way someone will find it and the purpose of this discussion is to do that now.

    I definitely did not see it as a personal attack, I admit that I did see it as a lack of support.

    I do admit that I tend to be saying the same thing  over again, but it’s not as though I am merely saying it is bad, I am trying to say the evidence in a different way and provide new evidence. In my opinion it IS productive to try to find the best way of explaining the case for the change, just like it would be to state the best argument against the change. So far as I can recall you are the only person who has offered reasons why the change is not obviously a good idea; I thank you for that as it has caused me to examine the issue a little deeper.


  • @Krieghund:

    An example would be if there were a German force contesting Poland with Russia, then Austria-Hungary on its turn moves into and contests Ukraine.  The current 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.  Leap-frogging is basically taking advantage of the turn order to capitalize on your allies’ advances, which circumvents the purpose of contesting territories.

    • For those that have not been reading the whole discussion please keep in mind that under the current rules, Germany is not prevented from skipping the fight in Poland if they have one unit in Ukraine and Ukraine is contested. However, if Ukraine is AH controlled, Germany could not move in.

    The rules change would not allow the leap-frogging described quoted above.

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