AA50 : Retreat From Enemy Transport



  • In a naval attack … 2 FTRS + 1 SS + 1 CC … vs … 1 BB + 1 TN
    .
    the attacker gets 2 hits, and the Defender gets 1 hit
    .
    Can the attacker now RETREAT at the end of the combat cycle since there are still enemy vessels (TRANSPORTS) in that seazone ?
    .
    The rule book could be interpreted as either YES or NO
    .
    AA50 Rule book :
    pg.31 : No Combat Value : “…Even though a transport can attack or defend, either alone or with other units, it has a combat value of 0 (zero)…”
    pg.31 : Other Parag. : “…Any seazone that contains only enemy transports does not stop the movement of a sea unit…”
    pg.31 : Next Line : “…Air or sea units (other than transports) ending their combat movement in a seazone containing only enemy transports automatically destroy those transports. This counts as a sea combat for those sea units…”
    .
    Why would someone want to retreat from free TN kills, you may ask ?

    • The enemy could be in position to counter-attack, and a retreat movement puts your ships out of harm’s way
    • The retreat movement could allow you to advance your fleet further (a 3rd move in a direction) due to one of your naval ships coming from afar

  • 2018 2017

    Once all units that can fire or retreat on one or both sides have been destroyed, the combat ends. p20

    In a sea battle, if the defender has only transports
    remaining and the attacker still has units capable
    of attacking, the defending transports are all
    destroyed, along with their cargo.

    So it looks like the answer is no. The combat ended. Also, this question is in the wrong place, but Panther should fix that.

    Also, he will probably come along and fix my answer too, which is what I get for trying to do his well-deserved job.



  • Thank you taamvan for your reply
    You are referring to Step 6 in the Combat Cycle
    .
    AA50 Rule Book : pg.19 : Step 5 in the combat cycle in both Condition A & B … it appears that the Attacker can Withdraw\Retreat by selecting Condition-B.
    .

    1. Rules only state that “…unless one of the two following conditions occur…” [A or B]
    2. There is nothing compulsory about which Condition-A\B you MUST take
    3. It seems that the choice would then be upon the Attacker for Condition-B

  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Official Answers TripleA Moderator

    @PAGAN
    @taamvan 's answer is correct.

    Let us agree to refer to the Anniversary reprint-rulebook (https://avalonhill.wizards.com/rules), to not get confused with different “step” numbers. However content and consequences are the same.

    Here (page 19) “Step 5” is about removing Defender’s casualties.
    “Step 6” is about “Press Attack or Retreat”.

    Step 6 including conditions A and B does not offer any choice between A and B.
    A and B actually address different scenarios.

    Condition A includes:

    Once all units that can either fire at a valid target or retreat on one or both sides have been
    destroyed, the combat ends.

    So condition A is about a battle that cannot be continued as it has already ended (immediately).
    Units have been destroyed, here.

    Conditon B says:

    The attacker (never the defender) can retreat during this step.

    Condition B is about the attacker’s choice to retreat instead of continuing the battle.
    Here we still find units on both sides that would be able to continue the battle. The battle has not been ended but can be either continued or be ended due to the decision of the attacker.

    In the given scenario the attacker cannot choose to retreat, as there is nothing to retreat from. The defending transport has been autodestroyed, so condition A is the only valid consequence.

    @PAGAN please ask your rules questions in the appropriate category. I will move this topic to the Anniversary Category now. 😃



  • @Panther : Thank you for the Newer version of the Anniversary Rules
    .
    I would ask you to take another look at the Condition-A statement
    I feel there is more clarity that is required
    It seems that perhaps there was intention into how things are supposed to flow, as in how you describe it, but the actual words used can get in the way.

    Condition-A : Once all units that can either fire at a valid target or retreat on one or both sides have been destroyed, the combat ends.

    Breaking this strange sentence out as I understand it :
    Units that can fire (attack > 0)
    OR
    Units that will Retreat (no other qualifier)
    OR
    One side is destroyed (no units ?) (no attack > 0 units ?)
    OR
    Both sides are destroyed (no units ?) (no attack > 0 units ?)
    .
    The sentence is un-clearly using the word “OR”
    Are TNs units that can Retreat ?
    .
    If the Attacker-Force only has its own TNs remaining --> then in Step.6 of the combat cycle, can Attacker-Force of TNs Retreat ?
    .
    It seems to me that TNs fit BOTH the idea of being a unit that can retreat AND being a lone TN unit that is auto-destroyed


  • 2018 2017

    In a sea battle, if the defender has only transports
    remaining and the attacker still has units capable
    of attacking, the defending transports are all
    destroyed, along with their cargo.

    I think you should focus on this block–it is saying that you dont have to roll out the destruction of the defenseless transports–they are imm. destroyed, and moreover, you cannot treat this last step as some kind of combat–it happens automatically and there is no chance to return to the “Attacker Retreats” step once we have determined that the combat is over.

    Once all defending units are destroyed, you are obligated to end your combat move in the territory you attacked. That’s the default rule for land combats, the “defenseless transports” rule would clarify that having surviving defensive noncombat units (transports) isn’t an exception to that rule.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Official Answers TripleA Moderator

    Well said, @taamvan. I have nothing to add to the rules, here.

    @PAGAN
    An attacking transport in general can retreat, but only in case there is something to retreat from. You can’t retreat from nothing in an already ended battle.
    As condition A says: All units on one side have been destroyed, so the combat ends.


  • Official Answers

    @PAGAN said in AA50 : Retreat From Enemy Transport:

    I would ask you to take another look at the Condition-A statement
    I feel there is more clarity that is required
    It seems that perhaps there was intention into how things are supposed to flow, as in how you describe it, but the actual words used can get in the way.

    Condition-A : Once all units that can either fire at a valid target or retreat on one or both sides have been destroyed, the combat ends.

    Per the rules, only attacking units may retreat, and all of them may normally do so*. This means that all attacking units (being able to retreat) qualify, but defending units (being unable to retreat) may qualify only on the basis of being able to fire at a valid target. So, if all of the attacking units have been destroyed, or all of the defending units that can fire at a valid target have been destroyed, or both sets of units have been destroyed, the combat is over and the attacker no longer has the option of retreating.

    • If the attacker has no valid retreat path, he is in the same position as the defender.

    Are TNs units that can Retreat ?
    .

    If they are attacking, yes. If they are defending, no.

    If the Attacker-Force only has its own TNs remaining --> then in Step.6 of the combat cycle, can Attacker-Force of TNs Retreat ?
    .

    Yes, assuming a valid retreat route.

    It seems to me that TNs fit BOTH the idea of being a unit that can retreat AND being a lone TN unit that is auto-destroyed

    If attacking (and a having a valid retreat route) they can retreat and may not be automatically destroyed; otherwise, they cannot retreat and may be automatically destroyed.



  • @Krieghund said in AA50 : Retreat From Enemy Transport:

    Per the rules, only attacking units may retreat, and all of them may normally do so*. This means that all attacking units (being able to retreat) qualify, but defending units (being unable to retreat) may qualify only on the basis of being able to fire at a valid target. So, if all of the attacking units have been destroyed, or all of the defending units that can fire at a valid target have been destroyed, or both sets of units have been destroyed, the combat is over and the attacker no longer has the option of retreating.

    An interesting view of this condition also indicates that submerged subs (if they were to be the only defending units) would not allow attacking air units (if just air remains in the attacking force) to retreat as well, since the subs are not in the list of “all defending units that can fire at a valid target have been destroyed”



  • @taamvan >>
    @Panther >>
    @Krieghund >>

    I do understand the general idea that seems likely to be the destruction of the TNs
    HOWEVER … in attempting to read a Clear & Logical flow in the words used, I see only ‘ambiguity’
    .
    Many of you have the same understanding as I do of how it ‘probably’ should be, but your preconception is not upheld logically in the words of the rule book
    .
    Immediate auto destruction … but every attacking unit has already fired … do they all get to keep firing ? when ? what phase of the combat cycle ?
    Pre-supposing another combat cycle would indicate auto-destruction due to the TNs inability to Return-Fire
    The rules may be written in some instances for an attempt at brevity
    If the TNs inability to fire is pre-supposing that rather than waste time dice rolling, just auto hit the TNs … does that constitute another combat cycle ? or a special combat cycle phase ? in the same combat cycle or a new one ?
    The answers to this seem to be our own personal 'invention’
    .
    If Combat movement requires combat action or removing yourself from a combat zone then that has specific purpose within that specific phase
    If non-combat movement is attempted in the combat movement phase, then that isn’t allowed because combat movement must deal with combat in that specific phase
    This type of ‘flow’ can be followed with the phases of the combat cycle … saying that something is auto-killed without identifying how they are attacked seems ‘out-of-order’



  • @PAGAN
    I agree with you regarding trying to write a rule (n this case, when you can retreat) for every possible outcome, but this autokill on transports (on a unit that has no defensive capabilities other than being the last survivor), falls through the cracks.

    Back the the OP question. If transports are the only remaining units from a sea battle, and the defender wants to retreat, why not? They are choosing to do so in lieu of being able to kill the transports. It should be an all or nothing proposition. For example, I have 3 ftrs left, 4 transports remain. I will go one more round of attacking, hoping to roll 3 hits, leaving 1 transport and then I can w/d. Baloney. You either stay and kill them all, or you can w/d and leave them all alive. This would be how I would allow a w/d of the attacking units.

    And, as you point out Pagan, it’s our own personal invention. Try to make it a fair one when you create one.


  • Official Answers

    @axis_roll said in AA50 : Retreat From Enemy Transport:

    @Krieghund said in AA50 : Retreat From Enemy Transport:

    Per the rules, only attacking units may retreat, and all of them may normally do so*. This means that all attacking units (being able to retreat) qualify, but defending units (being unable to retreat) may qualify only on the basis of being able to fire at a valid target. So, if all of the attacking units have been destroyed, or all of the defending units that can fire at a valid target have been destroyed, or both sets of units have been destroyed, the combat is over and the attacker no longer has the option of retreating.

    An interesting view of this condition also indicates that submerged subs (if they were to be the only defending units) would not allow attacking air units (if just air remains in the attacking force) to retreat as well, since the subs are not in the list of “all defending units that can fire at a valid target have been destroyed”

    Submerged subs are no longer part of the battle, so they are no longer part of the equation and have no impact on the situation.


  • Official Answers

    @PAGAN said in AA50 : Retreat From Enemy Transport:

    Immediate auto destruction … but every attacking unit has already fired … do they all get to keep firing ? when ? what phase of the combat cycle ?
    Pre-supposing another combat cycle would indicate auto-destruction due to the TNs inability to Return-Fire
    The rules may be written in some instances for an attempt at brevity
    If the TNs inability to fire is pre-supposing that rather than waste time dice rolling, just auto hit the TNs … does that constitute another combat cycle ? or a special combat cycle phase ? in the same combat cycle or a new one ?
    The answers to this seem to be our own personal 'invention’

    The answer is implied in the Defenseless Transport rules. It is simply a shortcut designed to avoid pointless dice rolling, which skips to its inevitable outcome over one or more continued rounds of combat.



  • @axis_roll >>

    I think that you and I are very much eye-to-eye on this, and what we think ‘should’ be allowed
    .
    In my opinion -->
    If the attacker didn’t kill the TNs with actual Hits, then he should be able to Retreat\Withdraw.
    The Attacker should choose, not have his decisions taken from him … ESPECIALLY when there may be tactical choices for not finishing off those TNs



  • @Krieghund >>

    Then you would assume that Retreat is possible by the Attacking Force since there are just more combat cycles involved in the sinking of defenseless TNs


  • Official Answers

    @PAGAN Then this is more a discussion about what the rule should be than about what the rule is. 😉

    I can understand the logic leading to what you would like the rule to be, and in fact actually having the rule be that way was discussed during development. However, it was decided that the rule should be in line with the rule that you can’t retreat from nothing once you’ve won the battle. Since the transports are defenseless and would be automatically destroyed if the battle continued, retreating from only transports would be equivalent to retreating from nothing.



  • @Krieghund said in AA50 : Retreat From Enemy Transport:

    @PAGAN Then this is more a discussion about what the rule should be than about what the rule is. 😉

    I can understand the logic leading to what you would like the rule to be, and in fact actually having the rule be that way was discussed during development. However, it was decided that the rule should be in line with the rule that you can’t retreat from nothing once you’ve won the battle. Since the transports are defenseless and would be automatically destroyed if the battle continued, retreating from only transports would be equivalent to retreating from nothing.

    I see your point, but you aren’t really retreating from nothing, because SOMETHING from the attacking force has to remain when all that is left is transports to be destroyed. In other words, if a bomber were to attack a destroyer and 3 transports, and both the bomber and the destroyer were to hit, the only remaining units in this battle would be the transports. They are not automatically destroyed since there are no remaining attackers to kill them. This implies that there is something there to be destroyed (e.g. the transports), because if there was nothing left to be destroyed, why would you still need something attacking to survive to kill nothing!

    I know, now were getting all existential!


  • Official Answers

    It’s true that the transports aren’t technically “nothing”, but they are nothing in terms of combat units, as they cannot fight back.



  • @Krieghund

    Transports are still units.

    There are often exceptions to normal rules, and are handled as much as possible in the rules when foreseen. One example of said exceptions are Industrial Complexes. These have no offensive, defensive or movement capabilities, yet they do have impact as a unit: You can not tank blitz thru a territory with an IC.

    Seems to me like an unintended oversight in the rules about w/d from a sea force comprised of just transports.



  • @Krieghund >>

    Your methodology PRESUPPOSES more combat cycles
    Your statement that : transports are defenseless --> ergo --> don’t waste time rolling through more combat cycles
    This ‘conclusion’ PRESUPPOSES that the only thing lost is a tedious time element
    This conclusion is Incorrect
    ::
    if you have 3 Attacking units … and there is a defending unit + 4 transports
    –> attacker gets 2 hits : 1 hit is on the defending unit , the other hit is taken on the TN
    –> application of hits is appropriate based on the combat cycle game mechanics

    Continuing to a NEW Combat Cycle

    if you have 3 Attacking units … and all that remains are 3 ‘defending’ transports

    • Attacker wants to retreat but DECIDED to stay in combat thinking he wont likely get 3 hits, and is hoping for 2 hits
    • Attacker gets only 1-2 hits --> Attacker now retreats to avoid a counter-attack in that seazone --> Combat Cycle ends
    • Attacker gets 3 hits --> no more defending units --> Combat Cycle ends

    In making a LAZY supposition to the rules, by not consistently applying the basic game mechanics , you LESSEN the “strategy” of a strategic game
    There is a reason why Non-combat movement , that does not affect any of the combat is NOT done at the same time as combat
    :: That is to have Very Delineated Phases of Actions

    @Panther >>
    @taamvan >>

    Let me be clear about another point: The Rule Book is Ambiguous about this. You cannot stand on firm ground, without imposing your presuppositions into what the rule means. No one should think that by quoting the rule book about this, that it is Clearly Delineated\Defined. The words, as written in the rulebook, cannot validate a person’s ‘personal’ interpretation
    .


  • 2018 2017

    Lets say 20 transports remain on the defense and 1 attacking DD

    At what point do you get to retreat? Now, while there are 20? According to you, yes.

    But that wont do–we want to to kill most of those transports. So we roll and hit–now there are 19 remaining? Do we get to retreat now? According to you yes…but still…we arent done

    We would need to roll about 35-50 times–until only 1 transport remains. Now, we want to retreat and “strafe” to a square we could not have reached. According to you–ok, could have retreated from any number of transports.

    Problem with this approach is–none of this stuff happens. There is nothing in the rules to state that you have to roll to pick off each transport in turn and go round after round—all the transports simply die. ALL. Whether there are 20, or 1. And when they die–you as the attacker move any surviving units into that square.

    The second problem with your approach is that you’re selecting which rules apply.

    third problem is that youre trying to argue your novel point against

    The guy who wrote, playtested and proofread the rules (Krieg)
    The person selected by DJ to be the forum moderator for rules (Panther)
    A national tournament winner with over 200 games (Me)

    So we’re not right just because of who we are…but our opinions may be more convincing to you…

    The rulebook may be unclear to you. We argued endlessly about whether Japan can move into SZ 26 during peace–it can…it takes an exceedingly strained reading of the rules to find otherwise, yet all the people on the other side of that argument insisted that the words “within 2 sea zones of the conus” are vague and ambigous, when they are not. They simply did not like the result (that japan can sit with the US at peace) because it did not fit with their vision of what the rules SHOULD BE.



  • @taamvan >>

    taamvan : The rulebook may be unclear to you.
    –> My logical argument holds that the rulebook is unclear to YOU as well
    –> this part of the rulebook is unclear for ANYONE trying to lay claim as to what it is, based on The Words Used in the same rulebook


  • Official Answers

    "Step 6. Press Attack or Retreat
    Combat rounds (steps 2–5) continue unless one of the following two conditions occurs (in this order):

    Condition A—Attacker and/or Defender Loses All Units
    Once all units that can either fire at a valid target or retreat on one or both sides have been destroyed, the combat ends."

    If the defender has only transports remaining, he has lost all units that may either fire or retreat (they can do neither). One side has met that condition, so the combat is over. As Condition A takes precedence over Condition B, attacker retreat is no longer an option. There is nothing unclear or ambiguous about this.

    Defenseless Transports: In a sea battle, if the defender has only transports remaining and the attacker still has units capable of attacking, the defending transports are all destroyed, along with their cargo.”

    There is nothing unclear or ambiguous about this, either.

    You can argue a logical disconnect between the automatic destruction of transports and the attacker’s choice to leave them be, but you can’t argue that the rules are unclear.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Official Answers TripleA Moderator

    @PAGAN said in AA50 : Retreat From Enemy Transport:

    @Panther >>
    Let me be clear about another point: The Rule Book is Ambiguous about this. You cannot stand on firm ground, without imposing your presuppositions into what the rule means. No one should think that by quoting the rule book about this, that it is Clearly Delineated\Defined. The words, as written in the rulebook, cannot validate a person’s ‘personal’ interpretation.

    Be assured that I am personally highly convinced that the ground I am standing on is rock solid.
    In my previous statements I argued with nothing else than what @Krieghund again summarized here:

    @Krieghund said in AA50 : Retreat From Enemy Transport:

    "Step 6. Press Attack or Retreat
    Combat rounds (steps 2–5) continue unless one of the following two conditions occurs (in this order):

    Condition A—Attacker and/or Defender Loses All Units
    Once all units that can either fire at a valid target or retreat on one or both sides have been destroyed, the combat ends."

    If the defender has only transports remaining, he has lost all units that may either fire or retreat (they can do neither). One side has met that condition, so the combat is over. As Condition A takes precedence over Condition B, attacker retreat is no longer an option. There is nothing unclear or ambiguous about this.

    Defenseless Transports: In a sea battle, if the defender has only transports remaining and the attacker still has units capable of attacking, the defending transports are all destroyed, along with their cargo.”

    There is nothing unclear or ambiguous about this, either.

    You can argue a logical disconnect between the automatic destruction of transports and the attacker’s choice to leave them be, but you can’t argue that the rules are unclear.

    You can of course create your own interpretations and play according to them. Happy house ruling then. But in case you want to play according to the rulebook, the rules in the given case are rock solid and chrystal clear.



  • @Panther >>

    You guys should just write this: … So Sayeth The Shepard …
    If you don’t see your logic error, then you don’t see it
    … So Sayeth The Flock …
    .
    And since I am sitting here with a masters degree focused on symbolic logic and language studies … I find it rather funny
    .
    Thank you for answering my posts :: The End


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