@Cernel said in A&A Global 1940: Amphibious Assaults, Bridging, and Sea Zones that Start the Turn with Hostile Ships:
Thank you very much for the reply. It is very informative and very much in-line with the type of discussion I had hoped to would happen on the topic.
The main reason why I believe so is given by the fact that, by the rules, enemy ships have the ability to impede you offloading into a territory, from the sea zone they are inside. The dynamic by which this happens can only be pictured as these ships interposing themselves between your transports and the coastline where you intend to offload. Therefore, it would make no sense that, instead, they are unable to interpose themselves between your transports and the coastline where you intend to load. If you need to destroy all enemy ships before offloading to a coastline, it makes the only sense that you need to destroy all enemy ships before loading from a coastline, at least in the case in which the transports are moving into the sea zone (thus being blocked by the enemy ships, from moving any further).
I agree, that would be the dynamic for transports entering the sea zone from outside, and then attempting to bridge units across. The defending units could attempt to impede the load, or impede the unload. Tactically speaking impeding the unload might be superior since you are closer to your coast and can have the support of your shore batteries, and you are sinking transports with cargo, which is always more valuable than sinking empty transports. Also, impeding the unload action seems much more like “defending” your territory from incursion, and attempting to impede the load by sailing away from the coast you’re supposed to be defending to an enemy coast to attack an enemy port seems more like an “attack” or preemptive strike than defending. When it’s not your turn, you’re units are supposed to be “defending”, not “attacking”.
But nonetheless, the attacking units are performing a maneuver that is legal in the absence of the defender’s presence: arrive in the sea zone, load troops, unload troops on the enemy shore, and fight an amphibious assault. The fact that there are defending warships in the sea zone should just mean you have to destroy them first before you can proceed with the maneuver. However, due to the way the rules work for every game other than classic, this is not allowed.
Now, if the transports started in the sea zone at the start of the turn along with warship support, and the enemy launched a new fleet into the sea zone during their mobilize phase, it would seem impossible for the defending ships to impede the loading of the transports. The transports were already there at the start of the turn and thus are presumably already docked and ready to load and the rest of the fleet is on patrol nearby to keep them safe. It seems strange that “defending” enemy surface warships could have any say at all about what transports can load from the sea zone they start their turn in. Attacking an enemy port during preparations for an amphibious assault in an attempt to disrupt the loading of the transports is an attack action. Even say they did attack and try to prevent the load, and get destroyed, then the amphibious assault operation just proceeds and now the attacking surface warships are now also free to bombard when they arrive at the enemy coast since there’s nothing left for them to engage at that point.
@jchamlin I believe you are correct here for every strategic games since Revised LHTR (included). However, I believe that Europe, Pacific and Revised OOB (non-LHTR) reduce this to 2 turns only, as, on turn 1, you can just leave the empty transports in the sea zone, have them taking part in the sea battle and, then, load units onto them (so they will start turn 2 in the same sea zone, but with the units already on board).
Sorry for being new, but I’m not sure about all the acronyms for the various versions of the rules. I think OOB is Out of the Box (i.e. rules as written), and LHTR is Larry Harris Tournament Rules. So, you’re saying there’s a Revised OOB ruleset that allows transports to participate in both the combat and non-combat phases, by first “participating” in the sea battle (not that they do much) and then still participating in non-combat by loading units? Can the transports also move during non-combat after loading, and also unload, or can they just be loaded? Can you point me to where this revised rule is please (link to a forum thread, a rulebook page, an official errata/FAQ, etc)? I can’t seem to find it. The only thing I’ve found is the rule that says all ships present in the sea zone must participate in the battle.
Finally, @Krieghund, even though it doesn’t really matter, as “bridging” is merely flavour text, can we clarify it? @jchamlin clearly believes that moving into a sea zone and, then, loading and offloading units without moving any further is bridging. My understanding, instead, is that no bridging is happening during such sequence of actions, as bridging is, instead, when you load and offload units during the same turn while the transports doesn’t move at all, during the phase in which it is bridging (thus it is also not moving during the whole turn). So, is bridging whatever situation in which you load and offload without moving between loading an offloading (as @jchamlin believes) or is bridging only the situation in which you load and offload without moving the transport at all, during the whole phase (as I believe)?
Looks like @Krieghund already answered:
So I would say that the nature of the loading and offloading is what defines bridging, not whether or not the transport moves first.
So it looks like my interpretation is correct, that bridging is when you load and offload in the same sea zone. It doesn’t matter if the transport moves first. It only matters that it doesn’t move (i.e. doesn’t change sea zones) between the load and the unload actions.
I think the rules of both A&A Classic and A&A Europe 1942 that describe bridging support this conclusion. In A&A Classic the rulebook reads:
A transport can pick up cargo, move 1 or 2 sea zones, and unload the cargo all in the same move. THE CARGO CAN BE PICKED UP BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER THE TRANSPORT MOVES. … ONCE A TRANSPORT UNLOADS, HOWEVER, ITS MOVE IS OVER!
The next paragraph then goes on to describe bridging. Since all of the rules examples of using transports up until this point in the rulebook had them picking up cargo and moving 1 or 2 sea zones (or picking up, moving 1, picking up more, and moving again, and then dropping off), it wasn’t clear whether or not transports had to move in between picking up cargo and dropping it off. So, thus, the bridging rule was introduced.
Bridging: A transport can even load and unload units without moving from the sea zone it is in by “bridging”.
Note, it doesn’t say without moving at all. It says load and unload units without moving from the sea zone it is in. It could be more clearly written that bridging is when you load units and then offload them in another territory from the same sea zone where you loaded the units (i.e. a load and unload that does not require the transport to move to a different sea zone).
And A&A Europe 1940 Second Edition rulebook has this wording:
A transport can load and offload units without moving from the friendly sea zone it’s in (this is known as“bridging”). Each such transport is still limited to its cargo capacity. It can offload in only one territory, and once it offloads, it can’t move, load, or offload again that turn.
It’s pretty clear here that the phrase “can’t move, load, or offload again” means “can’t move again, can’t load again, can’t offload again”. Can’t move again clearly implies that the transport could have moved before bridging.
And finally, I want to address this:
even though it doesn’t really matter, as “bridging” is merely flavour text
Do we have an official statement from Larry Harris that bridging and the rulebook text around it is “merely flavour text”?
For example, the case of bridging into an amphibious assault when the transports start their turn in the sea zone from which they wish to perform the amphibious assault, do we know if it was Larry’s intent to really allow the purchase and mobilization of a single destroyer in that sea zone to be able to prevent the assault? If there’s an official reference to a comment from Larry saying so, I’d really like to read it. Otherwise, I think it would be good if Larry would chime in on this thread and provide us some context of why this is the case (i.e. what’s the purpose of the rule, either historically/factually, or is it for game balance reasons, or is this just an unintended side-effect of the rule that transports can’t load or unload from a hostile sea zone that he didn’t foresee)?