Attaching Commanders

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Saxonian
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Attaching Commanders

Post by Saxonian » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:26 am

Had a game today against one of our NZ bretheren (one of five he had in three days!) and a couple of differences in interpretation came up, one being when a commander is permitted to attach to a unit.

On p.18, it says:
"During the movement or recovery phases of his own turn a commander may move to join any one inf or cav unit of his own command, which is not already in combat."
This is in the "Organising Your Army" section, not in the "Detailed Rules".

On p.67, first bullet point of the "Recovery Phase", it says:
"The non-active player may first move any of his commanders up to 4MU in preparation for his next turn". (my emphasis)
I think the issue is the interpretation of what is meant by "in preparation for" actually means. Is it simply to move to ensure correct command distance, or is attachment permitted?

We have been playing that a commander can join a unit during either player's recovery phase.
The thought was that the non-active player moved first which gave the active player an opportunity to react to that move. A case of "If you attached there, you will probably charge that unit, so I should attach my guy to them".

Blathergut
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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by Blathergut » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:21 pm

Well, my thoughts:

a) re: page 18: I'd consider that introduction and not specific rules as such.

b) page 42-43: (3rd bullet on 43) just says in movement or recovery phase may join a unit...no stipulation of own turn (although that may be assumed perhaps)

c) re: page 67: I don't think too much should be read into "in preparation"

It has seemed to me that one of the main strategies in the game, re: commanders, is to detach them from your own units if not specifically needed for a cohesion test (charisma dice) during your own turn so that they are not targets of shooting in the upcoming enemy turn. But in the enemy recovery phase you attach to units you plan to need commander influence for attacks/moves.

deadtorius
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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by deadtorius » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:30 pm

I think you are free to join a unit at anytime, as long as that unit is not currently in a combat situation, which would most likely occur from a pursuit or pass through that ended in contact but won't be resolved until the next turn. Likewise you can leave a unit freely, as long as its not in combat.

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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by Blathergut » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:37 pm

I don't see anywhere in the commander rules on page 62 that states you cannot join a unit in combat. Is it somewhere other than the comment on page 18?

deadtorius
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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by deadtorius » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:11 pm

I thought Terry had even said at one time about not being able to leave a unit in combat, perhaps there is not restriction on joining in on a combat, my old brain is easily muddled these days....

Blathergut
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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by Blathergut » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:42 pm

Re: Generals in combat

Postby terrys » 11 Jan 2014 09:58
Certainly nothing in the rules on this - It's very rare for a combat to last 2 rounds.
My initial reaction is to not allow it at all.

Further thoughts are that the commander would be difficult to reach with orders, therefore no CPs could be allocated to a commander in combat from the CC.
Additionally, the unit he was 'leading' may think they were being abandoned by their commander, and should therefore take an immediate CT if he leaves.

However, for the number of times it's likely to happen, just banning him from leaving the combat is the easiest solution.

So, nothing in rules states a commander cannot leave a unit in combat. Whether it is a change that is wanted...

Saxonian
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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by Saxonian » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:09 pm

Just to clarify then:

a) A commander can attach to a unit during his own movement and recovery phase, and his opponents recovery phase.

b) There is nothing in the "Detailed Rules" which prevents a commander joining a unit in combat, so this is permitted.

c) The post from Terry would seem to indicate that leaving a unit in combat is not permitted.

Is this correct? Thanks in advance.

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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by Blathergut » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:39 am

c) The post from Terry would seem to indicate that leaving a unit in combat is not permitted.

Is this correct? Thanks in advance.

Well, it depends on what 'not permitted' means. 8)

It's not IN the rules that a commander can't leave. If playing a tournament, probably he can. Between friendly games, it's what you decide. It sounds right to not let them leave if still in combat. Dead. and I will play it that way and comment here if it comes up in games. Perhaps Terry will add it to errata/clarifications/etc.

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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by KeefM » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:25 am

As the perpetrator, I feel a need to add my two penneth :-) ...

For clarity, I don't care either way but a consistent interpretation would be nice !

So.

Firstly, the argument that page 18 is before the "detailed rules" section and therefore isn't to be taken as being a rule is a worrying line of reasoning. On that basis neither are the army lists nor the definitions nor the special features sections either, and yet these are also very clearly part of the 'rules'.

Secondly, by arguing that the 'detailed rules' bits over-rule page 18 directly makes page 18 totally invalid. However, if page 18 is in fact correct, that does not automatically contradict the other sections at all. Thus, it is possible for page 18 to be right and for the rest to be also correct.

Thirdly, in effect, to over-rule page 18, an interpretation of the intent of other sections is needed. Whereas page 18 is very clear as to "own turn".

Lastly, page 18 is also very clear about not joining units in combat !

As I stated, I don't really care what gets finally agreed ... but ignoring page 18 makes more problems than simply just accepting that it means exactly what it says.

Terry, your input please ??!

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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by BrettPT » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:55 am

Erudite summary Keith.

Page 18 is reasonably clear to me, and like Keith I don't think we can ignore a rule based on what section of the book it falls into.
If you read all 3 references in the rules, with the assumption you can only attach in your own turn, then they are not overly contradictory.

However if you decide that they can attach in any turn, you risk having page 18 quoted at you.

I dimly recall during early playtesting there was a perceived issue of Commanders bouncing around all over the place. Some restrictions were put in place - from memory these being commanders cannot attach to artillery, cannot move in the movement phase to join an existing combat and can only join in their own turn.

This may be an example of a rule being amended on one page (ie pg 18) but overlooked on other pages?

Terry, what's your call on this one?

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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by viperofmilan » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:19 pm

For what it is worth, our local Maryland group only allows commanders to attach to units in the friendly movement or recorvery phase, though they can detach in the enemy recovery phase. We like it as it forces one to think ahead about where commanders will be needed and what they will be needed to do.

Kevin

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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by Blathergut » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:33 pm

They do attach and detach frequently when you let them do it in both recovery phases. It's nice to be able to react to events in enemy turn and perhaps influence upcoming CMTs. I like being able to do something in the enemy turn.

Saxonian
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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by Saxonian » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:14 am

When I had finished my game against Keith, I was driving home and thinking about the ramifications of the rule that he had pointed out - and they are significant.
I was not trying to question the rules existence, nor its validity because of where it appeared in the book.
I asked the question because it has happened before that something that was tried in play-testing and subsequently not used has not been fully removed during the editing process, which has on occasion led to some confusion. The fact that it was mentioned just the once, and not reinforced in those parts of the rulebook where you might expect it to be reiterated, prompted the post.

The inability to attach a commander to a unit immediately before your turn means a pretty substantial alteration in the way we use them, for their ability to improve a unit's chance to pass a CMT, to get the 'free' CP, and to be in the right place for elan re-rolls. I understand the position that it forces you to think ahead in terms of where he is and how he is used, however I feel that the 4MU movement restriction goes a long way to achieving this.

What it takes away is the ability for a commander to react to a suddenly unfolding crisis.
There are many examples of a commander in battle being able to take command of the nearest unit to plug a gap, or be in position to reassure his troops under pressure.
Archduke Charles, during the Battle of Wagram (or was it Aspern-Essling?) rode to the Vincent Chevau-Legers and grabbed the standard before leading them in a charge.
Wellington had a reputation for being in the right place at all times.
Ney, in just about any battle he was in!!
These are three that immediately spring to mind, that I feel would not be able to be replicated.

I agree with Keith, I am happy to play the rule in whichever way is decided. Though I must say it was a bit of a shock when he pointed this issue out!!!
It has not been my feeling that commanders 'bounce around' overly much when attachment in every recovery phase is permitted.
And the fact that the inactive player moves his commanders first allows the active player to react if they feel the need to do so.

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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by KeefM » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:26 am

You raised a good point, Steve, and I agree that it leaves room for confusion.

Let's await Terry's verdict ...

BTB, I much prefer the "own turn only" version cos it means an attacker needs to be more careful and precise with their commander attachments; which in turn offsets some of the inherent advantages of being able to dictate the shape of the game. And, doesn't let a defender completely off the hook either :-) ...

Saxonian
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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by Saxonian » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:55 pm

Any word on this??

terrys
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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by terrys » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:45 am

This is how I would want the commander rules to work - I'll have to trawl through the rules to identify any changes required:

> Commanders can only join or leave a unit NOT IN COMBAT during their own Movement Phase or ANY Recovery Phase.
Note: I agree with others that you need to react to enemy moves.
We originally presumed that commanders wouldn't be leading units all that often - but as it turns out, players like to gain every advantage they can. (perhaps increasing the risk to generals would change that!)

> A commander must move with a unit in the assault phase if he is with that unit at the start of the phase.

> A commander with a unit in combat may choose to lead from the front or encourage from the rear. He only provides the re-roll if leading from the front, but cannot become a casualty if encouraging from the rear.

> A brigade Commander MUST lead from the front.

> Commanders can never join a unit already in combat in ANY phase.

> A Commander can only leave a unit in combat if he is not leading from the front AND:
...It is his own movement phase if he did not move with the unit during the assault phase.
...It is either players recovery phase.

NB. Players often forget about the halving of a commanders range if he is with a unit.

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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by viperofmilan » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:41 pm

terrys wrote:
NB. Players often forget about the halving of a commanders range if he is with a unit.
And is it not reduced to 0 if the unit to which he is attached is in contact with the enemy?

Kevin

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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by Blathergut » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:18 pm

I would assume (hopefully correctly) that "leading a unit in combat" (i.e., as above, leading from the front) would reduce command range to '0.'

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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by viperofmilan » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:58 pm

Blathergut wrote:I would assume (hopefully correctly) that "leading a unit in combat" (i.e., as above, leading from the front) would reduce command range to '0.'
Don't have my rules handy, but if memory serves the reduction in command range is for being attached to a unit in contact with the enemy. Nothing that I recall about "leading from the front" as opposed to "leading from the rear", but then that is an entirely new concept for FoG-N that is nowhere to be found in the RAW.

Kevin

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Re: Attaching Commanders

Post by Blathergut » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:28 pm

p. 18 (top right-hand paragraph on commanders): "...A commander leading a unit has his command range halved unless that unit is in close combat, in which case his command range is reduced to zero."

I think the above are Terry's ideas if given a chance to rewrite/clarify the rules/intentions. I like the idea of being able to decide if he's up in front or not for combat.

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