Commanders of units that are destroyed whilst Routing

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jcmedhurst
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Commanders of units that are destroyed whilst Routing

Post by jcmedhurst » Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:36 pm

Image

Hi there, Question that came up in a game today.

Cataphract Unit 1 breaks in the melee phase and routs, he can't deviate round Bosporan LH (max 1 base slippage, and this is not enough) so the unit disappears.

The question is what happens to the commander with the unit? The pursuing unit has rolled to try and kill him and failed. The destruction of the unit would leave him on his own squashed between 3 enemy units when the pursuit is completed.

On page 50 of the rules it says that

'if a battle groups move would take it into contact or within shooting range of an enemy commander who is not with a battle group he must immediately move (in any phase or turn) to join a friendly battle gropu if there is one within normal move distance, if not he does not move and is immediately lost.

It also says, in an earlier bullet

'he can only leave the battlegroup or volunatirly move to a different position in contact with it, during the manoeuvre or joint action phases'

My opponent's position was that the commander was destroyed with the unit, since he could not leave the battlegroup, and would therefore be destroyed with it, and even if he could move there was not a 1 MU gap to move through, and even if he could move he couldn't move twice in a phase.

My position was that the routing unit would first be removed, at which point the commander was on his own and in shooting range of the LH, at which point he would then move to join Cataphract unit 2 based upon the first quote.

Do we have a view on which position was correct?

John

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Post by marioslaz » Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:55 pm

Destroyed battle groups are not really destroyed, but dispersed over the possibility to rally. This of course doesn't apply to General and so he is not destroyed if BG which he joined has been destroyed. So you are right IMO.
Mario Vitale

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Post by dave_r » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:51 pm

If a general is with a unit that routs of table he is gone, as he has not had a chance to move - since generals can only make voluntary movement in the movement or Joint Action Phase.

When being shot at this is not voluntary movement - it is forced movement.

It would be debatable as to where he would go - the general would be in the front rank? so would therefore be touching the Bosporan Light Horse. The pursuing Roman Cavalry would then make their pursuit.

As soon as they make contact with the enemy general he has a move to join another friendly BG, otherwise he is lost.

If he could squeeze past the Bosporan LH and the Roman Cavalry to get to the routing cataphract 2 unit he is OK if not he is kaput.

All of this is on Pg50.

jcmedhurst
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Post by jcmedhurst » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:32 pm

If he could squeeze past the Bosporan LH and the Roman Cavalry to get to the routing cataphract 2 unit he is OK if not he is kaput.

All of this is on Pg50
Well, not quite, it says nothing about how big a gap a general needs to have between enemy troops to allow him to pass through. We know they interpenetrate friends freely, but that is not the issue here. We are told elsewhere that they are only a few aides and bodyguards and don't interfere with other movement, so arguably they don't need a full element width gap to move through.

So, how big a gap is enough? And do routs happen before pursuits? They are on the same line of the sequence of play. If the rout happens first, then the general is on his own adjacent to the horse archers before the Roman cav moves and has plenty of room no matter.

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Post by dave_r » Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:27 am

Well, not quite, it says nothing about how big a gap a general needs to have between enemy troops to allow him to pass through. We know they interpenetrate friends freely, but that is not the issue here. We are told elsewhere that they are only a few aides and bodyguards and don't interfere with other movement, so arguably they don't need a full element width gap to move through.
Think if you check that it states doesn't interfere with friendly movement?

jcmedhurst
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Post by jcmedhurst » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:30 am

Thanks for the thoughts Dave,

Actually it says 'Commanders bases represent only the commander and a few aides. Therefore they do not obstruct the movement of other troops. Commanders can interpenetrate any friendly troops in any direction and vice-versa'

So, the interpenetration is specifically friendly troops, but the not obstructing is general. What is missing is the case of their own movement being obstructed by enemy troops.

I would argue that the reasoning should still hold for gaps between enemy troops in that it is only the commander, his bodyguards and a few well chosen young men of good family and therefore is not really a full element in size.

It does also say that 'his base can be moved at any time the minimum necessary to a new such position if this is necessary to avoid obstructions or make way for friendly or enemy troops.' The 'such position' bit however refers to a position attached to the same unit, which is not the case here.

So, still not sure I know what is supposed to happen. If routs are done before pursuits he finds himself alone before the Roman Cav move, and therefore should have no problem, if he moves the moment he is contacted by the Roman Cav then he may or may not have a problem depending upon the angle and whether he needs a full width gap of one element wide to fit through, which seems to be far from clear - there is no specific information on this in the rules, so you could either assume he is like any other unit and does require a 1 element gap, or assume that since he represents only a few well-bred chaps he can fit through any size hole. Not sure if we have historical precedents for this with fleeing units being surrounded.

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Post by SirGarnet » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:39 am

As quoted above:

"if a battle groups move would take it into contact or within shooting range of an enemy commander who is not with a battle group he must immediately move (in any phase or turn) to join a friendly battle group if there is one within normal move distance, if not he does not move and is immediately lost."

This doesn't require the battle group move yet - the Commander immediately moves before the cavalry are in motion.

Normal move distance is 7 MU, modified by terrain. If there is no base width gap between enemy BGs I think he is surely lost, but otherwise I've just measured around enemy by the shortest route. I don't think the wording is crystal clear as to measurement.

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Post by footslogger » Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:43 pm

dave_r wrote:If a general is with a unit that routs of table he is gone, as he has not had a chance to move - since generals can only make voluntary movement in the movement or Joint Action Phase.

When being shot at this is not voluntary movement - it is forced movement.

It would be debatable as to where he would go - the general would be in the front rank? so would therefore be touching the Bosporan Light Horse. The pursuing Roman Cavalry would then make their pursuit.

As soon as they make contact with the enemy general he has a move to join another friendly BG, otherwise he is lost.

If he could squeeze past the Bosporan LH and the Roman Cavalry to get to the routing cataphract 2 unit he is OK if not he is kaput.

All of this is on Pg50.
Except that on p 110 it says that a "commander who attempts to rally a broken battle group does not have to rout with it if it fails the cohesion test."

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Post by dave_r » Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:19 pm

Except that on p 110 it says that a "commander who attempts to rally a broken battle group does not have to rout with it if it fails the cohesion test."
He isn't rallying the BG - he is routing with them when they turn and flee.

I think MikeK has got this right As soon as the pursuit starts then the general can move - he must move around enemy troops, I would say he needs a 40x40 gap to move through, but this is open to debate as it isn't really specified in the rules anywhere!

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Post by petedalby » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:45 am

If I follow the sequence correctly, the Cats rout at the end of the melee phase. Their path is blocked, it cannot be bypassed, and so it will be destroyed at the end of the phase (the melee phase).

So the enemy still get to pursue and get an attempt to kill the general at a '10'.

It is now the JAP and the general is free to move to the other Cat unit.

So I would suggest you were hard done by John.

Pete

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Post by grahambriggs » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:36 pm

I don't think cataphract 1 is destroyed. It moves per the evade rules. which state (p67) "halt 1MU away from any enemy BG in its path ....if it starts closer to them than 1MU it does not move at all". So I think it turns, stands still and gets pasted, and then will rout again n the JAP.

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Post by philqw78 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:32 pm

But routers who cannot complete their rout move are destroyed Graham

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Post by petedalby » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:20 pm

But routers who cannot complete their rout move are destroyed Graham
Quite right Phil.

Page 108 - 2nd bullet.

Pete

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Post by grahambriggs » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:37 pm

petedalby wrote:
But routers who cannot complete their rout move are destroyed Graham
Quite right Phil.

Page 108 - 2nd bullet.

Pete
Oh yes, quite right, but page 100 (not in the JAP yet). Bit odd isn't it - says move as per evade which in this case would just be to turn round and lose a base. But then it says if can't bypass is destroyed. But I can't move, so I don't need to bypass....

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Post by petedalby » Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:17 pm

Oh yes, quite right, but page 100 (not in the JAP yet). Bit odd isn't it - says move as per evade which in this case would just be to turn round and lose a base. But then it says if can't bypass is destroyed. But I can't move, so I don't need to bypass....
But on the same page - p100, last bullet - it reads:

'If its path is obstructed by unbroken enemy that cannot be bypassed, the battle group is destroyed at the end of the phase.'

I'm struggling to see how this can be ambiguous. If you can avoid the obstruction you do so, moving as evaders. If you can't you're destroyed. Routers are not evaders - they are moving as evaders. Each has different consequences if its move is blocked.

Pete

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Post by hazelbark » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:05 am

petedalby wrote:
I'm struggling to see how this can be ambiguous. If you can avoid the obstruction you do so, moving as evaders. If you can't you're destroyed. Routers are not evaders - they are moving as evaders. Each has different consequences if its move is blocked.
It is hard to track as it is different portions using overlaping rules for different effects. I think repeating the sections where relevant would have been cleaner if somewhat repetitious.

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