Martlet / At Sharp End Query

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Munin
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Re: Martlet / At Sharp End Query

Post by Munin » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:13 am

Seret wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:55 pm
Munin, I originally though he was asking about that too, but I actually think the question was whether the Brits could voluntarily withdraw during a game that they weren't winning, and then attack again in the next campaign turn. Which they can't. If they withdraw the Germans hold the initiative for the next turn and the soonest the British could get it back is the turn after that.
Not quite: if the British voluntarily withdraw in Turn 5 it counts as a loss and therefore hands the Germans the initiative to begin Turn 6. But if the Germans don't attack in Turn 6, then the initiative reverts back to the Brits in that same campaign turn and they get a chance to immediately "counterattack" (i.e. resume the offensive) while the campaign is still in Turn 6. So the British can attack again in Turn 6, but only if the Germans let them by declining to keep the initiative.

Here's another way to look at it: there can only be one battle per campaign turn (barring something campaign-specific like the "swanning" rule in Road to Bremen), but both players get the opportunity to initiate that battle unless the other side beats them to it.

Am I making sense to anyone but myself? FWIW, I read those passages in ATSE about 20 times before I wrapped my brain around what (I think) they were trying to get at and how they actually work.

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Seret
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Re: Martlet / At Sharp End Query

Post by Seret » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:13 am

Munin wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:13 am
if the Germans don't attack in Turn 6, then the initiative reverts back to the Brits in that same campaign turn and they get a chance to immediately "counterattack" (i.e. resume the offensive) while the campaign is still in Turn 6
Actually, after a re-read that's right. I didn't know initiative switched back in the same campaign turn, probably because in all the campaigns we've played nobody has ever declined to attack when they have the initiative!

Munin
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Re: Martlet / At Sharp End Query

Post by Munin » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:30 pm

I think it's more likely in a campaign like "Road to Malaya" where the defender must very carefully husband their resources, and where getting that extra static defense is of more value. Being able to drop a minefield in the middle of jungle road for free is worth its weight in gold in certain circumstances.

Also, in campaigns where time is critical (which is most of them), we take a dim view of the "lame counterattack," where the campaign defender deploys a single support unit on the table for a single phase and then withdraws just to cost the campaign attacker a full campaign turn. In order for it to count as a real counterattack, you have to be actually trying to win. This usually means getting all or most of your core platoon on the table. If you fail to do that, I would generally deem that your counterattack failed to really develop in any meaningful way and that it doesn't slow down your opponent at all (i.e. it would be like declining to attack at all, but without the benefit of buying time to dig in). This prevents half-hearted engagements that waste the players' time setting up terrain that's not going to be used for a battle that's a foregone conclusion before it even begins.

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