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Flank Attacks

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Flank Attacks

Post by accard on Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:46 pm

Post game tonight I had a discussion with  a couple of other Impetus players at the club who had what I thought was a bizarre interpretation of the flank attack rule.

We all agreed that in a one on one melee, if a unit was attacked in the flank and it lost the melee then it was destroyed - so far no problems.

But they thought that if a unit was engaged frontally, and was then attacked in the flank by another unit and it then lost, then it wasn't destroyed.  

I found their feeble reasoning hard to follow, but it went something like this:
The unit engaging frontally counts as the main unit (we agreed here), the flank attack unit is a supporting unit.

While 7.2.2 and 7.6.2 both mention that if a unit fights against a enemy unit on its flank/rear and loses it is destroyed, their interpretation was that in this case the unit is not fighting the flanking unit, it is fighting the frontal unit. The flanking unit is providing supporting dice, but is not fighting. They pointed to the wording in 7.7.3 (The main unit fights at full strength, while the support units provide a contribution in dice...) Hence it is not specifically spelled out that the support unit is fighting.

well I ask you!

I pointed out he stupidity of this from a common sense position, which they reluctantly acknowledged, but insisted that this was what the rules said, and that it was the common position adopted on the forum regarding this situation.

I think I should just clip them around the ears, but thought I would seek confirmation from this wise and august body first.

Surely all units who are engaged in melee are "fighting"

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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:13 pm

The interpretation given to you accard is incorrect (something that you obviously already know.)  The condition of being subject to a flank attack has nothing to do with the flanking unit being a main unit or a support unit in the melee. To read this into 7.2.2 is not to understand how Impetus is written.

7.6.2 states, "If the Unit fought against an enemy Unit that contacted in on its flank or rear and fail the Cohesion Test then it is Routed." Had Lorenzo intended only main units to qualify in this regard he would have said so. The critical phrasing is "enemy Unit" and that can mean main or support.

Support units are clearly understood in the rules to be engaged in melee.

As an aside, I have been an active participant in the Impetus Forum for 5+ years and I have never seen an interpretation for flank attacks as you describe here (or the Old Forum.)
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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Geoffrm on Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:56 pm

I, the accused, feel I must reply to this. 7.2.2 actually says something completely different.
7.2.2 at 2) says:
If it loses the melee, after fighting with an enemy unit that has contacted it on its flank or rear it is immediately routed. For this to occur an ACTUAL melee must take place between the two units. Two units can be in contact but considering how melees may be split up, they may not actually fight each other but rather have different opponents.

7.3 in the last paragraph reads:
A large unit that is charged in the flank or rear gets its depth bonus (not any more), but if it fails the cohesion test it is routed if the case is not an exception shown in paragraph 7.2.2.

7.6.2 in paragraph 3
If the unit fought against an enemy unit that contacted it on its flanks or rear and fails the cohesion test the it is routed.

The one common theme through these three sections of the rules is that the flanked unit must be actually fighting the unit that flanks it and no one else. It does not matter how you define the actions of the flanking unit. The flanked unit must, to be routed, be fighting the flanking unit. In these rules I have yet to see the rule which says you can fight two units, and therefor inflict cohesion tests on both of them.

7.6.3 covers what happens if you retreat with a unit engaged on your flank.

Geoff. P.S. I usually bring this sort of thing up because I like to see Andy's face turn red.

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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:55 pm

I believe you are correct Geoff.

My understanding, based on comments made by Lorenzo on the Old Forum, is that only flanking units that are considered as a main or support unit in a melee cause the automatic rout. Occasionally a unit contacts the enemy on the flank but because of other circumstances is actually the main unit in another melee. In that case the condition of automatic rout does not occur even if the flanked unit loses the melee.

One sees this happen when the flanked unit is rescued by friendly units that engage the flanking unit. In that case, although technically in contact with the flanked unit the flanking unit is neither a main or support unit in the respective melee and has no impact on that melee. Should the flanking unit win the melee against the relieving unit and no longer be in contact with it then the flanking unit is now, again, a support unit in the other melee.
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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by dadiepiombo on Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:50 pm

if a Unit is taken on the flank/rear and looses the melee it is destroyed.
What matters is that the Unit on the flank/rear took part in the melee, as Main or as Support.

Sometimes it can happen that a Supporting Unit is physically on the flank/rear but it isn't taking part in the melee (where it was originally involved) because it was itself charged on the flank/rear (and so turned to be the Main Unit of another melee).
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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Geoffrm on Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:42 am

What I do not understand is the second sentence in 7.2.2 2)that states that an 'actual melee must take place between the two units'. This would indicate that the flanked unit must engage in direct combat with the flanking unit, not that the flanking unit needs only be a support unit.

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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by accard on Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:57 am

Being a support unit in a melee still counts as engaging in direct combat - or fighting. This unit is engaged/fighting, just not as the main unit.

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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:36 am

A support unit Geoff is engaged in melee. I am not sure what your problem is with this as it conforms to 7.2.2.?

What I thought you were describing above is a the situation where a unit engaged in a flank melee is itself under contacted by an enemy unit. In that case the mere touching of the enemy flank is not sufficient to cause an automatic rout. The flanking unit must be part of the melee (as a main unit or a support unit.)

As an aside, I now see why Lorenzo always has the flanking unit as the support unit when the enemy is contacted on the front and flank. This allows for the flanking unit to be drawn off into a separate melee as a main unit and thereby taking away the automatic rout. Very clever.



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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Geoffrm on Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:02 am

No I'm just being padantic with the rules. The rule 6.2.2 clearly states that the flanked unit must engage in a melee with the flanking unit. Main units may be attacked by a supporting unit via the dice it provides but main units are never in a melee with a supporting unit only another main unit.

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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by accard on Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:30 am

Melee occurs when two or more enemy units come into contact. 7.1

Nothing in the rules anywhere that says only main units are in melee.

You are reading something into it that isnt there.


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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:18 pm

Sorry Geoff but on this one you are incorrect. Melees are organized between main units (ie. main units fight main units) but support units are considered equally in melee against enemy units. The rules state this, I suspect the vast majority of experienced Impetus players play it this way and Lorenzo has said as such.
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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:40 am

Geoffrm wrote:No I'm just being padantic with the rules.  The rule 6.2.2 clearly states that the flanked unit must engage in a melee with the flanking unit.  Main units may be attacked by a supporting unit via the dice it provides but main units are never in a melee with a supporting unit only another main unit.

That is not being pedantic, that is being a bit silly.

You are fighting against the flanking unit as long as it contributes dice to the melee, simple as that.

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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:21 pm

Granicus Gaugamela wrote:

That is not being pedantic, that is being a bit silly.

No, I think Geoff is like the rest of us trying his best to read the rules and play them correctly. I have made many errors along the way and have appreciated being corrected on the Forum so that I can play the game properly. I do like you idea though GG that if a unit contributes dice to the melee its in the melee. That is about as simple an explanation as it gets.
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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:10 am

[quote="Gaius Cassius"]
Granicus Gaugamela wrote:
I do like you idea though GG that if a unit contributes dice to the melee its in the melee. That is about as simple an explanation as it gets.

It seems logical and is a simple test.

The concept of a flank attack isn't that the defenders stay in a rigid formation facing the front, as with all things wargaming formations are somewhat abstracted, if you get hit in the flank you must turn to face that enemy or they will simply cut you down without opposition. If you are engaged frontally and on the flank then the majority who are facing the front are worried about what is going on outside their line of vision hence the power of flank attacks.

So logically in our game whilst the main unit is the frontal unit, the side unit is still in there trying to kill you.

One of the more interesting outcomes from attacks from 2 different directions are that they can actually WEAKEN the value of a flank attack.

An example that happened not so long ago: Elephant unit braves enemy fire and makes frontal contact, result is eventually a loss and melee stick. Elephant has 4 dice remaining (loss plus dosorder reduction).

Alexander and the Agema do what Alexander does and they race around the flank of the pinned line and drive in to the rear. reigniting combat. Elephant has 4 dice. Alexander contributes 7+4+2+1 (VBU, Impetus, Flank, A grade vs lower grade) or 14 dice, halved for being the support unit takes it to 7 dice.

So Alexander combined with the elephant get 11 dice whereas Alex would have had 14 in exactly the same position if the elephant wasn't involved. (As a further aside I have had Alex do his thing and score 14 dice several times and then fail to roll a single and then being exposed so it's a risky, but historical, use of him and his guys)

So be it, them's the rules. Maybe for Impetus 2 we could consider that a unit that gets a genuine flank attack on a unit already engaged frontally doesn't get their dice halved, or perhaps the main unit is the unit with most dice contributed and the other(s) are the ones halved.

Nothing to die in a ditch over, just seems a little illogical that a flank attack is lessened against an enemy who have been pinned from the front.

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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by accard on Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:40 am

If we are talking of version 2 then another couple of things to consider perhaps:

Currently when hit in the flank there is automatic disorder. If you are already disordered then no penalty, so perhaps it should count as a 'hit' - if you are disordered you take a loss. Being hit in the flank when disordered cant be good for a unit.

Alternatively, or as well, perhaps units hit in the flank should get a -1 on their cohesion tests on the turn of the charge.





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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:44 am

accard wrote:
Alternatively, or as well, perhaps units hit in the flank should get a -1 on their cohesion tests on the turn of the charge.

In addition to or replacing the autorout?

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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by accard on Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:53 am

I was thinking in addition to.

But too much you reckon?

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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:33 am

I like the way the rules work now on flank attacks. I think the balance is about where it should be.
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Re: Flank Attacks

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:50 am

I tend to agree with GC, if the autorout stays in there then the risk remains, if you blow it you blow it big time. If you get away with it, then you're a Genius General who accepted the danger in order to keep teh battlefield alive (as long as you win, you get to write the history etc...)

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