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Subject: Some Rules Questions rss

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David Buckland
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We have some more rules questions:

Are Naval Units affected by the Supply & Forage rules? 7.0 says these rules apply to “all blocks”, but the example illustrated implies that naval units at sea do not have to be supplied. It would seem odd if these units do have to be supplied if in port.

Karl XII – The Knight Rider (11.1): should the reference to “turns” be “years”? Otherwise, the historical date for the King’s return (Winter 1714) seems impossible.

Great Britain (10.8): “combat losses are permanent”. Does this mean no replacements while Great Britain is currently active (with the British naval block coming back at full strength on re-entry, if Great Britain leaves the conflict and then rejoins it later), or no replacements throughout the entire game, regardless of activation and de-activation?

Cession of Pommern or Bremen-Verden (10.1): can these territories be ceded by Sweden if conquered or occupied by the Allies?

Do the rules for naval battles follow those for land battles, eg. defender fires first, blocks moving into the battle area over a different border are reserves?

Saxony Events: Polish Parliament Assembles. If this event occurs before Poland fully activates (eg. in 1700, when Poland is allowing Saxony to draw supply through Polish territory, but is not actively participating in the war), what is the effect?

What is the status of land units still loaded on naval units, if the latter have docked in a port, but not unloaded, and the surrounding area is entered by enemy land units? If the enemy successfully besieges the port, do the embarked land units retreat to sea with the naval units, also losing 1 SP per unit in the process (as per 8.3)?

In the interphase between years, are replacements taken before or after rolling for the activation of nations?

Truce (6.9): the victor is entitled to keep one conquered area belonging to the defeated nation, loser’s choice. Is there any requirement for contiguity? For example, Sweden (holding all its At Start areas) invades Russia, conquering Novgorod, Velikaya, and Rzjev before taking Moscow itself. Could the Russians select Rzjev as the area to be ceded to Sweden (which would seem odd)? Are lost areas from Truces cumulative? For example, Russia having been defeated in the above example, Russia cedes Novgorod. A few years later it rejoins the war, but is defeated again, and Moscow is again captured. Is a second territory ceded?
 
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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davidbuck wrote:
We have some more rules questions:

Hi David,
I'm the developer of the GMT edition of the game, and I'll do my best to answer these questions using the clarifications we've worked out so far.

Quote:
Are Naval Units affected by the Supply & Forage rules? 7.0 says these rules apply to “all blocks”, but the example illustrated implies that naval units at sea do not have to be supplied. It would seem odd if these units do have to be supplied if in port.

Fleets do not require forage, but must be in a harbor to receive replacements. Blocks being transported by fleets do not require forage, neither can they receive replacements.

Quote:
Karl XII – The Knight Rider (11.1): should the reference to “turns” be “years”? Otherwise, the historical date for the King’s return (Winter 1714) seems impossible.

This rule should be read as "years". Make the roll in the Replacements Phase at the start of the year.

Quote:
Great Britain (10.8): “combat losses are permanent”. Does this mean no replacements while Great Britain is currently active (with the British naval block coming back at full strength on re-entry, if Great Britain leaves the conflict and then rejoins it later), or no replacements throughout the entire game, regardless of activation and de-activation?

The Royal Navy block cannot receive replacements while active. When it returns to play after deactivation, it returns at full strength.

Quote:
Cession of Pommern or Bremen-Verden (10.1): can these territories be ceded by Sweden if conquered or occupied by the Allies?

Yes, they can be ceded while Sweden does not control them. Bear in mind that this renders the receiving countries neutral and prohibited territories, and Sweden will not be able to try to recover her ceded territory (i.e. the loss becomes permanent.)

Quote:
Do the rules for naval battles follow those for land battles, eg. defender fires first, blocks moving into the battle area over a different border are reserves?

Yes. Note that retreats are made to any friendly harbor, however.

Quote:
Saxony Events: Polish Parliament Assembles. If this event occurs before Poland fully activates (eg. in 1700, when Poland is allowing Saxony to draw supply through Polish territory, but is not actively participating in the war), what is the effect?

Poland immediately becomes a Swedish ally, and receives its allotment of RPs to build Polish blocks. Saxony permanently loses its ability for free passage and supply in Polish territories (although if Poland were to switch sides again back to the Coalition, it would be friendly territory again).

Quote:
What is the status of land units still loaded on naval units, if the latter have docked in a port, but not unloaded, and the surrounding area is entered by enemy land units? If the enemy successfully besieges the port, do the embarked land units retreat to sea with the naval units, also losing 1 SP per unit in the process (as per 8.3)?

I believe that land units may not be aboard fleets in a harbor, so the land units would debark into the territory as soon as the fleets enter the harbor. Please note that fleets cannot just enter any port, but only a harbor.

Quote:
In the interphase between years, are replacements taken before or after rolling for the activation of nations?

Activation of nations happens first, then on-map replacements, then building new blocks with remaining RPs (one at a time).

Quote:
Truce (6.9): the victor is entitled to keep one conquered area belonging to the defeated nation, loser’s choice. Is there any requirement for contiguity? For example, Sweden (holding all its At Start areas) invades Russia, conquering Novgorod, Velikaya, and Rzjev before taking Moscow itself. Could the Russians select Rzjev as the area to be ceded to Sweden (which would seem odd)? Are lost areas from Truces cumulative? For example, Russia having been defeated in the above example, Russia cedes Novgorod. A few years later it rejoins the war, but is defeated again, and Moscow is again captured. Is a second territory ceded?

As the rules stand, contiguity is not required. I will consult with the designers on what their intention is. I think it is smart to require continuity and would play that way myself in absence of an official ruling at this time.
I would say, yes a second territory is ceded if Russia is forced into a truce for a second time, but again will consult with the designers.

Thank you for your insightful questions. I think you'll be very pleased with the new edition of the game, as we are doing everything we can to tighten up the rules.
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David Buckland
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Scott,

Thank you for your admirably prompt and helpful response to my queries. I did know about the GMT version, and am very pleased that this excellent game is likely to reach a much wider audience as a result. The increased map size alone will be well worth while – I produced my own version, doubling the size from (in European paper sizes) A3 to A2, and this seemed to suit the block density better (the following is from a game of The End Is Near scenario).



A couple of follow-up points:

- Units on ships. I thought the designers had clarified (in another boardgamegeek PB rules thread) that loading units on ships in a port is one activation, moving the ships another activation, and unloading the transported units requires a third activation. This presumably opens up the possibility of units having been loaded on to ships (one activation), moved by sea to another land area (a second activation), but then not unloaded, owing to insufficient activations – hence the question about the status of these units if enemy blocks enter the area.

- Ceding areas and contiguity. This is perhaps more complicated than I implied in my earlier question, which, as may have been apparent, was based on an actual game. Taking another game example, the Danes decided to intervene again in the war before the Swedes had suffered a Poltava. The result was a Swedish army marching from Stralsund via Jylland to Sjaelland, defeating both garrisons, and forcing the Danes to sue for peace. The only conquered territory apart from the capital was Jylland, but we felt it very unlikely that the Danes would have ceded Jutland – surely they would have offered concessions in Norway. Then there are Saxony and Prussia, who have only two areas.

One option would be to add to the list of territories which cannot be ceded: Jylland, Thüringen, and Sachsen, perhaps. The other would be to view such cessions as representing something slightly different than outright cession – such as perhaps the imposition of heavy indemnities or subsidies (or a time-limited occupations: Karl XII thought of this as a preferable option to outright cession when considering if Prussia or Hanover might be bought off).

Perhaps the best way would be something along the following lines: the ceded area is the loser’s choice, but must be contiguous to the winner’s territory, if possible.

- I did not raise the issue of the sequence of taking replacements, as the designers had already replied to an earlier query (from you, I think) that this is simultaneous. However, I would agree that this approach has problems, and a standard sequence might be preferable.

- One other rule which is clear enough, but I think slightly dubious, is that relating to the entry of the Royal Navy block based (as one possibility) upon there being more Allied naval blocks at sea than Swedish blocks. This means that the British naval block might be activating and deactivating from moment to moment, as the two sides move their blocks from port to sea. Perhaps this is intentional, but it seems a little odd. In addition, it leads to some apparently gamey effects. For example, the Danish navy attacks and beats the Swedes, who retreat to port (no blocks lost on either side). The British naval block now appears, as the Allies have more blocks at sea. If both Swedish naval units put to sea, the British deactivate, so the better Swedish move is to move only one block to sea, and have this join in an attack on the Danes with British help. The idea in such circumstances that the British will only help the Swedes if they leave half their navy in port seems unlikely in actuality. Navies of the time reckoned their enemies by their total naval strength, regardless of whether they were at sea or not, so possibly counting total naval units, rather than blocks at sea, might be an alternative approach.
 
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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davidbuck wrote:
Thank you for your admirably prompt and helpful response to my queries. I did know about the GMT version, and am very pleased that this excellent game is likely to reach a much wider audience as a result. The increased map size alone will be well worth while – I produced my own version, doubling the size from (in European paper sizes) A3 to A2, and this seemed to suit the block density better (the following is from a game of The End Is Near scenario).


Thank you, David.
Yes, we plan to increase the map size to the standard GMT 22x34, which should provide plenty of room.

Quote:
- Units on ships. I thought the designers had clarified (in another boardgamegeek PB rules thread) that loading units on ships in a port is one activation, moving the ships another activation, and unloading the transported units requires a third activation. This presumably opens up the possibility of units having been loaded on to ships (one activation), moved by sea to another land area (a second activation), but then not unloaded, owing to insufficient activations – hence the question about the status of these units if enemy blocks enter the area.

This has been a source of confusion -- sea transport is accomplished by loading blocks, via a territory with a friendly port, onto fleets that are at sea in a sea zone. Blocks cannot be loaded onto fleets in harbor. This should clear up the issues you mention.

In general, fleets are only in harbor when first built or when undergoing repairs; otherwise you will want them at sea.

Quote:
- Ceding areas and contiguity. This is perhaps more complicated than I implied in my earlier question, which, as may have been apparent, was based on an actual game. Taking another game example, the Danes decided to intervene again in the war before the Swedes had suffered a Poltava. The result was a Swedish army marching from Stralsund via Jylland to Sjaelland, defeating both garrisons, and forcing the Danes to sue for peace. The only conquered territory apart from the capital was Jylland, but we felt it very unlikely that the Danes would have ceded Jutland – surely they would have offered concessions in Norway. Then there are Saxony and Prussia, who have only two areas.

One option would be to add to the list of territories which cannot be ceded: Jylland, Thüringen, and Sachsen, perhaps. The other would be to view such cessions as representing something slightly different than outright cession – such as perhaps the imposition of heavy indemnities or subsidies (or a time-limited occupations: Karl XII thought of this as a preferable option to outright cession when considering if Prussia or Hanover might be bought off).

Perhaps the best way would be something along the following lines: the ceded area is the loser’s choice, but must be contiguous to the winner’s territory, if possible.

I will take these issues up with the designers, and I expect the solution will be similar to what you have proposed. We may end up allowing cession of territories not occupied by the invader if no others are available. In any case, these cessions don't help Sweden's victory conditions that much, since it is only their own territory that counts.

Quote:
- I did not raise the issue of the sequence of taking replacements, as the designers had already replied to an earlier query (from you, I think) that this is simultaneous. However, I would agree that this approach has problems, and a standard sequence might be preferable.

It may matter for on-map replacements only (builds are rather restricted). Block games in general require the honor system, so it has not been an issue. Moreso, Sweden rarely has so few RPs as to not bring all their forces to full strength, so again the decision is almost never meaningful.

Quote:
- One other rule which is clear enough, but I think slightly dubious, is that relating to the entry of the Royal Navy block based (as one possibility) upon there being more Allied naval blocks at sea than Swedish blocks. This means that the British naval block might be activating and deactivating from moment to moment, as the two sides move their blocks from port to sea. Perhaps this is intentional, but it seems a little odd. In addition, it leads to some apparently gamey effects. For example, the Danish navy attacks and beats the Swedes, who retreat to port (no blocks lost on either side). The British naval block now appears, as the Allies have more blocks at sea. If both Swedish naval units put to sea, the British deactivate, so the better Swedish move is to move only one block to sea, and have this join in an attack on the Danes with British help. The idea in such circumstances that the British will only help the Swedes if they leave half their navy in port seems unlikely in actuality. Navies of the time reckoned their enemies by their total naval strength, regardless of whether they were at sea or not, so possibly counting total naval units, rather than blocks at sea, might be an alternative approach.

Only count fleets for British activation during the Interphase. As for only counting fleets at sea, a fleet in port isn't doing anything, and a Swedish fleet blockaded in port means their continental forces are at risk. I would think it's a strategy with little to gain.

Incidentally, if you wish to join our playtest efforts, please write me privately and I can get you set up with the current rules.
 
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Stefan Ekström
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sdiberar wrote:
davidbuck wrote:
Truce (6.9): the victor is entitled to keep one conquered area belonging to the defeated nation, loser’s choice. Is there any requirement for contiguity? For example, Sweden (holding all its At Start areas) invades Russia, conquering Novgorod, Velikaya, and Rzjev before taking Moscow itself. Could the Russians select Rzjev as the area to be ceded to Sweden (which would seem odd)? Are lost areas from Truces cumulative? For example, Russia having been defeated in the above example, Russia cedes Novgorod. A few years later it rejoins the war, but is defeated again, and Moscow is again captured. Is a second territory ceded?

As the rules stand, contiguity is not required. I will consult with the designers on what their intention is. I think it is smart to require continuity and would play that way myself in absence of an official ruling at this time.
I would say, yes a second territory is ceded if Russia is forced into a truce for a second time, but again will consult with the designers.


Yes, Scott's right. Each new truce forces loser to cede a new territory. (If occupied by enemy that is)
 
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