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Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage» Forums » Rules

Subject: Attrition if attacker successfully withdraws on first round? rss

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Will Fleeson
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Hi All,

If the attacker successfully withdraws on the first round, is there any attrition?
I couldn't find the answer anywhere.

Thanks,

Will
 
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Dave Rubin
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Yes. The last round of battle counts as a full round.
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Will Fleeson
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Thanks, Dave. Could you point me to the rules or FAQ that clarifies that? I couldn't find it, and the only thing I did find suggested that withdrawals do not count as action rounds.

Also, to make sure my question is clear, I am asking about a case in which there is only a withdrawal attempt, that is, no battle cards were played at all.

Thanks,
Will

 
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Russ Williams
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A withdrawal is done by the attacker when it's their turn to play a card in the round. I'm not sure why that would cause the round to be negated - it's already started, after all.

14.11 says "Failed withdrawal attempts do not count as a round", i.e. when the defender becomes the attacker because of a failed withdrawal, you don't consider a new round to have begun.

There's nothing explicit about successful withdrawal attempts (that I can find).

But there's also no explicit rule about a battle lasting 0 rounds, so that seems like circumstantial evidence that the round of the withdrawal is counted as a round, otherwise indeed a battle could last 0 rounds, and you'd be left with the question "So do we roll attrition on the leftmost (1) column? Or do we not roll attrition?"

Other circumstantial evidence is that the final round in a "normal" battle, when one side doesn't play a card, still counts as a round even though only 0 or 1 cards were played.
 
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Dave Rubin
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From the Second Edition rules,

16.2 A Successful Withdrawal
A successful withdrawal ends the battle and forces the withdrawing player to move his army to an adjacent space (exception: units that sallied forth from a besieged walled city may withdraw back into it). Battle casualties are resolved normally, but the Retreat Table is not used.

and

14.11 Battle Casualties
After the victor has been determined, players roll on the Attrition Table to determine the number of CUs that must be removed by both sides for battle casualties. The number of rounds that occurred in the battle
determines the column to use on the table. The last round in the battle (the one in which the defender could not match the attacker) is counted as a full round. Players cross-reference the column with a die roll to determine the number of CUs eliminated.

True, there is no attempt by the defender to match (per 14.11), but 16.2 tells us to resolve matters as if there were, i.e. normally.
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Will Fleeson
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Thanks to you both for your reasoning about this issue. I agree that the points you bring up certainly provide circumstantial evidence for counting an immediate successful withdrawal as one round of the battle. Unfortunately, there is no direct evidence in these rules. In addition, I can see circumstantial evidence for the argument that an immediate successful withdrawal does not count as a battle.

First, there is the issue that a successful withdrawal prior to a battle card being played implies that the attacker withdrew prior to the onset of hostilities. Without hostilities, there are no casualties. I can easily imagine Hannibal surveying the field as the armies deploy, realizing that the deployment is not favorable, and getting out of there before Varro could react.

Second, as you point out Dave, there is not attempt by the defender to match the attacker, and moreso, the defender is not even allowed to match the attacker. Thus, the sentence in 14.11 does not refer to this case.

Third, in the only case in which the rules do explicitly mention withdrawal attempts, they say that withdrawal attempts do not count towards attrition.

This might be a case where we could get a ruling from the Designer, if he happened upon the question. It only matters on a die roll of 6, but 1 or 2 of those in a game could make a difference to Hannibal's success in Italy. Incidentally, when it came up, I wanted the attrition roll, but my opponent did not. We flipped a coin and I won, but he didn't roll a 6. Curses.

Thanks again for your thoughts, I appreciate them,

Will

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Russ Williams
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willf wrote:
Thanks to you both for your reasoning about this issue. I agree that the points you bring up certainly provide circumstantial evidence for counting an immediate successful withdrawal as one round of the battle. Unfortunately, there is no direct evidence in these rules. In addition, I can see circumstantial evidence for the argument that an immediate successful withdrawal does not count as a battle.

First, there is the issue that a successful withdrawal prior to a battle card being played implies that the attacker withdrew prior to the onset of hostilities. Without hostilities, there are no casualties. I can easily imagine Hannibal surveying the field as the armies deploy, realizing that the deployment is not favorable, and getting out of there before Varro could react.

Well, it could be considered "attrition" rather than "casualties" per se (it is the attrition table after all) - a hasty withdrawal before the battle starts probably involves some confusion, disorganization, and stragglers.

Quote:
Second, as you point out Dave, there is not attempt by the defender to match the attacker, and moreso, the defender is not even allowed to match the attacker. Thus, the sentence in 14.11 does not refer to this case.

Again, note that in the case no cards are played (because the attacker can't or chooses not to play a card), it is also still considered a round. So there is clear precedent for a round with no cards being played nonetheless counting as a round.

Quote:
Third, in the only case in which the rules do explicitly mention withdrawal attempts, they say that withdrawal attempts do not count towards attrition.

Yes, but they explicitly say "Failed withdrawal attempts do not count as a round", saying nothing about successful withdrawal attempts. This strongly suggests to me that the "Failed" part is significant. Otherwise they surely wouldn't have qualified it with "Failed", and they would have simply said a simpler more general statement like "Withdrawal attempts do not count as a round" or "Withdrawals do not count as a round".

Quote:
This might be a case where we could get a ruling from the Designer, if he happened upon the question.

Agreed. You could always send him a geekmail; I did in the past about some other rule question thread, and he posted a comment answering it. (I guess he does not subscribe to the forum...)

For me, the intent seems sufficiently clear, but I agree the rules seem unfortunately unclear about it as written.
 
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Will Fleeson
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Hi Russ,

These are really good points, and I don't disagree with any one of them. I'm left concluding that either way of seeing it has some merit, so I think I'll follow your suggestion and write to Mr. Simonitch.

Will
 
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