Holding back on reinforcements

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Holding back on reinforcements

Postby Drex » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:37 am

I just finished a Vicksburg Campaign against an able opponent who used a tactic with which I am unfamiliar. Instead of accepting reinforcements as they arrived, he kept back 1000 men until the last turn. There was a 1000 pt objective on his entry hex. I had taken the hex earlier since he left it unguarded, and had protected it with 450 troops. My surprise when on the last turn he brought his reinforcements on the board and my 450 men just disappeared and his score went up by those losses plus the 1000 pts. I still got a draw but this was the last battle of the campaign and instead of a campaign victory I only got a draw out of it. I am wondering about the integrity of this tactic and also that the 1000 men would automatically displace my troops without a melee, or at least they would rout away from the entry hex. :?:
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Re: Holding back on reinforcements

Postby nsimms » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:22 pm

I've done it a few times. A supply wagon would have done the same damage by making any opponent units on the entry hex disappear and routing any other opponent units within the protected reinforcement range. I didn't think that the disappearing units that were on the entry hex caused a point gain though but just disappeared. Accordingly, I never park one of my units on an opponent's reinforcement hex and do my best to avoid establishing a perimeter within the protected reach of one unless I know for sure that all reinforcements have been previously arrived at that point. I just held back reinforcements in a Battle of Chickamauga as my opponent swept past that point and I held his line within protected range. Darn it, though, the next morning when I brought on my reinforcements, he had withdrawn to a safer area. It's a good way to round up a few routed and isolated units and cause your opponent's line to stretch a little thinner, all at practically no cost.
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Re: Holding back on reinforcements

Postby Drex » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:24 pm

I see, but to place an objective on an entry hex is like preventing it from ever being captured. Why have it there in the first place? And how can you be sure the reinforcements have all arrived when he can easily hold them back without your knowledge? This just doesn't sound right to me.
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Re: Holding back on reinforcements

Postby Joe Meyer » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:08 pm

As I understand it, this re-inforcement hex automatic elimination feature was included to prevent an opponent from blocking the arrival of new troops. But I think it could have been handled with a simple displacement mechanism; that is, any blocking troops are automatically displaced so many hexes from the arrival hex when the re-inforcements appear. There are other things that could also have been done, and HPS ought to be asked to modify the issue since the present rule can be so misused.
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Re: Holding back on reinforcements

Postby mperrenod » Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:34 am

Seems pretty gamey to me, assuring your opponent that you could not hold the objective hex at the end of the game. I'd discuss it with him, and if you can't reach agreement, simply not play him again.
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Re: Holding back on reinforcements

Postby Drex » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:53 pm

Since I did not suffer a defeat although it did take a Campaign victory from me AND he is a well known club member I 'm not going to raise any objections. Next time I will examine such objectives beforehand and perhaps a houserule to not holdback on reinforcements would preclude this problem. This battle btw, was the Bolton-Clinton-Jackson campaign game in Vicksburg.
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Re: Holding back on reinforcements

Postby nsimms » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:35 am

It p*ssed me off too when it happened to me in the BG games but what are your choices? Add House Rule # 217 or just learn from it and go play. There are some legitimate reasons why one would delay reinforcements, such as to prevent them from being eliminated by your opponent's army, but bringing them in on the last turn on a VP hex is gamey (but legit). Maybe the biggest problem is that the designer put a VP hex on a reinforcement hex so put a spell on the designer instead of adding another house rule. Do I sound anti-house rulish? Yeah, guess I am but you have just as much right to present me with a list of 217 house rules that you want to play by as I have to refuse them.
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Re: Holding back on reinforcements

Postby nelmsm » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:48 am

Ned has one valid point here and that is that this is more of a design problem then a game problem. I too have held reinforcements off the board, especially when they are coming on in an isolated spot and I'm suspicious that they will be ambushed due to prior knowledge of the scenario by my opponent.
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Re: Holding back on reinforcements

Postby D.S. Walter » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:55 am

I think Ned is right, it's poor design.

There is also the point that WHENEVER an objective is taken on the last turn of a scenario, especially by the 2nd side, there is a certain gamey feel to it. Variable scenario ends (TOAW has it and I believe the HPS Squad Battles series too) are meant to fix this, but I don't think that mechanism was ever considered for the ACW series.
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Re: Holding back on reinforcements

Postby Lucas Kling » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:55 pm

Delaying reinforcements could be seen as gamey and not gamey in my viewpoint. It depends on situation and how you handle it later on.

For an example, lets say you delay reinforcements because the area of entry is a hot-spot and you will likely just march right into a trap or slaughter - then one can see it as if the arriving column's scouts reported about the situation and the arriving column decided to halt its approach or slow down.

On another note it's pretty gamey though to take use of this and bring in the reinforcements just before the end to take some VPs etc, which was the whole matter with this topic as I understood the situation - because if the column had halted or slowed down it shouldn't have been able to fly onto the battlefield from a distance. I mean the enemy would in a real situation be able to see "beyond" the game-/mapboard, and hence know about the near whereabouts of the arriving column.

And if one really wants to play an historical variant - then reinforcements shouldn't be delayed at all, in my opinion.
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