Monday, August 08, 2005

Bypassing the Rules

Matt Shostak

“Okay, I’m going to move this tank. Start for 1, pivot 2, 3, into this hex for 4, bypass that woods for 5, 6.”

“Wait, do you have sufficient clearance to do that?”

“Oh…probably not. Okay, where was I before the bypass? I was here for 4, pivot 5, move over here for 6, down the road here 7, 8, 9, pivot 10, fire sD for 11 (dice roll succeeds), 12 to here, stop.”

How many times has something like the above happened in a game you’ve played? Can anyone spot the rules error? I think it’s all too common in our gaming circle. Naturally, we all want to be good sports and have a good time with our friends as we play. So there’s a tendency not to hold someone’s feet to the fire on certain rules. But the rulebook is clear on this point. D2.3 says, in part, “The hexside clearance measurement cannot be made until the VBM and all applicable MP costs are announced (and thus expended in the previously occupied hex/hexside if the move is subsequently not allowed). If the hexside clearance is insufficient, the vehicle must expend one extra MP to stop in its present position – even if it then proceeds to start movement again in another direction.”

Many players don’t like how powerful vehicles are in the game, particularly with regard to “freezing” enemy infantry from firing out of their location, by simply moving into bypass of that location and invoking A7.212. How many players even ask for a measurement?

I think we should strive to play this correctly. For one thing, it’s the rules. For another, it’s one small weapon in your defensive arsenal if your opponent has a lot of rampaging AFVs. Hold him to the rules on this one.

Also, note that A4.2 says “The player is not allowed to take the unit back to a previously occupied hex and begin again…” This is another rule that we are pretty lax about enforcing in our gaming circle. I think it’s a judgment call. I often allow it, and I’ve often been allowed to break this rule, but I think we would all be better players, and faster players, if we remembered this rule and simply did not ask for any take-backs.

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