Author Topic: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications  (Read 2831 times)

Burzmali

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SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
« on: 28 March 2024, 09:38:57 »
Does anyone know of there are clarifications out there on how Engagement control should work?

Here's where I am caught up:

  • What actions trigger an Engagement control check? The text specifies it is "Any time a Formation attempts to move through or out of an [sic] a hex containing an enemy formation", which reads, to me, like it is only when a formation attempts to exit a hex.
  • The term "allowed" is used when discussing movement after an Engagement control check, does this imply that, in every case, if the formations do not engage, the moving formation can elect to end their movement in the current hex instead of continuing the movement that triggered the engagement control check? If so, do they retain their unspent MP to potentially Force Engagement if the enemy formation attempts to leave the hex on the opponent's turn?
  • In what order do players declare their intent during an engagement control check? Are engagement types declared at the same time? The sequence can make a big difference in the outcome as the player that gets to declare last has a sizable advantage.
  • How is damage divided up from overruns and evasion? The rules in the combat section mention standard, artillery and indirect attacks, that doesn't cover engagement control attacks.
  • How does a formation losing its movement on an opponent's move due to engagement affect initiative? Is that unit now a sink, do you recalculate or do you lose moves off the end?
  • Of the 3 types of engagement, is Overrun the only one limited to the moving formation, or can a player declare an overrun when their opponent is moving a formation?

Zematus737

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Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
« Reply #1 on: 28 March 2024, 12:06:05 »
There is much more Engagement Control text found further in the SBF Adv. Aerospace movement section for multiple engagement pg176 and pg185 IO:BF aside from those found on pg167 of the same rule book.  What are your sources for these questions?  Old SO's rules on engagement control in their abstracts are very thin by comparison.

Zematus737

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Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
« Reply #2 on: 28 March 2024, 12:12:28 »
    • Of the 3 types of engagement, is Overrun the only one limited to the moving formation, or can a player declare an overrun when their opponent is moving a formation?

    Since an Overrun is something you do on the movement phase, it is not something an enemy can do as a response.  I think you may be referring to the Rear Guard option, as that is the only defensive maneuver that comes to mind that plays like this pg.245 IO:Bf.

    Burzmali

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #3 on: 28 March 2024, 13:43:08 »
    There is much more Engagement Control text found further in the SBF Adv. Aerospace movement section for multiple engagement pg176 and pg185 IO:BF aside from those found on pg167 of the same rule book.  What are your sources for these questions?  Old SO's rules on engagement control in their abstracts are very thin by comparison.
    All of these questions are solely from the basic Engagement Control rules in IO:BF pp. 167-8.

    Burzmali

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #4 on: 28 March 2024, 14:02:55 »
      Since an Overrun is something you do on the movement phase, it is not something an enemy can do as a response.  I think you may be referring to the Rear Guard option, as that is the only defensive maneuver that comes to mind that plays like this pg.245 IO:Bf.
    It is more specific than that, overrun is something you do when during the engagement control check you have enough MP remaining to exit the hex and choose an overrun. It never explicitly states that this can only happen during the movement phase of the formation active during this initiative step. If moving out of turn is the issue, then formations responding to an engagement can only take the normal roll or the force engagement option, not evasive as it requires a move as well.

    The flipside should be that a weaker unit really shouldn't be able to pin a heavier unit in place by moving into that formation before it has a chance to take its turn. A light formation is almost always going to win if it takes force engagement against an assault formation that can't do anything but attempt to decline the engagement.[/list]

    Mostro Joe

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #5 on: 28 March 2024, 14:57:41 »
    Does anyone know of there are clarifications out there on how Engagement control should work?

    Here's where I am caught up:

    • What actions trigger an Engagement control check? The text specifies it is "Any time a Formation attempts to move through or out of an [sic] a hex containing an enemy formation", which reads, to me, like it is only when a formation attempts to exit a hex.

    No, it happens anytime a formation enters an hex where an enemy is present BUT only if one of the formations wants to actually engage the enemy. If neither wants to engage, no check is made. In that case, and if MP are left, the movement goes on with a +1 penalty to exit the hex.

    • The term "allowed" is used when discussing movement after an Engagement control check, does this imply that, in every case, if the formations do not engage, the moving formation can elect to end their movement in the current hex instead of continuing the movement that triggered the engagement control check? If so, do they retain their unspent MP to potentially Force Engagement if the enemy formation attempts to leave the hex on the opponent's turn?

    Yes to your first question. No to the second. It is specified that an engagement check is made for the two encountering units one time only for turn. So if the engagement does not happens, there are no more checks, even if one the units moves later IN THE SAME TURN.

    • In what order do players declare their intent during an engagement control check? Are engagement types declared at the same time? The sequence can make a big difference in the outcome as the player that gets to declare last has a sizable advantage.

    It is not specified in the rules and you are right can be important. I plan to use a concealed dice that the players reveal when they are ready. Even numbers engage, odd numbers not engage. Or you can simply say to choose the action in initiative order.

    • How is damage divided up from overruns and evasion? The rules in the combat section mention standard, artillery and indirect attacks, that doesn't cover engagement control attacks.

    The damage is assigned in the usual way. There's a Tactics roll, who wins it choose where the damage lands. Anyway the wording is not good, because it talks about a "formation short range damage" (or medium in the case of the damage dealt by the target of the overrun), but a formation does not have damage factors. The units that compose the formation have them, so I think the rules wanted to say that each unit in the formation inflicts damage.

    • How does a formation losing its movement on an opponent's move due to engagement affect initiative? Is that unit now a sink, do you recalculate or do you lose moves off the end?

    Didn't understand what you mean here.

    • Of the 3 types of engagement, is Overrun the only one limited to the moving formation, or can a player declare an overrun when their opponent is moving a formation?

    The overrun is done only during your movement phase. You do not overrun when the enemy moves.

    Mostro Joe

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #6 on: 28 March 2024, 15:03:12 »
    It is more specific than that, overrun is something you do when during the engagement control check you have enough MP remaining to exit the hex and choose an overrun.

    No. You cannot move outside your movement turn. And Overrun is NOT "something you do during the engagement control check". Overrun is a special attack you do when you want to enter and exit an hex occupied by enemy WITHOUT having to stop there and make an angagement roll. If the overrun is successfull your movement goes on, if the overrun fails your are stuck there AND engaged.

    There are absolutely no engagement rolls during an overrun!

    Burzmali

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #7 on: 31 March 2024, 17:59:10 »
    No, it happens anytime a formation enters an hex where an enemy is present BUT only if one of the formations wants to actually engage the enemy. If neither wants to engage, no check is made. In that case, and if MP are left, the movement goes on with a +1 penalty to exit the hex.
    Is there an errata on that? Your statement does not match the rules as written, as the rules state that "Any time a Formation attempts to move through or out of an [sic] a hex containing an enemy formation, an Engagement Control Roll may occur to determine if combat unfolds or whether both Formations continue to move as normal." I get that that makes sense, but the rules seem focused on the act of leaving a hex, "through" or "out", being the trigger, not entering.
    Didn't understand what you mean here.
    If there are 4 formations on the map, 2 for each player, the initiative order will be A-B-A-B where A is the one that lost initiative. If on their first move, play A moves a formation onto one of B's formations and an engagement occurs, "both Formations are
    engaged—their movement ends immediately and they do not act again until the Combat Phase". So now player B has their turn and only one formation left with a movement phase, are they required to move that formation or can they "sink" their move by attributing it to their formation that no longer has movement?
    No. You cannot move outside your movement turn. And Overrun is NOT "something you do during the engagement control check". Overrun is a special attack you do when you want to enter and exit an hex occupied by enemy WITHOUT having to stop there and make an angagement roll. If the overrun is successfull your movement goes on, if the overrun fails your are stuck there AND engaged.
    That does not seem to mesh with the rules, pg 168 Overrun section "Make an Engagement Control Roll as normal, with the following modifier: compare the Size of each Formation and apply any difference as a modifier to the Engagement Control Roll." Likewise, the example on that page makes it clear that the Overrun action is part of the Engagement Control Roll, not a second roll or subsequent action of some kind. The issue is less with Overrun, it makes some sense that you can't counter charge, but Evade also requires that you move out of sequence. If Overrun and Evade are not available to the responding player during an Engagement Control Roll, that more or less means the attacker controls engagements as the responding player has no response to avoid an engagement (overrun or evade) like the attacker does.

    Zematus737

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #8 on: 01 April 2024, 13:11:55 »
    Is there an errata on that? Your statement does not match the rules as written, as the rules state that "Any time a Formation attempts to move through or out of an [sic] a hex containing an enemy formation, an Engagement Control Roll may occur to determine if combat unfolds or whether both Formations continue to move as normal." I get that that makes sense, but the rules seem focused on the act of leaving a hex, "through" or "out", being the trigger, not entering.
    on page167 you can see that Engagements are optional.  One side must refuse passage: "If neither Formation wishes to engage with the other Formation, then both Formations may continue to move normally, paying
    an additional +1 MP to move through the hostile occupied hex. Formations with a Morale of Shaken, Broken or Routed (see Morale, pp. 172-174) or suffering from Forced Withdrawal (see p. 172) must choose to not engage"


    If there are 4 formations on the map, 2 for each player, the initiative order will be A-B-A-B where A is the one that lost initiative. If on their first move, play A moves a formation onto one of B's formations and an engagement occurs, "both Formations are engaged—their movement ends immediately and they do not act again until the Combat Phase". So now player B has their turn and only one formation left with a movement phase, are they required to move that formation or can they "sink" their move by attributing it to their formation that no longer has movement?
      You cannot transfer over movement from one Unit/Formation to another.

    That does not seem to mesh with the rules, pg 168 Overrun section "Make an Engagement Control Roll as normal, with the following modifier: compare the Size of each Formation and apply any difference as a modifier to the Engagement Control Roll." Likewise, the example on that page makes it clear that the Overrun action is part of the Engagement Control Roll, not a second roll or subsequent action of some kind. The issue is less with Overrun, it makes some sense that you can't counter charge, but Evade also requires that you move out of sequence. If Overrun and Evade are not available to the responding player during an Engagement Control Roll, that more or less means the attacker controls engagements as the responding player has no response to avoid an engagement (overrun or evade) like the attacker does.

    Evasion actually helps you avoid or remove yourself from an Engagement by increasing the likelihood of a failure from the aggressor if you do not wish to continue an Engagement.  You forgo an attack, but leave space for a retreat that will increase space from the aggressor to avoid an unfavorable match up, if that's the reason for not wanting to engage.  There is damage associated with all of these, but getting close enough to be entangled is probably what you want to avoid before dealing with an undesirable situation.
    « Last Edit: 01 April 2024, 13:15:33 by Zematus737 »

    Zematus737

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #9 on: 01 April 2024, 13:23:22 »
    There are some special command abilities that can help with this, found on page 223 for Initiative Banking or Zone of Control.  Check them out.

    Mostro Joe

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #10 on: 01 April 2024, 15:14:22 »
    Is there an errata on that? Your statement does not match the rules as written, as the rules state that "Any time a Formation attempts to move through or out of an [sic] a hex containing an enemy formation, an Engagement Control Roll may occur to determine if combat unfolds or whether both Formations continue to move as normal." I get that that makes sense, but the rules seem focused on the act of leaving a hex, "through" or "out", being the trigger, not entering.

    I think you can extrapolate it from the Strategic Aerospace Rules, page 176.

    If there are 4 formations on the map, 2 for each player, the initiative order will be A-B-A-B where A is the one that lost initiative. If on their first move, play A moves a formation onto one of B's formations and an engagement occurs, "both Formations are
    engaged—their movement ends immediately and they do not act again until the Combat Phase". So now player B has their turn and only one formation left with a movement phase, are they required to move that formation or can they "sink" their move by attributing it to their formation that no longer has movement?

    What you say here is a non-problem. Who wins the initiative is EVER the last to move. So in your exemple, it's clear that "A side" has to move the second unit too, then "B side" can move last.

    That does not seem to mesh with the rules, pg 168 Overrun section "Make an Engagement Control Roll as normal, with the following modifier: compare the Size of each Formation and apply any difference as a modifier to the Engagement Control Roll." Likewise, the example on that page makes it clear that the Overrun action is part of the Engagement Control Roll, not a second roll or subsequent action of some kind. The issue is less with Overrun, it makes some sense that you can't counter charge, but Evade also requires that you move out of sequence. If Overrun and Evade are not available to the responding player during an Engagement Control Roll, that more or less means the attacker controls engagements as the responding player has no response to avoid an engagement (overrun or evade) like the attacker does.

    You are very confused. Even if the rules seem clear to me, it's likewise clear anyway that someone else should have had the same question, because there's an official errata about that.

    Engagement Control (p. 168)
    Replace the second paragraph with the following:
    A Formation may not make more than one Overrun attempt (whether it succeeds or fails) per turn.
    Change to:
    A Formation may only make an Overrun attempt in their Movement Phase, and may not make more than one attempt per turn.

    Burzmali

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #11 on: 02 April 2024, 05:40:43 »
    What you say here is a non-problem. Who wins the initiative is EVER the last to move. So in your exemple, it's clear that "A side" has to move the second unit too, then "B side" can move last.
    Well, if both sides have 3 formations, then what happens? The issue is that the initiative winner may never get to move as the player that moves first controls which units get into engagements, at least when formations are in range of each other, which doesn't make much sense to me. This goes along with my other question, that since the responding player can't choose options that reduce the chance of an engagement, the active player, typically the one that lost initiative, controls the flow of combat.

    Burzmali

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #12 on: 02 April 2024, 06:11:09 »
    I'm not trying to be obtuse with this, but I've played plenty of wargames and they tend to have very specific rules, player one does this, player two can response with that, not this narrative style of writing. If this style was used in BT we'd be making PSRs when "a critical slot related to movement" was hit and seat belt checks would happens "when a mech is sent to ground by means other than player action".

    Mostro Joe

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #13 on: 02 April 2024, 10:51:31 »
    Well, if both sides have 3 formations, then what happens? The issue is that the initiative winner may never get to move as the player that moves first controls which units get into engagements, at least when formations are in range of each other, which doesn't make much sense to me.

    Then house rule It  azn because that s exactly how It works. It had ever an official answer years ago.
    If you lose the iniziative, you move First and, theorically, you can engage the enemy units before they move. The other units can evade anyway. Also you are not considering the end phase.

    If there are 3 unità per side, Who wins the iniziative moves last again.
    « Last Edit: 02 April 2024, 10:54:11 by Mostro Joe »

    Burzmali

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #14 on: 02 April 2024, 11:10:57 »
    Then house rule It  azn because that s exactly how It works. It had ever an official answer years ago.
    If you lose the iniziative, you move First and, theorically, you can engage the enemy units before they move. The other units can evade anyway. Also you are not considering the end phase.

    If there are 3 unità per side, Who wins the iniziative moves last again.
    That doesn't answer the question. If the initiative order is A-B-A-B-A-B and B loses a move due to A's first move resulting in a ln engagement, which B is removed from the list? "B moves last" great, that confirms the last B isn't removed, but which of the other two is it?

    Zematus737

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #15 on: 02 April 2024, 11:15:55 »
    but which of the other two is it?
    All engagements targets are specifically called out.  If i'm understanding this, you are unsure which of the 3 Formations gets to move or not?  It should be clear which Formation is held up by the Engagement.

    Burzmali

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #16 on: 02 April 2024, 11:45:57 »
    All engagements targets are specifically called out.  If i'm understanding this, you are unsure which of the 3 Formations gets to move or not?  It should be clear which Formation is held up by the Engagement.
    Both sides have 3 formations, player B wins initiative,  so the default initiative order would be ABABAB. For the first move, A moves one of their formations "through" a hex with one of B's formations, triggering an engagement control check which results in an engagement. At this point, B now has 2 formations that can move and 1 that can't. Per standard BT initiative rules for uneven unit counts, B would then move a formation, after which A would have 2 available formations and B 1 meaning that A would move twice followed by B. The problem here is that if A moves into B's remaining formation and forces an engagement, A gets the last move, which you state is not allowed, suggesting this is the incorrect pattern. Basically, it is difficult to create a scenario where the initiative winning player gets the last move, or is at least engaged as part of the last move by the initiative losing player, while following standard initiative rules. The closest you can get is if players that have a formation engaged before it has its movement are allowed to "sink" an initiative phase using that unit, which is generally frowned on in other BT products.

    Mostro Joe

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #17 on: 02 April 2024, 14:47:29 »
    That doesn't answer the question. If the initiative order is A-B-A-B-A-B and B loses a move due to A's first move resulting in a ln engagement, which B is removed from the list? "B moves last" great, that confirms the last B isn't removed, but which of the other two is it?

    ??? It's the coiche of the B player obviosuly.  :shocked:

    Mostro Joe

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #18 on: 02 April 2024, 14:51:23 »
    Both sides have 3 formations, player B wins initiative,  so the default initiative order would be ABABAB. For the first move, A moves one of their formations "through" a hex with one of B's formations, triggering an engagement control check which results in an engagement. At this point, B now has 2 formations that can move and 1 that can't. Per standard BT initiative rules for uneven unit counts, B would then move a formation, after which A would have 2 available formations and B 1 meaning that A would move twice followed by B. The problem here is that if A moves into B's remaining formation and forces an engagement

    That's the way it works, correct. B has the last move, but if the last unit to move is pinned by A, then B cannot do anything else. It is a limit situation but it can happen. 

    It has been said before:

    https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=72468.msg1690026#msg1690026
    « Last Edit: 02 April 2024, 23:33:30 by Mostro Joe »

    Zematus737

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #19 on: 02 April 2024, 17:21:18 »
    Ah.  I understand now.  In the Advanced Options and Special Command Abilities section on page 223 initiative is mentioned in the banking initiative portion that includes phrasing concerning both players conceding initiative.   It seems fair to me to assume you can concede the initiative to prioritize the first movement of one of the three.

    "Both players possessing this ability in their Force can result in
    “ties” in initiative. If both declare they are conceding initiative,
    both players roll initiative with the loser getting to count the turn
    towards banking initiative. If both declare they are using a point to
    gain an automatic success, these cancel each other out and they
    must roll normally. If a player has more than one automatic success
    point saved, they can choose to spend it now to take control."

    Mostro Joe

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #20 on: 04 April 2024, 03:46:06 »
    I hope to see Strategic Battleforce and Scaled Strategic Battleforce rewritten and polished sometimes. It will not happen in the next years, so we have to stick with that.

    Also "Scaled SBF" should be called somewhat differently.

    Mostro Joe

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    Re: SBF Engagement Control Clarifications
    « Reply #21 on: 05 April 2024, 04:59:35 »

    • What actions trigger an Engagement control check? The text specifies it is "Any time a Formation attempts to move through or out of an [sic] a hex containing an enemy formation", which reads, to me, like it is only when a formation attempts to exit a hex.

    Sorry you are absolutely right here.

    When a formation enters an enemy-occupied hex and it STOPS there, there is NO engagement roll. If, at that point, the other enemy formation wants to leave the hex that's when an engagement roll is called! Instead, if the other formation has moved yet that turn (and so cannot move again to leave) or it does not want to leave, then there is an AUTOMATIC engagement and so we go to the combat phase with a Manouver roll and the following fight.