Author Topic: Air formations engagements - how they really work?  (Read 829 times)

Mostro Joe

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Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« on: 22 April 2024, 01:51:55 »
In Strategic Battleforce, when a ground unit finishes its move on an enemy occupated hex (and the enemy unit wil not move or has moved yet), there is NO engagement roll, the engagement is automatic.
When in a enemy occupied hex one unit wants to leave out, there's instead an engagement roll to see if that unit is stuck there to fight.
That's clear.

It should work in the same way when we are talking about air formations, but there is a problem. Areas on the Radar Map (or on a Engagement Map) can contain multiple enemy units. So, when I finish my movement in an area occupied by, let's say, 4 different enemy formations, I have to make an engagement roll with everyone of them if I want to leave? And If I have to make an engagement roll with everyone, I have to roll just once, so to confront my score with the enemy ones, or I make a different engagement roll with every enemy unit?
« Last Edit: 22 April 2024, 04:03:12 by Mostro Joe »

Zematus737

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Re: Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« Reply #1 on: 22 April 2024, 10:20:16 »
The Engagement Control Roll would be made against each of the hostile units the enemy player wishes to have interrupt your progress through the Sector or Zone.  The rule on pg167 pertains to ground units, where there are a limited amount of Formations to deal with when crossing, but little on ACS where there can be no stacking limit on Engagements on the CRM.  Engagements on the Capital Radar Map must use Engagement Maps (see pg.186) within each Sector, and so you still have the ability to completely bi-pass a hostile if you have the speed for it.  On pg.176 you have this:

"Multiple Engagements: Because an aerospace zone can hold
multiple Squadrons, it is possible to have multiple engagements and
a single Squadron engaged with more than one opposing Squadron.
Once a Squadron is engaged with another Squadron, it may not
declare an attack on another Squadron. However, it may be engaged
by another Squadron that has not already made an attack"

So, if, say, you DID have multiple hostiles intervening a Zone you intend to pass, I recommend you use the Evasion and add +3 to your Engagement Control Rolls since you have a high chance of being interrupted by one of these hostiles, all of which would have a chance to roll against your units to intercept if they are determined to cross this hostile zone.  The only thing the rules do not have is an alternate way for units on the Abstract maps to functionally resolve Engagement Control Rolls effectively.  As Overruns, for example, tell you to use the size of the units as a modifier.  Always use the Tactical Values for Aero instead, as it makes far more sense.
« Last Edit: 22 April 2024, 10:23:55 by Zematus737 »

Mostro Joe

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Re: Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« Reply #2 on: 23 April 2024, 00:15:52 »
The Engagement Control Roll would be made against each of the hostile units the enemy player wishes to have interrupt your progress through the Sector or Zone.

Ok.

Anyway, when there are ground enemy units that end their movement in the same hex the engagement is automatic. There is no roll needed.

In space it seems the EC roll must be done. It is odd. Perhaps it depends by the fact that on a radar map/engagement map there is a lot of space.

Zematus737

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Re: Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« Reply #3 on: 23 April 2024, 11:00:50 »
Engagements are completely optional and not forced if both sides do not want to commit to hostilities.  see type in bold from page 164: A Formation may freely move into and out of hexes occupied by
friendly Formations, but they may not exceed the hex capacity at the
end of the turn. Formations may enter the hex of an enemy Formation,
but only if it would not break the friendly stacking limit. It may not leave
the hex of an enemy Formation if the enemy Formation chooses to
oppose the friendly Formation’s movement
(see Engagement Control,
p. 167), unless they conduct a successful overrun or evade (see p. 70) A
Formation that starts the turn in the same hex as an enemy Formation
may attempt to leave, but the presence of the enemy may prevent this
(see Engagement Control, p. 167)

And on page 166 for Hostile Formations in the same Hex: If a Formation’s hex contains an enemy Formation at the beginning of its movement phase, the Formation must pay an additional +1 MP to
move out of the hex and movement may be opposed (see Engagement
Control, p. 167).

And finally, on page 167 of the Engagement Control portion itself: 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

The Engagement Control wording can sometimes make it seem like it is forced.  It is not.  But once two forces become engaged, an EngCR must happen each turn and also to end that engagement.

Mostro Joe

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Re: Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« Reply #4 on: 23 April 2024, 14:32:23 »
Engagements are completely optional and not forced if both sides do not want to commit to hostilities.

I asked directly to he author. The engagement Is automatica if you end tour move in a hex occupied hex.

Zematus737

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Re: Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« Reply #5 on: 23 April 2024, 14:39:53 »
That directly contradicts this line: 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.

If you stop in an occupied hex and the opponent unit has not yet determined their movement and both do not wish to engage each other, I would say that the EngCR does not occur.  Similarly, in ACS scale rules, scouts are not permitted to engage other ACR Formations.  But if the author is saying this you can decide for yourself which action to take if that improves your game.
« Last Edit: 23 April 2024, 16:08:07 by Zematus737 »

Mostro Joe

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Re: Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« Reply #6 on: 24 April 2024, 02:45:48 »
That directly contradicts this line: 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.

This is if the other formation have still to move AND wants to move indeed. If, at the end of the movement turn, two enemies share the same hex the engagement is automatic.

It is not a matter of interpretation:

Moving *into* the occupied hex does not allow for an engagement control roll.  Attempting to move out does.  If you end your turn in an enemy-occupied hex, there will be an engagement.  The engagement control roll is so you can force the moving unit to stop and fight.

The engagement control roll is only needed if one side wants to LEAVE the hex without a fight.

By default, two opposing sides in the same hex will engage in combat during the combat phase.  Engagement Control is the non-moving player saying "No, stay here, we're gonna fight."


It can't be clearer than that as you see,

Look, SBF has a very confusing text. It is a good system but it should be rewritten, polished and clarified because as it is written it can lead to confusion, especially on the EC roll rules.


Zematus737

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Re: Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« Reply #7 on: 24 April 2024, 12:18:24 »
I'm not convinced.  I don't see where, in the text, an Engagement Control Roll is mandatory.  This can be used against the defensive Formation tactically, as you can move with a very high Tactics Value by using a very fast Elite Combat Vehicle to force an enemy Formation to attack it instead of what would otherwise be a better target of opportunity--and likely miss a shot on top of that! 

It doesn't make sense to feel forced to take what is essentially a bait Target and allow another Formation to bypass hostility from another Formation for having already been engaged by something else.  It also goes against any of the previous rule sets that never mention forced combat in any way or form.
« Last Edit: 24 April 2024, 21:55:24 by Zematus737 »

Mostro Joe

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Re: Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« Reply #8 on: 25 April 2024, 04:14:12 »
I'm not convinced.  I don't see where, in the text, an Engagement Control Roll is mandatory.

When two enemies end the movement phase in the same hex, the EC roll Is no mandatory.
There Is not EC roll at all!
As the author says the two units ARE ENGAGED.

Zematus737

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Re: Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« Reply #9 on: 25 April 2024, 13:19:51 »
I'm going to review the rules before I comment further.  For SBF I had presumed Engagement Control Rolls are part of all engagement processes, at the beginning of one and at the end of the turn.

Zematus737

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Re: Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« Reply #10 on: 25 April 2024, 14:34:04 »
I believe my initial impression was correct.  Here are examples of both Aero and ground Formations and how they should handle engagements and movement.

pg164: A Formation may freely move into and out of hexes occupied by
friendly Formations, but they may not exceed the hex capacity at the
end of the turn. Formations may enter the hex of an enemy Formation,
but only if it would not break the friendly stacking limit. It may not leave
the hex of an enemy Formation if the enemy Formation chooses to
oppose the friendly Formation’s movement
(see Engagement Control,
p. 167), unless they conduct a successful overrun or evade (see p. 70) A
Formation that starts the turn in the same hex as an enemy Formation
may attempt to leave, but the presence of the enemy may prevent this
(see Engagement Control, p. 167)

pg 177 If a Squadron tries to move through or out of a region on the
Atmospheric Radar Map that contains an enemy Squadron, they may
engage in combat if one or both choose to do so. If either side chooses
to engage in combat, players will conduct an Engagement Control Roll
(see Air-to-Air Engagements, p. 176). If neither player wishes to engage
in combat, the Squadrons continue to move as normal
.

It is clear that one side must want to engage.  Whether both sides want to engage or not, the +1 penalty for movement for ground troops must be paid to move through an enemy occupied hex.

Zematus737

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Re: Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« Reply #11 on: 25 April 2024, 14:44:27 »
If both Formation are in the same hex when movement is concluded, then of course an engagement occurs with the following exception found in the Aerospace combat section on page 177: If an engagement occurs, both Squadrons will maneuver for
advantage. If the defending Squadron in an air-to-air attack has
not yet declared its own attack, it may decide whether it will return
the attack, attempt to move through the zone, or save its action for
an attack against a different target (such as an air-to-ground attack
if the engagement occurs in the Central Zone). If the defender
chooses not to return the attack when an engagement is initiated,
it cannot choose to engage its attacker later in the same turn.


The attack or Maneuvering for Advantage Roll that decides range and flank attacks against the side that fails it can only take place AFTER an Engagement Roll that determined whether an engagement takes place or not.  If the defensive Unit skips out to continue movement but DOESN'T when they have the choice to move and remains in the hex for whatever reason, then I would say that the initial failure for EngCR is overlooked and the aggressor gets the attack at long range.  If both sides did not commit to hostilities and they remain stuck in the same hex... they can awkwardly stare at each other for an entire turn for all I care--but the rules are clear to me.  Only (see below) Aero must roll when they come into contact with enemy forces in the same zones of the ACS map.  Yet you have the exception in the post above that contradicts the strict phrasing, which should supersede what was earlier written.  For Formations on the ground AND in the air by pg177, the phrasing makes it seem completely optional to even pass on an EngCR roll entirely.

pg.176 for Aero EngCR:If aerospace Squadrons from opposing Forces occupy the same
zone at any time during movement, Engagement Control must be
determined in order to see if combat occurs.
« Last Edit: 25 April 2024, 22:55:59 by Zematus737 »

Mostro Joe

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Re: Air formations engagements - how they really work?
« Reply #12 on: 29 April 2024, 03:07:12 »
I'm going to review the rules before I comment further.  For SBF I had presumed Engagement Control Rolls are part of all engagement processes, at the beginning of one and at the end of the turn.

It works this way, I am using an exemple:

If Unit A moves in an enemy-occupied hex, and stops there, there is no EC roll. Then there are three possibilities:

- The enemy, we call it Unit B, has moved yet during the turn, so the movement phase will end with the two enemy units occupying the same hex. They are engaged by default.
- The Unit B has still to move, but when it's its turn it chooses to stay there. Again the movement phase will end with the two enemy units occupying the same hex, and again they are engaged by default.
- The Unit B has still to move and during its turn it tries to leave the hex. The EC roll kicks in to see if Unit B succeeds or not. If Unit B succeeds it can go on with its movement, if it fails it stays in the hex and it is engaged with Unit A.

 

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