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abStractDeath

Canceling an attack

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Having played the game several times with a group of friends I have found an issue come up repeatedly in almost every game. The issue being someone initiating an attack on someone then during the calculating combat strength phase they realize the person they're attacking has more strength then they first assumed (due to support they didn't see or just adding wrong in their head) they decide that the battle will be closer then they originally thought and withdraw their attack.

My question, something that I can't find in the rules is that are players allowed to initiate an attack on someone then decide to withdraw the attack after seeing something they didn't realize at first or must they go through with the attack anyways even if they have no chance of winning? When is the point of no return of march orders?

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the point where you calculate stregths combat is already in progress. Just because they calculated poorly and decided to attack doesn't relieve them of having to go through with the battle.

FULL turn/combat process (with how it relates to battle):

 

place an order token.

reveal march order

march unit into EMBATTLED area

call for support

calculate strengths initial, then cards then blade(if applicable)

play cards

determine winner.

take casualties (if any)

retreat/rout units

clean up phase

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abStractDeath said:

My question, something that I can't find in the rules is that are players allowed to initiate an attack on someone then decide to withdraw the attack after seeing something they didn't realize at first or must they go through with the attack anyways even if they have no chance of winning? When is the point of no return of march orders?

As jhagen points out, if you read rules as written, the point at which you march the units into the embattled area is the point of no return - then you can call for support. This is so you can't back out if a sneaky player decides to backstab you and change their support to the other side!

Usually we actually move the physical pieces into the territory itself before doing the calls for support and public strength calculation - it's a handy reminder that you've passed the point of no return when your army marches past the border.

Of course you're always free to be more lenient with the rules if you wish; there's a variety of different people I play with - some are accustomed to high complexity strategy games like Twilight Imperium so generally when we play we're fairly strict about rules. But with a group of newer players or players learning the game it's worthwhile sometimes to roll back if isn't too inconvenient.

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Technically, the point of no return is when the pieces are moved into the area under attack. However, marching can be a fairly complex thing, physically. There can be four units and an order token moving, not necessarily all to one place, so you can't exactly enforce a chess-style touch-piece rule. That being the case, I'd always allow the player to fiddle with the pieces a little and then ask for a commitment to the move before moving on in the game - "Are you done moving?" "Yes." "That's locked in, then." Better to make it clear this way than invite trouble.

If you do want a physical signifier, use the movement of the March order token. All the pieces move first (except those which are staying put), then the March order token moves to the area under attack, then you calculate combat strength.

But beyond that, I don't want to win the game because an opponent didn't see something on this very busy board. I'd rather just have people ask for a calculation of combat strength in an area any time they like and have everyone assist in the count to make sure it is right.

And if people want to let a calculation which they know to be wrong stand, I won't be back to that table for another game. Play with honour, or not at all.

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I think the answer you may be looking for a is a different one, though.

Every single time I have played this game we always did a preliminary calculation of troop strength.  There is nothing in the rules that forbids you from calculating how much combat strength your enemy will likely have, before you march your units into the contested area, including all of his supporting units and those of other players likely to oppose your claim on this area.  If you didn't even bother adding that together sometime between revealing your march order token and actually executing it, you deserve to run into a defeat.

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