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Brion Emde wrote on 3-26:

I played your Victory tweaked rules last week and wanted to report the results and ask you a question or two. First the results: We played only few turns, just wanting to get the feeling for the changes caused by the new rules. We used the same maps as those used by Tim on your web page, except in a side-by-side configuration, wanting to mostly have a land war. We found that we needed to setup battle lines to keep the enemy away from the now-lightly defended cities. I was looking for an opening to use my Airborne unit to cut supply to my opponent's forward troops and ways to maneuver for the same purpose. It seemed much less futile to consider these things with the tweaked rules. All in all it seemed much more realistic and fun using your rules.

We were also using your suggested rules of 2PP for cadres and allowing only a single-step build per turn. After the initial jousting we were starting to get into a situation where there were weak units on the front lines and cadres and half-built units in the rear. It seemed very realistic to me!

Yes, I think this does two things, first, you are much less likely to "kill off" units because their replacement cost is much greater. Also, without this there is a real temptation to build waves of 1 strength fighters and use them to "pin" enemy positions so you can attack without worrying about response. This becomes more risky when the replacement cost is larger.

Also, there is a long range planning aspect - you have to think in general terms about what you will need three or four turns in the future, shift units from 2PP cities (where they are built) to 1PP cities (where they can be built up) and sometimes just take a production hit when you aren't able to build because of stacking limitations, or just the inability to build something new in a 1PP city.

Now the question:
I am assuming that the attacks on cities through hexsides does not preclude two land units also attacking the city from inside the hex. Also that losses taken by the defender are spread out among all the attacking units, even those going through the hexsides. Right?

I think I need to clarify this a little better. The way I see it, the attack occurs IN the defending hex. The defender will already have units there, as well as any units that he decides to bring in as a response (air and mech) but MUST observe the stacking limits. This does bring up an interesting point about reinforcing over the stacking limits with mechanized response, but for now I'm trying to keep it simple. In other words, the defender has to follow the stacking limits while the attacker doesn't, at least until the end of the turn.

The attacker will presumably attack with 2 air, up to 2 naval, and then as many ground as he chooses to put into the defending hex given the hex side restrictions and his ability to follow the movement restrictions. For instance, if there are two "clear" hexsides and one hexside with a bridge, the attacker would be able to put five ground units into the defending hex (two for each of the clear hex sides and one over the bridge hexside). ( I don't have my rules handy, but the back page of the rules has a listing of the hexside restrictions - use them, not my example if my example is wrong - I'm just trying to use them as an explanation.) Furthermore, the attackers must have the movement points to enter the defending hex, not just get adjacent to it.

Then the attack occurs as you suggest, with losses to the attacker distributed evenly to all attacking units. If the attack is successful, the attacker may only leave the "correct" number of units in the city according to the stacking limits (two) and as in the regular game, the air must go back to their original base until the next turn. (As before, Air units cannot participate in an attack and then stay there if the attack is successful.) Any additional ground units over the stacking limit will stay in the adjacent hex to the battle from which they came.

From your question, I think you were suggesting that an attacker would move units into a city as before, using the stacking limits, then move more units adjacent to the city and use them to shoot from across the hexside into the battlem to augment the two attackers that are there. That's not what I was suggesting. The hex side limitations come into play by serving as the limitations for the attacker. Or to put it a different way, the defender can have 2 ground units in the city - period. The Attacker can put as many units into the city as the hex side limitations will allow, but if the attack is successful, can only leave 2 ground units there at the end of his turn. The other attacking units over the limit will remain in one or more adjacent hexes. Have I cleared things up a bit?

Also, I have a general Victory question. It seems that for a city to produce a new cadre that the player must ensure that the city is not already stacked at its maximum for the unit types being built or build up. Since buildup and production requires the units being built or upgraded to physically be in the city, your two groud unit limit limits 3PP cities to producing a mix of air/ground or naval/ground on the coast. The stacking limits for production cities does seem to lessen the problem of fully stacked cities, even in the standard game.

Yes, I never really thought of this. Obviously, this will be of the biggest concern in the cities near the front - a player will have to purposely keep one or two lower strength units there to fully utilize the production. But again, the whole point of this is to create "fronts" and take the game away from a city to city affair, etc. As to the 3PP cities, I generally try to establish a system where my 2PP cities are building units, the 3PP city builds a unit and adds to a unit, and the 1PP cities "finish them off".

On some maps, you can get a kind of production line going, where every production turn you shift units along to the next city. It gets really interesting when you have to make the decision to USE a 2 or 3 strength unit or keep it in the production line for another turn or two . . . .

Thanks Jim, I think that you have come up with a simple, yet effective fix to the problem that I was only starting to see in Victory, only having owned it for a few weeks and not having played it much.

I appreciate your willingness to spend valuable gaming time giving it a shot.

Hope to hear from you again soon.

Jim

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