Mark Fisher’s Improved Mission Order Rules

 

Introduction

During game play a number of gamey/odd situations were discovered that can happen to armies on the Advance or Retire MO. In particular, parts of a division on Advance can be pulled in different directions if not stacked together, the enemy can funnel an advance towards a single unit by refusing his line, impassible terrain can create odd obligations as units that have marched into a cul-de-sac become stuck etc. These oddities may occur in CAC because of the relatively few number of units on the board and the existence of a certain amount of impassible terrain.

Players will notice that these proposed rules do not cause fundamental changes to the way the game plays. Rather, the proposed rules are meant to implement the intention of the existing rules. (Rules in Microsoft Word format)

 

 

7.15 TYPES OF MISSION ORDERS

 

A.     Advance:  An Infantry Combat Class unit whose primary formation is on the Advance MO is restricted to moving through certain hexsides.  All other types of units may move freely through any hexside.

 

Designer’s note:  Infantry combat class units represent the front line units that do most of the fighting and dying.  Artillery, cavalry, engineers and other supporting arms may move freely, but command, supply and other considerations will constrain their movement.

 

The Mission Requirements Diagram designates certain hexsides as “advance hexsides”.  An enemy unit is in a friendly unit’s “axis of advance” if the enemy unit occupies a hex that the friendly unit could move to while moving only through advance hexsides.

 

NOTE:  Enemy units that are separated from a friendly unit by impassible terrain will not be in that friendly unit’s axis of advance because the friendly unit could not theoretically move to the enemy unit’s hex.

 

If possible, during a player’s March or Counter-March segment, each friendly Infantry Combat Class unit must designate as its target either the closest revealed enemy Infantry Combat Class unit or the closest other enemy unit.  When designating a target unit, a player must ignore enemy units outside of the friendly unit’s axis of advance.  When designating a target unit, a player may ignore any enemy units more than 6 hexes away; any concealed enemy units more than 3 hexes away; any revealed enemy units that are not Infantry Combat Class units; and/or any enemy units stacked with or surrounded by fortress units.

 

Designer’s note:  The target unit is meant to represent the most immediate threat to the friendly unit along its axis of advance.  The player has discretion, however, to ignore a known infantry presence more than two-day’s march away, a suspected enemy presence more than one day’s march away or unaccompanied supporting and logistical units.  The player may also bypass fortress complexes.

 

If a target unit is designated, the friendly unit may not increase the distance between the target and itself during any part of its March or Counter-March segment and, if possible, must decrease that distance.  When calculating the distance to an enemy unit, the distance should be measured around (not over or through) any impassible terrain.

 

If no target is designated, the friendly unit may freely move through any combination of advance hexsides, but may only move through non-advance hexsides if it moves adjacent to an enemy unit outside of its axis of advance during that impulse.

 

Designer’s note:  The limited ability to move through non-advance hexsides is meant to allow a unit to respond to local threats to the rear when no immediate targets lie within its axis of advance.

 

If an Infantry Combat Class unit whose primary formation is on the Advance MO enters, or starts in, an enemy ZOC, it must stop its movement in the hex (exception: Overrun – see 8.32) and immediately place a Combat Marker before expending any other MPs.

 

No friendly units whose primary formation is on the Advance MO may expend MPs to recover morale levels or enter Replacement Mode.

 

EXCEPTION:  Units of Shattered Primary Formations may move freely through any hexside and may expend MPs to recover morale levels or enter Replacement Mode.  (See 12.23)

 

B. Retire:  Units whose primary formation is on the Retire MO are restricted to moving through certain hexsides.  The Mission Requirements Diagram designates certain hexsides as “retire hexsides”.

 

A friendly unit may not decrease the distance between the closest enemy unit and itself during any part of its March or Counter-March segment and, if possible, must increase that distance.  When calculating the distance to an enemy unit, the distance should be measured around (not over or through) any impassible terrain.

 

A friendly unit may freely move through any combination of retire hexsides, but may only move through non-retire hexside if it begins the impulse adjacent to an enemy unit and ends the impulse at least one hex away from all enemy units.

 

Designer’s note:  The limited ability to move through non-retire hexsides is meant to allow a unit the ability to retire around enemy units.

 

No friendly units whose primary formation is on the Retire MO may expend MPs to recover morale levels or enter Replacement Mode.

 

If a unit fails a MC as a result of Force Marching, any SPs lost are counted as Prisoner Points by the opposing player.  (See 12.52)

 

EXCEPTION:  Main Depots, army supply units, corps trains and Army HQ units may move freely through any hexside.

 

EXCEPTION:  Units of Shattered Primary Formations may expend MPs to recover morale levels or enter Replacement Mode.  (See 12.23)

 

 

Mark’s abridged Question and Answer:

 

Q. The new rules state “If possible, …, each friendly Infantry Combat Class unit must designate as its target either the closest revealed enemy Infantry Combat Class unit or the closest other enemy unit.

What if there's a revealed enemy infantry unit four hexes away, but a concealed enemy unit two hexes away? Which is the "closest"?

A. The idea is that the player may select either as the target.

 

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Q1. Why is Advance limited to infantry units, but Retire to all units? Is that exception needed? Why not apply the same rule to both?

A1. The advance rules were written to eliminate the following anomaly: imagine two friendly units in a single division are in a hexrow on hexes 4 and 5. In that same hexrow, enemy units occupy hexes 1 and 8. Each of the friendly units is three hexes away from an enemy unit, but will have to advance in opposite directions, which will lead to the division being out of command control. I don't think the same problem arises under the retire rules. But, for the sake of ease of play, I think you are right that both retire and advance orders should be limited to infantry units.

 

Q2. “Each of the friendly units is three hexes away from an enemy unit, but will have to advance in opposite directions, which will lead to the division being out of command control.”

If that's the main reason for the rules, perhaps you might consider shifting the focus from the infantry units to the HQ. Make the HQ "close the distance" when on Advance, but make units staying in command control a higher requirement than just moving forward.

A2. The focus on infantry units was not just because a multi-unit corps-sized formation could be pulled apart by the MO Requirements. The thinking was more that the infantry units represent the real mass of the formation. The artillery and cavalry are essentially support arms and should have freedom to move in support of the infantry units. Not to mention that it seems a little odd potentially to require an artillery unit to charge at the enemy. (My guess is that this is similar to the reasoning that initially led to supply units and Army HQs being exempted from MO requirements.)