Newbie Questions: Avalon Hill TACTICS II gameplay

Archived from groups: alt.games.wargames (More info?)

Hello,

I'm kind of new to playing war games like this and have a few
questions so here goes...

---------------------

What is the significance of the BIVOUAC area names like 'I C' or 'II
C' or 'SECOND ARMY' or 'REPLACEMENTS' or 'FIRST ARMY GROUP' etc...? Is
this only significant for placing the HQ units and beyond that you can
mix up the initial placement as you see fit?

---------------------

Other than limited defense is there any significance to HQ units? For
example if you lose any HQ units nothing really changes does it?

---------------------

BACK 2 results: If the winner determines the path of retreat couldn't
the winner:

A) always choose a direction into the attacking or other unit and
automatically eliminate the retreating unit?

B) likewise if there was water or a map edge nearby (even if other
safe paths existed).

So can someone clarify how 'BACK 2' works?

Or if the benefit of a clear path for the retreating unit exists is
the winner obligated to choose that path?

And are changes in direction OK? E.g. the retreating unit can back in
1 direction then move diagonal in another to be clear? Does the winner
selecting the direction fo retreat allow this or must it be a
'straight line' retreat path?

---------------------

I know these may be basic questions but am just starting back on board
type wargames so I appreciate any basic info.
thanks!
8 answers Last reply
More about newbie questions avalon hill tactics gameplay
  1. Archived from groups: alt.games.wargames (More info?)

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 13:58:00 -0500, pgtr wrote:

    >
    > Hello,
    >
    > I'm kind of new to playing war games like this and have a few
    > questions so here goes...
    >

    It has been a while since I last played and I'm not with my copy of the
    game at the moment, but I'll try for some answers. Tactics II was a very
    early wargame, and did some things for color.

    > ---------------------
    >
    > What is the significance of the BIVOUAC area names like 'I C' or 'II
    > C' or 'SECOND ARMY' or 'REPLACEMENTS' or 'FIRST ARMY GROUP' etc...? Is
    > this only significant for placing the HQ units and beyond that you can
    > mix up the initial placement as you see fit?

    I think this is for color and has no real significance. The bivouac's
    allow things to look like a classic surprise attack by whichever side gets
    to move first, and always seemed very artificial to me.

    >
    > ---------------------
    >
    > Other than limited defense is there any significance to HQ units? For
    > example if you lose any HQ units nothing really changes does it?
    >

    I don't remember HQ's as being anything special other than another unit.

    > ---------------------
    >
    > BACK 2 results: If the winner determines the path of retreat couldn't
    > the winner:
    >
    > A) always choose a direction into the attacking or other unit and
    > automatically eliminate the retreating unit?
    >
    > B) likewise if there was water or a map edge nearby (even if other
    > safe paths existed).
    >
    > So can someone clarify how 'BACK 2' works?
    >
    > Or if the benefit of a clear path for the retreating unit exists is
    > the winner obligated to choose that path?
    >
    > And are changes in direction OK? E.g. the retreating unit can back in
    > 1 direction then move diagonal in another to be clear? Does the winner
    > selecting the direction fo retreat allow this or must it be a
    > 'straight line' retreat path?
    >

    Many of AH's rulesets included the provision that retreating units had to
    end up that many spaces away from the unit(s) that attacked it, not in a
    zone-of-control, with some wording that would prevent gamesmanship of the
    type that would allow the winner to retreat and destroy them in the
    ocean if another legal route that would allow the unit to survive was
    available. Tactics II must have this worded somewhere, as it was my first
    wargame, and I don't remember any question over retreats such as that.
    Yes, retreats may be made diagonally, as is changing direction (at least,
    it is in other early AH wargames).

    > ---------------------
    >
    > I know these may be basic questions but am just starting back on board
    > type wargames so I appreciate any basic info.
    > thanks!
  2. Archived from groups: alt.games.wargames (More info?)

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 15:27:28 -0700, Dwane Aldrich
    <aldrich@u.washington.edu> wrote:

    >It has been a while since I last played and I'm not with my copy of the
    >game at the moment, but I'll try for some answers. Tactics II was a very
    >early wargame, and did some things for color.

    Thanks.

    BTW do you have any other good 'beginner' wargames? Tactics II seemed
    to fit the bill w/ it's 'basic' ruleset and claim to quick/easy play
    was all so I picked up one...
    I'd also like to look at some rules for basic games that also
    incorproate air power and sea power and not just land units.


    >> What is the significance of the BIVOUAC area names like 'I C' or 'II
    >> C' or 'SECOND ARMY' or 'REPLACEMENTS' or 'FIRST ARMY GROUP' etc...? Is
    >> this only significant for placing the HQ units and beyond that you can
    >> mix up the initial placement as you see fit?
    >
    >I think this is for color and has no real significance. The bivouac's
    >allow things to look like a classic surprise attack by whichever side gets
    >to move first, and always seemed very artificial to me.

    OK. Only thing I can figure is certain HQ units go in certain bivouac
    spots and that's about it. Otherwise mix and match tank and other
    units as you like. There's also a special section called 'replacement'
    that I didnt' see any significance mentioned in the rules...


    >I don't remember HQ's as being anything special other than another unit.

    They (HQ) have an attack strength of zero and if you lose them all
    there is no significance either. I guess one could easily sacrifice
    them in defensive manners and not worry much about them...? Maybe park
    them in cities and move on w/ your real combat units.


    >Many of AH's rulesets included the provision that retreating units had to
    >end up that many spaces away from the unit(s) that attacked it, not in a
    >zone-of-control, with some wording that would prevent gamesmanship of the
    >type that would allow the winner to retreat and destroy them in the
    >ocean if another legal route that would allow the unit to survive was
    >available. Tactics II must have this worded somewhere, as it was my first
    >wargame, and I don't remember any question over retreats such as that.
    >Yes, retreats may be made diagonally, as is changing direction (at least,
    >it is in other early AH wargames).

    That makes sense to me but I was going thru the rules and didn't
    really find much guide - here's all they say in my Tactics II copy:

    ================
    3) D back 2: all of the defender's units involved in that specific
    attack must RETREAT two squares in any direction determined by the
    winner. The defender is ELIMINATED instead if:
    a) it cannot retreat without entering a square adjacent to an enemy
    unit in the first or second square of his retreat.
    b) it is completely surrounded by enemy units. Example C below.
    c) it is forced to retreat into "sea squares."
    ================

    same goes for A back 2. It can be interpreted to allow the winner to
    select a direction of retreat that deliberately puts the retreating
    unit potentially in an elimination scenario.

    1) My own take is that a unit generally retreats in what appears to be
    'the rear' or away from the attacking unit(s).

    2) That the retreating unit benefit from a reasonable direction so as
    to avoid deliberate elimination.

    3) The map edge counts as a sea/shore as well and could also result in
    elimination if no other options exist.

    4) Bottom line is that the winner only really has a 'choice' of
    retreat paths for the losing unit if more than one safe path exists...

    5) Elimination occurs only as a last resort if no route exists.

    Sound reasonable?

    thanks!
  3. Archived from groups: alt.games.wargames (More info?)

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 19:39:23 -0500, in alt.games.wargames you wrote:


    >OK. Only thing I can figure is certain HQ units go in certain bivouac
    >spots and that's about it. Otherwise mix and match tank and other
    >units as you like. There's also a special section called 'replacement'
    >that I didnt' see any significance mentioned in the rules...


    Never mind re bivouac area setup - the advanced rules provide more
    details on what goes where in the advanced rules so you are pretty
    much free to place whatever in those areas in the basic game.

    On a related note the advanced optional rules also mentioned HQ units
    could not be 'replaced' - as if anybody would CHOOSE to replace HQ
    units over infantry etc??? :)
  4. Archived from groups: alt.games.wargames (More info?)

    pgtr wrote:
    >
    > What is the significance of the BIVOUAC area names like 'I C' or 'II
    > C' or 'SECOND ARMY' or 'REPLACEMENTS' or 'FIRST ARMY GROUP' etc...? Is
    > this only significant for placing the HQ units and beyond that you can
    > mix up the initial placement as you see fit?

    In the 1958 version, the initial composition of each corps was
    specified: I Corps was 1-5 ID and 1 AD, and so on. The airborne,
    amphibious, and mountain divisions belonged to the armies.

    > Other than limited defense is there any significance to HQ units? For
    > example if you lose any HQ units nothing really changes does it?

    Corps HQs were supposed to stay within 5 squares of the bulk of
    their units, but there was no penalty for violating this. Under
    the optional nuclear rules, the HQs fired the nukes.

    > So can someone clarify how 'BACK 2' works?
    >
    > Or if the benefit of a clear path for the retreating unit exists is
    > the winner obligated to choose that path?

    Yes, although the original rules were not abundantly clear on this.

    > And are changes in direction OK?

    Yes, as long as the unit ends up the specified number of squares
    away from its original position (that is, it cannot go in circles
    or double back). Again, this was not explicit in the original
    rules, but it is the usual ways retreats are handled.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.games.wargames (More info?)

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 19:39:23 -0500, pgtr wrote:

    > On Wed, 19 May 2004 15:27:28 -0700, Dwane Aldrich
    > <aldrich@u.washington.edu> wrote:
    >
    >>It has been a while since I last played and I'm not with my copy of the
    >>game at the moment, but I'll try for some answers. Tactics II was a very
    >>early wargame, and did some things for color.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > BTW do you have any other good 'beginner' wargames? Tactics II seemed
    > to fit the bill w/ it's 'basic' ruleset and claim to quick/easy play
    > was all so I picked up one...
    > I'd also like to look at some rules for basic games that also
    > incorproate air power and sea power and not just land units.
    >

    I'm an "old time" gamer, so I may not be up-to-date as to what is
    available now. As you were playing Tactics II, a logical advance on that
    would be AH's old Blitzkrieg, which had airpower, though I'm not sure it
    had any more sea power. Blitzkrieg was a fun game.

    Important to the game search would be a decision as to what level of the
    combat game matrix you are most interested in. Tactics II is an example
    of the Operational Level of game (big units -- divisions and corps --
    worried about movement and supply lines, not so much interested in guiding
    the country's production or in how far a tank main gun shoots). Above
    that could be termed Strategic Level (worried that you produce enough of
    the right kind of units to prosecute the war). Below that starts the
    Tactical Level of games (beginning where separate artillery units have a
    range, down to where each counter represents one person).
    Historical period of interest is also important in dividing up the games
    available.

    There are some easier games available at each of the three Levels,
    although I feel the Operational Level games have more of the simpler
    rulesets (AH had a lot of these). Think about it and get back to me, and
    I or someone else can recommend something for you to try.

    >
    >>> What is the significance of the BIVOUAC area names like 'I C' or 'II
    >>> C' or 'SECOND ARMY' or 'REPLACEMENTS' or 'FIRST ARMY GROUP' etc...? Is
    >>> this only significant for placing the HQ units and beyond that you can
    >>> mix up the initial placement as you see fit?
    >>
    >>I think this is for color and has no real significance. The bivouac's
    >>allow things to look like a classic surprise attack by whichever side gets
    >>to move first, and always seemed very artificial to me.
    >
    > OK. Only thing I can figure is certain HQ units go in certain bivouac
    > spots and that's about it. Otherwise mix and match tank and other
    > units as you like. There's also a special section called 'replacement'
    > that I didnt' see any significance mentioned in the rules...
    >
    >
    >
    >>I don't remember HQ's as being anything special other than another unit.
    >
    > They (HQ) have an attack strength of zero and if you lose them all
    > there is no significance either. I guess one could easily sacrifice
    > them in defensive manners and not worry much about them...? Maybe park
    > them in cities and move on w/ your real combat units.
    >
    >
    >>Many of AH's rulesets included the provision that retreating units had to
    >>end up that many spaces away from the unit(s) that attacked it, not in a
    >>zone-of-control, with some wording that would prevent gamesmanship of the
    >>type that would allow the winner to retreat and destroy them in the
    >>ocean if another legal route that would allow the unit to survive was
    >>available. Tactics II must have this worded somewhere, as it was my first
    >>wargame, and I don't remember any question over retreats such as that.
    >>Yes, retreats may be made diagonally, as is changing direction (at least,
    >>it is in other early AH wargames).
    >
    > That makes sense to me but I was going thru the rules and didn't
    > really find much guide - here's all they say in my Tactics II copy:
    >
    > ================
    > 3) D back 2: all of the defender's units involved in that specific
    > attack must RETREAT two squares in any direction determined by the
    > winner. The defender is ELIMINATED instead if:
    > a) it cannot retreat without entering a square adjacent to an enemy
    > unit in the first or second square of his retreat.
    > b) it is completely surrounded by enemy units. Example C below.
    > c) it is forced to retreat into "sea squares."
    > ================
    >
    > same goes for A back 2. It can be interpreted to allow the winner to
    > select a direction of retreat that deliberately puts the retreating
    > unit potentially in an elimination scenario.
    >
    > 1) My own take is that a unit generally retreats in what appears to be
    > 'the rear' or away from the attacking unit(s).
    >
    > 2) That the retreating unit benefit from a reasonable direction so as
    > to avoid deliberate elimination.
    >
    > 3) The map edge counts as a sea/shore as well and could also result in
    > elimination if no other options exist.
    >
    > 4) Bottom line is that the winner only really has a 'choice' of
    > retreat paths for the losing unit if more than one safe path exists...
    >
    > 5) Elimination occurs only as a last resort if no route exists.
    >
    > Sound reasonable?
    >
    > thanks!

    All that sounds reasonable. Also, don't forget the mountains as a place
    to trap units, as well.

    Dwane
    aldrich@u.washington.edu
  6. Archived from groups: alt.games.wargames (More info?)

    On Sat, 22 May 2004 16:49:21 GMT, "T.M. Sommers" <tms@nj.net> wrote:

    >pgtr wrote:
    >>
    >> What is the significance of the BIVOUAC area names like 'I C' or 'II
    >> C' or 'SECOND ARMY' or 'REPLACEMENTS' or 'FIRST ARMY GROUP' etc...? Is
    >> this only significant for placing the HQ units and beyond that you can
    >> mix up the initial placement as you see fit?
    >
    >In the 1958 version, the initial composition of each corps was
    >specified: I Corps was 1-5 ID and 1 AD, and so on. The airborne,
    >amphibious, and mountain divisions belonged to the armies.

    Thanks. I've looked thru the advance rules and same or similar setup
    is also specified.

    >> Other than limited defense is there any significance to HQ units? For
    >> example if you lose any HQ units nothing really changes does it?
    >
    >Corps HQs were supposed to stay within 5 squares of the bulk of
    >their units, but there was no penalty for violating this. Under
    >the optional nuclear rules, the HQs fired the nukes.

    Gotcha. thanks!

    >> So can someone clarify how 'BACK 2' works?
    >>
    >> Or if the benefit of a clear path for the retreating unit exists is
    >> the winner obligated to choose that path?
    >
    >Yes, although the original rules were not abundantly clear on this.

    Good - then at least I can't entirely blame my fuzzy brain for not
    clearly understanding this initially.

    Along the same lines if one were to not so wisely have friendly trips
    behind a retreating unit and nowhere else for the retreating unit to
    go is it also eliminated? Or can it 'pass thru' a friendly unit and
    end up 2 squares away?

    >> And are changes in direction OK?
    >
    >Yes, as long as the unit ends up the specified number of squares
    >away from its original position (that is, it cannot go in circles
    >or double back). Again, this was not explicit in the original
    >rules, but it is the usual ways retreats are handled.

    Thanks again!

    I think I'll print out an addendum from these responses and include
    them in the rules so other newbies I'll play with will not be
    similarly confused... ;)
  7. Archived from groups: alt.games.wargames (More info?)

    On Mon, 24 May 2004 15:25:18 -0700, Dwane Aldrich
    <aldrich@u.washington.edu> wrote:

    >On Wed, 19 May 2004 19:39:23 -0500, pgtr wrote:
    >
    >> On Wed, 19 May 2004 15:27:28 -0700, Dwane Aldrich
    >> <aldrich@u.washington.edu> wrote:
    >>
    >>>It has been a while since I last played and I'm not with my copy of the
    >>>game at the moment, but I'll try for some answers. Tactics II was a very
    >>>early wargame, and did some things for color.
    >>
    >> Thanks.
    >>
    >> BTW do you have any other good 'beginner' wargames? Tactics II seemed
    >> to fit the bill w/ it's 'basic' ruleset and claim to quick/easy play
    >> was all so I picked up one...
    >> I'd also like to look at some rules for basic games that also
    >> incorproate air power and sea power and not just land units.
    >>
    >
    >I'm an "old time" gamer, so I may not be up-to-date as to what is
    >available now. As you were playing Tactics II, a logical advance on that
    >would be AH's old Blitzkrieg, which had airpower, though I'm not sure it
    >had any more sea power. Blitzkrieg was a fun game.

    I read the description of Blitzkrieg in my AH 'brochure' included in
    Afrika Korps. It sounded fun! They classified it "Intermediate III"
    (Tactics II was "Introductory I").

    >Important to the game search would be a decision as to what level of the
    >combat game matrix you are most interested in. Tactics II is an example
    >of the Operational Level of game (big units -- divisions and corps --
    >worried about movement and supply lines, not so much interested in guiding
    >the country's production or in how far a tank main gun shoots). Above
    >that could be termed Strategic Level (worried that you produce enough of
    >the right kind of units to prosecute the war). Below that starts the
    >Tactical Level of games (beginning where separate artillery units have a
    >range, down to where each counter represents one person).
    >Historical period of interest is also important in dividing up the games
    >available.

    Very good question. I think I tend to gravitate towards the in between
    operational level of moving divisions around as you described it
    above. Not the long term production/strategic level nor the more
    tactical if it's overly detailed. HOwever years ago as a kid I had
    Alexander the Great and that was probably a tactical game and it was
    pretty fun to play. So In addition to operational I think I'd like
    tactical level games if on a fairly simplistic level.

    In AH complexity I think the 'Introductory' and perhaps
    'Intermediates' is probably where I would prefer to be for a number of
    reasons including lack of opponents and time!

    >There are some easier games available at each of the three Levels,
    >although I feel the Operational Level games have more of the simpler
    >rulesets (AH had a lot of these). Think about it and get back to me, and
    >I or someone else can recommend something for you to try.

    I definately will and appreciate your kind offer! Right now I think
    I'll concentrate on getting reacquainted w/ the ins and outs of
    Tactics II.

    <SNIP>
    >
    >All that sounds reasonable. Also, don't forget the mountains as a place
    >to trap units, as well.
    >
    > Dwane
    > aldrich@u.washington.edu

    Thanks Dwane!
  8. Archived from groups: alt.games.wargames (More info?)

    Panzer Blitz and Panzer Leader are fun games on the Tactical level. Not
    overly complicated unless you use all the optional advanced rules.
    Panzer Blitz is Eastern Front WW2 and Panzer Leader is Western Front
    WW2. There is also a similar one for the Desert Campaign but I can't
    remeber the title.

    Kharsis

    pgtr wrote:
    > On Mon, 24 May 2004 15:25:18 -0700, Dwane Aldrich
    > <aldrich@u.washington.edu> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>On Wed, 19 May 2004 19:39:23 -0500, pgtr wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>On Wed, 19 May 2004 15:27:28 -0700, Dwane Aldrich
    >>><aldrich@u.washington.edu> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>It has been a while since I last played and I'm not with my copy of the
    >>>>game at the moment, but I'll try for some answers. Tactics II was a very
    >>>>early wargame, and did some things for color.
    >>>
    >>>Thanks.
    >>>
    >>>BTW do you have any other good 'beginner' wargames? Tactics II seemed
    >>>to fit the bill w/ it's 'basic' ruleset and claim to quick/easy play
    >>>was all so I picked up one...
    >>>I'd also like to look at some rules for basic games that also
    >>>incorproate air power and sea power and not just land units.
    >>>
    >>
    >>I'm an "old time" gamer, so I may not be up-to-date as to what is
    >>available now. As you were playing Tactics II, a logical advance on that
    >>would be AH's old Blitzkrieg, which had airpower, though I'm not sure it
    >>had any more sea power. Blitzkrieg was a fun game.
    >
    >
    > I read the description of Blitzkrieg in my AH 'brochure' included in
    > Afrika Korps. It sounded fun! They classified it "Intermediate III"
    > (Tactics II was "Introductory I").
    >
    >
    >>Important to the game search would be a decision as to what level of the
    >>combat game matrix you are most interested in. Tactics II is an example
    >>of the Operational Level of game (big units -- divisions and corps --
    >>worried about movement and supply lines, not so much interested in guiding
    >>the country's production or in how far a tank main gun shoots). Above
    >>that could be termed Strategic Level (worried that you produce enough of
    >>the right kind of units to prosecute the war). Below that starts the
    >>Tactical Level of games (beginning where separate artillery units have a
    >>range, down to where each counter represents one person).
    >>Historical period of interest is also important in dividing up the games
    >>available.
    >
    >
    > Very good question. I think I tend to gravitate towards the in between
    > operational level of moving divisions around as you described it
    > above. Not the long term production/strategic level nor the more
    > tactical if it's overly detailed. HOwever years ago as a kid I had
    > Alexander the Great and that was probably a tactical game and it was
    > pretty fun to play. So In addition to operational I think I'd like
    > tactical level games if on a fairly simplistic level.
    >
    > In AH complexity I think the 'Introductory' and perhaps
    > 'Intermediates' is probably where I would prefer to be for a number of
    > reasons including lack of opponents and time!
    >
    >
    >>There are some easier games available at each of the three Levels,
    >>although I feel the Operational Level games have more of the simpler
    >>rulesets (AH had a lot of these). Think about it and get back to me, and
    >>I or someone else can recommend something for you to try.
    >
    >
    > I definately will and appreciate your kind offer! Right now I think
    > I'll concentrate on getting reacquainted w/ the ins and outs of
    > Tactics II.
    >
    > <SNIP>
    >
    >>All that sounds reasonable. Also, don't forget the mountains as a place
    >>to trap units, as well.
    >>
    >> Dwane
    >> aldrich@u.washington.edu
    >
    >
    > Thanks Dwane!
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