----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 9:35
Subject: [eia] JJ, don't read!!!
JJ, are you reading? You
weren't supposed to, so cut it out! I mean it! Delete this message
immediately!! If you don't delete this message, you will be reading at
your own risk...
Ok, I've done what I can to
ensure that JJ does not read email he does not want to receive.
To everyone else who may still
be reading: This is a long, boring, and largely academic (since most
people are apparently happy with Mike's rules extensions) rules
discussion. I do not fault anybody for not reading if they are not
interested. However, I promise that no tempers will get lost this
First off, Mike, I think I
probably owe you an apology for being a bit short. Although I stand by
most of the substance of what I said in my "fed up" email, I probably could
have said it much better than I did. I read your response to my proposal
as being unnecessarily sarcastic and downright rude. But in retrospect I
see that it is a matter of simple miscommunication. We both see
ourselves as trying to be faithful to the rules, but in some cases, we have
radically different ideas about what they say. So radically different,
in fact, that we are having trouble even seeing where the other person is
coming from. And when another person's criticisms seem baseless, one is
likely to take them the wrong way. In any case, I know that's
probably what happened on my end. So, once again, I apologize for
the tone of my message.
But now let's get our hands
dirty with the rules! BTW, thanks for taking up the challenge and
actually referring me to what you are talking about. I think that will
really help clarify things.
> The bulk of this post is me pissed off a Kyle for
accusing me of making up the rules.
That's not quite
right. What I said is that we are *both* making up rules to fill in
the gaps left by the rules as they are written. I took umbrage at the
fact that you seemed to be indicating that my proposal ignored the written
rules while your proposal represents the written rules. My point is that
there is no such thing as playing by the written rules because the rules
are inconsistent as they are written. So whatever gloss we pick will be
just that: our own interpretation that we have chosen as the one we
think best fits the spirit of the rules. That is, we will be choosing to
make strange interpretations of some written rules to bolster our
interpretations of others. I do not think it is useful, though, to
pretend that what *either* of us are coming up with is "the rules as they are
written". If our interpretations were the rules as they are
written, then they'd be written that way!
But maybe I'm just being
overly philosophical here. The point is that we are both searching for a
reasonable interpretation of the written rules. Of course, I was trying
to find an interpretation that also preserved what I was calling the
expedition principle. I thought that principle was implicit in a house
rule that we had all already agreed upon. But you made it clear that you
think it is unnecessary. That's fine. We can work without the
expedition principle if that's what people want.
the easiest way to go over my stand is to do what Kyle asked and cut and paste
a bunch of rules into an email so I can read them aloud as it
Like I said before, I think
this is great and will go a long way toward helping us resolve our mutual
[Referring to 18.104.22.168] If there is a corps in an area not in
a city, you must cease movement no matter what. Seems pretty clear from
this part. As the only time a corps is ever noted as being in a city
anywhere in the rules is while it is under siege or right after a siege ends
and before it gets a chance to move, this rule seems to stand quite well and
is not a house rule.
On this point, we have no
disagreement. I had always interpreted 22.214.171.124 incorrectly in the past,
but I had already come around to your reading a day or two before the 'fed up'
email. (Now, the wording in 126.96.36.199 could be better to help avoid
misunderstandings. For example, it might have helped if the second
sentence began, "If on the other hand corps and/or garrison factors
are already in a city when the phasing corps
arrives,..." That would have helped me. But like I said, this
is a non-issue, because we both agree.)
> [Referring to
188.8.131.52] This is the rule I claimed Kyle's proposal reversed in
order to save one email. The part about the garrison deciding if it will
burn the depot before the corps declares if it will continue moving does
indeed appear to be the exact opposite of .... This would place the
decision after the corps decides whether or not it will move. It will indeed
save one email, but I still maintain that it will not save enough time to make
the change worthwhile.
Guilty as charged.
(Of course, it could potentially be multiple emails, but whatever.) As I
said earlier, I thought that by proposing rules that preserved the expedition
principle, I was doing what we all wanted and all agreed to. But now I
see that that assumption was incorrect. No problem - we can easily
dispense with the expedition principle if people don't like it. (After
all, that was the point of laying out principles - to clearly state the
assumptions from which I was working.)
> How will this rule cause
attackers to not know their available forces and give the defender the ability
to decide if they should retire into the city based on how many attackers they
will kill with that decision? Well, there will be two sets of orders
already sitting in front of the defender and assuming they have basic math
skills, they can add up foraging losses if they remain out of the city and
foraging losses if they force the attacker to give up spare movement
points. They will then know exactly how many factors they can cause the
attacker to lose by forcing a siege. The
attacker will not know how many forces they will have available to them as
they will not know which forage orders the defender will allow them to use
until after the movement phase is complete.
Here we have a genuine
disagreement. My proposal (which was actually JJ's proposal) said that
people would pre-plan their orders to take retirement contingencies into
account. That doesn't mean the attacker has to roll their forage
*before* the defender decides whether to retire! The attacker can easily
roll forage after that decision is made. The little
parenthetical caveat I placed in the rule was simply saying that,
for those who failed to send along a contingency, the default assumption would
be the loss of unused movement bonus to the forage
roll. But in retrospect, I can see that I should have
left that caveat out entirely, as it obviously just confused the
issue. It was not essential to the rule I was
Simply put, the rule I
was referring to only required that people send contingency plans with their
orders for enemy corps that retire. That's it. So, as long as the
attacker held off on his forage roll, neither he nor the defender would know
precisely how many factors would be lost when the forage roll is
> As the forage
decisions will now no longer be complete until during the combat rules, the
movement and combat phases are now mixed together as all foraging is to be
determined at the end of each unit's movement.
I still don't understand
this comment. In what way will forage decisions not be complete until
during the combat rules? Or perhaps I should ask, "In what way will
forage decisions not be complete during the combat rules in a way
substantially different from the rules as they are written?"
Because after all, the rules as they are written already combine some aspects
of movement and combat decisions. Allow me to refer you to the language
in 184.108.40.206: "Any forces or portion of forces upon whom an attack is
declared may immediately retire..." This language suggests that as soon
as a corps moves into an area containing an enemy corps and declares an attack
(as per 220.127.116.11), the defending corps must immediately decide whether
to retire. So this is a combat decision (retirement) made in the midst
of land movement and supply.
Here's the point:
if the rules as they are written already "interleave" the movement and combat
portions of the land phase, then how is my proposed rule guilty of mixing
things up any more than they already were? That's what I still dont'
> But the attacker will not
be able to determine the modifiers to the foraging roll until after the combat
phase has begun if the defender gets to decide what modifiers apply after the
combat phase has begun.
Again, I don't see how it follows
from my proposed rule that the modifiers to the forage roll are determined
after the combat phase has begun.
> On to my fabrication
of the rules. Most of this seems to be that in the absence of a rule
declaring a situation to be an exception, I assume it is not an
point was not that you are "fabricating" rules. My point was
that you and I both were trying to extend and supplement the rules in an
attempt to make the most sense out of them as written. To that extent,
we are both "fabricating" new rules to close the gaps created by the old
rules. This is precisely what judges do when there is not sufficient
precedent to judge the case before them. They look at the law and try
their best to fill in the gaps in the most consistent way possible. That
is what you are trying to do, and that is what I was trying to do.
Neither of us is "discovering" the "true" meaning of the rules as they are
perhaps this is unnecessarily philosophical...
Unused Movement Points: For each movement point the corps did not use, one is
subtracted from the die. Exception: The die is not modified due to unused
movement points if the corps is besieging or plans to besiege enemy forces in
The word plan in this rule indicates strongly that you will
have the choice of besieging or not besieging.
I'm not trying to be
difficult, but I honestly don't think that the word "plan" here carries any
weight one way or the other. It could be interpreted to mean that when
you are "planning" to move your corps, you need to consider whether it will
end up in a siege when you make foraging decisions. Not only is this
interpretation possible, it is the interpretation that I actually take from
The forage rules allow that you may plan to or
not to besiege an enemy force. What rule do you have that states you
must besiege? I have a rule that says I don't have to, where is yours
that says I must.
That is a very good question,
and it gets right to the heart of the matter. Here is my answer.
7.5.1 reads, "If at the end of all movement of the phasing major power, enemy
forces occupy the same area as its corps, freikorps or cossacks, the
phasing major power must attack in those areas." Or how about
this: 18.104.22.168 reads, "If during movement a corps moves into an area
containing enemy corps not in a city, the corps must cease movement
and declare an attack." Both of these sentences seem to me to say
clearly that whenever two opposing stacks share the same area, there
must be an attack. At one point, JJ reported that the rules
seem to indicate that whenever opposing stacks are in the same area there must
be a siege. So perhaps he can refer you to other rules as
Now I do not deny that in
other places the wording seems to indicate that the phasing player has a
choice as to whether or not to besiege. But that is precisely my
point. The rules as they are written are slightly inconsistent. No
matter what interpretation we take, we are ignoring some rules (or at least
giving them a strained interpretation) at the expense of others that we think
make more sense. Hence, we are choosing what rules we want to
follow and what rules we want to ignore. Hence, whatever we decide on
will be an extension, a supplement, a "fabrication", if you will.
Neither rules extension has the authority of the "rules as they are
written". We are both making it up in ways that seem right to us.
The problem is that we differ about what seems right.
> [Referring to 7.5.4] Note
the word MAY before then besiege. While this covers sieges after field
battles, it seems to assume that you do not have to besiege the enemy forces
in the city whether they be garrison or corps. Combined with the rule
that you get to plan to siege or not to siege, this seems a strong case that
you may enter an area with an enemy controlled city and choose to not besiege
Again, I am not reading those
words the same way you are. (And again, I am not trying to be
difficult! I have honestly and naturally interpreted these words
differently from the way that you did.) The language you refer to
is a basic introduction to sieges. The way I am reading it, the word
"may" simply tells the reader what her combat options are. I would
paraphrase it as follows: "One way of initiating combat is to lay siege
to enemy troops inside a city." You seem to assume that these words are
being spoken with the understanding that the opposing corps are already in the
same area. I don't see why that assumption needs to be made.
(Again, let me emphasize that I'm not trying to be contrary
here. I am just explaining the way that I interpreted these words when I
> [Referring to
7.4.5] This states that you use siege supply only while you are
besieged. No where does it say you use siege supply if there is an enemy
corps in the area of the city.
True, but if the rules are as
I understand them - i.e., any opposing corps in the same area are necessarily
engaged in combat - then no exception is necessary, because all situations
involving enemy corps in the same area are covered by besieged supply.
In fact, I view the fact that the rules never specifically mention the
possibility of unbesieged enemy corps occupying the same area as an indication
that the rules do not account for that situation. (I, for one, would
think they would mention such a strange situation somewhere in the
rules if that's what the rules intended. But I'm sure you
> [Referring to
22.214.171.124] While this requires sieging rules for the attacker from turn
one, it doesn't say anything about requiring the attacker to launch a
siege. It merely says that you have to use besieging supply rules on the
first turn of a siege. It would seem to support the earlier statements
that you must plan to be able to lay a siege during the forage phase and
cannot decide if you will be able to do so during the combat
I see that this is the
way you would have to read this language to make it consistent with your view,
but I don't see that it carries any weight against my
> What kind of battle is it if an
unbesieged force leaves a city and enters the surrounding area?
... Should it be a limited field combat or garrison attack? Well,
let's see. these both require there to be a siege. As there is no
siege, they do not happen.
Of course, this assumes you are
right in your interpretation. If I am right, then there must be a siege,
in which case garrison attack combat would be used.
> Can the outside force become the
inside force? Why, yes. If you decide to leave the city empty,
they can move in. Why not, it's empty. You don't want them to be
able to move into the city? Then don't leave the stupid thing
As I've stated before, I think this
result is bizarre and constitutes a reductio ad absurdum of your
argument. Let's just think about it for a second. For the sake of
argument, let's assume that your forces are out in the area, and my
forces are in the city unbesieged (contrary to what I think the rules
intend). My forces leave the city to engage your forces.
Presumably my forces will be between your forces and the city. Hence, it
makes very little sense that you would be able to fall back... into the city
that I just left! But apparently you don't see this as a problem.
I find that frustrating, but I'm sure you think my stances are frustrating as
well. So there we are. We disagree. (But we knew that
Ok, that was the end of your
argument. The rest was just you venting. Anyway, I hope I've
convinced you that we have both taken up positions that try hard to make sense
of the rules as they are written even though those rules seem contradictory at
times. My interpretation is no better and no worse than yours, and
neither interpretation represents the rules as they are written. As I
said, it's probably academic since everyone seems to be siding with you.
But since you and I are both academics, I thought we should have a very high
tolerance for such pointless discussions! :-)
So once again, I apologize for the tone
of my previous email. I hope this email has gone a long way toward
developing an understanding of just how we are reading the rules