J.J. Young on 31 Jul 2002 18:12:08 -0000

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Re: [eia] JJ, don't read!!!

I have not read this message, and have deleted it from my computer. 
Kyle, while I appreciate your attempt to bring levity back into the situation by poking a little fun at my request, I hope that no one will consider me timid or unreasonable if I do not enjoy reading as two of my best friends bitterly argue and attack each other over a game.  I choose to "block" these emails as I would annoying emails from an advertiser, and if anyone thinks less of me because of it, they can respectfully go fly a kite.
That being said, I have probably misinterpreted your tone (which as we all know, is very easy to do over email).
----- Original Message -----
From: Kyle H
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 9:35 PM
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 time!  :-)
    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.
Mike wrote:
> 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.
Mike wrote:
>I figure 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 were.
    Like I said before, I think this is great and will go a long way toward helping us resolve our mutual misunderstandings.
Mike wrote:
[Referring to]  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 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 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.)

Mike wrote:
>  [Referring to]  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.)
Mike wrote:
> 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 suggesting.
    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 made.
Mike wrote:
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  "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, 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' understand.
Mike wrote:
> 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.
Mike wrote:
> 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 exception.
    Again, the 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 written.
    But again, perhaps this is unnecessarily philosophical...
Mike wrote:
> 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 area.

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 those words.
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: 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 well.
    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.
Mike wrote:
> [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 that city.
    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 read them.)
Mike wrote:
> [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 disagree.)
Mike wrote:
> [Referring to]  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 phase.
    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 view.
Mike wrote:
> 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.
Mike wrote:
> 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 empty!
    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 already.)
    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 differently.