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Proposal 4: Naval Transport Orphans


Land SPs left orphaned when their naval transport is lost due to a Skirmish are sent home instead of being left en route.


Change wording of Rule 4.1.4, paragraphs two and three:

If a moving Army fights a Skirmish in an island space, it may be left with fewer Naval SPs than Land SPs. Since all of the Land SPs can no longer be transported, the excess must be placed in the Going Home box, while the remainder of the Army continues moving. In all other circumstances of this nature the Army would continue moving, but only along combined LOCs.

Likewise, Naval SP losses suffered in a Skirmish may make it impossible for a moving Army to transport all of its Land SPs over a Naval LOC that cannot be avoided at some future point along the route to its objective (i.e. no route consisting of combined LOCs is available). In this case (only), the excess Land SPs are placed in the Going Home box immediately after the Skirmish, while the rest of the Army continues on to the objective space.


The existing rules, which can result in single Land SPs being orphaned on islands or at the waterline, lead to some thorny problems. First of all, does an orphaned SP become a Force, since it has no leader? If so, what happens when the orphan is left on an enemy fortress space? Siege markers are never placed on Forces, so would it capture the fortress without a fight?

In general, the battle, siege and control rules assume that a Force can never wind up in enemy territory; they would need rewriting to handle this case. If, on the other hand, the rules are amended to send orphans home, these problems are avoided.


Mark Herman: This rule seems fine. I have not had this experience too often, but if it's a problem this is certainly a simple fix.

Brian Mountford: To be honest, I haven't experienced this situation either, but it's a rules argument waiting to happen. There's no reason not to fix the problem before it happens.

Chris Roginsky: Realistically, how would these SPs get home? Swim? When Athens ran short of transports after the debacle at Syracusa, the land forces were butchered while they tried to march home. I would propose changing rule 4.1.4 as follows:

Replace the second paragraph of rule 4.1.4 with the following paragraph:

While moving, if an Army sustains naval SP losses due to fighting a skirmish in an island space and is left with insufficient naval SPs to transport the land SPs, the excess land SPs must immediately cease their movement. If the island space is not friendly to the moving side, or already contains an enemy Army, then the excess land SPs are eliminated. Otherwise the SPs are simply left in the island space and are considered a Force. In all other circumstances of this nature, the Army would continue moving but only along combined lines of communication.

Delete the last sentence in the third paragraph of rule 4.1.4. In place of this sentence, add the following:

In this case (only), the excess land SPs must immediately cease their movement in any friendly space along the movement route they can enter using combined lines of communication that does not contain an enemy Army (in the solitaire game, the SPs would be left in the last qualifying space along the movement route). If there are no friendly spaces available or all friendly spaces already contain enemy Armies, the excess land SPs are eliminated. Other than changing from using naval lines of communication to using combined lines of communication, the moving Army cannot alter its movement route in order to prevent the elimination of the SPs or to strand them in a more favorable location. That is to say the Army must still use the shortest route available even if there is an alternative, longer route which would not result in the elimination of the SPs.

Add a fourth paragraph to rule 4.1.4:

SPs that become a force in this manner may not be activated for the remainder of the turn.

Brian Mountford: Why, it's obvious how the orphaned SPs get home. They use the same magic dimensional portals used by forces in the Going Home segment. Such devices must obviously be scattered all around Greece, since, when I've played the game, my troops have always been able to locate one during that segment, thus avoiding slaughter by the victorious enemy.

Seriously, if teleportation home is OK for entire Armies, surely it's good enough for a single marooned Hoplite point. Your method would work as well, but it's more complicated, and this situation will only come up once in a lifetime, so why not be as simple as possible? (discussion group) (me)