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Proposal 6: Modified Battle Resolution


The method of deciding what kind of battle (land, naval or combined) takes place is revamped. This is a relatively major proposed change.


Change wording of Rule 5.2, last portion:

To resolve a battle, determine whether a land battle, naval battle or both will occur, using the following procedure:

Change Rule 5.2.1, last two bullet items:

Change Rule 5.2.2, last two bullet items:

Replace the contents of Rule 5.2.3, Conducting a Combined Battle, with the following wording:

If two armies fight both a naval battle and a land battle, both sides' SCI and victory point totals are adjusted only for the land battle, and not for the naval battle.


The biggest flaw in the existing game system, as I see it, revolves around the method of resolving battles where one of the forces or armies has both Land and Naval Strength Points, while the other is purely Land or Naval. The way the rules are set up, the combined Force is forced to fight the battle on the other Force's terms.

This allows the Athenians to perform the infamous Naval Assault on Corinth. By sending the squadron of ships around to Corinth, they can force a battle with the Corinthian fleet. Unfortunately for the Corinthians, when their fleet loses, the entire Corinthian army is sent home, allowing the Athenians to seize control of the city.

Equally unfortunate, the Spartans can do the same thing with their land forces. The way I read the rules, if they send an Army to Epidamnos, a land battle with Corcyreans will ensue, even though the Forces are separated by water, because the Spartan Army is in the ZOI of the Corcyrean navy. At AvalonCon/WBC, it was ruled that no battle took place (which is reasonable), but the rules don't appear to work that way.

The proposed rule modifications solve the problem by separating the land and naval battles into distinct components, so that naval battles have less effect on land forces, and vice versa. The Athenians can still pound the Corinthian navy, but they can't take Corinth, because the Corinthian land forces don't get sent home when the navy loses. Likewise, the Spartans in Epidamnos do not force a battle with the Corcyreans, because the two land forces are not in each other's land/combined ZOI.

Because the Land SPs of the loser of a naval battle must go home if not occupying a friendly space, navies can fight off a combined land/naval invasion. If the Spartans send a combined Army to Corcyra, and the Corcyrean navy defeats the attacking fleet, the Spartan land forces are sent home. On the other hand, if the Spartan navy is victorious, the Corcyrean troops stay to try to fight off the attackers on land.


Mark Herman: Overall, I think this is good. The Athenian capture of Corinth was intended and not an accident since the naval personnel were seen by me as the land force which takes the town through its weakest part. The heavy infantry are not very effective in city streets where the lighter armed marines and rowers would have an edge. However, I see the point that you can't reinforce the place to prevent it, so I think the changes are fine. It was always a bit convoluted so this may work out fine. In the solo game it's not a problem since the game rarely makes this move.

Chris Roginsky: You need to differentiate between opposing units that occupy the same space and groups of units that are in each other's ZOI. The former may lead to Corinth falling to a trireme assault. If one side does consist of both naval and land SPs, and the other side consists solely of naval SPs or solely of land SPs, the side with mixed SPs can only fight the battle dictated by the composition of the other side's units.

If I understand your explanation correctly, there are two anomalies you wish to address. While I agree both situations seem strange in modern military thinking, they have historic parallels. In Sicily, both sides' land armies watched the Athenian navy get smashed. The Athenian Army did not engage the fortress but instead retreated without a fight (in terms of the rules, the winner of the naval battle, having fewer hoplite SPs than the loser is the winner of the combined battle).

In more abstract terms, the situation at Epidamnos/Corcyra is also quite rational. Do not think in terms of the hoplites in Corcyra committing suicide by assaulting the Spartans in Epidamnos. Rather view the situation in terms of the Spartans in Epidamnos eliminating the influence of the hoplites in Corcyra; the only game mechanic to reflect this is to conduct a battle.

In the end, I do not think the rules need to be changed. There are ways the Spartan player can defeat the trireme assault on Corinth. I would propose one rule change that would tend to deter Athens from directly assaulting Corinth on the first turn:

On the post-combat movement table, in the Spartan ally naval SP area, add the following sentence in the "active neutral" column:

If Corinth is Athenian-controlled, place Spartan Ally Naval SPs at Gythium instead. If that space is also Athenian-controlled, the SPs are lost.

(Frank gave me a Q&A sheet at a prior AvalonCon that addressed this issue exactly as shown above. However, the answer also allowed allied land SPs to return to either Athens or Sparta if all other spaces are enemy controlled. I do not agree with the allied SP interpretation and I cannot find any official source for the Q&A sheet, although some of the questions and answers on this sheet do appear in The General.)

Brian Mountford: As regards the errata, see the AvalonCon errata page. The note at the top explains its origin.

First of all, under my proposed rules change your Sicilian scenario would still occur. The Syracusans win the naval battle. The Athenian navy is sent home, and because the space is Spartan the Athenian land forces go home as well. But imagine if the Athenians had won. The way the rules are presently worded, if the Syracusan land force were larger than the Athenian, it would go home (to Greece, no less!), leaving the fortress wide open. If, on the other hand, the Athenians were larger, the Syracusans would stay and fight. That doesn't make a bit of sense to me, either historically or in terms of game play.

In the case of Epidamnos and Corcyra, what do you mean by the Spartans eliminating the influence of the hoplites in Corcyra? That the Corcyreans would be influenced to turn on their army? That would be a rebellion. Do you mean that the Corcyrean army would be cowed into submission and penned up on their island? The Spartans can do that in game terms just by sitting in Epidamnos, without any fight taking place. But realistically, the Corcyreans would only be overawed as long as the Spartans were encamped on the opposite shore. If they packed up and went home, the Corcyrean hoplites would immediately reassert their hegemony over the surrounding villages. They couldn't really do that if they'd been permanently eliminated in battle. (discussion group) (me)