A/F Rules Module

by Fred C. Davis Jr.

revised by Stephen Agar 

Introduction (SA)

The Abstraction A/F rules module is incorporated in many other variants, such as Deluge.  However as it stands it could be argued that the Abstraction rules are not suitable to be lifted wholesale.  The following module does differ from the strict Abstraction rules in several respects, namely: 

(a) I have abandoned the rule that A/F combinations may only exist for 3 consecutive moves and that the GM must force units to retreat even if no retreat is ordered as there is no particular reason why these rules should have universal application; 

(b) This revision states that embarkations occur prior to simultaneous movement and thus cannot fail and disembarkations occur during simultaneous movement and are thus affected by what other units do. 

These changes ensure that the rules are more logically consistent than those in Abstraction without the necessity of introducing complicated time phases as used in variants such as Mercator.  However, it should be noted that they do produce different result in some circumstances to the A/F rules as they appear in Abstraction. 

1. Move Sequence.  Embarkations are adjudicated prior to simultaneous movement.  Disembarkations occur during simultaneous movement and are adjudicated as being simultaneous with and independent of whatever happens to the fleet element of the A/F. 

2. Fast Ferry.  A convoy as described in the Diplomacy rulebook is limited to the crossing of a single sea space via a single fleet.  To avoid confusion with A/F convoys, a regular single space convoy is referred to as a "Fast Ferry" ("FF")If a fleet attempts to FF an army, but is unable to disembark the army, then the army remains on board the fleet and an A/F is formed (see below). 

3. Embarkation. An army may embark on to a fleet in a sea space (not a coastal space) before simultaneous movement is adjudicated and thus a legal embarkation move can never fail.  If an army has embarked on a fleet and cannot disembark for whatever reason, it will remain on board the fleet as an A/F. 

4. A/F Operations.  A convoy of more than one sea space can only be undertaken by the formation of an "Army/Fleet" ("A/F") to carry the army on board.  In a given move, an army may board a fleet in an adjacent sea space (thus creating an A/F), the A/F may them move to an adjacent sea space, and the army may then also disembark the army into a coastal space adjacent to the second sea space.  For example, A(Lon) boards F(ENG), A/F(ENG)-MAO, A disembarks Por. 

An A/F has the same combat value as a single fleet and may attack, support and be supported, but it may not FF.  An A/F may support operations in coastal provinces and it may do so with a value of two (fleet and army), although it may never enter a coastal province itself. 

4. Disembarkation.  Disembarkation is simultaneous with other movement, thus an army may disembark from an A/F at the same time that the fleet is moving elsewhere or supporting another action.  For example, A/F(ION) disembarks A(Tun), F(ION)-EMS.  However, if disembarkation fails, then the A/F remains intact and any fleet movement (but not support) will also fail (because if it succeeded the army would be left behind to drown). 

It follows that if an A/F is disembarking an army then the fleet element may use its move to support the disembarkation of the army.  For example A/F(BLA) disembarks A(Sev) S by F(BLA) will displace an unsupported A(Sev). 

If an A/F attempting to disembark an army attempts to move or is dislodged, then the disembarkation will be unaffected as it is considered independently of the fleet. 

Exception.  In order to avoid circular reasoning, there is an exception to the general rule that disembarkations are simultaneous with other movement.  The disembarkation of an army from an A/F, which in turn would have had to move successfully to be in a position to disembark the army, may not have an direct or indirect effect on the success of the movement of the A/F in question, and if it does so the disembarkation will fail. 

For example, consider the following orders: 

ENGLAND: A/F(NTH)-ENG, disembarks A(ENG)-Bre, F(MAO) S disembarkation A(ENG)-Bre 

FRANCE:  F(ENG)-Bre 

The result will be that the French move to Brest succeeds and England will have an A/F in ENG.  The reasoning here is if the English disembarkation in Brest succeeded, the French move F(ENG)-Bre would fail and therefore the English move A/F(NTH)-ENG would fail.  Thus the disembarkation has a direct effect on the success of the movement of the A/F it came from, therefore the disembarkation fails. 

5. Retreats.  If an A/F is forced to retreat to a coastal space, it reverts to a fleet and the army is disbanded.  An army may retreat on to an adjacent fleet in a sea space and create an A/F. 

6. Circular reasoning.  In the event that any movement cannot be adjudicated due to circular reasoning, then all units will stand.


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