Disengaging from Contact | Command Post Games
Strategy Board Games Napoleon Waterloo Gettysburg Bulge Supremacy

Disengaging from Contact

Turns in Pub Battles are fluid and abstract.  They are not I-Go-You-Go.  We consider all units to be in motion at the same time during the turn.  This is why we don’t resolve combat until the end of the turn, after all units have moved. 

This can be confusing at first to experienced wargamers, used to standard games.  This is a common question:

The enemy has advanced to contact me.  If I move next, I can turn and run away with no combat.  Is that right?  Why?

Yes, that is correct.  The short answer is:  Because you never were in contact. 


Here is an example to help you visualize what this represents:

A British unit moves to contact your Colonial unit.  What does this mean exactly?


Imagine being the Colonial Commander.  You can see the British forming up and preparing to attack.  Do you want to receive the attack?  Yes.  Fine.  Do nothing.

Option 2:  You don’t want to receive the attack.  You are on weak ground and don’t intend to fight here.  The British have already started forming up and are starting to advance.  You want to fall back 200 yards to a better defensive position.  You hurry and shout out quick orders to fall back.  How quickly will those orders be implemented?  Will your command respond quick enough to execute this and start falling back BEFORE the British close and start firing?  This is a crap shoot.  Who knows?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Depends on a lot of things. 

In the game we simulate this with HQs rolling to Alter the turn sequence.  (In Pub Battles you can roll to jump ahead of the next move or delay your move until later in the turn.)  Maybe the British move quickly and your troops respond too slowly.  Your line gets hit before it can fall back.  In game terms, this means you tried to delay your move so that you could respond to the British but you failed.  Now you must fight as is. 

Instead, maybe your men moved quickly and the British dragged their feet.  You pulled it off.  Your men fall back into a better position before the enemy strikes.  The Brits advanced to your previous location  -According to their orders.  Now they hesitate for a moment because they aren’t sure what to do.  In game terms, your HQ delay roll was a success, you move last.  The British move up to contact, you fall back quickly and avoid a confrontation.  –for now anyways. 

Why is there no combat?  Because you never were in contact.  You just successfully fought a delaying action.    

This same concept applies to calling in support.  Let’s say you don’t want to fall back.  You need to hold this position.  You aren’t sure where the enemy is going to attack.  This is why you keep troops behind the lines in reserve.  If the British attack you at this point, are you able to bring up reserves in time to bolster your defense?  It depends.  Who moves last?

If you can successfully delay your move, you can see where the British are attacking and then commit reserves at this point BEFORE combat resolution. 

If you fail the roll you are stuck.  You are forced to fight at the time and place the British choose. 

In real world terms, this simulates how quickly you were able to respond AFTER you saw that the British were attacking.

As you might imagine, HQs have different ratings.  So fast movers like Stonewall Jackson and Napoleon can manipulate these turn sequences with relative ease.  For others, it may be a long shot. 

One thought on “Disengaging from Contact

  1. Heh heh, long shot. Literally!

    Having played different pub battles games dozens of times, this is my favorite Authentic mechanic. The notion that sometimes moving last is really moving first! It means getting the tactical edge and fighting where and when YOU desire!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *