I am toying with a house rule that a stand can, in a single initiative, either conduct Retreat Moves or initiate offensive actions (Direct Fire, Close Combat) but not both. All part of fighting the 1000 Foot General.
1000 Foot General
People use the phrase “1000 Foot General” to describe the ability of a wargamer to see the whole table and take actions that would not have been possible for a historical commander. I’ve already got quite a few suggestions for Fighting the 1000 Foot General in Crossfire.
Restricting subsequent actions
One of those suggestions was by Martin (aka ottomanmm) who said:
A simple solution to the problem of withdrawing, redeploying, beating up the enemy and returning to the original position would be to prevent any unit that makes a withdraw move from making any other move in the current initiative. Such a move would not mean a loss of initiative, so other actions can be taken. This means troops can withdraw to protect themselves, but they cannot be immediately thrown back into the fight in another part of the battle. It also means a determined attacker can follow them up in the next initiative.
I believe Martin’s suggestion, of denying a Move action to those that have done a Retreat Move action, is too restrictive. Not least because you can’t Retreat Move from a position in the open; only a normal Move action is allowed in that situation. But I think the idea that taking a Retreat Move action restricts subsequent actions has merit – the question is, what actions are restricted.
Redeploy then Attack – this is the problem
The point of a Retreat Move is to enable a redeployment to another sector for defence or to form up for a subsequent attack. It is the redeploy then attack, without the enemy player having a chance to intervene, which is at the heart of the problem of the 1000 Foot General.
Possible house rule
I believe finishing the redeployment is a legitimate part of a single initiative. It is the offensive action that follows that is the problem. So I would restrict offensive actions (Direct Fire, Close Combat) after a redeployment.
Proposed House Rule: In a single initiative a stand can either conduct Retreat Move actions or initiate offensive actions (Direct Fire, Close Combat), but not both.
You might use No Fire markers to indicate which phasing stands are restricted in this way. These No Fire markers, like those resulting from ineffective reactive fire, are removed at the end of the initiative.
I’ve never tried this suggestion, as I’ve never seen a real need. But every now and again the 1000 foot general bugs me and gets me musing.