Retreat Question

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Retreat Question

Postby Oh Cheese » 24 Dec 2016, 09:27

So A and B units can switch positions only if one moves via convoy...

If A dislodges B via a convoy, can B retreat to A (if adjacent and unoccupied)?
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Re: Retreat Question

Postby super_dipsy » 24 Dec 2016, 09:58

No.

This is a question that is not answered clearly in the rules as written. Some people take the view that the conquering army actually comes from the last fleet in the convoy, thereby claiming that this means the retreating army is not barred from retreating to the source location. But on Playdip we regard a convoyed army as having come from its initial location as opposed to the last convoying fleet, in which case the rule that you cannot retreat to the location your attacker came from rules out a retreat there.

If you are interested, it is Item 6 in our implementation interpretations which are here http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=646&t=41661. This referenced post lists all the areas where the written rules are either silent, contradictory or ambiguous, and the chosen Playdip implementations. Of course, if the people who wrote the rules did a proper job this would not be necessary ;)
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Re: Retreat Question

Postby Carebear » 24 Dec 2016, 10:10

Interesting. I would have taken the tack that because the rules specifically allow units to exchange provinces when a convoy is involved, the deviation would also apply to the retreat.

What were the considerations behind this decision?

Is there any opportunity to revisit this decision or is it way too late for reconsideration?
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Re: Retreat Question

Postby super_dipsy » 24 Dec 2016, 17:41

Carebear wrote:Interesting. I would have taken the tack that because the rules specifically allow units to exchange provinces when a convoy is involved, the deviation would also apply to the retreat.


The logic is simple. First, the rules do not explicitly call it out, so you have to make up your own mind. Second, the rules do not explicitly call it out... ;)

What I mean is, look at the rules. Compare the following.

- p6 of the Avalon Hill 2000 rules states: Units cannot change places without the use of a convoy
- p14 explains that 'two units can exchanged place if either or both are convoyed', making it clear this is an exception to the rule that units cannot exchange places normally
- p17 states that a unit cannot retreat to 'the province from which the attacker came'
- There is no stated exception to this


In other words, given that the rules specifically spell out the exception to the no-swap rule, but do not specifically spell out the exception to the cannot retreat to attacker's province rule, then there is no exception. Your suggestion that 'the deviation would also apply to the retreat' seems to me to be groundless. The first exception was to do with moving. The second is to do with retreating. These are completely different things.

The only other wiggle room is that some people would say the convoyed unit did not come from its source province, but that of the last fleet in the chain. This does not hold water either though - one of the premises we use in judging Diplomacy moves is that they all happen simultaneously. At the point at which the rules are about to be applied, the attacking unit is on land, not on a ship. If you interpret it the other way, you also end up in a 'Schrodingers Cat' type of dilemma; suppose there are two convoy routes to the target location, then which fleet did the unit step off? It could be either. If you say 'the province from which the attacker came' then this would mean that the province from which the attacker came is not unique, which is just plain silly.

So we have made the most obvious and indeed most correct and most defensible interpretation in my opinion. As for potentially changing it, we would need an extremely good reason; while we try to be responsive on handling suggestions, when something is to do with the way the game is actually played and has been played over the last 5 years or so we do not change it lightly. People are used to the way it works now.
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Re: Retreat Question

Postby Alman » 24 Dec 2016, 18:33

Just to add one more weight to Dipsy's argument, not that any more weight is needed. :)

When writing orders, it is clear that the salient items for a convoy are starting and ending point. The orders for the army do not mention the sea spaces it must traverse and in the case of multiple fleets, each fleet's orders mention the territory of the unit's origin and its destination, not other fleets in the chain. So the convoy is incidental to the attack (although a vital conveyance).

Ergo, QED, thusly, the attack comes from the army's original location and therefore is explicitly an invalid location for retreat. (And you can't retreat via convoy either).
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