Fixed Units and Releases
Fixed Units are units placed on the battle map in a state of immobility. This is most often done to reflect the historical positions being held at the start of a battle by these units. Their release, or ability to fully join the battle, is determined in historical scenarios by what actual decisions were made by the commanders during the battle.
A few notes about Fixed Units:
1) Fixed Units may change facings, may change formation, build breastworks, be fired upon, and may fire. But they cannot leave their hex until they are either released or fired upon.
2) Fixed Units are automatically released if an enemy unit is within 5 hexes of their position and are in their line of sight.
2a) If the optional rule Alternate Fixed Unit Release is checked then the enemy needs to only be within 5 hexes to trigger their release – no line of sight is required.
The most famous example of units starting a battle fixed in our games is at the Battle of Shiloh. Here the Union Army of the Tennessee starts the battle completely fixed in place until they are gradually released throughout the morning. When your units are fixed like this you can view the “Release Dialogue” by clicking on the “Units” drop-down menu on the toolbar and selecting “Releases”.
In battles with Fog of War enabled (so all of them you will play versus a human) the release probabilities are hidden rather than shown as above. This is to keep you guessing as to the probability that they will release at the appointed time. Fog of War is fun and all but I suggest opening up the gaming scenario in another window and looking at the actual probabilities rather than assuming your men will release when they say they will. Most veteran players in the Club know release times and probabilities by memory for the more played games so don’t be taken at a disadvantage by not knowing. Any advantage you can gain, within the limits of Club Rules, is worth gaining.
Once units are Released you will be notified at the start of your turn in the “Command Report” pop-up. The units listed as Released are now free to move as usual.
I suggest that the turn before a unit is Released that you order them to change formation or facing to prepare for their Release the next turn. By doing this you can save movement points and time during the next turn and get your men moving right away. If your Fixed Unit has an estimated probability of releasing at a certain time, but does not, all you can do is wait. Lastly, and this may seem obvious, if you suddenly notice a Fixed unit is free without any Release notification – watch out! This means the enemy is within 5 hexes and has triggered a Release automatically.
Optional Rule Alternate Fixed Unit Release
If you play with this rule unchecked then your units will only Release when an enemy is within 5 hexes and is within your line of sight. If it is checked then you will Release anytime an enemy is within 5 hexes.