Reinforcements and Entry/Exit Points
At the start of most scenarios you will not have all your men on the field of battle. This is especially true in “meeting engagement” scenarios where the armies gather forces gradually to simulate the coming together of available forces (meeting engagements are probably the most popular style of scenario in the Club). The most notable meeting engagement battle of the war, and the most played in the Club, is the Battle of Gettysburg. To view the scheduled reinforcements you can expect you can go to the “Units” drop-down menu on the toolbar and select “Scheduled”. This will bring up the Scheduled Dialog box listing your expected reinforcements.
The Scheduled Dialog will show you the time of arrival for all the listed units. It will also show you the location on the map they are arriving at and the Unit List Dialog. No, it will not show you the strength of the arriving units. Trust me, we all wish it did.
In battles with Fog of War enabled (all of them you will play versus a human) the scheduled arrival probabilities are hidden. This is to keep you guessing as to the probability that they will arrive 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 arrive on time. Most veteran players in the Club know the 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.
Some scenarios will also use multiple arrival location probabilities. This is pictured below in the Scheduled Dialog.
To interpret this let us concentrate on the highlighted arrival of Rebel BG G.T. Beauregard. He is scheduled to arrive at 7:20 AM. He will arrive at one of three locations on the map: (83, 109), (109, 109), or (119, 109). He has a 25% chance to arrive at (109, 109) and a 25% chance to arrive at (119, 109) leaving a 50% chance to arrive at (83, 109). The actual arrival location will be determined randomly by the A/I given those probabilities.
The hexes where units arrive on the map are known as Entry Locations. These hexes are almost always on the edge of a map unless the scenario description says otherwise (i.e. maybe a steamboat is using a landing site like at the Battle of Shiloh). These hexes are protected by a 5 hex “halo” which automatically routs any enemy units within it. This bit of protection is done to ensure your units will not be ambushed immediately once they enter the map and will have a little breathing room.
Q: What happens if an enemy occupies my arrival hex?
A: You will be the happiest player in the Club! If an enemy occupies an arrival hex on the edge of the map, and you arrive in that same hex, then they simply vanish. Any units occupying the arrival hex will be removed from the map permanently. Any leaders in that hex will also be removed from the map. The “losses” will not be reflected in the Victory Dialog – the enemy numbers are just reduced like those units never even existed. Any leader who vanishes in such a situation is also non-replaceable! If a brigade commander is captured there will be no Colonel Anonymous taking his place with the brigade. They will be leaderless for the battle. The same holds true for any leader above that rank. If a divisional commander vanishes in such a manner than there will be no division commander taking over and the unit will suffer in morale checks greatly as a result.
Stay away from the entry points! Chances are, in most scenarios, you know where the enemy is arriving from. It is best to just let them enter the map and not be too gamey by trying to set traps and ambushes near the edges of the board.
In some scenarios an entry point may be captured to prevent enemy reinforcements. But these exceptions will be listed in the scenario notes. The most notable example is at the Battle of Shiloh where the capture of the landing hex will block the entry of additional units from steamboats.
Certain scenarios will contain objectives on the edge of the maps called “Exit Locations”. These hexes are marked by the presence of a battle flag for the side whose objective it is to exit the map, if possible, at that location. Such objectives are usually noted in the scenario description. The designers create these for one of two reasons; first, to try and ‘anchor’ one side or the other to a region of the board so as to maintain the historical positions of the armies, or, second, to signify an actual objective which the unit is trying to achieve by marching across and exiting the map. One example of the first reason may be the some of the Battle of Perryville scenarios which use the exit locations to keep both sides, relatively, along their historical regions of the field. An example of the second reason this is done may be found at the Battle of Fort Donelson where the Confederate forces are attempting to break out of the Union encirclement and escape to the south. Below is an example of an Exit Location and how it will look on the map to a Confederate player. The hex information box will also contain the notification that the hex is an Exit Location. You will notice the above hex information box displays 0Pts for the hex as no units have been able to use it to exit the map.
Should you be able to reach an Exit Location with your forces you can exit the map to collect points in the game. This is the only time during a Club game that you can voluntarily exit a map! To do so you would double-click on any units within the Exit Location hex and then select “Command” from the drop-down menu at the top and then “Remove from Map”. Your units will then disappear off the map and you will be awarded points for their exit.
Points for exiting the map are awarded based on the same scale as casualties are for that scenario. Using the Gettysburg Parameter Data value for losses it would mean that for each 25 infantrymen you removed from the map you would receive 10 points. For each 25 cavalrymen you would get 40 points. And for each cannon you would receive 60 points. As an example, let us say 750 infantrymen (300 points), 250 cavalrymen (400 points), and 4 cannons (240 points) were removed from the map at an Exit Location. You would then see 940Pts in the hex information box as seen below.
These points are permanently awarded and cannot be lost in any way. But the men who exited the map can also not return so be sure, before you exit the map, that you aren’t abandoning so much of your army that they will be crushed and defeated. There are NO POINTS awarded for removing leaders from the map. There are also no replacements for officers if you do remove them – so do not do this unless you want your men left behind to suffer more disruptions and routs due to the lack of leadership around them.
Be sure to guard any Exit Locations from the enemy as an entire scenario’s outcome could be altered by an open Exit Location being allowed the use of your enemy.