[1E] Encounters Phase, Fleets/TFs/Squadrons, and Raiding

Discussion about the First Edition of the Victory by Any Means campaign rules.
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[1E] Encounters Phase, Fleets/TFs/Squadrons, and Raiding

Post by virtutis.umbra »

The language around how Raiders choose a target to attack; how escorts and reinforcements get adjudicated; and how Raider Pursuit scenarios interact with the rest of the combat turn is somewhat unclear to me; I'm hoping somebody knowledgeable can hold my hand and walk through it with me?

To elaborate: it's strongly implied in the Ship Combat section that starships belonging to a particular empire need not get organized into squadrons and task forces until the start of any particular space battle scenario.

There are obvious exceptions made for assigning Escorts to Civilian Fleets, though; I've judged that civilian fleet Escort assignments have to be made during the Movement Phase, with assignments sticking until reassigned in a subsequent turn's Movement Phases. This is the set of ships that explicitly will be present for organizing into squadrons for defending a civilian fleet from Raiders during the Pursuit Scenario they will generate.

But the reinforcements available are apparently supposed to exclude any Task Force Flag Squadrons present in the system; that doesn't seem to jive with the idea of Task Forces getting organized on a per-encounter basis. Am I misunderstanding something? Do Task Force and Squadron assignments happen during the Encounters segment of the Combat phase, and do they persist from one combat to the next within a turn? If so, should I consider ships assigned to rescue/reinforce a civilian fleet to be in some strange state with respect to other combat in the same turn?

Also, what about unusual escort situations? For instance, if the Reticulans have a Colony Fleet and a civilian Transport fleet in the same system, can they fly in "close formation" and combine their escorts? Can the Transport fleet simply be assigned as a squadron member to a battle-ready Task Force Flag Squadron (at CC 1) and thus never be left to float alone and undefended apart from its escorts? Obviously that sort of arrangement makes less sense for Trade Fleets, which need to be plying the space lanes and exist "in" 3 systems at the same time; it's them and their escorts for sure... but what about the other two types?

If a player wants their Colony and Transport fleets more heavily-guarded than the Escort rules allow for, esp. with respect to how difficult it can be to get reinforcements, I think they ought to be able to; but allowing them to do so seems to contradict my reading of the rules. So what am I missing or misinterpreting?
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