Nations, Entrenchments, Sides, Breakthroughs
Those terms are frequently used all over the manual, inside the game and also inside the various parts of the game editor.
Explanations below are useful to understand the structure of SGS scenarios and game.
A / Nations: generalities
A nation is the base component of a side (see D). Each nation is unique, has two set of colors (one dark and one light), and has its own colored background counters, victory icons and treasury icons. A nation can be the main nation of a side (there should always be only one, but one minimum) or it can be secondary (see also B). Each nation has a flag assigned to it, which is usually placed on the map board when the nation owns a region for the game start. See Illustration 8.1.
Illustration 8.1. Flags (on the map board, Commonwealth and Axis) and VP Some cards may affect only one nation in particular, or a set of nations
SGS Winter War – Illustration 8.1. Flags (on board)
SGS Halls of Montezuma – Illustration 8.1. Flags (on the map board, USA and Mexico)
NB: the concept of nation in the game is more that of a game entity rather than the more common sense of ‘national’ entity.
A nation usually has its own pool of units, may own sub-nations, has one main ‘capital’ region in each of the game’s domains (air, sea, land, which is where units returns in last resort), a preferred play domain and sometimes specific AI parameters. There must always be at least 1 nation per side (but no limit up).
B / Nations: sub-nations
A sub-nation is always attached to another nation, at least nominally. The main purpose is to give a visual difference (colors, counters, flags) and thus to help better identify the various components of the same side.
SGS Afrika Korps – Illustration 8.2a. Allied sub-nations (top; Free-French, Greek, Indian, New-Zealander, Polish, RAF, South African, Australian) Axis sub-nations (bottom; German Army, Italian Army, Luftwaffe, Regia Aeronautica)
SGS Winter War – Illustration 8.2a. Flag of Soviet subnations (Red Army, Red Air Force, NKVD, Navy)
SGS Halls of Montezuma – Illustration 8.2a. Pro-USA sub-nations ( USA Army, Navy & Volunteers, Great-Britain, France, Guatemala), Mexican subnations (Mexico Army, Militia, Levies, Navy, Spain, Natives)
SGS Afrika Korps – Illustration 8.2b. Counters colors for Alled sub-nations (top; Free-French, Greek, Indian, New-Zealander, Polish, RAF, South African, Australian) and Axis sub-nations (bottom; German Army, Italian Army, Luftwaffe, Regia Aeronautica)
SGS Winter War – Illustration 8.2b. Counters colors for Finland’s sub factions: Finnish Army, Finnish Air force, Swedish volunteers
SGS Halls of Montezuma – Illustration 8.2b. Counters colors for US sub-nations (top; US Army, US Volunteers, US Navy, Great-Britain, France, Guatemala), Indians, and Mexican sub-nations (bottom; Mexican Army, Mexican Militia and Navy, Mexican Levies, Spain)
A sub-nation has usually its own pool of units, may have a capital region, a preferred gameplay domain (between land, sea or air) or special AI (Artificial Intelligence) parameters. Some silhouettes are added next to the subnations flags to indicate the number of units they currently have (see drop-down list when hovering on side flag).
There can be as many sub-nations as desired in a side, as long as the side has at least one nation.
C / Entrenchments
In each scenario, the designer may assign (or not) to nations or sub-nations some specific parameters that will influence game play. Those designed for now are the following:
Land stacks that do not move at all in the turn may entrench. To do so, the player just click on the entrench button in the unit panel and the unit will entrench. See Illustration 8.3
When a stack is entrenched, a visual indicator is placed on top of it, showing a sandbag icon (see right here). See Illustration 8.3a
An entrenchment inflicts to all attackers of the entrenched units a -1 penalty to the combat value of the attacking combat units. When an entrenched stack leaves the region where it was entrenched, either voluntarily (via movement) or involuntarily (forced to retreat following a defeat) n it loses its entrenchment. The indicator is removed. The opponent, when capturing a region where the defender was formerly entrenched does NOT get the benefit of the entrenchment (it is removed).
D / Sides: generalities
The side is the entity the player controls. It may regroup one (mandatory minimum) or more nations or sub-nations. As for the individual nations, a side has a color (only one, to identify what it owns) and a flag which is mainly used on the mapboard when a region is controlled by many nations of the same side or, as default, in most other cases.
The side owns the playing cards (not the nations) and is the one to play them. Similarly, the victory points (VP) and the treasury (income) are assigned to the side, not to the component nations. At the end of a game, the victory or defeat also goes to the side. See Illustration 8.4.
Illustration 8.4. flags used for both sides
The various sides (in the current version of the game) are automatically at war against every other side, as long as the said sides are designed as active (i.e. playable or non neutral). There are no possibilities of alliances or diplomacy, except via card play changes. When a side is declared as neutral, it is at war with nobody.
E / Breakthroughs
This special parameter is assigned to certain units. All the units of all nations in the side have the possibility to effect a breakthrough (or follow one) IF the units are breakthrough-able (see section for units parameters). The breakthrough principle is simple: when the side wins a land battle AND has breakthrough-capable units (usually Armor and Leaders) in the
victorious stack, ity may move the said units (and all those which can follow them, often mechanized, motorized and air support units) into an adjacent region. This may launch a new attack into the selected target region if enemy forces are also present there.
Breakthroughs may occur up to twice in a raw in the same turn for the same stack (i.e. a breakthrough battle could create another breakthrough battle)
All allowed regions (including the one when they are at the moment, which is how you decide NOT to move away from battle region) are shown on the map in yellow color.
Just click on the target region to effect the breakthrough there. See Illustration 7.11. above (repeated in 8.5 below)
Important: note that breakthrough is not mandatory. If you don’t want to take it, just click on the current battle region and the units won’t move. Units unable to breakthrough will always stay ‘behind’ (i.e. in the battle region).
Leaders and Breakthrough: a leader will move with units in breakthrough only if the leader has the ability to do so. This is represented by an icon located on the leader counter, on the middle-right side. If the leader in command has not the ability, another leader (even if not commanding) with the ability will take over and will go on the stack that does the breakthrough.
F / Sides and Victory Points
As indicated above, VP are assigned to the side, whatever the number of nations the side is made of or the nations which ‘gained’ the VP by their action. Similarly, cards belonging to the side, their play, when it generates VP, bring the said VP to the side. For a given game, there is a VP threshold which is termed as the Victory Level. It is used for all sides in the scenario, without difference (in most classical scenarios, the threshold is 20 VP).