Movement and Stacking
During the movement phase (be it air or land), the player moves his stacks (or even individual units if he wishes so). On any given region of the mapboard he can constitute one or more stack of units and then can move them in any order he wishes.
Movement Points, Creating and Moving Stacks
Each unit (including leaders) has a given number of Movement Points (MPs). The number of current MPs of each unit is indicated both on the unit counter in the unit panel and inside the unit details tooltip (see Illustration 15.1, showing also the details on how MP where spent). If the unit used some MPs, its MP value on the counter is shown in orange color (see below,
inside the circle)
A player can move his units either in complete stacks (the most frequent case), or unit by unit, even if the last case is equivalent to moving stacks made of 1 unit each. When a stack has completed its move (see below), its movement factor on the on map counter displays a white 0 (see Illustration 15.1b).
NB: when a stack cannot move at all (due to event or card for instance), the numerical value of its MP is replaced by a little red dash indicator as shown inside the yellow circle below.
Manipulating and Creating Stacks
Within the Region
To move or select only part of the units in a stack, you must first select it (click on the stack, it is slightly enlarged and an animated circle displayed around it), then select the unit(s) you want to separate and drag and drop the selection inside the same region in any empty space in that same region (see 15.2) such as a space next to the initial stack for instance.
You can do so as many times as you want (provided the region is large enough to accommodate sufficient space to put stacks side by side). Each time you can either create a new stack, or you can drop the selected units onto another newly-created stack in same region (the mouse counter will change to show that, to two squares moving on top of each other).
Another way to split is simply to select which units you want to take out from the stack (click on them inside the unit display) and then use the split button located at the right of the units stack panel (see yellow arrow in Illustration 15.3 below), push it, and then a new stack with the selected units is created inside the same region. This stack will be the one automatically selected by default (if you want to go back again into the initial stack, you need to re-select it).
To the Friendly Structure in Same Region
When you drag and drop your selection on top of the structure in the same region, a colored overlay appears (light green for now) and selection will enter the structure upon release of the mouse (you can’t do that on to an enemy besieged structure). See Illustration 15.4 hereafter.
NB: Note that entering inside a structures does not use any MP from the units in the stack
IMPORTANT HANDLING RESTRICTION: the engine makes it impossible to drag and drop a stack on top of an opposing stack (it will return an invalid move message).
To move a stack (land or air), you have 2 ways: either via click&drag option (explained below) or via right-click (see option 2 here below).
Moving Stacks – Option 1: click-drag option
Moving a stack (land or air), by click&drag is usually simpler and faster when you don’t travel long distances. To do so, select your stack (the animated red blinking circle is shown around it by then) and then drag the stack, without releasing the mouse button, to the next adjacent region, and the next, and so forth till you reach the region where you want to go, and then release the mouse button to validate the move. Note that if you exceed your MP capacity, the movement arrow will change color and tooltipped information will tell you why you won’t move further. See Illustrations 15.5, 15.6 and15.7 next.
Colored overlays are displayed on each of the crossed regions during the movement drag, and information on MP expenses is given. As long as the overlay keeps the same light-blue-green color, movement is accepted and done in a friendly region (see Illustration 15.6 below).
When color changes to red, it is no longer possible (or impossible for other reasons, such as moving through an enemy stack) and the move won’t be implemented at all (as per Illustration 15.6).
When color changes to orange, this means that the moving unit will be in battle in the destination, as this one is currently enemy controlled (as per Illustration 15.7).
In order to help visualizing the movement, an arrow will follow your dragging of the stack. The arrow will keep a light bluegreen color when the move is valid, then will change to red when the move has become impossible, as shown in 15.6 above.
When a move is suitable, it is only implemented (if valid) when the player releases the mouse button. An animation will display the actual movement of the stack, usually physically following the path of the movement arrow that was drawn during the drag. CAREFUL: a valid movement, when implemented (mouse button released in a different region than the origin one) cannot be cancelled (at least in version 1.00 of SGS).
Moving Stacks – Option 2: right-click
This option is very convenient when you want to move over quite long distance on the map or you don’t want to bother on physically moving the stack yourself. Just right click on the unit or stack (see 1 below, the NKVD unit in the red circle). Note that when doing the right click, the mouse cursor changes to an horizontal arrow.
The map will display various highlight colors on region that you can (or cannot) reach with the selected stack :
- light blue green color 2 regions you can reach
- purple color 3 regions than you can reach but cannot enter as it violates stacking limits
- and orange color 4 are regions that are currently enemy and where entry generates a battle.
Costs of Regions and Connections
Movement always takes place from one region to the next, each region having its own cost in MP based on the region’s terrain, modified by the type of transportation network in the region (none, road, railroads), and adding to the that the cost of the Connections between the regions (such as rivers, mountain ranges, straits). Some specific connections or movements
may use up the entire stack’s MP, even if the balance after the move is still positive (for instance, paradrops or amphibious landings use up all the movement capacity – not in Afrika Korps but in other SGS games).
Names of terrains vary according to the scenarios played, but overall the terrain typology in SGS is rather homogeneous and most terrains work the same from a scenario to the next. Information pertaining to terrains can be seen in the top part of the region 1 inspector window when opened, right below the region name. There you can see the MP cost of terrain 2 (both on the decorative sprite and inside the texts of the window) and
much more information such as the stacking limit in combat units, effects on supply, forage value, breakthrough and pursuits, all inside a tooltip. 3. See Illustration 15.9 and 15.9b.
Stacks which have not spent any PM may always move to an adjacent region (with a valid connection), whatever the entry cost (terrain + connection) would be and even if higher than their remaining PM. If they use that possibility, stacks can no longer move this turn after entry in the adjacent region.
This minimal move is not allowed if any unit in the moving stack has used already part of its MP allowance. It is also forbidden to all immobile units, i.e. units which have the intrinsic inability to move.
Air movement is allowed between all connected regions, be they land or sea. Moving an air stack is similar to the general movement case presented above, with the limit and advantage that terrains bear no importance on the movement (all regions have an equivalent air move cost of 1 MP) and connections have no movement cost at all. In addition presence of enemy
stacks do not stop movement in any case (unless voluntary). However, crossing or flying nearby enemy regions may trigger interception.
Handling of Aircrafts
When the air movement phase is active, the engine will make the air units pop up from inside their airports, so that the player can easily spot his available units. Air units can be moved in whole stacks or individually. See Illustration 15.11 below.
All planes that have a numbered MP factor can move a number of regions equal to this value without any constraint. This value is called ‘Range’ and includes the cost of returning base (in other words, this is the cost of the single flight; the return flight will be done automatically with the same value).
Aircrafts and Supply
Unsupplied air units are not allowed to fly.
Fall 2021 Update – New Air Rules. See this page.
Anti-Aircraft (AA) Fire
Anti-aircraft (AA) is taken care of automatically during air movement. If an air stack flies over or into an enemy region that has at least one AA unit, the latter will shoot automatically at the said air unit(s). The AA fire lasts only one round. No battle is displayed for view, the engine handles it behinds the scene automatically (information via tooltip and animation will tell the player what happens). Only the AA unit(s) fires, air unit(s) do not reply. Battle is resolved like the normal battle, it’s only not shown.
According to that “battle” results:
- All result(s) inflicted on the air units by the AA that abort the moving air unit make that same air units return immediately to their airport of origin.
- All Hit/loss result inflicted by the AA unit is taken immediately (may lead to plane destruction if it has only one step), and the surviving planes (including one hit but not destroyed) continues their movement
- No moral or rout test is made, all surviving non-aborted planes keep on flying
- AA fire takes only one round
In the current version of the game, AA only shoots during the initial air movement phase and not when planes return to their airports of origin in the return to base phase. AA shoots in every region crossed during the initial air movement phase, including the one where air units end their movement.
Interceptions are dealt like AA fire, in an automatic manner. Interception takes place when an air stack moves into or adjacent to an enemy region that contains at least one air combat unit with interceptors (usually the interceptor – a.k.a. fighters – display the F – for Fighters – letter on their counters). Those interceptors can either be already flying inside the region
where interception takes place, or be located in an airport in that same region or a nearby region. This is called the interception radius.
Again, no battle resolution needs to be handled manually by the player, the engine solves it automatically. Results will be displayed via message and animation (and a summary of all air battles will appear before the start of the Land Movement phase). However, the main difference is that the intercepted air units, if allowed to fight in the air, will react during the combat
and return fire. Battle is solved as a standard battle.
According to that “battle” results:
- All result(s) inflicted on the air units by the intercepting plane(s) that abort the moving air unit make that same air units return immediately to their airport of origin
- All Hit/loss result inflicted by the interceptor unit is taken immediately (may lead to plane destruction if it has only one
- Air battle (i.e. dogfighting) lasts one round only. Winner and loser are determined normally too. If the winner is the moving player, he may continue his movement normally. If he loses the battle, he automatically returns to his airport of origin.
In the current version of the game, interceptions only take place during the initial air movement phase and not when
planes return to their airports of origin in the return to base phase. Interception may occur over every region crossed,
including the one where air units end their movement, provided the said regions are within the interception radius of
Those attacks take place when air units end their movement on a sea region with enemy naval stacks. The battle is then solved at the end of all air moves of the active player.
The battle is solved normally but only the planes with a capacity to attack naval targets will shoot effectively, and only those naval units with an AA fire value will participate in returning fire (including if they already effected AA fire in the previous move). That air-sea battle will last like a normal battle.
Those battles take place when air units end their move on a region with enemy land units. The air-land battle is solved during the ensuing land phase only, in two ways:
- If the planes are alone in the enemy land region with only enemy land units (and no friendly land units), the battle is resolved normally and only the planes with land attack values will participate, and only the AA units of the defending side will return fire.
- If the planes are ‘joined’ later during the land movement phase by friendly land units in the same enemy region, the battle is solved normally as a land battle with friendly air units presents. On the defending side, only the AA units, if any, can shoot down air units, the enemy land units will inflict loses only to their adversary land counterparts.
In the present version of the game, units may board air transports only inside airports. The transported land units must be inside the structure to be loaded, as well as their air carriers. To proceed with the loading, during the air movement phase, click on the airport structure to access its content.
The only way to unload units from an air transport directly on to a region without a friendly airport is to use paradrops.
Planes always return to the base they come from in the Return to Base phase of air units. The only case when this does not happen is for planes when they change bases. To do so, you select to move your plane(s) from their current friendly airport onto another friendly airport, by dragging the air stack directly on top of the destination structure (on the structure circle). The destination structure is now highlighted with a green circle. See Illustration 15.4 above.
When the move is completed, all of the air units MP allowance is used. During the ensuing ‘return to base’ move, those units which changed based won’t be concerned and will stay where they were sent to. In practice, changing base will prevent the concerned air units to do anything else during their turn.
Roads and Railroads
The main purpose of roads (they will be physically drawn on the map) is to replace the various MP costs of the different terrain by a standard flat value of 0.5 MP per region (rounded up when at the end of movement). In other words, a unit moving alongside a road will pay 1 MP every two regions only. See Illustration 15.12 below
The main effect of railroads (also drawn on the map board graphics) is to cancel completely the MP cost of terrains in all regions with railroads, as long as those regions are friendly. In other words, a stack will be able to move from a region to any other region on the map if all regions crossed (first as well as last) has railroads and is friendly.
Connection costs will be also 0 if the railroad takes the said connections. See Illustration 15.12 above too.
Important: roads and railroads bring no MP advantages in regions that are enemy-controlled (including when empty upon entry by the moving stack).
Enemy Presence and Overruns
Enemy presence in a region blocks movement. To enter such regions with land units, at least one combat unit must be present in the moving/attacking stack. Upon entry inside the enemy region, the moving stack halts and all its remaining MP are used up (unless in overrun, see next). See Illustration 15.12.
Nevertheless there is one case when movement is not halted, which is what is called overrun.
An overrun is considered and checked when the sum of the Strength Points of all combat units in the moving stack is much higher than the sum of those in the defending stack, at the current rate of ten to one (10:1).
When this happens, the defending stack is eliminated entirely and the moving stack pays a cost of 1 MP at once. If it has sufficient MP to continue moving, then this is possible and it can move further. If not, movement ceases immediately.
Note that when doing an overrun, the shape of the mouse cursor will change, the region color will turn yellow and a specific animation will be shown.
Stacking during Movement on the Board
Each region can hold only a limited number of units, whether combat or support. Each unit has a cost in stacking points, and each region has a maximum number of stacking points it can accommodate. See Illustration 15.14 below for more details.
The Stacking filter button on the minimap panel (can be toggled on/off) helps to visualize the stacking values of each region. All said region will display two values : current stacking / maximum stacking. When the values turn red, it means the maximum stacking is reached or exceeded.
When moving over a region where stacking maximum is reached or exceeded, the region color and the movement arrow turn purple (see above). The explanations in the tooltip let you know why. You can move across a friendly region where it would create overstacking (if you stop there) if you continue your movement beyond the overstacked region and into one with a valid limit.
To help you make mental calculations, the total stacking cost of a stack in indicated right below it (second figure, in the middle, to the right of the square symbol). The same indication is also displayed for every individual unit inside the stack panel, which gives you a good indication on which units (and the corresponding stacking cost) you need to remove from your stack if you want to reach a region otherwise impossible to enter due to overstacking. See Illustration 15.13a above.
Structures and Sieges
Friendly structures will cost no MP to enter or leave. Enemy regions which hold enemy structures (without enemy units outside them) can either become besieged or can be occupied and captured, depending on the fact they are fortified or not.
- If the structure is not fortified, it is automatically captured during the movement, at the same time the region holding it is captured. Any unit inside the structure, if unable to fight, is immediately destroyed.
- If the structure is fortified, the region outside it is captured, but the structure remains in control of the original owner and will become besieged IF the attacker has at least 2 Combat Units present. Units inside a fortified structure are unaffected by the entry of the besieger in the region, as they will suffer adverse results only after the siege is resolved OR if the structure is assaulted during the battle phase.
In the case the attacker has only 1 combat unit; he will capture the region with a fortified structure, but not the structure and won’t be able to make a siege of the same.
In addition, if a region with a fortified structure is captured but left empty of conqueror’s combat units, the region will return to the control of the structure’s owners by the end of the current turn.
Entrenchments and Fog of War
Those two possibilities are present in the SGS Scenarios and work as described below.
When the scenario rules allow, the stacks of the different sides (one of them or both) may entrench. There is a special button in the units stack panel to allow it (See Illustration 15.15a below) that can be clicked on during the movement phase (only), allowing the trade the whole MP allocation against an entrenchment. In other words, the stack won’t move and does nothing else in its movement phase than entrenching.
When a stack is entrenched, it receives some benefits, such as the fact that all enemy attacking entrenched units will suffer a -1 penalty to their combat factors. A Sandbags indicator is placed on the entrenched stack to tell both the defender and the attacker (visible by both sides). See Illustration 15.15b below
The entrenchment remains in place for as long as the entrenched stack does not move away from the region where it was entrenched. Moving away can be voluntary (the stacks moves in a future movement phase) or non-voluntary (the stack must retreat following defeat in battle).
When a friendly unit moves into a region with a friendly entrenched unit, it also becomes entrenched.
Fog of War
When a stack is under for of war, the opponent must stop when entering its region and the enemy stack content will not revealed, unless a successful search occurred. For it to occur, the attacker needs to discover and reveal the enemy under fog of war. This is done via an automatic ‘Search’ test that is handled via the roll of a D10, which succeeds if the modified result is
0 to 3. Modifiers than can apply are:
- +/- Combat value of the searching leader (if any)
- +/- value from cards played previously (e.g. the Reconnaissance Cards)
- -1 if the terrain has a ‘Search Penalty’ modifier (usually the case for most non-clear terrains)
If the Search test succeeds, the hidden units are revealed (the stack looks no longer display the generic fog of war aspect). If it fails, nothing happens and combat will be with (yet) unknown enemy units.
Note that planes may, in some cases, undertake reconnaissance air mission. Those are basically search tests and are handled at the end of the air movement phase in all regions where air units and fog-of-war stacks co-exist. If the test succeeds, the enemy stack is revealed. This air mission, if successful, can be quite useful because the friendly land units, in the ensuing land phase, will be in position to better know what they plan to attack.