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Flanking Detachments in Rome at War
By David Murray
February 2013

In the Rome at War series, "long" units engaged in assault combat retain the ability to move sideways. For some the possibility of units engaged in desperate close hand-to-hand combat undertaking such movement seems improbable. For those who donít mind adding a little more complexity to the rules, the following optional rule can be used to address this.

21.4 Flanking detachments.

Use of this optional rule also adds this addition to rule 9.5 Movement Restrictions:

9.56 Engaged movement. If a Long unit is adjacent to and facing an enemy Long unit all movement in its movement segment is restricted to entering areas that are not adjacent to the enemy Long unit.

All non-phalanx Long units are eligible to use this rule. When an eligible Long unit is engaged in an assault with another Long unit and they inflict more casualties on their opponent than they receive in an assault they may attempt to flank the engaged enemy. This process can only take place if the enemy unit has an exposed flank area available.

When the above conditions are met the following procedure can be used. Reduce the parent Long unit by one step and place a one-step flanking detachment unit in an empty area on the flank of the opposing enemy unit. Use the units provided for flanking detachments. A Long unit may only have a single flanking detachment. The unit that has been "flanked" by such a unit may only assault the parent Long unit, not the flanking detachment. Other units may attempt to engage the flanking detachment as usual. The owner of the flanking detachment may use it for taking any step losses it receives. The flanking detachment has the same morale as the parent Long unit. If the flanking detachment is assaulted or charged it takes a regular morale check using the parent Long unitís morale, if the check is failed the unit is eliminated, if the check is successful the unit retreats and merges with the parent unit, remove the flanking detachment and increase the parent unit by one step. The attacking units may advance as in 15.0.

If in future combat the Long unit with the flanking detachment takes more step losses than it causes in an assault the flanking detachment is immediately merged back with the parent unit. If the parent unit moves from its area for any reason the flanking detachment is immediately merged with the parent unit. A Long unit that would cease to be a Long unit by detaching a step may not form a flanking detachment. If at any time a Long unit becomes a Small unit and it has a flanking detachment that detachment is immediately merged with the parent unit. A Long unit with a flanking detachment may return its flanking detachment to the parent unit during any Movement Phase when it is active.

You can download the new Flanking Detachment pieces here, including the phantom Roman leader Publius from Queen of the Celts.

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