When we looked at a single element flanking a single enemy element, there was no obvious advantage to the contact as combat to contacting the front edge; without another element in place, the enemy element simply faces to make front edge contact. Without other factors to consider, that produces no advantage or disadvantage.
Let's look at four basic flanking moves.
|Move to Flank Contact||Move to Flank Contact of Group||Move to Flank Contact of Deep Group||Move to Flank Contact of Supported Group|
The first, Move to Flank Contact, we have seen before. Again, with no other context this move produces no greater value than the Move to Front Contact. The Move to Flank Contact of a Group, creates an advantage for the attacker in that it fragments the enemy's command (i.e. it will now require two PIPs to move the two elements where previously it only required one) in addition to creating a threat of destroying an element should it recoil twice.
The Move to Flank Contact of a Deep Group - which would apply not just to elements with base depths greater than 1/2 the base width, but also to elements in two ranks - creates an even greater threat; if the flanked element recoils once, it is destroyed.
The Move to Flank Contact of a Support Group adds an additional advantage over the Move to Flank Contact of a Group: the flanked and turning element no longer receives rear support. Whether this is advantage should be scored separately is questionable; it will be factored in with the Combat Value differential.
The more I ponder the moves the more I realize that the moves themselves are not the keys, but the list of advantages and disadvantages the move brings. If you consider named advantages and disadvantages, such as:
- Fragments enemy command
- One recoil will destroy*
- Two recoils will destroy
- Breaks rear support**
- Combat Value differential
- Can Quick Kill enemy element
** This will be a factor in changing the Combat Value differential, but is there additional reason to score this?
So, can the actual moves be ignored - thus saving me from cataloging their variations, ad infinitum - and you simply score the side effects the move will produce?