Grand Illusion: Compiled Questions & Answers
(version 2.0 June 12, 2005)

The following changes appear to have take place in the new edition of the rules:
  1. Only Cautious Attacker and a Defender Tactical Advantage do not count for a Mandated Battle. Either Skirmish result does.
  2. FOW Table rolls of 3, 4, 7, and 10 do not count for the Allies, but only for Mandated Battles declared in Plan XVII VP hexes.
  3. Paris in Danger can occur in Game Turn 2. This is not a rare event. It will force the Allies to make a General Withdrawal in Game Turn 3, although they will have a chance to collect the Plan XVII Mandated Battle VP's first.
  4. It is no longer possible to stack disrupted divisions and brigades on the Battle Board.
  5. The Offensive to the Limit no longer requires disrupted units go on the board first, but only that they "fill out" an attack. They must be placed in order of size.
  6. Defending cavalry divisions must now be placed after defending infantry brigades.
  7. When cavalry is in a hex an enemy retreats into, the cavalry now have the option of retreating themselves.

Victory Determination

Question: Can't the Allies seize the Plan XVII VP hex 107 on the very first move?

Answer: Yes and they almost always do.

Question: When are German VP's counted?

Answer: Aside from the Interim VP Determination, VP markers are also placed on German controlled, VP hexes (if they are not already marked) during the End of Game Victory Segment. The idea is to keep the players in suspense, but to give them a partial result on Turn 9.

Question: Does the Allied player still gain VP's for capture of Plan XVII hexes after General Withdrawal?

Answer: Yes.

Question: What happens if the Allies capture a Plan XVII hex but the hex is unsupplied?

Answer: VP's are not awarded until the hex is both controlled and supplied. Place a control marker. Draw a marker and award the VP's if it becomes supplied before the Germans regain control.

Question: If Paris Falls on GT9 (Interim VP Determination) how is VP marker distribution handled?

Answer: If this isn't a German Immediate Victory we will eat you rulebook.

Mandated Battle

Question: A Mandated Attack requires 4 attacking corps equivalents, correct?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Is it sufficient to have 4 corps equivalents available for the Battle Board, or must they actually be placed in the front-line and reserve?

Answer: They must remain on the Battle Board. Note that this should be judged before Cavalry Withdrawal to prevent a defender with 2 infantry corps and a cavalry division causing one attacker corps to return to the Battle hex.

Question: What FOW result count for as a Mandated Battle?

Answer: All except Cautious Attacker, a Defender Tactical Advantage which results in a Withdrawal.

Question: Can the Allies fight a battle outside of Plan XVII and later decide to count it as a Mandated Battle (or vise versa)?

Answer: No, it must be declared when it is fought.

Question: May the Allies chose to treat an otherwise qualifying attack in a Plan XVII hex as not Mandated, to avoid the Elan penalty?

Answer: No, if it qualifies it must count against any outstanding Mandated Battle totals.

Question: Do the Elan rules apply to combat in Colmar?

Answer: No, Stacking limits prevent a battle in Colmar from qualifying as a Mandated Battle, and therefore Elan would not apply.

Question: Does Elan apply to any Allied Mandated Attack as per the Player Aid Card, or just to Plan XVII Mandated Attacks per the rules?

Answer: Just to Plan XVII Mandated Attacks per the rules.

Question: A Defensive Tactical Advantage turned into a Skirmish will count for a Mandated Battle. Will Elan apply (in a Plan XVII hex)?

Answer: Yes, the -TEM DRM will not apply, but the at least one loss rule will.

Question: What is a "step loss" in 9.3.5 c (Elan)?

Answer: Same as a "hit".

Question: Once Allied General Withdrawal is declared are subsequent Mandated Battles also canceled?

Answer: Yes, see the Player Aid Card.

Reinforcement and Replacement

Question: May French replacements be started in Paris?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Can you delay reinforcements/replacements - say the hex you want to place a HQ in, is currently has a HQ of the same nationality?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Do the BE and BR replacments cost CAPs to return?

Answer: No, they are " variable reinforcements," and are free.

Question: Can Replacements be placed with a HQ in an enemy Controlled Hex?

Answer: No, it must be friendly.

Question: Can Variable Replacements be placed in a supply source of another Ally?

Answer: Not unless it is also a supply source for them.


Question: there is a note that a player could conceivably have 10 activations in a row. Is the 10 total CAP limit on the "General Staff" FOW rolls refer to the current total or the grand total? I.e. could you ever have 11 CAPs in a turn?

Answer: The current total - the grand total of CAPs spent on the turn might exceed 10 with luck on the FOW table.

Question: If a player passes up his second CAP, may the other player pass, thus ending the Action Phase?

Answer: No, a player expends 2 CAPs, expends 1 CAP, or passes.


Question: How can an OOS unit move to or toward supply when it cannot be activated?

Answer: There is an important errata in 5.2, first bullet. Strike the word "supplied".

Question: Does an unbesieged enemy fort stop movement?

Answer: Yes, rule 8.3.1 should be modified to match the Entry and Exit Chart.

Question: What happens if a cavalry unit enters a hex with a single enemy fort?

Answer: Nothing.

Question: The Germans may attack Allies in Schlieffen hexes if they can enter the hex directly. What if a series of attacks and retreats leaves the Germans isolated by Schlieffen hexes?

Answer: Any Schlieffen hex put under German control is no longer restricted.


Question: German cavalry and heavy artillery enter a hex containing a Belgium fort. Do the HA get to bombard? is a FOW roll made?

Answer: HA may only Bombard as part of a German Battle. No Battle, no Bombardment.

Question: If both HA units are Concentrating Bombardment and get no hits, do they get the "additional" hit?

Answer: Yes, the whole purpose of the rule is to ensure they get at least one hit.

Question: how many units does each player place on the Battle Board?

Answer: The defender must keep filling the 4 front line boxes while he still has eligible units. The attacker must fill the 4 front line boxes while he can still place units in accordance with the other Battle Board rules. Units opposite empty boxes will then be removed or placed in reserve according the Reserve rule. Thus neither side will ever have more than 4 boxes of units on the Battle Board.

Question: If a player has 4 infantry divisions, must he fill the 4 front-line boxes?

Answer: No, a player is always free to decide whether to stack or not before positioning. The decision cannot be changed during positioning, however.

Question: Assume all units are full strength. Two corps and cavalry attack two enemy corps. May the cavalry be matched up with an enemy corps while the other enemy corps is attacked by a corps in the front line and in reserve?

Answer: No, by 9.2.3, the two corps match up against the two corps, and the cavalry would be removed from the Battle Board unless it were British which could go into Reserve.

Question: Can a besieged fort participate on the Battle Board?

Answer: Yes.

Question: When Cavalry Withdraws, any units in Reserve move forward and Battle. What if there is no Reserve?

Answer: The unopposed enemy is returned to the Battle hex.

Question: What happens if a unit with parenthesized CS is present when the attacker must apply an Offensive to the Limit result?

Answer: Priority is to place it in the front line (as a disrupted unit), and if so, it attacks with its CS.

Question: If a stack of cavalry attack an infantry unit, does the infantry get one or two "free" shots?

Answer: One, but it would apply to both units, as any hit.

Question: Does Concentric Attack only cancel DRM's from TME and Entrenchments?

Answer: No, the wording in 9.2.3b was intended to be a playing tip.

Question: Does an adjacent occupied hex across an impassible hexside count for Concentric Attack?

Answer: No.

Question: Do defending forts get the -1 defender fort DRM?

Answer: No.

Question: Do all attackers benefit when a mountain-capable unit attacks in the mountains?

Answer: No, just the unit (or stack).

Question: If the Chasseurs Alpins stacks with another division/brigade and attacks in the mountains, does the stack CS increase?

Answer: Yes, but it ain't going to happen.

Fortunes of War

Question: When German HA destroy a fort, so that no Battle takes place, a FOW roll is still made. What results count?

Answer: Cautious Attacker and Counterattack will end the German Activation Segment; The General Staff results may increment CAP totals; the Mandated Attack (Offensive to the Limit after GT 4) results may increment Mandated Attack totals.

Question: Does a Skirmish result mean all units fight with a CS of 1?

Answer: No. All units only hit with the automatic hit when they roll "1". No DRM's for TEM or Entrenchments or anything else count.

Question: Does defending front-line infantry still get two shots at attacking cavalry during a Skirmish?

Answer: Yes.

Question: If the Allies activate a hex for Battle and do not move and roll an Offensive to the Limit on the FOW table, may they leave disrupted units out of the mix, to avoid having to put them in the front line?

Answer: No, this is an exception. Disrupted French units must be available to the Battle Board.

Question: Elan means there is a -TEM DRM for the German defenders in addition to the normal +TEM DRM for the Allied attackers. Does an Attacker Surprise result cancel both?

Answer: No, just the +TEM for the attacker's rolls.

Question: Does Defender Tactical Advantage ever end an Activation Segment?

Answer: No, the Player Aid Card is a little confusing.

Question: Is the Counterattack Chit or rule 9.3.1b definitive?

Answer: The rule.

Question: Who may voluntarily retreat (i.e. is considered the defender) after a Counterattack?

Answer: In a Counterattack, the roles switch for all purposes. In particular the original attacker would become the defender and have the option to retreat.

Question: If units move into a Contested hex and suffer a Counterattack result, who defends?

Answer: All moving units would defend. Those already in the hex would not. Similarly, if the original attack was conducted by some of the units which did not move, all units which did not move would defend.

Question: If the original attacker has a fort in the hex, and becomes the defender due to a Counterattack result, does he receive the -1 Fort DRM?

Answer: Yes. Only the attacker (original defender) ignores DRM's and uses the +1 Counterattack DRM instead.


Question: May units in a hex retreat to different hexes?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Does mandatory or voluntary retreat take precedence?

Answer: Neither, the defender may voluntarily retreat even after the attacker makes a mandatory retreat.

Question: If both sides retreat, can hex Control change? what about if a previously besieged fort remains?

Answer: Determine Control after the attacker's mandatory Retreat but before the defender's voluntary Retreat.

Question: May units retreat into a Battle hex? do they take part in the defense? attack?

Answer: Yes, into a friendly controlled hex. They would take part in defense, and might take part in attack with other moving attackers.

Question: May units retreat into an enemy controlled hex containing only disrupted cavalry?

Answer: Strike "undisrupted" from rule 9.4.3 a 5.

Question: If my opponent has a full strength infantry unit, and I have a disrupted infantry unit and a fort, do I have to retreat?

Answer: Yes. Rule 9.4.2 would be better if it read, "A player who has no full strength infantry units must retreat if his opponent does have such."

Question: If I am left with undisrupted cavalry and disrupted infantry, and my opponent has only disrupted cavalry, must he retreat?

Answer: Yes, if a player has only disrupted cavalry, it must retreat if the opponent has any undisrupted combat unit.

Question: Would disrupted cavalry have to retreat from undisrupted combat units in an Entrenchment or mountains?

Answer: No.

Question: Would units retreat into an unsupplied friendly hex free of enemy units, or a supplied friendly hex containing enemy units?

Answer: The unsupplied hex. Rule 9.4.3 takes precedence over 8.4.3 b.

Question: Can German units retreat into Schlieffen Plan hexes on GT 1-7 if no other hexes are available?

Answer: Yes, but they must exit as soon as possible.

Question: When can the Allies Retreat into the Sea?

Answer: Anytime the Allied player feels the alternative is less attractive.

Question: Can Retreat into the Sea take place from any Coastal hex?

Answer: Yes.

Cavalry Delay

Question: a French infantry unit moves into a hex with German cavalry and Heavy Artillery units. Is the presence of the HA sufficient to avoid the Cavalry Delay rules and thereby save the HA?

Answer: No, the Cavalry retreat or die, and the HA is destroyed. HQ's would have to retreat.

Question: Is Cavalry Delay a form of Battle?

Answer: No, it is part of movement, although it may end the movement.

Question: How does Cavalry Delay retreat work?

Answer: Use the Combat retreat priorities to move 3 hexes away from the start.


Question: When is Supply determined?

Answer: Supply is always determined for each unit during the Check for Supply segment, according to the rules in 11.2. Units which are in unsupplied hexes are considered OOS until the next Check for Supply segment. It is also traced when awarding VP's for Mandated Battles or VP Hex Control and for placing Reinforcements and Replacements.

Most importantly it is traced every time units move. Units which start in an unsupplied hex, must move into or toward the nearest supplied hex. Otherwise units may not Move into an unsupplied hex. Retreating units must also avoid unsupplied hexes given the choice.

Question: What about things like Entrenchment?

Answer: Other rules, like Entrenchment, require supplied units. That is, they are forbidden to units determined to be OOS in the prior Check for Supply segment.

Question: Cavalry Controlled hexes block supply except for Attrition, correct?

Answer: No, supply is never blocked by enemy Cavalry Controlled hexes.

Question: Cavalry Control does not block Supply - does this mean both sides might be able to trace through the same hex?

Answer: Yes

Question: Do Blocked hexsides prevent Supply being traced across them? Impassible hexsides?

Answer: Yes, both.

Question: Does a rail net extend into a friendly hex with a besieged enemy fort?

Answer: No, nor an unbesieged enemy fort in the odd event this happens.

Question: Can Germans draw Emergency Supply if hex 44 is Out of Supply?

Answer: No.

Question: German Emergency supply represents diminished capacity moving through hex 54 (Maubeuge) and into hex 44 and beyond. Is there anything special to hex 44 or could the same diminished capacity be assumed to exist through hex 45 (Le Chateau/Cambrai)?

Answer: No the diminished railnet moves only from 44 (Tournai) and then beyond. Hex 45 itself could be supplied with Emergency Supply because it is adjacent to the railnet of hex 44.

Question: What does the End of Rail Net marker mean?

Answer: The rail net does not extend north of hex 56 for the Allies nor south for the Germans.

Question: Is the End of Rail Net marker removed before or after Attrition is determined?

Answer: Fort surrender and End of Rail Net marker removal both occur during the Attrition segment. The order does not matter, because OOS units have already been determined in the Check for Supply segment.

Strategic Movement

Question: Does a besieged fort prevent Strategic Movement through it?

Answer: Yes.


Question: May the Germans delay Entrenching to prevent the Allies from doing so?

Answer: Yes, but it's not advisable.

Question: Can the Entrenchment at Merz be improved before Entrenching starts?

Answer: Yes.


Question: If two HQ's are in the same hex during the Administrative Phase do they remain flipped?

Answer: No, they return to their full movement side.

Question: HQ's flip when one ends a move in the other's hex. What about retreat?

Answer: Both flip if they end up together after retreat.

Question: Rule 2.4 says a HQ which enters a hex containing another HQ causes both to be flipped. Rule 8.4.1 says this happens when a HQ ends it move in such a hex. Which is correct?

Answer: Rule 2.4.

Question: If a HQ moving with a stack of units enters a hex containing another HQ after spending 2 or 3 MP's, may the stack continue moving even though the HQ will be flipped?

Answer: No, the HQ movement allowance is immediately reduced, causing the stack to halt if it already spent 2 or more MP's.


Question: Must the Belgians retreat to a hex in Belgium given the choice?

Answer: Yes.

Question: If the Allies spend 1 CAP to conduct Belgian Withdrawal, does this count against the 1 activation in the North restriction?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Does rule 12.5.3 prohibition on German entry into Ghent only apply if Belgian Withdrawal has been used?

Answer: No it applies whenever Belgian combat units are in Antwerp.

Question: May the Germans attack the Belgians in Ghent even though Antwerp is not captured?

Answer: Yes, but they may not move from Antwerp to Ghent directly due to the Control rules.


Question: On GT1, if the Allies spend a CAP after a Defender Tactical Advantage roll, does this count against the 1 activation in the North restriction?

Answer: No, it is not considered an activation.

Question: On GT1 the Belgian Army, if chosen for activation, can activate any number of times, correct?

Answer: No, just once. See the Designer/Developer Note in 13.1.

Question: In Scenario 2, an eliminated BEF division counts as two steps, correct?

Answer: Maybe. Note the VPs are awarded for cumulative hits (steps), not currently eliminated or disrupted steps.

Question: Scenario 3 refers to 71/81 as an impassible hexside. Should there be three diamonds on the map?

Answer: No, the rule should be corrected.

Compiled by Jonathan Gingerich