2

It seems that support orders confer several benefits over march orders.

  • The support troops won't be destroyed if the fight goes badly.
  • The support troops won't be routed if the fight goes badly.
  • The support troops can be used in multiple fights in the round.

It seems that a good strategy might be initiate combat with a single infantry, and use the support troops on an adjacent territory to the one you're attacking.

The sole reason I can think that you might not do this, is if on the following turn you want to march your entire army again to a territory that is only accessible from the newly conquered territory.

Is my understanding of these rules correct? - What are the downsides of using support over march orders?

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You've done a good job of detailing the main advantages of using a support order, but you've left out a key concern when using them: enemy raid orders can remove support orders, so your supporting regions would need to be buffered against enemy-controller regions of the board. You also rightly introduce the fact that the march orders are the only way to get your troops to move around the board.

Another somewhat related aspect is the limitations on the size of your armies based on the supply track. If you have one or two large armies supporting a number of single unit forward positions, you can make much better use of the larger armies if they are supporting forward positions.

One other thing to consider is that there are a number of hero abilities which negate or change the effects of supporting troops, which don't affect the troops in the region doing the attacking/defending.

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