|Boot Camp: Road Movement|
|by Steve Winter|
"Roads:If a unit moves along a road, each hex only counts as one hex even if the prevailing terrain in the hex is double cost. A unit doesn't need to make movement rolls when moving along a road even if it crosses a stream or enters a forest. A unit moving along a road can enter a hex of impassable terrain. It can only exit the impassable hex along the road.
Road Bonus: Each phase, the first hex that a Vehicle moves along a road is free. It doesn't count against the number of hexes the unit can move."
The key thing to remember when figuring out road movement is that, to qualify for any sort of bonus (lowered terrain cost, no movement roll, road bonus, or High Gear bonus), a vehicle must move along the road. That means that the road must directly connect the hex that the vehicle is leaving to the hex that the vehicle is entering.
Illustration 1 shows how a vehicle would count its movement along the path indicated. The tank doesn't get its free hex of road bonus movement when moving from hex A to B because, even though hex B contains a road, the tank isn't moving along a road when it crosses from A to B. The tank gets the bonus when it enters hex C because that's the first hex of qualified road movement -- the tank follows the road from B into C. When the tank moves from C to D, it's no longer following the road because the road doesn't enter hex D. (In this case, that doesn't matter because the tank has already used its road bonus. If this was the first hex of movement, it wouldn't qualify as road movement.)
Now consider an M18 Hellcat (speed 5, High Gear 2) moving along the road shown in illustration 2. To qualify for the High Gear bonus, the vehicle must spend its entire move on the road. That means the Hellcat must take the route indicated. It can't cut across from hex B to hex D. Even though both are road hexes, they're not directly connected by a road across their shared hexside. The Hellcat must move B-C-D to be considered moving "along the road." Numbers indicate how the tank destroyer's movement should be counted out as it moves. The vehicle doesn't need to make movement rolls or pay double to enter the forest hex because it's following the road. Note that if the Hellcat started in any of the hexes labeled X, it couldn't use High Gear at all because its first hex of movement would not be road movement.
Town hexes are all considered to be road hexes, but in the absence of any other road symbol, they connect only to adjacent town hexes. In illustration 3, a vehicle entering or leaving one of the town hexes qualifies for the road bonus if, and only if, it crosses one of the hexsides marked with a white arrow. Crossing any other hexside is not moving along the road and doesn't qualify for the road or High Gear bonuses. Also note that moving from the upper town hex (T1) into the upper forest hex (F1) doesn't require a movement roll or cost double because the two hexes are connected by a road. Moving from either town hex into the lower forest hex (F2), however, does require a movement roll and costs double. Even though the town serves as a road, no road crosses the hexside into hex F2, so the normal forest movement rules apply.
Because the road bonus is a free hex of movement, you can use it even if you exhausted your last bit of speed getting to the road. In Illustration 4, the Pz IV spends all three hexes of its movement getting onto the road. Normally, it would stop in that hex. Because its third hex of movement places it on the road, however, it can move one more hex, provided it follows the road as shown. Again, numbers indicate the hexes as they're counted out during movement.
Remember, roads matter only when vehicles move along the road. In other words, the road must cross the hexside that the vehicle is crossing. If the road doesn't cross the same hexside, then you don't get any of its benefits when moving into that hex.