Battleships & the hit that never was....

Marking the 50th anniversary of Avalon Hill, Wizards of the Coast published this very special version of A&A. I hope you enjoy it.
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Blackhat
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Battleships & the hit that never was....

Post by Blackhat » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:09 am

OK sure they can take a whack of damage BUT is it just me or is there something cheesy about assigning a hit at the end of combat knowing the auto-fix rule will make it go away?

Thinking after combat 1/2 dead BBs ought to roll d6.
1-3 auto-fix like the good book says
4-5 DAMAGED (use SBR token with "Damage" side up)
6 CRIPPLED (use a SBR token ugly side up)

Both Damaged and Crippled BBs have only 1 hit left in them and get fixed by taking them to the sea zone adjacent to an Allied IC and expending d6 IPCs.

Difference is that Crippled BBs fight at 2 and limp along at Move 1.
So then you have to ask yourself.. do I divert assets to pick off the straggling enemy BB? Do I assign a DD to escort it back to dry dock? Or hey do I just let it fight on and repair later....

just a thought...

pennstate1
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Post by pennstate1 » Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:45 am

That is a great idea, because I have been playing and launched an attack against 3 battleships with assorted DD and cruisers. The first roll I hit on 3 and that just provided me with one hit on each battleship. Needless to say I lost that fight and he kept all of his battleships in tact. I brought

ChristophfromGermany
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Re: Battleships & the hit that never was....

Post by ChristophfromGermany » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:22 am

There is an easy fix for that bug: players are not allowed to assign two hits in a row to a Battleship. If there are only BB in a battle, two hits mean one ship is going down instead of two being damaged.
ChristophfromGermany

No decent man can prefer war to peace, because at peace-time the sons burry their father while at war, the father burries his sons. (Herodot)

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nexus73
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Re: Battleships & the hit that never was....

Post by nexus73 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:20 am

Going the other way, I have an idea for a superdreadnought. IPC cost: 30. 3 hits to sink. Delivers 2 hits when firing to one target. When it has taken one hit, it becomes a BB needing 2 hits to sink and delivering 1 hit when firing. The second hit slows the superdreadnought now at a BB level down to 1 space move.

Supercarriers: IPC cost: 24. 2 hits to sink. Carries 3 planes. One hit results in no aircraft being able to stay with the carrier and slowed to 1 space move.

Pay 6 IPC's to repair each hit on these ships along with regular BB's.

There ya' go, the Yamato and Midway are now available for purchase and play! Using the capital ships as damage absorbers with such rules makes them less abusive in game play. They are still survivable ships but at a cost.

Want cheaper big gun firepower? Have BC's (battlecruisers) for 18 IPC's. They would be 1-hit BB's.

Want cheaper carriers? Light carriers for 12 IPC's. Carry one aircraft. Attack 0 Defend 1.

Antiaircraft cruisers: One cruiser can be designated permanently as an antiaircraft cruiser. Put an AA gun by it to show which one it is. When aircraft attack, roll the dice just as one does on land with an AA gun. Antiaircraft cruisers have Attack 2 Defend 2 and shore bombardment.

Destroyers: Allowed to carry 1 Infantry. When doing so, Attack 1 Defend 1 become the values. ASW as normal when loaded.
Bad dice happen. Blame the Russians...LOL!

ChristophfromGermany
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Re: Battleships & the hit that never was....

Post by ChristophfromGermany » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:06 pm

30 IPC for one unit in a game where some nations have only 10 or 17 IPC as starting income seems to be sort of over the top. I have thought of a super battleship too, but I have not introduced it to my House Rules yet.

In general, I went the other way and made sea and air units cheaper:
Battleships cost 18 IPC, carriers 12 IPC, cruisers 9 IPC - the rest remains the same. A super BB could cost 24 IPC and have the same specifics that you mentioned.

In our game carriers also take two hits. I introduced one new unit for US, UK and Japan only: the escort carrier. Cost: 9 IPC, Move: 2, attacks and defends like normal carrier and takes only one aircraft. The escort carrier has the same ASW abilities like a destroyer. But destroyers (too powerful IMHO) and escort carriers have these ASW abilities only on a 1:1 basis. That means, that one destroyer or escort carrier can only block one submarine each. This works pretty good and provides cheaper air cover for transports.
Fighters cost only 8 IPC but have a reduced attack value of »2« instead of »3«. But when they hit with »1« they can choose the target. Same goes for tactical bombers which I introduced to my Anniversary edition. They cost 10 IPC, attack at 3 (or 4 when matched with a fighter), defend at 2 and when they score a hit with »1« they may choose a naval unit as hit. Bombers still cost 12 IPC, but they attack only with »3« instead of »4«. But if they do a strategic bombing raid, they may roll two dice – the higher one counts.
ChristophfromGermany

No decent man can prefer war to peace, because at peace-time the sons burry their father while at war, the father burries his sons. (Herodot)

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nexus73
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Re: Battleships & the hit that never was....

Post by nexus73 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:45 pm

If one nation has a very low income, that means other nations have a very high income. How many will spring for a superdreadnought? Not many but it is an affordable option for those nations who are well above their starting IPC level.

I do like the idea of lower cost naval units though. There could be a historical case for giving the Japanese a superdreadnought at the start of the game since the Yamato and Mushashi were operational in 1942. Another way to get more expensive units into the game is to have dockyards, where payments are made on a capital ship until it is built or scrapped with half the amount coming back to the nation making the purchase should the incomplete ship be scrapped. With this idea, the Graf Zeppelin is in the game at the start, half-funded and in the dockyard.. The US gets an assortment of carriers and BB's in the dockyard, amount undetermined. The Japanese have a carrier in the dockyard too.

The real trick is to decide whether one wants historical accuracy or equal chances to win. The Battle of the Atlantic at the start of 1943 was completely in Germany's favor. By mid-year, the pendulum had swung due to advances in ASW tech, tactics and ships so the Germans were losing subs faster than they could build them. Doenitz pulled the U-boats and the Allied supplies came pouring across to set up D-Day. So with such a situation in mind, each side has to wait X amount of turns to claim an advantage that is game changing. Can Germany hold on until the Walther U-boats are ready?

Japan starts off with the advantage in torpedoes and surface night fighting while the USN subs had a secret sauce torpedo that turned out to be a dud with the situation not corrected by BuWeaps until 1943. Reflecting these advantages and problem areas will take some thought.

Frogmen anyone? Subs, minisubs and kaiten? Aircraft carrying submarines? Will the game allow Germany to launch a V-2 from a sub?

Submarine pens protected subs from bombing so will these be allowed? Somehow the Red Navy managed to protect their Baltic Fleet subs so we got to see them show up in 1945 and deliver the deadliest sea attacks in history. Ideas like this make me think of a rule where a "ship ashore" cannot be attacked from the sea or air. Occupy a territory with the ship present and apply scorched earth policies to see it is lost when that territory changes hands.

Lots of ideas to mull over isn't there? With all the forum members here, a plethora of ideas can be gathered. If carried through to a conclusion, we would wind up with a great naval war game. Mix in the alternate history scenarios and the excitement increases!
Bad dice happen. Blame the Russians...LOL!

ChristophfromGermany
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Re: Battleships & the hit that never was....

Post by ChristophfromGermany » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:29 am

Hello Nexus,

interesting thoughts indeed! You nailed the problem: Axis & Allies is all about finding the right balance between historical accuracy and an even game for both sides.

Some of your thoughts are already operational house rules in our game :D

Cheaper sea units are important in order to boost activities in the Pacific. By the way: Cruisers cost 10 IPC, not 9 as I have stated in an earlier post. If naval units are too expensive, losses cannot be rebuilt. That leads to the undesirable effect that one battle can decide the fate of the Pacific theatre. If losses can be rebuilt however, this changes quite a bit. Same is true for the Atlantic. The Royal Navy should never be wiped out in Round 1. On the other hand: a strong Royal Navy early on can be a game killer for Germany.

Our solution for this dilemma is of both strategical and tactical nature:
On the strategic level the decision that every victory city has an IC means that both the USA and the United Kingdom have to divert resources to defend Hawaii, Australia and India. India is of utmost importance for the Allies because otherwise Japan is running riot. This relieves Germany early on in the game.
On the tactical level we introduced coastal batteries and bunkers as defensive units. Coastal batteries cost 5 IPC and work like AA guns: They may fire on every land unit that comes ashore. Bunkers cost 8 IPC and absorb 4 hits from coastal bombardment and land attacks before the defender has to take a land unit as a loss. Germany starts with a bunker in France and a coastal battery in Norway.

Another new unit are Paratroopers. They can disable both coastal batteries and bunkers before the landing begins: If they score one hit, the coastal batterie may fire on every other landing unit, if they score two hits, the coastal batteries are silenced. Hits on bunkers reduce the number of hits they can still absorb. Paras cost 4 IPC, move 2 (even one sea-zone as they have their air transport integrated), attack and defend with 2, special operations with 3 for the first round only. Paratroopers (max. 3 for Germany and USA, 2 for UK, USSR, Italy and Japan) may only be used if they are accompanied by other land units – this prevents ill prepared raids on Europe. Just think about Dieppe.

We also play our A&A Anniversary Edition with sub pens. Germany starts with one in France and because Paris is a victory city with an industrial complex, Germany can build subs there and put them into the pen in order to protect them. They cost 8 IPC and cannot be destroyed. They protect up to two subs. The trick: technically speaking, the subs are in the sea-zone 7 and may defend it against naval attacks and move two sea-zones when leaving or entering the sub pen, but they cannot be attacked in this sea-zone. Besides the sub pen in France they are rarely built, but they are at least an option.

Next to playing Axis & Allies I really like to develop and try new options to enhance the gaming experience. And with all the miniatures painted they just look very cool on the game board.
ChristophfromGermany

No decent man can prefer war to peace, because at peace-time the sons burry their father while at war, the father burries his sons. (Herodot)

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nexus73
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Re: Battleships & the hit that never was....

Post by nexus73 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:39 am

Hello Christopher,

Taking out pieces from the A&A game for Normandy let me get the ones needed for coastal defense plus trucks to represent logistics. I also have used the small black discs that resemble mines for that purpose. They and a variety of pieces from other war games were put into my Anniversary box. Then I sold it off to buy amateur radio equipment since the only person I had to play with was myself...LOL! We would have had a hoot playing around with new rules and so many different pieces.

Rick
Bad dice happen. Blame the Russians...LOL!

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