Here is my list of house rule ideas to deal with the issues I posted previously under "AAG: Ups and downs". Most of these are off-the-cuff, brainstorm ideas, and have not been tested. As such, don't blast me too badly for dumb ideas.
All of these rules affect both sides equally, so hopefully they will not break the game. Each rule is designed to stand on its own, but I feel some of them would need to be combined to work best. (Sorry frimmel, you'll notice the largest section is devoted to submarines.)Game length/victory conditionsDo not score airfields on round 1
Since it is pretty much guaranteed that both sides are going to score 2 points on the first round, why bother? This would effectively make the game last one round longer than it otherwise would have.Only score airfields that you’ve controlled since the beginning of the round
This would prevent victories through a desperate suicide mission in the last round, where you know you wouldn’t hold it if the game continued, but it gives you enough points to win the game. I imagine this rule would add the most length to the game, since a “back-and-forth” with a single airfield wouldn’t result in either side scoring a point from that field. Since the victory points are designed to simulate the aerial dominance that comes with controlling an airfield, and it would take some time for that dominance to take full effect, this rule makes some sense to me.Move the “Score victory points” action to the beginning of phase 3
This would prevent scoring with airfields you’ve just built. As with the previous rule, this would simulate the time required for your airfield to allow your dominance. Besides that, if one side is about to win, why bother going through the reinforce stage?When scoring victory points during phase 3, only victory points not matched by an opponent’s victory point are scored. Victory is attained when one side scores 6 victory points.
I like this idea best. As long as both sides own the same number of airfields, neither side would score any points from airfields. In order to win, you’d have to control more airfields than your opponent for a sustained period of time, which would again simulate having aerial dominance of the region. Alternately, you could sink a bunch of enemy capital ships. I like this too, because it gives rise to the possibility of winning entirely with victory points scored by killing capital ships, which is unfeasible in the original rules. In fact, under the old rules it is quite possible to win without ever sinking an enemy capital ship. Obviously, it would take forever to reach 15 victory points under this scheme, so you’d have to reduce the number required for victory. I think between 5 and 8 would be good, depending on how long you want the game to last. Or, if you’re in a time crunch, you could just decide to play for a fixed number of rounds and whoever is ahead at that point is the winner.Anti-aircraft fireCarriers have 1 air attack
Carriers had huge AA batteries, especially on Japanese carriers. They have to have something. I don’t think this would empower carriers too much so that they could safely go without escorts, since they have no defense against other ships, and their air attack is still not particularly strong.Cruisers have no air attack
Cruisers had little in the way of AA armament, certainly not as much as a destroyer. If you are going to give cruisers an AA attack, to be realistic you’d have to give transports one also, since the two types of ships had roughly the same amount of AA armament. I don’t advocate giving transports an attack. I also like this rule because it makes destroyers, cruisers, and battleships a little more specialized, instead of one just being a more powerful version of the previous. Battleships have 2 air attack
Battleships had roughly six times as many AA guns as a destroyer. I think this rule, especially when coupled with the previous two, gives a more realistic ability of fleets to defend themselves against air attacks, while still not making properly-executed air attacks against large fleets folly.AA guns and battleships have an “aircraft disruption” ability which reduces the land/sea attack power of the opposing air force by 2 for each AA gun or battleship. The attack strength of the attacking force can never be reduced below 1. AA guns have 2 air attack.
This would simulate, to some degree, aircraft having to fly in a more evasive manner in order to avoid anti-aircraft fire. This would also make battleships more effective in defending against aircraft without giving it another attack. If you implemented this rule, I think you’d have to reduce the AA gun attack in order to prevent it from being too powerful. Example: Two bombers and two fighters attack a fleet containing a battleship. The aircraft have 6 total attack dice, but the battleship disrupts, reducing the number of dice to 4. Two battleships would reduce the number of dice to 2, etc. This would have to be an either-or with the previous rule; both would make battleships too powerful, in my opinion.At the beginning of phase 2, each side chooses whether to place their aircraft in high altitude or low altitude in each zone containing land or sea units capable of attacking aircraft. If in high altitude, the aircraft lose half (rounded down) of their land attack dice, and the land or sea units lose half (rounded up) of their air attack dice.
I’m not honestly sure this rule would work, but it would allow attackers to have some level of control over how effective the defending AA would be. The problem I see with it is that one altitude might provide too much of an advantage one way or the other and would always be used.SubmarinesSubmarines have a sea attack of 2, reduced by 1 for each enemy destroyer present down to a minimum of zero. Each destroyer reduces the attack of every submarine present.
This would make submarines rather nasty, unless destroyers are present. Two destroyers would eliminate the attack value of any number of submarines, preventing a submarine swarming strategy from being effective.Submarines have a sea attack of 1, unless the enemy has a destroyer present. Each destroyer only negates the attack of one submarine.
Similar to the last rule, but this would allow wolf-packs to overwhelm a fleet of destroyers while making a lone submarine less effective.Submarines have a sea attack of 1, unless the enemy has a destroyer present. One destroyer removes the sea attack of all submarines in the zone.
This adds the smallest teeth to submarines, and would probably result in submarines behaving as they do now in most cases, since most fleets have at least one destroyer. I think this, coupled with the “submarines submerge” rule described next, most accurately simulates how submarine warfare usually worked (i.e. make a sneak attack, dive deep to avoid the destroyer counter-attack while getting pot-shots in where you can).At the end of the movement phase, conduct a “submarines submerge” action. For each opposing destroyer in the same zone as a submarine, roll one die. On a roll of 1, one submarine in that zone is destroyed. On a roll of 2 or 3, one submarine is subject to attack during the attack phase. On any other roll, the submarine is invulnerable to fire during the attack phase.
This would give submarines the potential to evade fire during the “attack sea units” stage. I would imagine that you would want to prevent submerged submarines from firing if using any of the previous rules. I like this rule because it makes a solo sub attack against a decent-sized fleet a little less suicidal, but the more destroyers there are, the more dangerous it becomes.At the end of the movement phase, conduct a “submarines may withdraw” action. Each submarine may attempt to move to an adjacent zone. Roll one die for each opposing destroyer in the same zone as a withdrawing submarine. On a roll of 1, one submarine in that zone is destroyed. On a roll of 2, one submarine is prevented from leaving the zone.
Shades of the original A&A. This is a variant on the previous rule, and would still give submarines the potential to evade a counter-attack. I find this rule rather unrealistic, as it essentially gives submarines twice the movement of any other ship (whereas real submarines were much slower than surface ships). However unlike the previous rule, it never gives submarines complete invulnerability, and they could still be attacked by units in the zone to which they were withdrawing. Again, the more destroyers, the more dangerous this move is. I tend to like this rule a little better than the previous, despite the unrealism.Submarines have the “resiliency” special ability unless an opposing destroyer is present.
This would give the resiliency ability that most other ships have to submarines, which could be negated by enemy destroyers. This would be designed to simulate not a submarine’s resiliency as much as its evasive abilities. This would, in effect, increase the total cost of submarines, since you'd occasionally have to pay to have them repaired as you do other ships. Of course, if an enemy destroyer is present, all bets are off and the game plays as it does now.Submarines are not destroyed on a roll of 2 unless an opposing destroyer is present.
This would make submarines a little tougher to kill than the previous rule, since two 2s applied to a submarine would still not kill it. It would also allow submarines to remain in the action, since they would never be sent back for repairs as in the previous rule.Transporting using destroyersDestroyers have 1 space for carrying infantry
This is consistent with history (as least on the Japanese side) and with previous A&A games. I think it makes a lot more sense realistically, and should have a relatively minor effect on gameplay. (I know some of you are think, "If it doesn't affect gameplay, why bother?" ) The primary effect, I should think, would be to make transports somewhat more tactically important.Destroyers have 1 space for carrying infantry or supplies
OK, OK, a little compromise for those of you who love transporting with destroyers.
Questions? Thoughts? Suggestions? Alternatives? Insults? Put-downs?