Submarine Rules…Whaaat?


  • '12

    1x friendly Sub vs. 1x enemy Sub?

    Defending sub has option to submerge and avoid combat.  Lets say your defending sub does not submerge in order say to defend transports then they surprise attack each other until defender decides to submerge or victory to somebody or attacker could retreat.

    All surface ships can defend against a sub, they are not invisible.  They cannot force a sub to defend, only a destroyer can do that.  Planes cannot be part of the battle unless a destroyer is there to ‘direct’ them, but again, subs are not invisible but do have special abilities.  Sneak attack and retreating on defense unless a destroyer is there to ‘pin’ them.  If your sub misses, all surface ships get a crack at defending against it.  A destroyer does not make a sub visible because it is never invisible.  Again, a sub only has a few special options that a defending destroyer can nullify.

    All attackers fight or all retreat, so you can’t retreat just attacking subs or any partial fleet, all or nothing.  Once you retreat you cannot decide to fight more so that should solve all your questions.  Sorry for any repeats, was interrupted a few times during this post.



  • @MrMalachiCrunch:

    1x friendly Sub vs. 1x enemy Sub?

    Defending sub has option to submerge and avoid combat.  Lets say your defending sub does not submerge in order say to defend transports then they surprise attack each other until defender decides to submerge or victory to somebody or attacker could retreat.

    All surface ships can defend against a sub, they are not invisible.  They cannot force a sub to defend, only a destroyer can do that.  Planes cannot be part of the battle unless a destroyer is there to ‘direct’ them, but again, subs are not invisible but do have special abilities.  Sneak attack and retreating on defense unless a destroyer is there to ‘pin’ them.  If your sub misses, all surface ships get a crack at defending against it.  A destroyer does not make a sub visible because it is never invisible.  Again, a sub only has a few special options that a defending destroyer can nullify.

    All attackers fight or all retreat, so you can’t retreat just attacking subs or any partial fleet, all or nothing.  Once you retreat you cannot decide to fight more so that should solve all your questions.  Sorry for any repeats, was interrupted a few times during this post.

    Thanks for the response!

    I think I understand now. One more question:

    If the friendly and/or enemy subs decide to “submerge” (no destroyer present), “it is removed from the battle strip and placed back on the map”. Now do they stay on that contested sea zone, or does it act like a retreat?

    Does the submerged sub move back to a previously friendly sea zone, or does it stay there?

    Thanks again!


  • '12

    The sub submerges so it remains in the same territory.


  • '12

    @MrBill13:

    In real life, a sub would get one chance to get a surprise attack on an enemy, would take it and get the heck out of there. If they hung around any ship - cruisers, battleships and even carriers had the capability to take out a sub. So this just doesn’t make any logical sense…

    It actually does make sense.  The game is abstact, not literal.  In other words, don’t think of the battle in a sea zone as a single engagement. Those turns are months long. Let’s say a single battle involving 2 subs and a battleship goes 3 rounds.  It would be unrealistic for the battleship to be surprised if all 3 rounds occured in one hour of real life, agreed.  But perhaps each round of rolling (within that one player turn) is days, weeks, or even a month apart, with the subs firing and disengaging each time and returning for another pass when they are confident of their advantage.  A sub getting a surprise attack in each round always seemed reasonable to me because of the scale of the game.



  • I’ve always felt the sub perpetual sneak attack was unrealistic.  In real life, once they shot their first round of torpedoes the gig was up so it makes no sense to have “sneak attacks” each round of combat.  My buddies and I adopted a 1 round sneak house rule years ago and it’s an improvement in my opinion.



  • @moralecheck:

    @MrBill13:

    In real life, a sub would get one chance to get a surprise attack on an enemy, would take it and get the heck out of there. If they hung around any ship - cruisers, battleships and even carriers had the capability to take out a sub. So this just doesn’t make any logical sense…

    It actually does make sense.  The game is abstact, not literal.  In other words, don’t think of the battle in a sea zone as a single engagement. Those turns are months long. Let’s say a single battle involving 2 subs and a battleship goes 3 rounds.  It would be unrealistic for the battleship to be surprised if all 3 rounds occured in one hour of real life, agreed.  But perhaps each round of rolling (within that one player turn) is days, weeks, or even a month apart, with the subs firing and disengaging each time and returning for another pass when they are confident of their advantage.   A sub getting a surprise attack in each round always seemed reasonable to me because of the scale of the game.

    After reading all the posts, THIS is the idea that makes real sense for me. Thanks!


  • 2017 '16

    I totally agree.
    Timeframe and time lapse between turn makes a better understanding of how units interactions in combat rounds depict in an impressionistic way WWII battles.

    If people want to see a houserule set intended to simplify interactions between these units, based partly on Classic Submarine unit here is the start of the opening post. Follow the title-link:

    @Baron:

    THE ISSUE

    According to Dedo (see quote below), and probably other players (I’m thinking about Toblerone77), many new players seem to have issues with rules about defenseless Transports, Submarines immune to aircrafts or not and the various combinations with Destroyer presence or absence.

    The learning curve can be hard, particularly when special interactions which deviate from regular rules and principles of this game are involved. Since many months I tried to find different solutions to answer this issue of complex and out of usual interactions. Maybe now this can have a useful purpose.

    Wanting to help new players focus more on strategy than bogging on special rules, I would like to introduce six changes to Transport, Destroyer and Submarine combat rules to simplify things.

    @Baron:

    @dedo:

    When following the forums of 1941 and 1942.2, I counted roundabout 20 topics (that is up to 10 percent) with questions concerning submarine or transport rules in both of the forums. It seems that for new players especially these rulebook parts are difficult to understand. Wouldn’t it be appropriate to pin down these rules in general parlance and to make them sticky in the forums? Honor to the members, who has already answered the more or less countless questions concerning these topics, but in my opinion we should put an end to this and stop to reinvent the wheel by giving a clearer wording to these mechanics of the game obviously difficult to understand. What do you think?

    For my part, I revised these TPs and Subs rules to make interactions simpler between Subs, Destroyers, planes and TPs for tabletop games.
    Your comments make me thinks about an alternate rules set which can be provided in addition to the OOB rules. New players can use it as a simpler intermediary or introductory step.

    @Der:

    @toblerone77:

    Many of the newer OOB rules since revised in fact do not help the game for the more casual player and stretch the game out to the point where; if you can actually find a gamer willing to give it a go, you must use HRs in many cases to get them even close to playing the game again.

    I absolutely agree! I think this subject - of general simplicity in Axis And Allies - is worthy of its own thread, so I will start one.

    So, following this line of thinking to help introduce new players to a less complex naval combat interaction, I suggest this changes and tweak to simplify things and improve the impressionistic WWII depiction of Submarine warfare and Anti-Sub air cover and patrol to protect Transports and Convoys.

    The second post of this thread is a transcription of OOB 1942.2 rules with corresponding changes suggested in this opening post. So, you can print them and see where these changes take place in the rulebook.

    LIST of SIX small changes to help make unit interactions more consistent from a beginner POV:

    • Transport is treated as any other surface vessel when allocating casualty: each elligible transport unit worth 1 hit and can be chosen according to owner’s choice, whether before or after a combat unit has been selected as casualty.
      OPTIONAL variant: Still worth 1 hit and Transports are taken as last casualties.

    • One or more friendly Transport units, sharing the same SZ, get a single defense die roll value of 1 per combat round.

    • Submarine cannot block unescorted Transport from amphibious landing.
      Submarine and Transport cannot control SZ and can ignore each other in combat or noncombat move.

    • Submarine cannot hit, or be hit by, another submarine.

    • Destroyer does not block Submarine’s Surprise Strike.

    • But plane does not need Destroyer presence to hit unsubmerged Submarine.

    IMPACTS of these changes:

    No more defenseless Transport: TP get a combat value and can be taken as casualty the same way as other units.
    Taken last can be an optional variant which is nearer OOB rule.

    No combat value changes for Submarines or aircrafts with/without friendly or enemy Destroyer presence.
    Aircrafts act the same as Cruiser, Carrier, Battleship when making attack or defense rolls against Submarines, except Subs still cannot hit aircrafts.

    Since Submarine cannot harm enemy Sub, no fleet padding can rely solely on this cheapest unit.
    Destroyer remains a must against Submarine and because Destroyer can hit aircrafts.

    Submarine iconic Surprise Strike full capacity is counterbalanced by Transport illegibility as casualty and Sub inability to stop amphibious assault from lonely TPs.


    WARSHIPS & TRANSPORT
    Legend on unit capacities:
    Unit type        Cost
    Combat values
    Special abilities

    Submarine    6 IPCs
    Attack 2 first strike*
    Defense 1 first strike*
    Move 2
    Surprise strike: *Permanent first strike Attack 2 and Defense 1 against all surface vessels only, including Destroyers.
    Submerge (instead of firing in Surprise strike phase)
    Stealth Move
    Unsubmerged Submarine unit can be hit by planes without any Destroyer (or Anti-Sub Vessel) presence.
    Cannot hit planes nor submarines.
    Cannot control SZ and can be ignored by other warship and Transport units.

    Destroyer    8 IPCs
    Attack 2
    Defense 2
    Move 2
    Anti-Sub Vessel: One Destroyer unit blocks all Submarine’s Submerge and Stealth move.
    Does not block Submarine’s Surprise Strike.

    Transport    7 IPCs
    Attack 0
    Defense 1* per TPs group
    Hit value: 1 Worth 1 hit and can be chosen as casualty anytime, same as warships.
    Move 2
    *Special Convoy Escort Defense: One single defense @1, each combat round for all friendly transports sharing SZ.
    Cannot control SZ and can be ignored by other warship units.
    Non-escorted Transport can make amphibious landing in Submarines infested SZ, (same rule as OOB first edition)
    so Transport can ignore Submarine during Combat and Non-Combat phases, same as warships.

    OPTIONAL Variant: Taken as last casualty, once all other illegible units has been chosen as casualty.


    QUESTIONS:

    Question 1: Do you believe that such units values can be simpler (less exemptional rules) and be used instead of OOB rules to make some baby steps toward a full OOB rules implementation?

    Question 2: Is it still somewhat balanced in itself?

    Question 3: Do you think that this 1 hit Transport with a small combat value is an easier rule to grasp for beginner?

    Question 4: Do you think these six changes really improve WWII depiction of Submarine warfare and Anti-Sub air patrol to protect Transports and Convoys?


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