Battleships In Bulk



  • New to the boards, new to the game. I got 1942 two weeks ago because Risk night got too predictable. My oldest son loves to stack battleships in the Pacific with the US. Each time he builds one I feel like I have to build one for Japan to defend Tokyo. End result is a battle with upwards of 4 battleships on each side plus sea fodder. It never fails that one side loses all ships while the other side only loses fodder. If the US wins this sea battle, then Japan never has a chance to defend itself from bombardment/invasion. We have talked about limiting the battleships to the number that come with the game, and have even discussed requiring two hits on one battleship before turning the second battleship sideways. Anyone else had these issues???

    Also, I got a print shop to print me a 30 by 60 map on vinyl that I got from IL. The print shop didnt charge me anything (lucky me) and the board works great!


  • '10

    Without trying to give too much away to someone who sounds like they want to learn the game by playing it, all I’ll say is try to get him to have to spend some of the US resources on the other side of the map.


  • 2019 2018 2017

    Welcome to the boards!

    Focusing on battleships is not the optimal strategy for the US. When you (as Japan) see a US battleship fleet coming your way, you could buy a few aircraft carriers and put some fighters on them. The carriers are cheaper than the battleships and the planes will also be useful for other battles. Besides, Japan already has an initial advantage in capital ships (2 BB + 2 AC vs. 1 BB + 1 AC, and on top of that you’ll sink the US carrier in seazone 52 if you attack there on Japan’s first turn), and starts with plenty of fighters.
    On top of that, even if the US manages to defeat Japan’s home fleet, they would also need to buy enough transports and troops to take Japan itself, which can easily be stacked with Japanese forces to defend it.

    There’s more to it, but there’s no need to change any of the rules to counter this - just change your strategy and you’ll be able to counter this.



  • @Heepahead:

    My oldest son loves to stack battleships in the Pacific with the US. Each time he builds one I feel like I have to build one for Japan to defend Tokyo. […] Anyone else had these issues???

    Ignore the initial US builds and focus on clearing Asia. Later buy fighters/bombers instead to reply more battleship builds. Or you can simply ignore the US - as long as Japan is safe and Germany is about to take Russia.



  • Fighting sea units is always more efficient with planes (IPC wise). Usually you build sea units if you plan to attack/disembark.
    If you do not plan on attacking the US with Japan, don’t build sea units, build planes instead. For exemple, 5 bombers against 3 battleships (same IPC cost) is favorite by about 56% against 34 % (with 10 % draw). And the more units, the bigger the advantage gets, for exemple 10 bombers against 6 battleships is 63% vs 32 % with 5 % draw.


  • '12

    I would think 10 subs attacking 3 battleships would provide a better attacking outcome than 5 bombers.  I think if you expect the US fleet to move within 2 spaces of Japan a build of 2 subs to add to the attacking force would be a better use of IPC than 1 bomber.

    Obviously, a huge stack of subs with nothing supporting them is not a wise choice either.  But any time I see the US going in the Pacific with force I see Japan adding greatly to the sub force, not exclusively again as air assets are more flexible.

    5 versus 3 compared to 10 versus 6 should be exactly the same odds.  The deviations you see are just statistical variations due to the random number generator in computers.  Do the same battle over and over again and you will be a bit surprised to see how much variation there is from a simulation run to run.  Move from 1000 to 5000 or 10 000 will smooth it out but still, a surprising amount of variation.


  • '16 '15 '10

    As others have stated, air power is extremely potent as a naval deterrent. particularly in this rule set.

    Fighters and bombers provide value for the entire period of naval-build-up.  Japan get to use the air to wear down Russia the entire time.  By contrast, ordinary naval units don’t do much but look scary up until the big battle.

    Another good reason to prefer air power in Pacific wars is it offers superior range, allowing for the control of space, and very often the element of surprise.

    While it deals with the Revised rule-set (very different navy-wise), this paper is helpful in explaining the value of fighters for Japan.
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=13764.0



  • @Zhukov44:

    As others have stated, air power is extremely potent as a naval deterrent. particularly in this rule set.

    Fighters and bombers provide value for the entire period of naval-build-up.  Japan get to use the air to wear down Russia the entire time.  By contrast, ordinary naval units don’t do much but look scary up until the big battle.

    Imho, there are 2 kinds of fleets: Fleets whose purpose is to protect trannies (protector fleets) and fleets whose purpose is to destroy other fleets (assault fleets).
    Regarding protector fleets, the key “unit” is the loaded AC. The loaded AC provides great protection at a slightly higher cost than 4 DDs, but the loaded fighters can be used for other purposes too besides fleet protection while the DDs cannot even offshore.
    Regarding assault fleets, the key unit WOULD have been the submarine. Super cheap, stealth and immune to air. But a submarine is useless in any other way, just like a DD. Fighters are slightly more expensive and slightly more inefficient than subs, but they can also be used for other purposes besides fleet assault, so the fighter is the key unit of an assault fleet while subs are good for early battle fodder. The only problem is that fighters need a landing spot, which dictates for either an AC for every 2 ftr (extremely expensive unit and totaly inefficient for attacking purposes) or for a strategic air base (like Western Europe or Norway).

    The problem for the Allies is that the Axis has such a strategic airbase exactly where it needs it (Western Europe) in order to threaten allied protector fleets, while the Allies don t have an equivalent “Western Europe” in the Pacific in order to threated japanese shipping.



  • @MrMalachiCrunch:

    I would think 10 subs attacking 3 battleships would provide a better attacking outcome than 5 bombers.  I think if you expect the US fleet to move within 2 spaces of Japan a build of 2 subs to add to the attacking force would be a better use of IPC than 1 bomber.

    The problem with the sub build is that the side with the battleships in this exemple would build some destroyers, one that is sacrificed to block the subs (right between the subs and the battleships + the remaining destroyers), and some more to attack with the battleships on the next turn (or used as a second sacrifice if needed). Subs defending at 1 would then need to retreat.

    Also, your remaining bombers after the attack (or is US decide not to go forward with his fleet) are still usefull for the fight in asia while the subs will be likely useless.

    Just my 2 cents, but as zhukov stated, in aa42 you really want to fight boats with planes.


  • '12

    I agree totally, I will restate it: air assets are more flexible and a big stack of subs is pretty useless.

    But at some point the US fleet is 4 spaces away.  If you think they will be 2 spaces away from an IC, what do you build to prevent that move?  If you can force them to then move 3 spaces away so that next turn they can be 2 spaces away by using a blocking destroyer I call that a tactical victory on most days.  I think in that narrow context a last second purchase ought to be sub heavy.

    In this context a blocking DD by the US is unlikely unless the Japs lost most of their capital ships and only have a stack of subs and some planes maybe.  Again, I don’t advocate having a homogeneous navy of subs.

    If I can force you to use a blocking DD, then I also block the US with a blocking DD.

    I suppose I should have overtly pointed out the 10 subs versus 3 battleships was more an exercise in statistical outcomes rather than a good philosophy.



  • Right….

    Anyway, I bought the eclipse of the big gun… Its pretty cool.

    Also, im thinking about buying Battleships and Battlecruisers of the Royal Navy Since 1861, by B.R. Coward, and Battleships, 1856-1945 by Anthony Preston. Anyone got any remarks on them?



  • I don’t really try to keep up with the US’s navy, I usually have the two AC’s and two BS’s that  Istart with post in the pacific, ready to pick off any new additional US naval units.  If they start building a fleet, I buy more fighter and bombers to hit them at range.

    In short I use the Japanese to clear Asia and assist in Germany’s destruction of the Soviet Union.

    A huge navy is great if you plan a landing, however there have been numerious games where I have an enormous navy and still to manage to lose massive numbers of land squares.

    Occupy his time in the Atlantic, force the US to aid the UK.


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