Amphibious Assault Bonus


  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    I believe one big problem with Axis and Allies is the Amphibious Assault. Battlehips and cruisers are able to fire a one-shot support attack before troops land, which actually makes it EASIER to do an AA than it does to do a conventional land attack. How many times have we seen the lone Japanese soldier on Okinawa simply blown aside by naval fire and 2 US infantry land like it was all a breeze. Historically amphibious attacks were much more difficult to do. They required tons of extra equipment and special planning.

    A simple solution is to give units defending against a pure amphibious attack (not combined with any land attack) a defensive bonus. Set a section up on the defense side of the battleboard that looks something like this:

    Stack up five chips in this square when facing a pure amphibious assault. These chips do not fire, but they will will soak up hits from the attackers and represent the difficulty in wading to shore under confusion and duress. Only after the five chips are gone does the defender start taking regular casualties. The defender gets no bonus if the assault is combined with a land attack.

    Under a game test I first attacked the lone Japanese defender on Okinawa with a large US force and had zero losses. With the bonus, however, the US still took the island, but it cost them an infantry and a fighter. Much more realistic, IMHO.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Der:

    How many times have we seen the lone Japanese soldier on Okinawa simply blown aside by naval fire and 2 US infantry land like it was all a breeze. Historically amphibious attacks were much more difficult to do. They required tons of extra equipment and special planning. A simple solution is to give units defending against a pure amphibious attack (not combined with any land attack) a defensive bonus. […] Under a game test I first attacked the lone Japanese defender on Okinawa with a large US force and had zero losses. With the bonus, however, the US still took the island, but it cost them an infantry and a fighter. Much more realistic, IMHO.

    Yes, good point.  Preparatory bombing in the months leading up to an amphibious landing, and naval shelling in the days or hours just before it, didn’t always give the desired results against well-fortified Japanese positions.  As I recall, the Marines who were going to land on Tarawa in 1943 were confidently told that the naval bombardment would enable them to stroll ashore without much trouble – so the shock was particularly nasty for them when the landing proved to be a bloodbath.  Even as late as 1945 (when the Navy had much improved its handling of shore bombardments) the working-over which the Americans gave Iwo Jima before sending in the Marines had little effect on the strong Japanese fortifications there.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    In are games, all infrantry defend at 3 on any island. Thats strong enough for us. Put more infrantry on islands if you want to hold them longer.


  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    @SS:

    In are games, all infrantry defend at 3 on any island. Thats strong enough for us. Put more infrantry on islands if you want to hold them longer.

    The solution to me is not to make the defenders shoot better. They already shoot better by defending at 2. The issue in an amphibious assault is that the attacker shoots worse. Men are seasick, jumping off Higgins Boats into excessively deep water, getting hung up on coral reefs, getting pinned down on wide open beaches, etc. But you can’t attack at less than 1. The solution is to make the attacker ineffective in the opening round(s) until the beach begins to be secured. To me this is modeled well by using the hit chips.

    “put more infantry on islands” is easier said than done with the US navy prowling around. Japan had to make do with what men they had by tunneling and entrenching.



  • I have be using this proceedure; After shore bombardment, DEFENDER fires first with one round of fire from all units,  attacker removes causilties, now battle procedes as normal. This simulates all the attacking forces hitting the beach under fire. Let me go one further, Let the defender have the choice of using this variation OR just using higher defense bonus for entire battle.This is part of a completely new idea for Axis and Allies that i am developing. The concept being the defender now has 2 options to choose from in defending from a amphib. assault.                  What do you think? GAR? Anyone?



  • @Inmajor:

    That’s the ‘Shogun’ model of amphibious defence… hardly a “completely new idea”. <+1 pedant point>

    But Shogun (AKA ‘Samurai Swords’, AKA ‘Ikusa’) had a stacking limit. A&A doesn’t.*

    So what are you going to do when the Japanese have 20+ infantry holed up in Japan (an island), each with ‘first strike’ against US landing units that had to be shipped all the way across the Pacific?

    That’s a stalemate that will take 6-8 turns to overcome.

    Amphibious assaults are already enough of a pain for the attacker – they’re pretty much the only reason we build and maintain surface combat fleets – so making them even more of an ordeal would discourage aggressive gameplay and drag the game out.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think that some measures could and should be implemented to make defensive strategies more viable; but giving island defenders first strike is waaay too much of a distortion for the game to sensibly handle.

    It would become a game of defence, not attack, and punish the Axis incredibly in the early game. You think Italy sucks now? Just wait until all the Allies in the Med get first strike! You think Sea Lion is a losing gamble now? Now it’s like the Home Guard have tactical nukes! And taking the Philippines… and India… well, you get the idea I’m sure.

    • Excluding, as usual, D-Day and BotB.


  • I said that this is a new concept for AA. Most ideas can be traced back to some other game or application somewhere. I have playtested this many times and it works well for me. I suggest you try it before shooting it down so quick. And yes IMO, sealion should be harder. Another thing is if you are expending 20 Jap infantry to protect 1 island my strategy as U.S. player is going to be to bypass that island and use naval blockade to leave all those 20 infantry which represents IPCs and resources much more well spent in other areas than defending an island worth like 2 ipcs for the entire game. Oh yea, and please dont tell me your going to put 20 infantry on every pacific island cause that aint happening. All im saying is try it before you flag it. Never said it was perfect. this game is not perfect. Look at how many times the rules and setups have been revised. Just be open minded, try it! maybe YOU can come up with a way to tweek this and make it work better. That would be awesome.



  • Hi Inmajor,

    You can’t bypass Japan. Control of all Axis capitals is an Allied victory condition. And yes, I would defend any threatened capital with a considerable infantry stack.

    In terms of your suggestion: making every amphibious assault a modal choice for the defender between two options is (pardon my frankness) clumsy and time-consuming. Choose one mode and go with it. But I wouldn’t go with the first-strike option; and the original proposal of +5 free hit soaks seems extreme as well.

    So what, you may reasonably ask, is my alternate suggestion for how to implement a defender-friendly house rule? Please see my contribution to the thread on Entrenchment, reworked slightly and posted below:


    During the ‘Purchase Units’ phase, each player may choose up to 3 Infantry units in different territories under their control and pay 2 IPC for each. Put an ‘Entrenchment’ counter under those infantry units. Those infantry units cannot move for the rest of the game.

    You may remove one ‘Entrenchment’ counter from the board instead of a unit each time these infantry are allocated as a casualties during defensive combat.

    Only one infantry per territory may have ‘Entrenchment’ counters placed under it, and only one counter may be added to this infantry per turn.

    If it turns out that Entrenchment becomes a dominant strategy, you could rename it ‘Engineers’, make it into a Weapons Development, and limit access in that fashion.


    That way, the defence builds gradually, and you pay for it… Think of the effort, for example, in building up the Atlantic Wall, or the Maginot Line, or the cave complexes of Iwo Jima: these took time and resources to develop, and even then they didn’t function as an auto-nuke to the attackers (remember that each of these defences fell, when their time came).

    Hope this helps,

    MIR



  • Your idea sounds great for entrentchment. But your example of the 20 stack infantry on Japan to defend homeland as a reason not to use my idea for amphib. assault makes even more sense to do it my way. That is exactly why we dropped atomic bombs on them to force surrender instead of invasion. Its a mute point anyway cause if Japan has lost its navy to the point that the U.S. player can bring amphib. assualt across pacific into homeland waters and Japan is turtling on home island game is inevitably lost to Allies anyway. Maybe this concept can be applied to Pacific theater only? Cause Jap troops defended to last man. Not same mind set as in Europe, i.e. Italy. Bottom line for me is everthing comming off landing craft was not rolling off guns blazing. especially artillery and tanks. Infantry came off firing only cause the poor 3 or 4 guys in front on them absorbed the bullets. not to include that they were sitting ducks in their landing craft. In actuality if you use your entrenchment rules with my amphib. assault rules combined you dont need that 20 stack of infantry to defend. Ultimately playtest will tell. I do like the concept of the defender having options for defensive strategy. leaves outcome not as predictable for attacker can keep things fresh. Over the years the only thing that can get dull with this game is the predictability SOMETIMES. Thank GOD for the dice.


  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    It is inherently hard to do an amphibious assault. It should be hard in the game also. In the current rules, it’s not hard at all. In fact it is easier than attacking a land zone because you get to fire with battleships and cruisers that are immune from counter fire. With just a few U.S. battleships and cruisers running loose in the Pacific, it’s as easy taking Japanese islands as dropping your kid off for soccer practice.

    Also, for some reason people continually want to add paying extra IPCs for something like this. Why? Why pay extra IPCs to make an island harder to take? It should already be harder to take without paying anything. The attackers are seasick, they are losing their rifles in the surf, landing boats getting caught on coral reefs, and pinned down on wide open beaches with no cover. The hit chips accurately represent this opening stage of confusion and bedlam for the attackers.


  • Customizer

    I think these “hit chips” sounds like a good idea for purely amphibious assaults. Those were extremely hard and costly for the Allies and only successful due to massive Allied buildup in men and equipment beforehand. In fact, some British attempts early in the war actually failed.
    With the “hit chips”, you are not actually adding military units to the island, that can shoot back and hit invading units, simply making it take the invader a little longer to get at the actual defenders.
    This would cause the potential attacker to think about how much he wants to commit to taking a certain island. An Island with a single infantry defender (for example: Iwo Jima) would no longer be easily taken with 1 transport full of stuff and maybe a warship bombardment and plane for backup. I think you would need at least 2 transports full, plus warship and plane support. Also, if Japan decides to use a Kamikaze, that gets rid of your warship support.

    What about taking it a step further? Perhaps you could allow island defenders 3-5 “hit chips” as an automatic bonus, afterward you could purchase more at 1 IPC each. Of course, you would probably have to set a limit, maybe so many “hit chips” per actual defending unit on the island. Or, perhaps only the FIRST defending unit gets the automatic 3-5, and you can only purchase additional “hit chips” if you put more units on that island.
    Example: Say you set a limit of 4 “hit chips” per defending unit on an island. The first guy there gets those 4 extra hits. Then you transport 2 more infantry onto that island for defense. Now you could purchase up to 8 more “hit chips” for that island.
    Would this make it too strong?



  • @Der:

    With just a few U.S. battleships and cruisers running loose in the Pacific, it’s as easy taking Japanese islands as dropping your kid off for soccer practice.

    I liked this, it made me laugh. Is it true? Kind of… with some qualifications.

    In actuality, even with the extensive defensive preparations of the Japanese, the casualties they inflicted upon the Americans were rarely better than 30-50% of their own; often, the Japanese would suffer 10x US casualty rates in these encounters.

    So, sure, single infantry often disappear without much of a fight from isolated islands in the Pacific… but that’s just what you’d expect, and how it ought to play out. The defenders are cut off from their supply lines, hopelessly outnumbered, and driven to desperate tactics in rather short order.

    If you want a game that lengthens that feeling of close combat and attrition, you’d probably be better off making a mod for Guadalcanal than the core series… but I think that Entrenchment at least partially captures what you’re going for, as well as simulating the fortification of key land-locked areas like Stalingrad, without becoming unbalancing.

    As for your question about money, i.e., why charge 2 IPCs for Entrenchment? This surcharge is justified because you’re basically adding another unit to the board, without having to build a factory, anywhere you have an infantry. Shipping building materials, ammo, and heavy weapons to the defensive sites would cost some money, and this ought to be reflected in the game. If the place is important for you to keep, entrench it. If not, let it wither on the vine and get (re)captured.

    The fact is that most Japan players won’t bother to entrench the islands you have in mind, because there’s no real advantage to keeping them, except to deny the US a minor NO. They’d (rightly) rather buttress their territories on the Chinese mainland, or the ‘money islands’ in the Dutch East Indies.

    I think that’s why you’re pushing for this to become a general, automatic rule for all amphibious assaults: for very logical reasons, you don’t trust players to build Entrenchments on their own, but at the same time you want to preserve the flavor of having epic battles in the Pacific (and feel cheated when those are absent). I sympathize somewhat with that sentiment.

    However, to advocate your rule for general use, I’d need to see a table listing all of the original Axis-controlled coastal and island territories, with an inventory of all the starting units stationed there, and compare this with a column containing the same data for the Allies. Because, without this information – detailing and analyzing the opportunities and costs for both sides – it’s very difficult to see the full implications of your proposal.

    Your rule will, inevitably, favor one side over the other. The Axis, as an early-game attacker, will be punished by it when they try to equalize their IPCs, and the Allies, as a late-game attacker, will be punished by it when they go in for the final kill. Overall, my feeling is that this will harm the Axis far more than the Allies, by taking the edge off of their attacks in a game wherein they already seem to be systematically disadvantaged (AA40 v.3.9)… This is my main beef with it.


  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    @Make_It_Round:

    In actuality, even with the extensive defensive preparations of the Japanese, the casualties they inflicted upon the Americans were rarely better than 30-50% of their own; often, the Japanese would suffer 10x US casualty rates in these encounters.

    Yes, but this was in the face of OVERWHELMING US firepower. For instance, there were 18 US carriers around Okinawa. Not to mention all the BBs, cruisers, and other sea units. If you bring that much firepower you should win easily, even with hit chips. But one battleship and one transport with two infantry on it should not be able to take an island with fanatic Japanese defenders on it without getting hurt badly or repelled.

    @Make_It_Round:

    Your rule will, inevitably, favor one side over the other. The Axis, as an early-game attacker, will be punished by it when they try to equalize their IPCs, and the Allies, as a late-game attacker, will be punished by it when they go in for the final kill. Overall, my feeling is that this will harm the Axis far more than the Allies, by taking the edge off of their attacks in a game wherein they already seem to be systematically disadvantaged (AA40 v.3.9)… This is my main beef with it.

    I haven’t extensively gametested this, and am working with an AA 1942 map, but I suspect it will even out or even help the Axis. At the beginning of the game the Axis are generally trying to expand over land anyway - trying to take out Russia and China. Operation Torch would be delayed a couple of rounds. (in the AA '42 setup now the USA can take West Africa rather easily in the first round!) The Atlantic wall would become a real challenge for the Allies. In short, I think Germany and Japan would benefit from it, as they wouldn’t have to “watch their back” so much while concentrating on China and Russia.

    As for buying entrenchment, no chips are ever put on the map in my idea. The chips are just put on the battleboard as a consequence of making a pure amphibious assault without land support. They are a penalty to the attacker, not an advantage to the defender that can be bought. The chips are the deep water, the pounding surf, the water soaked equipment, the seasickness, the confusion and the wide open beach. If a landing force is defeated and there are still chips left, the chips just go back in the tray. If the island is attacked again next turn, it resets to five chips again, because the chips represent the attackers ineffectiveness, not the defensers effectiveness.


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