Playing with paratroppers.



  • Would it be a good idea, when playing global, to give the paratropper technonology to all players?



  • He!! no



  • why?



  • Opening Axis air bases:

    Western Germany
    Southern Italy
    Japan
    Caroline Islands
    =4 (+6*=10)

    Opening Allied air bases:

    Eastern United States
    Western United States
    Hawaii
    Midway *
    Wake Island *
    Guam *
    Philippines *
    Queensland
    New Zealand
    United Kingdom
    Scotland
    Iceland ^
    India
    France *
    Russia
    Novgorod *
    =16 (-6*=10)

    • = easily captured by the Axis
      ^ = irrelevant

    Interesting question. Overall, considering the usual swing of initial territories, the numbers of air bases on both sides turn out to be around equal. Mid-game, both sides could utilize the paratrooper tech nearly equally.

    The real question, then, is whether or not any opening gambits are affected by the blanket awarding of the tech to all powers. The only real trouble spot I see is an overpowering Sea Lion, supported by paratroopers from Western Germany and occupied France. The UK gets AAA shots against paratroopers, but these could be selected for casualties instead of air units, which might prove to be a decisive buffer. (On the other hand, the UK gains a huge boost to the mobility of their island-bound troops…)

    It’s a very tough call; you’d need to crunch the numbers. Sea Lion is such a distant possibility with the current 2nd edition set-up, however, this might revive this strategy. I’d definitely try it out before I dismissed it as an idea; it could add a whole new layer of strategy to the game.



  • Thx for the reply,
    I appreciate.  It is true that this could help a stronger see Lion.
    But what is more absurd is the way para could be use as cannon fodder to protect plane against AA, Damn!



  • I know this is more like a house rule, but…

    You could mix the old way w/new and have bmrs work as air transport for para, but they have to leave from an operational air base. That way you couldn’t have more para then bmrs, and the AAA would be firing at the bmr (para is cargo, and would be lost if bmr goes down). Could allow the bmr to also fire in the battle (maybe at a reduced rate if used as a para transport).

    Just a thought



  • I agree with Wild bill. in the 1939 variant this is how it works, but only certain countries can use them. I like the idea though.



  • Inspired by this thread, I’m currently trying out the idea of awarding paratroopers to all powers at the start of game with a friend of mine who’s learning to play Global 40 via TripleA.

    It’s a fairly casual game, but you’re welcome to follow the proceedings if you wish:

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=28633.150;topicseen


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Germany and UK should start with them.

    USSR and USA get them when they enter the war

    Japan should get them when they are at war with USA

    Italy no. France no. Anzac no

    Allow bombers to perform 2 out of 3 actions:

    1. SBR
    2. Be used on combat
      3 Be used to drop paratroopers

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Italy was the first country to use Paratroopers in combat.

    They Pioneered the trade.

    I am dissappointed with anyone who didn’t know this.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Don’t reply to me. How many times do we have to go over this? Can you control yourself?

    My comment was for play balance, not always historical accuracy. Italy didn’t make any major drops in ww2 and their is a huge difference from developing and training a large groups of paratroopers ( at least 30,000) and “inventing” something they didn’t use.


  • Customizer

    Gentlemen,

    I almost always agree with everything IL ever proposes, but…

    @Imperious:

    Allow bombers to perform 2 out of 3 actions:

    1. SBR
    2. Be used on combat
      3 Be used to drop paratroopers

    Irregardless of whether Italy, France, & Anzac are allowed Paratroopers or not,…

    I much prefer that Bombers are used for Bombing ONLY,

    and that Paratroopers must be transported by Air Transports ONLY, such as the American C-46 and up-coming German JU-52 by HBG and the Italian transport by FMG.

    As far as GAMEPLAY issues(not to mention visuals),…IMHO these are a large improvement.

    What are everyones’ opinions on Paratroopers allowed to drop ONLY from Air Transports?

    “Tall Paul”



  • I played that game through with all nations auto-including the paratrooper tech; it was not unbalancing at all. For the purists, you can imagine that each air base has one Air Transport on station at all times, and to which it must return during non-combat.


  • Customizer

    Make it round & others,

    @Make_It_Round:

    For the purists, you can imagine that each air base has one Air Transport on station at all times, and to which it must return during non-combat.

    I understand and respect your thoughts and ideas on the subject of Paratroopers. I, however, have a “different perspective” on what makes up the “FUN” part of each players gameplay style.

    –-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IMHO each player’s personal STRATEGY is what makes each game unique & fun.

    And by STRATEGY,…I mean What units they buy, Where they place them, When they attack, etc.

    And the players must “Invest” in their strategies.

    Such as, If the U.S.A. wants:
    -to dominate the Pacific ocean, a large investment in Ships is required.
    -to Strategic Bomb the Germans, a large investment in Air Force is required.

    This brings me to my point.

    IMHO any player wanting to use Paratroopers needs to “invest” in Air Transports & Paratroopers in order to to use this capability. I feel it’s VERY important that Paratroopers may ONLY be dropped from Air Transports. The necessity of having to purchase Air Transports for Paratroop Drops signifies a players’ “investment” in that strategy and simultaneously warns his opponents of future possibilities.

    IMHO a FREE Air Transport at every Airbase
    -reduces a players personal contribution to his strategy
    -is too radical and/or game-changing, especially for NO COST
    -and doesn’t address the situation of how to concentrate several Air Transports/Paratroopers for a multiple Airborne assault.

    –-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I’m in favor of global games with ALL players starting with the Paratrooper Tech if we can work out any “kinks” that might develope. The free “Tech” would still require the purchase of Air Transports & Paratroopers. Since no player would begin the game with Air Transports or Paratroopers on the gameboard, the delay in “purchase time” might be all we need to make this feasible.

    “Tall Paul”



  • Actually, yeah.

    I played ANOTHER game with all powers having the paratrooper tech from round 1, but this time I was the Axis.

    Holy sh!t did I mop up those Allies quick.

    Handle with care…


  • Customizer

    Make it round,

    Consider it this way:

    @Tall:

    IMHO any player wanting to use Paratroopers needs to “invest” in Air Transports & Paratroopers in order to to use this capability. I feel it’s VERY important that Paratroopers may ONLY be dropped from Air Transports. The necessity of having to purchase Air Transports for Paratroop Drops signifies a players’ “investment” in that strategy and simultaneously warns his opponents of future possibilities.

    IMHO a FREE Air Transport at every Airbase
    -reduces a players personal contribution to his strategy
    -is too radical and/or game-changing, especially for NO COST
    -and doesn’t address the situation of how to concentrate several Air Transports/Paratroopers for a multiple Airborne assault.

    –-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I’m in favor of global games with ALL players starting with the Paratrooper Tech if we can work out any “kinks” that might develope. The free “Tech” would still require the purchase of Air Transports & Paratroopers. Since no player would begin the game with Air Transports or Paratroopers on the gameboard, the delay in “purchase time” might be all we need to make this feasible.

    “Tall Paul”



  • I will personally never be for air transports as a separate unit.

    Give everyone paratroopers tech, and add one damage to an airbase for each paratrooper launched from it.

    That way you still get to reflect the added cost of paratrooping.
    BUT you don’t add more plastic to the board, you don’t add more units that can be taken as casualties.

    Air transportation was not what we think of today in the 1940s. It was something special. “air mail” really meant something.
    I guess you can fudge around the numbers if you want, and add +3 damage per paratrooper, and change the rules for how damaged bases work.

    But honestly….drop the “air transports”. We don’t need more plastic.



  • Perhaps you will acknowledge we don’t need more plastic, and you want more cost.
    So do it via damage, or just make a rule that you have to pay 1 (or 2) every turn for every paradrop


  • Customizer

    Gentlemen,

    I COMPLETELY understand and respect your opinions. If you choose not to utilise Air Transports in your games thats just fine. If gameboard space is an issue, perhaps you should “chip-out” as many units as possible and/or make some “task force/task group” holders. The Air Transports might even be placed on top of an “Aircraft Stand” to lessen their “foot-print”. My viewpoint might possibly be different as I’ve played on an enlarged gameboard for so long. But even if I still played on the OOB maps,…I’d still be adamant in “making it work” with Air Transports.

    I am completely sold on the idealogical, operational, and visual results of having Air Transports on the gameboard.

    Doing so not only enables Paratroop Drops in Combat mode, but also Air Transport in non-combat mode.

    True, you could accomplish this by utilising damage to airbases as the cost. But IMHO:

    ––Your damage cost isn’t nearly enough to signify the $$$ ENORMOUS $$$ investment necessary in building Airborne forces. Allowing any player, at any time, to bust out an Airborne operation for only 1$ seems extremely radical to me and IMHO would completely upset the gameplay balance.
    ––And, the defender has much too limited ways of countering the Airborne operation as it’s taking place.
    ----The reality that if the Air Transport is killed the Paratroopers, who like in reality, are “cargo”,…are killed, too.
    ----The extremely inexspensive and unlimited nature of Paratroop drops as you’ve described them seem to me to be overwhelming.

    I’m certain that gamers will almost always have diverging ideas/preferences about their gameplay. IMHO,…the inclusion of Air Transports & Paratroopers in my games is already a CERTAINTY.

    I love this forum, A&A.Org, that allows such interesting discussions about strategy, etc. to be enjoyed/shared by all. We ALL learn and benefit from it,……even when listening to Gargantua and his “interesting” ideas(Grin).

    “Tall Paul”



  • Look, WWII simply isn’t the era for this.
    Vietnam was the era of air cavalry, and we would expect a game in that time frame to certainly have a helicopter piece to represent that.

    Paratroopers were not THAT widely used in WWII to warrant a new plastic piece, for all the countries that does something that could be done with ink on paper.

    Aside from being “aesthetically pleasing” an air transport piece literally offers no other benefit to the game

    • Realistically you could use bombers to fill the role. Everyone already has them, understands how they move, etc, and no one needs to buy new planes from FMG
    • Alternatively, you can just force players to pay per turn in one of many ways when they paradrop. Either through airbase damage (which could go up to ‘3’ damage per trooper) or with just IPCs out of their pocket for each paratrooper.

    What would this wondrous air transport do?
    Carry 2 men by air into combat and during non-combat?
    Would it have a cost? A stat line? is it taken as last casualties like sea transports.

    Adding a unit is a BIG deal. And there simply doesn’t seem to be any room for a unit that isn’t fun. That you can’t pick up and go “pew pew, your dead”

    From a standpoint of realism. WWII just wasn’t the war of mass transit by air.
    To be realistic, the piece would have to look like this.

    Move - 6, Attack - 0, Defense - 0, Cost - 9
    Special Rules:
    Transport - Air transports can carry two infantry, which act as paratroopers during combat, or may exit in friendly territory during non-combat.
    Logistics Nightmare - Loaded Air transports may only take off if they are at a friendly operational air base
    Vulnerable  - Air transports hit by AA fire are lost, along with their passengers

    There are some problems already brewing here.
    The US could circumnavigate the whole “naval issue” in the pacific, and just build a monstrous air wing and gobble up islands one at a time.
    Because unlike naval transportation, which plods along, and can be interdicted by an enemy fleet via traditional combat, there is no way to stop a huge armada of planes in the game.
    You can’t destroyer block them, you can’t anticipate where they are going nearly as well as you can a naval transport.

    I see nothing but headaches.


  • Customizer

    oztea,
    I gotta say that I can’t entirely agree with you on this, although you do make some valid points. I like your idea for the specifics of an air transport piece (movement, attack, defense, cost, special abilities). I think airborne operations happened a lot more in WW2 than you give credit. Also, I like the idea of an air transport piece, but then again, I’m kind of a piece junkie too. I do see your point about cluttering up the board. The standard Europe 1940 board can get very crowded very fast, even with chips.
    Another reason I would like the air transport plane is for non-combat moves. For example, say you are Germany and you have a front in Smolensk ready to move on Moscow. You’ve got artillery, Mechs and tanks, but are short on infantry. You have 3 air transport planes in Berlin and build yourself a nice stack of infantry there. On your NCM, you can use those tranports to get 6 more infantry up to Smolensk ready for the next round’s battle and now you have a more well rounded force to attack with, not to mention those 6 infantry can take hits saving precious artillery or tanks.
    I don’t think having air transports would totally solve the US having to by navy in the Pacific. Yeah, it could help them in some cases, but since the transport planes have to take off from an air base to make a paratroop drop, that would limit their effectiveness some. The US would still need some fleet, including tranports if they want to use artillery or tanks, which can’t be paratrooped in.

    As far as using a specific air transport plane and/or dedicated paratroop units, I think if we do this, then that Paratrooper tech should be replaced with something else. As a tech, I have always thought that one to be pretty much useless anyway. It’s really unfair to have to develop Paratroopers as a tech if you also have to buy special planes and/or airborne infantry to use that tech. I think the ability to use paratroopers should be more of a tool for each nation which the cost is reflected in purchasing the air transport planes and “specialized” infantry units.
    If you DO use air transport planes, perhaps any regular infantry could be used for paratroopers, as long as they start from a friendly airbase.
    If you DO NOT want to use special air transport planes, paratroopers could be represented by special airborne units (like the ones HBG has made/is making) or somehow mark a regular infantry piece and have them cost 4 IPCs each to reflect their special status.


  • Customizer

    Oztea,

    @oztea:

    Look, WWII simply isn’t the era for this.
    Vietnam was the era of air cavalry, and we would expect a game in that time frame to certainly have a helicopter piece to represent that.
    Paratroopers were not THAT widely used in WWII to warrant a new plastic piece, for all the countries that does something that could be done with ink on paper.

    ––I would say you’re ill-informed as to the “era” of paratroop drops. Have you ever heard of Normandy, Market-Garden, Crete, Etc. Literally tens of thousands of troopers were dropped and had an important, and sometimes the MAIN influence on the battles.

    @oztea:

    Paratroopers were not THAT widely used in WWII to warrant a new plastic piece, for all the countries that does something that could be done with ink on paper.

    ––The “new” plastic piece has ALREADY been made, The U.S. Paratrooper from HBG. � They only cost .30 each, or even less if you buy the whole U.S. Supplement Set.
    ----And as far as your suggestion that this part of our “combats” could be done on paper, YES, they could. But for that matter, the WHOLE GAME could be accomplished in this manner. That would completely rid you of your board conjestion problems. But I prefer my games to be much more interesting and visual than a MATHEMATICS PROBLEM!

    Aside from being “aesthetically pleasing” an air transport piece literally offers no other benefit to the game

    ––In my gameplay it adds the possibility that the Air Transport itself may be killed, and thereby aborting the paradrop or air transport. Also, it’s mere presence speaks volumes to your opponent and his counter-strategy to them.

    • Realistically you could use bombers to fill the role. Everyone already has them, understands how they move, etc, and no one needs to buy new planes from FMG

    ––The Air Transports would move in the same way that everyone already undestands for aircraft, with minor and easily understood diferences.
    ----The HBG C-46s are only .45 each., or less if you buy the whole U.S. Supplement Set. A player only needs a few.
    ----Also, the use of Air Transports instead of Bombers to deliver the Paratroopers symbolizes the huge investment in money and logistics it took to raise, train, and deliver Airborne operations. Airborne operations were special, exspensive, and important. Your suggestion of having every airbase on the board automatically having an Air Transport (AT NO EXSPENSE) ready and waiting to go not only is completely ahistorical, but would lead to a “Wild West” type of continous attacks with Airborne forces that IMHO would completely unbalance the game.

    • Alternatively, you can just force players to pay per turn in one of many ways when they paradrop. Either through airbase damage (which could go up to ‘3’ damage per trooper) or with just IPCs out of their pocket for each paratrooper.

    ––I believe this would lead to an overabundance of inexspensive airborne attacks like described above(“Wild West”) and doesn’t address the possibility for the defender to kill the Air transport.

    What would this wondrous air transport do?
    Carry 2 men by air into combat and during non-combat?
    Would it have a cost? A stat line? is it taken as last casualties like sea transports.

    Adding a unit is a BIG deal. And there simply doesn’t seem to be any room for a unit that isn’t fun. That you can’t pick up and go “pew pew, your dead”

    ––All of the A/D/M/C factors have been well discussed,…or you could use your own house rules if you prefer.
    ----The symbolism of the of an actual unit on the board was discussed above.
    ----The ability to go “Pew Pew(Bang-Bang?), you’re dead” is an operational consideration, potentially concerning the life/death of the cargo(Paratroopers).

    From a standpoint of realism. WWII just wasn’t the war of mass transit by air.

    ––Excuse me, but we’re NOT talking about mass transit via air here. We ARE talking about Paratroop Drops and Air Transport. Do you realize how many THOUSANDS of C-47s were produced?

    To be realistic, the piece would have to look like this.

    Move - 6, Attack - 0, Defense - 0, Cost - 9
    Special Rules:
    Transport - Air transports can carry two infantry, which act as paratroopers during combat, or may exit in friendly territory during non-combat.
    Logistics Nightmare - Loaded Air transports may only take off if they are at a friendly operational air base
    Vulnerable � - Air transports hit by AA fire are lost, along with their passengers

    ––I agree with some of your Rules, but that’s merely a case of “specifics”,…not if Air Transports have a cost factor and are represented on the board

    There are some problems already brewing here.
    The US could circumnavigate the whole “naval issue” in the pacific, and just build a monstrous air wing and gobble up islands one at a time.
    Because unlike naval transportation, which plods along, and can be interdicted by an enemy fleet via traditional combat, there is no way to stop a huge armada of planes in the game.

    ––The simple answer here is what’s already been thoroughly discussed, and what represents what actually happenned in WW2.
    ----Paratroop Drops MUST NOT be stand-alone operations. They MUST be conducted in co-operation with another standard land (or amphibious) attack on the same objective simultaneously. Most (if not all) WW2 airborne operations, held this as a vital part of their plans. Even the German Airborne assault on Crete included a sea-borne amphibious assault, even though only a small part of the total forces.

    You can’t destroyer block them, you can’t anticipate where they are going nearly as well as you can a naval transport.

    ––See above.
    ----As the range of your enemy’s Air Transports would be a known factor, you would know EXACTLY what targets of yours were at risk of an enemy Airborne assault.

    I see nothing but headaches.

    –-??? Such as? Let’s disuss them so we and everyone else might solve them.
    ----Again, I think that with an open-mind and everyones input the most logical and fun solution is available and any player is always free to make their own “house rules” if they so prefer.

    Oztea, I thank for your input on this interesting topic of Paratroopers and Air Transport and look forward to your continued discussion.

    “Tall Paul”


  • Customizer

    KNP and Others,

    @knp7765:

    I think airborne operations happened a lot more in WW2 than you give credit.
    ––Yep, just go watch the movie “A Bridge Too Far”
    Also, I like the idea of an air transport piece, but then again, I’m kind of a piece junkie too.
    ––I imagine most of us are.
    Another reason I would like the air transport plane is for non-combat moves. For example, say you are Germany and you have a front in Smolensk ready to move on Moscow. You’ve got artillery, Mechs and tanks, but are short on infantry. You have 3 air transport planes in Berlin and build yourself a nice stack of infantry there. On your NCM, you can use those tranports to get 6 more infantry up to Smolensk ready for the next round’s battle and now you have a more well rounded force to attack with, not to mention those 6 infantry can take hits saving precious artillery or tanks.
    ––Bingo, the other capability of an Air Transport explained.
    I don’t think having air transports would totally solve the US having to by navy in the Pacific. Yeah, it could help them in some cases, but since the transport planes have to take off from an air base to make a paratroop drop, that would limit their effectiveness some. The US would still need some fleet, including tranports if they want to use artillery or tanks, which can’t be paratrooped in.
    ––The NECESSITY of co-ordinating an Airborne assault with a land or amphibious assault against the same target answers almost all of these concerns. In an ocean/islands environment like the Pacific Ocean,…Sea Transports would therefore become a mandatory unit enabling the co-ordinated land assaults to take place. There would still be the same needs to escort/protect the Sea Transports as before.  
    ----And, as you’ve just stated,…they would have to start at Airbase.
    As far as using a specific air transport plane and/or dedicated paratroop units, I think if we do this, then that Paratrooper tech should be replaced with something else. As a tech, I have always thought that one to be pretty much useless anyway. It’s really unfair to have to develop Paratroopers as a tech if you also have to buy special planes and/or airborne infantry to use that tech. I think the ability to use paratroopers should be more of a tool for each nation which the cost is reflected in purchasing the air transport planes and “specialized” infantry units.
    ––I’m a proponent of all of the countries that are allowed to have the “Paratrooper Tech” would
    START THE GAME with that ability.
    —Any/all Air Transports and Paratrooper units would have to be purchased during the game as no country starts the game with any on the board.

    I hope this explains my thoughts and addresses your concerns. I hope EVERYONE will PLEASE continue to question/suggest/criticize anything you have a concern about as that’s how all of the situations can be addressed.

    “Tall Paul”

    "Death from Above"

    usairforce1.jpg



  • I know airborne operations happened a lot, but lets put this in perspective.
    We have a suggestion that germany can funnel troops to the front lines against Russia with air transports.

    How did that go during Stalingrad?
    Not so well.
    Even with a massive air effort, they couldn’t even get supplies in to feed a fraction of the forces already there.
    The mechanics of the game don’t account for supply, but does account for the fact that all the stuff that tags along with each infantry piece wouldn’t fit on an “air transport”.
    Paratroops had enough supplies for a few days (and even in the game, paratroops must attack WITH other forces to represent someone resupplying them)

    You have to think of all the stuff that is tagging behind 1 infantry piece……food, cooks, bullets, medics, trucks, barracks supplies, command staff, replacements.
    All that gets left behind for one, very special circumstance, paratrooping.
    But just using air transports as ferries for this massive blob of logistics would be beyond the capabilities of 1940s technology.

    Just because “it would be kewl” to have Germany be able to reinforce its front line with the USSR by air with bodies, that is just brushing aside the logistical headache that would be.
    You need to build the planes with metal (you could be using for fighters) and training the pilots (who could be blowing stuff up instead of on transport duty) and using the fuel (which could be in other fighters or bombers) to carry the men (who can walk or ride in much more efficient trucks). You need to use dozers to clear landing strips (that could be building fortifications) and staff to run more airfields (that could be pointing guns at russians) all to put a lot of men in a very vulnerable tube that is using a lot of fuel to drive back and forth.

    Realistically, it could be done. But a power like germany, would be using half its manpower and fuel on a front just in transportation, which could be done at a fraction of the cost by things that won’t fall out of the sky: namely, feet, hooves, trucks and trains.

    For a LONG time I thought everyone should have paratroopers.
    But a new piece to do it…that can also fly around a brigades worth of men and their support staff, just wasn’t something common place in the 40’s
    Something like 98% of all US supplies moved by sea during WWII.
    Germany still had an enormous amount of horses used for transportation.

    WWII was an air war. But not a war of air mobility.


  • Customizer

    I think I see the problem here oztea. I think you are putting WAY too much thought into this particular subject in terms of the logistics and realism of using air transports and/or paratroopers.

    I do understand what you are getting at. If we say 1 infantry unit = a division of infantry, you are right that there is a tremendous amount of support personnel, supplies, equipment, etc. involved and a transport plane that can carry 2 infantry units in this game would not likely be able to ACTUALLY transport all of the miscellaneous stuff involved plus two full infantry divisions (even though a transport plane piece would obviously represent many planes, not just one plane).

    However, there are many things in this game that we sort of “suspend reality” for. For example: Tanks. In this game ALL tanks attack and defend @3. It doesn’t take into account that some countries simply did not have the same armor capabilities as other countries. A Sherman could not match up against a Panther on a 1-1 basis. And a Type 95? Forget about it! But in this game they are the same.
    How about “blitzing”? In this game, a single tank, which would probably represent an armor division, can race through an empty enemy territory and take control of it. In real live, do you think it was really possible for a division of tanks to simply race through a territory and establish control over it while moving on to somewhere else?

    I’m just saying perhaps don’t be quite so literal in your thoughts about the abilities of certain units. If we don’t “suspend reality” some in this game, I think it would end up taking much, much longer to play and not be much fun anymore.


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