House rule for Cruisers: Global 1940



  • I’m interested in trying something different with cruisers as well, perhaps to better reflect their real world usage?  Love the discussion so far.  WW2 production stats show both America and UK produced about 6 times as many cruisers as battleships.  There must be a good reason.  Historically, cruisers could range the world’s oceans whereas destroyers had far less endurance, especially in stormy conditions (N Atlantic).  I don’t know how this could be reflected unless fleets had limits on out-of-port use - like destroyers must begin or end a turn in port???  But that sounds like complicating the issue too much.

    I’m new to the site but have been reading it for a while.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    They should only get one AA roll per combat round. That’s how we play it.


  • Customizer

    @Imperious:

    They should only get one AA roll per combat round. That’s how we play it.

    Oh yeah, the AA roll only happens once at the beginning of combat. After that it is like any other sea battle. They don’t roll for AA each round of combat, just the first. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

    @Nexus:

    I’m interested in trying something different with cruisers as well, perhaps to better reflect their real world usage?  Love the discussion so far.  WW2 production stats show both America and UK produced about 6 times as many cruisers as battleships.  There must be a good reason.  Historically, cruisers could range the world’s oceans whereas destroyers had far less endurance, especially in stormy conditions (N Atlantic).

    Cruisers provide the perfect balance: stronger punch than a destroyer yet not as expensive as a battleship. This was especially important for Britain whose empire was so spread out. They couldn’t afford to send battleships or battle cruisers to all their far flung outposts and colonies. Yet a cruiser would make an excellent patrol ship and in most cases could still overpower any trouble-makers.
    I think in America’s case, they made so many cruisers, at least in the first part of the war, to try and fill the gap created by the losses at Pearl Harbor and cruisers were cheaper and quicker to make than battleships.



  • Personaly, I would rather buy a S. Bomber than a cruiser.



  • Are you rolling it like it has an AA gun on it, or just allowing rolls of 1 to be designated to aircraft by the player who owns the cruiser?


  • Customizer

    I roll it like an AA gun. Any time one player’s aircraft attacks another player’s fleet that has a cruiser (or cruisers) in it, at the beginning of combat each cruiser can roll up to 3 dice or 1 dice per plane, whichever is lesser, and any rolls of 1 destroys a plane of the attacker’s choice. It’s a one time shot before the first round of combat. Afterward, combat proceeds normally. It’s just like aircraft attacking a territory with AA guns. The difference here is that you don’t have AA guns to “soak hits”. After that AA shot, cruisers simply become cruisers defending @ 3.

    I toyed with the idea to allow this for attacking cruisers as well, like if you had a fleet that included cruisers and you attacked an opponent’s fleet with carriers or even scrambling planes. Your attacking cruisers could get a one-time shot @ 1 for AA, but that might be making them a little overpowered. In my gaming group, half of us thought this was a nifty idea but the other half did not like it. So, we kept it to defending cruisers only.
    Does anyone else think if we gave cruisers this AA gun ability that it would be a good idea to include attacking cruisers? Or better to leave it just for defending cruisers?



  • If you are going to allow cruisers the AA gun ability, then I would suggest only on defense, since that is how all AA guns work anyway.  If you allowed them on attack it would totally change the strategy of combat as I would just send my cruisers after aircraft carriers instead of waiting to be attacked.  Also giving them AA ability on attack sort of defeats the scramble ability because I probally would never scramble if you got to use AA guns on attack.


  • 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    Another idea has been that each cruiser would only fire an AA shot at 1 attacking plane.



  • @variance:

    Another idea has been that each cruiser would only fire an AA shot at 1 attacking plane.

    This is better than 3 shots per ship IMO.


  • Customizer

    @Young:

    @variance:

    Another idea has been that each cruiser would only fire an AA shot at 1 attacking plane.

    This is better than 3 shots per ship IMO.

    I disagree. I think that would make the AA capability too weak. Land-based AA guns get to fire up to 3 shots. So if we were to give cruisers AA capabilities, they should fire up to 3 shots as well. Remember, this only happens one time at the beginning of combat and they only hit on a “1”. It’s not like this would bust the game, just give defending fleets a little help. In most cases, there will only be 1 or 2 cruisers in any fleet you may attack. Granted, some players may think this is so great that they put 5 cruisers in their fleet just for AA protection, but that’s no different than someone buying a bunch of AA guns to protect their capital or some other important territory. Plus, at 12 IPCs it will cost them more and the cruisers don’t get to soak hits like land-based AA guns. If they are hit, they are finished.



  • So your Cruisers get an attack and a defense @3 plus 3@1 toward air units during the first round of combat?

    I would make it an attack and a defense @3 plus 1@1 toward air units during each round of combat.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    OK.

    Cruisers when they shoot and roll a 1 can force the defender to remove a plane
    Cruisers move 3 spaces even if they didn’t come out of port.

    Now they are worth the extra 2 IPC.



  • I think multiple AA shots might work if the maximum kills were limited in some way.  A few triple-roll AA cruisers might be too much – say max the kill-rate at one plane/cruiser regardless of the number of AA dice rolled?  But I think there are more issues that need some thought…

    Cruisers were only more effective than destroyers for AA kills.  Cruisers certainly had less AA than carriers (CVEs excluded) or battleships but far more than destroyers.  Late-war US Navy stats (non-suicide) show a fairly consistent 17% - 24% of plane attacks were shot down by AA regardless of ship type.  Although one fast-carrier group shot down as many as 33% (but that is a high).  Generally, battleships, carriers and cruisers shot down the same percentage of aircraft while destroyers averaged a little better than half that rate.  These are late-war stats with increased AA mounts, improved directors, radar, mechanical computers and VT fuses against a desperate, poorly trained enemy.  AA rules allowing more than 33% AA kill rate might be pushing the envelope.  Three dice is a lot.

    I’d believe it if AA shots were given to carriers and battleships but that doesn’t do much for cruisers.  Cruisers were far easier and faster to build than capital ships.  Battleships were exponentially more powerful (attack and defense) and also exponentially more expensive and difficult to build than cruisers and there-in lies the problem.  Thus the 6 cruisers to 1 battleship production rate mentioned earlier.

    2 cruisers will statistically beat 1 battleship in both Global 1940 combat rules and IPC cost BUT tonnage-wise 3 heavy cruisers = one battleship (15,000 CA vs 45000 BB).  And Light cruisers were half the tonnage of heavy cruisers (7000 CL vs 15000 CA) so that makes things even worse when averaging things (I’m using general numbers here, there are extreme examples on either side).

    In the real world 3 cruisers would only blind a battleship on a good day, possibly sinking it if they had torpedoes and got lucky.  The Battle of the River Plate shows just how dangerous even one small Battle Cruiser can be versus cruisers at 1 to 3 odds.  I think Battleships need more power but with limited production rules.  Give them double dice rolls to hit with both dice counting but force production over two turns while increasing their cost.  That might be more realistic (can I say that in Axis and Allies?   😉) AND perhaps give cruisers a proper place.

    No ship, no pair of ships could dare equal the mighty Battleship – it took an airplane to beat it.  Well…, excepting a pair of submarines but that’s another story.   😄

    I think there needs to be an adjustment to make the cruiser useful in this game or simply drop it.  Just my thoughts.


  • 2017 2016

    @Imperious:

    OK.
    Cruisers when they shoot and roll a 1 can force the defender to remove a plane
    Cruisers move 3 spaces even if they didn’t come out of port.
    Now they are worth the extra 2 IPC.

    @Young:

    @variance:

    Another idea has been that each cruiser would only fire an AA shot at 1 attacking plane.

    This is better than 3 shots per ship IMO.

    So our Cruisers combine those ideas and get:
    1-An attack and a defense @3 + 1 bombard @3,
    2-A first round AA @1 against 1 attacking aircraft,
    3-Cruisers when they shoot, either on attack or defense, and roll a 1 can force the attacker/defender to remove a plane.

    In the game I played, the AA has more of a psychological impact than a real effect.
    Indeed, it never destroyed any aircraft. And thus, neither by the AA and even by the “1” roll which force the defender to destroy an aircraft.

    But UK bought 3 cruisers, instead of any BB, against German Luftwaffe.

    Thanks everybody, those suggestions makes cruiser a more interesting unit that worth buying.

    However, it can be a real nuisance for Germany but it may also help protect the Baltic fleet against UK aircrafts: at least, it slightly upgrade the Baltic fleet to better defend against attacking UK planes.


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