Unrestricted Submarine Warfare


  • Customizer

    From Larry’s report on Germany:

    Germany begins the game with no less than 4 submarines. None of the other powers have even one. One way for the German player to exploit this obvious advantage, and the rules help him or her right along, is to declare that Germany will begin unrestricted submarine warfare. This can be done at any time during the game. Once this is declared, Germany will be considered to be conducting submarine attacks against both the United States� and the British Empire�s shipping routes. During the US and British player’s’ Collect Income phases, the German player will roll one die for each German submarine in certain sea zones (there are 3 of them, and they are sea zones 2, 7, and 8- strategically located, I assure you.). For each roll of 1 or 2, the attacked power will deduct 1 IPC from the income it normally collects during the phase. You might ask why Germany would not immediately and always conduct Unrestricted Submarine Warfare. Well… following Germany�s declared Unrestricted Submarine Warfare the United States will immediately enter the war! That might be reason enough to force the German player to wait a few turns before turning the subs loose.

    Does anyone else think this is rather weak? Scarcely worth diverting subs from attacking Allied surface fleets.

    I might consider upping the damage done, and adding more SZ route targets:

    The attached example has one target for each Ally, plus the target in SZ 7 which effects all Allies.
    Atlantic.PNG



  • The Allies can easily overcome the loss of a few IPCs. After all, at start, Germany’s only got the four submarines, so that’s a maximum of 4 IPCs lost- if all the submarines hit. It would have been much better to guarantee a hit for each submarine and roll a d6 for each sub to determine how many IPCs are lost. That could be actual economic strangulation as opposed to a minor inconvenience, which is what USW is under the current rules. No German player with the slightest amount of strategic sense would ever declare USW at least until the United States are at war already.



  • They had the battle for the Atlantic right in the original A&AE. I feel like we’ve regressed from that. You could still make it work with rolls that take away income, but yes more then 1 IPC on a 1 or 2. Germany came close to starving out Britain. You could never do that with these rules.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Flashman: I reread it the first time,  as I thought I must have misunderstood!
    It is terribly weak and not worth diverting Subs from Naval combat, I totally agree.



  • Agreed, definitely not worth the effort, take away at maximum 4 IPC from the Allies 1 time but add 20 for them for the rest of the game



  • Probably another Home Rule….Sigh 😐



  • During the US and British player’s Collect Income phases, the German player will roll one die for each German submarine in certain sea zones (there are 3 of them, and they are sea zones 2, 7, and 8- strategically located, I assure you.). For each roll of 1 or 2, the attacked power will deduct 1 IPC from the income it normally collects during the phase.

    I’ll grant you it’s weak, but it happens during the US’ and UK’s Collect Income phase every turn after the declaration of USW and each submarine rolls one die, deducting 1 IPC for each 1 or 2 rolled. So if Germany had 10 submarines in the right sea zones and managed to roll six 1s and four 2s (very unlikely, I know), it would take 10 IPCs from the UK and it could potentially do it again during the US’ turn. I just doubt Germany will ever have enough submarines to make it effective.


  • Customizer

    Additionally, the Allies will probably have more surface fleet than they need to transport troops, so you can expect plenty of ships to be out there sub hunting; although without destroyers and aircraft I assume subs will be less vulnerable.



  • The 1 and 2 should be regular sub warfare that only effects the UK.
    Unrestricted Mode should allow 3’s to ALSO count, and the effects be felt by the US and UK.


  • Customizer

    That sounds more like it.

    However, one will experiment, hence my latest map has a whole rash of sub targets.

    Axis&Allies1914FullMapLarryFlash.PNG



  • @Flashman:

    That sounds more like it.

    However, one will experiment, hence my latest map has a whole rash of sub targets.

    At this rate, you’re going to have 1,914 maps for the game before it’s even released.



  • Flash….perhaps when IL jabs at you that your maps have too many emblems and logos and fluff on them…he may be on to something.

    There is no room for pieces on that board!



  • Seazone 13 to seazone 16a: You think he’ll give us a symbol too?
    Seazone 16a: Shhh… I’m already designated as “a”. What the hell does that mean? When will it end
    Seazone 16b: Calm down guys, Larry will save us


  • Customizer

    I have just two maps, continually updated.

    One is the closest I can get to the official map with current information.

    T’other is my own variation on it given my own preferences.

    The icons are a simple visual reference to areas containing mines, sub zones and so on; they aren’t always things I would place on the actual board, or at least not as prominently.



  • Looks  good to me!  Nice work!



  • Why not use a rule similar to the old National Advantage ‘U-Boat Interdiction’ from Revised, that rule stated that for each German sub on the board remove 1IPC from both the US and the UK, forget the roll. Why not for each German sub between London and New York (shortest route), detract 1 from each?



  • Because by some twist of fate both those powers could be reduced to 0 IPCs if Germany builds 20 subs. However outlandish that seems.



  • Couldnt that happen with the given rules? 60 subs in those 3 zones should just about do it…


  • Customizer

    Maybe count all naval base SZs as targets, the money lost by the owning player. Mid-ocean SZs count for everyone. This would allow targeting of a particular enemy power.

    A big question here: are submarines vulnerable to mines, or do they pass under them?

    Certainly some subs were destroyed by mines, but generally they were not as restricted by them as surface ships.

    Larry simply says “all ships” ref. Imperial Germany, but it’s not clear if this includes subs or not.

    Certainly, regardless of mines and enemy ships the German sub fleet operated successfully until the Allied convoy system was introduced, drastically reducing shipping losses.

    It would reflect the relative obsolescence of surface ships, and effectiveness of subs, rather elegantly if subs were immune or less vulnerable to mines.


  • Customizer

    OK, latest map mod, back to the official map* with a few adjustments:

    NB and mines added to Canadian SZ.

    There are now 4 USW zones, each one representing vital Allied shipping routes.

    The idea here is that subs can target on any turn:

    1. Enemy “home” SZs (marked with mines) which do damage to the economy of the owning player only;

    2. USW zones which add damage to all Allies collecting income.

    I see no reason not to reverse this and allow Allied subs to target CP home SZs.

    Might possibly add CP USW zones, but this is more dangerous to balance considering likely Allied naval advantages.

    Germany declaring USW should double the damage done.

    *Still unsure about the borders of Denmark/Kiel/Berlin/SZ 11. Mexico & Texas are not on the official board.

    Axis&Allies1914FullMapLarryH4USW.PNG


  • Customizer

    Just a thought on destroyers as a “tech”; yes, I know everyone had them all along, but if they are introduced about half-way though the game with anti-sub abilities they could swing the balance back away from subs, especially if my suggestion of subs being immune to mines is in effect.

    To an extent this might also represent the Allies starting to use convoys, something which proved highly effective.



  • oztea’s suggestion seems like a good start - But I also feel that declaring Unrestricted submarine warfare shouldn’t automatically bring the US into the game either. I’ve seen various tracks proposed on the US entry, and USW should certainly influence that, but not automatically cause the US to declare war, since it was just over two months between Germany declaring USW a second time in February 1917 and the US entry in April (also thanks to The Note). Maybe this could be tweaked slightly so that:

    1. Roll of 1 or 2 does IPC damage to UK, roll again for amount:
        a. 1-3: 1 IPC
        b. 4-6: 2 IPCs (could also do 1-2:1 ; 3-4: 2 ; 5-6: 3 IPC, but one sub being responsible for 3 IPCs of damage seems a bit much)

    2. Unrestricted submarine warfare: Roll of 1,2, or 3 does IPC damage to UK AND US
        a. 1-3: 1 IPC (same as above)
        b. " (same as above)
        c. US only receives 1 IPC damage per hit, while not at war. Once the US enters the war, roll for IPC damage same as UK



  • The US should roll a die on turn 3.
    If it rolls a 1 it goes to war.

    If it rolls the current turn number, it goes to war. However.
    -1 to your roll if USW has been declared
    -1 to your roll if the CP have taken an allied capital
    -2 after turn 4



  • @Squadron:

    oztea’s suggestion seems like a good start - But I also feel that declaring Unrestricted submarine warfare shouldn’t automatically bring the US into the game either. I’ve seen various tracks proposed on the US entry, and USW should certainly influence that, but not automatically cause the US to declare war, since it was just over two months between Germany declaring USW a second time in February 1917 and the US entry in April (also thanks to The Note). Maybe this could be tweaked slightly so that:

    1. Roll of 1 or 2 does IPC damage to UK, roll again for amount:
         a. 1-3: 1 IPC
         b. 4-6: 2 IPCs (could also do 1-2:1 ; 3-4: 2 ; 5-6: 3 IPC, but one sub being responsible for 3 IPCs of damage seems a bit much)

    2. Unrestricted submarine warfare: Roll of 1,2, or 3 does IPC damage to UK AND US
         a. 1-3: 1 IPC (same as above)
         b. " (same as above)
         c. US only receives 1 IPC damage per hit, while not at war. Once the US enters the war, roll for IPC damage same as UK

    My suggestion:

    When it comes to Incomephase of UK/US, the Germany Player gets for every Sub that is located in the SZ 2,7,8 one dice.
    He throws them all together and the highest result will be the IPCs taken away from UK/US.
    The damage that results from USW can be max 6 (12 for UK and US together) IPC per turn, which is a good simulation I think.



  • @Auztria:

    The Allies can easily overcome the loss of a few IPCs. After all, at start, Germany’s only got the four submarines, so that’s a maximum of 4 IPCs lost- if all the submarines hit. It would have been much better to guarantee a hit for each submarine and roll a d6 for each sub to determine how many IPCs are lost. That could be actual economic strangulation as opposed to a minor inconvenience, which is what USW is under the current rules. No German player with the slightest amount of strategic sense would ever declare USW at least until the United States are at war already.

    I entirely agree!


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