# The aberration of the defenseless transport

• 29 pages for the transport…geez…what about the battleships???
I agree with Der Kuenstler…keep it simple…(sometimes).

• 29 pages for the transport…geez…what about the battleships???
I agree with Der Kuenstler…keep it simple…(sometimes).

The first reason is curiosity and a strong will to keep balance as much as possible.
Implementing Classic TP with G40.2 loading capacity is pretty much like reducing OOB Transport to 3 or 4 IPCs. Near 50% redux. Such a change is clearly unbalancing.
Maybe it changes G40 Pro-Axis balanced into an even balanced game IDK.
Maybe someone can tell.
Probably need a TripleA code wizard to just change TP or create DK’s Classic TP unit, to know the answer.

Here is the calculations which drove me into this conclusion.
@Baron:

Talking about Defenseless transport cost reduction to 7 IPCs:

Here is the number and cost required to give the same level of protection has Classic transport, still taken last, allowed to roll D1 on every round of the battle compared to an OOB defenseless transport.
I used the AACalc of the forum and put DD (A2) and Carrier (A1) for DD and transport.

A pretty even combat with the same number of units carried aboard TPs is:
5 DDs A2 D2 & 8 Classic TPs D1, 1 hit, 8 IPCs vs 10 DDs A2 D2 & 8 TPs D0, 0 hit, (3 IPCs)
A. survives: 49.5% D. survives: 50.0% No one survives: 0.5%

So, assuming that it is even in combat survival and cargo, then it should be the same price on both sides:
(5DDs8 IPCs) 40 IPCs + (8TPs8 IPCs) 64 IPCs compared to (10DDs8 IPCs) 80 IPCs + (8TPs3 IPCs) 24 IPCs =
104 IPCs vs 104 IPCs.

This means that the defenseless transport taken last unit needing Destroyers for protection should have cost 3 IPCs to give the same defense level provided by a classic Transport A0 D1 M2, 1 hit and taken last.

So, it is more than twice the price.
This 1 IPC reduction for the new defenseless OOB Transport was, in fact, a 233% cost increase compared to a Classic TP always played as a taken last casualties.

And the Classic transport was also used as fodder in big battle, something I cannot eval with AACalc, but clearly imply that defenseless transport should be even more cheaper compared to a full Revised Edition Transport.

Since, the initial set-ups were not radically change in Atlantic SZs from previous versions (besides adding 1 or 2 units here and there). I believe the real twist of balance shift, from Allied wins to Axis wins, came mostly from this change above everything else.

Now, for those which swear only on taken last transport unit,
here is my HR for a substantial unit at 5 IPCs:
OOB defenseless transport.

It is not as monstrous than a 3 IPCs transport, but it can provide a small taste of the old balance with this little change.
If under the 3 IPCs converted from Classic settings was too far Allieds and the 7 IPCs defenseless was too much Axis, then, from a purely mathematical perspective, the average of 3 IPCs + 7 IPCs is 5 IPCs.

if your intent is to play as much as possible within G40 initial parameters while solving the defenseless TP paradoxes which DK showed us along this thread, I believe that Black Elk and I found an interesting way.
It doesn’t alter initial first round strategy but allows some defense and 1 hit values to TPs.

TRANSPORT with combat value    7 IPCs
Attack 0
Defense 0 or 1* *1 regular@1 per TPs group, if at least 2 or more friendly TPs in same SZ.
Move 2 (3 with NB bonus)
Hit value: 1
Taken as last casualty
Optional: As other warships, can be chosen as casualty anytime.
*One single defense @1, each combat round if at least two friendly transports share SZ.
If during naval combat TP number is reduced to one, it keeps its defense value @1 until the end of combat.
Cannot control SZ. Can be ignored by other warships units.
Can ignore Submarine during Combat and noncombat phases.
TP cannot by itself amphibious assault a Submarine infested SZ, must be escorted by a warship with at least an attack value of 1.

@Baron:

Not sure where I pulled pearl, must have been thinking of AA50 the Japanese air hit against sz56 since I was playing that the other day too   But in any case, there are a few more key transport defenses for Allies in 42.2 over Axis, so it feels like it would lean towards Allied balance, which is a good thing. Probably just more satisfying overall, whatever the effects on the opening. Return them their hit value at 1 (per group as suggested) and taken last, just seems more interesting. It combines the old Classic lucky shot, but doesn’t give up the fodder problem, but makes the unit more potent for the price.

Agreed keep it at 7 ipcs
Lucky 7

I’m going to play this way in my next face to face game for sure! Will test it out next Thursday see if the gang enjoys.

Also, if you really want to keep it from changing the opening, you could also make it a force multiplier thing, where only two transports together “A Group” get this defensive boost +1. Two or more transports together would no longer become defenseless. But the not cumulative just the 1 hit for the entire group, whatever its total number, as long as there are at least two transports in the group. This could all be interpreted as a “combined arms” type bonus, where the transport gets boosted by other transports such that the whole group gets to fire together at a 1, whereas single transports would behave OOB. Or you could just apply it universally to all transports whether single or in a group together.

What it is interesting here is that there would be a natural incentive to “fan out” your transports to try to get multiple bonuses on defense instead of just keeping one transports stack, it might be better to split them into smaller groups to get more bang out of them on defense. Things like this might encourage more island hopping, or branching out naval game instead of just a ship stack fest in a few zones. I think these changes could be popular if it feels right.

**So 1 lone transport still defends at zero.

2 transports defend at 1,
3 transports still defend at 1
4 transports still defend at 1, but…

If you broke them into 2 groups in two separate sea zones then you’d get double the defense value! Two chances to hit at a 1. This as a way to encourage fanning out over stacking together in the naval game on transport defense.**

See where I am going with it?
might be cool.

If handled that way, as a combined arms type thing, then the only opening battle affected would be the German sub hit on the US Atlantic transports. But that battle is a little busted anyway, and some even bid a destroyer there believing it is critical. Short of a destroyer added in, the group transport bonus, would give a slight disincentive for German Uboats to hit, they might go after the Canadian transports instead just to avoid the risk of that extra 1 haha

Here is what I found, clearly we are likely-minded on that issue, since the very first post I introduced in the Defenseless transport thread is this one:
@Baron:

@Uncrustable:

Why not give transports a defense of 1 but still must be taken as casualties last ?
Increase their cost to 8

Because a transport having a defense of 1 is too generous.

In Classic, transports represented actual transports and escort ships- now escort ships have been decoupled from transports in the form of destroyers.

Hi everybody,
their is some middleway here.

Keep at 7 IPCs. It is already a long road to buy an escort fleet, transport and ground units. And bridging from one island to another requires much more transport to travel the same two ground units. The chain of communication is easily outstreched and vulnerable in PTO.

Give any group (2 or more) of Transports a collective defense of 1.

Even in a naval battle with other vessels, give at the start of naval battle the transport group a defense @1.

Transports are still chosen last.

When their is no more combat ship, the attacker still rolls and destroy as many transports as he got hits.
It lasts until the last transport has sunk (which still have 1@1).

The capacity to take hits is already a good defense.
I see no need to add more than the single@1 for all the group.

However, keep a single isolated transport as an easy target with no defense.

Historically, we can think that there is some corvettes and frigates (but not much) inside a group of transports,  2 units or more (14 IPCs and +).

Another possibility is to limit this @1 as AA only for 2 or more transports. So no combat ship could be kill by the lighter guns on board any troop transports.

• This is an interesting thread. There’s a lot of insight from long time players that making points that I wouldn’t think of until it was tried a few times.

After reading Clay Blair’s exhaustive 2 volume work on U-boats (basically every single recorded sortie during the entire war) it’s clear that Allied transports were well protected. The USN’s primary goal was no troopships would be lost and with the exception of a single loss in the Med, they completed that goal. They were so concerned with that loss, it was never disclosed until well after the war.

Japan on the other hand, not so much. Troopships were expendable and torpedoed at will by US subs, although tragically with prisoners aboard.

In my mind it really should be up to the side to protect. That said, nothing cheeses me more than an lone bomber flying long distances and wiping out a group of transports with impunity. Strategic bombers were horribly inaccurate against ships, especially small ones.

Transports did have AA capabilities, early in war armed freighters were open season to U-boats, as opposed to others that were required to be boarded and evacuated before sinking. Armed transports were also effective against U-boats since conning towers were easily penetrated, plus ramming. Freighters were often disguised with enclosures that hid guns that opened fire when the U-boat closed to use their 88 (torpedoes were very expensive and unreliable).

My son and I are going to try a compromise:

Unprotected transports-
Can defend against aircraft and subs on 1.
Cannot defend if any other surface ship is present.

Sub(s) v unprotected transport(s): sub attack value increases to 3, the transport(s) roll one defense die per exchange, regardless of number ships, otherwise the battle progresses normally, i.e. until resolved or broken off. Reflects the ease that U-boats dealt with stragglers.

Plane(s) v unprotected transport(s): each air unit can battle one transport only. If there are two AC and five unprotected transports, only two can be engaged during that turn. Torpedo and dive bombers  carried one ship-sinking ordinance and usually had very limited time over targets. The transports would be scattering and evading, a squadron of aircraft wouldn’t be able to stay on the scene to sink 6 groups of transports.

• After reading Clay Blair’s exhaustive 2 volume work on U-boats (basically every single recorded sortie during the entire war) it’s clear that Allied transports were well protected. The USN’s primary goal was no troopships would be lost and with the exception of a single loss in the Med, they completed that goal. They were so concerned with that loss, it was never disclosed until well after the war.

Allied convoys were well protected by the end of the war, but in the early years the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy were woefully short of escort vessels, especially the more capable types like destroyers (and the later innovatrion of frigates); they depended heavily on little corvettes to fill the gap.  Moreover, ASW tactics and weapons in the early years of the war were still primitive, and Allied escort ships were hampered by the fact that they only had long-wave radar, which was too imprecise to reliably pick out a surface submarine from the surface wave clutter of the ocean.  It was only around 1942 or 1943, as I recall, that the more precise centimetric radar sets became available in large numbers.  It also took until the middle of the war to close the dangerous mid-Atlantic air gap (a.k.a. the Black Pit) with long-range shore-based planes like the Liberator and with escort carriers.

I don’t know the track record of troop ships in general, but one type which was very succesful in that role were ocean liners (like the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary).  Not only could they carry vast numbers of troops, they were also so fast that no enemy submarine could catch them; even in a rare chance encounter, a U-boat would have difficulty lining up a torpedo shot against such a fast-moving target.  Liners would typically sail unescorted for that reason.

• @CWO:

Allied convoys were well protected by the end of the war, but in the early years the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy were woefully short of escort vessels, especially the more capable types like destroyers (and the later innovatrion of frigates); they depended heavily on little corvettes to fill the gap.  Moreover, ASW tactics and weapons in the early years of the war were still primitive, and Allied escort ships were hampered by the fact that they only had long-wave radar, which was too imprecise to reliably pick out a surface submarine from the surface wave clutter of the ocean.  It was only around 1942 or 1943, as I recall, that the more precise centimetric radar sets became available in large numbers.  It also took until the middle of the war to close the dangerous mid-Atlantic air gap (a.k.a. the Black Pit) with long-range shore-based planes like the Liberator and with escort carriers.

I don’t know the track record of troop ships in general, but one type which was very succesful in that role were ocean liners (like the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary).  Not only could they carry vast numbers of troops, they were also so fast that no enemy submarine could catch them; even in a rare chance encounter, a U-boat would have difficulty lining up a torpedo shot against such a fast-moving target.  Liners would typically sail unescorted for that reason.

Early war ASW was woeful. US didn’t even convoy along or blackout the coast early on. Hedgehogs, radar, miniaturization of radar to fit in aircraft, Leigh lights, etc was key as well as Huff Duff and Enigma decrypts.

Jeep carriers were devastating to U-boats, Wildcats and Avengers worked in teams, the Wildcat strafing to drive the sub down so the Avenger followed and dropped a homing torpedo. So effective, Donitz changed tactics to forbid U-boats from diving when confronting AC. That was the reason for the larger ‘wintergarten’ on the Type VII/41s to increase Flak capability so they could fight it out.

My favorite convoy related story was a slow moving group from US to Africa. For some reason, they shipped Shermans and their engines separately. Many freighters loaded with Shermans made it through, one was sunk. Guess which. A new load of engines were rushed to NY and a fast freighter left on it’s own, overtaking and landing in Africa before the convoy.

That all applied to convoys in general though, troopships were always protected to the greatest extent.

• @Der:

Hey DK,

Do you still use the “must be taken last” rule?

Thanks.

• Nope - it’s classic. Now we’re up to 35 game nights (almost 3 years) with no complaints.

Because the classic transport is mixed with the GW40 ships, it doesn’t get bought for fodder as in the classic game. The two-hit battleship makes it very rare that a transport could sink it, and if it does, it is assumed that the transport is escorted by various ships such as pocket carriers that are not represented in the game.

The ability to choose your own casualties as defender is a historic maxim of Axis and Allies and should always be maintained IMO.

• @Der:

Nope - it’s classic. Now we’re up to 35 game nights (almost 3 years) with no complaints.

Because the classic transport is mixed with the GW40 ships, it doesn’t get bought for fodder as in the classic game. The two-hit battleship makes it very rare that a transport could sink it, and if it does, it is assumed that the transport is escorted by various ships such as pocket carriers that are not represented in the game.

The ability to choose your own casualties as defender is a historic maxim of Axis and Allies and should always be maintained IMO.

@Der:

Nope - it’s classic. Now we’re up to 35 game nights (almost 3 years) with no complaints.

Because the classic transport is mixed with the GW40 ships, it doesn’t get bought for fodder as in the classic game. The two-hit battleship makes it very rare that a transport could sink it, and if it does, it is assumed that the transport is escorted by various ships such as pocket carriers that are not represented in the game.

The ability to choose your own casualties as defender is a historic maxim of Axis and Allies and should always be maintained IMO.

This point opens more options and more difficult choice when choosing casualties as defender.

I played a 1941 game with TP able to defend @1 against Air only and a japanese carrier with 1 plane left along 1 TP in Hawaian SZ was under US counter-air attack only.
US attacker got 1 hit with 1 StB and 1 Fg, it was a tough call because Japan had only this TP left in Pacific. The TP was chosen as casualty but on next round both attacking planes were shot down and did not get any hit. This selection paralysed Japan for the next two game rounds.

TP selection as casualty is a risk and make people think twice before keeping it instead of letting it be a cannon fodder.

• @Baron:

@Uncrustable:

Transports cost reduced to 6 IPCs.
-When empty may move 3 spaces during noncombat move. No transport may move 4 spaces
-Transport ‘evasive maneuvers’, each transport caught undefended by an attacking warship or plane may roll 1 dice. A roll of a 1 is a successful evasive maneuver and that transport is removed from battle and placed back on the game board, a transport that evaded an enemy attack while undefended may not unload units until its next turn.

This is another way to play a defenseless transport which should be added in this thread to be complete on the optional rule for this topic.

It makes me think about a similar but still a bit different way to played it also as a defenseless but not hopeless transport:

When there is no more warships/aircrafts to defend transports, then each transport roll and for each “1” rolled in a specific round, one Transport can escape.

Attacker need to hit transport unit according to each attacking factor (ex.: subs @2/ DD @2 / CA @3, etc.) to destroy one transport.

Each round any un-destroyed transport which haven’t been able to escape can still trying to roll “1” to escape.

The combat end when, either all remaining transports have been able to escape, or have been destroyed.

Their will be no more auto-die, no combat unit will be destroy and the naval combat is done according to usual A&A system rule:

a roll is needed to destroy any unit and no unit able to destroy more than 1 unit in the same combat round.

These rules down below have their roots in this house rule quoted above:
@Baron:

Trying something different while being more respectful of Transport as military troopship not designed for combat:

Once TPs are put on the battleboard and on defender’s turn, each TP get to roll @1 to see if some escape from this battle.
A success means that this TP unit is now put into board map SZ and cannot be sunk. Transport successfully escape:
Treat it, as per usual OOB rule, as if  had been ignored by attacker.
This way of escaping is similar to game Sub’s Submerge capacity, but it depends more on luck.
Sub can flee combat if there is no enemy DD. Transport always need a good roll to get same result as Sub.

If any transport is hit, it goes behind casualty line.
On defender’s turn, transport behind casualty line does an AA roll @1, if there is any attacking aircraft, then it must be taken as casualty (attacker’s choice of aircraft type) if defender get a “1”. If there is only warship attacking, then no defense roll.
That way, Transports are not actively defending against attacking units.
When taken as casualty, it means the attacker get near target to make the hit, then Transport get its only shot at the attacker.

Example, 1 TcB is attacking three TPs. As long as it miss, transports roll to escape.
Let’s suppose first combat round: TcB rolls a “5”, TPs “2, 3, 1”, so 1 TP is safe.
Second round, TcB rolls “3”, a hit. TP taken as casualty rolls “2” and the other TP a “2”. 1 TP is sunk.
Third round, TcB “4”, TP “6”, nothing happen
Fourth round, TcB “2”, a hit. TP behind casualty line: “1”, a hit. Both units are destroyed.
So, 1 TP survived in SZ.

If it was a Submarine instead of a TcB, this warship would have nothing to fear about.
Only TPs would roll to escape, any “1”, save one TP.
Of course, any Surprise strike from Sub prevent a given TP from going behind casualty line.

In that last case, if both Sub and TcB are attacking 3 TPs, if Sub get a hit, TP sunk cannot roll @1 against aircraft. But, if TcB hit a TP, TP can retaliate @1 against TcB only.
Submarine and other warships are immune to TP retaliation roll @1, since it is treated as AA only.

Last example: 1 DD, 1 Sub, 1 TcB against 3 TPs and 1 DD
R1, DD “1” Sub “2” TcB “6”: 2 hits,
Defender keeps DD behind casualty line, removes TP (no roll), and rolls “2”. 2 TPs roll “1, 4”
So, 1 TP is safe in SZ, and attacker remove DD.
R2, Sub roll “3”, miss but TcB rolls “3” hit on TP.
TP can roll @1 and get “1”, a hit.
So, only Submarine survive the naval battle.

Variants:
1- More freedom to defender’s choice: no more taken last, anytime a TP can be taken as casualty
2- Defending roll for Transport is treated normally as @1, aircraft are not targeted.
(It assumes that a minimal escort is provided with the TP unit. So, it can sink a warship instead.)

No more auto-destroy.
No more totally predictable results.
Attacker still have a minimal risk.
The longer the escorting units survived, the greater the odds of saving a few TP units.

And not giving living TP any roll to hit enemy’s units better depict this fact that none were actually seeking enemy’s to engage. On the contrary, avoiding enemy’s aircraft or naval units was the main intent.

This totally new HR is also loosely related to what was suggested in Redesign thread:
@Baron:

By returning the transport to the traditional 8 spot, I think this serves as the core “remainder” ipc naval unit to buy at purchase. Which is probably a good thing, since transports are the reason the naval game exists in the first place haha. I like the casualty taken last rule with a combat role of some kind, as we’ve discussed in other threads.

On Transport, I prefer in-built incentive rather than a straight forward rule like Taken Last.
If I keep up with such a scale:
5 IPCs Destroyer A2 D2
6 IPCs Submarine A2fs D1fs
8 IPCs Transport A0 D?* **, 1 hit

What can be the incentive to keep afloat Transport, instead of a better defense value unit?
1, the higher cost 8 vs 5 or 6. Even a 9 IPCs Cruiser is not that far from 8 IPCs.
*A defensive hindrance. Hence, a Last Strike (opposite of a First Strike).
Last Strike is made that you cannot retaliate (have a defense roll) with this unit if it is taken as casualty.
**A defensive benefit ?
Here is an old idea, in a new context (5 IPCs DD and 6 IPCs Sub).
Gives all Transports an AA ability.
Only 1 shot per transport against only up to 1 plane, whichever the lower, every combat round.

And no defensive capacity against any warship, as in the defenseless transport but still keeping 1 hit value.

This would provides additional defense against Dark Sky strategy.
Planes would be a vulnerable and valuable targets, which can make an incentive to keep transports alive, as long as there is some attacking planes.

On the other part, this would emphasis the role of Submarines warfare (especially for Germany) against transports.
And the owning player would have to chose between loosing a cheap 5 IPCs DD defending @2, or a costlier TP at 8 with no defense. Either ways, the Sub commander gets something in return.
And, in the case of a combined attack with planes, loosing a TP means lesser odds to use the Transport AA defense.

To summarize:

TRANSPORT A0 D0* M2 C8, 1 hit
*Last Strike AA defense:
If the transport is not taken as casualty, each Transport gets 1 AA shot @1 against up to 1 plane, whichever the lower, each combat round.
No defense against warships.

@Baron:

What can be the incentive to keep afloat Transport, instead of a better defense value unit?

I personally don’t like the mandate that Transports must be the last casualties. Nor do I like that your opponent can have 6 Transports in his fleet and essentially absorb that many hits before their combat ships take the heat. Maybe we can craft a middle ground.

Pricing a Transport at 8 is not cheap and I don’t know that they could be considered quite so disposable any more. That can work in our favor. Let players choose if they want to take hits on 8 IPC transports or not.

To further incentivize keeping Transports, I would propose that they somehow be given the option to escape from an attack. Maybe one of these scenarios:

• If all the defender’s combat ships (not including submerged subs) and aircraft have been destroyed, any remaining Transports may roll (1) die each. On a roll of (1) - or (1 or 2)? - that Transport may retreat to one adjacent sea zone. All Transports do not have to escape to the same sea zone.

OR

• If all the defender’s combat ships (not including submerged subs) and aircraft have been destroyed, the attacker may roll (1) die per remaining attacking unit. Any hits are assigned to the defender’s remaining Transports. Any surviving Transports escape to any adjacent sea zone. All surviving Transports do not have to escape to the same sea zone.

This is not a very complicated rule and would give Transports a level of survivability without an offensive punch. It would at least let the defender decide which how to assign hits but give them reason to not just off them as first casualties. Low Luck players should like the fact that a transport can’t take out a superior unit. Under either rule, if the attacker gets enough hits in a single round to knock out the defender’s remaining combat units AND remaining transports, then all defending units are destroyed. Transports can’t escape in that case.

@Baron:

Gives all Transports an AA ability.
Only 1 shot per transport against only up to 1 plane, whichever the lower, every combat round.

And no defensive capacity against any warship, as in the defenseless transport but still keeping 1 hit value.

This would provides additional defense against Dark Sky strategy.
Planes would be a vulnerable and valuable targets, which can make an incentive to keep transports alive, as long as there is some attacking planes.

1 AA shot per transport, per combat round is powerful. I am thinking that under Baron’s system aircraft will need to be super-cheap because there are so many units targeting them directly: AA guns, Cruisers, Transports, Fighters, Tacs and Bombers. That virtually ensures mutual aircraft annihilation.

• @Baron:

How about this for a house rule idea: leave the transport rules exactly as they are, except transports in excess of combat units can be taken as casualties.  This allows combat units to “screen” transports, but unscreened transports can be lost.

Example:
A fleet containing a carrier, 2 fighters, a destroyer, and 5 transports is attacked.  The first hit could be taken on the carrier, damaging it.  The next hit may be taken on a transport, as there are 5 transports but only 4 combat units.  However, the following hit must be taken on a combat unit, as the number of transports and combat units is now equal.  The remaining order of loss could be destroyer, transport, carrier, transport, fighter, transport, fighter, transport.

I actually like Krieg’s solution a lot.  transports are defended on a 1-1 basis.

I still cannot see why is this a solution?
TT become a 1 unit value @0 like AAA after first round.

They will play a similar role, mostly if defender thinks he couldn’t make it against attacker’s units.

TT becomes cannon fodder or tampering unit for the defensive valuable unit (D2/D3/D4) like what many critics about classic pointed out.

What it does, is only regulate the rate of attrition amongst TT.

Exactly, but at a much weaker value than in Classic.

Transports still get used as a cheap soak off, when in reality attacking units would go for capital ships. Transports should get the hell out of a combat zone ASAP since the only thing they want is to survive!

Yes, but as someone pointed out, A&A is about choices.  This gives the transport owner more control over order of loss, without using transports completely as a shield.  However, it would probably be necessary to also outlaw attacking with transports unless doing an amphibious assault (and them only with loaded ones).

@Cow:

It costs much to protect them, it would reduce the cost a little if they had some defense value.

That is all people are getting at.

I believe that’s exactly what I proposed.  Allowing transports to be conditionally taken as casualties gives them “some defense value” by allowing preservation of some combat unit firepower for a little longer without using them completely as cannon fodder.  This leverages the value of your combat units, allowing you to purchase fewer of them for the same effect.  You still have to protect your transports, but it’s a little easier to do so.  It also preserves the requirement to give transports adequate protection, as they are still completely defenseless on their own.

Another example may illustrate this.  Say you have a fleet consisting of a cruiser and three transports.  Under the official rules, all an attacker need do is sink the cruiser, and the whole fleet goes down.  Under my proposal, two of the transports can be lost before the cruiser.  This gives the defender some cushion, but not nearly as much as it would in Classic, as the transports can’t fire.  This extra bit of defense forces the attacker to bring more to the table than he would need to do under the current rules.  However, the defense is still relatively weak, as the defender only gets one shot per round, so it’s still wise for the defender to provide more warships.

This Krieghund’s house rule change was discreetly suggested but not enough estimated, IMO.
This can provide something to better depicted the usual course of historical naval battle when Subs or Aircraft are attacking TPs and escort. They mainly target Transport and Troopship before escorting vessels.

This rule almost get ride of Transport always Taken last thus improving player’s decision freedom.

• It allows defender to sometime pick Transport as casualty as he sees fit.

• It gives no defense besides escort defense rolls.

Instead of all combat units, what I would use as the bottom line to forbid taking TP as casualty is:
each friendly surface warship can only cover/escort 1 Transport.
The ratio would be 1 friendly surface warship for 1 Transport.
Any excess of TPs above this 1:1 ratio for close surface escort can be destroyed and worth 1 hit for casualty determination.

Defender would be allowed to select TPs as casualty as long as he keeps 1 TP for each friendly surface warship.

That way, TP is treated defenseless but considered as 1 hit value for casualty selection.
IL and CWO Marc will feel it is more typical of transport (cargo and troops) combat effectiveness.

The other point on historical depiction is that TP is reintroduced as a main target for enemy.
This allow defender the choice to pick or not his TPs in naval battle.

Example:
1 Destroyer, 1 Sub and 3 Transports defending in SZ,
Defender may choose up to 2 TPs as casualty before loosing 1 DD or 1 Sub.
After loosing 2 TPs, if DD is picked as casualty over Sub, the last Transport can then be chosen as casualty. Submarine is not a surface vessel.
So, order of loss may be: 2 TPs, 1 DD, 1 TP, 1 Sub.
However, if Sub is chosen earlier like:  1 Sub, 2 TPs, 1 DD, then last TP will be auto-kill.

Now, it reintroduced a better depiction of convoy raiding.
And the final stack is virtually reduced to 1 undefended TP, since defender may wish and is now allowed to alternate between a warship and a TP for final combat rounds.
Example:
3 Destroyers, 6 TPs
Order of losses: 3 TPs, 1 DD, 1 TP, 1 DD, 1 TP, 1 DD, 1 TP.

Don’t you think it better reenact such kind of naval situations where TPs is lost because of an inefficient escort screen?

For my part, I believe that giving more options to defender allows more variability which, in return, might better take into account various WWII combat situations that occurs: from not loosing any TP, or not totally loosing all Escort and saving a few TPs, to barely saving 1 or 2 TPs while loosing all escorting ships.

How about this for a house rule idea: leave the transport rules exactly as they are, except transports in excess of combat units can be taken as casualties.  This allows combat units to “screen” transports, but unscreened transports can be lost.

Transports still get used as a cheap soak off, when in reality attacking units would go for capital ships.

Transports should get the hell out of a combat zone ASAP since the only thing they want is to survive!

Kim

IDK, looking into Troopships and shipping Convoys, most of the time it seems these Transports were targeted first.
Sinking war materials and infantryman seems an high priority.
Anyone see why Capital ships were not always targeted first?

I viewed that sometimes it is only a case of opportunity about which ships is closest and biggest.
In this documentary about 1944 Truk Atoll raid, it seems to be mostly IJN auxiliary ships first rather than few Destroyers and one or two Cruisers:
Battle 360 Episode 7 Hammer of Hell

Naval Battle of Guadalcanal revealed that IJN transports were sunk while some warships (Cruisers and DDs) survived.
Another case in which it makes good sense to allow sinking of Transports and more room for owner decision’s about casualty selection:

In the resulting battle, both sides lost numerous warships in two extremely destructive surface engagements at night. Nevertheless, the U.S. succeeded in turning back attempts by the Japanese to bombard Henderson Field with battleships. Allied aircraft also sank most of the Japanese troop transports and prevented the majority of the Japanese troops and equipment from reaching Guadalcanal.
Japanese initial forces:
2 battleships
6 heavy cruisers
4 light cruisers
16 destroyers
11 transports

Casualties and losses
First phase 13 nov 1942:
1 battleship
1 heavy cruiser
2 destroyers
7 transports
Second phase 14-15 nov 1942:
1 battleship
1 destroyer
4 transports (beached first)
Plus:
64 aircraft
for a total of 1,900 killed (exclusive of transport losses)

• @Der:

A bomber defends @1. Why? Doesn’t this represent a bomber getting caught on the ground like at Pearl Harbor? If you are OK with the transport having no defense, then to be consistent the bomber should also have no defense and be “auto-destroyed”.

1. I don’t know why I’m commenting on an old thread that includes many people no longer on the forum; (I’m off work today on leave). DK, I do not interpret a bomber rolling @1 to be a plane caught on the ground, I interpret it to be a plane caught in the air getting ripped by a fighter.

2. I hated old Classic/Revised system where transports were fodder. Transports’ weapons were not as plentiful as other ships that’s why they’re not considered a surface warship. However, I do recognize that they did have guns and some were fairly decent. So, I would accept 12 sided dice just for the transports. Give them an @1 roll for defense or attack on a D12 for ONE roll only (still taken as casualties last). That’s as far I would go because I like the new game mechanics more.

• @Der:

A bomber defends @1. Why? Doesn’t this represent a bomber getting caught on the ground like at Pearl Harbor? If you are OK with the transport having no defense, then to be consistent the bomber should also have no defense and be “auto-destroyed”.

1. I don’t know why I’m commenting on an old thread that includes many people no longer on the forum; (I’m off work today on leave). DK, I do not interpret a bomber rolling @1 to be a plane caught on the ground, I interpret it to be a plane caught in the air getting ripped by a fighter.

2. I hated old Classic/Revised system where transports were fodder. Transports’ weapons were not as plentiful as other ships that’s why they’re not considered a surface warship. However, I do recognize that they did have guns and some were fairly decent. So, I would accept 12 sided dice just for the transports. Give them an @1 roll for defense or attack on a D12 for ONE roll only (still taken as casualties last). That’s as far I would go because I like the new game mechanics more.

DK is frequently taking a look on the forum.

He made a strong case to show how introducing Defenseless TP contradict a few basic guidelines of A&A franchise.
Even if you prefer the second Edition Transport, I’m pretty sure you can admit it is far from perfect from a gameplay approach or an historical depiction POV.

DK’s mostly argue from gameplay and simplicity of use.

What I see is transport fodder use is what bother most. Hence, taken last Transport rule.
But, from gameplay let’s suppose you can use TPs the classic way with no defense roll,
do you think in G40 there can be some way to maximize escorting warships purchase if TP is only 1 hit with no defense value?

Like 1 DD+1 CV+ 2 Fgs and purchase only TPs to use as fodder to keep the basic core defense, do you think such configuration can be a game breaker?

And if compared to what you can agree TP with 1 hit and @1 but taken last?

I believe you make TPs stronger than no defense roll but 1 hit to be taken as casualty anytime.

What matter most to you?

Just asking to understand the underlying assumptions behind your taste and preference.

• What matters to me most is transports taken last as a casualty. Like I said, I played the old versions of the game and I didn’t like how it played out. I like the newer game mechanics more. Global 40 took my enjoyment of axis and allies to a completely new level.

I did read DK’s strong arguments.

I just saw DK’s War Room video! Very impressive!

It gives all your main points.

https://youtu.be/IOM5TSqZBj4

However, you missed what Marc was saying about Liners, it is the only troopship which does not need escort… Unfortunately, you suggested that Liners need such.

@CWO:

After reading Clay Blair’s exhaustive 2 volume work on U-boats (basically every single recorded sortie during the entire war) it’s clear that Allied transports were well protected. The USN’s primary goal was no troopships would be lost and with the exception of a single loss in the Med, they completed that goal. They were so concerned with that loss, it was never disclosed until well after the war.

Allied convoys were well protected by the end of the war, but in the early years the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy were woefully short of escort vessels, especially the more capable types like destroyers (and the later innovatrion of frigates); they depended heavily on little corvettes to fill the gap.  Moreover, ASW tactics and weapons in the early years of the war were still primitive, and Allied escort ships were hampered by the fact that they only had long-wave radar, which was too imprecise to reliably pick out a surface submarine from the surface wave clutter of the ocean.  It was only around 1942 or 1943, as I recall, that the more precise centimetric radar sets became available in large numbers.  It also took until the middle of the war to close the dangerous mid-Atlantic air gap (a.k.a. the Black Pit) with long-range shore-based planes like the Liberator and with escort carriers.

I don’t know the track record of troop ships in general, but one type which was very succesful in that role were ocean liners (like the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary).  Not only could they carry vast numbers of troops, they were also so fast that no enemy submarine could catch them; even in a rare chance encounter, a U-boat would have difficulty lining up a torpedo shot against such a fast-moving target.  Liners would typically sail unescorted for that reason.

• Yeah I guess I should have stuck with the more generic term “troopship” - although the Lusitania was a liner that went down. All ships were vulnerable at certain places and times.

• @Der:

A bomber defends @1. Why? Doesn’t this represent a bomber getting caught on the ground like at Pearl Harbor? If you are OK with the transport having no defense, then to be consistent the bomber should also have no defense and be “auto-destroyed”.

1. I don’t know why I’m commenting on an old thread that includes many people no longer on the forum; (I’m off work today on leave). DK, I do not interpret a bomber rolling @1 to be a plane caught on the ground, I interpret it to be a plane caught in the air getting ripped by a fighter.

2. I hated old Classic/Revised system where transports were fodder. Transports’ weapons were not as plentiful as other ships that’s why they’re not considered a surface warship. However, I do recognize that they did have guns and some were fairly decent. So, I would accept 12 sided dice just for the transports. Give them an @1 roll for defense or attack on a D12 for ONE roll only (still taken as casualties last). That’s as far I would go because I like the new game mechanics more.

Ich,  D12 system. Would you accept transports getting D@2 at any plane only with attacking ships and planes or lone attacking
planes ?
Would you accept transports getting @2 escape roll after every round of combat from attacking ships only
attacking lone transports only ?
Thats what I have in my game now. Thinking of increasing the escape roll to @3 or 4 and reducing transport D@1.
Last game we had 2 Transports that escaped. Had one attack in game where 4 German subs attacked 2 lone Transports. All 4 subs missed @5 each. 1 transport rolled a 2. So it got to escape. @nd round of combat the 4 subs then hit the Transport. At least its not a
total kill all Transports.

• SS,

I really like the game mechanics as they are now so I’m hesitate for the need to change things. But I have some concessions I’d make if say I were to play these.

I like your earlier mentioned idea of transports just being fodder (casualties first if defender wants it that way) but can’t fire back. This could make sense to me because I could imagine an air attack in real life with the purpose of wanting to target troop transports. Also, they are surface ships and soft targets in the game and real life. As the attacker I might call off the attack if the transports were dead and the defender rolled a whiff.

Or (but not both)

Defend @1 on a D12 (last casualty) (not @2 D12). I personally wouldn’t want them stronger than @1 attack. Also, a .50 cal with armor piercing rounds would probably go through the hull. They’re not a war ship. The unique examples don’t sell it to me and make me think it’s a destroyer light. I never could accept a transport sinking a battleship (in Revised/Classic) which in real life has less probability than winning the lottery or getting hit by lighting. But in Axis and Allies that used to happen.

ESCAPE ROLL:  I’d have to think about that. I’m not sure how they really could escape once spotted by air units. If no attacking AIR units present in the battle then every round if not yet a casualty, they could roll @2 D12 to escape. I would accept that. This would mean less instances of being able to roll an Escape Roll. So in the event it were to occur I’d even accept it being moved up to @3 D12. Your example of transports “escaping” from subs really could have happened in real life. It’s implausible to me and I see nothing wrong with this game mechanic idea. I’d request my air unit tweak but accept your House Rule idea either way.

• @Der:

Yeah I guess I should have stuck with the more generic term “troopship” - although the Lusitania was a liner that went down. All ships were vulnerable at certain places and times.

Lusitania, a civilian ship, was sunk in 1915.
Struck by one torpedo, it exploded and sunk because there was ammunitions on board.
Also, it was slow because half engines were temporarily not operational due to a coal shortage.

Not a good case for fast, military, troopship.

SS Athenia was sunk in 1939.
It was the  beginning of WW2.
It was not equipped then and speed was only 15 knots.
But still, a U-boat U-30 was able to sink her.

34

2

2

12

17

4

1

81