The aberration of the defenseless transport

  • Customizer

    @Baron:

    @Cow:

    Transports have aa guns on them. Historically transports have rammed into subs. Not sure on aa gun kills or other ramming.

    That’s true but we must think each unit represents a vast group of similar things.

    Their was ramming, but how many tranports did this?
    They have AA guns but what was their killing ratio, for those transports which were exposed to combat situations?

    Anomalies and exceptions are not the model that makes the A&A system rules.

    Defenseless TT are an aberration, true ; individually, they were not all sitting ducks. But globally what was their role in WWII?

    Â

    Based on the game’s simulation of WWII era combat, using a D6 system, a defensive factor of 1 which is lowest defensive score is appropriate. The argument for no defense is still not valid, and the justification for removing it is as well. It is imposssible for one unit comprising of mostly fighters to destroy the equivalent of hundeds if not thousands of ships.

    I’ll use the submarine argument against air vs. sub imbalance then. A transport should be able to retreat after one round of attack. The same way a sub can submerge. The TRN can be tipped on it’s side as if retreating. There were blockade runners in all kinds of wars.

    Hell let’s just get rid of them and go for sea routes ala Risk! There were thousands of transports travelling alone all over the globe un-contested.

  • '17 '16

    @toblerone77:

    @Cow:

    Transports have aa guns on them. Historically transports have rammed into subs. Not sure on aa gun kills or other ramming.

    This^ Again, a token defense of one isn’t a game breaker in this “realisitic” game.

    Actually, I think it will unbalance Global.
    You will generates a small core fleet of warships and “sheep pack” of TPs
    Maybe the warships will be destroyed but as soon as 5 or more TPs are rollings @1, it will become the infantry of the sea in an extensive group.

    Because they will do both defending and transporting units.
    Not a high rate but just enough to keep many Fgts and StrB at bay.

  • '20 '16 '15 '14

    For all of you who say that a stack of transports would never be used as defense, you have clearly not played the original game…. If Germany only had say 4 planes left, the U.S. could stack 12 trannies all by themselves and be pretty darn safe.  Run your odds calcs if you don’t believe me…

    Now, to say that in a d6 game system each trannie should defend at a one… well, then that means that a trannie has 1/4 the firepower as a Battleship, and 1/3 the firepower of a cruiser.  lol.

    But, just to please the naysayers… I’ve come up with this extremely cool unit.  Not only can it transport an infantry and another unit, it also not only defends at a two, but also attacks at a two.  And… it only costs 15 IPC’s…

    Seriously.

  • '17 '16

    @toblerone77:

    Based on the game’s simulation of WWII era combat, using a D6 system, a defensive factor of 1 which is lowest defensive score is appropriate.

    The argument for no defense is still not valid, and the justification for removing it is as well. It is impossible for one unit comprising of mostly fighters to destroy the equivalent of hundeds if not thousands of ships.

    I’ll use the submarine argument against air vs. sub imbalance then. A transport should be able to retreat after one round of attack. The same way a sub can submerge. The TRN can be tipped on it’s side as if retreating. There were blockade runners in all kinds of wars.

    Hell let’s just get rid of them and go for sea routes ala Risk! There were thousands of transports travelling alone all over the globe un-contested.

    It is possible to get a lower rate that 1 unit @1: 1/6 per unit.
    AA guns get 3@1 once.
    I suggested: 2 and more TPs get only 1D@1 but endure as many hits as they are.

    A fleeing tactics can be imagine:
    Philip Schwartzer from Gamers Paradise suggested that two or more TPs can be attack by 2@4 for each Sub and BB.

    For a single round, you can double dice for every attacking units and let the remaining TPs as survivors: 1Fg @3 get 2@3/ 1StrB get 2@4, etc.

  • Customizer

    @Baron:

    @toblerone77:

    @Cow:

    Transports have aa guns on them. Historically transports have rammed into subs. Not sure on aa gun kills or other ramming.

    This^ Again, a token defense of one isn’t a game breaker in this “realisitic” game.

    Actually, I think it will unbalance Global.
    You will generates a small core fleet of warships and “sheep pack” of TT.
    Maybe the warships will be destroyed but as soon as 5 or more TT are rollings @1, it will become the infantry of the sea in an extensive group.

    Because they will do both defending and transporting units.
    Not a high rate but just enough to keep many Fgts and StrB at bay.

    How would that be when transports CANNOT attack offensively? The opposition could just as easily build destroyers to counter them.

    How effective is AA on a one to one basis? It seems to me you heavily ephasize on fighter/aircraft attacks against transports which is great for the player deploying the aircraft. They get to spend less and have no risk against transports if unescorted.

    Unless you build at least two destroyers per transport it’s an easy victory for one plane because you essentially knock out a transport, it’s cargo and it’s destroyer and if you lose even a bomber it’s the same risk attacking lone infantry except you wipe out a whole lot more oft the enemies IPCs. Especially for the Luftwaffe which is why players who play as Germany a lot love this ruling.

    It really doesn’t matter what I think anyway. I doubt Larry Harris is reading this board and I doubt anything said here will change anything else within the game played by the community as a whole.

    I still maintain that transports should have a defense and those of us here who agree will simply house rule it in our home games.

  • Customizer

    @DizzKneeLand33:

    For all of you who say that a stack of transports would never be used as defense, you have clearly not played the original game…. If Germany only had say 4 planes left, the U.S. could stack 12 trannies all by themselves and be pretty darn safe.�  Run your odds calcs if you don’t believe me…

    Now, to say that in a d6 game system each trannie should defend at a one… well, then that means that a trannie has 1/4 the firepower as a Battleship, and 1/3 the firepower of a cruiser.�  lol.

    But, just to please the naysayers… I’ve come up with this extremely cool unit.�  Not only can it transport an infantry and another unit, it also not only defends at a two, but also attacks at a two.�  And… it only costs 15 IPC’s…

    Seriously.

    Actually yes I played Classic all the time. so what stops destroyer stacking? They cost 1 more IPC than a transport and have half the firepower of your battleship and two thirds the power of a cruiser. BTW in AAP01 the Japanese DDs could carry INFand only cost 12. Seriously look it up.

  • '17 '16

    @bongaroo:

    I hated the way transports worked in 2nd edition. �Most fleets were a bunch of transports with only a couple of carriers with planes and maybe a battleship. �The introduction of cruisers, destroyers, and multi hit capital ships makes a lot more sense.

    You keep talking about how everything has risk, well you took the risk of sending an undefended transport. �

    -edit-

    Yes, those battleships or other fighting ships better not just watch the transports get creamed when they could defend them.� What kind of heartless captain would let practically defenseless ships get slaughtered nearby?�

    Anyone eared about Leyte’s Golf Naval Battle?
    Let’s see it in french:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrqGsOUojKY
    Or in english:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLRteCJaA_Q

    IJN BBs and many CAs were against some DD and escorts carriers, and they were protecting all marines transports. An Epic Battle!

    There were not many units, some of us could see them as integrated to the transport unit.

    But I prefer to create a specific unit like:
    Escort carrier A0/1 D1 M2 Cost 10 Carry 1 Fgt and is ASW.

  • '17 '16

    @toblerone77:

    How would that be when transports CANNOT attack offensively? The opposition could just as easily build destroyers to counter them.

    How effective is AA on a one to one basis? It seems to me you heavily emphasize on fighter/aircraft attacks against transports which is great for the player deploying the aircraft. They get to spend less and have no risk against transports if unescorted.

    Unless you build at least two destroyers per transport it’s an easy victory for one plane because you essentially knock out a transport, it’s cargo and it’s destroyer and if you lose even a bomber it’s the same risk attacking lone infantry except you wipe out a whole lot more of the enemies IPCs. Especially for the Luftwaffe which is why players who play as Germany a lot love this ruling.

    It really doesn’t matter what I think anyway. I doubt Larry Harris is reading this board and I doubt anything said here will change anything else within the game played by the community as a whole.

    I still maintain that transports should have a defense and those of us here who agree will simply house rule it in our home games.

    You don’t need much offensive navy with airplanes (UK/USA).

    I imagine almost Germany vs UK&USA.

    Usually, Germany is not able to put many naval units and must use (more versatile) aircrafts  instead of DDs and Subs but have to pay the price.
    In 1940, you need a defensive core of CV+2Fgt+1DD to protect transports.
    Even when Germany could destroy those warships, it will face many TT x@1 and will pay the price of replacing lost needed Fgt (10 vs 8 IPCs) and trying to put enough ground units to repel USSR.

    At last, it will come a time, it won’t be able to put naval units and will keep solely Fgt and Inf to create fortress Europe.

    I agree Transport should have defense. And must be chosen last.
    We disagree on the value:  @1/each unit vs @1 a whole group 2+ of TPs at 7 IPCs
    and the cost: 7+1=8 IPCs vs 7+2 = 9 IPCs for a similar unit as you suggest.

    And I may even introduce a fleeing tactics for isolated Transport against attacking units.

    My reason of disagreement: the risk of unbalancing the game in favor of Allies.

    Maybe they are not very compelling arguments.
    For now, I can just propose other means to solve the problems expose in this thread.

    Forums are a place for exploration, creative and critical thinking about different aspects of A&A. Larry is a reference (not a dictator) and this does not exclude to think outside the box (like you were trying to do).

    Everyone pick and try what he sees fit most for his players and style of game.
    According to how the points are exposed, it could help people choosing what they prefer.
    From my point of view, the more there is to pick, the better.


  • Hmm.  I have a hard time finding an instance in WWII where a dozen or more transports destroyed 100 or more aircraft (1 Transport vs. 1 Fighter).  Sure, there are examples of transport ramming submarines or killing a few aircraft- but this is a strategic level game not a tactical one.

    Escort carriers are part of the Aircraft Carrier unit, not part of Transports/Destroyers etc.

    I will say it again- escort ships have been decoupled from transports in the form of destroyers.  It makes you defend your transports!

    Instead of having transports rolling at a 1 and unbalancing the game I would get behind the thought of a transport that survives the opening attack to be able to retreat to a nearby sea zone- If there were ten transports undefended (extremely unlikely) attacked by a lone fighter, that fighter (represented by 100 or more actual fighters) would not be able to track down the 100 or more transports and sink them all.

    So, with retreating transports the attacker would have to commit more assets to deal some damage…


  • I see a lot of reactions here that destroyers are overpowered or defending transports will unbalance the naval game. The problem I see is that the current naval game is inherently unbalanced in favor of the attacker.
    The submarine, fighter and bomber are all extremely efficient at sinking boats that cost more than they do. Compare this to land units, where the most efficient unit is twice as good at defending as it is at attacking. To add insult to injury, once your expensive warships have been sunk by the cheap attackers, he can then kill your expensive transport fleet for no cost at all.
    The remaining airplanes can even be used with decent efficiency in land battles afterwards. Having transports that can defend helps shift this balance back so the defender has a chance again.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    Yeah! Glad to see I’m not alone in the pro-classic transport camp.

    The classic transport:

    • Represents a TROOPSHIP - not a supply ship.
    • Blends nicely with one of the maxims of the game “defender chooses his own casualties”
    • Makes learning the game easier - less “special” rules
    • Keeps the element of chance involved, thus more suspense = more fun
    • Keeps battle command decisions in your hands - not the rules

    The Global transport:

    • is auto-slaughtered in large groups if alone
    • removes some of your battle command power - you HAVE to choose transports last
    • Does not fit with the general game rules - it is like an orange thrown into a barrel of apples

    BJCard, you keep saying that escort ships have been decoupled from transports in the form of destroyers. Where is your information coming from? as I shared before, there are at least six other kinds of historical craft other than destroyers that helped protect transports. They were not as good at it as destroyers. this can be easily represented by the transport defending @1 instead of @2, which a DD does. why sweep all of those other craft away because there is now a DD unit in the game? DDs will still be bought and used because they alone can deal with subs.

    Only the transport can move land units across water. They will have to be bought no matter what they cost. that’s why I’m in favor of a classic transport costing 10 IPCs. It would fit nicely in the naval price scale (ss-6, dd-8, tt-10, ca-12, cv-14).

    The main trouble I see with reviving the classic transport is when it faces off against major warships like BBs, CAs, and CVs. The only rationalization for the transport sinking one of those would be that the transport is assumed to be accompanied by some measure of escort/torpedo boat/merchant a/c defense and if the larger ships are going to attack them unescorted, they are taking a risk of a lucky torpedo shot. But now BBs are cheaper and take an exta hit, so less loss is risked. Sure, this is a little lame, but unrealities can be pointed out in every type of battle in this game, whether land, sea, or air.

    Here’s something not mentioned that the game now has to counter a stack of classic TTs defending @1: how about a stack of 6 IPC subs that attack @2 and whose casualties can’t fire back? The subs are cheaper to lose and have twice the odds of hitting and half the odds of taking return fire.


  • I keep saying that escort ships have been decoupled from transports because they have been (otherwise transports would be like classic with a defense).  Destroyers represent small surface action groups ranging from small corvettes to larger destroyers; which is why they cost 8 and have 2 att/2 def.  Most of the UK’s transports in game setup have a destroyer escort.

    How many examples of troopships screening larger naval assets anyway?  Or troopships killing 100’s of aircraft or dozens of Submarines?  It is ridiculous  that transports be taken first in battle- they were what the warships were protecting.  Its like putting your supply trucks or transport vehicles on the front line of the battle ‘because they have some light weapons,’ instead of in the rear area of a battle front.  If you have a force of defenseless transports in range of enemy air then you deserve to lose them.

    Yes aircraft are efficient units to attack navies.  Guess what? They were powerful units, as evidenced by countless WWII examples of air attacks on naval units.  If a Navy is in a SZ next to an airbase (or better yet have an AC with it), they can use air to defend, which in defense are better than air in attack.

    If anything, having to defend your transport fleet forces you to purchase defensive units.  If transports were back to costing 8 and defending at 1, like classic, we’d have navies like classic- 1 or 2 Aircraft Carriers w/fighters, 1 DD, 10+ transports to soak up hits.  How fun is that?  Its not even realistic.  It is better now that you have 3-4 transports that you are protecting, an AC w/Fighters, a CA, and 3-4 DD.

    I’m not sure how the naval battles are in favor of the attacker- fighters defend better than they attack, 2 hit units on defense are closer to repair facilities.  I suppose submarines attack better than they defend; but that’s all I see.

    Again, I could see a group of transports scattering if they survive the initial attack and thus the defender would lose less of them, but to think that a couple dozen ‘troopships’ could down a couple hundred fighter bombers or a couple dozen destroyers is crazy.  Let’s not even discuss how a transport harms a battleship (as you mentioned).

  • '12

    Regardless of any fiddling with the Transport rules, I certainly wouldn’t raise their price back up above the 8 they started with, since amphibious attacks are already too expensive to do as it is when they cost 7.


  • OR

    Just make it that no matter how many TT you have, you roll a single die @1 in defense each combat round.

    I think that would be pretty agreeable for everyone?


  • How would that be agreeable to everyone? It makes even less sense than the other rules and changes absolutely nothing. I actually liked the idea that a unit could kill only 3 defenseless transports but don’t think it goes nearly far enough and wouldn’t change anything in that form. If each (remaining) unit could auto-kill one defenseless transports before combat ends it would at least solve the problem of a single (or a few) fighters taking out a whole fleet with no risk.


  • Well there is certainly no chance of Larry making any change in the current rules until some 3rd edition comes out in the far future.

    That said, I really like the defenseless transports. What I don’t like is a single bomber coming out of left field that I did not see wipe out 6 unprotected transports.

    I good compromise would be simple:

    **Transports in a sea zone DO NOT participate in any naval battle. After the battle is concluded, the winner side will sink ONE transport for each remaining combat unit. If any trasports are left after this they must be moved out on their next turn if there are still enemy units in a sea zone.

    If attacking un-escorted transports, the attacker can only kill one transport for each attacking unit.**

    This means that a single lone trasport or a small group could still get wipped out, but a large fleet of transports could not get completly wipped out unless a large amout of combat units go after it. After all, transports would never really be in the area of a naval battle (even in the same SZ). They would disperse away from the fight, and certainly some would get away.

    So for example, Japan strikes at an American task force with 6 transports in it and destroys all the warships and has 3 ships (combat units) left, the US would have 3 transports sunk. On the US turn, these would have to move out of the SZ.

    Add any ideas you think off.

    Kim

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    @Eggman:

    I certainly wouldn’t raise their price back up above the 8 they started with, since amphibious attacks are already too expensive to do as it is when they cost 7.

    BBs and CAs have the ability to fire at a beach without taking return fire, which makes taking an island actually EASIER than attacking by land (but that’s another subject). Adequately protected transports can do amphibious assaults over and over without loss, so the initial investment can be higher IMO.

    KimRYoung - Doesn’t sound too bad except for the absence of any random result from dice as happens in the rest of the game, which I think adds a lot to the fun.


  • KimRYoung - Doesn’t sound too bad except for the absence of any random result from dice as happens in the rest of the game, which I think adds a lot to the fun.

    Then let every remaining combat unit make ONE attack on the transports.

    Even when wolfpacks and convoy raiders attacked transport flotillas, they did not kill everything!

    Kim


  • @Gekkepop:

    How would that be agreeable to everyone? It makes even less sense than the other rules and changes absolutely nothing. I actually liked the idea that a unit could kill only 3 defenseless transports but don’t think it goes nearly far enough and wouldn’t change anything in that form. If each (remaining) unit could auto-kill one defenseless transports before combat ends it would at least solve the problem of a single (or a few) fighters taking out a whole fleet with no risk.

    Lets detail out the concerns:

    Side A: TT in bulk create a problem of balance if they defend @1 because those add up and effectively act as screens because they are sinking ships that will no longer be able to attack.

    Side B: It is poor form to decide that anything in a dice rolling game is auto destroyed by the mere presence of a hostile offensive unit.

    So we give TT a chance to defend themselves, but limit the dice they roll.  It effectively eliminates them as a screening unit because no matter the quantity, they only roll a single die when in combat, at the lowest possible odds to “hit”.  However when left undefended, they are not free kills because there is a risk, albeit small, that they could shoot down a fighter or ram a ship and cause it to sink.

    I’d even be willing to go as far as once a hit is scored against the TT (which are always the last remaining naval units), the entire flotilla is lost but they can, as a whole still roll a single die @1 to defend themselves.


  • @Gekkepop:

    The problem I see is that the current naval game is inherently unbalanced in favor of the attacker.

    It’s supposed to work like that.

    In the naval game, the force that is advancing has to have a defensive fleet.  That seems counter-intuitive, but it’s how it works.
    Perfect example - the Allied fleet, when preparing for D-Day or some similar invasion, needs to be able to withstand any sub/air assault from the Axis.  Even though they’re on the attack in this theatre, the Allies must have much more defensive punch than offensive.
    This is how the game is supposed to be.  It’s pretty much perfect as is, as far as unit cost and power goes.
    Defense - Destroyers + Carriers - is pricier than an equivalent offense - Subs + Air power.
    This way, America and Britain have to spend more than Germany does in order to make any sort of invasion happen.  In other terms, Germany’s position is more cost-efficient…in the same way that Germany must outspend Russia in order to make a successful attack on the ground.  I think we agree that this is how it should be.
    I think.  :lol:


  • What a GREAT thread!!!

    I agree with both sides to a certain extent.

    I personally have never liked that transports don’t defend.  Maybe cause at least once per game I leave some unescorted transports and fail to see the ONE unit that can get there to wipe them all out with no consequence.

    I also think that if they all defended a 1, it could get a little lopsided.  That is one thing that I did not like about revised.  Like it has been mentioned many times the attacking navy had very little capital ships and a bunch of TT’s to take the hits.

    Has anyone even tried to play the game with the old transport rules?  For the most part I think it would be pretty easy to tell if it skews the game so badly that it is not fun for one side.  I bet you wouldn’t even have to finish one game in order to tell.

    I like the idea by BJCard of them being able to retreat after taking a round of fire, if they are unescorted, and taking one round of fire after all other warships/airforce have been eliminated.  That would effectively take away the one bomber that could get to 5 TT’s and wiping them out without taking any fire.  You could only lose 1 at the most with that attack.

    My reason of disagreement: the risk of unbalancing the game in favor of Allies.

    I think it is pretty clear with all the bids going on for the allies that it already favors the axis.  Lots of people have talked about trying to keep it as historical as possible.  If thats the case, wouldn’t you want the Allies to be favored since we won the war?

    When the axis are able to even out the economic battle then it is impossible for the allies.

    EX.  US inf and art to attack in Europe.  7 ipcs, TT to get them there 7 ipcs.  However many ships to protect the transport, lets just say 1 DD for the sake of argument, 8 ipcs.  22ipcs total and 2 turns.

    Germany to defend that attack evenly.  2 inf.  6 ipcs.  1 turn.

    Might make it so that people actually want to be the allies instead of taking a bid in order to HAVE to play the allies.

  • '17 '16

    @Spendo02:

    @Gekkepop:

    How would that be agreeable to everyone? It makes even less sense than the other rules and changes absolutely nothing. I actually liked the idea that a unit could kill only 3 defenseless transports but don’t think it goes nearly far enough and wouldn’t change anything in that form. If each (remaining) unit could auto-kill one defenseless transports before combat ends it would at least solve the problem of a single (or a few) fighters taking out a whole fleet with no risk.

    Lets detail out the concerns:

    Side A: TT in bulk create a problem of balance if they defend @1 because those add up and effectively act as screens because they are sinking ships that will no longer be able to attack.

    Side B: It is poor form to decide that anything in a dice rolling game is auto destroyed by the mere presence of a hostile offensive unit.

    So we give TT a chance to defend themselves, but limit the dice they roll.  It effectively eliminates them as a screening unit because no matter the quantity, they only roll a single die when in combat, at the lowest possible odds to “hit”.  However when left undefended, they are not free kills because there is a risk, albeit small, that they could shoot down a fighter or ram a ship and cause it to sink.

    I’d even be willing to go as far as once a hit is scored against the TT (which are always the last remaining naval units), the entire flotilla is lost but they can, as a whole still roll a single die @1 to defend themselves.

    I will try to summarize:
    Many agree about the rule: TPs are chosen last.
    Few agrees about defender choosing casuality.

    TPa (OOB 1940) @0 C7 no hit value.
    TPb (classic)      @1 C8   1 hit value.
    TPc Spendo02   @1 C7 as a group of 1 or more / 1 hit value as a group.
    TPd Spendo02    @1 C7 as a group of 1 or more / 1 hit value.
    TPe Baron         @1 C7 as a group of 2 or more / 1 hit value. 1 TP alone is TPa.
    TPf Baron  as a rregular AA1@1 C8 1 hit value, @0 against any warships.
    TPg Baron    @1 C9 as 1 upgraded unit made of TPa C7+Escort Frigates C2=1 hit.
    TPh DerK, TPb   @1 C10 1 hit value.

    Some are able to flee:
    A) Every attacking unit automatic-kill 3 units. Flee after 1 round.
    B) Every attacking unit automatic-kill 1 unit.   Flee after 1 round.
    C) Every attacking unit must roll twice.           Flee after 1 round.
    D) Each attacking unit rolls once.                   Flee after 1 round.
    E) Every naval unit rolls twice but TPs are able to flee after 1 round.
       Every aircraft unit must roll once/round but TP is unable to flee.
       (Until one side or either side is destroyed.)

    Some defend on:
    I) the very first round of the naval battle against protecting warships.
    II) the first round after all protecting warships are destroyed.

    I explain TP+E:
    It was the version developped by Philip Schwartzer from Gamers Paradise.

    Transports without escort can withdraw and flee against any naval unit after 1 round receiving 2 rolls@4/ships (Subs & BB) or 1 roll @1 @2 or @3/ship (CV, DD, CA).
    Transports cannot flee against aircrafts but each TP got 1@1 against them.


  • If that’s the case, wouldn’t you want the Allies to be favored since we won the war?

    What you mean “We” round eye?

    Kim

  • Customizer

    DK I think even with all the discussion that has gone on in this thread (excellent topic and discussion) I believe your point has been well made for a 10 IPC transport with a defense of 1 is and was the best approach all along. These game stats fit the bill. Anyone stacking ten buck transports would be a fool and a defenseless-transport gravy-train is averted.

    You won my vote sir.


  • What you mean “We” round eye?

    Good point.  My sincere apologies!  Very bad assumption on my part.  Could do without the name calling cause I meant nothing derogatory by that.  Should have said the allies won.

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