Possible house rule for Kamikaze.


  • Customizer

    We were playing a game of Global 40 when something just occurred to me. The rulebook says that Kamikaze can NOT attack transports or submarines, only surface warships. There are six sea zones with Kamikaze symbols: Japan, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Marianas Islands, Formosa and Philippines. So, an Allied assault on any of these territories could result in Allied warships being attacked by Kamikaze.
    To get around this threat, the Allies could simply move all their transports, unload the troops and take the island then move the surface warships in the NCM to guard the transports. This simply seems unfair and unrealistic to me.
    To fix this, I have come up with a couple of ideas:
    1 > Allow Kamikazes to hit transports. This might be the simplest solution. I don’t think it would really affect the overall game too much. For one thing, Kamikazes only hit on a roll of “2” which really isn’t that strong. In most games where Japan uses all 6, they end up scoring 1 or 2 hits, sometimes none at all. It would really be more of a pain in the butt for the Allied player to lose a loaded transport and have to replace it and probably delay that invasion for one round.

    2 > While the Japanese player still has Kamikaze tokens, no Allied player can conduct an amphibious assault without accompanying surface warships. Also, if Japan manages to destroy any accompanying warships with Kamikazes, thus leaving the transports unescorted, the transports would have to retreat to a friendly sea zone. In other words, we would be treating the Kamikaze symbols like enemy submarines where transports could only land troops if accompanied by a surface warship.
    However, once Japan has spent all 6 of the Kamikaze tokens, this rule would be null and void. The Allies could then conduct amphibious landings with transports alone if they want to.

    Personally, I like the second idea the best. It may be a little more complicated, but I don’t think it’s too bad in that regard.
    So what do you all think? Good idea? Which would you prefer?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @knp7765:

    To get around this threat, the Allies could simply move all their transports, unload the troops and take the island then move the surface warships in the NCM to guard the transports. This simply seems unfair and unrealistic to me. […]  2 > While the Japanese player still has Kamikaze tokens, no Allied player can conduct an amphibious assault without accompanying surface warships.

    Option 2 sounds best.  As you point out, it’s completely unrealistic to imagine that the Allies would have launched a major amphibious landing with only transport ships, without any accompanying warships to provide shore bombardment and fleet protection.  And Option 2 is also superior to Option 1 in another respect: during the war, the Japanese tended to place a higher importance on attacking warships than on attacking support vessels, so Option 2 would reflect this preference more accurately than Option 1.


  • 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    @knp7765:

    2 > While the Japanese player still has Kamikaze tokens, no Allied player can conduct an amphibious assault without accompanying surface warships. Also, if Japan manages to destroy any accompanying warships with Kamikazes, thus leaving the transports unescorted, the transports would have to retreat to a friendly sea zone. In other words, we would be treating the Kamikaze symbols like enemy submarines where transports could only land troops if accompanied by a surface warship.
    However, once Japan has spent all 6 of the Kamikaze tokens, this rule would be null and void. The Allies could then conduct amphibious landings with transports alone if they want to.

    The problem with this is, a guy could figure the odds that Japan would average two hits, then just send three destroyers in with the transports, still saving all his carriers, cruisers, and BBs. I like option one best - option two seems too artificial and unrealistic.

    Japanese commander: “We have to stop this invasion by any means possible! Send in the Kamikazis!”
    Subordinate: “But sir, they cannot target transports.”
    Japanese commander: “Why not?”
    Subordinate: “I don’t know - they just can’t!”

    Something else that needs addressing in the OOB rules is that Japan can use Kamikazes at any time, regardless of their status in the game. Historically, Kamikazes were used only when things began to go badly for Japan. We have a house rule that Japan can only use kamikazes when it has less than 30 IPCs on hand for spending.


  • Customizer

    @Der:

    The problem with this is, a guy could figure the odds that Japan would average two hits, then just send three destroyers in with the transports, still saving all his carriers, cruisers, and BBs. I like option one best - option two seems too artificial and unrealistic.

    Japanese commander: “We have to stop this invasion by any means possible! Send in the Kamikazis!”
    Subordinate: “But sir, they cannot target transports.”
    Japanese commander: “Why not?”
    Subordinate: “I don’t know - they just can’t!”

    Something else that needs addressing in the OOB rules is that Japan can use Kamikazes at any time, regardless of their status in the game. Historically, Kamikazes were used only when things began to go badly for Japan. We have a house rule that Japan can only use kamikazes when it has less than 30 IPCs on hand for spending.

    Yeah, I see what you are saying. Still, even just sending 3 destroyers is at least a warship escort and not just a fleet of transports. I was just wanting to prevent a nasty loophole and have transports escorted properly. Personally, I try to never send transports anywhere without some type of protection even if it’s just one destroyer.

    Also, like CWO Marc said, the Japanese historically put more emphasis on attacking warships rather than unarmed transport or merchant ships. It’s the same reason the Japanese submarine force did not do so well, or at least one of the reasons, while the US submarines choked off the imports to Japan so well that by mid 1944 they were running out of targets.

    That is a good idea about limiting the Japanese Kamikaze use until they are kind of pounded down to a low income. The Kamikaze was a weapon born out of desperation after all. Although, I have seen games where Japan was making in the high 60s and due to a placement error of his own and perhaps misjudging the available Allied strength ended up losing their capital. One in particular was very weird. Here is Japan more or less taken out of the game, I think it was early like round 3 or 4, with a still sizable fleet that was all south around the DEI and a good size army all on the continent. By the time they massed their fleet and got within range of Japan, the US had reinforced both the sea zone and Japan itself enough that they just couldn’t take it back. Axis lost that game by the way. A failed Sealion and a stubborn Russia saw to Germany’s demise.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @knp7765:

    That is a good idea about limiting the Japanese Kamikaze use until they are kind of pounded down to a low income. The Kamikaze was a weapon born out of desperation after all.

    Yes, and in addition to the pressure of Japan being in such a desperate situation, there was another related factor at play: the more the war progressed, the fewer top-notch pilots Japan had at its disposal.  Japan’s training philosophy prior to the war had produced an elite corps of pilots, which gave Japan an initial advantage but left it in a worsening position as the years went by and their casualties mounted.  The US Navy, by contrast, figured out that training large numbers of competent pilots was a better investment than training a small number of superb ones (especially since the US could produce enough aircraft to take advantage of its abundant pilot supply).  When Japan’s situation became dire enough in late 1944 for it to consider extraordinary measures such as kamikaze tactics, one element which worked in favour of the kamizaze concept was that it required very little pilot training: the pilots basically just had to learn how to take off, how to fly to their targets and how to go into a steep dive.  This kind of rudimentary flight instruction was the opposite of the elite-oriented training philosophy Japan had followed prior to the war, so it would make sense to have a rule saying that Japan can only make kamikaze attacks late in the game once Japan is on the ropes.  Maybe this could even be seen as a kind of tech – a capability which isn’t available at the start of the game, but which becomes available later when certain conditions are met.  With a normal tech, you need to invest money to gain the new capability; in this case, kamikaze attacks (a kind of reverse tech because it reflects a training downdgrade) would become available when Japan’s economic and strategic situation drops below a certain threshold.


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