# Balancing Cruiser (CL) and Battleship (BB) units with other A&A units

• All, if there’s anything we’ve done a few times, it’s mess with Cruisers and Battleships, but I couldn’t find this exact combination or discussion elsewhere.

Here’s a chart I can’t post links with some initial data that I will clarify via edit below when I have time. My initial analysis seems to show that a CA @ 4-4-2-11 and a 2-hit BB @ 5-5-2-18 [A-D-M-C] compare well, efficiency-wise, with DDs.

A less aggressive tweak would be 4-4-2-12 and 5-5-2-19; but then you lose the very near 1-1 efficiency ratio with DDs. Anyone have a customizable (as in, tweak the A/D/C/hit values) battle calculator they want to lend me to test out some equal-TUV scenarios?

You are probably right: Cruiser A4 D4 M2 C12 gives similar combat results against an A2 D2 M2 C8 Destroyer based on the same IPC basis.
Here is how I made the calculations with AACalc.
it takes 44 Destroyers A2 D2 M2 Cx vs 31 Cruiser A4 D4 M2 Cy to get near 50%-50% survival:

If x (cost of DD)= 8 IPCs
y (cost of Cruiser) 44*8 /31= 11,35 IPCs

If y (cost of Cruiser)= 12 IPCs
x (cost of DD) 31*12/44 = 8.45 IPCs

Unfortunately, it is not possible to do it with A5 D5 units.

It can also work with a Cruiser A3 D3 C10 and a 2 hits BB A4 D4 C18:
98 DDs vs 80 Cruiser:
A. survives: 50.6% D. survives: 49.3% No one survives: 0.1%

Meanings if DD worth 8 IPCs, then Cruiser worth 9.8 IPCs to be even in pure combat situation.

Meanings if DD worth 8 IPCs, then Battleship worth 18.4 IPCs to be near even in pure combat situation.

So, if you want to keep 50% (1 DD C8+ 1 Cruiser C12) vs 50% 1 BB 2 hits, C20
It can be 1 DD A2 D2 C8 + 1 Cruiser A3 D3 C10 vs 1 BB A4 D4 C18

But the OOB cost structure and combat values is built in a way that fodder are more powerful than higher values unit.

It is possible to tweak a lot of combat possibilities with the actual AACalc, as you can see.

If you want to play with a Cruiser A4 D4 C12, you can make 2 hits Battleship A5 D5 C20 to keep the 50%-50% when 1 Cruiser and 1 DD against 1 BB.

That way, you will keep OOB cost (simpler for memory) and makes all your warships more cost efficient in Naval Combat.

Thanks for that idea. I will add it as another way to balance both Cruiser C12 and Battleship C20.

• I really like the idea of giving cruisers an AAA roll before combat begins. Same rules as land based AAA. Leave the bombardment ability as well, Historically cruisers have been the “jack of all trades, master of none” ships. Able to have the flexibility to deal with a wide variety of tactical situations and what they couldn’t deal with they ran away from. In the games I’ve played cruisers never get purchased, the cost is too high and the utility to low, give them a special ability like DDs against subs and they get considered again as viable.  Any good strategy game needs to have a certain rock paper scissors aspect, in my opinion. Currently aircraft have no counter at sea only on land, give cruisers this ability and you give them the perk they need to to be viable.

• I really like the idea of giving cruisers an AAA roll before combat begins. Same rules as land based AAA. Leave the bombardment ability as well, Historically cruisers have been the “jack of all trades, master of none” ships. Able to have the flexibility to deal with a wide variety of tactical situations and what they couldn’t deal with they ran away from. In the games I’ve played cruisers never get purchased, the cost is too high and the utility to low, give them a special ability like DDs against subs and they get considered again as viable.  Any good strategy game needs to have a certain rock paper scissors aspect, in my opinion. Currently aircraft have no counter at sea only on land, give cruisers this ability and you give them the perk they need to to be viable.

Welcome bptastic,

Giving Cruiser (and BB) an AAA roll seems very popular indeed.
One issue people have with it is about opening strategy. In G40 and 1942.2, there is a few Cruisers (and BBs) which are supposed to be sitting ducks but, then AAA fire from warships make it no piece of cake and increase TUV swing. Sometimes, Luftwaffe lose more planes than usual OOB.

Some people pretends they get refitted after round 1 with more AA guns and apply this HR on round 2 of the game.

If you play Triple A G40, let me know, some of my friend has created a map which include such option as AAA for Cruiser and BB.

Another was also to give 3 movement to Cruiser.

• Right leave all the units as they are, Cruiser gets 3 move because the range of this ship was much greater than others as well the speed was on the upper range to keep up with fast carriers, also they had the best AA platforms than all warships because their job was to protect warships from aerial attack. Keep price the same.

• Too bad Mr. Harris did not made that call when you suggested this in Alpha process.
(But there would not have been so many threads and idea about Cruiser however… FWIW)

But, he clearly make the change in 1914, A3 D3 M3 C9 Cruiser is at a nice place compared to C6 Submarines.

Did you suggested both M3 and AA at that time?

• I did not suggest too much with 1914, because i knew my own version would exist and didn’t want to help make competing products better. I did laugh when somehow by osmosis he borrowed that idea about contested zones. But good for him because it was a good idea for that type of game.

The Cruiser thing i bugged and bugged those move 3 and or aa gun since day one ( thinking 2010 when Cruiser price was brought up when AAP40 came out). The bottom line is to give the 4-4,3-3,2-2 naval units some flavor. Its almost as their is no point to them unless you give some attribute to show differences greater than the math.

I also want the BB to get a “call shot” , rolling a 1 they pick target, or idea two: they fire first in combat and results don’t shoot back ( longer range guns value a common tactic of employment of these ships is to shell the enemy before they can themselves get in range).

The road less traveled and ascendancy of accepting house rules is to leave a small footprint and don’t reinvent everything, just make small changes.

• My proposal:

Subs now cost 5 IPC. Reason: with one destroyer’s ability to completely cancel ALL subs’ abilities, I have given the subs a little help so we see them on the board more often as cannon fodder. It also makes the destroyers even more important to puchase because destroyers are the hard counter to subs. Makes the game more interesting because convoying is now a more viable strategy.

Destroyer stats are unchanged. The reson for this is that they have many uses like blocking, soaking up hits for Air only attacks and sub hunting. Because subs will now be more important, so will destroyers. In addition I have changed the anti-sub ability of destroyers to work only on a 1:1 basis. No longer will one single destroyer cancel out 20 subs. This change is inspired by DK’s house rules. I think it is quite flavourful and makes more sense, plus it makes the game more interesting by making subs more viable instead of being rendered useless after someone spends 8 ipcs on ONE destroyer.

Cruisers now cost 10 IPCs. Previously, 3 destroyers cost the same as 2 cruisers so buying a cruiser was pointless. Now with this change, cruisers are slightly better in combat, but not by much. And DDs have other uses that cruisers don’t have, and cruisers are vulnerable to subs.

Battleships now hit and defend on 6s. Reason: With cruisers and battleships having the same role, it was important to me that the math made both ships completely equal. Because two cruisers at 3/3 cost the same as one BB, I have changed the BB statline to 6/6 (and bombardment at 6). I also could not make it 5/5 or else the Aircraft carrier would still be the only option for fleet defense.

With battleships receiving a buff, I have decided to change the cost of ACs to 15 and allow them to defend on 3s to bring them back in line with the battleship. Now both capital ships are equal on defense (Assuming fully loaded carrier), but the carrier offers versatility with more range thanks to planes and better amphibious assault support. The battleship is now superior in attack power, hitting at 6s.

Overall I think these changes will make sea battles more interesting and it’s always fun to buy a variety of ships than to just buy aircraft carriers every turn. Let me know what you think of these changes!

• Do you mean that BB 6/6 get automatic success?

• exactly. it is now perfectly balanced to the cruiser. and helps make the battleship more competitive. The other ships are still worth taking. carriers and planes offer great versatility, DDs have anti-sub and blocking abilities, subs are cheap fodder and excellent at attacking. The only other effect is the balance of the initial setup. This change favours the allies (BB in atlantic), so I think it’s nice that the allies receive some help here.

• Genghis,

I would ask that battleships be 5/5 so there’s still a chance of a miss. I don’t like the idea of any unit having a guaranteed hit in a dice game. Even at that price, I’d be dropping them on the board more often rather than just aircraft carriers.

However, all other stuff you stated, I do like. Really revolutionary and it all makes sense to me.

• Genghis,

I would ask that battleships be 5/5 so there’s still a chance of a miss. I don’t like the idea of any unit having a guaranteed hit in a dice game. Even at that price, I’d be dropping them on the board more often rather than just aircraft carriers.

However, all other stuff you stated, I do like. Really revolutionary and it all makes sense to me.

The problem with making it 5/5 is that two cruisers would be statistically better than one battleship. Because they have the same role in the game (combat ships that bombard), they need to be exacty equal in terms of stats or math will find the more efficient option. Trust me with 6/6, you would still get aircraft carriers because of the flexibility of airplanes able to attack land, supporting amphibious assaults AND sea, plus extra threat range for your fleet (3 move without naval port) compared to pure combat ships.

• and also ability of planes to fly over blockers and reach ships or lands. Essentially planes are OP in this game so reducing the gap between ACs and battleships makes sense to me. I’m 100% certain people would still buy ACs.

• I have made a change to the destroyers in my proposal above, check it out!

• Not a good idea VANN to change the heading on a thread.

• Unless you buying 300 infantry……wearing “beanies”

• @Dauvio:

I see where you guys are coming from, and I owe the A&A community a apology. I didn’t really show any respect to any of you, and I’m sorry for that.

I will give you the G40 unit strengths based on their cost. These numbers are derived from the VANN FORMULAS.

Attack/defense=A/D
INFANTRY        1.85/3.7
MECH              1.04/2.08
ARTILLERY       2.08/2.08
TANK              1.39/1.39
FIGHTER          .5/.667
TAC BOMB       (.413/.551)/.413
BOMBER          .463/.116
SUB                1.39/.463
DESTROYER      .521/.521
CRUISER          .347/.347
CARRIER          0/.139
BATTLESHIP    .267/.267

These other stats is one to one ratio.

INF/ART          2.72/2.72
MECH/ART       2.08/2.08
MECH/TANK     1.33/1.67

Now the one to one stats could be a little off because I don’t know the G40 rules. However I know the MECH/TANK numbers should be higher, but I didn’t have time to run the numbers through.

Hi Mr Vann,
I may be interested in your formula for talking about Sub, DDs, Cruisers and BBs, but it seems that according to your number 1 hit Cruiser A3 D3 C12 is better than 2 hits BB A4 D4 C20.
CA .347 > BB .267

This is not corresponding to any Calc. Cruiser combat value vs cost is the worse warship in pure combat.
Sub and DDs seems OK.
Can you explain this discrepancy?

IMO, BB should be around .440/.440, right?
Is your formula right or did you make a mistake while calculating, you probably forget the 2 hits factor ?

Same thing for Carrier compared to Cruiser.
0/.139 is much too low, it should be around 0/.380.
You probably forgot the 2 hits factor for Carrier, too.

Do you think 1 CV 2 Fgs should be  .400 /.570 ?

To back up my assertion :
@taamvan:

TL;DR;  Buy a carrier, or three, then buy a heap destroyers to flesh the thing out, and as time goes on, focus on bombers.

You will need about 1 hit point per hit point that the enemy can bring, to deter an attack.   The problem is, that in a 50/50 (or worse) battle, the enemy may still attack you because he knows that losing all your TTs is devastating and can cripple the USA/UK/Japan especially.  Even if the enemy suffers massive losses, he killed your only fleet that it took multiple turns to develop, so he only needs to kill your last defender to “win”, no matter the cost to his forces.

Carriers: Best Choice.   Flexible on fleet defense and on the attack.   Downside is that these take the highest investment of IPCs for the lowest attack/defense power, because you get both.  A fleet of primarily high cost units  (carriers+planes) is surprisingly weak (since carriers add nothing to attack power)  You also get a bunch of free air to start that can just land on new carriers, so that makes the expense a bit lower in the Global game especially.

DDs:   Too costly, but indispensable.   Once you have a BB and a CV in a certain fleet, adding 3-6 destroyers (and then more, ad nausea) gives you the most extra hit points for the lowest cost, which keeps your high attack power units (bombers and fighters) alive longer, which is the key to winning a stack battle.

Cruisers;  Not worth it.   Don’t buy these.
BB;  too expensive, but the soak hits make these the depth of your fleet.   1 is probably enough, per fleet, more is gravy.
Subs;  Most efficient attack, but totally inadequate on defense (even as cannon fodder–all your opponent needs to is attack with air without a DD and these do nothing).   Buying a few is a great power booster and deterrent, but these cannot be relied upon.
Transports;  since these do nothing in battle, overbuying these is your most common undoing.   If you cannot maintain the 1:1 hit point parity, favor warships over TTs.
Tactical;   Because they are dependent on another unit, and you have a bunch of these to start, fighters and strat bombers remain more focused choices.   Don’t buy these so much as preserve the ratio 1:1 of fighters to bombers that you start with.
Strat bombers;  fastest way to get into the action, most flexible overall unit in the game.   Downside is that these add nothing to the defense of your fleets, and create new liabilities if they all land together.

buy surface units in earlier turns, and bombers in later ones, they can all attack together.
If you are uncertain you will win on the defense, don’t bring all your transports to 1 place (don’t put all eggs in 1 basket)

First; get a grand fleet together (DD CV BB TT).  Cruisers are fine, just extra.
Then, buy more carriers up to how many planes you have at your disposal (with the US, its 3, Japan 2-4, Germany, 1)
Then, buy more DDs as cannon fodder (4-8 is plenty)
Then, buy Stratbombers as a follow-on force (USA) (4-8 is your lightsaber)
Buy the other stuff sparingly, and in deference to the above priority
then, cross and blow up your opponent

Strat bombers with airbases can fly vast distances, and the enemy can build bases as a surprise.    If you sense that you are too weak to sally/cross, it is often because you are building too many nonwarships too early and units that crowd up at your capital and wait aren’t accomplishing anything.

• @Genghis:

I have made a change to the destroyers in my proposal above, check it out!

Subs now cost 5 IPC. Reason: with one destroyer’s ability to completely cancel ALL subs’ abilities, I have given the subs a little help so we see them on the board more often as cannon fodder. It also makes the destroyers even more important to puchase because destroyers are the hard counter to subs. Makes the game more interesting because convoying is now a more viable strategy.

Destroyer stats are unchanged. The reson for this is that they have many uses like blocking, soaking up hits for Air only attacks and sub hunting. Because subs will now be more important, so will destroyers. In addition I have changed the anti-sub ability of destroyers to work only on a 1:1 basis. No longer will one single destroyer cancel out 20 subs. This change is inspired by DK’s house rules. I think it is quite flavourful and makes more sense, plus it makes the game more interesting by making subs more viable instead of being rendered useless after someone spends 8 ipcs on ONE destroyer.

Using Subs as fodder is a totally different intent than of designer AFAIK.
Here, I’m just talking because it doesn’t mean your rule frame does not work, only it get some issues for purist and historically oriented player.
DD was meant to be the main blocker and fodder. Lowering to 5/8 Sub/DD ratio instead of 6/8 will increase Sub padding fleet and 1 DD blocking a single cheaper Sub will  make Sub OP.
If 1:1 ratio is applied, you no more need to lower Sub cost to 5 IPCs. You will need 24 IPCs in 3 DDs to block 18 IPCs of 3 Subs worth. Meaning for same cost 1 Sub will make it through blocker.

• @Genghis:

Genghis,

I would ask that battleships be 5/5 so there’s still a chance of a miss. I don’t like the idea of any unit having a guaranteed hit in a dice game. Even at that price, I’d be dropping them on the board more often rather than just aircraft carriers.

However, all other stuff you stated, I do like. Really revolutionary and it all makes sense to me.

The problem with making it 5/5 is that two cruisers would be statistically better than one battleship. Because they have the same role in the game (combat ships that bombard), they need to be exacty equal in terms of stats or math will find the more efficient option. Trust me with 6/6, you would still get aircraft carriers because of the flexibility of airplanes able to attack land, supporting amphibious assaults AND sea, plus extra threat range for your fleet (3 move without naval port) compared to pure combat ships.

According to AACalc simulations, in fact:
2 Cruisers A3 D3 C10, 1 hit are weaker than 1 Battleship A5 D5 C20, 2 hit
38% vs 60%

So, it is another way to balance Cruiser and BB.
Here is a balanced scale (on AACalc) for different variant:
Cruiser A3 D3 C10, SB @3, 1 hit. (Light Cruiser)
Cruiser A4 D4 C12, SB @3, 1 hit (Battle Cruiser)
Cruiser A3 D3 C16, SB @3, 2 hits (Heavy Cruiser or Armored Cruiser)

Battleship mark I A4 D4 C18, SB @4, 2 hits
Battleship mark II A5 D5 C20, SB @5, 2 hits
Battleship mark III A4 D4 C22, SB @4, 3 hits (Flagship style Yamato-class like)

• @Loose:

Unless you buying 300 infantry……wearing “beanies”

Ha ha ha

Oh no, I see Baron you have met MR. VANN !

• @SS:

@Loose:

Unless you buying 300 infantry……wearing “beanies”

Ha ha ha

Oh no, I see Baron you have met MR. VANN !

Yes, the enigmatic Mr. Van sent me a PM about his thread, OP quoted above.

:?

• Yes exactly, there will always going to be a few subs that get through the blockade of destroyers. that was the intent of my rule change, doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with that? It meanse it might be worth buying subs instead of never buying any because they all get blocked by a single destroyer. It means if you buy lots of subs, the opponent must start buying DDs to keep up instead of simply buying a single DD to cancel out ALL your subs.

• @Genghis:

Yes exactly, there will always going to be a few subs that get through the blockade of destroyers. that was the intent of my rule change, doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with that? It meanse it might be worth buying subs instead of never buying any because they all get blocked by a single destroyer. It means if you buy lots of subs, the opponent must start buying DDs to keep up instead of simply buying a single DD to cancel out ALL your subs.

That is the reason why I think you no more need to lower sub price.
At least, they are no more trapped in defense by few DDs and some get surprise strike in a given combat round when Subs nb > DDs nb.

The only annoying thing is you have to compare numbers on each side and every combat rounds to determine how many surprise strike you get.
For instance: 5 DDs and 3 Subs against 2 DDs and 4 Subs.
According to casualty selection, which subs get surprise strike will greatly vary.
It delay combat resolution compared to OOB.
That maybe an issue for some players.

For your info, in redesign thread, we develop a different POV, in which DD get A1 D1 C5 but cannot block Subs A2 D1 C6 in any way at all. So, they always do Surprise strike and can pass through SZ with enemy DDs in it.
We are actually in play-tests phase and taking summer brake. Barney found that this increase Battle of Atlantic feel to his G40 tested game.
However there is a few changes for TcB and Fg which no more need DD presence to hit Subs.
And get some one  time first strike @1 anti-sub capacity.

• Ok so according to my calculations, the battleship needs to be M2A6D6C20 to be better in combat than current DDs. BB needs to be better in combat than DDs because DD’s abilities are better than BB’s ability.

Now if you make the point that M2A6D6C20 is better than two cruisers M2A3D3C10, than we have to give the cruiser a unique role in the game so that every ship is worth taking.

Suggestion: Cruisers have M2A3D3C10 Target Priority: Air units This means a hit taken by a cruiser MUST be assigned to an air unit, BB and AC tips cannot be used against it.

• @Genghis:

Ok so according to my calculations, the battleship needs to be M2A6D6C20 to be better in combat than current DDs. BB needs to be better in combat than DDs because DD’s abilities are better than BB’s ability.

Now if you make the point that M2A6D6C20 is better than two cruisers M2A3D3C10, than we have to give the cruiser a unique role in the game so that every ship is worth taking.
Do you meant Battleship A5 D5 M2 C20?

Axis and Allies basic assumption is that cheaper fodder unit, Infantry, are always more cost and combat value efficient than costlier unit.

Making Destroyer less combat efficient than Cruiser and Battleship is radical perspective change.

IMO, it is easier to assume that Infantry is better cost efficient in land battle than Tank.
But for warships, it seems sounder that paying for a costlier unit, you get a more powerful and efficient one, or at least of similar efficiency. Otherwise, it is not optimized to buy such bulkier ones if smaller ones get the job done for better price.
This last point should be open up for debate about balancing warships within themselves.

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