One round naval combat


  • Customizer

    General thoughts on this.

    Wouldn’t this make naval combat much more realistic? There was one major naval engagement in the war, which both sides claimed as a victory and didn’t change that much. How realistic is it that Germany destroys the RN on round one?

    A war of attrition at sea seems more in the theme of this game, so what are the arguments against?

    Principally the problem with amphibious assaults - if you only have one round to clear a sz of enemy ships you might get stranded with loaded transports in hostile waters.

    I say that’s your own lookout - go in with enough naval power to clear the area, or combine with allied navies to remove enemy ships before you send in the landing party.

    This might also help to facilitate more effective submarine warfare rules, since its harder to clear the Atlantic of rogue subs. Submerge rule would need to be revised.

    Attacker would still have the option of  naval retreat (i.e. hit-and-run) from PTR rules.



  • This would be in line with the land battles, but 2 rounds might make more sense. Would give you a better chance to clear a sz for amphib etc…… After the first round of battle the attacker can either continue his attack, call off attack and stay in the contested sz, or retreat. He can retreat part, all, or none of his ships, but if he decides to go a second round then he can’t retreat anymore (sz is then shared/contested if both still have ships).

    Subs need to have better survivability if they submerge. There wasn’t much sub detection going on in WW1, so why can you roll 3’s and 4’s at subs to sink them so easily. I would be inclined to say if a sub submerges that you must roll a 2 or less to kill it regardless of the attack/def value of the opponents ships. It would be easy if multiple types of ships are attacking only subs, attackers would need to roll at 2 or less to kill a submerged sub (one round to do so). If there are multiple types of ships on both sides, it could take some thinking, but would still work (I think). Have the attacker roll out all his attacking ships (dice), and note the hits, and how many 1’s & 2’s were rolled). You still allow the defender to choose casualties, and higher rolls (3’s & 4’s) that hit are applied to surface ships. He then applies any roll of 1 or 2 to his submerged sub, or to another ship if it is still afloat (his choice). If the sub doesn’t submerge, then higher rolls that hit could be applied to it.

    Say 3 UK ships (1 cruiser, and 2 BBs) are attacking 3 German ships (1 BB, 1 cruiser, 1 sub), and the Germans sub submerges. UK cruiser rolls a 2, and the BBs roll a 3, and 4. The 3 and 4 can’t be applied to the submerged sub, so those hits go to the bb (still has 1 hit), and cruiser is sunk. The 2 rolled can be applied to the submerged sub, or finish off the bb (def choice). All the attacker dice that got a hit must be applied if applicable, but if he doesn’t roll a 2 or less the submerged sub can’t take a hit (survives).

    Need to expand the sz’s that can be attacked for econ damage. USW against UK should be allowed in any sz that touches the UK/Ireland, or Canada, plus the 3 Med sz’s (16, 17, 19). If German subs are in sz 2, 7, or 8 then you will also be raiding the USA (you can also raid sz 1 for US only). Subs roll for damage during the victims collect income phase (like OOB); roll of 1-2 cost 1 IPC, roll 3-4 cost 2 IPCs, roll 5-6 no damage. Track total damage through the turns, and any time the US gets to 3 damage (3 strike rule), or the UK/US collectively gets to 10 damage then the US can declare war (damage could be something like 8 for UK 2 US, or just 10 UK).

    Need to either allow German subs to be mobilized in friendly ports (sz 18 & 20) restricted to one sub per turn, or allow Austria, and Turks to raid the Med sz’s.

    Something else to think about Blockade:
    During Germany’s collect income for every surface warship the UK has in sz 10 or 11 roll a dice. Roll 1-2-3 deduct 1 IPC from the German treasury, 4-5-6 miss (deduct nothing). I know that Germany never got to blockade with their surface fleet, but in this game if Germany manages to get naval dominance around England allow their surface war ships to blockade any sz that touches the UK as well.



  • @WILD:

    Something else to think about Blockade:
    During Germany’s collect income for every surface warship the UK has in sz 10 or 11 roll a dice. Roll 1-2-3 deduct 1 IPC from the German treasury, 4-5-6 miss (deduct nothing). I know that Germany never got to blockade with their surface fleet, but in this game if Germany manages to get naval dominance around England allow their surface war ships to blockade any sz that touches the UK as well.

    Because Germany isn�t screwed enough?

    I like the naval rules with the new allowence to retreat. (except USW - still too weak and too few seazones for it)

    Another idea:

    Give every power the right for a second combat round but only for one battle per turn?


  • Customizer

    To sum up attackers options after a round of combat:

    Battle indecisive: the attackers MUST retreat.

    Q: Does this have to be to a sz the attackers came from, or could it be any non-hostile sz?

    Or should they be able to retreat to any adjacent friendly port?

    Battle won by attacker:

    attacker remains in the combat zone

    or

    attacker withdraws all units as per retreat, leaving the combat zone empty (he may choose to do this to repair a damaged BB for example)

    So, having established the principle of naval retreats, I see no reason to retain the possibility of both fleets remaining in the sz - there is no such thing a s acontested sz, as Krieghund has said.



  • Ok if going with a 1 round naval battle. I think you could allow the attacker to stay in the sz, or retreat either to a sz from which he came, or 1 space towards the nearest friendly naval base (better yet if the port is adjacent). This of course would allow the attacker to leap frog though, so needs to be tested.

    I also think that you might consider allowing for a second (final) round of combat, along with a retreat option though. Allow the attacker to fight a second round with all, or part of his fleet, and maybe retreat a damaged battleship towards a friendly port for repairs (that way it might not be a sitting duck). I would also think that after the the attacker gives his orders whether or not there will be a second battle, the defender is allowed to retreat (1 space towards the nearest friendly port). The defender must leave one warship behind to cover his retreat, and if he only has one ship this option isn’t available. Both parties involved would consider fighting on, or retreat wouldn’t they? That way the defender wouldn’t have to sit there and get hammered. Not sure if you should get another retreat option after a second/final battle?


  • Customizer

    I prefer to keep it simple as above.

    I’ve no problem with ships using leap frog; navies often tried to break out of blockade by fighting their way through the enemy fleet.



  • No, I think naval battle need unlimited rounds. A naval battle is one day, while land combat is months.

    In the battle of Jutland 1916, the Huns combat moved into the North Sea, sunk some British ships and then retreat after one round of combat. But not because of some law, but because the commander decided so. In theory the battle of Jutland could have continued until all ships hit bottom.


  • Customizer

    Most unlikely, I think. Ships ran out of fuel and shells. Whoever got the worst of the battle would eventually break it off and head to port.

    If months long land battles last only one turn, then on what basis do one or two day naval shootouts last several?



  • Well there are two completely different views on naval battles LOL.

    On one hand Razor says sea battles are shorter one day events (not months of fighting), so multiple rounds of battle are needed to better reflect what can happen. He evens mentions the battle of Jutland noting that the “Huns” could have continued the fight until all ships hit bottom, but decided to pull back on their own (it wasn’t some naval combat regulation enforcing shorter conflicts). Not sure if that actually helps his argument being that he admits the German retreat was more in line with a one round battle.

    Then on the other hand Flash says that naval encounters should be limited to a one round conflict (I don’t agree with that either). At a certain point (presumably the equivalent of one round) there would be cause to break off the engagement due to the need of re-fueling, ammo shortages, or need for repairs. At that point the attacker would have retreat options (or maybe be allowed to stay in the combated sz).

    OK, a couple things come to mind but this statement by Flash just hit me.

    “Whoever got the worst of the battle would eventually break it off and head to port”.

    So I was thinking, instead of mandating naval battles only go one round, why not just give both parties a retreat option (TBD). In many cases this would self restrict naval battles to one round. I have never liked how  the defenders navy is forced by rule to just sit there and take a pounding until it is sunk (like it is anchored at sea). I believe this is the seed behind Flashes one round navy battles as well (he states that in his opening post about the RN getting sunk in the Germans first turn).

    Not sure why we are looking at only an attackers retreat option, when defending navies would also choose to break off from combat if overwhelmed by the attacker (after the first round). In some cases the defender might choose to flight even if the odds are against him, but surly not every time.

    I know it would cause some controversy, and the attacker should be able to call the shots to a certain point (he will still set the stage bringing in what he wants to, the defender can’t bring in more ships). I would think the attacker would have the option to press on or retreat, then the defender. If the defender retreats there should probably be some consequence?  You couldn’t allow a defender to retreat into a hostel or combated sz. It would add more uncertainty to the naval side that’s for sure. It would also preserve clearing a sz for amphibs (something of concern). The defender stays to def and you pound him, or he retreats giving you access to his coast line, but there is fear of a counter attack on his turn.


  • Customizer

    So you agree that we should never end a turn with ships of both sides in a SZ?

    I’m prepared to think about either side having the option to retreat, but say the defender is in “home port”; should that not give him extra protection in the sense that the attacker is unlikely to pursue his ships into the port itself?

    I still think its simpler to have one round of combat, attacker must retreat if he doesn’t destroy the defender.



  • @Flashman:

    If months long land battles last only one turn, then on what basis do one or two day naval shootouts last several?

    The scale.

    A naval battle is like ten ships firing a broadside at each other in a limited space during a few houers, where each broadside count as a round of combat.

    A land battle is a million men army fighting over a country during months. One campaign count as a round of combat.



  • @WILD:

    So I was thinking, instead of mandating naval battles only go one round, why not just give both parties a retreat option (TBD). In many cases this would self restrict naval battles to one round.

    Yes, but when you retreat, the other is not allowed to chase you. In real naval battles it is common to chase each other, but in a game that kind of behavior violates the turn order.

    I think time is an issue. A game turn is considered to be like 6 months, while a real life naval battle usually took less than a day. On top of that, our ships seems to be stuck in their little seazone. In the real world a ship could easily sail around the world in 6 months, as is the length of a game turn. Now imagine that in a game, a ship with unlimited movement.

    I think in order to make a game that behave as close to the real world as possible, we must analyze every naval battles from 1904 to 1945, and then we will see that WiF is the game that come close, and that Axis and Allies has a long way to go.


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