Reality wrecking destroyer rules need a revamp…

  • '17 '16

    @Baron:

    Maybe there should be a difference about attacking DD ability against subs and defending DD against subs.

    It seems easier (because of the interaction with defending planes on carrier) to treat defending DD as OOB.

    One DD cannot be everywhere.

    In fact, 1 DD sculpt means many destroyers ships. And usually they are escorting other attacking warships.
    So, they are not scattered around the sea-zone, every ship by itself, hoping to hit a submarine vessel.

    I think that even a single defending DD is enough to block all attacking subs surprise strike.
    I rationalize it this way: to provide a good defense against subs Destroyers just have to stay close to the others warships they are escorting. DD don’t need to be everywhere in a SZ.

    On the opposite, when going Anti-Sub mission, they are patrolling a large zone and if they stay too close to each other it will be harder for destroyers to find targets.
    That’s why I think the 1:1 restriction better fit for attacking DDs.

    In addition, an attacking player always have the opportunity to ponder if he have enough units on his side to make an effective attack and, if not, he will plan something else.
    If a defending player have only 1 DD with other warships, there is a lot of chance he will pick the DD as first casualty instead of loosing bigger warships.
    So, in the second combat round, a large subs fleet will retrieve his first strike capacity.
    Don’t you think?

    About defending planes and DDs against subs.
    What happen if, for instance, 5 Subs are attacking 1 DD+ 1 CV+ 2 FGs. Let’s suppose both Fgs get a hit but not the DD nor the CV.
    According to the 1:1 ratio, only 1 Subs can be taken as casualty and the other hit is lost. I think it is OP.


  • Hmmm…good points…I’ll have to mull on that a while…

  • '17 '16

    The main problem for subs is to survived when being under attacked.
    So I think KNP’s single combat round against subs should be added to your rule.

    Another point is that Destroyers should be able to retreat 1 SZ once they have made their attack when there is anyone sub which survived anyhow.

    This retreat will allows more mobility to the attacking fleet and will allow destroyer to come back 1 SZ to protect vulnerable vessels from the counter-attack of the surviving subs.


  • If you make destroyers work against subs only on a 1:1 basis, you’ll have to increase sub cost to 8 IPCs or they’ll be grossely overpowered. It’s already tough defending against subs when you need to spend 8 IPCs for every 6 IPCs spent by your opponent. If every sub that isn’t matched also gets to make a first strike, then it gets ridiculously overpowered for the guy buying subs. Either that, or bring their attack down to 1 (but I don’t think that would be enough).


  • @Zombie69:

    If you make destroyers work against subs only on a 1:1 basis, you’ll have to increase sub cost to 8 IPCs or they’ll be grossely overpowered. It’s already tough defending against subs when you need to spend 8 IPCs for every 6 IPCs spent by your opponent. If every sub that isn’t matched also gets to make a first strike, then it gets ridiculously overpowered for the guy buying subs. Either that, or bring their attack down to 1 (but I don’t think that would be enough).

    Another good point - but then the question is - historically - did it cost Britain more to stop the subs with all the DDs, planes, sonar, etc. than it did Germany to make them and send them out?
    As I understand it the British were pretty tied up with the Battle of the Atlantic and used a lot of their resources there. They were not able to land in Norway or Europe  successfully until 1944, and that was with the USA helping.

    Perhaps the US could be allowed to give Britain destroyers to help. Historically they gave them 50 DDs.

  • '17 '16

    @Der:

    @Zombie69:

    If you make destroyers work against subs only on a 1:1 basis, you’ll have to increase sub cost to 8 IPCs or they’ll be grossely overpowered. It’s already tough defending against subs when you need to spend 8 IPCs for every 6 IPCs spent by your opponent. If every sub that isn’t matched also gets to make a first strike, then it gets ridiculously overpowered for the guy buying subs. Either that, or bring their attack down to 1 (but I don’t think that would be enough).

    Another good point - but then the question is - historically - did it cost Britain more to stop the subs with all the DDs, planes, sonar, etc. than it did Germany to make them and send them out?
    As I understand it the British were pretty tied up with the Battle of the Atlantic and used a lot of their resources there. They were not able to land in Norway or Europe  successfully until 1944, and that was with the USA helping.

    Perhaps the US could be allowed to give Britain destroyers to help. Historically they gave them 50 DDs.

    One way of doing this is to allow a US DD to become a UK’s, once reaching UK’SZ.

  • 2024 '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    I favor the 1:1 unit pairing suggested here.

    Also the suggestion to allow u boats to dive after the first round of combat. My friends and I always thought that the Destroyer really neutered subs when it was first introduced with that ability to hold the sub for the duration of combat. We used to really enjoy Classic and Revised rules that allowed submarines to wage some form of economic warfare. Usually in the form of a modified strat bombing or rocket mechanic (these always seemed the simplest and most effective way to make subs  useful outside of opening strike combat or fodder.) But we also used to use rules similar to how convoys are treated.  We’d do subs 2 spaces out from an IC and things of that sort. Then the new rules and price structure were introduced… I felt they were pretty successful in establishing DD as the fodder preference, but also made subs rather weaker despite the cost drop. Basically since aa50 retaining the sub as basically only valued in a combat role.

    Convoy disruption was a good attempt, but again I wish this stuff would be introduced on a core board instead of just the advanced one like the 1940 maps.

    Some kind of baseline economic role for the sub, paired off against destroyers 1:1.
    Although the new cost at six is pretty damn cheap. Something to encourage wolf packing would be nice. But also a reason to fan out across the atlantic.

    To date I’ve never been truly satisfied with implementation of subs absent some HR to correct them. Going back to Classic they are always problematic. But also iconic, and thus necessary :)
    It would be nice to get something functional and handle their interaction with destroyers, air, and production once and for all. I would definitely prefer a scheme that could work across multiple boards.


  • @Black_Elk:

    To date I’ve never been truly satisfied with implementation of subs absent some HR to correct them. Going back to Classic they are always problematic. But also iconic, and thus necessary :)
    It would be nice to get something functional and handle their interaction with destroyers, air, and production once and for all. I would definitely prefer a scheme that could work across multiple boards.

    Exactly. I would say the submarine is the biggest headache in the whole game. Probably because it can’t actually disappear under the water as it does in reality, abstract rules need to be made up for it, which often contradict all the other naval rules.

    Probably the biggest reality that the current rules don’t take into account is that in WWII much of the time you couldn’t find the things. Then, if you did find one, it might get away. Heck, once a U-boat went right into Scapa Flow, one of the busiest ports in the world, sunk the Royal Oak, and got away. In the current rules, you always find the sub - just look at the map. Then you send a DD over there and kill it - and if you bring enough support it never gets away.


  • @Der:

    In the current rules, you always find the sub - just look at the map.

    This is in fact an issue with every unit on the board: everyone can always see who has what forces where, so surprise and concealment and deception – vitally important elements in true warfare – can never be achieved under the official rules.  It’s one of the main reasons why A&A is more of a WWII-themed board game than a true military simulation.

  • Customizer

    Here’s my take. 86 all the specialized rules for subs, destroyers and transports. Treat them like any other unit. Allow subs to make an “SBR” in convoy zones. Allow Destroyers in those zones to act as “AAA” if applicable.

    First bump the sub defense back up to 2.

    In the case of non-global games use SZs adjacent to ICs as convoy zones. Keep the sub’s range the same but allow them to return to a friendly SZ after a “commerce raid”, remember they must have range just like an aircraft unit.

    Allow planes to take out subs and allow subs to fire back assuming they would have AAA capability, which not exactly historical, but did happen and is somewhat plausible. Same for TRNs.

    Let TRNs defend at 1 all other OOB rules apply.

    To balance it out let DDs support amphibious assault for one round 1:1 infantry, CAs 1:2, and BBs 1:3. All other OOB rules would apply.

    Third, let APs, DDs, and SS just be one price 8 IPCs. Their abilities and advantages amongst each other at the same price-point (IMO) negate much of the debate of “fodder/balance/etc.” BS.

    Just my take. Have at it guys  :-)


  • @toblerone77:

    Here’s my take. 86 all the specialized rules for subs, destroyers and transports. Treat them like any other unit. Allow subs to make an “SBR” in convoy zones. Allow Destroyers in those zones to act as “AAA” if applicable.

    First bump the sub defense back up to 2.

    In the case of non-global games use SZs adjacent to ICs as convoy zones. Keep the sub’s range the same but allow them to return to a friendly SZ after a “commerce raid”, remember they must have range just like an aircraft unit.

    Allow planes to take out subs and allow subs to fire back assuming they would have AAA capability, which not exactly historical, but did happen and is somewhat plausible. Same for TRNs.

    Let TRNs defend at 1 all other OOB rules apply.

    To balance it out let DDs support amphibious assault for one round 1:1 infantry, CAs 1:2, and BBs 1:3. All other OOB rules would apply.

    Third, let APs, DDs, and SS just be one price 8 IPCs. Their abilities and advantages amongst each other at the same price-point (IMO) negate much of the debate of “fodder/balance/etc.” BS.

    Just my take. Have at it guys  :-)

    After several days of my brain smoking from overuse trying to solve the sub enigma, I must admit this sounds very appealing! I would definitely join a mob bonfire to torch these fun sucking sub rules and simplify. Do your subs still get a first shot surprise attack?


  • @toblerone77:

    Keep the sub’s range the same but allow them to return to a friendly SZ after a “commerce raid”, remember they must have range just like an aircraft unit.

    I’m liking this idea a lot…

  • Customizer

    No DK. Although you could tweak that if you wanted too. My idea with my “8-8-8” rule was just to totally streamline the game. My frustration with subs and destroyers was that they had a bunch of rules stacked on top of rules through the editions. I thought why not just make subs and destroyers act like any other naval unit?

    I haven’t had the chance to totally play-test this yet. I am teaching my Dad to play Global today so we’ll be playing OOB rules, but now that he’s become an A&A player I will have more opportunities to play-test.

    Already my Pop has been pointing out some things in the game he thinks need HRs lol.

    (Response to your sneak attack question.)


  • Subs get first round sneak attack only and planes can’t attack.

    or

    Subs get first round sneak attack every round and planes can attack every round only with a destoyer present.

  • '17 '16

    @SS:

    Subs get first round sneak attack only and planes can’t attack.

    or

    Subs get first round sneak attack every round and planes can attack every round only with a destoyer present.

    I think it worth to think about this sub problems.
    And the fix depends greatly on how we see the problem.

    If it is a matter of subs having a high rate of casualty and are seldom able to make first strike attack, at least, in your first solution you make subs much less vulnerable against planes. It is unhistorical but subs combat capacity is also reduced. What do you do with Destroyers?

    The other solution seems to imply that destroyers are no more able to stop the first strike shots of subs, is it right?

    I think you are cracking the nutshells of subs issue but much more aspects needs to be enlighten to better understand the consequences of your ideas to judge them. If you have time to develop it a bit more, I think it can help.


  • Each Destroyer stops subs first strike attack 1 to 1.

  • '17 '16

    @Black_Elk:

    I favor the 1:1 unit pairing suggested here.

    Also the suggestion to allow u boats to dive after the first round of combat. My friends and I always thought that the Destroyer really neutered subs when it was first introduced with that ability to hold the sub for the duration of combat. We used to really enjoy Classic and Revised rules that allowed submarines to wage some form of economic warfare. Usually in the form of a modified strat bombing or rocket mechanic (these always seemed the simplest and most effective way to make subs useful outside of opening strike combat or fodder.) But we also used to use rules similar to how convoys are treated. We’d do subs 2 spaces out from an IC and things of that sort. Then the new rules and price structure were introduced… I felt they were pretty successful in establishing DD as the fodder preference, but also made subs rather weaker despite the cost drop. Basically since aa50 retaining the sub as basically only valued in a combat role.

    Convoy disruption was a good attempt, but again I wish this stuff would be introduced on a core board instead of just the advanced one like the 1940 maps.

    Some kind of baseline economic role for the sub, paired off against destroyers 1:1.
    Although the new cost at six is pretty damn cheap. Something to encourage wolf packing would be nice. But also a reason to fan out across the atlantic.

    To date I’ve never been truly satisfied with implementation of subs absent some HR to correct them. Going back to Classic they are always problematic. But also iconic, and thus necessary :)
    It would be nice to get something functional and handle their interaction with destroyers, air, and production once and for all. I would definitely prefer a scheme that could work across multiple boards.

    The opening post seems looking for an economic warfare role for submarine.
    This thing should be explored and your ideas (working as Strategic Bombing IC, or even the old way of classic when an SBR meant loosing directly IPCs) or a convoy disruption tactic should be examined for the core game (1942.2).

    About subs combat role, I can follow you and DK for the 1 Destroyer blocks 1 Submarine principle.
    However, this imply that to determine how many first strike submarines get, each combat round the number of subs and destroyers must be calculated and revised.
    It adds an annoying procedure before a lot of naval combat round.

    For my part, I would rather prefer to let destroyers block the submarine submerge 1 on 1, but needs only 1 destroyers to protect against first strike.

    Once this said, I have a real game changer for submarines to submit and let everyone think about it. The idea is based on 2 things, submarines weren’t playing a role of cannon fodder for surface vessel during the war.
    They were much slower (so cannot follow them) and far more elusive than DDs, Cruisers, Carriers and Battleships.

    Actually, the rules evolves in a way that transports and submarines can no more control a given Sea-Zone and cannot block warships.
    But submarines kept the interdiction capacity to forbid unescorted transport to unload for an amphibious assault.
    Transport are taken last because of their non-combat capacity.
    Why not does something similar to submarines lesser combat role compared to surface warships?
    How?
    By introducing this point about picking submarines as casualty:

    A submarine unit can be choose as casualty when there is no other elligible surface warships (DD, CA, CV, BB).
    In other way, submarines will be the last casualty amongst warships.

    -Planes need no more Destroyers to hit submarines.
    (Throwing into garbage the many difficult situations involving planes with transports, subs with/without destroyers).
    Fgs, TcBs and StBs can hit submarine anytime now, inside the limit of given rule on Subs casualty.

    -Submarines keep Surprise strike and Submerge, Cannot hit air and so forth. -1 Destroyer unit protects against all subs surprise strikes but only prevents 1 submarine submerge and for 1 combat round only. However, I will allow a special retreat move for both Submarines and Destroyers:
    Retreat Move Option for DD and Subs: even if there is no more enemy ships in a once embattled Sea-Zone, attacking Subs and Destroyers can retreat 1 SZ from where they came.

    So, a Submarine unit : Attack 2 Defense 1 Move 2 Cost 6
    will be cheap and far more difficult to spot and destroy. Hence, have a better survivability.
    However submarines will no more serve as a cheap fodder for any big warships, and this make them less interesting for some kind of naval investments and strategies.

    3 Forseeable consequences on combat:
    Attacker will have to balance whether sacrifying his damaged costlier units (CV and BB) to finish off an enemy by using his last standing submarines or retreat with his costlier damaged warships and his cortege of sub units.

    It will remain possible to make an attack with submarines and planes only, in which case submarines can be taken as casualties before planes.

    When 2 large fleets with DDs and Subs collides, the first side to lose all his destroyers becomes vulnerable to the surprise strike of enemy’s submarines.
    So, submarines will more often use their first strike ability in combat.


  • @Baron:

    A submarine unit can be choose as casualty when there is no other elligible surface warships (DD, CA, CV, BB).

    The problem here is, that the sub usually works alone, so it will be the only casualty to choose most of the time.


  • Here is what I’ve come up with so far - it involves a pretty extensive revamp, so I’ll try to illustrate it as much
    as possible.

    First off, only submarines can convoy raid. This greatly simplifies things and fits in with the wide brush Axis
    and Allies paints with (each unit usually has one specialty).

    Next, my new custom map (Adapted from IL’s) has no regular convoy raiding zones on it. This is because on my map you can raid any enemy coastal area that has some economic value, so why clutter the map up with symbols? How do I avoid abuse of this? I have given each country a National Convoy Raiding Cap. This is a number that you can’t do convoy damage beyond. For example, Germany’s CRC is only 6, while Japan’s is 30, representing how much more Japan is dependent on convoys.

    I have three special convoy zones marked that were historically important during WWII. One is the North Atlantic:

    ![](http://i217.photobucket.<br />com/albums/cc11/klustick/album2/post1.jpg)

    Much vital shipping went to the UK through here. Notice it says “UK” on it. This convoy zone can be thought
    of as a window or a wormhole that gives access to the UK territory. The UK on my map is worth 10 so raiders can do 10 IPCs worth of damage here. The next special area is the North Sea Convoy area here:

    ![](http://i217.photobucket.<br />com/albums/cc11/klustick/album2/post2.jpg)

    This area gives subs direct access to attack the Russian capital, which is worth 10. Much allied aid went through here and Germany could cripple Russia here with enough raids. If the Russian ports are taken around the White Sea then this convoy shuts down. The third special convoy area is by Gibraltar.

    ![](http://i217.photobucket.<br />com/albums/cc11/klustick/album2/post3.jpg)

    These are the Mid-Atlantic convoys that came from all over the British empire and bottlenecked here. Notice
    it’s window is linked “British Empire” - this means the Germans could do huge damage here, up to 28 IPC’s
    worth. (On my new map every territory has a value, so Britain’s total income is 42.)

    RESOLVING SEA BATTLES:

    This is a prototype for a different kind of battleboard. Here we have two subs attacking a cruiser and a destroyer. Notice column 2 has a section with an icon of a sub and ASDIC pings over it. The other section
    has a sub with “special abilities” listed under it. As there are 2 subs and only one DD defending, only one of the subs loses its special abilities. It is considered “pinned” by the DD and is placed in the top section with the ASDIC. The other sub is considered “free” - it can use all of it’s special abilities.

    The free sub gets a First Shot strike - a hit! The defender chooses the cruiser - it is lost with no chance to
    fire back. The second sub misses. The DD then fires and hits a sub. The pinned sub is taken. Now the free
    sub becomes pinned - it is moved to the ASDIC area and loses its special abilities.

    The sub fires and hits the DD, and the DD misses. The battle is over.

    Next we’ll do a convoy raid. My convoy raids happen the step before the combat move sequence, after strategic bombing. Three German subs enter the Mid-Atlantic Convoy zone to do a raid. Notice there is a British DD there, along with a cruiser.

    The rules say that any time a sub enters a zone with an enemy DD it must stop. So notice with a 1:1 rule
    the DD stops only one of the subs - it has the sub “pinned” and it cannot convoy raid. The other two subs get by, however, and they will raid the zone.

    One die is rolled per raiding sub and added - the two subs do 8 IPC’s damage to the convoys there. I have
    special colored “damage” chips I use - yellow means one and orange means 5. 8 damage chips are put out on the zone. This is a good way to keep track of damage. If this were a smaller yield zone, for example, and
    the damage was maxed out, the Italians could not come by and “double dip” by raiding the same zone again. At the end of the UK’s turn when it’s pay time, these chips are collected and subtracted from the UK’s income, so they never see it.

    �

    Every convoy is assumed to be protected by its own escorts, so now it is time for reprisal. One die is rolled
    by the British for each ofthe two subs that did the raiding. Any ones rolled kills a sub.

    One sub was lost to depth charging after the raid. Now the remaining free sub uses what’s left of its movement and escapes. There is a sub pen in France. In my rules, it costs no movement to enter or leave a sub pen. So the sub uses its last movement point to zip up into the pen. The other sub is still pinned by the DD.

    The convoy raid step is over and the combat movement phase begins. Now the remaining sub finds itself at
    the beginning of the combat move phase in the same seazone as two enemy ships. According to the rules,
    he can either attack the ships or withdraw. So the sub chooses to escape into the sub pen, which holds 2
    subs.

    ![](http://i217.photobucket.<br />com/albums/cc11/klustick/album2/post9.jpg)

    On the UK’s turn, two British DDs are moved into the zone where the German Sub Pen is. Now on the next
    German turn, the subs try to come out for another convoy raid. But they are each pinned by a DD. No
    raiding can be done. All they can do is wait for the combat move sequence to leave the zone or attack the
    DDs.

    This is basically what I have so far - let me know where you see the holes in it….:) � Â

    �  � Â


  • Nice battle board. Like it alot. You don’t think the icp damage is to much.

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