Maneuver rolls for transports

  • Sponsor

    A new conscript named Nippon-koku has come up with an idea to solve the defenseless transport debate. Not sure if this was already brought up among the many posts about transports, but here is his quote…

    _"One idea I’ve had about the transport issue is this:

    a transport gets to roll a “maneuver” (basically a chance to avoid an attack) at a 1.

    So you have a transport by itself and Germany sends a bomber at it: you get one roll and if you hit a 1 you survive but without the ridiculous addition of your transport killing a bomber"_

    I thought this was brilliant.

  • '17 '16

    Hi Young Grasshopper,
    here is two variants, the older one was imagine first time by Uncrustable, the other was a more detailed HR based on the older one:
    @Baron:

    @Uncrustable:

    Transports cost reduced to 6 IPCs.
    -When empty may move 3 spaces during noncombat move. No transport may move 4 spaces
    -Transport ‘evasive maneuvers’, each transport caught undefended by an attacking warship or plane may roll 1 dice. A roll of a 1 is a successful evasive maneuver and that transport is removed from battle and placed back on the game board, a transport that evaded an enemy attack while undefended may not unload units until its next turn.

    This is another way to play a defenseless transport which should be added in this thread to be complete on the optional rule for this topic.

    It makes me think about a similar but still a bit different way to played it also as a defenseless but not hopeless transport:

    When there is no more warships/aircrafts to defend transports, then each transport roll and for each “1” rolled in a specific round, one Transport can escape.

    Attacker need to hit transport unit according to each attacking factor (ex.: subs @2/ DD @2 / CA @3, etc.) to destroy one transport.

    Each round any un-destroyed transport which haven’t been able to escape can still trying to roll “1” to escape.

    The combat end when, either all remaining transports have been able to escape, or have been destroyed.

    Their will be no more auto-die, no combat unit will be destroy and the naval combat is done according to usual A&A system rule:

    a roll is needed to destroy any unit and no unit able to destroy more than 1 unit in the same combat round.

    @Baron:

    Since I play-tested it,
    I say it is much more interesting than auto-die and more balance way to keep some surviving Transports than destroying expensive attacking units (one way or an other).

    I should add this detail:
    transport can get their evasive roll as soon as their is no more warships or planes on their side at the end of a combat round.

    Always attacking units can hit first, and it is only surviving transport which can get an evasive roll.

    Which means, for instance, if their is two transports at the beginning of a round and both are hit by attacker’s units then their is no evasive roll.

  • Sponsor

    Thanks for that BM, some really good ideas here.

  • '17 '16

    Your welcome,
    glad it can be useful and intertaining.

    For my part, I’m going into the direction of a 8 IPCs, Taken last Transport, in which all TPs units have 1 hit value and, as a whole group gets a single regular defense @1, as long as there is a surviving transport. (It was Spendo 02 idea.)


  • _So you have a transport by itself and Germany sends a bomber at it: you get one roll and if you hit a 1 you survive but without the ridiculous addition of your transport killing a bomber" _

    Or simply…a bomber cannot attack a transport…

    AL


  • @crusaderiv:

    _So you have a transport by itself and Germany sends a bomber at it: you get one roll and if you hit a 1 you survive but without the ridiculous addition of your transport killing a bomber" _

    Or simply…a bomber cannot attack a transport…

    AL

    Why not? Bombers attacked transports all the time. In fact, the entire reason we went for Guadalcanal was to prevent Japanese bombers from hitting our shipping lanes.

  • '17 '16

    @EnoughSaid:

    @crusaderiv:

    So you have a transport by itself and Germany sends a bomber at it: you get one roll and if you hit a 1 you survive but without the ridiculous addition of your transport killing a bomber"

    Or simply…a bomber cannot attack a transport…

    AL

    Why not? Bombers attacked transports all the time. In fact, the entire reason we went for Guadalcanal was to prevent Japanese bombers from hitting our shipping lanes.

    It depends on what kind of Bombers you are thinking of.
    Heavy High Altitude Bombers (OOB, 4 engines US bomber sculpt) are not very good at hitting such mobile targets.
    Medium Bombers like IJN Betty (OOB twin-engines Japan bomber sculpt) or B-25 Mitchell (HBG sculpt) were far better and able to do such a task.


  • Why not? Bombers attacked transports all the time. In fact, the entire reason we went for Guadalcanal was to prevent Japanese bombers from hitting our shipping lanes.

    Not true…Bomber like B17 and B24 or Avro Lancaster didn’t have the capability to attack transport.
    (The German FW 200 condor yes).
    Now if you have light bomber. (or Tac bomber) in your game…ah that’s another case.
    B25, Heinkel HE 111 are good example…
    Those kind of bomber has great success against ships like transport and warships.
    But to be accurate Bomber shouldn’t attack transport.

    AL.


  • So we agree “tactical bombers” did indeed attack transports frequently. OK.

    I think there are various reasons that the real life equivalent of in game Strat Bombers aren’t noted historically for attacking defenseless transports. Transports usually went with escort, so that significantly reduces possibilities.  And they usually had bigger fish to fry. But the hypothetical scenario of a general receiving intelligence that defenseless transports were out at sea and within range of these bombers, and then deciding to send the bomber(s) to destroy it seems quite reasonable to me. As the puny, squishy little transport isn’t going to shoot the armor plated bomber down, it can fly lower to increase accuracy. As the faster pursuer, it can fly over multiple times to ensure the job is done. No munition changes required. Explode-on-impact carpet-bombing still gets it done.

    Back to the topic at hand, I think it’s a fun house rule idea. I think transports are overcosted as is, so giving them a little more survivability is cool with me. It doesn’t make much sense, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Afterall, fighters hit battleships just as hard as a cruiser in this game. It’s a game, we’ve already enlisted suspension of belief to play.
    I like it.
    Thanks for ironing out the details, Baron Muchhausen.


  • @EnoughSaid:

    As the puny, squishy little transport isn’t going to shoot the armor plated bomber down, it can fly lower to increase accuracy.

    Flying lower in this kind of situation wouldn’t necessarily increase accuracy because the angle between the position of the bomber and the position of the transport ship that it’s overflying changes much more rapidly at low altitude than at high altitude. (To visualize this, think of how quickly a sailor on the deck of a ship would have to turn his head to follow a plane flying straight over him at 200 miles per hour at an altitude of 100 feet, as opposed to following with his eyes the same plane overflying him at 5,000 feet.)  It’s hard to aim a bomb in level flight at a ship flashing beneath you so fast that it’s there one second and gone the next.

    I never really followed the original “aberration of the defenseless transport” thread (which I see is 28 pages long at this point), so I hesitate to venture very deeply into this spin-off thread because I’m not up to speed on the arguments that have already been made.  If I inderstand correctly YG’s post today about Nippon-koku’s idea, the objective being pursued is to make transport ships less vulnerable to attack without giving them the ability to actually shoot down enemy planes.  Nippon-koku’s idea would be one way to do it, but it should be noted that most WWII transport ships weren’t very manueverable.  They tended to be low-powered engine-wise, and to be large and heavy, and to have single rudders, which made them rather sluggish.  Warships tended to have a much higher thrust-to-weight ratio (I think that’s actually an aviation term, but you get the picture), with finer hull forms, so it was much easier for them to make high-speed, high-agility maneuvers (for example to try to comb torpedo tracks), especially if they had twin rudders for added maneuverability.

    Another solution might be this.  Quite a few merchant ships carried defensive AAA guns (the lighter ones, like the .50-cal machine gun and the 20mm autocannon, were basically bolt-on weapons that could be fitted to a ship with a minimum of trouble), and the point to note here is that those guns didn’t necessarily have to shoot down enemy planes to break up an attack against a convoy.  The “Operation Pedestal” Malta convoy in August 1942 is a useful example.  German and Italian planes subjected the convoy to severe attacks over several days, the basic strategy being to try to sink or drive off the escorting warships first, then to go all-out for the transports.  The book Malta Convoy by Shankland and Hunter describes a few episodes of the battle in which Allied cargo ships fired their AAA guns at approaching enemy bombers, which responded by unloading their bombs (while still quite a distance away) and turning to head home, their pilots evidently not being very resolute in the prosecution of their attack in the face of anti-aircraft fire.  So the house rule could be: roll (whatever) to determine if the transport’s AAA fire succeeds in persuading the enemy bomber pilots to abandon their attack run.  The planes wouldn’t actually get shot down, but the transport would nonetheless escape being sunk if it achieves the required roll.

    By the way, I’ll be out of town all day Friday so I’ll rejoin this discussion when I return.

  • '17 '16

    On this matter about Bombers attacking transports and defenseless transports:
    @Der:

    Wow - just got back from vacation to see this.

    I’ve been reading Richard Frank’s historic account called Guadalcanal. On pp 79-80 he describes a Japanese air raid on US transports:

    "Twenty-three Bettys …burst out of the East in several groups to charge the fat transports just before noon…the Japanese suffered grievously at the hands of the ship’s gunners. The Bettys rippled the sea surface from an altitude of only 20 to 40 feet in accordance with tactics that brought success early in the war against weak AA defenses. But now the Japanese faced more heavy guns guided by sophisticated fire control systems and, more important a proliferation of the deadly 20 mm antiaircraft machineguns…12 or so adorned each of the sluggish transports, and from some vessels came a further barrage of automatic rifle and submachinegun fire…only five of the attacking Bettys fluttered back to Rabaul…"That is history. Under global transport rules, it would have read something like this: “then a single Japanese Betty flew over and all the transports were auto-sunk without firing a shot.”

    To answer some of the requests for more details of our game, what happened was people would decide that they would invade somewhere, then buy ENOUGH TRANSPORTS TO DO THE JOB, and quit. That makes sense - at $10 a pop you are not going to keep spamming transports to use in battles when you can be twice as effective using DDs which cost $8 and attack and defend @2.

    In the new naval setting, BBs need not fear transports - remember they can take the first hit free, and in some versions they are auto-repaired at the end of the battle. If you’ve bought five 10 IPC transports that is $50 worth of shipping there - do you think sane people will run them into battle situations as a regular strategy? We didn’t - it might have happened in dire situations but spamming transports was never strategy used in our group, with DDs available.

    Remember, we’re not talking about going back to the old classic game world with 1 hit BBs and no DDs. We are advocating bringing the classic-type transport into the new global world which is a whole different story.


  • So we agree “tactical bombers” did indeed attack transports frequently. OK.

    Yes I forgot to mention dive bomber and fighter bomber.

    AL.

  • '17 '16

    @crusaderiv:

    Why not? Bombers attacked transports all the time. In fact, the entire reason we went for Guadalcanal was to prevent Japanese bombers from hitting our shipping lanes.

    Not true…Bomber like B17 and B24 or Avro Lancaster didn’t have the capability to attack transport.
    (The German FW 200 condor yes).
    Now if you have light bomber. (or Tac bomber) in your game…ah that’s another case.
    B25, Heinkel HE 111 are good example…
    Those kind of bomber has great success against ships like transport and warships.
    But to be accurate Bomber shouldn’t attack transport.

    AL.

    In our game perspective, in which Medium Bombers are part of the Bomber unit (long distance travel and unable to land on carrier, heavier payload “@4”, a crew of more than three members) and not included in Tactical Bomber sculpt (land on carrier, shorter ranger, less payload “@3”, a crew of 1 to 3 members), a Bomber can attack transport, here is a finer analysis and better explanations.
    It is based on an interesting description of the Tactical Bombers compared to Strategic Bombers by kcdzim:

    Part of this stems from simplified game mechanics and part of it certainly stems from earlier versions.

    In the previous games, they weren’t called Strategic Bombers. They were bombers.
    And “Bombers” certainly included more than just high altitude heavy bombers.

    The nomenclature changed but their roles haven’t: Strategic Bombers still include medium bombers. The fact that Tactical bombers are compatible with carriers, implies they represent smaller planes. Yes, the Mitchell flew off a carrier for the Doolittle Raid, but that was a VERY specialized use of a medium bomber that was essentially stripped to even get off the flight deck. So Strategic bombers still include medium bombers like the Mitchell, and Tactical bombers are more akin to heavy fighters, ground attack, dive bombers, torpedo bombers, etc., which were more often single engine or single pilot or pilot/navigator, and not manned with a substantial crew, didn’t carry substantial loads.

    Historically, medium Bombers like the Mitchell, Invader, Havoc, etc., were effective in low altitude bombing/torpedo attacks on naval units. Torpedoes obviously worked well, but Skip bombing was also very effective against transport and warship alike and used extensively by the allies in the south pacific (battle of the Bismarck sea being a good example). B17’s even got in on the action. It’s just not a high altitude bombing run that you imagine from “strategic bombers” and movies like Memphis Belle.

    Look at the Tac bombers we have: a ground attack tank killer (Sturmovik), 3 dive bombers (Stuka, Dauntless, Val) and a Mosquito, which is a blurred recon/day and night fighter/torp bomber/fast bomber/pest. None of those are really close to the role of the Mitchell (which is certainly a “tactical bomber” by any standard definition EXCEPT this game). There’s no good single name that covers the roles of aircraft in between Air superiority Fighter and Strategic Bomber. Tactical Bomber is what we have, but you NEED to imagine it means heavy fighter/dive bomber/torpedo bomber/ground attack/night fighter/fighter-bomber as well. And NOT medium bomber.

    Until the game differentiates further with medium bombers vs high altitude bombers (it’s not likely to as that favours the allies), then “strategic bombers” is still somewhat accurate as they don’t simply represent Heavy Bombers alone and it’s acceptable to use them to represent the role of Medium bombers in Naval warfare.

    http://harrisgamedesign.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5629


  • Like I mentioned in others tread. A tactical bomber is not a type of bomber
    Tactical bomber include a group of different bomber.
    Do what you want….But if it’s ridiculous to see a transports killing a bomber it’s also ridiculous to see a bomber killing a transport…
    Even if you play classic A&A…you can add a light bombers sculpt or something look likes…
    I have a full jar of A&A piece…and don’t know what to do with it!!

    AL

  • '17 '16

    To solve such issue we just need to split “Airs”… :-)

    Based solely on OOB sculpt, German’s and Japanese’s StBs (Betty, Mitsubishi G4M) should be treated as Medium Bomber, hence Tactical Bomber.
    Simply because all medium bombers (with 2 engines, such as JU88) were able to attack and bomb tactical targets (smaller and mobile target).
    So Axis Bombers can attack transports.
    While Allies Bombers sculpts are real high altitude bombers (4 engines) mostly good to hit a specific zone (strategic target), so cannot attack transports.

    Axis bombers sculpt are part of the historical development of the game which only show that at a certain point, medium and heavy bombers were in the same category.
    The new unusual Tactical Bomber category introduced lately is creating the confusion.

    Sooner or later, you will need to decide what you do with Medium bombers, a long range tactical bomber, unable to land on a carrier.
    And what do you do with the Axis sculpts, giving them StB combat values?
    Or simply changing for 4 engines high altitude bombers sculpts and making something else with the OOB sculpts?

    So, everything depends on how you want to split “Airs”.
    :-D


  • I think we’re getting off topic.

    Nippon-koku, please correct me if I’m wrong.

    I’m pretty sure the German bomber was just an example. It could have been said with French destroyer. The point was: defenseless transport under attack gets 1/6 chance to escape.
    Since I think transports are overcosted at 7, I like it. And it can be exciting, so I like it for that reason, too.

  • '17 '16

    For my part, anything that can follow these principles is welcome:

    • No combat unit destroyed by a weak non-warship transport unit,
    • Naval combat is done according to usual A&A system rule:
    • No auto-die, a roll is needed to destroy any unit, no exception at all

    • and no combat unit able to destroy more than 1 unit in the same combat round (AAA still an exception).

    • In addition, a roll is needed to provide escape for the weak, no predictable result.

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