Simple house rule to balance naval units vs. air units

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    A good point was brought to my attention about using large amounts of IPCs purchasing naval units to engage in large naval battles that do not move the markers on the income tracker. The issue seems to be the overpowering range, versatility, and attack value of air units versus the one dimensional and equally costly naval units.

    This was the quote…


    My biggest grief with the modern A&A pricing scheme is that ships cost too much relative to fighters and bombers, meaning that you should avoid trying to project power by sea unless you have no other realistic options. For example, if I have a land-based air force of 3 fighters and 3 tac bombers, it’s impossible for you to construct any combination of units (for the same price) involving any sea units that will out-perform my air force. It doesn’t matter if you stack fighters on a carrier, or spam destroyers, or mix destroyers and battleships, or what – I will still get better results on a per-IPC basis with my planes than you will. This is true even if you are building 100% warships – when you start trying to mix transports into your fleet, the odds go even more strongly in favor of air power.

    When contemplating this issue, I got an idea that might slightly increase the value of naval units when facing equally priced, but tactically superior air units.

    All hits scored by cruisers and battleships while attacking or defending, must be applied to enemy air units first.

    With this rule dynamic, the German attack on sea zone 110 changes slightly. Against 1 British battleship and 2 allied cruisers, the Germans bring in 2 submarines, 1 battleship, 2 fighters, 2 tac bombers, and 1 bomber. The German submarines and battleship still bring value especially the surprise strikes allotted to the subs, also the battleship can absorb hits from allied fighters if they decide to scramble. However, each hit scored by the defending battleship and cruisers are automatically applied to German air units increasing the degree of losses (how many times during G1 have the Germans destroyed the entire Royal navy without losing a single plane?).

    This will also help the axis slightly when facing a Taranto raid, and will make the 3 plane scramble decision more efficient. The British in all likely hood will bring in 1 tac bomber from carrier, also 1 fighter and 1 Strat bomber from London… the chances that the British will end the Taranto raid with all 3 air units is much lower. This will matter even more if the axis scramble allowing the Italian battleship and cruiser to survive for multiple combat rounds. This way, even a successful Taranto raid for the allies will be less devastating to the axis because there will be less British air units in the Med during UK2.

    Does any one see a major issue with this house rule?, I’ve decided to not give aircraft carriers this feature because aircraft carriers in my experience is the most produced out of the top 3 expensive naval units, and this might reduce their value a tad given the danger now of air units in naval battles, while slightly increasing the value of Cruisers and battleships.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    I think the setup around the UK is poorly done in G40 - it allows the British navy to be wiped out before the UK player can even count his money. I would house rule the setup before changing the units. Planes WERE historically superior to ships as far as bang for the buck - that’s why carriers replaced battleships.

  • @Der:

    Planes WERE historically superior to ships as far as bang for the buck - that’s why carriers replaced battleships.

    That is correct, but the 1940 fighters did not got the range to sink the Royal Navy in the real war. Taking off from Normandy they barely crossed the English Channel and got 10 minutes of operational time before they run out of gas. In this A&A game a Fighter unit can easily cross the Atlantic and sink everything afloat. And that is not historical correct, and I doubt it make the game better

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