• It seems to be agreed on the forums that cruisers aren’t worth purchasing.  Since cruisers were technically the fastest of ships, what if they had movement of 3 from any space regardless of naval base?  Would that change your mind on purchasing? I think it would for me.

  • '17 '16 '15

    I probably wouldn’t. There’s usually enough bases to give everybody 3 movement and if they’re the only ones with the bonus you’d want to keep them with your other ships anyway. So IDK where you could really use it.

    I think they just need to be cheaper and get a AA shot.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    What do you mean by an AA shot barney?

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Morning PP. He means it would get to shoot at an Air unit at a 1, like AA does on the ground. NOt sure if barney means at up to 3 air units, just like AA, or at just one per Cruiser. At up to three, makes most sense. (Hi and morning to you too, Barney.)
    Would change things for the better, I think. Air units are overpowered and this would help address the balance. One cruiser per fleet shooting at 3 air units and hitting one, could make all the difference.

  • '17 '16 '15

    HI Guys

    Yea just like regular AA only one shot instead of 3. IDK about cost. I think Ill try 10.

    I guess you could give them 3 shots. Naval battles are so susceptible to big swings, especially the first round, IDK if 3 shots might be too much. 3 CAs would get up to 9 shots. That could be kinda harsh if they hit hard

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Thanks witt & barney. So would a cruiser also have the usual in battle ability to hit air on a 3 as well?

    This and my last question are driven by the fact that I find this idea interesting. Cruisers are probably the least valuable unit on the roster.

  • '15

    I’ve always been a fan of 10 IPC for Cruisers, but I’ve never heard the AA idea.  That’s a great one.

    I would absolutely pay 12 for a C if I knew I’d have AA hits in sea battles

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    @Private:

    Thanks witt & barney. So would a cruiser also have the usual in battle ability to hit air on a 3 as well?

    This and my last question are driven by the fact that I find this idea interesting. Cruisers are probably the least valuable unit on the roster.

    Of course, PP.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @drummerinheat:

    Since cruisers were technically the fastest of ships

    Not really.  Speaking in very general terms (because there was a lot of variation from nany to navy), destroyers tended to be faster than cruisers.  Fleet carriers were usually quite fast too, since their high speed (combined with the technique of steering into the wind) facilitated plane launches.  And America’s 33-knot Iowa-class battleships were exceptionally fast (and agile) by battleship standards.  Cruisers (the main types being 8-inch gun heavy, 6-inch gun light and 5-inch gun anti-aircraft cruisers) we basically intended to be good all-around combat ships: they had a long-range cruising radius (like battleships and carriers; destroyers were notorious fuel hogs when operating at high speed, and their small size meant that they had relatively small fuel tanks); they had decent armour protection (less than battleships, but better than carriers (which had little) and destroyers (which had none)); and they had good firepower (especially the 8-inch ones, though of course this was much less than 14-, 15-, 16- and 18-inch battleships).  They were also considerably cheaper than battleships (especially the 6-inch and 5-inch ones), both in terms of construction costs and operating costs (due to the smaller crew size), though of course much more expensive than destroyers (which in any case served a very different role, primarily as escort vessels, anti-submarine platforms and as oversized torpedo boats).

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    Our cruisers cost 10 and have classic AA gun ability. No complaints yet.

  • Sponsor

    The only problem I have with the AA idea is, wouldn’t battleships and aircraft carriers also have the same ability?


  • @CWO:

    @drummerinheat:

    Since cruisers were technically the fastest of ships

    Not really.  Speaking in very general terms (because there was a lot of variation from nany to navy), destroyers tended to be faster than cruisers.  Fleet carriers were usually quite fast too, since their high speed (combined with the technique of steering into the wind) facilitated plane launches.  And America’s 33-knot Iowa-class battleships were exceptionally fast (and agile) by battleship standards.  Cruisers (the main types being 8-inch gun heavy, 6-inch gun light and 5-inch gun anti-aircraft cruisers) we basically intended to be good all-around combat ships: they had a long-range cruising radius (like battleships and carriers; destroyers were notorious fuel hogs when operating at high speed, and their small size meant that they had relatively small fuel tanks); they had decent armour protection (less than battleships, but better than carriers (which had little) and destroyers (which had none)); and they had good firepower (especially the 8-inch ones, though of course this was much less than 14-, 15-, 16- and 18-inch battleships).  They were also considerably cheaper than battleships (especially the 6-inch and 5-inch ones), both in terms of construction costs and operating costs (due to the smaller crew size), though of course much more expensive than destroyers (which in any case served a very different role, primarily as escort vessels, anti-submarine platforms and as oversized torpedo boats).

    My mistake.  I had been watching WW2 docs and it had mentioned that Cruisers were generally the fastest ships.  Should have done more research.

    Maybe a combo idea could work.  Like with land units (Art/Inf, Arm/Mech, Arm/Tac etc).  CWO Mark, what ships would/could cruisers combo with historically speaking?  Maybe it gets AA shot/or hits at a 4 if combined with carrier or battleship?

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @drummerinheat:

    Maybe a combo idea could work.  Like with land units (Art/Inf, Arm/Mech, Arm/Tac etc).  CWO Mark, what ships would/could cruisers combo with historically speaking?  Maybe it gets AA shot/or hits at a 4 if combined with carrier or battleship?

    I posted some background information on cruisers here, which may be of some use:

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=32165.0

    Re: Balancing Cruiser (CL) and Battleship (BB) units with other A&A units
    « Reply #9 on: October 11, 2013, 10:27:39 am »

    Re: Balancing Cruiser (CL) and Battleship (BB) units with other A&A units
    « Reply #12 on: October 11, 2013, 11:33:01 am »

    Re: Balancing Cruiser (CL) and Battleship (BB) units with other A&A units
    « Reply #14 on: October 12, 2013, 12:32:09 pm »

    There was a lengthy discussion of cruiser pairings in this thread…

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=34985.0

    …which included some posts from me giving a few thoughts on the subject.  I’ve listed only the first two below, but the thread went on for about eight pages:

    Re: Cruisers - Combined Arms
    « Reply #1 on: December 15, 2014, 02:46:14 pm »

    Re: Cruisers - Combined Arms
    « Reply #4 on: December 15, 2014, 04:53:24 pm »

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    By the way, here’s one possible way to consider cruisers for gaming purposes.  If I were to look at the six naval unit types used in A&A, but without looking at any of their rulebook specifications – in other words, if I were to consider them purely from a WWII historical perspective – the way I’d regard them would be as follows.

    The first distinction I’d make would be between the surface combatants (battleships, cruisers and destroyers) and the other types: aircraft carriers (which are surface ships, but whose mission is to deploy units that fight in the air), submarines (whose primary characteristic is their ability to operate underwater) and naval transport ships (which are not combatants).

    The next distinction I’d make between the three surface combatants would be to split off the destroyers from the battleships and the cruisers.  Destroyers were considered “maids of all work” more than surface-combat vessels, and unlike battleships and cruisers they were never intended to get into artilllery slugging matches with other vessels…which is just as well because they had zero armour, hence their nickname “tin cans.”  Their jobs were to escort bigger warships and/or merchant convoys, to hunt submarines, to serve as the outer ring of a fleet’s concentric defensive formation, to torpedo enemy ships if the opportunity arose, to engage in close-range shore-bombardment (of a very modest type, due to their very modest 5-inch guns), to put up a bit of AAA fire, and to carry out all sorts of odd jobs that might be needed.  They were produced in vast numbers (especially by the US), and in some respects could be regarded as the naval equivalent of a fighter plane or a fighter-bomber: fast, agile, and able to be deployed in great numbers in all sorts of roles.

    That leaves battleships and cruisers, which by the era of WWII (when fast batteships had become the norm) were very similar in their roles.  Both were regarded primarily as fast, seagoing, long-range, armour-protected platforms for heavy guns, originally intended (and sometimes used) for ship-to-ship combat but in practice greatly used in a shore-bombardment role to support amphibious landings.  Their large size allowed them to carry a large – and in some cases enormous – number of anti-aircraft weapons (.50 machine guns, 20mm and 40mm autocanmons, and 5-in dual-purpose anti-surface/anti-air guns), so they were extremely valuable as escort vessels for aircraft carriers, around which they would project a formidable barrage of AAA fire when enemy planes attacked.  I’d argue that, when the chips are down, WWII cruisers were fundamentally similar to battleships, their main disadvantage being that they were less capable and their main advantage being that they were cheaper and therefore could be produced in larger numbers.  The big American, British and Japanese navies had a number of modern battleships, a larger number of modern heavy cruisers, and an even larger number of modern light cruisers.  So did the other navies, but with the difference that in some cases the cruisers were all they were able to afford (or finish building before war’s end) in any significant numbers, if any at all.  Germany was probably the worst off, with very few modern battleships OR modern cruisers completed in time for war service.

    So in game terms, I’d say that realistically:

    • battleships and cruisers should have the same types of capabilities

    • battleships should have capabilities high enough (their advantage) to offset their high cost (their disadvantage)

    • cruisers should have a cost low enough (their advantage) to offset their lower capabilities (their disadvantage)

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @Young:

    The only problem I have with the AA idea is, wouldn’t battleships and aircraft carriers also have the same ability?

    To some degree yes, but I think the real intent with the rule is to make cruisers specifically a bit more useful in the overall game dynamic. Carriers can launch planes, battleships take 2 hits plus have a great roll value. Cruisers are just not that special. Giving them the AA capability, even if historically shared with other ships, is a very small concession that is still accurate. Heck, even destroyers had AA capability though it was inferior to cruisers. I think that Marc is just pointing out that in A&A we assign characteristics to certain units based on their general purpose. (For example many cruisers had anti-submarine capability too, but since it was most commonly an activity for destroyers and corvette type ships… we assign that ability to destroyers.)

    Cruisers and destroyers were generally the first ships to begin defending against air attack on a fleet as they would be positioned on the outer perimeter of the formations with battleships and carriers towards the middle for protection. So in that way, AA fire for a cruiser is very accurate.

    Besides, the US Navy at the very least built Anti-Aircraft Cruisers. These were geared specifically for that purpose and had the armament to match.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta-class_cruiser
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juneau-class_cruiser

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @barney:

    I probably wouldn’t. There’s usually enough bases to give everybody 3 movement and if they’re the only ones with the bonus you’d want to keep them with your other ships anyway. So IDK where you could really use it.

    I think they just need to be cheaper and get a AA shot.

    Definitely agree.

  • '15

    @LHoffman:

    @Young:

    The only problem I have with the AA idea is, wouldn’t battleships and aircraft carriers also have the same ability?

    To some degree yes, but I think the real intent with the rule is to make cruisers specifically a bit more useful in the overall game dynamic. Carriers can launch planes, battleships take 2 hits plus have a great roll value. Cruisers are just not that special. Giving them the AA capability, even if historically shared with other ships, is a very small concession that is still accurate. Heck, even destroyers had AA capability though it was inferior to cruisers. I think that Marc is just pointing out that in A&A we assign characteristics to certain units based on their general purpose. (For example many cruisers had anti-submarine capability too, but since it was most commonly an activity for destroyers and corvette type ships… we assign that ability to destroyers.)

    Cruisers and destroyers were generally the first ships to begin defending against air attack on a fleet as they would be positioned on the outer perimeter of the formations with battleships and carriers towards the middle for protection. So in that way, AA fire for a cruiser is very accurate.

    Besides, the US Navy at the very least built Anti-Aircraft Cruisers. These were geared specifically for that purpose and had the armament to match.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta-class_cruiser
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juneau-class_cruiser

    I agree with all of this.  Make the cruiser ten, give them an AA roll and I’d start buying more

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @LHoffman:

    Besides, the US Navy at the very least built Anti-Aircraft Cruisers. These were geared specifically for that purpose and had the armament to match.

    Yes, and the British did too – the Dido class.  I don’t think any other navies did so during WWII.

    All in all, I think the best option would be to fudge things a bit in the following way:

    • We assume that the cruiser in the game is a kind of hybrid between a 6-inch conventional light cruiser (which allows us to keep the OOB rule that gives cruisers shore-bombardment capabilities) and a 5-inch anti-aircraft light cruiser (which gives the revised unit an AAA capability)

    • We also assume that the price given in the OOB rules is for an 8-inch heavy cruiser rather than a light one, which would rationalize a slight drop in price for the revised unit (which is being conceived as a hybrid of two light cruiser types)

    • In principle, this “double improvement” (the gain of an AAA capability and a drop in cost) ought to be offset by something, which logically ought to be a drop in attack value (because we’re trading 8-inch guns for 6-inch guns and some extra 5-inch guns).  However, that would give cruisers the same attack value (2) as destroyers, which would be a rather pathetic situation.  So perhaps the cost should only be lowered from 12 to 11 rather than from 12 to 10, to keep things more reasonable?  Cruisers would still get a net double-gain, at no tradeoff penalty, but the gain wouldn’t be quite so dramatic.  Alternately, should we perhaps lower the cost from 12 to 10, but give the revised cruiser a more limited AAA capability that whatever full-blown version is being contemplated?


  • What about giving cruisers the ability to transport one infantry? They weren’t used very often as troop transports but the Japanese did convert 2 cruisers into fast troop transports. Very heavily armed troop transports if you will.

    Just a thought.

  • '17 '16 '15

    @CWO
    Hmm… so maybe 11 bucks with 3 AA shots ? Would keep them from being spammed too much. They’re pretty badass hitting on a 3 as it is, plus the bombard. You could have 2-3 per fleet and give you decent AA cover. Would be worth buying once in a while. Or maybe 10 but only one AA ? That hit at 3 is pretty powerful on it’s own.

    Although If you were playing with a global set up you might want to wait until rd 2 to take effect. It could mess up the openers.

    Their were a lot of crusier DD battles in the Guadalcanal campaign. Mostly at night which favored the Japanese usually. Which I find to be one of the most interesting parts of the Pacific war. IDK how you would represent that though. You’d probably have to get into country specific capabilities and basically have a seperate mod as opposed to a general rule.

    @ Der Kuenstler
    So classic AA means you would get one shot at each attacking plane regardless of number of crusiers ? I know this has all been dicussed before. I think it was one of your HR posts where I first saw it. 🙂

    @11HP20
    I didn’t know that about Japanese crusiers. I know their DDs did some transporting and some games have that for Japan only. I guess with it being limited I would say no as a general rule

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @barney:

    @CWO
    Hmm… so maybe 11 bucks with 3 AA shots ? Would keep them from being spammed too much. They’re pretty badass hitting on a 3 as it is, plus the bombard. You could have 2-3 per fleet and give you decent AA cover. Would be worth buying once in a while. Or maybe 10 but only one AA ? That hit at 3 is pretty powerful on it’s own.

    The cost part is critical IMO… even 11 may be one too much. I never really assumed that one cruiser could shoot at all aircraft. Rather I figured each each cruiser can make 3 AA shots @1. This incentivizes buying more than just one or two cruisers and limits their power projection. At 10 IPCs I think this is a decent compromise. They may actually become more useful than battleships which could be kinda cool.

    I always compare fleet defense on a cost-versatility basis compared with a loaded carrier, which is (IMO) the most cost-effective ship per unit of firepower. A loaded carrier with fighters costs 36 IPCs. Its total defense is 3 dice @2, @4 and @4, respectively and can take a total of 4 hits. Currently, 3 cruisers cost 36 IPCs total and have defense rolls of 3@3 and can take 3 hits. Which would you rather have?

    The loaded carrier has a better overall defense, can take an extra hit and is a more diverse platform… it’s aircraft can participate in any land battle (and add to territory defense). Cruiser can bombard, yes, but they only get one shot for the entire battle. Fighters, however, can keep going for all rounds of combat AND they can move farther to attack.

    As it stands, cruisers are mostly not worth the purchase of 12 IPCs. Even if lowered to 11, why buy a cruiser when you can buy a Tactical bomber or fighter, which are more versatile units. To account for that intrinsitc lack in verstatility, I think you have to add quite a bit to a cruiser’s capabilities and reduce cost. A A3 D3 C10, plus bombard and AA shot does that for me.

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    I agree with LHoffman cruisers should cost 10 IPCs, but in order to make them more desirable I’d bump destroyers down to A1 D2 to make them true escort ships for fleet defense. At that point it might make sense to bump them down to 7 IPC.

  • '17 '16

    @General:

    I agree with LHoffman cruisers should cost 10 IPCs, but in order to make them more desirable I’d bump destroyers down to A1 D2 to make them true escort ships for fleet defense. At that point it might make sense to bump them down to 7 IPC.

    Such combination is a very original idea.
    Destroyer A1 D2, 7 IPCs would have a bigger part as an all around sea-fodder unit compared to submarine.
    In addition, Submarine at 6 IPCs, A2 D1 would be harder to seek and destroy while on defense.

    It worths more attention.

    Thinking further on this line of thought, what about 6 IPCs for both Submarine and Destroyer?
    Destroyer A1 D2 C6 M2, Antisub Vessel.
    Submarine A2 D1 C6 M2, Can be hit by plane anytime.
    (Destroyer would no more be required to sink a sub with plane. End of any complex rules about DDs, Subs and planes.)

    Both DD and Sub would be even either on offense or on defense against each other (Sub A2 vs DD D2 / DD A1 vs Sub D1).

  • '17 '16

    @CWO:

    @LHoffman:

    Besides, the US Navy at the very least built Anti-Aircraft Cruisers. These were geared specifically for that purpose and had the armament to match.

    Yes, and the British did too – the Dido class.  I don’t think any other navies did so during WWII.

    All in all, I think the best option would be to fudge things a bit in the following way:

    • We assume that the cruiser in the game is a kind of hybrid between a 6-inch conventional light cruiser (which allows us to keep the OOB rule that gives cruisers shore-bombardment capabilities) and a 5-inch anti-aircraft light cruiser (which gives the revised unit an AAA capability)

    • We also assume that the price given in the OOB rules is for an 8-inch heavy cruiser rather than a light one, which would rationalize a slight drop in price for the revised unit (which is being conceived as a hybrid of two light cruiser types)

    • In principle, this “double improvement” (the gain of an AAA capability and a drop in cost) ought to be offset by something, which logically ought to be a drop in attack value (because we’re trading 8-inch guns for 6-inch guns and some extra 5-inch guns).  However, that would give cruisers the same attack value (2) as destroyers, which would be a rather pathetic situation.  So perhaps the cost should only be lowered from 12 to 11 rather than from 12 to 10, to keep things more reasonable?  Cruisers would still get a net double-gain, at no tradeoff penalty, but the gain wouldn’t be quite so dramatic.  Alternately, should we perhaps lower the cost from 12 to 10, but give the revised cruiser a more limited AAA capability that whatever full-blown version is being contemplated?

    One issue I have with Cruiser at 10 or 11 IPCs is that 2 of them (20 or 22 IPCs) make a far more powerful shore bombardment 2@3 than a battleship (20 IPCs) 1@4.
    Did Cruiser were better shots than Battleship on this matter during WWII?
    Or is it that Heavy Cruiser were really more effective than clumsier Battleship?

  • '17 '16 '15

    maybe they should have their bombard lowered to two since there will probably be more of them. I think LHoffman is right that even at 11 not too many would get built.

    I would think GeneralVeer’s DD proposal would encourage CA builds as well

    C7 and need to be present for planes would be ok for me. I kinda like that aspect of the naval battle. You usually want some air to work with your DDs anyway. They can still block for the extra buck too

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