• I still have yet to play my first game of 1940 global edition so I apologize if I come off a bit noobish to this version of a&a. I’ve played 1942 almost 5 complete times and have looked over all the rules for the 1940 version so im set when it comes for the game rules 😄

    Anyways naval combat has always seemed really interesting to me but my question is what a decent or strong navy would consist of. It’s a very broad question but im more wondering things like what units to buy if you’re a minor power compared to a major power. What units to build towards first ie. For the US, build battleships and aircraft carriers with air units or start smaller with an abundance of destroyers and subs. How do you perceive the strength of another hostile navy? It seems general and simple or even obvious when you see a handful of capital ships and even more lesser naval units, like japans starting navy, compared to say Italy’s mini starting naval fleet in sz 97. This is more for me to have a basis to use for future a&a games to gain experience and not overkill on my navy; EX. With the U.S. buying 3 AC’s with full air units and 3 battleships along with a healthy amount of screens against a shrimpish german navy of maybe 2 capital ships and some destroyers. That’s an extreme example but I’ve easily surpassed germany and even Japan’s navy’s in the past while playing the UK in 1942 and it makes the game drag on much longer with me then having to buy transports and land units.

    Now when it comes to using and maneuvering the vessels, I feel that that is an entirely different concept and art in and of itself so Id rather not make this thread bigger and more generalized. Thanks in advance!

  • '17 '16 '15

    Hi Acidlemon

    I would say it’s somewhat country specific. US probably wants to go heavy ACs with fighters for defense in the pacific. A little heavy on DDs for blockers. At least early. BBs usually aren’t a good bang for your buck buy. I like to have a couple subs and DDs per carrier. More subs later if you can go on the offensive. You’ll want to stay next to a AB. Watch out for Japanese land based air.

    In the Atlantic you’ll probably want a carrier and dd with subs. Use the subs to convoy Italy. You’ll want 3 or 4 transports as well. UK can supply protection with ACs and DDs. A few subs to help convoy and tranny is nice too. Stick a AB in Gibralter and put some fighters there.

    I like to have a small German fleet. AC dd and a few subs to go with the starting crusier. Keep it up north, next to an AB, to prevent cheap landings in Norway and Denmark. You’ll want a sub in 125 to prevent the Russian NO. If you take S France you can throw some ships in the med. I find that to detract from Russia too much and usually support Italy with planes instead.

    Usually move the UKP fleet towards the med except the DD. Use it for a blocker. If the Italian fleet survives you’ll want a couple trannys to get dudes to Africa. You’ll want a DD to cork Gibralter for a turn or two. After they die it’s best to just concentrate on land.

    You want plenty of transports with Japan. Probably at least half a dozen. You don’t want to fall behind in the arms race to the US if you can help it. You’ll want more DDs later for blockers.

    ANZAC is nice to have a tranny for island trading. Subs are good for convoying and taking out Jap blockers if you can get some air to reach. Nice to have a DD for blocking if the US couldn’t do it all.

    I guess I like AC, w/fighters, 2 DDs, 2 subs and a tranny. Maybe 1 DD and 3 subs  with a tac if i’m on the offensive. I don’t buy cruisers and rarely BBs. Try and save the ones you start with for bombard and hit soaker with the BB. Use the subs,DDs and fighters for fodder.

    Anyway that’s one way to go about it. After 3,4,5 carriers you wanna make sure you keep your fodder units up.

    First game will be a Blast 🙂

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Not just country specific but position specific.

    Thought you might value another response, so even though I find such a general question difficult, here’s my attempt:

    A fleet is likely to be protecting transports, as they are the reason for having the fleet. Number of transports depends on land objective and defence there. A number of powers depend on moving land units across water in order to be effective, particularly US, UK in Europe, J in money islands and Asia (unless build factories), It in Med, ANZAC in money islands. Sometimes the transport is the fleet and is thus sacrificed - a regular feature of ANZAC play in my experience.

    Destroyers almost a certainty, to protect against subs and as fodder. Where are the threatening subs and so determine the number of destroyers? But at least one destroyer probably.

    If the fleet is at risk of air attack then carriers and fighters. Fighters great in defence against naval too, with the added advantage of being able to fly fighter replacements at twice the speed of new naval units and the all-important ability to support the land attack at the end of the fleet move. Number depending on the threat.

    Subs for attack and convoy damage. The latter likely to mean separated from the fleet rather than part of it.

    Battleships an expensive luxury in most circumstances. Cruisers generally not worth it.


  • Okay that makes sense. AC with 2 fighters is the best defence in the game I think so I can see why they are very valuable. i know this is quite a generalized question but what you guys have explained seems to clear things up in what to buy and when to buy if that makes sense. I will definitely use points you guys have used to apply in my first game; which i plan to hopefully provide a possible game summary of my turns and thoughts of each country I am playing :lol: thanks again!

  • 2007 AAR League

    I’m no expert by any means.

    But you always need to keep in mind the position of their navy and yours and what the size of their navy is. (and what planes can hit which is the real kicker the closer you get to the important islands or close to Germany borders.)
    Sure subs are good for offensive (but they only defend at 1, and air units cannot hit them without destroyers) and they can’t block navies passing through them if left alone.

    So generally look at the size of their navy and ships compared to yours (if equal size of capital ships and fodder more or less, then the defender has a much more stronger advantage generally speaking).

    Also while an AC is good, I find them less good more out in the open if there is no island nearby for your air units to land on if your AC takes 1 hit… but you will need some AC’s…
    If you can continue to position your navy around an AB it is very beneficial (AB supports 3 fighters for defence and can’t be sunk), ideally an AB + NB is the best spots to keep taking and leap/frogging in the pacific.

    I think that is why you will need a constant supply/stream of “fodder” ships to make some advancements and protect flanks etc… (so a decent amount of destroyers; Anzac can help the USA a lot in this regard).


  • @Acidlemon:

    I still have yet to play my first game of 1940 global edition so I apologize if I come off a bit noobish to this version of a&a. I’ve played 1942 almost 5 complete times and have looked over all the rules for the 1940 version so im set when it comes for the game rules 😄
         
          Anyways naval combat has always seemed really interesting to me but my question is what a decent or strong navy would consist of. It’s a very broad question but im more wondering things like what units to buy if you’re a minor power compared to a major power. What units to build towards first ie.

    I tend to think that aircraft carriers (provided they are carrying two fighters) are the best money you can buy for navy.  16 IPCs for a capital ship that takes two hits?  Excellent.  But you need to load it up with fighters.  And if possible cheapie carrier escorts (destroyers, subs, even transports) just to be taken as “hits” covers the defensive strength of a carrier.

    Cruisers?  Well, not much viable economic use to be built with the exception of the situation where there are NO airplanes to be had to land on your carriers.  They are just too pricey to build for ships that aren’t capital ships.  So my order in value would be….

    #1) Carriers (two if possible)
    #2) (Navy) Fighters, keep carriers loaded
    #3) subs (because they are so cheap)
    #4) transports
    …big drop
    #5) destroyers
    …even bigger drop
    #6) BB
    #7) cruisers

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @Acidlemon:

    AC with 2 fighters is the best defence in the game I think so I can see why they are very valuable.

    Yes. But as NoMercy has pointed out losing the AC (or merely 1 hit damage) allows the attacker to retreat and you lose your fighters, unless you are next to friendly land. An unescorted AC is very vulnerable to sub attack as the fighters and subs cannot hit each other. Actually an unescorted AC not next to friendly land is vulnerable to attack from anything, it’s just that if the attack unit is not a sub you can choose to lose an expensive, high defence value fighter, which you don’t want to do either.

    Any AC must have sufficient destroyer escorts, particularly if there are subs around, allowing those fighters to hit the subs. I would say that destroyers are the starting unit for a new navy. Carriers with fighters then make that navy much more powerful.

  • '17 '16 '15

    yea it can be pretty challenging trying to decide when to take a fighter for a hit. Wack my carrier and then my fighters die ? Or slay a fighter and not have enough power to win the battle ? Even if you win the first option it leaves you way vulnerable to counterattack.

    I find large naval battles to be the most challenging. It’s easy for me to blow my mind on some of them 🙂


  • I agree with the others about loaded carriers being the best all around sea unit. If defending have fighters on deck, if attacking you probably want ftr/tac.

    One other thing to point out in Global40 is the air and naval bases are as important as your fleet composition. Naval bases allow you to move further when positioning your fleet, or going into an attack, as well as doing repairs. Air bases can scramble 3 air units to protect your fleet. Can also be used to launch air attacks, or counter attacks on enemy fleet.

  • '15

    Really, you just want to avoid having your carriers in a spot where the planes can’t land.  Only reason to be aggressively invading with them is when you know Japan (or whoever) can’t hit you hard enough for it to matter.


  • If you divide the IPC cost by the attack or defense number of the unit, you can get some idea of the cost effectiveness of the unit.

    Battleships 20 IPC’s/4 attack = 5 IPC’s per attack
    Cruisers 12 IPC’s/3 attack = 4 IPC’s per attack
    Destroyers 8 IPC’s/2 attack = 4 IPC’s per attack
    AC with 2 fighters on it 36 IPC’s/10 defense = 3.6 IPC’s per defense
    subs 6 IPC’s/2 attack = 3 IPC’s per attack

    Thus we see that the sub is the most cost effective unit, followed by the AC with 2ftrs.

    You can also look at how many hits each unit takes:

    Battleships 20 IPC’s/2 hits = 10 IPC’s per hit
    Cruisers 12 IPC’s/1 hit = 12 IPC’s per hit
    Destroyers 8 IPC’s/1 hit = 8 IPC’s per hit
    AC with 2 ftrs 36 IPC’s/4 hits = 9 IPC’s per hit
    subs 6 IPC’s/1 hit = 6 IPC’s per hit

    Thus we see that subs are the cheapest unit to lose, followed by destroyers.

    However, this analysis does not take into account special abilities like shore bombardment and sub sneak attacks and destroyers negating sub sneak attacks. Also, if you can repair a capital ship it makes big difference.

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    But I like your analysis madscientist!
    It is a way to look on what to purchase this or next round regarding cost/effectivness.
    Thank you.


  • @aequitas:

    But I like your analysis madscientist!
    It is a way to look on what to purchase this or next round regarding cost/effectivness.
    Thank you.

    The analyses of Madscientist is correct when this fleet is supposed to be used in a seazone adjacent to the factory that build it, but for every turn this fleet sail away from its Home Port, the Battleships ability to soak hits will be more and more valuable. IMHO.

  • '13

    @Narvik:

    … for every turn this fleet sail away from its Home Port, the Battleships ability to soak hits will be more and more valuable. IMHO.

    As has been said, fleet configuration depends on the reason for the fleet’s existence. To add to Narvik’s point, the battleship’s bombard can be crucial especially in a tight amphibious assault.


  • @Narvik:

    @aequitas:

    But I like your analysis madscientist!
    It is a way to look on what to purchase this or next round regarding cost/effectivness.
    Thank you.

    The analyses of Madscientist is correct when this fleet is supposed to be used in a seazone adjacent to the factory that build it, but for every turn this fleet sail away from its Home Port, the Battleships ability to soak hits will be more and more valuable. IMHO.

    This sort of depends on how many times you actually plan to fight with your main fleet. In the games I play, we actually only use the main fleet once. We very rarely get to kill blockers (since it is usually better to threathen counterattack than to block a move). Every fleetmove, each player thinks: “If I move like this, can my opponent attack me and kill my fleet?”. if the answer is yes, then the player moves the fleet to a place where it cannot be attacked, if the answer is no, then the player can move the fleet there. Because we move like this, we never get big or medium fleetbattles, the game becomes all about fleetpositioning and pushing your opponent to a postion where he cannot retreat and then attack. Since this is usually just one fleetbattle, the BB is the worst unit to buy by far. The best unit is sub, both in attack and as a huge part of defence. I think quantity is vastly underrated by most axisplayers. From what I remember from my calculations (if we ignore that subs cant hit planes), is that the optimal fleet for defence has about 40% of the units in subs.


  • Kreuzfeld, I agree that in the Pac there is a lot of cat & mouse positioning, and re-positioning between the Japanese and combined allied fleets (sometimes very little fighting). When I’m the allies I like to put together a rainbow defensive fleet (multiple nation) as soon as possible composed of many loaded carriers and destroyers because at some point you need to get close to the Japanese Imperial Navy. Maybe take an island with US (or move to a friendly island) that has an air base, then fly Anz ftrs to it for more def. You need to threaten or take Japanese possessions (DEI, Phil, Malaya etc). You also need to be able to take a hit from Japan, and that depends on where the bulk of the Japanese air force is. Sometimes you have to wait for the Japanese to strike India, or the Chinese so there air force is out of position.

    When you said that subs are the best all around attack/defense unit you lost me for a minute. We know that when subs are attacked they aren’t too good defensively (def @1), but if you are buying enough to make them 40% of your fleet to soak hits, then yea they are cheap and will keep your high end units firing longer (still not too sure though). It would be similar to buying 4-5 US bmrs and flying them to London to deter a Sea Lion. They aren’t great on defense, but you just changed the odds so the Germans might bail on the idea.

    I sometimes might sacrifice a large defensive fleet (many loaded carriers/destroyes), as long as I can safely land any surviving air units (say he calls off the battle after a couple rounds), and have a counter attack set-up to kill his damaged capital ships. The counter attack would be comprised of subs, bmrs and anything else I have (If I’m allies probably from both the US and Anz to double hit). So in that respect the sub is a defensive tool, but as you pointed out would be more as a deterrent.

    In the game I’m playing now, my allied combo fleet is about the same size as the Japanese (he has bought some ss/dd and a carrier). I have bought some subs with both the US and Anz, maybe I need to buy a bunch more lol?

  • '15

    The real danger of a sub heavy fleet is that your opponent might just attack it with air units, and the subs don’t get to defend or take hits.


  • @Shin:

    The real danger of a sub heavy fleet is that your opponent might just attack it with air units, and the subs don’t get to defend or take hits.

    Very good point, especially if Japan is attacking because they start with 21 aircraft.


  • Yea, air complicates things, this is why you should always count it out so that you can withstand the japanse if he does the attack without DDs. It is however nice to know how to design the optimal defence in a world without airpower, because you can then use that info as a baseline to designing your true fleet.

    the thing about subs is that people really underestimate the value of volume. You can use a A&A battle calc and et up a scenario where your opponenet attacks with a fairly evenly balanced fleet (with DDs) and you defend with a failry balanced fleet. Then you remove 3DDs and add 4 subs. you continue doing that until you find the best use of your money.

    One such scenario: the attacker attacks with 10 DDs, how many subs do you need to actually have a good chance at holding the terr?

    Correct answer; 14.142. Which means that if you have 15 subs, you have a more than 50% chance of holding. 15 subs costs 90 IPC. 10 DDs cost 80 IPC.

    In the scenario above, I did not use a better defence profile. so lets imagine an attacker attacking with 20 DDs and then the defender defending with 20 DDs. We can then run a battle calc.

    Underneeth is a table for 20 dds attacking against the same IPC value in dds/subs
    here i take the defenders sub to dd ratio
    #DD #sub       Avg attack loss       Avg defend loss
    20 , 0                   133                         133
    17, 4                    137                         127
    14, 8                    140                         122
    11, 12                   141                         121
    8,16                     139                          123
    5,20                     135                          128
    2,24                     124                          136

    So you see that in almost every scenario it is better with subs than with DDs.  The best defence according to the numbers is abotu 50% DDs and 50% subs. If you don’t believe it, just test it 🙂

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    So you calculated the possibilty kreuzfeld,
    But most of the time the dice decide the battle.

    Alea iacta est… 🙂

    I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with your statement.
    It may be a good way to figure things out. But it will allways be a dicey game.

  • '15

    Who attacks with a balanced fleet?  If you want to see the values of subs (and they’re AWESOME, don’t get me wrong), you have to assume that it’s an overwhelming advantage for the attacker.  Otherwise the fleets just stare at each other.


  • when i said “balanced” I didn’t mean balanced in power. I meant “a fleet that is well balanced in its capablities”. A fleet with alot of subs is really bad if your opponents fleetpower is made from 60 planes and 30 Carriers and a few DDs. (that is an unbalanced fleet).


  • A well-balanced fleet would be something like 2ac 2ftr 2tac 1bb 1cruiser 3DDs 3 subs 4 trans and 8 land units.

    Extra DDs and subs are for playing the area denial/movement blocking game. By the time the fleet gets reinforced, it can be down to one DD and no subs and still be in good shape.

    Units and bb/cruiser plus the 2ftr/2tac are your land invasion support. Amphib shots give continuous benefit as long as you continue to make raids.

    BB second hit allows you to walk over your first enemy picket ship for free even if he hits.

    If there are no large enemy threats nearby you can split the fleet to protect transports in multiple zones at the end of a strike round. One half gets the bb, the other the cruiser, each gets an ac/ftr/tac 2 trns and 4 land units, leaving each reasonably capable to small attacks independently.

    While this fleet is together it will take a large enemy force to kill it. It is more likely to have to return home to get more land units than retreat for damage done to it, unless you walk into a trap.

    This composition gives you the ability to do anything you could possibly want to do from sea (including tactical bombing!). Both Japan and the US can put together this force easily from starting units (US will have 3ftr/1tac on the ACs instead).

    You could of course add more to this but at that point it would be a strike fleet or a defensive fleet. With fewer units you start sacrificing capabilities.

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Easy answer:

    Carriers,

    Fighters,

    destroyers,

    Subs,

    …. That’s it.

    In the PAC, you need more dds and subs to act as fodder.  In the Atl, mostly loaded carriers w/a dd or 2, or some subs are all you need to protect the transports.  Airbse in Gib is key for the allies.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    Maybe this puts me with Kreuzfeld?

    Subs ROCK!!!

    Buy just enough DD’s to ensure you can block and attack enemy subs where you want, especially enemy subs convoy damaging you.

    I like to trade subs for destroyers, though.

    Not a fan of destroyers.  They are expensive - nearly as expensive as a fighter, and cannot attack land in any way (like carriers, cruisers, battleships, fighters, tacs, bombers).  Also, if you have few destroyers, then you have more chances to (as people have pointed out) trick your opponent who is just putting everything in a battle calc by attacking his fleet WITHOUT any destroyers so the subs are not eligible casualties.

    I could say a lot of things from all my experience, but I’ll just give you this rule of thumb.  I like to have about 4 Allied destroyers in the Pacific for blocking.

    Oh, and it’s worth saying again.  Bombers and subs.  Tremendous bang for the buck and not expensive to add them.  Carrier and 2 fighters is 36 bucks by comparison.

    One more comment, as far as the whole purpose of fleets being to facilitate transport of ground units.  WRONG!  Carriers greatly extend options for your fighters/tacs, and make all kinds of attacks possible that otherwise would not be.  You could even airstrike ground units or tactical bomb facilities from carrier based aircraft - NO TRANSPORTS REQUIRED!!
    ALSO - almost forgot - oh my goodness, CONVOY DAMAGE.  Again, subs are vastly superior to destroyers, obviously, for this purpose.

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