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Adding airborne units…


  • 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    Airborne units really should not be a tech. The first parachute jump from an airplane happened in California in 1911, well before the start of WWII. The good news is it is not that hard to incorporate airborne units and rules into just about any version of Axis and Allies.

    My airborne units and transport planes are from Historical Board Gaming. I painted them to look like this:

    Allied planes have invasion stripes on the wings to identify them. Axis planes have a white tail stripe. Here are the rules we use with them:

    AIRBORNE INFANTRY: 
    Cost: 4
    Attack: 1 (2 during air drops) 
    Defense: 2 
    Move: 1
    • Airborne units are infantry that are specially trained to drop from Transport planes by parachute into enemy territory.
    • Airborne units attack at 2 during any battle when dropped by parachute, to represent the element of surprise. In any other game situation they fight like regular infantry.
    • Airborne units cost more than regular infantry due to their specialized training.
    • Airborne units cannot retreat from an airborne assault.

    TRANSPORT PLANES: 
    Cost: 4
    Attack: 0
    Defense: 0 
    Move: 4
    • Transport planes (TPs) are used to carry 1 regular infantry or 1 Airborne infantry per plane.
    • TPs cannot be used in an attack other than delivering Airborne units. They must first survive fire from any enemy AA guns in the territory attacked, then they drop their units and leave the battle. If a transport plane is hit by AA fire, both the plane and the airborne unit are lost with no chance to fire.
    • Your TPs can only land in territories under friendly control since the beginning of your turn.  (Time must be allowed for airbases to be set up.)
    • Each TP can fly and carry one infantry unit per turn up to four zones.
    • TPs cannot land on carriers.
    • TPs have no attack or defense value. They can be taken as casualties when defending. They cannot be used in any attack other than by dropping off airborne units and withdrawing.



  • Nice idea!
    Is it possible to attack an enemy territory without a simultaneous invasion by sea attack or an attack by land?


  • 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    @The:

    Nice idea!
    Is it possible to attack an enemy territory without a simultaneous invasion by sea attack or an attack by land?

    Yes - a historic precedent was the German invasion of Crete. Plus it makes airborne a more useful unit within the game.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Der:

    Yes - a historic precedent was the German invasion of Crete.

    Though it should be noted that the German airborne invasion of Crete produced such high casualties that Germany largely gave up on airborne assaults from that point onwards.  Airborne troops (which in WWII meant paratroops and glider troops) have a great advantage and a great weakness: the advantage that they can carry out surprise “vertical envelopments” deep in enemy-held territories, but the disadvantage that they usually can’t last long on their own because they lack heavy weapons and have little in the way of food, ammunition or other supplies.  In principle they can receive air-dropped supplies, but there are limits to what this can accomplish – plus the risk that the drops will end up in enemy hands.  The general rule of thumb is that airborne need to be reinforced by ground troops in fairly short order.  An example of this working properly was the seizure of Pegasus Bridge by Major Howard’s glider troops at night in the early hours of D-Day, and their subsequent relief around noon the next day by Lord Lovat’s commandos (who had landed on one of the D-Day beaches and who had marched inland from that point).  An example of this going catastrophically wrong was the British First Para’s seizure of Arnhem Bridge during Operation Market-Garden.  The ground forces never reached them; the First Para took heavy casualties and was ultimately forced to withdraw (leaving many men behind).


  • 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    All true, but in this case airborne have to work in a game - a game that paints history with a very wide brush. The most you can say about any unit in this game is that it gives a flavor of its WWII counterpart. Artillery, for example, are portrayed awfully in this game. They do not pre-bombard anything. They can attack and hold territories by themselves. They do not support infantry at all in defense, only attacking. None of that is historically true, but we can say we have “artillery” and they work in an abstract way within the confines of the game.

    If you say that airborne drops must be made only along with land and sea assaults, then you basically make airborne units irrelevant. Why spend the extra IPCs on planes and airborne? Just march the 3 IPC infantry in there w/art support. Or land the troops from the sea along with BB and CA support.

    In the case of Crete, there was unexpected heavy defense there - even from civilians. What if in an Axis and Allies game there was nobody at all defending Crete, but a large enemy navy was there surrounding it. In this case dropping airborne would be the only solution. In Market-Garden the goal was to drop a force deep behind enemy lines and hold some territory (in this case bridges) until the land forces caught up. the goal was to accelerate the allied advance into Germany. That is basically what you would be doing in Axis and Allies - drop a relatively small force of airborne 2 spaces inside enemy territory in a place they don’t expect - perhaps on an enemy factory or a key canal or strait, with the goal of accomplishing some objective.


  • 2017 2016 2015

    Good stuff Der Kuenstler

    Can the transport fly over enemy TT before making it’s drop ?


  • 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    Yes@barney:

    Good stuff Der Kuenstler

    Can the transport fly over enemy TT before making it’s drop ?

    Yes


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    I have been struggling with how to include Air Transports in the game and how to make them worth buying. One thing I considered was giving them a Move of 5.

    Thoughts?



  • A range of 5 instead of 4? Good idea. Combined with starting from an AB or “Long Range Aircraft” you may fly 6 spaces.
    Gives you a great flexibility.

    It should be possible to intercept and escort Transports during combat move like in a bombing raid.
    Otherwise this option is to powerful.

    Btw. I love airborne operations. To bad it seams that there will be no new A&A versions. I would be the first to buy A&A  “Operation Market Garden”!  😄


  • 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    @LHoffman:

    I have been struggling with how to include Air Transports in the game and how to make them worth buying. One thing I considered was giving them a Move of 5.

    Thoughts?

    Well, the Luftwaffe transport planes only had about 1/2 the range of a 4 engine bomber. Making the range “4” already gives them 2/3 the range. Since I have “Long Range Aircraft” as a research breakthrough which moves the transport range to six, I’ve left it at 4.

    Five is also an odd number which does not fit in with the even numbered flight ranges “4” and “6” established in the game. This offends the uniformity and simplicity of the game, so I personally wouldn’t like it. (the same reason I always disliked Tactical bombers costing an odd “11”)


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    My only reasoning for making it 5 was to make it even slightly more useful. However you make good points DK. I agree.



  • Our group has used paratroopers as well.  We have been more bold with the range and payload though.  We have given the TP a cost of 8ipc’s and like your set up, no defense or attack.  They are subject to interceptors and AA fire. Out TP’s have a range of six like the bomber and carry two paratroopers.  If they TP is going to be used for an airborn operation, it must take of from an airbase.  If it is just transporting troops, it can carry any infintry (2only)because it will not drop the troops but land in friendly territory.  Wetreat a TP like a transport ship in that it must be the last hit tanken if attacked while on the ground…say the territory is overrun or your airbase is attacked.  The TP is the last unit taken as a casualty.  It is a very powerful tool but not with out its draw backs.  I know that you don’t want to leave any important territories undefended when paratroopers are available.



  • By the way DK… I love the paratroopers and the transport plains.  Great look!


  • 2017 2016

    @Der:

    @LHoffman:

    I have been struggling with how to include Air Transports in the game and how to make them worth buying. One thing I considered was giving them a Move of 5.

    Thoughts?

    Well, the Luftwaffe transport planes only had about 1/2 the range of a 4 engine bomber. Making the range “4” already gives them 2/3 the range. Since I have “Long Range Aircraft” as a research breakthrough which moves the transport range to six, I’ve left it at 4.

    Five is also an odd number which does not fit in with the even numbered flight ranges “4” and “6” established in the game. This offends the uniformity and simplicity of the game, so I personally wouldn’t like it. (the same reason I always disliked Tactical bombers costing an odd “11”)

    Interesting facts.
    Was it possible to travel from USA to UK by Air Transport in a direct flight ?
    My HR put AirT to M5 for NCM purpose.
    Should it be more historical at M4 gaining +1M with Air Base?


  • 2017 2016

    I just thought about this one.
    I believe it better pictured the surprise effect without giving the attack power of Artillery units while airborne have only small portable weapons and limited ammunitions.
    @Baron:

    @Baron:

    @barney:

    Good Action

    Transport for 8 bucks would be a concern to me. It seems like the US has a hard time getting dudes into play. Transports are already high value targets. Would allowing them to pack a extra inf be overpowering ?

    It certainly changes the dynamic pace in game in the same with warships cost redux.
    It is a complex matter.
    One HR developped was about marines units.
    Marines/Elite soldier A1 first strike (A2 with Artillery) D2 M1 cost 4, can load up 3 Marines units in a regular Transport or 1 Marines and 1 other unit (including reg Infantry). It is somewhere in this Sub-forum.

    Maybe this could fit the bill for a generic special Infantry unit:

    Paratrooper/Commando/Marines/ELITE Infantry
    A1 first strike (A2 with Artillery) D2 M1 cost 4,
    Load up 3 Marines/Elite/Paratrooper units in a regular Transport or 1 Elite and 1 other unit (including reg Infantry).
    Can be put on an Air Transport (or must start from an active Air Base) to make a paratrooper attack drop in the first enemy territory.

    The idea is that it cost more but you have fewer number (less logistics), better trained to do the same damage to the enemy, hence being able to put 3 units on a Transport.


  • 2017 2016

    @Der:

    TRANSPORT PLANES:  
    Cost: 4
    Attack: 0
    Defense: 0  
    Move: 4
    � Transport planes (TPs) are used to carry 1 regular infantry or 1 Airborne infantry per plane.
    � TPs cannot be used in an attack other than delivering Airborne units. They must first survive fire from any enemy AA guns in the territory attacked, then they drop their units and leave the battle. If a transport plane is hit by AA fire, both the plane and the airborne unit are lost with no chance to fire.
    � Your TPs can only land in territories under friendly control since the beginning of your turn.  (Time must be allowed for airbases to be set up.)
    � Each TP can fly and carry one infantry unit per turn up to four zones.
    � TPs cannot land on carriers.
    � TPs have no attack or defense value. They can be taken as casualties when defending. They cannot be used in any attack other than by dropping off airborne units and withdrawing.

    I like all the details you specified.

    4 IPCs seems pretty cheap.
    I put my AirTP cost above Transport cost.
    No one in your party feels ATP is overpowered at this price?
    I’m asking because I wonder if I should rather put mine at the same cost than TP.
    After all, it is only 1 Infantry which is moved.


  • 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    @Baron:

    I like all the details you specified.

    4 IPCs seems pretty cheap.
    I put my AirTP cost above Transport cost.
    No one in your party feels ATP is overpowered at this price?
    I’m asking because I wonder if I should rather put mine at the same cost than TP.
    After all, it is only 1 Infantry which is moved.

    Well, we played a few sessions with 6 IPC transport planes and no one was buying them. This was lowered to “4” because:

    1. The TP has no attack or defense value at all (Our sea transports defend @ 1)
    2. The TP plane can only carry 1 infantry unit - 1/2 of what a sea transport can (actually less than half as they can’t carry tanks/mech/art at all)
    3. Although they can each carry 1 infantry around, TPs are specialty units and not all that useful. In most cases, players would rather sacrifice a little speed and spend their limited IPCs on land units that can actually fire and control territory.

    Just to show there is no danger of spamming, we played three hours the other night with 4 IPC TPs and still nobody bought one. There always seemed to be something more urgent to buy.
    Â


  • 2017 2016

    Thanks for your answer DK.
    I believe that Classic transport is the main answer.
    Maybe ATP need an original but risky Strategy to work. IDK.
    Once this said, if I playtest it I will reduce its cost to make it an incentive to risk the try on unorthodox strategy. Thanks again.


  • '14 Customizer

    We did the same thing but used the same rules for Paratroopers that came with the game.  It’s an operation not a technology.  We replaced the missing tech with Heavy Tanks.

    Paratroopers Up to 2 of your infantry units in each territory with an air base can be moved to an enemycontrolled territory 3 or fewer spaces away that is being attacked by your land units from adjacent territories and/or by amphibious assault. When moving, paratroopers must obey the same restrictions that air units do. If the territory being attacked has AAA (antiaircraft artillery) units, the paratrooper infantry units are subject to antiaircraft fire in the same way as air units. If attacking along with land units from adjacent territories,
    paratroopers may retreat as normal.

    One of the things we changed was to make paratroopers also work like air transports during non-combat.    Each Airbase can only transport 2 inf in combat or non-combat but not both.

    Sealion has more possibilities as does D-Day.  It’s difficult to stop Sealion if Japan keeps USA out of the war for 3 turns.



  • nice piece…


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