WARNING - NEWBIE’S LONG RAVING POST :?
If I can throw in a few ideas, as this thread seems to have moved on……
Impy like you I created the old battleships; they’re an interesting piece, well able to scare a Scharnhorst type or to defend (Surigao St) and useful for bombardment.
Personally I like having carrier planes (would Carrier Air Group be a better term as they are not all fighters?) separate from carriers, as it was quite possible for a CAG to be almost wiped out without the carrier itself getting scratched (see Zuikaku at Coral Sea IIRC).
One thing that could be interesting is to allow Japanese fighters to land on carriers in the Pacific, as many of their fighters were naval. While I don’t think all the pilots (apart from the vets) were trained in carrier landing, at least they did have that ability I think. And maybe other carriers could send fighters off but not take them back on, to replicate the sort of runs that Wasp and Furious did sending fighters to Malta. Just a minor detail but quite fun (mind you, I’m assuming the map is modified to include Malta which makes for some interesting play).
One thing is that cruisers didn’t hunt subs much. In fact off-hand I can’t recall a single instance where a cruiser sank a sub. Secondly is there any precedent for light cruisers being slower than heavy cruisers? Candidates for fastest cruisers were CLs like Atlantas and Didos IIRC.
One thing that’s strange is the incredibly slow movement of ships in the game. Like you I move the faster ones at 3 (which also adds the nice touch of having slow convoys and fast fleets) but this is still incredibly slow. A textbook figure for an armoured divison advance without combat was something like 2 1/2 mph during daylight only, which is 25% of the speed of a slow converted trawler which has vastly longer range and moves 24/7- yet in the game they move at the same speed! That takes away a whole lot of the flexibility of naval power.
It takes a 25 knot ship 9 turns to go from the UK around the world and back. That’s equivalent to what over 2 years, when the first guy to SAIL singlehanded non-stop on the same route did it in well under a year (4 moves) in a little old 33’ cruising ketch that did about 5 mph average! With distortion like that, no wonder naval units are under-used.
Exactly how you avoid the situation of having realistic-speed ships able to conduct a D Day landing from the USA without warning remains a problem; or does it? Just put a range limit on amphib ops?
I’m searching for a way that naval units can go something like realistic speed (which would improve the game IMHO) without getting too powerful. See below for some ideas.
There’s a guy with suggested rules somewhere else who allows planes to fly over only one sea zone to and from targets in combat moves; that looks good to me. Have you tried it?
These are just my ideas; you guys are much more experienced in A&A and it’s been years since I created any rules. It’s interesting to see how similar they are in some ways. I’ve given some a little “spiel” as in the real rules.
Anti-Shipping Aircraft. Cost 12. Attack/Defend 2 (v air/land) 4 (v ships). Gives ASW coverage to sea zones adjacent to “airport”. Non-combat move 6.
These represent anti-shipping and anti-sub forces (Liberators, Catalinas, Sunderlands, Beauforts, SM 179s, He 111 torpedo bombers, Nells, and landed CAGs like the Skuas of Norway '40 fame)? Normal bombers couldn’t hit a ship in a month of sundays, but the specialist groups sank the British capital ships Prince of York and Repulse and sealed the Japanese fate in New Guinea in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. (oh, and to anyone who is puzzled - yes there was such a battle and no it had nothing to do with the German Bismarck!..and I may be wrojng about the 5th AF having specialist training but I think they did)
Old Battleship â€“ Cost N/A, Attack 4, Defend 4 (ships) or 3 (subs) move 2, takes 2 hits.
The US and UK had many old battleships â€œleft overâ€ from WW1. They were weak and slow (hence the 2 movements) compared to other battleships, but in actions like Gneisenau and Scharnhorst v Revenge (IIRC) to Surigao Strait, they proved to be vital as far as defending freighters and troopships went. They were also good for bombardment. Because they were old, of course, you canâ€t build any more! (PS; it’s very tempting to create a few more units like modernised old battleships and old battlecruisers, but I’ll try not to!)
PS- battleships should be able to bombard IN DEFENCE without needing an amphib movement to support IMHO. Maybe drop attack to 2 to represent the fact that in such a situation many units they are attacking are inland. Even ships that were outdated in WW1 like the German Schiesen were pretty potent supporting ground forces in the Baltic - a hit by an 11" hurts no matter how old it is!
Carrier w 2 AC â€“ Cost 22, Attack 4, Defend 7, Move 3.
Light Carrier - Impy, Cleveland class CVLs were just as quick as an Essex weren’t they? Why do you have them slower?
Escort Carrier â€“ Cost 5, Attack 0, Defend 1, Move 2, Anti-Sub. Carries 1 CAG.
Escort carriers were enormously important in protecting convoys from subs. The cost seems low compared to transports, but each Escort Carrier (CVE) piece represents far fewer ships than a transport piece. The movement of 2 reflects the fact that these were capable of only around 18 knots (compared to the 26-30+ of a fast carrier).
Cruiser â€“ Cost 14, Attack 3, Defend 3*, Move 3 Shore bombardment 3/3.
Important ships; versatile. Some house rules have them basically as A/A vessels but out of the dozens of classes of cruisers, only 3 (Dido, Atlanta, old â€œCâ€s) were actually A/A vessels. Takes 2 hits.
Having CLs and CEs is interesting, but the CEs were not always as weak as you reckon Impy. I suppose it may be related to the fact that the terms were confusing in that there were “heavy cruisers” that were actually much lighter than some “light cruisers”!
Destroyer â€“ Cost 10, Attack 3, Defend 2, move 3, Anti-Sub, minesweep; shore bombard?
Some rules say destroyers can only move 3 when they have a fast carrier with them to refuel…their short range should be reflected in some way.
PS - DEs are good. I thought they might make life a bit complicated but hey, they’re fun. They represent both new DEs (US types, UK “Hunts”) and old DD (four stackers, V&Ws) and German, Italian and Japanese large Torpedo Boats (not to be confused with MTBs or TBs).
Impy re PT boats (let’s not forget also UK MTBs, Italian MAS, German E or S Boots… )
Interesting, but really did they ever DO anything during the war? Off hand I think I can remember one UK cruiser going down to “PT boat” attack; maybe some others. The biography of a successful commander of the largest “PT boat” of them all shows he was worried about converted trawlers and armed landing craft! At the very least surely you can’t allow them to move 3 since they were very, very short ranged; maybe like fighters they can just defend the area adjaent to their home port, and only otherwise move non-combat. They really should be weak as water IMHO.
Escort - Cost 6, Attack 1 (3 A/S), Defend 2, move 2. Anti-Sub, minesweep @
Represents corvettes, frigates, minesweepers, converted trawlers. The backbone of the convoy defenders, but too slow to move with a fleet.
Troopship â€“ Cost 20, Attack 0, Defend 2, Move 3 (or 4)? Carries 4 infantry.
Large liners like the Queen Elizabeth. These were among the most important of all units in the war, and perhaps the fastest of all over long distances (long range at high speed).
Transport â€“ Cost 4, Attack 0, Defend 1, Move 2 Carries ground units & logistics (8I.P.)
Becomes cheaper to allow for the fact that UK etc need lots of them (see convoy rules below) and the fact that they cannot be used in amphibious attacks against DEFENDED zones.
Landing Craft â€“ Cost 8, Attack 0, Defend 1, Move 2 Carries ground units and logistics
Note- I’m still trying to work out a logistics system for ground warfare! Any help?
Fleet Train â€“ Cost 5, Attack 0, Defend 1, Move 2 Repairs and supplies ships.
All combat craft must be within 2 SZ of Fleet Train or friendly territory, or add 1 to all rolls.
Note- this is another example of the old “captains think tactics, majors think strategy, generals think logistics” idea. Ships spent something like 20% of their time undergoing refit and without that they were slowed by dirty hulls, engines broke down, radars died. Oh, and without fuel they don’t go very well anyway! So the game must reflect that in some way. This may allow ships to get realistic range without dominating. This doesn’t reflect the long range of cruisers, though…must work that one out.
This also does not apply to transports as these had long range, or to long range subs.
I’m warming to this…it could accumulate so if you were 3 SZ from a base, you add 2 to all rolls; moves away. Note - DOES NOT APPLY to SZ 12 and under, to allow for the distortion in the map which would otherwise make life very hard for the Germans.
If it works, ships could be allowed to go even faster; perhaps they could go faster only in non-combat moves? More realism, more flexibility!
Submarine â€“ Cost 6, Attack 2* Defend 2, move 3 (or 1 when submerged).
Long-range subs are interesting and a very good idea IMHO, Impy, but there is little doubt that they were INFERIOR in defence as they took longer to submerge and were less manouvrable. I don’t think they were actually any better in attack either. See Doenitz’s memoirs, John Terraine and many other sources.
Maybe leave the cost high, have the same attack and defence, but don’t require Long Range subs to be near a home port?
Q Ships. Still wondering about this, just for fun. Not so much a Q Ship (it’s just a cool name) but an armed merchant raider of the Kormoran type. I wonder if it would be kept off the board, and the player running it could just write down the SZ it was in and then (assuming there was no combat) hand that over to the other player for checking later? Could a similar system make subs more powerful? Attack 1, Defend 1, speed 2, cost ???. Also act as “fleet train” for 1 ship (which is what happened when they were used as supply ships for PBs etc IIRC)
Q Ships are equipped for long voyages so the rule requiring ships to be near a home port doesn’t apply. The same could be applied to German “pocket battleships” which are otherwise CLs (which is what the germans late reclassified them as they were not as powerful as claimed). This gives the PBs some unique and realistic abilities.
Convoys - Nice system but saying you only lose points if the subs are off your IPC robs subs of a lot of their interest and power. Doenitz would sometimes send some subs into the St Lawrence and others to Cape Town at the same time. This flexibility was one of the interesting things about ASW.
I’ve tried various mechanisms and I’m turning towards a situation where UK, USA and Japan must keep freighters afloat in certain sea zones or lose IPs. It’s basically the Larry convoy route system, (which i didn’t know about at the time) but instead of one box, you have a whole zone to move around in. This allows you to dodge convoys and subs around like Wynn, Horton and Doenitz did in real life.
UK- SZ 1, 2, 7, 8,9,10,11 (have at least 1 transport at sea here or lose 8? IP). The main transatlantic route.
- SZ 28-35 (have at least 1 transport at sea here or lose 5? IP).
- SZ 11,12,17,18,19, 22-26 (have at least 1 transport at sea here or lose 5? IP)
US - SZ 10, 19 (simulating the Carribbean tanker traffic and the shipping along the E Coast) or lose 5.
- 1 transport at sea somewhere else or lose 5?
Russia (Yep, Russia). One US or UK transport in 30-35 OR in 3 and 4, or loses 5? IP (simulating the lend lease convoys through Murmansk or Persia…obviously both those must be held!)
Germany - Transport in Baltic OR ADJACENT PORT (to simulate the amount of fighter cover available) or loses 5 IPC (no iron ore etc from Norway and Sweden)
Japan - 1 transport at sea in 36,37, 49,59,58, or loses 8 IPC (vital oil traffic from NEI and Borneo)
1 other transport somewhere at sea in “japanese” SZ OTHER than 60-61 or loses 5 IPC
1 other transport at sea in 59,60,61, or loses 8 IPC.
So that’s a few ideas. Sorry to ramble on so much.
Add some retreat–on-land rules (I’m totally with you on that one Impy) and logistics and life could be interesting. Oh, and some rules to allow for fast movement inside sophisticated countries (ie Germany and Central US don’t count for movement of their forces), stop ships running through the Straits of Gib and into the Baltic; change the IPs to represent the fact that places like Ukraine and Caucasus created 60% of Russian supplies etc; and add some “terrain” (it’s very hard to attack India from Burma, it’s slow to attack through Italy/Southern Europe, give the poor Russians some more winter and maybe a monsoon for Asia, add in those interesting optional rules somewhere else for China, changing arty rules, introduce AT and mech infty…and we’ve got a totally new game. :roll: