How to deal with 2-hit carrier house rule



  • I occasionally get to play 1942 second edition at my buddy’s house with a few others.  Generally nobody plays specific nations, just 2 vs 2 with each team fully consulting each other about general strategies for their side.  None of us are total beginners, but we’ve probably each only played this version of A&A less than 15 times.

    Anyway.  A house rule over there that I can’t stand is that aircraft carriers get 2 hits just like battleships.  The game owner insists carriers are too weak otherwise.  But whenever we play games, Japan’s Navy becomes pretty unstoppable and the pacific just becomes a navy arms race with nobody ever attacking the others navy since carriers and fighters are both at an advantage defending.

    Anyone else ever been forced to play with this rule?  Any general advice on how to work with this rule as either side?  Or even better, how can I convince him to abolish this house rule haha?  To me, it definitely makes naval combat less interesting and less likely to occur at all.


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

    If it’s at all helpful in persuading him to drop the house rule, you could point out that WWII battleships were much tougher to sink than most WWII aircraft carriers.  Battleships are heavily armoured, whereas most WWII carriers (some British ones excepted) had little or no armour.  Just to pick Japan as an example, the battleship Yamato took 10 torpedo hits and 7 bomb hits before sinking, while her sister ship Musashi took an even more impressive 17 bomb hits and 19 torpedo hits before sinking.  By contrast, the four Japanese carriers lost at Midway were set completely afire by just a few bombs each; none were salvaged.  Three of the carriers took about four or five bombs each.  Akagi, Nagumo’s flagship, was fatally damaged by just one direct hit, the only one she took.

    A related point is that, even when neither ship type is actually sunk in combat, a carrier is easier to put out of action than a battleship.  A carrier’s job is to launch and recover planes, a job that becomes difficult or impossible when holes have been blown in that big, flat, juicy target area called the flight deck.  A battleship, by contrast, can in principle still fight when major parts of it have been wrecked – which is one of the reasons why most battleship designs (the major exceptions being the Nelson and Richelieu classes) split the ship’s main guns between fore and aft turrets rather than bunching them together at one end of the vessel.


  • 2017 2016

    I played 1942.2 with such carrier.
    I hope you adjust the price of 2-hits Carrier to 16 IPCs, even if it keeps Attack 1 Defense 2.
    Because at 14 IPCs, it is unbalanced.

    Also, you shouldn’t repair them the same way as Battleship, which is right after combat.

    A damaged Carrier should stay unable for air operations (can no more carry planes) until the beginning of owner’s turn when paying for repairing damaged ICs. Then it is repaired at no cost.

    You can also require that damaged Carrier must be repaired in a SZ bordering a friendly ICs.

    That way, at least, it is similar to Global game 1940 2-hits Carrier.
    For reference:
    Global 1940 Aircraft Carrier
    Attack 0
    Defense 2
    Move 2 (+1 with Naval Base)
    Cost 16
    2 hits
    Carry 2 planes (no srategic bomber)
    Suspended flight operation : cannot carry plane when damaged.
    Repair at the beginning of owner’s turn in SZ deserved by Naval Base.

    P.S. Welcome on the forum Pinkfloyd.  🙂



  • Baron, I have to disagree with you on the cannot carry plane when damaged statement. They cannot launch or receive planes after being damaged, but if for example a loaded carrier was surprise attacked by a sub and only damaged and not sunk, then I believe the plane(s) would be trapped on the carrier until such time as it was repaired or sunk.



  • Thanks for the ideas.  I’m going to push him to just drop it, but if not the price increase at least is a good idea.


  • 2017 2016

    @Larrie:

    Baron, I have to disagree with you on the cannot carry plane when damaged statement. They cannot launch or receive planes after being damaged, but if for example a loaded carrier was surprise attacked by a sub and only damaged and not sunk, then I believe the plane(s) would be trapped on the carrier until such time as it was repaired or sunk.

    Talking OOB rules, all planes on a carrier can roll for defense including any friendly one carried on board. So, if a fully loaded 2 hits carrier is hit and damaged by Subs only, both planes must land elsewhere after combat.

    On offense, only friendly plane(s) carried on board is/are trapped if the carrier was damaged in combat.



  • I agree with Larrie…



  • Planes can’t hit subs unless there is a destroyer present. So, if a carrier is sneak attacked and hit one time then the planes would not be able to take off.


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

    @Baron:

    Talking OOB rules, all planes on a carrier can roll for defense including any friendly one carried on board. So, if a fully loaded 2 hits carrier is hit and damaged by Subs only, both planes must land elsewhere after combat.

    I think that the point which Larrie was trying to make was that a damaged carrier should not be able to launch any planes which are still on the carrier, or recover any planes which are already in the air.

    The “if a fully loaded 2 hits carrier is hit and damaged by Subs only, both planes must land elsewhere after combat” situation described here combines two contradictory situations: the planes being on the carrier and the planes being in the air.

    If the carrier is “fully loaded”, this means that its planes are on the carrier, not in the air.  Therefore, the part which says “both planes must land elsewhere after combat” doesn’t apply because, in order to “land”, a plane has to get into the air or has to already be in the air.  A damaged carrier should not be able to launch planes, so the planes in this situation shouldn’t be able to get into the air.

    If on the other hand the planes are in a position to “land after combat”, it means that they’re already in the air…in which case it’s not correct to say that the carrier is “fully loaded”.

    It’s either one situation or the other, not both at the same time.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13

    If that is the case then if you have like 3 carriers in a defending fleet with 6 planes and an attacking fleet rolls first round of combat, you will have to take hits on other ships ( no Carrier hits ) so your planes can leave the non damaged  Carriers to defend in first round.

    But if you get to leave Carriers, then you will have to land planes on land if you take any hits on Carriers after the first round of combat. Planes will have to fight to the death or run out of gas.



  • CWO Marc, yes, thank you, that is what I was trying to say. SS, you have to remember that all combat is considered to be simultaneous. It is not attacker fires first then defender fires back. We only do that, rolling the dice, to avoid confusion. So if you had 3 carriers and 6 planes, or any number for that matter, defending, they would see the attackers approach and launch the fighters in defense. My only comment was meant to address the situation mentioned by Baron earlier, damaged carrier cannot carry plane(s). Which is incorrect, if a carrier is sneak attacked( by subs only, no other surface fleet or aircraft) then the plane would remain onboard because the attack was not seen coming.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13

    Ya I get that but planes still will not be able to land on Carriers if there damaged. That should be the rule unless you roll a D6 and a 3 or less to that affect planes can land do to minor damage only to Carrier top.


  • 2017 2016

    @Larrie:

    Planes can’t hit subs unless there is a destroyer present. So, if a carrier is sneak attacked and hit one time then the planes would not be able to take off.

    In your house rule, maybe.

    Not in OOB G40 rules according to Larry Harris, sorry Larrie:

    Air defense: Whenever an undamaged carrier is attacked, its aircraft (even those belonging to friendly powers) are considered to be defending in the air and fight normally, even if only submarines are attacking and the air units cannot hit them because there is no defending destroyer.

    In Aircraft Carriers sub-section, Pacific 1940 2nd Ed., p.31


  • 2017 2016

    @CWO:

    @Baron:

    Talking OOB rules, all planes on a carrier can roll for defense including any friendly one carried on board. So, if a fully loaded 2 hits carrier is hit and damaged by Subs only, both planes must land elsewhere after combat.

    I think that the point which Larrie was trying to make was that a damaged carrier should not be able to launch any planes which are still on the carrier, or recover any planes which are already in the air.

    The “if a fully loaded 2 hits carrier is hit and damaged by Subs only, both planes must land elsewhere after combat” situation described here combines two contradictory situations: the planes being on the carrier and the planes being in the air.

    If the carrier is “fully loaded”, this means that its planes are on the carrier, not in the air.  Therefore, the part which says “both planes must land elsewhere after combat” doesn’t apply because, in order to “land”, a plane has to get into the air or has to already be in the air.  A damaged carrier should not be able to launch planes, so the planes in this situation shouldn’t be able to get into the air.

    If on the other hand the planes are in a position to “land after combat”, it means that they’re already in the air…in which case it’s not correct to say that the carrier is “fully loaded”.

    It’s either one situation or the other, not both at the same time.

    If I have written: “if an empty 2 hits carrier is hit and damaged by Subs only, both planes must land elsewhere after combat”, it would have been absurd.
    So what should be the correct formula to describe OOB rules, Marc?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13

    Sorry Baron. Didn’t mean to go off topic. I’ll just not make anymore suggestions or comments.



  • I thought the deal was to sink it?



  • Wow, things can really get out of hand, can’t they? First of all, I stand corrected, but only to a point. What I mean by that is, Baron, you are correct, all planes would be defending, therefore they would be in the air to begin with. What I was still trying to address is the statement, Cannot carry plane when damaged. That is still incorrect. If say A British carrier has one British and one American fighter on it and is in the attacking force, and it is the British turn, then the American fighter of course would not participate in the attack. It would be relegated to sitting on deck, and if the carrier is subsequently damaged, the American fighter would still be on deck, not able to take off on the American turn. Again I am addressing Cannot carry plane, not anything else.


  • 2017 2016

    @Larrie:

    Wow, things can really get out of hand, can’t they? First of all, I stand corrected, but only to a point. What I mean by that is, Baron, you are correct, all planes would be defending, therefore they would be in the air to begin with. What I was still trying to address is the statement, Cannot carry plane when damaged. That is still incorrect. If say A British carrier has one British and one American fighter on it and is in the attacking force, and it is the British turn, then the American fighter of course would not participate in the attack. It would be relegated to sitting on deck, and if the carrier is subsequently damaged, the American fighter would still be on deck, not able to take off on the American turn. Again I am addressing Cannot carry plane, not anything else.

    You were right about this statement, it was too absolute and didn’t accurately describe OOB rule.
    That is why I answered by adding the point on friendly aircrafts trapped in a carrier.
    But, if your carrier is damaged, it is not possible to trap your own aircrafts inside.
    This last point wasn’t clear, especially when subs only are attacking @2 first strike carriers with no destroyer escorting. I returned to the rulebook to be sure about it.

    @Baron:

    @Larrie:

    Baron, I have to disagree with you on the cannot carry plane when damaged statement. They cannot launch or receive planes after being damaged, but if for example a loaded carrier was surprise attacked by a sub and only damaged and not sunk, then I believe the plane(s) would be trapped on the carrier until such time as it was repaired or sunk.

    Talking OOB rules, …

    On offense, only friendly plane(s) carried on board is/are trapped if the carrier was damaged in combat.


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