The current OOB rules are lame, since infantry is the only unit that is killed in land battles, and subs are the only unit killed in naval battles, and you never have to buy fighters because the 2 you start with will survive to the end, so no need to buy nothing but infantry and subs. This do not reflect the realities in WWII. In the real war, everybody had to produce as many tanks and aircrafts as possible all the time, because this units got killed as soon they left the factory. The real war purchases is kind of opposite to the A&A game purchases. And I know this is for playability and simplicity. Yeah, I am not dumb, man.
But IMHO, the fix proposed here, will not fix it, even if it is simple, balanced and playable.
Air superiority as we know it is a modern idea, and had nothing to do with WWII. To catch the true feeling of a WWII battle, we must recognize the 3 different types of battles, air battle, naval battle and land battle, and know why air battles will play out different for each kind.
First, the SBR rules are nice and model this kind of battle in an historical correct way. We have one round of dogfight, followed by one round of flak fire, and then the surviving Bombers drop the bombs on the facilities. This is exactly what happened in the real war. No need to change this.
The A&A naval battles are another story. In the real war, battleships and subs did not usually work together, and certainly not together with aircrafts too. If both sides in the real war had planes, then the fighters would do dogfights and the Tacs would target ships. As long as there were planes in the sky, there would be no duels between surface ships. If only one side had planes, they would drop torpedoes and bombs on the ships, and the ships would defend with flak fire. Only with no planes present, would we see ship to ship duels. And this one destroyer together with 10 Strategic Bombers sinking all subs rule is crazy too. In the real war, aircrafts could not sink subs, they just forced them to submerge, and they did not need a destroyer to help in doing that. And one destroyer could not deny the subs ability to submerge in the real war. If the destroyer did not kill the sub in the first try, then the sub submerged and got away. I don’t know why the A&A rules are designed this not very historically correct way.
The land battles are wrong too, and a new air superiority phase will not help fix it. If an A&A turn is 3 months, there are no historical battles with dogfight the first day, followed by 3 months of air superiority. As long as both sides had aircrafts, the dogfights would go on every day of the battle. To really fix this, fighters should be allowed to target enemy aircrafts as casualties. There are no way to through in some infantry as fodder in a dogfight between aircrafts. This battle takes places in the air, another dimension. Also I suggest that AAguns should be able to fire in the start of each and every round of combat, not just the first round. Its crazy that your aircraft roll dice in every round, but the AA gun only in the first round. As long as there are present aircrafts in the battle, then the AA gun should roll dice too. This will not make the game more complex, if you remember to roll for the bomber, you will remember to roll for the AA gun too.
Here is some of my fixes, I hope it can give you some working mechanics for your own game:
Here is the most preeminent features which revised actual units cost structure, combat value and interaction in play:
First, except for 5 specific units: AAA’s, TcB’s, Fgs’, TPs’ and Subs’ casualties, all casualties are now chosen by the owner and there is no specific order for any units, including Transports.
Anti-Aircraft Artillery now defends almost as OOB but in every round against up to 2 aircrafts, Fighter A2 D2-3 M4 at 6 IPCs (hit plane first) then AAA and
a weaker Tactical Bomber A3 D2 M4 C8,
always selecting ground casualties and no Combined Arms.
This makes two different planes with distinctive functions.
This fighter unit (remotely related to his 1914 counter-part) is another answer to this question: "why planes can’t hit planes in A&A?"This also includes a still acceptable historical Strategic Bombing Raid escort and intercept combat values in which:
Fighter gets A2 D2-3,
Tactical Bombers A1 first strike
Strategic Bombers A1 first strike against up to 2 Fgs, whichever the lesser (works like the new AAA, for a single combat round).
3-planes Aircraft Carrier at 12 IPCs with 2 hits and defending @3 (carrying up to 3 planes whether Fighters or Tactical Bombers).
The defense is highered up to D3 to keep with a full 3 Fgs load a similar advantage (to OOB) over attacking Carrier with 3 TcBs.
A cheaper and weaker Submarine A2 first strike D1 at 5 IPCs with almost same offensive (on battle calc) and lesser defensive combat value compared to OOB but an increase elusiveness against Destroyers,
Destroyer A2 D2 at 6 IPCs no more blocking submarines’ Surprise Strike,
but blocks 1:1 for Submerge (1 round only) and Stealth Move.
In addition, any hit by planes against submarines is treated normally:
planes need no more special presence of Destroyer to hit submarine.
In addition, submarines are no more able to hit submarines.
Transport able to defend: A0 D0 as regular AA 1 plane maximum per TP, 1 hit, at 8 IPCs and get a combat value which simplify interactions with other units.
Also, it contains 2 additional units from HBG (to get a more complete historical roster of weapons) such as:
Mechanized Artillery A2-3 D2-3 M2 which becomes a substantial and competitive units at 5 IPCs,
Escort Carrier D2, carrying 1 plane (Fg or TcB) (an historical 1/3 ratio of Fleet Carrier capacity) with Anti-Sub Vessel capacity same as Destroyer.
So, now you get my simpler complete A&A units historical roster incremented scaled by 3 IPCs for surface warships, and a smoother game mechanics.
It is as balance (within itself, IMO) and as close as possible from historical feel dynamics (Battle of Atlantic) without too much sacrifice toward complexity.
The more interesting feature is the Fighter unit at same cost with Tank.
It is more able to figure the usefulness of Tank, Tactical Bomber and Fighter (3 important driving machine-weapons of WWII) on the battleground, not just Tank, and make them almost equivalent loss, from IPCs POV.
Fighter (A2 D2-3 M4 C6) is more versatile on Sea / Air / Land but have a lower offensive and defensive punch than Tank, and is unable to conquer land territory by itself while being directly vulnerable to AAA unit and other Fighters.
Tactical Bomber A3 D2 M4 C8, with the ability to select ground casualties provides an interesting feature either for offense or defense.
But remain very vulnerable against Fighters while able to directly destroy AAA ground units.
This is a summary of their special abilities (some are house rules I already used and tested):
ANTI-AIRCRAFT ARTILLERY A0 D1 CM1 Cost 3, 1 hit,
Each round, up to 2 preemptive defense @1 against up to 2 planes, whichever the lesser, works similar to OOB AAA but can defend each combat round.
Stop any blitz, and defend itself @1 against enemy’s ground units, if no attacking air unit is present.
Can move during combat move phase, can be taken as casualty (owner’s choice).
SUBMARINES A2 first strike D1 M2 Cost 5
Surprise Strike, always on when attacking
Submerge, instead of rolling for a Surprise Strikeattack (blocked by ASV on a 1:1 basis for the first combat round only),
Stealth Movement: No Hostile Sea-Zone (except ASV can block Submarine Stealth movement on 1:1 basis),
Cannot hit airplanes,
Cannot hit submarines,
Can be hit by planes, doesn’t require an Anti-Sub Vessel.
Re: Reality wrecking destroyer rules need a revamp…
DESTROYER A2 D2 M2 Cost 6
Cancel Sub’s Submerge on 1 DD:1 Sub basis for the first combat round only
(When it occurs, defending Subs rolls a Defense @1 in the first round, and any surviving Subs can submerge at the beginning of the second combat round.)
Cancel Sub’s Stealth Movement on 1 DD: 1 Sub basis for Combat or Non Combat Move, all additional Sub units can perform a Stealth Movement as usual.
FIGHTER A2 D2-3 M4, same in SBR Cost 6
Air combat unit, Fighter as an Air Superiority aircraft:All hits are allocated to aircraft units first, if any available, then AAA, and finally other kind of units.
Fighter as part of an extended Air Defense System:
1 Fighter units receive +1 Defense if protecting a territory with an operational Air Base,
(for 1942.2, 2 Fgs can scramble from an Air Base/Victory City instead.)
SBR/TcBR Attack @2, Defend @2, or even Defend @3 for 1 Fg if an operational Air Base is present.
Can scramble in adjacent SZ up to 4 Fgs: 3 defend @2 and 1 defend @3, getting the +1 Defense bonus from an operational Air Base.
Can hit submarines without Anti-Sub Vessel.
TACTICAL BOMBER A3 D2 M4 Cost 8
All hits are allocated to any ground units of your choice.
This can makes for Tactical Bomber as a “Dive Bomber” and “Tank Buster”:
SBR/TcBR Attack @1 first strike,
Allowed to do escort mission of Strategic Bomberwithout doing Tactical Bombing Raid on Air Base or Naval Base,
Bombers (StB or TcB) are the first targets destroyed by interceptors.
Cannot do interception mission on defense,
TcBR damage: 1D6.
Can hit submarines without Anti-Sub Vessel.