Transports are too expensive



  • I’ve recently read many threads about unit balance, arguing that one or another unit is too weak, strong, expensive or cheap and none of the arguments seem to go anywhere. Either the unit is too closely tied to popular strategies or it balances out another unit, resulting in a domino effect of other balancing issues. The only unit that may be exempt from this, I have found, is the transport. The transport is one of the games staple units due to its niche land unit carrying ability. Practically all nations* (Russia) need them to progress in the game. The main problem with the transport though, is that they are too expensive and hinder the power of amphibious assaults or eat up too much of a Nations income. The 7 IPC price tag ultimately hinders both the axis and the Allies strategies:

    Sea lion is too expensive for Germany,

    The US can never seem to land a force large enough in Europe,

    Italy never seems to hit hard in Africa after Taranto raid,

    Pacific island hopping is very dull because Japan rarely takes US airbase/outer perimeter islands

    (I only made this thread to discuss whether this is a fair argument and I don’t want to see this moved to the house rules forum)



  • Trannies used to cost 8 IPCs in the former editions, so I don’t see the problem



  • I’m no A&A veteran, but the way I see it, the U.S. and German economies can afford transports, since they’re great powers. Transports are expensive because if you destroy a transport fleet, in the case of the U.S., it’s a major strategic achievement. The U.S. isn’t out of the fight, but you’ve seriously retarded his plans and brought yourself time, in addition to any units they were holding, too. Now the U.S. also has to build those boats back, too.

    Japan doesn’t really need/get enough transports to get the eastern islands in the Pacific right away, because first it wants to build up its economy. Once it does that, it’s free to work towards other objectives, like those islands, but with a higher resource base.

    Italy and the other nations, I don’t know, though. I suppose destroying too many transports for them is basically too major a setback, so it forces those powers to play more carefully? I’m not too sure.

    Anyway, that’s how I look at it.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    I would be happier with Transports at 6 and Subs at 8. I would also like to see the US transport a Mech, as if it were an Inf unit. But only the US.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    I don’t think it would make much difference except for the case of suiciding transports to make them cheaper. The real expense is the navy to defend the transports.



  • @wittmann:

    I would be happier with Transports at 6 and Subs at 8. I would also like to see the US transport a Mech, as if it were an Inf unit. But only the US.

    Most times you will invade with the force anyway so there is no need for the extra speed.
    And why only the US? this will only complicate the rules without any reason other then it is cool because it is the US.



  • I’ve suggested this elsewhere, but instead of simply changing unit values, we just change unit mechanics.

    The issue many times with Allied landings in Europe is not that you cannot win an amphibious landing, but are unable to hold it after winning.  The amount of transports required by the US to not only land 10 units / round but to continue to do so turn after turn is immense.  Its in the range of 20-25 TT in the Atlantic alone not counting the units to fill those TT or the ships to defend them.  The US economy may be strong comparatively, but go 100% Atlantic investment and calculate how many IPC you require to effectively project force in Europe and how long it will take to amass the units required and position them to do so.

    So my suggestion has been to enable ALLIED surface combat ships to carry solely infantry across the ocean if they take a single hit, and if they can take two hits they have the option of carrying a piece of equipment instead (ART/MEC/ARM).  These units can only be moved off combat ships in a NCM move.

    This addresses:
    1. Reinforcement of an initial wave
    2. Reinforcement to reload TT and advance when island hopping in the Pacific

    When looking at Germany, it has 2 Majors and 2 Minors in Europe that it can place units; one of those minors are potentially lost if the Allies land on Normandy.  Italy has another Major and typically a Minor (S.France)  that can reach most Allied landing locations in Europe with MEC/ARM.

    The Allies require at least 10 units a round from the US and another 8-10 from the UK to combat an Axis full investment to repel them.  If the Allies give the Axis a single round of breathing room where you do not reinforce or introduce more combat units in theater, you have effectively given back the territory you first claimed from to the Axis.  There is simply too much Axis production capacity to hold a territory in Europe otherwise.

    To combat this, you either need the Allies to arrive earlier to force Germany to divert investments to sack Moscow, or enable the Allies to develop a front they can potentially hold - which requires a constant supply line.

    To achieve the latter you can either:
    Expand TT capacity
    Lower the price of TT
    Introduce new transport capacity

    Introducing the Allies to Europe earlier is really a mechanic of slowing Germany down in Russia that would force Germany to divert units to fight on two fronts, not speeding up the Allies ability to move across the Atlantic.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @Spendo02:

    So my suggestion has been to enable ALLIED surface combat ships to carry solely infantry across the ocean if they take a single hit, and if they can take two hits they have the option of carrying a piece of equipment instead (ART/MEC/ARM).  These units can only be moved off combat ships in a NCM move.

    This addresses:
    1. Reinforcement of an initial wave
    2. Reinforcement to reload TT and advance when island hopping in the Pacific

    This isn’t the worst idea but does undermine simplicity for a debateable improvement in game play. Should the combat roll of the warship be reduced by one while carrying troops?

    And what about CV as TT? I’m pretty sure HMAS Melbourne was used a TT in the Vietnam War, again with no amphibious ability and no planes carried.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    The US is the only nation with the economic and logistic ability to produce and supply mechanised units. It annoys me that their Transports have to choose to carry a Mech  or a Tank, along with the “free” Inf unit, when their Inf Divisions in WW2 were  all Mechanised. The US’s Inf should all be mechanised, I believe (and transportable, as the Inf unit, therefore).



  • @simon33:

    @Spendo02:

    So my suggestion has been to enable ALLIED surface combat ships to carry solely infantry across the ocean if they take a single hit, and if they can take two hits they have the option of carrying a piece of equipment instead (ART/MEC/ARM).� These units can only be moved off combat ships in a NCM move.

    This addresses:
    1. Reinforcement of an initial wave
    2. Reinforcement to reload TT and advance when island hopping in the Pacific

    This isn’t the worst idea but does undermine simplicity for a debateable improvement in game play. Should the combat roll of the warship be reduced by one while carrying troops?

    And what about CV as TT? I’m pretty sure HMAS Melbourne was used a TT in the Vietnam War, again with no amphibious ability and no planes carried.

    I don’t see how a warship’s capacity to engage in combat would be hindered by carrying extra personnel.  Of course, if you allowed a CV to carry ARM instead of FTR you could have an argument but the lack of FTR alone probably solves that debate in of itself.

    I am presuming you are suggesting a BB rolls to defend at a 3 instead of a 4, or a DD rolls at a 1 instead of a 2?

    I could see valid arguments for, but if you’re going for simplicity that makes things even more complex.

    Besides, the allies have it hard enough trying to defend TT with warships that reducing their combat values would probably negate the entire point of the change - that being that the Allies have difficulty bringing ground units into theaters.



  • @wittmann:

    The US is the only nation with the economic and logistic ability to produce and supply mechanised units. It annoys me that their Transports have to choose to carry a Mech  or a Tank, along with the “free” Inf unit, when their Inf Divisions in WW2 were  all Mechanised. The US’s Inf should all be mechanised, I believe (and transportable, as the Inf unit, therefore).

    I’d tend to agree with you here.  Considering MEC get no advantage or disadvantage for AA landings, it does make sense that the US units remained purely MEC.

    However, I’m unclear if MEC would actually make a difference in Europe.  Perhaps North Africa?



  • You can produce 20 TT with the equivalent of 2 turns of US production, this seems about right for what it should take to create a land bridge of that scale - this is a construct that will move 10 units from EUS to Gibraltar/Morocco AND 10 units from Gib/Morocco to any point along the European/Atlantic coast and most of the way through the Med as well. They’re a one-time investment, if you protect them. The leverage they provide is absolutely enormous - that’s 20-30 units that can be dropped in most of Europe at any given time.

    2 turns for US… how many turns for Italy to protect Rome from that, and Germany to protect W Germany? It’s a fair deal.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @wittmann:

    when their Inf Divisions in WW2 were  all Mechanised.

    I have never heard that before. I’m sure it doesn’t apply to their airborne ones.

    Is it indeed a fact?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    SubmersedElk: You are right in saying that it would only help in NAfrica and early game. In the later stages, the U.K. Can make enough Mech in the ME and the US is usually capturing and recapturing Normandy.

    Simon: I believe so. I am thinking of 1944 and the Cobra breakout and race to the Rhine. Germany’s was a horse drawn Army, as was Italy’s.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @wittmann:

    Germany’s was a horse drawn Army, as was Italy’s.

    Surely this refers to artillery and/or supplies though. I don’t think there were actual light horse troops as there were in WWI.



  • @simon33:

    @wittmann:

    when their Inf Divisions in WW2 were  all Mechanised.

    I have never heard that before. I’m sure it doesn’t apply to their airborne ones.

    Is it indeed a fact?

    I think the issue is the conceptual synergy between mechanized and motorized infantry.  They are mutually exclusive terms.

    The US could, for example, motorize an entire regiment, but trucks and jeeps are just as vulnerable to small arms and artillery fire as if the infantry was on foot.  Mechanized units however received some level of protection from those threats by either projecting force through light cannons or higher caliber automatic weapons (think .50 cal mounted on a truck with some armor vs a Jeep Wrangler with 6 guys riding in it).

    Granted, we don’t see a combat difference between MEC and INF in this game, so I’d suggest that MEC is actually a misnomer and should be probably named MOT.

    A true MEC would attack at 1 and defend at 3 if you wanted to apply the terms correctly; and potentially attack at 2 if combined with ARM (based on how MEC and ARM units are historically in real life more effective than either individually).



  • @wittmann:

    The US is the only nation with the economic and logistic ability to produce and supply mechanised units. It annoys me that their Transports have to choose to carry a Mech  or a Tank, along with the “free” Inf unit, when their Inf Divisions in WW2 were  all Mechanised. The US’s Inf should all be mechanised, I believe (and transportable, as the Inf unit, therefore).

    This is absolutely, unequivocally untrue. There were more standard infantry divisions in the US army than any other type of division, and this is true for every other nation that fought in the war as well. It would actually strike me as more odd if the US player got to use such a special rule while other nations did not.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thank you for correcting me. I also Apologise for derailing others ideas and taking this thread the wrong way.
    I thought I had  a small solution to America’s income discrepancy, despite its  actual historical economic advantage. I shall now have to come  up with another way to represent how  America actually won this  war, within the confines of this game.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    My thought would be:
    Two different TT’s. A small and a large one

    Small: A0/D0/M2/C6 carry two Inf. or 1Inf+Arm or Mech or Arty
    Large: A0/D1/M2/C8 carry 4 Inf or two Inf+1 Arm or Mech or Arty

    Similar to the game mechanic of World at War game.

    It would represent the variety of TT’s most nations had.

    Just a thought



  • Actually, going back to the old Transports costing 8 would probably favour the allies massivly.

    The old transports had a 1 in combat and was a hitpoint to take as casuality.

    Lets take US as an example. If they where to make a fleet with 8 transports to threathen to land in europe. With transports costing 7, they have to use about 56 IPC for the transports. They will probably need about 4 other transports as well, so in total, they pay about 82 IPC for the pleasure. If transports cost 8, they pay 96 IPC. So where is the gain? Well, the gain is that they can now reduce the number of DDs needed to stand against luftwaffe. If we assume that 8 TTs is with the main fleet, then they would need about 5-6 fewer DDs in the main fleet. If we say they need 4 DDs less (then, they have the same number of combat dice in the main fleet, but with 4 extra HP), then they save 32 IPC in DDs. So buying TTs at 8 with 1 hp and 1 Combatdie will make the us invastionfleet at least 16 IPCs cheaper, probably more in the range of 24 to 30 IPCs cheaper.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Spendo02:

    I don’t see how a warship’s capacity to engage in combat would be hindered by carrying extra personnel. Â

    In the real world, surface-combat vessels don’t normally carry cargo and don’t normally serve as troop transports.  It’s not primarily because the presence of cargo or the presence of troops would impair their fighting ability (even though it would), it’s because surface-combat vessel don’t have room for these kinds of things.  Most warships are very tight for space, as any sailor whose served on one will confirm.  Their “cargo”, or payload, is their own weaponry, plus the ammunition for it, plus fuel for the ship itself, plus some supporting machinery and tools and spare parts, plus space for the crew needed to operate the ship and the weapons, plus food and water and other essentials to keep the crew functioning.  Beyond these essentials, naval architects typically don’t allocate much (if any) extra space, because added volume equals added tonnage – and added tonnage means less speed and higher building costs.  Moreover, warships don’t necessarily have – at least not to the same extent as cargo ships do – cargo-handling equipment and space like cranes and cargo holds.  There’s also the problem of loading and offloading.  Some WWII transport vessels designed to support amphibious assaults had shallow drafts and flat bottoms, so they could nose up right to the beach.  Big ships like carriers and battleships and cruisers are deep-draught vessels that need proper port facilities: dredged channels, docks, wharves and so forth.  They can’t come right up to a shoreline, and they don’t carry small craft like lighters or barges to transfer men and equipment from ship to shore or vice-versa.


  • 2018 2017

    Mechanized in that era meant “equipped with trucks and light vehicles, as opposed to horses or nothing”

    the question was one of fighting readiness (being even able to reach the battlefield, much less exhausted) than whether they fought “from truck” or with “en portee” guns.  The trucks were to get them TO the battle in general.

    Today, mechanized means “equipped with an armed and armored AFV all the way up to deployment on the battlefield”.

    This “truck” goes all the way to the firing line.

    The use of warships to transport the infantry is both unrealistic and not a functional fix.  The initial question here is actually totally off;  yet again; people are examining the cost of the wrong unit–-one of the most balanced and functionally priced units in the game.

    The Sub6/Tran7/Destroyer8 cost is actually one of the most mathematically balanced relationships in this game.  The old set up was tougher destroyers that did more but cost 12.  Then transports fought, but for 8.  That broke them,

    because they have just one job…
    it is their only job…
    no one else has it…

    If you are frustrated that you can’t bring enough pieces to the front, its a question of balancing your strategy and purchases, not re-tweaking the game.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Well said taamvan.

    I find the need to balance fleet purchases to protect defenceless transports adds to the challenge and would not want to see this changed.

    Have played World at War, so can see that AetV’s suggestion has some merit. But for me there is not a problem here that needs fixing.



  • There is not much wrong with transports, or everything is wrong with them but the same goes for every other unit.

    Making them defend @1 like normal warships would see the return of the all transport fleets ( with a BB for added power ) which is totaly silly. Warships protect transports not the other way around.

    Also mechanized units kinda take more space then a regular infantry unit, you need a truck for every 10 soldiers ( give or take ) so a whole division would need what 50/100 trucks.
    Where having 1000 men with equipment does not take nearly that amount of space. There used to be a balance where you could transport 2 inf or 1 tank in a transport. Which ment no tanks where ever transported.

    And seriously having warships transport troops, the japanese tried it. Only took 3 times as long and only have the supplies and no heavy weapons where be able to be transported.
    No other nation did this in any organized form, sure they transported churchil to the US and he surely had maby 10 staff members with him but that hardly counts as an infantry division.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @Kreuzfeld:

    Actually, going back to the old Transports costing 8 would probably favour the allies massivly.

    The old transports had a 1 in combat and was a hitpoint to take as casuality.

    Lets take US as an example. If they where to make a fleet with 8 transports to threathen to land in europe. With transports costing 7, they have to use about 56 IPC for the transports. They will probably need about 4 other transports as well, so in total, they pay about 82 IPC for the pleasure. If transports cost 8, they pay 96 IPC. So where is the gain? Well, the gain is that they can now reduce the number of DDs needed to stand against luftwaffe. If we assume that 8 TTs is with the main fleet, then they would need about 5-6 fewer DDs in the main fleet. If we say they need 4 DDs less (then, they have the same number of combat dice in the main fleet, but with 4 extra HP), then they save 32 IPC in DDs. So buying TTs at 8 with 1 hp and 1 Combatdie will make the us invastionfleet at least 16 IPCs cheaper, probably more in the range of 24 to 30 IPCs cheaper.

    Offsetting this a bit is that the old transports could only carry 2 inf or 1 tank (no artillery or mech inf back then). Not sure about the AA Guns. That meant you needed more of them or more supporting aircraft to mount an effective assault.


Log in to reply
 

Suggested Topics

  • 28
  • 34
  • 14
  • 6
  • 81
  • 17
  • 4
  • 2
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

79
Online

13.9k
Users

34.2k
Topics

1.3m
Posts