New way of resolving combat historical correct


    Some of you may have noticed that when resolving major battles with a huge stack of like 60 infantry or more, 5 artillery, 2 tanks and 3 aircrafts, then the tanks and aircrafts will always survive. This don’t look like any outcome of a real WWII battle. And the reason for this very strange and unhistorical outcome is a Rule that let the unit owner choose his own casualties. An average player will of course choose his cheap infantry as fodder.

    A&A is supposed to be a fair strategy game, and is based on simple rules. The average players are 12 year old college kids, and not military vets. None the less, you don’t need to read a ton of history books or watch a bunch of war movies to realize that in a real war, tanks and aircrafts will get killed too, not just infantry. Some rational players are bothered by this, and makes house rules to fix this blatant error. Unfortunately most of this fixes are complicated and not in the KISS spirit of A&A. So to make it real short, this is my try.

    HR 1. The dogfight. After combat move and scrambling, there must be an air to air combat if both sides bring in aircrafts. This dogfight must go on until one side gain air supremacy. This will be true for both land and naval combat. You can study all battles of WWII, or WWI or modern wars, and you will find that no naval battle or land campaign was started before one side had gained air superiority.

    To keep it real simple, we use the A&A 1914 Battleboard since this is already an established A&A rule. No need to think outside the box.
    All attacking  fighters, Tacs and Bombers roll a 1 for hit.
    All defending and scrambled fighters roll 2 or less for a hit. Defending Tacs and Bombers are just sittin ducks. Imagine the defending Bombers are parked on the airfield when they get bombed by surprice.
    This goes on until one side gain air superiority, either because the defender is ruined or the attacker retreats.
    Surviving attacking Bombers now conduct SBR against facilities and its AA fire.

    HR 2. The general combat.

    This combat, both naval and land, is resolved basically after the OOB A&A rules, with one exception. The unit owner do no choose his own casualties. Neither do any complicated dice system. The attacker choose what defending units he want to target, pretty much like in the real war. And of course the defender choose what attacking units must be taken as casualties. This system is based on the real war, and there was no way that the attacking Tanks, that had to drove through minefields when shelled by artillery and heavy fire, would always automatically survive to the end, with no scratch, when the dug in infantry in the rear would always get killed as easy as that. Just no way. Pretty much the same with naval battles, the capital ships would sail into battle first, in harms way, and take the beating. That is why they named it Battleships, they are supposed to battle. Destroyers was made for hunting subs, not to be fodder for Battleships. Subs was made for raiding convoys, not to be fodder for Battleships. The only way to fix this error is to let the other guy choose your casualties, in order to deny you the pleasure of choosing cheap units as fodder.

    Of course the naval battles are resolved first. I think maybe we stick with the OOB rule that saves Trannies for last, but the Jury is still out on that.

    Land Battles. I think AA guns should be able to fire on planes in each and every round. It may look to strong, but remember with this HR the attacker can choose to pick enemy AA guns as first casualties. I think the aircraft owner should be punished in some way if he miss to target the AA guns as first priority, and letting AA guns fire every round is a fair way to punish him. But there are a tricky issue here. Can it be allowed to pick enemy aircrafts as casualties ? No I don’t think so. It was extremely difficult for tanks and infantry to hit a Heavy Bomber up in the sky. Bombers got shot down by enemy fighters and AA fire, not by rifle bullets from the ground. So I guess that aircrafts that survived the dogfight, can only be killed by AA fire. This open a can of worms. If the attacker started the land attack with air superiority, but after round 8 he is out of land units, and only have one fighter left, and the defender is out of AA guns, but have a huge stack of infantry left, will that lone fighter get an automatic kill on that 85 infantry units ? Like a lone destroyer can automaticly sink 67 Trannies that sail with no escort. No I don’t think so. Like a Battleship need land units to do shore bombardment, I say an aircraft need land units on the ground to kill enemy land units. High altitude carpet bombing of dug in infantry have no value of its own, unless this bombing is followed up by a ground attack.


  • On Tanks.

    Some players will for sure claim that if the opponent choose your casualties, nobody will buy Tanks any more, never again. The land battles will look like they did in the MB Classic games, with huge infantry stacks only. So how do we fix this, and I for sure don’t want to mess with the units cost or combat values. A Tanks should always cost 6 IPC, move 2 spaces, attack on 3 or less,  defend on 3 or less, and of course be able to Blitz. The only way to make rational players keep buying Tanks is to give them one more ability, and again from the A&A 1914 game with established and playtested rules.

    An attacking Tank can absorb one extra hit. So it takes 2 hits to kill a tank.

    This would be very strong if Tanks was chosen last as casualties, but perfect when chosen first. Tanks are actually the fodder that break through the enemy line, and make a hole in the line that the follow up infantry can exploit. Tanks that survived a real battle got so worn down that they would need months of repair before they could be used again. A Tank should be a hard hitting one round only unit. A Tank need a lot of fuel, supply and maintenance to work, and is really expensive to keep running. But in combined operations with aircrafts, like Tactical Bombers, they really put a lot of harm to the enemy. Tanks win battles. But they get used doing so. Infantry on the other hand live of the land and is cheap, and they can go on and go on forever, but they don’t have a strong punch.

    So if you want to win a battle, you need air superiority, this is true for both attacker and defender.
    If you want to successfully attack a territory, you also need Tanks and Tacs in Combined operation that gives a heavy punch to the defending stack. Since attacking Tanks will also absorb one extra hit, this first round will be devastating. We must assume that Tanks are taken first as casualties, so the next rounds are likely to be infantry fighting. And in that case, attacking infantry need matching artillery if they want to be hard hitting. And as always, artillery will be targeted in artillery duels, so in the latest rounds only infantry and aircrafts will survive. Just like in the real world.

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