AAA first shot ability, how do you see it?

  • '17 '16

    I wonder how you feel about the AAA preemptive strike?
    Since ICs and bases have their own AA guns, how do you figure, on a tactical or historical POV, the preemptive strike ability of AAA?
    Does it feel right or not?

    Second part, on a game POV, do you find sufficient reason to have this exception amongst land units rolling regular casualty?
    If AAA would have been made a regular hit like all the other land units, do you believe the game would loose some enjoyments?


  • I’m not sure I follow you?

    To clarify:

    Are you saying that you don’t want mobile AAA guns to fire first (pre-empt). Instead they should fire @1 with normal units, but every round of combat. Planes hit by an AAA gun would return fire before being removed from play.

    That would be worth keeping an AAA gun instead of taking it as your first casualty, because it could continue firing every round and maybe get another plane (if that indeed is what your intentions are). May even cause the attacker to retreat rather then press on because his planes are at risk beyond the first round of combat.

    Basically trading the one time kill shot where casualties (planes) are removed immediately and don’t get to shoot, for the possibility of getting more shots, but any planes that are hit get to return fire (before they are removed).

    interesting

  • '17 '16

    To clarify my intent, I’m not actually looking at a new house rule.
    (I want a larger audience and more opinions from experienced players. Don’t want to see this thread drafted into another forum.)
    I just wanna know how people find a logical explanation or rational (historically or game-play POV) for giving AAA a preemptive strike similar to submarine surprise strike.

    To help thinking about it, we can compare with two hypothetical different cases such as

    1. a single regular strike in the opening combat round,
    2. a regular strike each combat round, similar to other land units.

    Also, a new question: what can represent the single opening shot of OOB AAA?

    To be contrasted with:
    3) a first strike each combat round, similar to OOB Submarine’s Surprise Strike.

  • '17 '16

    @WILD:

    I’m not sure I follow you?

    To clarify:

    Are you saying that you don’t want mobile AAA guns to fire first (pre-empt). Instead they should fire @1 with normal units, but every round of combat. Planes hit by an AAA gun would return fire before being removed from play.

    That would be worth keeping an AAA gun instead of taking it as your first casualty, because it could continue firing every round and maybe get another plane (if that indeed is what your intentions are). May even cause the attacker to retreat rather then press on because his planes are at risk beyond the first round of combat.

    Basically trading the one time kill shot where casualties (planes) are removed immediately and don’t get to shoot, for the possibility of getting more shots, but any planes that are hit get to return fire (before they are removed).
    interesting

    Your case is interesting to provide an example of what kind of answer I’m looking for.

    Seeing OOB AAA preemptive roll figuring a tactical situation: plane being shot in the air before reaching its target, hence unable to make its attack roll.

    Instead, we can see it more strategically over a three to six months period, in which each combat round represent about a 1 month period where AAA gets about 1/6 or 17% odds of destroying a plane unit.That way, planes make multiple flights and reach their ground targets around 50% odds (3/6).
    This would be one way to rationalize an AAA regular defense roll per combat round, as you presented.


  • In case you ask me, no I dont love it. The A&A 1914 game is an improvement since it have Dogfight between aircrafts before the ground battle. I think a players feeling depends on how much military experience and history knowledge he got. To a 12 year old kid I guess the OOB AA preemptive fire is great. But if you know history, its just derogatory. If a Turn is 3 or 4 months, and a unit represent 500 or 1000 planes, then the OOB rules dont give me the good feeling. And I hardly can find, even remotely, any way to justify it, like imagine the AA gun also represent interception fighters too, that do Dogfight the first day of the campaign, but never show up the next 3 months to kill more planes, even if the enemy planes show up every day of the campaign.

    In the real war, over a time span of 3 months that represent a campaign, fighters would dogfight every day and Bombers would get hit by AA fire every day. But I understand that for simplicity reasons and playability, maybe even game balance, the battleboard is designed simple stupid for some reason, maybe to speed up play in tournaments, or what ever.

    I dont dare to suggest house rules, since nobody want this thread closed or moved, but IMHO A&A Global would have been better off with an Air to Air sequence before the general battles, like the A&A 1914 game actually has, and on top of that the AA guns should be able to fire in each and every round of combat that also include attacking aircrafts. Using AA guns as fodder is IMHO not only very not historically correct, but at best a gamey way to abuse a rule

  • '17 '16

    Your comparison with 1914 dogfight rule brings more water to the mills.
    It seems like modern warfare.
    You get ride of enemy’s air defense and acquire Air Supremacy over the contested land.
    Then you throw ground units into battle with an uncontested air cover.

    I believe Desert Storm, first Irak war, was made like this.
    But, it takes several month for Allies to reach this point over Normandy.
    Or Germany never gained it entirely in the beginning of Barbarossa.

    So I wonder if it is more accurate to depict WWII combats with a preliminary air battle as 1914 or if it would be better to have an on going simultaneous air and ground battle, as OOB mechanic, except for AAA single opening use.
    @Narvik:

    In the real war, over a time span of 3 months that represent a campaign, fighters would dogfight every day and Bombers would get hit by AA fire every day. But I understand that for simplicity reasons and playability, maybe even game balance, the battleboard is designed simple stupid for some reason, maybe to speed up play in tournaments, or what ever.


  • As pointed out, because of the lack a dog fighting type action, planes kinda get a free ride in normal battles. There is no real way to show an aerial war of attrition once the AAA blows its wad. SBR has some limited dog fighting now, but the AAA gun is the only unit that can target a plane directly in a normal battle (getting only one chance to do that).

    Ok, this would be considered more of an evolution of the AAA gun possibly for future AA games. I like the premise of an AAA firing every round of combat like all other ground units. Deciding pre-empt or not TBD. Would think that an AAA would only get 1 shot (not 3), if it were to fire every round. It would give you the sense of an ongoing campaign of attrition, but for the defender only. The attacker would be at a disadvantage not having a unit that also targets aircraft IMO. I know the attacker controls what battles to perform, but it still seems lop sided in general even with current rules. I think that you may be looking for more of an aerial dog fight, but settling on AAA to do the job.

    I agree that there is a real lack of aerial combat, especially in a normal battle. Each new AA games has brought higher levels of units and abilities. Maybe the next generation should bring targeting to the table. Each unit gets its normal attack/defense, but if a ftr or tack  rolls say at 1, it can target. Would give more of a sense atrition IMO.

  • '17 '16

    @WILD:

    As pointed out**, because of the lack a dog fighting type action, planes kinda get a free ride in normal battles. There is no real way to show an aerial war of attrition once the AAA blows its wad**. SBR has some limited dog fighting now, but the AAA gun is the only unit that can target a plane directly in a normal battle (getting only one chance to do that).

    Ok, this would be considered more of an evolution of the AAA gun possibly for future AA games. I like the premise of an AAA firing every round of combat like all other ground units. Deciding pre-empt or not TBD. Would think that an AAA would only get 1 shot (not 3), if it were to fire every round. It would give you the sense of an ongoing campaign of attrition, but for the defender only. The attacker would be at a disadvantage not having a unit that also targets aircraft IMO. I know the attacker controls what battles to perform, but it still seems lop sided in general even with current rules. I think that you may be looking for more of an aerial dog fight, but settling on AAA to do the job.

    I agree that there is a real lack of aerial combat, especially in a normal battle. Each new AA games has brought higher levels of units and abilities. Maybe the next generation should bring targeting to the table. Each unit gets its normal attack/defense, but if a ftr or tack  rolls say at 1, it can target. Would give more of a sense atrition IMO.

    The more I think about what figure AAA pre-emptive, the more I believe A&A units abilities of resolve combat phase were originally trying to describe war at a tactical level while the map itself show a strategical level with two theatres of operations.
    The original classic AA gun unit was working like a defensive belt for both IC and units in a given TT. We can imagine this TT surrounded at his border by AAguns defense, but once attacking planes get inside TT, ground units are on their own against incoming  planes flying above their head. And do not need to cross again this border, so to be vulnerable to AAA until retreat or victory.
    This could explain the single pre-emptive AA defense.

  • '19 '17 '16

    @Baron:

    I wonder how you feel about the AAA preemptive strike?
    Since ICs and bases have their own AA guns, how do you figure, on a tactical or historical POV, the preemptive strike ability of AAA?
    Does it feel right or not?

    Second part, on a game POV, do you find sufficient reason to have this exception amongst land units rolling regular casualty?
    If AAA would have been made a regular hit like all the other land units, do you believe the game would loose some enjoyments?

    I’m inclined to think the swings from AAA are too violent and pre-emption is part of the reason for that. I don’t particularly mind the idea that it only fires once - same as a bombardment. I do dislike that it rolls on a one and doesn’t even get a zero when attacking and is also more expensive than infantry.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    In the real world, a preeemptive strike is a situation in which Power A, who suspects that it’s about to be attacked by Power B, decides to attack Power B first.  By definition, this means Power A using offensive weapons to attack Power B in Power B’s territory.  Anti-aircraft artlllery units are defensive weapons that Power A uses on its own territory to defend itself against attacks by Power B – so their use has nothing to do with “preemptive strikes.”

    If you’re talking about a situation in which Power B launches an air strike – let’s say, a bombimg mission – against Power A, and you’re talking about the question of whether or not Power A’s AAA guns can fire at Power B’s bombers before Power B’s bombers can drop their bombs, that’s fair enough…but the term “preemptive strike” doesn’t apply to that context.

  • '17 '16

    Fine Marc,
    What should have been written?
    Preemptive roll?
    Any idea to word it in a better evocative way?
    I’m open to suggestions.
    English isn’t my mother language.
    My vocabulary is not as extensive as I would like.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    “First-shot ability for AAA” would probably be all right, if I understand your concept correctly.

  • '17 '16

    I am SOOOO SORRY that I got everyone on the forums up in arms about AAA… i’m sure if I never put that poll up, you’d all forget the stuff even exists.

  • '17 '16

    Thanks for pulling AAA up as a topic of some interest.
    I like to explore the underlying assumption of unit mechanic.


  • I can try to make a wild  ad hoc justification.

    Firstly, we notice that an airforce being hit by anti air with first strike would be less effective than a force that is not.

    If we imagine a battle going on for sevral weeks, how is it different to attack an enemy with a lot of anit air, compared to an enemy without it.

    The anti air will have two effects on the combat.
    1. it will  make the airraids less effective, pilots likes to live.
    2. there will be casualties due to anti air.

    if all we wanted to do was to simulate (2) then fireing in the regular combat would make sense. if we also want to make the airraid less effective, without increasing the casualties, then we need the anti air to be a preshot.

    On a different note; There is nothing in Axis that can be justified by any historcal facts at the level you are requesting here. In my opinion, the airunits doesnt even represent planes, it more represent an army with a larger aircomponent than the tankarmy.


  • @Baron:

    To clarify my intent, I’m not actually looking at a new house rule.
    (I want a larger audience and more opinions from experienced players. Don’t want to see this thread drafted into another forum.)

    Look, despite your effort this thread just got drafted to the House Rule forum for some reason, now how does that make you feel ?

    OK back to topic. Dug in infantry or artillery dont get a preemptive shot at charging infantry that run up the beach or cross the minefield, so why would AA guns fire preemptive at attacking aircrafts ? Its pretty much the same.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Narvik:

    OK back to topic. Dug in infantry or artillery dont get a preemptive shot at charging infantry that run up the beach or cross the minefield, so why would AA guns fire preemptive at attacking aircrafts ? Its pretty much the same.

    Also, the previously mentioned parallel with the surprise attack ability of submarines doesn’t really work.  Submarines are designed to be stealthy – their defining characteristic is their ability to hide from surface observation by diving underwater – so it makes sense for them to have the ability in the game (as they did in WWII) to sneak up on a target unobserved and put a torpedo into its side before anyone realizes that there’s a sub lurking nearby.  Anti-aircraft guns have no such stealth abilities.  They can, to some extent, be camouflaged from daytime observation by the application of netting, but that doesn’t give them the same kind of stealth abilities as subs, for several reasons. First, visual camouflage of this type confers no advantages at night (since neither the guns nor the camouflage can be seen).  Second, an attacking air force will know perfectly well that the juicy targets (such as cities) will have batteries of AAA guns clustered in and/or near them, even if their exact location isn’t known.  Third, WWII subs and AAA guns operated in a fundamentally different ways.  Subs operated in essence as single units (though they could sometimes operate in groups) whose purpose was to fire large and expensive weapons (torpedoes) singly or in small numbers at a target which was carefully tracked and aimed at with as much precision as possible.  WWII AAA guns, to have any chance of hitting aircraft overhead, had to operate in large numbers and had to function more or less like firehoses, pumping hundreds or even thousands of rounds into the air in the general direction of their targets.  And sometimes they didn’t even actually aim at specific targets; rather, they would fire “box barrages” designed to fill a predetermined volume of airspace with an optimal pattern of sharpnel designed to create the maximum chances that an aircraft flying through that airspace would be hit.

    Even more fundamentally, however, the concept of a first-shot advantage for AAA isn’t really meaningful.  A WWII battle between AAA on the ground and bombers overhead isn’t like a duel between Wild West gunslingers in which the advantage goes to the first man who gets his gun out of his holster.  Bombers don’t drop their bombs until they are over their target, whereas AAA guns will usually open fire as soon as the enemy planes are in range – so in that sense the AAA always gets “the first shot”, but that doesn’t translate into any kind of guarantee that the AAA will get the bombers before the bombers bomb their targets.  The effectiveness of WWII AAA ground defenses didn’t hinge on who got the first shot, it hinged on things like how many AAA guns were clustered around the target and how skillfully they were used.

  • '21 '20 '18 '17

    the balance has nothing to do with realism, its about why planes (esp fighters) are balanced against the rest of the units.  The planes are more expensive than everything else, but they have vastly more movement and (mobile!) defensive power than anything else in the game.

    The drawback is they cant take territory and they cant land in the advance defense of your stacks (unless its from an allied air force).

    people try to compare the units based on cost, but that’s not apt.  Like most games, the units are all different–not just more or less powerful than one another.

    destroyers and subs are totally dissimilar.  you cant simply compare 6 to 8.  subs cant hit planes
    destroyers have the same stats as artillery but cost twice as much?  because you don’t have another “infantry of the sea” choice.
    cruisers are worthless for 12, but you start the game with many
    fighters are the end-all be-all versatile unit, but then again, 6 moves is incredibly better than 4 moves, and they cant hold territory (and aren’t cheap).

    changing how AAA works changes the dynamics of what makes the fighter the cornerstone unit of the advanced AxA game…

  • '17 '16

    @Narvik:

    @Baron:

    To clarify my intent, I’m not actually looking at a new house rule.
    (I want a larger audience and more opinions from experienced players. Don’t want to see this thread drafted into another forum.)

    Look, despite your effort this thread just got drafted to the House Rule forum for some reason, now how does that make you feel ?

    I felt amazed…
    I really don’t know why THIS thread, at the present stage, is not within prescribed boundaries to stay on the G40 forum.
    People stayed on topic and a lot of interesting points have been made.
    The small deviations were more as comparison points than true promotion of a given House rule.
    And from Kreuzfeld up to taamvan it is not about something else than OOB AAA analysis.
    The moderator was quite nervous on the trigger this time IMO.
    Anyone has a better explanation ?

  • '17 '16

    @CWO:

    @Narvik:

    OK back to topic. Dug in infantry or artillery dont get a preemptive shot at charging infantry that run up the beach or cross the minefield, so why would AA guns fire preemptive at attacking aircrafts ? Its pretty much the same.

    Also, the previously mentioned parallel with the surprise attack ability of submarines doesn’t really work.  Submarines are designed to be stealthy – their defining characteristic is their ability to hide from surface observation by diving underwater – so it makes sense for them to have the ability in the game (as they did in WWII) to sneak up on a target unobserved and put a torpedo into its side before anyone realizes that there’s a sub lurking nearby.  Anti-aircraft guns have no such stealth abilities.  They can, to some extent, be camouflaged from daytime observation by the application of netting, but that doesn’t give them the same kind of stealth abilities as subs, for several reasons. First, visual camouflage of this type confers no advantages at night (since neither the guns nor the camouflage can be seen).  Second, an attacking air force will know perfectly well that the juicy targets (such as cities) will have batteries of AAA guns clustered in and/or near them, even if their exact location isn’t known. Third, WWII subs and AAA guns operated in a fundamentally different ways.  Subs operated in essence as single units (though they could sometimes operate in groups) whose purpose was to fire large and expensive weapons (torpedoes) singly or in small numbers at a target which was carefully tracked and aimed at with as much precision as possible.  WWII AAA guns, to have any chance of hitting aircraft overhead, had to operate in large numbers and had to function more or less like firehoses, pumping hundreds or even thousands of rounds into the air in the general direction of their targets.  And sometimes they didn’t even actually aim at specific targets; rather, they would fire “box barrages” designed to fill a predetermined volume of airspace with an optimal pattern of sharpnel designed to create the maximum chances that an aircraft flying through that airspace would be hit.

    Even more fundamentally, however, the concept of a first-shot advantage for AAA isn’t really meaningful.  A WWII battle between AAA on the ground and bombers overhead isn’t like a duel between Wild West gunslingers in which the advantage goes to the first man who gets his gun out of his holster.  Bombers don’t drop their bombs until they are over their target, whereas AAA guns will usually open fire as soon as the enemy planes are in range – so in that sense the AAA always gets “the first shot”, but that doesn’t translate into any kind of guarantee that the AAA will get the bombers before the bombers bomb their targets.  The effectiveness of WWII AAA ground defenses didn’t hinge on who got the first shot, it hinged on things like how many AAA guns were clustered around the target and how skillfully they were used.

    These two points seems to show that “first shot” better describes AAA capacity than “surprise strike”, which should be reserved to Sub ability.
    I believe AA guns have  a much longer range of direct fire than any plane weapon.
    So AAA start shooting before enemy can shoot back, hence …

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Baron:

    These two points seems to show that “first shot” better describes AAA capacity than “surprise strike”, which should be reserved to Sub ability.
    I believe AA guns have  a much longer range of direct fire than any plane weapon.
    So AAA start shooting before enemy can shoot back, hence …

    My point wasn’t that AAA didn’t usually shoot first in WWII.  My point was that this “shoot first” ability was not by itself any kind of decisive advantage.  As I said, a WWII bombing raid isn’t the same as a Western gunfight, where the guy who gets his gun out of his holster first (assuming he’s a good shot) immediately achieves a 100% victory.  AAA defenses against bombing raids were long attritional battles, in which the AAA guns would gradually – and very, very slowly – cut down the number of incoming bombers.  And keep in mind that most of the AAA shells that were fired at the bombers missed them completely (especially at night).  So in that kind of situation, the number of AAA guns firing is much more important that the concept of who shoots first.


  • My 2 cents.

    AAA is probably the most modified aspect of the Three-Turn House Rules set that my group plays.  …. The basic aspects are here below.  These mesh with other details in the full rules set which I won’t mention here.

    • All ships have AAA ability.  This is “Preemptive @1” happening after the Sub-Special Attack and before Normal Combat.  A ship’s AAA is the ONLY way a ship can hit a plane.  Ships normal combat rolls must be applied to other ships.  … Therefore, in theory, a ship can roll TWO times per combat round.  Once @1 against a plane, and then again per their normal roll against an enemy ship.    This happens during each round of combat.

    • Land-Based AAA happens during normal combat and during each round of combat.  AAA guns can only target ONE plane @1 per combat round.  Their hits must be applied to planes, not land units.  AAA now cost 4 IPCs.

  • '17 '16

    @the_jetset:

    My 2 cents.

    AAA is probably the most modified aspect of the Three-Turn House Rules set that my group plays.  …. The basic aspects are here below.  These mesh with other details in the full rules set which I won’t mention here.

    • All ships have AAA ability.  This is “Preemptive @1” happening after the Sub-Special Attack and before Normal Combat.  A ship’s AAA is the ONLY way a ship can hit a plane.  Ships normal combat rolls must be applied to other ships.  … Therefore, in theory, a ship can roll TWO times per combat round.  Once @1 against a plane, and then again per their normal roll against an enemy ship.    This happens during each round of combat.

    • Land-Based AAA happens during normal combat and during each round of combat.  AAA guns can only target ONE plane @1 per combat round.  Their hits must be applied to planes, not land units.  AAA now cost 4 IPCs.

    Fine for your AAA house rule.
    What I’d like to ear now is that based on your idea you explained how it seems better reflect AAA historical/physical behavior compared to OOB AAA?

    Said otherwise, what did you dislike about AAA first shot, so you developed a ground AAA without first shot while you give a first shot to naval unit?

    I can understand that for playability of Naval combat a separate attack/defense roll phase was needed, but maybe there is other reason too.

    Or, said otherwise again, what makes you feel uncomfortable about OOB AAA so you try to develop a specific house rule on that issue?

    Thanks for your answer.

  • '17 '16

    @Narvik:

    Dug in infantry or artillery dont get a preemptive shot at charging infantry that run up the beach or cross the minefield, so why would AA guns fire preemptive at attacking aircrafts ? Its pretty much the same.

    @CWO:

    @Baron:

    These two points seems to show that “first shot” better describes AAA capacity than “surprise strike”, which should be reserved to Sub ability.
    I believe AA guns have  a much longer range of direct fire than any plane weapon.
    So AAA start shooting before enemy can shoot back, hence …

    My point wasn’t that AAA didn’t usually shoot first in WWII.  My point was that this “shoot first” ability was not by itself any kind of decisive advantage.  As I said, a WWII bombing raid isn’t the same as a Western gunfight, where the guy who gets his gun out of his holster first (assuming he’s a good shot) immediately achieves a 100% victory. AAA defenses against bombing raids were long attritional battles, in which the AAA guns would gradually – and very, very slowly – cut down the number of incoming bombers.  And keep in mind that most of the AAA shells that were fired at the bombers missed them completely (especially at night).  So in that kind of situation, the number of AAA guns firing is much more important that the concept of who shoots first.

    Those points seems to make a strong case against first shot ability as a good way to describe in caricatural way how AAA works in battle against planes.
    Within game limits, there is better ways to depict AAA physical/historical effect on planes, IMO.

  • '17 '16

    @taamvan:

    the balance has nothing to do with realism, its about why planes (esp fighters) are balanced against the rest of the units.  The planes are more expensive than everything else, but they have vastly more movement and (mobile!) defensive power than anything else in the game.

    The drawback is they cant take territory and they cant land in the advance defense of your stacks (unless its from an allied air force).

    people try to compare the units based on cost, but that’s not apt.  Like most games, the units are all different–not just more or less powerful than one another.

    destroyers and subs are totally dissimilar.   you cant simply compare 6 to 8.  subs cant hit planes
    destroyers have the same stats as artillery but cost twice as much?  because you don’t have another “infantry of the sea” choice.
    cruisers are worthless for 12, but you start the game with many
    fighters are the end-all be-all versatile unit, but then again, 6 moves is incredibly better than 4 moves, and they cant hold territory (and aren’t cheap).

    changing how AAA works changes the dynamics of what makes the fighter the cornerstone unit of the advanced AxA game…

    Talking about balance, many people seems to believe Fgs and StBs are OP for their cost.
    Having a more dangerous AAA can balance things out. Especially when people exchange 1 lightly defended TT with 1 Infantry and a few attacking planes. This tactic would be less fruitful with a more affordable AAA and a revised AAA making a 1 shot in regular combat for example.
    There is enough room to adjust AAA power with cost and combat value.

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