“defender fight to death” makes better sense in hex level variants
where turns represent a shorter period
in this case only one cycle of combat occurs
neither side retreats
simply one move phase, one fight phase per turn
Defending naval forces have the option to retreat at the beginning of any round of combat.
Procedure: All defending ships retreat together to any adjacent friendly or neutral sea zone. The attacker gets a free parting shot before the retreat occurs. The attacker can also choose to pursue. The pursuit allows additional rounds of free attacks from any units that have unused movement points. The attacking units act as a group and occurs in the original sea zone until all desired movement points have been consumed. REMEMBER, attacking aircraft will need movement points to return to a territory or carrier. ALSO, the retreating defending ships get 1 less movement point per retreat in their turn.
My group has had pretty good results with the following:
After the each round of combat, either or both players may opt to retreat.
If both players decide to retreat: defending player remains in the sea-zone and attacking player moves all forces one sea zone.
If only one player opts to retreat: a roll of 3 or less must be made to successfully retreat. Otherwise, the battle must continue until both players retreat or a successful retreat roll is made by one player.
If either side has ONLY airplanes: No retreat roll is necessary from the side with only planes and the battle may simply be “called-off” by that player. Airplanes can then move their remaining movement allowance in the Non-Combat Movement Phase.
Retreating player moves all naval forces together to a single sea-zone.
If player retreats to a sea-zone that contains enemy surface ships, it is treated the same as if a ship has been mobilized in a sea-zone with enemy ships. No additional combat ensues this round in that sea zone.
Procedure: Â All defending ships retreat together
In the real war they would do the opposite, they would fan out in all different directions.
On the tactical and operational level … definitely. … But on the Grand Strategy level (A&A), they are going to eventually end up in the same sea zone.
Retreating fleets disperse and then regroup again once safe. Look at the Pacific naval retreats … Battle of Coral Sea (both US and Japan got out of there fast and headed back to their respective safe-zones). Retreating Japanese fleet after the Battle of Midway (again, disperse and later re-group while heading back to base)
It just keeps things simple to do it this way. You kind of forego the “tactical/operational dispersion part” and jump to the re-group part of the retreat.
Retreating fleets disperse and then regroup again once safe.
Not necessarily. “Disperse then regroup” is a tactic that was used – and only as a desparate last resort – by convoys of merchant vessels under heavy enemy attack. I’m not aware of warship fleets using this technique extensively in WWII; some naval tacticians like Wayne Hughes have argued that warships are actually in a much better position when they’re concentrated than when they’re dispersed.
The Japanese fleet at Midway didn’t disperse as a result of its defeat because it was already dispersed when the operation started. In his book Miracle at Midway, Gordon Prange faulted Yamamoto for his dispositions in the Midway operation: the Japanese fleet was broken up into several widely-separted forces, none of which was close enough to the other to provide any meaningful assistance to each other. This dispersion wasted the enormous numerical superiority that the Japanese had over the Americans. In fairness, the Japanese Navy as a whole (and not just Yamamoto) had a fondness for elaborate operations involving multiple fleets; their operation at Leyte Gulf in 1944 was another example.