Airplane Rules were Bungled in 2009….


  • 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    For the first 25 years of Axis and Allies there was only one type of bomber in the game. Because of this, designers made the bomber kind of a jack of all trades, giving it the long range characteristics of a Strategic Bomber, but also with the hitting power of a tactical bomber. Fighters also absorbed some of the traits of a tactical bomber, with their short range and attack of three.

    Then in 2009, the Tactical Bomber was introduced. Designers had the opportunity to redo the stats of these three planes in order to more accurately fulfill their historic roles. Sadly, for whatever reason, the designers bungled this opportunity.

    Tactical bombers:

    We are told in the AA Pacific Rules published in 2009 “Tactical bombers represent dive bombers in land operations and torpedo or dive bombers in naval operations.”

    So, with that explanation, we can expect that the stats might reflect those of such planes as the lumbering slow JU-87 Stuka on land, and the Grumman TBF Avenger at sea, both of which were pretty helpless without fighter cover.

    But the designers proceeded to make Tactical Bombers do this:

    • They can scramble along with fighters to intercept Strategic Bombers. Can you imagine how a bunch of Stukas actually would do in this role?
    • They defend at 3. Too generous for a type of plane that performed so poorly vs. enemy fighters.

    The greater offense was leaving the Strategic Bombers and Fighters alone. Perhaps this was done for the sake of simplicity, who knows?

    Strategic Bombers still attack at 4. Historically these large four engined beasts were used to carpet bomb industrial areas. They were not effective at bombing ships or other tactical targets.

    Fighters still attack at 3 - this means they perform better against battleships and cruisers while firing only machine guns than submarines do.

    Proposed Solutions:

    Strategic Bombers:
    Attack: 2
    Dfend: 1
    Cost: 12
    Enable them to bomb the IPC value of territories in addition to their factory bombing ability.

    Tactical bombers:
    Attack: 3, 4 w/combined arms
    Defend: 2, can’t scramble
    Cost: 10

    Fighters:
    Attack: 2
    Defend: 4
    Cost: 8



  • Great changes.  I would also say there should be a naval and army version of fighters and tac bombers.  (my previous house rule post).


  • 2017 2016

    @Der:

    For the first 25 years of Axis and Allies there was only one type of bomber in the game. Because of this, designers made the bomber kind of a jack of all trades, giving it the long range characteristics of a Strategic Bomber, but also with the hitting power of a tactical bomber. Fighters also absorbed some of the traits of a tactical bomber, with their short range and attack of three.

    Then in 2009, the Tactical Bomber was introduced. Designers had the opportunity to redo the stats of these three planes in order to more accurately fulfill their historic roles. Sadly, for whatever reason, the designers bungled this opportunity.

    The greater offense was leaving the Strategic Bombers and Fighters alone. Perhaps this was done for the sake of simplicity, who knows?

    Strategic Bombers still attack at 4. Historically these large four engined beasts were used to carpet bomb industrial areas. They were not effective at bombing ships or other tactical targets.

    Strategic Bombers:
    Attack: 2
    Dfend: 1
    Cost: 12
    Enable them to bomb the IPC value of territories in addition to their factory bombing ability.

    I share your POV about this lost opportunity to depict more accurately bombers operations.
    And your STB new abilities with lower A2 D1 seems to open interesting perspectives. And to better depict their genuine ability against tactical targets on land or at sea.

    Strategic Bombers:
    Attack: 2
    Defend: 1
    Cost: 12 (maybe 10 IPCs, if their role is more specialized)
    Move: 6 (+1 with AB)
    SBR damage: 1D6+2
    Enable them to bomb the IPC value of territories in addition to their factory bombing ability.

    This last point need more explanations:
    Do you mean that once an IC is maxed out, you can do more damage up to TT IPCs values?
    Or, when there is no IC on a TT, you can damage up to TT values?
    Do you intent to directly ripe cash from the defender’s hands, or play damage same way as if there was an IC? In the last case, you need a method to keep track since you have no IC to put chips under.
    Does AAA can protect a TT from this kind of SBR?

    @Der:

    Tactical bombers:

    We are told in the AA Pacific Rules published in 2009 “Tactical bombers represent dive bombers in land operations and torpedo or dive bombers in naval operations.”

    So, with that explanation, we can expect that the stats might reflect those of such planes as the lumbering slow JU-87 Stuka on land, and the Grumman TBF Avenger at sea, both of which were pretty helpless without fighter cover.

    But the designers proceeded to make Tactical Bombers do this:

    • They can scramble along with fighters to intercept Strategic Bombers. Can you imagine how a bunch of Stukas actually would do in this role?
    • They defend at 3. Too generous for a type of plane that performed so poorly vs. enemy fighters.

    The greater offense was leaving the Strategic Bombers and Fighters alone. Perhaps this was done for the sake of simplicity, who knows?

    Strategic Bombers still attack at 4. Historically these large four engined beasts were used to carpet bomb industrial areas. They were not effective at bombing ships or other tactical targets.

    Fighters still attack at 3 - this means they perform better against battleships and cruisers while firing only machine guns than submarines do.

    I disagree about Fighter however.
    Many of them (F4F Wildcats, F6F Hellcats, P-38 Lightning, Mustang have rockets or bombs as regular ordnance, even A6M Zero, not just machine guns or cannons.
    For example, P40 Warhawk (Flying Tigers) can load bombs up to 2000 pounds.
    Of course, not as heavy payload as TacBombers (Stuka, IJN Val, Sturmovik, De Havilland Mosquito or Avenger, for instance).
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Mosquito
    So, it is correct that TcB unit have a better attack factor than Fighter, I prefer a simpler Fg A3 vs TcB A4.
    On defense, the general view point seems that Air denial capacity (Fg role) worth the better defense factor @4.

    About TcBs
    Not all TcBs perform that poorly as Stuka, Mosquitoes flying performances were quite impressive due to their wooden structure and lightweight, for instance.
    Sturmovik were considered as a flying tank, due to an imbedded armored structure.
    So a defense @3 is not so out of their league.
    It is a generic unit, you cannot give a combat value based only on 1 aircraft.
    Same for Tanks, Panthers were better than Shermans and Mathilda, and japanese tank was no match, Soviet T-34/85 was able to fight a fair match with Germans Panthers. So give an average combat value based on what is needed for gameplay.
    In addition, Torpedoes and Dive bombers (TBF Avenger vs SBD Dauntless, for instance) had different flying capacities and were not equal match against Fighters.

    Also, scramble is not just about interception (SBR intercept is already restricted to Fg), it is about defending SZs. Many times there is a few Subs and warships attacking and TacBs were the best way to sink down these ships. So it is not inconsistent to allow both Fgs or TcBs to scramble.

    The specific issue is about an only Air attack in SZ.
    By changing StBs to A2, this solve some discrepancies about naval targets and scrambling Fg and TcB units remain better in SZ.

    The other problem is related to the fact that planes cannot directly hit plane. If you don’t play on this factor, then you have to accept that attacking Fg @3 are on the same level than defending TcB @3.
    At least, an StBs only attack in SZ will face greater challenges than OOB, StB A2 vs D4 or D3

    Following your proposed solution is not better or worse than OOB, it gives a similar even results Fg A2 vs TcB D2.

    I don’t think TcB needs a combined arms with Fg, the actual game mechanic depicts it every time Fg is attacking with TcB, Fg can be taken as casualty to keep the better attack factor of TcB (which I prefer @4, pure and simple, and this keeps an iconic bomber with a combat value of 4.)
    @Der:

    Tactical bombers:

    We are told in the AA Pacific Rules published in 2009 “Tactical bombers represent dive bombers in land operations and torpedo or dive bombers in naval operations.”

    But the designers proceeded to make Tactical Bombers do this:

    • They can scramble along with fighters to intercept Strategic Bombers. Can you imagine how a bunch of Stukas actually would do in this role?
    • They defend at 3. Too generous for a type of plane that performed so poorly vs. enemy fighters.

    Tactical bombers:
    Attack: 3, 4 w/combined arms
    Defend: 2, can’t scramble
    Cost: 10

    Fighters:
    Attack: 2
    Defend: 4
    Cost: 8

    Here is how I see a balanced way to Fg and TcB:
    Tactical bombers:
    Attack: 4
    Defend: 3, can scramble
    Cost: 12
    TcBR: A2, damage 1D6

    Fighters:
    Attack: 3
    Defend: 4
    Cost: 10
    SBR: A2, D2 gets +1Def (up to three Fgs) on operational AB



  • What I really miss is a dedicated air to air combat phase to give one side air supremacy before the general combat, just like in the A&A 1914 game.

    To keep it simple I think the Fighter should cost like 6 or 8 IPC, attack on 1 and defend on 2 or less in all kind of combats. To me it makes nonsense that a Fighter A1 D2 in the dogfight it was designed for, but A3 D4 against battleships or dug in infantry that it was never equipped to deal with. I know this is because of balance and playability, but it dont give me the right feeling.

    So, the dogfight could be one preemptive round like the current SBR, all committed fighters fire at enemy aircrafts for one round, then the surviving aircrafts go on to SBR or general combat. Or, the fighters could go on until one side got air supremacy, making the general combat easy to resolve. Or, the 3rth option, Fighters and AA guns roll dice in every round of combat, but target other aircrafts only.

    The Tactical Bomber is easy, it should A4 and D3 both against naval and land, simply because it was designed to fight ships and Tanks. Of course you can say its rational that an escort Fighter boost the Tac from a 3 to a 4, but I believe that is taken care of with a Dogfight preemptive round over Air supremacy, or with Fighters that target aircrafts in each round of combat. For the combined arms with Tanks, I think its the Tacs that boost the Tanks, not the other way. I would say that a Tac, that cost between 10 or 12 IPC, depending, and A4 D3, when this Tac is combined with a matching Tank, the Tank should get a boost, either the Tanks should now A4, or even better, the Tank now absorb one extra hit, like the Tanks from A&A 1914 does. I dont believe defending Tacs and Tanks should be boosted. You dont got much initiative when defending. The reason I want boosted tanks to absorb extra hits, is because in the real war, attacking Tanks combined with bombers worked as a shock wave that run over the defenders, forcing the defenders to scatter or surrender, giving less casualties to the attacker, compared to the meat grinder that infantry and artillery battles usually become.

    Strategic Bombers should be strong in SBR and weak against ships, land units and other aircrafts. But, not so weak that we stop purchasing them, that would be a loss to the game, and not help the situation we are in. I think heavy Bombers should be expansive, maybe 12 or 15 IPC. They can bring a heavy payload to a limited area, and not spread out like thousands of light Fighters. I figure a S. Bomber should roll 2 dice in SBR. If that is too strong, just let the bomber cost 15 IPC. The defense on 1 is historical correct, but they should be stronger in attack. Against land units, I think Bombers can roll 4 dice, with every 1 as a hit. Bombers should carpet bomb infantry stacks.

    enough


  • 2017 2016

    @Narvik:

    What I really miss is a dedicated air to air combat phase to give one side air supremacy before the general combat, just like in the A&A 1914 game.

    To keep it simple I think the Fighter should cost like 6 or 8 IPC, attack on 1 and defend on 2 or less in all kind of combats. To me it makes nonsense that a Fighter A1 D2 in the dogfight it was designed for, but A3 D4 against battleships or dug in infantry that it was never equipped to deal with. I know this is because of balance and playability, but it dont give me the right feeling.

    So, the dogfight could be one preemptive round like the current SBR, all committed fighters fire at enemy aircrafts for one round, then the surviving aircrafts go on to SBR or general combat. Or, the fighters could go on until one side got air supremacy, making the general combat easy to resolve. Or, the 3rth option, Fighters and AA guns roll dice in every round of combat, but target other aircrafts only.

    I played more games with Fg A2 D2 C6 and C7 targeting planes first, then AAA.
    I first tried Fg A1 first strike D2 C7 targeting planes first.

    Fg A2 D2 C6 is simpler and easier to keep track in battle as well in purchase phase (2 Infs cost).
    To better depict homeland defending Fgs advantage over attacking Fgs, I used a special AB bonus which gives +D1 to Fg only, in 1942.2 and AA50 only 1 Fg  get this bonus, but in Global it should be up to three Fgs. So you get Fgs attacking @2 and a few Fgs defending @3 and hitting hard on planes (clearly, StBs cannot match a few combat rounds without Fgs escort) to easily reenact Battle of England.

    However, it implies a change for aircraft carrier to hold 3 planes, otherwise it becomes too weak with only 2 Fgs on board.
    Fgs, TcBs and Carriers combat values are deeply connected.
    I made more changes to get it workable (TcB A3 D2, Carrier A0 D3, 2 hits, for instance) and to keep a better defense vs offense in Carrier operation, as it is OOB.

    That is the other issue about DK solution:
    Fighters:
    Attack: 2
    Defend: 4
    Cost: 8

    Tactical bombers:
    Attack: 3, 4 w/combined arms
    Defend: 2, can’t scramble
    Cost: 10

    The Full Fgs Carrier is too high in defense (4+4+2= 10) or too low in offense (2+2+1=5 or 2+2+0=4).
    This changes too radically naval combat dynamics.
    With 2 TcBs, offense is not better than 3+3 or 4+2 =6 with 1 TcB+Fg combo.
    That is why, I simply suggested to keep Fg as it is and upgrade TcB to A4 D3, that way full Carrier attack can be 4+4+ 0 (2 TcBs) or 4+3 (combo) or 3+3 (2 Fgs)
    vs defense 3+3+2 (2 TcBs) /4+3+2 (combo) / 4+4+2 (2 Fgs)
    This way you keep a similar naval dynamics.


  • 2017 2016

    @Narvik:

    The Tactical Bomber is easy, it should A4 and D3 both against naval and land, simply because it was designed to fight ships and Tanks. Of course you can say its rational that an escort Fighter boost the Tac from a 3 to a 4, but I believe that is taken care of with a Dogfight preemptive round over Air supremacy, or with Fighters that target aircrafts in each round of combat. For the combined arms with Tanks, I think its the Tacs that boost the Tanks, not the other way. I would say that a Tac, that cost between 10 or 12 IPC, depending, and A4 D3, when this Tac is combined with a matching Tank, the Tank should get a boost, either the Tanks should now A4, or even better, the Tank now absorb one extra hit, like the Tanks from A&A 1914 does. I dont believe defending Tacs and Tanks should be boosted. You dont got much initiative when defending. The reason I want boosted tanks to absorb extra hits, is because in the real war, attacking Tanks combined with bombers worked as a shock wave that run over the defenders, forcing the defenders to scatter or surrender, giving less casualties to the attacker, compared to the meat grinder that infantry and artillery battles usually become.

    Double hit combined arms Tanks worth exploring.
    So, for every TcBs supporting Tank, you get an additional hit. Right?



  • Yes that is correct, Baron, but do mind the difference between the two hit Battleship and the A&A 1914 Tanks that absorb one extra hit. The Battleship takes two hits to sink both in attack and defense because its protected by armor. The Tank on the other hand, may in one tactical occasion only, when combined with an attacking Tac Bomber in the first round of combat only, create a surprise shock wave that scatter the defender so hard that he is not able to roll any dice in self defense. Then we get a Tank and Tac combined Arms Surprise attack that absorb one enemy hit. This is still on the exploring level, but I cant stress enough that each and every Tank need a matching Tac in order to get one absorbed hit ability, since I dont love the lone Destroyer that negate the abilities of thousands of subs. You dont see one Artillery that boost hundred infantry units, so I dont want one Tac to boost hundred Tanks neither.

    Also do mind that I think this absorb one extra hit ability should be the first round of combat only, because it is a Surprise attack.

    I propose this house rule because it is the quintessence of German early war Blitzkrieg, with screaming Stukas out of the blue that softened the defenders morale and fighting spirit, followed up by Tanks that would break through the enemy line in a shock wave. Then mechanized infantry would follow up and exploit the new tactical situation by backstabbing the enemy, cut off their supply lines, and roll up the flanks. By now the Defenders would usually panic and surrender, or get scattered, or run over. This would give the attacker from less to none casualties, compared to the traditional infantry and artillery meat grinders that produced high casualties rates to both attackers and defenders.

    In practice, when you attack with 5 Tanks, 3 Tacs and 20 infantry, and the Defender rolls 7 hits.
    The 3 Tacs can make Combined Arms bonus with 3 of the Tanks, with the ability to absorb 3 hits in the first round of combat. Then the 4 remaining hits are assigned to the infantry.
    For the second and following round of combat, there are no more Tac Tank combined arms bonuses, so the hits are assigned as usual. Infantry and artillery fight in a different way, so they keep on supporting each other all the way as usual. Hope this was informing.


  • 2017 2016

    Yep.
    The first combat round only with 1:1 basis between TacB and Tank makes it more manageable.
    After first combat round, there is no need to remember how many hits remains.
    Seems fine and workable.

    Since my little playtests showed me that less combined arms makes for faster combat, it is the limit I would go with TacB and Tank.

    According to my own TcB A3 D2 houseruled, it acts like a Tankbuster because it allows to select any ground casualty (useful to get ride of enemy’s Tank). It works well too.


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