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    Are shore bombardments depicted as they should be in G40 according to military historic accuracy, or does the mechanic need to be tweaked?

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I’ve had a look at the Amphibious Assault Sequence in the rulebook and here are my impressions.

    “Amphibious Assault Sequence  1. Sea combat 2. Battleship and cruiser  bombardment 3. Land combat […] If there are defending surface warships and/or scrambled air units, sea combat occurs. […] If no sea combat occurs, go to step 2 (bombardment).”

    Comment: The rulebook basically says that the vessels which can conduct shore bombardment (battleships and cruisers) can either fight enemy sea/air units (and must do so if they’re present), or can conduct shore bombardment, but not both, and that they player doesn’t have a choice in the matter.  I’d say that’s a workable approximation of how WWII amphibious assaults were properly conducted.  In the classic American assaults against Japanese-held Pacific islands, amphibious operations were multi-stage processes which could take several months.  The first stage involved getting control of the air over and around the island by destroying the enemy’s local land-based air force, using a combination of long-range bombers and short-range carrier planes.  With control of the air secured, the second stage was getting control of the sea around the island, using both planes and ships to destroy any naval forces which the enemy has around the island.  Once the attacker has secured both control of the air and control of the sea, the third stage was to move in with the invasion fleet and to soften up the enemy’s land positions with aircraft strikes and by bombarding them with artillery from battleships and cruisers (and to some extent from destroyers).  The fourth and final stage was the actual landing by the troops, who would go ashore in a variety of landing craft and tracked assault vehicles.  So the point is that shore bombardment (stage 3) would not normally occur before stages 1 and 2 had been completed.

    “If there was NOT a combat in the sea zone from which you are offloading units from transports, any accompanying battleships and cruisers in that sea zone can conduct a one-time bombardment of one coastal territory or island group being attacked.”

    Comment: Sounds all right.  The one-time restriction could basically reflect the fact that (for obvious reasons) ships aren’t supposed to bombard a piece of ground where their own troops are operating.  You can bombard a beach before the troops get into their landing craft, and you can even bombard a beach while the landing craft are moving towards it, but once your troops get close to the beach you either have to cease fire or shift you aim to targets further inland.

    “The number of ships that can make bombardment attacks is limited to 1 ship per land unit being offloaded from the transports in that coastal territory. If more than one territory is being assaulted from the same sea zone and there are multiple battleships and/or cruisers, each ship may support only one assault.”

    Maybe this is valid for game balance reasons, but in real life it’s absurd.  The number of ships that are “allowed” to conduct shore bombardment should depend on how many battleships and cruisers are present, not on how many assaulting units they’re supporting.  It makes no sense that a player who, let’s say, has ten battleships and one assaulting force would have to withhold fire from nine of his battleships.

    “However, the ships’ bombardment may be split in any way that the attacker chooses, so long as the number of ships supporting each assault doesn’t exceed the number of seaborne land units in that assault.”

    Comment: The allowing-a-split part is realistic, but the as-long-as-it-doesn’t-exceed restriction isn’t, for the reason I mentioned previously.

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    Then if all Battleships and Cruisers can shore bombard, lower the hit number.

    BB - Shore BB  at 2
    Cr -  Shore BB  at 1
    1 time only if didn’t engage in sea battle with enemy.

    Battleship to strong then make a hit 1. Might get guys to buy more Cruisers and my have to drop a house rule that was added to the Cruiser so its not to strong.

    A D8 die might work with the above rule.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Here’s a thought to supplement the previous post by SS.  At the moment, battleships and cruisers are basically only allowed to conduct shore bombardment as part of an amphibious assault, and even then they must operate under certain restrictions.  As I mentioned in my four-stage analysis of how amphibious assaults typically worked, however, attacks on planned amphibious targets sometimes started months before the actual invasion fleet showed up: by air in what I called stage 1, and by air and sea in what I called stage 2.  The actual invasion fleet, with its slow and vulnerable and valuable troop transports, didn’t show up offshore until stage 3…but warships showed up as early as stage 2, in part to deal with any enemy naval vessels that were in the area.  There’s no reason why they wouldn’t start taking a few artillery shots at the enemy’s shore installations in stage 2, though of course not with the intensity of a pre-landing bombardment.  And as I recall, in 1945 some of the Iowa-class battleships would sometimes cruise up close to the Japanese coast and lob 16-inch shell at juicy targets like power plants, just for purposes of general destruction rather than as pre-invasion bombardment.

    So what I’m wondering is: what if battleships and cruisers were allowed under house rules to conduct shore bombardment in contexts other than amphibious assaults?  This would make both ship types more useful…and since cruisers are cheaper than battleships, this would give them some increased attractiveness as a purchase.  And unlike the AAA function which battleships, cruisers and destroyers shared, this ability – we could call it “autonomous shore bombardment” – would be restricted to battleships and cruisers.  Destroyers had no armour, and usually carried only short-range 5-inch guns, so venturing on their own close to an enemy-controlled shoreline would have been dangerous for them and not particularly damaging to the enemy.  By contrast, battleships and cruisers had armour protection and bigger guns, which meant that they could fire at much longer ranges and could deliver much more powerful shells.

  • Sponsor

    So during combat movement battleships and cruisers could be allowed to bombard adjacent enemy territories without an amphibious assault, as long as there is no sea battle in that sea zone blocking their ability?

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    I don’t think Battleships and cruisers should be able to take potshots at coastal provinces without an amphibious assault. The current limitation helps keep these ships doing a reasonable level of damage.

    Historically, bombardment was not as effective as you would think. For example, look at how many Japanese were still battle ready on Iwo Jima, despite the little island suffering the longest, most intensive shelling of any Pacific island during the war.

    Shelling without landing troops would be even less effective, as realistically there would not be large concentrations of defenders gathering at the shorelines to repel marines - they would be mostly dispersed inland.

    As I have said before, the biggest problem with amphibious invasions is that they are too easy. With bombardment, it is actually easier to take an island than to fight a land battle, because you get all these free hits from battleships and cruisers before the battle even starts.

    This is why we have an “amphibious assault bonus” in our game. Anyone defending against a pure amphibious assault gets three free “hit chips” that soak up the hits of attackers before the defender starts taking casualties. This has been game tested many hours and works great for us .

    Although the rule that only one ship per landing unit can bombard is unrealistic, it does limit the overall effectiveness of bombardment, which I think is a good thing.

  • '17 '16

    @Young:

    So during combat movement battleships and cruisers could be allowed to bombard adjacent enemy territories without an amphibious assault, as long as there is no sea battle in that sea zone blocking their ability?

    Probably a real balance matter since ground units cannot retaliate and damage or sink naval unit.
    Matching 1 amphibious landing unit per shorebombardment was for this purpose IMO.
    A large fleet would be able to wipe clean a TT with no casualty, then next turn make an easy amphibious assault.

    In such situation, maybe the limit can be 1 ground unit casualty per shorebombardment attack, no matter the number of attack rolls.

    Actually, I still have this question in mind about shorebombardment:
    @Baron:

    I have a question on shore bombardment and blockers, like DD.
    Is it a game breaker to allow surviving BB and Cruiser their one shot bombardment after a naval combat during the amphibious assault that follow?

    It is a single roll per ship, after all.
    A player turn is around 3 to 6 months time lapse.
    These warships can sail and chew gums altogether in a 6 months turn.

    I asked because I played long ago an A&A variant from Classic game, which have both Cruiser and BB the ability to do so.

    It never appeared too much IMO.

    And my only answer is that blockers are considered a very important part of the game tactics move, like a chess pawn move use to screen more important piece. Even if it is unlikely that an infinite number of BBs and Cruisers are forbid to bombard if a single DD (or TP or Sub) is attacked in the SZ where amphibious assault take place.

    So, is this game mechanic that essential that no CA or BB can get there single shorebombard attack?
    At least, I would considered to allow this double battle shots (Naval combat AND shore bombardment) in island SZ.

    Another way to increase Cruiser and BB usefulness is to allow them a single tactical shore bombardment at D6 damage (per fleet, if at least 1 BB or Cruiser is present) on island Naval and Air bases when there is no naval combat in SZ surrounding the bases.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Young:

    So during combat movement battleships and cruisers could be allowed to bombard adjacent enemy territories without an amphibious assault, as long as there is no sea battle in that sea zone blocking their ability?

    Yes as a general concept (to make battleships and especially cruisers a more attractive purchase), but probably with some rule limitations (so that this ability doesn’t tip the game balance too far).  I hadn’t really given any specific thought to game balance issues when I wrote my post yesterday; I was just presenting the broad outline of a concept.  Der Kuenstler makes a good point when he notes that naval artillery bombardment (and aircraft bombing, for that matter) had variable effectiveness, notably in cases (like at Iwo Jima) where the defenders are heavily dug into concealed fortified positions.

    Here’s a possible idea for a rule limitation for autonomous shore bombardment: in a non-invasion context, offshore battleships and cruisers would not be allowed to target anything other than fixed land installations: industrial complexes, naval bases, air bases, and house-ruled extras such as bunkers if your game uses them.  This could reflect the fact that in a non-invasion context there aren’t necessarily any concentrated groups of defenders posted in a coastal area.  In an amphibious invasion context, the choice of the areas to bombard will be dictated by where the attacker wants to land his forces.  In a non-invasion context, the choice of targets for general-purpose shore bombardment would probably be dictated by the presence of important land installations (which can’t move) rather than the presence of mobile units like troops (which can’t be counted on to remain in one location, even if they’ve been spotted by aerial photo-reconnaissance).

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I was working from memory when I posted the above, but it turns out that Wikipedia (which I checked a moment ago) has a whole article on this subject:

    Allied naval bombardments of Japan during World War II

    During the last weeks of World War II, warships of the United States Navy, the British Royal Navy, and the Royal New Zealand Navy bombarded industrial and military facilities in Japan. Most of these bombardments involved battleships and caused heavy damage to several of the factories targeted, as well as nearby civilian areas. A major goal of the attacks was to provoke the Japanese military into committing some of its reserve force of aircraft into battle. However, the Japanese did not attempt to attack the Allied bombardment forces, and none of the involved warships suffered any damage.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    Bombarding factories - now that sounds kind of cool!

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    @Der:

    Bombarding factories - now that sounds kind of cool!

    Yes, that sounds awesome… our games rarely conduct bombing raids on facilities such as bases, a fly by salvo from a battleship or cruiser that has nothing better to do would really bring damage on bases into our games.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    IMHO - The limiting of one ship per landing ground unit is to prevent you from landing one infantry and firing 30 bombardment shots draining the enemy player’s defenses for minimal attacker losses.  (This was a big problem in 2nd edition classic).

    So it is definitely ahistorical, but it’s definitely needed for game balance.  Again, IMHO.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Young:

    @Der:

    Bombarding factories - now that sounds kind of cool!

    Yes, that sounds awesome… our games rarely conduct bombing raids on facilities such as bases, a fly by salvo from a battleship or cruiser that has nothing better to do would really bring damage on bases into our games.

    And if it turns out that this ability is overpowered, it could be tweaked in some way to trim it back a bit.  For example, to pick up on what YG said about fly-by salvos, there could be a limitation saying that battleships and cruisers can’t remain in the same coastal sea zone indefinitely, lobbing shells at enemy installations on consecutive turns, because staying too long next to an enemy coast in real life would induce the enemy to counter-attack by using planes or by moving artillery into the area.  (In fact, the Allied shelling of Japan in 1945 was in part designed to provoke the Japanese into expending some of their aircraft on counter-attacks.  The Japanese, however, didn’t take the bait.)  So in the game, battleships and cruisers who’ve attracted attention by bombarding enemy land facilities might be required to exit the coastal sea zone and stay away from it for one turn before being allowed to return to the same costal sea zone for another bombardment raid.  Though perhaps they might be allowed to carry out a bombardment raid from coastal sea zone A on one turn, then move on the next turn to coastal sea zone B and carry out a bombardment raid from there, without having to skip a turn.  It would all depend on what’s considered too powerful or not.

    To expand, by the way, on a point I made earlier, limiting this game ability to battleships and cruisers would be justifiable, even though some Allied destroyers did take part in the naval bombardment of Japan in 1945 (most of which was conducted by battleships).  In anti-aircraft defense, WWII battleships and cruisers and destroyers were all using the same weapons (5-inch dual-purpose guns, 40mm and 20mm autocannons, and .50-caliber heavy machine guns), though in vastly different numbers (because the bigger the ship, the more weapons could be carried).  In the case of naval bombardment, however, there’s a difference in weapon type, not just in weapon numbers.  Destroyers would have used their 5-inch dual-purpose guns for such bombardment.  Cruisers and battleships carried 5-inch guns too (in larger numbers than destroyers), but they also had heavier artillery (which destroyers lacked) as their primary armament.  Light cruisers typically had 6-inch guns, heavy cruisers had 8-inch guns, and WWII battleships had 14-inch, 15-inch, 16-inch or 18-inch guns.  Those guns fired much heavier and more destructive shells than 5-inch guns, and had much longer range, so they could reach targets further inland and/or allow the ship to stay further away from the enemy coastline when shooting.  As an example, the 16-inch guns of the Iowa class battleships had a maximum range of about 24 miles, and the explosive power of their high-capacity shells (the armour-piercing ones carried less explosive filling) was sufficiently large that, as was later demonstrated in Vietnam, a single shell landing in a jungle would clear away enough trees to instantly create a helicopter landing zone.  I also seem to recall that, when the four Iowas were used in Korea for shore bombardment, the enemy troops on the receiving end disliked not just the obvious blast effects but also the fact that the incoming shells apparently sounded like an approaching freight train when they were in flight.


  • @Cmdr:

    IMHO - The limiting of one ship per landing ground unit is to prevent you from landing one infantry and firing 30 bombardment shots draining the enemy player’s defenses for minimal attacker losses.  (This was a big problem in 2nd edition classic).Â

    So it is definitely ahistorical, but it’s definitely needed for game balance.  Again, IMHO.

    That is almost correct, I remember it was named the Dieppe Raid, UK would land one inf in Western Europe and use 4 or 6 Battleships to kill Huns. In the Revised 2004 edition it was even worse, the Battleship would roll preemptive dice in the Opening Fire phase, the defenders would not even make it to the casualties zone on the battleboard. The Shore bombardment had become a game breaker, and something had to be done. The answer was to match each battleship with a matching infantry, just like with the artillery.

  • Sponsor

    Strategic Shore Bombardment (SSB)

    As a special combat (after Strategic Bombing Raids but before Amphibious Assaults in the resolve combat phase), Cruisers and/or Battleships may bombard enemy facilities on territories adjacent to their sea zone.

    However, each facility has a built in coastal gun which can fire up to 3 shots each and all die rolls of 1 will hit bombarding ships (same rules as built in AA guns). Also, the defending player may scramble up to 3 air units per operational airbase adjacent to the bombarding ships.

    Afterwards, assign any surviving ships to target facilities, and than roll 1 die each to damage targets. Each battleship will add +2 to their roll (unless they are damaged in which case they get no bonus), and each cruiser will receive a +1 to their damage roll.

    Ships conducting SSBs may not attack in any other way during the same turn, nor may they move during the non combat movement phase.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Young:

    Strategic Shore Bombardment (SSB)

    As a special combat (after Strategic Bombing Raids but before Amphibious Assaults in the resolve combat phase), Cruisers and/or Battleships may bombard enemy facilities on territories adjacent to their sea zone.

    However, each facility has a built in coastal gun which can fire up to 3 shots each and all die rolls of 1 will hit bombarding ships (same rules as built in AA guns). Also, the defending player may scramble up to 3 air units per operational airbase adjacent to the bombarding ships.

    Afterwards, assign any surviving ships to target facilities, and than roll 1 die each to damage targets. Each battleship will add +2 to their roll (unless they are damaged in which case they get no bonus), and each cruiser will receive a +1 to their damage roll.

    Ships conducting SSBs may not attack in any other way during the same turn, nor may they move during the non combat movement phase.

    Looks good, I think.  Interesting idea to introduce coastal artillery as a counterpart to AAA.  My one suggestion would be to call this a “Coastal Bombardment Raid” (modeled on the “raid” word in “strategic bombing raid” rather than on the “strategic” word), because I find it hard to think of shore bombardment as anything other than a tactical operation.  Unless it’s being conducted by vessels armed with the 16-inch W-23 nuclear artillery shell that was developed for the Iowa-class battleships in the 1950s, and which had a yield roughly in the range of the Hiroshima bomb.

  • '17 '16

    I believe only Naval base should have a defense @1 against any number of ships making Coastal bombardment Raid against any facility.
    Depicting mines and coastal guns.
    Airbase can scramble up to three planes, already enough.
    IC gets no defense, need a Naval Base.
    NB now gets something of its own, too.

    IMO, 1D6 damage is enough.
    A lot of IC are out of range from the shore, but not for planes, hence D6+2 damage for StBs.


  • @Young:

    Strategic Shore Bombardment (SSB)

    As a special combat (after Strategic Bombing Raids but before Amphibious Assaults in the resolve combat phase), Cruisers and/or Battleships may bombard enemy facilities on territories adjacent to their sea zone.

    So it is done after SBR is resolved, but if you did SBR the SSB might be redundant or not needed. Need to look at this closer.

    However, each facility has a built in coastal gun which can fire up to 3 shots each and all die rolls of 1 will hit bombarding ships (same rules as built in AA guns).

    So is it only the facility that is being targeted by bombardment that gets to fire? First I would think that once the ships fire that any def facility able would return fire. I think that 3 shots from any one facility is too many, but 1 shot from multiple facilities might work. May limit it to naval base (and coastal bunker) only. Air bases and IC could be inland and not have shore defenses.

    On another note I have long thought that a NB should have some limited coastal def roll at attacking ships in the adjacent sz.

    Also, the defending player may scramble up to 3 air units per operational airbase adjacent to the bombarding ships.

    This is why an air base probably shouldn’t be able to fire a shot at ships, because it already can send air units to deal with ships. Plus like I said air bases might be inland and wouldn’t have coastal art.

    Afterwards, assign any surviving ships to target facilities, and than roll 1 die each to damage targets. Each battleship will add +2 to their roll (unless they are damaged in which case they get no bonus), and each cruiser will receive a +1 to their damage roll.

    This is where you lose me. I would think that the ship and def facility (NB or bunker only IMO) fire  simultaneously, so the targets are already chosen and there is no stopping it (with exception of maybe a sea battle before hand including a scramble?). I don’t think I would give Cruisers (3) or BB (4) a boost to their rolls, but that would depend on how the rule shakes out, and the over all risk.

    Ships conducting SSBs may not attack in any other way during the same turn, nor may they move during the non combat movement phase.

    Yea you can’t have them doing double duty. However I have always thought that as the attacker you should have the option to split your fleet and assign naval to do different tasks. Say there is a single dd def, but they can scramble. You have a rather large task force that will be in that sz so why can’t you assign some navy and air to the sea battle, and assign say a CA and BB to do bombardment (can’t participate in sea attack). If the sea battle fails, the ships can’t bombard.

  • '17 '16

    @Young:

    Are shore bombardments depicted as they should be in G40 according to military historic accuracy, or does the mechanic need to be tweaked?

    Here is some posts to water the mill:
    @WILD:

    Enemy tpts or subs don’t block movement. You can have a ship stay and kill it, and pass through the sz with the rest of your fleet, or move whole navy through and have a plane kill it. Of coarse that plane can’t be used in other combats that turn.

    However if the transport (or sub) was in sz 93, then you can ignore it or attack it. If you kill it you can’t use bombardment on S France, but you can still amphib through the sz.

    @P@nther:

    @Maddog77:

    @P@nther:

    @Maddog77:

    @WILD:

    However if the transport (or sub) was in sz 93, then you can ignore it or attack it. If you kill it you can’t use bombardment on S France, but you can still amphib through the sz.

    Why not? If a lone plane is sent to sink the lone xport, why would that negate the BB shore bombardment?

    In case of an amphibious assault you can either conduct a sea battle or offshore bombard. Never both.

    But I would think that since a xport is not a war ship, the BB can still ignore it because it is not blocking any navel movement. (Meaning there’s no “clearing of the sea zone” of warships before landing the amphibious assault.)  And if no navel units are attacking the xport, then there is no navel battle that the warships are engaged in prior to the landing. The lone plane is simply sinking the lone xport with it cargo. It would be the same if the xport was in another SZ….

    Sorry, this is simply wrong. The rules are pretty clear:

    @rulebook:

    Amphibious Assault Sequence
    1. Sea combat
    2. Battleship and cruiser bombardment
    3. Land combat

    Step 1. Sea Combat
    If there are defending surface warships and/or
    scrambled air units, sea combat occurs. If there are
    only defending submarines and/or transports, the
    attacker can choose to ignore those units or conduct sea combat.
    If sea combat occurs, all attacking and defending sea and air
    units present must participate in the battle.
    (Even if the attacker
    chose to ignore defending subs and/or transports, they will still
    be involved in the battle if the defender scrambles air units and
    forces a sea battle.) Conduct the sea combat using the rules for
    General Combat (page 18), then go to step 3 (land combat).
    If no sea combat occurs, go to step 2 (bombardment).

    Step 2. Battleship and Cruiser Bombardment
    If there was NOT a combat in the sea zone from which you
    are offloading units from transports, any accompanying
    battleships and cruisers in that sea zone can conduct a one-time
    bombardment of one coastal territory or island group being
    attacked.

    The Plane attacking and sinking the Transport is a sea combat. Plus: If you decide to engange the Transport the Battleship participates in the sea battle.
    Thus offshore bombardment is not possible.

    HTH 🙂

    @Young:

    Yep, and if you were depending on those shore bombardments during a tough Amphibious assaults, all that’s needed from the defender is to scramble a single air unit into that sea zone forcing an unwanted sea battle, which would automatically negate all possible bombardments. So if there’s a sea battle (regardless of how or why), ships won’t get shore bombardments.

    This make me realized that a large fleet can sink a TP in a different SZ by allocating a single warship on it while making an amphibious assault in another SZ (with a Shorebombardment allowed).
    But if this TP is in the same SZ it forfeit all shore bombardment.

    I believe this rule oversimplified and gives silly result.

    Amendment:
    If any single warship (or plane) can be dispatch against lonely TPs in same SZ from which an amphibious assault is going on, it should not forfeit the shore bombardment of other warships (not taking part in the defenseless TPs slaughter festival).

    It is about the same kind of special tweak than second edition defending Submarine which require that any TP taking part in an amphibious assault be escorted by at least one surface warship. (In this specific case, Submarine cannot be ignored, like was said in the general rule which was applied thoroughly in first edition rule.)

    Since it needs only a single unit to destroy an infinite number of lonely TPs, I just proposed that lonely TPs should be sink by a single dispatched warship which cannot make a shorebombardment. All others have a full blown shore bombardment.


  • If you want the shorebombardment rule to be accurate, you should think about what role it played historically.

    In WW2, most divisions had an artillery component. If you count the number of light, medium and heavy guns in divisions, you quickly discover there where ALOT of guns, and the armies used a lot of resources to have them there. Artillery where extremely important. When an inf attacks at 1 and defends at 2, that unit has alot of artillery as a part of the piece. Otherwise it would attack on 1 for each 3 units or something.  In essence, artillery is important.

    When you have a regular battle, you deploy some artillery at the front, and some on the sides, and some in the back. What is deployed where is dependent on the type of artillery and the type of terrain. When you do an amphibious invasion, you can deploy none of your artillery. You can have some marine landing vehicles with some small caliber guns and perhaps a few amphibious tanks.  This is how the ships guns where used, they where used as a replacement for artillery.

    Therefor, If I where to try to make an accurate Shore Bombardment rule, I wouls make it so that, in the first round, you could only attack with 8 units per supporting BB, 4 units per supporting CR and 1 unit per supporting DD

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