Subs vs loaded carrier question


  • 2017 '16 '15

    Just when you think you know the rules backward, a new player asks a question that gets you thinking and doubts your knowledge and/or the rules themselves.

    SCENARIO
    There are just 2 fully operational JAPANESE carriers with planes on board that are attacked at wake island Sea zone by only 2 US subs.
    Wake island is owned by US.
    when the battle commences I’m under the impression that the planes take off from the carrier to fight.  But why the hell should they?!?!  They cant hit the subs and if the carriers are damaged they cant land back on them or land on Wake island and there are no other carriers in neighbouring sea zones.  Therefore any damaged or even destroyed carriers mean that all planes are lost too.

    Why wouldnt the planes just stay on the carriers as cargo in the hope that the carriers are just damaged in the fight and are then trapped on board until the carriers can limp away for repair?

    I bet this has been asked before but this is one massive forum to try and search through nowadays!!

    Thank you in advance
    Woody



  • Hi, yes that is a common question for new players. Actually the rule is that when an aircraft carrier is attacked by anything, the planes are considered to be in the air defending the aircraft carrief like real ‘CAP’ which means combat air patrol. So yes, if you take a hit on an aircraft carrier then their planes have one move to find a safe and legal landing spot or they are gone! The only time that a fighter stays onan aircraft carrier is when the carrier has another partner’s plane on it. Then it is not in the air defending and is considered ‘cargo’. I hope this helps sir? 😉



  • Just asume that when a carrier is under attack it first scrambles everything and then finds out who is attacking.
    Otherwise why would the planes be in the air when an airstrike comes in?

    But there is no question of why it is just the rules. You can question every rule in the book but in the end they are just the rules that are there to make the game playable.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Official Q&A TripleA Moderator

    Just don’t leave the carriers alone in that scenario. Bring other warships to soak up the hits.
    For example one additional destroyer is enough to take a hit and to enable the fighters to hit the subs.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    It’s mentioned explicitly in the rules somewhere that the planes take off even if only attacked by subs.



  • Posted by: Gen.Nehring
    Insert Quote
      Hi, yes that is a common question for new players. Actually the rule is that when an aircraft carrier is attacked by anything, the planes are considered to be in the air defending the aircraft carrief like real ‘CAP’ which means combat air patrol. So yes, if you take a hit on an aircraft carrier then their planes have one move to find a safe and legal landing spot or they are gone! The only time that a fighter stays onan aircraft carrier is when the carrier has another partner’s plane on it. Then it is not in the air defending and is considered ‘cargo’. I hope this helps sir? wink
    Posted on: September 08, 2016, 07:06:34 pm Posted by: WoodyWanKenobi

    I am pretty sure that allied air craft are considered cargo only when attacking. Since the carriers get attacked in this scenario i would say that they fly up to defend just if they where your own.

    Please correct me if i am wrong


  • 2020 2018 2017

    Its more straightforward…subs cannot hit planes, and planes cannot hit subs when you don’t have a destroyer.  This is the weakness of surface ships BB CA and CRuiser because without a destroyer, they can get first struck.

    Your carriers get to attack.  Even if you were hit twice in the first round in the example you gave, you would get at least 3 chances to retal against the subs (at 2) and sink them before they slaughter you.

    Your planes have 1 move to land if their carrier is lost or damaged.  If they cant, they die.

    Not sure why people are making that out to be a silly rule…the subs are special units, it seems very straightforward and balanced to me…defend your fleets or get ambushed.  Build destroyers and sub hunt or get convoyed and ambushed.

    How is that not sub-like or rulesy?


  • 2020 2018 2017

    You could also call it one of the few limitations or weaknesses of aircraft (which are the most powerful units in the game) that they cannot kill subs alone….and cannot protect your fleets without more…


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Planes are considered to be launched at the start of the Combat Movement phase from land and carriers regardless of if your assets are being attacked.  They don’t land until the end of the Non-Combat Move phase.

    This also explains why you cannot move the planes from the end of the carrier’s movement to artificially extend their range as well.


  • 2017 '16 Customizer

    @Maxiheimer:

    Posted by: Gen.Nehring
    Insert Quote
       Hi, yes that is a common question for new players. Actually the rule is that when an aircraft carrier is attacked by anything, the planes are considered to be in the air defending the aircraft carrief like real ‘CAP’ which means combat air patrol. So yes, if you take a hit on an aircraft carrier then their planes have one move to find a safe and legal landing spot or they are gone! The only time that a fighter stays onan aircraft carrier is when the carrier has another partner’s plane on it. Then it is not in the air defending and is considered ‘cargo’. I hope this helps sir? wink
    Posted on: September 08, 2016, 07:06:34 pm Posted by: WoodyWanKenobi

    I am pretty sure that allied air craft are considered cargo only when attacking. Since the carriers get attacked in this scenario i would say that they fly up to defend just if they where your own.

    Please correct me if i am wrong

    You are wrong. Under the unit profiles, aircraft carriers, it says “Air units on a friendly power’s carrier are always treated as cargo on the carrier owners turn”. In addition, it goes on to say “A damaged carrier can’t conduct air operations, which means that no air units may take off or land on it. Any guest air units that were on board the carrier as cargo at the time of the when it was damaged are trapped onboard and can’t leave, attack, or defend until the carrier is repaired.”  So no, air units on a friendly carrier cannot “fly up to defend”.



  • @Maddog77:

    @Maxiheimer:

    Posted by: Gen.Nehring
    Insert Quote
    �  � Hi, yes that is a common question for new players. Actually the rule is that when an aircraft carrier is attacked by anything, the planes are considered to be in the air defending the aircraft carrief like real ‘CAP’ which means combat air patrol. So yes, if you take a hit on an aircraft carrier then their planes have one move to find a safe and legal landing spot or they are gone! The only time that a fighter stays onan aircraft carrier is when the carrier has another partner’s plane on it. Then it is not in the air defending and is considered ‘cargo’. I hope this helps sir? wink
    Posted on: September 08, 2016, 07:06:34 pm Posted by: WoodyWanKenobi

    I am pretty sure that allied air craft are considered cargo only when attacking. Since the carriers get attacked in this scenario i would say that they fly up to defend just if they where your own.

    Please correct me if i am wrong

    You are wrong. Under the unit profiles, aircraft carriers, it says “Air units on a friendly power’s carrier are always treated as cargo on the carrier owners turn”. In addition, it goes on to say “A damaged carrier can’t conduct air operations, which means that no air units may take off or land on it. Any guest air units that were on board the carrier as cargo at the time of the when it was damaged are trapped onboard and can’t leave, attack, or defend until the carrier is repaired.”  So no, air units on a friendly carrier cannot “fly up to defend”.

    No he isnt, your quote tells that he is right.

    Allied air units are only cargo when attacking, you are saying they are only cargo on the carriers owners turn. Which is saying exactly the same, the only time when a carrier can attack is in the combat phase of its owners turn. Any other time it is defending or there simply isnt any combat.

    So

    I am pretty sure that allied air craft are considered cargo only when attacking. Since the carriers get attacked in this scenario i would say that they fly up to defend just if they where your own.

    This statement is true. Just worded different from the rulebook bit it is the same scenario.



  • @ShadowHAwk:

    @Maddog77:

    @Maxiheimer:

    Posted by: Gen.Nehring
    Insert Quote
    �  � Hi, yes that is a common question for new players. Actually the rule is that when an aircraft carrier is attacked by anything, the planes are considered to be in the air defending the aircraft carrief like real ‘CAP’ which means combat air patrol. So yes, if you take a hit on an aircraft carrier then their planes have one move to find a safe and legal landing spot or they are gone! The only time that a fighter stays onan aircraft carrier is when the carrier has another partner’s plane on it. Then it is not in the air defending and is considered ‘cargo’. I hope this helps sir? wink
    Posted on: September 08, 2016, 07:06:34 pm Posted by: WoodyWanKenobi

    I am pretty sure that allied air craft are considered cargo only when attacking. Since the carriers get attacked in this scenario i would say that they fly up to defend just if they where your own.

    Please correct me if i am wrong

    You are wrong. Under the unit profiles, aircraft carriers, it says “Air units on a friendly power’s carrier are always treated as cargo on the carrier owners turn”. In addition, it goes on to say “A damaged carrier can’t conduct air operations, which means that no air units may take off or land on it. Any guest air units that were on board the carrier as cargo at the time of the when it was damaged are trapped onboard and can’t leave, attack, or defend until the carrier is repaired.”  So no, air units on a friendly carrier cannot “fly up to defend”.

    No he isnt, your quote tells that he is right.

    Allied air units are only cargo when attacking, you are saying they are only cargo on the carriers owners turn. Which is saying exactly the same, the only time when a carrier can attack is in the combat phase of its owners turn. Any other time it is defending or there simply isnt any combat.

    So

    I am pretty sure that allied air craft are considered cargo only when attacking. Since the carriers get attacked in this scenario i would say that they fly up to defend just if they where your own.

    This statement is true. Just worded different from the rulebook bit it is the same scenario.

    The only way a friendly plane on a carrier couldn’t defend would be, if say there was a UK carrier that had US planes on it, and on the UK turn the said carrier conducted a naval battle and took a hit on the carrier, meaning it was damaged with US planes on it. Then on the following Italian turn, say the Italians attacked that carrier then the US planes couldn’t defend since it was damaged.


  • 2017 '16 Customizer

    @Tirano:

    @ShadowHAwk:

    @Maddog77:

    @Maxiheimer:

    Posted by: Gen.Nehring
    Insert Quote
    �  � Hi, yes that is a common question for new players. Actually the rule is that when an aircraft carrier is attacked by anything, the planes are considered to be in the air defending the aircraft carrief like real ‘CAP’ which means combat air patrol. So yes, if you take a hit on an aircraft carrier then their planes have one move to find a safe and legal landing spot or they are gone! The only time that a fighter stays onan aircraft carrier is when the carrier has another partner’s plane on it. Then it is not in the air defending and is considered ‘cargo’. I hope this helps sir? wink
    Posted on: September 08, 2016, 07:06:34 pm Posted by: WoodyWanKenobi

    I am pretty sure that allied air craft are considered cargo only when attacking. Since the carriers get attacked in this scenario i would say that they fly up to defend just if they where your own.

    Please correct me if i am wrong

    You are wrong. Under the unit profiles, aircraft carriers, it says “Air units on a friendly power’s carrier are always treated as cargo on the carrier owners turn”. In addition, it goes on to say "A damaged carrier can’t conduct air operations, which means that no air units may take off or land on it. Any guest air units that were on board the carrier as cargo at the time of the when it was damaged are trapped onboard and can’t leave, attack, or defend until the carrier is repaired."  So no, air units on a friendly carrier cannot “fly up to defend”.

    No he isnt, your quote tells that he is right.

    Allied air units are only cargo when attacking, you are saying they are only cargo on the carriers owners turn. Which is saying exactly the same, the only time when a carrier can attack is in the combat phase of its owners turn. Any other time it is defending or there simply isnt any combat.

    So

    I am pretty sure that allied air craft are considered cargo only when attacking. Since the carriers get attacked in this scenario i would say that they fly up to defend just if they where your own.

    This statement is true. Just worded different from the rulebook bit it is the same scenario.

    The only way a friendly plane on a carrier couldn’t defend would be, if say there was a UK carrier that had US planes on it, and on the UK turn the said carrier conducted a naval battle and took a hit on the carrier, meaning it was damaged with US planes on it. Then on the following Italian turn, say the Italians attacked that carrier then the US planes couldn’t defend since it was damaged.

    This is what I was pointing out. A friendly air unit can indeed “fly up & defend” from an undamaged carrier if it is being attacked.


  • 2017

    Just changing the subject a bit: i know the rules are the rules, but IMHO the rule is wrong that planes can not shoot at subs! Historically the biggest treat for subs were planes at that time! Remember that at that time they were submercibles. They would dive when sighting an enemy. It was easy for planes to spot a sub. Plus, they were quicker to attack, then the sub to submerge. A more fitting rule would be that planes would have one shot at a sub. But this would make game rules more complex…


  • 2019 2017 '16

    That was the rule in classic. I also think that the rule is not a valid reflection on history.


  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    @GiddyXray:

    Just changing the subject a bit: i know the rules are the rules, but IMHO the rule is wrong that planes can not shoot at subs! Historically the biggest treat for subs were planes at that time! Remember that at that time they were submercibles. They would dive when sighting an enemy. It was easy for planes to spot a sub. Plus, they were quicker to attack, then the sub to submerge. A more fitting rule would be that planes would have one shot at a sub. But this would make game rules more complex…

    Subs could also shoot at planes, too. U-boats had an AA Gun on deck for that purpose, along with an 88mm deck gun for finishing off unarmed steamers. But at this scale you have to paint with a wide brush and make rules that apply “in general”.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    I think I read somewhere or heard somewhere that the last combat action in Europe in WW2 was an Italian sub shooting down a US plane…

    Don’t quote me – I’m sure the specifics are wrong somehow, because I don’t remember exactly what was said, when, or by whom. But yes, subs could shoot at planes.

    Marsh


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Could - but mostly they didn’t. They generally dived, very, very quickly to try and avoid combat.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    The point is that from 1940-1942, a bunch of planes wandering around patrolling the seas were not an effective anti submarine force.  In order to make the air power effective, they needed a convoy system, radar, radar detection, radio coordination and direction, corvettes, sloops, escort destroyers, escort carriers, armed merchant ships as ersatz carriers, the hedgehog and other forward firing weapons, ASDIC, tactical refinements, breaking the enigma code, tight tactical coordination between escorts, and finally to keep the subs on the defensive by making sure that the coverage was so complete that even if they were not destroyed, the submersibles could only fight underwater, could only recharge at night, and risked being destroyed by DEs,  PBYs and leigh light carrying british bombers every time they attempted to attack.

    In Axis and Allies, all of these things are simulated by requiring you to have a destroyer unit that costs 8.

    There are no granular techs.  There are no corvettes, armed cruisers, escort carriers, sea planes, depth charges or any other tactical considerations in a strategic game.    This is not that kind of game.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Not to mention centimetric radar which nullified the Metox receiver and helped, perhaps caused, the subs to need to be submerged at night rather than having a free charging time every night.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @GiddyXray:

    Just changing the subject a bit: i know the rules are the rules, but IMHO the rule is wrong that planes can not shoot at subs! Historically the biggest treat for subs were planes at that time! Remember that at that time they were submercibles. They would dive when sighting an enemy. It was easy for planes to spot a sub. Plus, they were quicker to attack, then the sub to submerge. A more fitting rule would be that planes would have one shot at a sub. But this would make game rules more complex…

    It was not easy for planes to spot subs.
    What you might referring to is, when the area was known, then it was easy for a plane to spot a surfaced sub.
    Because the KM-Enigmacode was broken, it was easier to find subs in the Atlantic.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Couldn’t they use airborne radar to find subs?


  • 2020 2018 2017

    Indeed, there were many such radars installed and used but they were in their infancy during early WW2.  A submersible can only be seen by radar when it is on the surface, and the flat sheets and angular uncoated metal constructions of the time (covered in surface protrusions) were probably much easier to detect than any modern type of submarine or warship built with radar profile in mind, even though modern ships would be much larger and higher above the water than a sub deck and tower.  The surface of the sea is hardly flat, if it were, it would probably be incredibly easy to detect a WW2 sub with a very simple modern radar…

    However, the sub had to be on the surface.  Early in the war, subs often attacked on the surface, to save power for the defensive and cruise, to use their deck gun instead of valuable torpedoes, to provoke surrender (by making their ominous presence obvious), and to maintain full situational awareness.  This tactic would have been suicidal in the presence of fast escorts or airplanes.  Early in the war, the Allies simply (esp US) did not internalize the devastating lessons of WW1 unrestricted sub warfare by having a plan in place to defend the US coast, much less slow ships travelling in the open sea.

    One of the early problems was how to even deploy aircraft in the open Atlantic where land based planes could not reach (in the era before cheap drop tanks and aerial refueling).  While there were substantial developments in Fleet Carriers, these large ships are too powerful and expensive to be used to escort merchant shipping.  They even had to mount 1 time use spitfires without floats onto regular ships with an explosive catapult.  The pilot would attempt to intercept the sub or raider then ditch in the sea near his ship to be recovered.  Most ships smaller than a cruiser would not have dedicated float planes.

    As the war progressed, escort carriers and seaplanes, and radar equipped land based bombers began to cover the gap.

    Also, while radar would allow you to know precisely where  a sub was on the attack, more sweeping methods were needed to determine where the subs were, in general.  These included intercepting and triangulating radio transmissions from the subs;  once the german subs were equipped with airborne detection radars, the active signals from these radars could be tracked with complementary allied equipment.  Also, once the enigma code and naval codes were well known, very early in the war, the german spy network was completely compromised by the allies (especially the very sloppy methods of the Abwehr (german fleet intel), the Allies came to know when and where the Germans would attack, permitting them to anticipate where the subs would be and where they would be heading.

    They also came to understand, I think, Hitler’s disdain for sea power.  This meant that the Kriegsmarine wasted their powerful surface ships in pyrrhic engagements, failed to attain any strategic sea power, and instead began to rely entirely on the subs as a method of suppressing the allies economically (as opposed to bombing or blockading them).  Because so much reliance was placed on this strategy, defeating it was simple;  kill all the subs.

    So yes, by the end of the war, there were abundant resources and methods for finding subs on or below the surface, and instead of allowing them to crash dive and escape,  many of them were hunted by coordinated teams until their power ran out and they were forced to surface or surrender.  Very few of the German subs that entered the Med through the Gibraltar current made the return journey.  The effectiveness of submersibles as a weapon went from 10 kills per sub lost in 1941 to 2 subs lost for every kill at the end of the war.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    I saw a documentary which reckoned at one point they were engaging escorted convoys on the surface at night and didn’t know they could be detected by ship board radar.


  • 2017 '16

    @GiddyXray:

    Just changing the subject a bit: i know the rules are the rules, but IMHO the rule is wrong that planes can not shoot at subs! Historically the biggest treat for subs were planes at that time! Remember that at that time they were submercibles. They would dive when sighting an enemy. It was easy for planes to spot a sub. Plus, they were quicker to attack, then the sub to submerge. A more fitting rule would be that planes would have one shot at a sub. But this would make game rules more complex…

    @simon33:

    That was the rule in classic. I also think that the rule is not a valid reflection on history.

    A single combat round assault was OP when a few planes were available to fight Subs.
    OOB now, Subs gets more hope of survival.
    I still house play Subs and planes differently and it satisfy both needs for simplicity and historical depiction of planes as Subs killers.


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