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Convoy raiding


  • '13

    I’ve looked through the HBG forum and at the youtube video on convoy raiding. Didn’t find an answer to this question.

    What is the justification for allowing an escort to remotely attack the raiding submarines when the escort may be several SZs (and thousands of miles) away from the sub?

    In HBG’s convoy raiding youtube video, for example, escorts off the coast of Canada and Britain are able to fire halfway across the Atlantic at German subs. That they should get to fire at all is questionable. Conceptually, an escort is spending its resources to deter raiding. That deterrence is accounted for in the modifiers added to the die roll opposing the raider. Per the rules, I could understand a limited escort attack on the raider (something like: half normal attack value; only one attack per escort) if both were in the same sea zone. But it makes no sense to me how one ship could fire multiple times at targets several sea zones away.

    Also, it seems to be at odds with the goal of forcing the British to “protect their lines rather than … stock up a massive … fleet in the channel” (quote is from an answer in the HBG forum). The Allies could just situate escorts on their coasts to get some defending die rolls rather than stringing escorts out into the middle of the ocean.

    Am I missing something?

    cb4



  • Ok this was a issue for us and it took us a little while to understand it but I got it.

    How it works is… For example say you have a destroyer in a key location say off the Coast of Gibraltar and that Destroyer has a Escort Duty marker on it That Destroyer is “Protecting” All 3 lines correct. Now say you have a sub in the bottom say off South Africa and 1 in the Med and 1 by England and as a axis player you wanted to convoy raid them
    you announce that you are doing so and go ahead and roll out. A lone regular sub gets a modifier of +2 and the destroy for England get a modifier of +1 … we use two 6 sided dice and say one is red for the axis and white for the allies… if I roll a 3 for the axis and a 2 for the allies the difference is added so the Axis would have 5 and the allies would have 3 5 from 3 is 2 and that’s what England lost.

    The Destroyers in this game do not Hunt subs like in Axis and Allies you need a plane on C.A.P to find subs … but if a sub wants to convoy raid you the destroyer is on Escort duty on that line then he gets 1 shot at 4 per each sub that decided to convoy raid you.

    The ( Escort Duty) marker on the Destroyer is suppose to represent that Destroyer " protecting" that whole line now you can only have 1 Destroyer per sea zone but you can have how ever many protecting the line so say for example you have 5 sea zones that a line cross’s through you can have 1 Destroyer in each sea zone on escort duty and your modifier is now a + 5vs that subs + 1 and each Destroyer will have a shot to sink the sub if he chooses to convoy raid you.

    I hope this helped you out any questions feel free



  • Axis and Allies.org Boards > Board Game Variants > Global War … that part that says … ( Global War ) and ( Board Game Variants ) tells you me and every single person who uses this site that this is the correct location as to ask any questions on any topic that specifies any ( Board Game Variants )

    I’m not quite sure you understand this concept since you have posted this a number of times so I’m just here to help you.


  • '13

    FYI, I posted here while waiting for my login to be created by HBG. They turned off automatic account creation because of spammers.

    @Whitshadw - thanks for your reply. My question is more aimed at the escort being able to fire on raiding subs after all raiding rolls are done. It was explained in the video and per the rules p.45 (my emphasis):

    “Escorts forfeit any Attack during their turn but 2) Defend automatically against each unit
    raiding any member of their Alliance and 1) provide a (cumulative) modifier against the
    raiding rolls of submarines…”

    So escorts first add modifiers to the raiding die rolls. After the raiding is all done, they then get to “Defend automatically against each” raiding sub i.e. they get to attack each sub with their defense value (1-4 on D12).

    @Whitshadw:

    …The (Escort Duty) marker on the Destroyer is suppose to represent that Destroyer “protecting” that whole line…

    Your statement goes to the heart of my question. One destroyer can’t protect a whole line. Realistically, it can protect its own sea zone and that’s it. I see 2 problems with raiding as it stands:

    1)  A destroyer escort in the sea zone by Quebec has a 1/3 chance to sink a sub in the sea zone by England. Wow, that’s a pretty long way to shoot a depth charge!

    1. That an escort can attack every raiding sub is over-powered. No other unit has the ability to fire on a potentially unlimited number of enemy units. HBG says the point of raiding is to force the British to spread out their navy to protect their lines. But that’s not necessary if escorts attack raiders – the British only need to situate destroyer escorts at the end of each line to get a ~66% chance every turn to sink each raiding sub.

    Here’s a very reasonable example. With 2 destroyer escorts vs. 2 raiding subs, on average Germany will lose 5 IPCs per turn (132% chance of 1 sub sunk) while the the Allies will lose 0 IPCs per turn for a 14 IPC investment (average raiding rolls will be even: 3.5 + 2 for both escort rolls and 3.5 + 2 for each of two sub rolls). It gets worse because the more Germany raids, the more it loses. Raiding for 3 turns will lose Germany 20 IPCs vs. zero raiding losses for the Allies (on average).

    FYI, see HBG’s convoy raiding video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYqnmewT2N8


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    Now there posting HBGing stuff over here.  😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 :- 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄 😄

    Rad man !



  • @cb4:

    FYI, I posted here while waiting for my login to be created by HBG. They turned off automatic account creation because of spammers.

    @Whitshadw - thanks for your reply. My question is more aimed at the escort being able to fire on raiding subs after all raiding rolls are done. It was explained in the video and per the rules p.45 (my emphasis):

    “Escorts forfeit any Attack during their turn but 2) Defend automatically against each unit
    raiding any member of their Alliance and 1) provide a (cumulative) modifier against the
    raiding rolls of submarines…”

    So escorts first add modifiers to the raiding die rolls. After the raiding is all done, they then get to “Defend automatically against each” raiding sub i.e. they get to attack each sub with their defense value (1-4 on D12).

    @Whitshadw:

    …The (Escort Duty) marker on the Destroyer is suppose to represent that Destroyer “protecting” that whole line…

    Your statement goes to the heart of my question. One destroyer can’t protect a whole line. Realistically, it can protect its own sea zone and that’s it. I see 2 problems with raiding as it stands:

    1)  A destroyer escort in the sea zone by Quebec has a 1/3 chance to sink a sub in the sea zone by England. Wow, that’s a pretty long way to shoot a depth charge!

    1. That an escort can attack every raiding sub is over-powered. No other unit has the ability to fire on a potentially unlimited number of enemy units. HBG says the point of raiding is to force the British to spread out their navy to protect their lines. But that’s not necessary if escorts attack raiders – the British only need to situate destroyer escorts at the end of each line to get a ~66% chance every turn to sink each raiding sub.

    Here’s a very reasonable example. With 2 destroyer escorts vs. 2 raiding subs, on average Germany will lose 5 IPCs per turn (132% chance of 1 sub sunk) while the the Allies will lose 0 IPCs per turn for a 14 IPC investment (average raiding rolls will be even: 3.5 + 2 for both escort rolls and 3.5 + 2 for each of two sub rolls). It gets worse because the more Germany raids, the more it loses. Raiding for 3 turns will lose Germany 20 IPCs vs. zero raiding losses for the Allies (on average).

    FYI, see HBG’s convoy raiding video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYqnmewT2N8

    Believe me I get it! … we Struggled with it for a while just to grasp exactly how this concept works and is it a good investment as to convoy raid. Ultimately the choice is simply what is your strategy and how best to implement it. Â

    for example, I love subs… I use them very effectively and make the conscious choice on when and where to convoy raid anyone. if I see an opportunity to exploit the enemy with subs I take it but if the allied player is able to post enough ( Escort Duty ) ships then its no longer effective not only that but by going after ships that are on Escort Duty it quickly thins out their fleet.

    As to the Destroyer being able to fire back after convoy raiding I get it believe me I find it very over powering as well. But the axis player doesn’t have to convoy raid when it is not in their best interest, the immediate pro’s to it is that the money is taken directly out of the players coffers  so they have less to spend when there turn starts. the Allies especially BG is taxed early with protecting a large amount of territory.

    For example, the Italians can choose to declare war at any point of the game, it dose not have to be announced at the start of the players turn and you can in fact set up your combat move and then announce your declaration of war. Meaning if I wanted to sail the Italian Navy through Gibraltar or Suez and set up my attack I can the down side is once you declare war you are locked out of going back into the Med unless you take over the Suez or Gibraltar.

    My point is you take the best opportunity to choose when to convoy raid based on the opportunity  provide to you. If you sink or knock out a few ships and see a Empty convoy line you can move a sub that was not used in combat over and use it then to convoy raid with out any repercussions.

    The way they describe it is that it Simulates the action of protecting that entire line, too which I understand and get that concept ( after a long while). With the rules laid out that needing a plane to be on C.A.P to sink subs or if you willing choose to have them partake in a navel battle for either defense or offense it is other wise difficult to hunt for subs unless you have planes looking for them. ( Carrier or Land Based ) … If you can spread  out the enemy’s navy and  with the combination of planes and your ships it becomes at times taxing for the allies to make sure you have enough IPP to cover all of your soft targets.

    Mind you that Subs convoy raiding go first before the defensive rolls of any Destroyer.

    Its weird at first and took us a few games to work it out but with different strategies and playing styles aggressive or passive its something that actually isn’t bad and works out.


  • '13

    In the absence of escorts, or maybe if there is just one, I can see convoy raiding stealing a few IPCs here and there. My only other thought at this point is to see if I can get Britain to chase my subs down to Southern Africa. Mind you, I’m only in the 2nd turn of my 1st game.

    Otherwise, I don’t see how it can be part of a sustained Axis strategy.



  • @cb4:

    In the absence of escorts, or maybe if there is just one, I can see convoy raiding stealing a few IPCs here and there. My only other thought at this point is to see if I can get Britain to chase my subs down to Southern Africa. Mind you, I’m only in the 2nd turn of my 1st game.

    Otherwise, I don’t see how it can be part of a sustained Axis strategy.

    Mind you … I have 12-15 games of the 1936 Set up under my belt and it is vastly different since you build up your army to your liking … so for example if you were to set up the 36 variant of this and purchase 1 sup per turn until you reach 1939 it is a much different game.

    I enjoy the 36 variant because of the Spanish civil war and in the 39 Japan is at war with KMT but in the 36 you have more options as Japan. If you get the opportunity try the 36 set up it doesn’t make the game much longer by comparison since most nations cant really do much except pre position / politics/ and build up your nation as to how your strategy will unfold.


  • '13

    The 36 start and sub build-up makes sense, but that raises another problem. Too many things to try and not enough time to try them 😞 😞 😞



  • An escorting vessel is committing its movement for a 6-month period to hunting subs. The DD unit marked as escort off Canada is actually ranging all along the convoy route from Canada to England but in a diffused manner. For game purposes the DD can be attacked in the Canadian coast space, however it is not present to block movement. Axis forces can enter the space with the DD and simply ignore it. If combat is conducted in the space the DD is included.

    This process results in Allies ships spread out in the Atlantic. The German player must combine subs with land based air craft to produce “kill” zones that are difficult for the English player to control. An airbase in Normandy coupled with Medium Bombers and Italian air off Sardina for strike and significant portions of the Atlantic convoy lines, including all of the 6 line leading into England from the south. This allows the Axis to either pick out weak lines to raid or target isolated escorts for destruction. If the Axis hit a lone DD with a sub and a couple Medium Bombers then he is looking at an 8 IPP loss of the allies or a 3 IPP loss if the DD gets a hit. When the bombers can not find escorts to hunt they still can plague allied factories with some fighter support.

    The escort/raiding rules in GW36 are an imperfect representation of a very complex operation, but that is true of most game rules.



  • @Warwick:

    An escorting vessel is committing its movement for a 6-month period to hunting subs. The DD unit marked as escort off Canada is actually ranging all along the convoy route from Canada to England but in a diffused manner. For game purposes the DD can be attacked in the Canadian coast space, however it is not present to block movement. Axis forces can enter the space with the DD and simply ignore it. If combat is conducted in the space the DD is included.

    This process results in Allies ships spread out in the Atlantic. The German player must combine subs with land based air craft to produce “kill” zones that are difficult for the English player to control. An airbase in Normandy coupled with Medium Bombers and Italian air off Sardina for strike and significant portions of the Atlantic convoy lines, including all of the 6 line leading into England from the south. This allows the Axis to either pick out weak lines to raid or target isolated escorts for destruction. If the Axis hit a lone DD with a sub and a couple Medium Bombers then he is looking at an 8 IPP loss of the allies or a 3 IPP loss if the DD gets a hit. When the bombers can not find escorts to hunt they still can plague allied factories with some fighter support.

    The escort/raiding rules in GW36 are an imperfect representation of a very complex operation, but that is true of most game rules.

    Well said!


  • '13

    @Warwick:

    An escorting vessel is committing its movement for a 6-month period to hunting subs. The DD unit marked as escort off Canada is actually ranging all along the convoy route from Canada to England but in a diffused manner. For game purposes the DD can be attacked in the Canadian coast space, however it is not present to block movement… If combat is conducted in the space the DD is included.

    Yes, very well said! Your analogy provides a great explanation from the escort’s perspective. If I turned it around and expanded upon it from the raider’s perspective, it would go something like this.

    A raiding sub is committing its movement to hunting convoys, during which it is actually ranging along the convoy route in a diffused manner. For game purposes, the sub is moved to a specific sea zone. While alone there, its placement is a virtual representation of its physical location as it ranges along the convoy line. However, when the SZ contains an escort then its virtual location becomes a physical one. This situation represents the chance encounter of an escort catching a sub “red-handed” i.e. while it is actively attacking a convoy. Therefore, escorts can only fire on a raiding sub if they both occupy the same SZ. All other effects of the DD escort on raiding are represented by and accounted for in the +1 modifier of its defending die roll.

    In essence, the escort rules give units  that can’t otherwise detect subs (like a lone DD) the ability to do so. They just went a little overboard by allowing that detection to occur across an entire ocean. I could almost justify a “Raider” marker for subs (a future enhancement, maybe?).

    Anyway, we decided to go with the following house rule:

    • only an escort in the same sea zone can fire on a raiding sub

    • planes from a carrier escort get their full defense roll; all others lack sub detection so get half of their defense roll rounded down but not less than 1

    • against advanced subs, no escorts except planes from a carrier escort can fire on the raiding sub; the roll is half their defense rounded down

    • the anti-sub warfare rule stands as is

    • if advanced subs and anti-sub warfare are both in effect, escorts get +1, convoy lines defend on 2, but transports lose their defense roll

    @Warwick:

    The escort/raiding rules in GW36 are an imperfect representation of a very complex operation…

    I agree 100%. And with just a few tweaks, the rules can better represent the reality of that operation.



  • I think your house rules place too much benefit on the Sub. Allowing a sub to engage sub-warfare, one of the most dangerous mission in the war, without a risk seems a bit much. Since the escort process endangers the DD the hit along the convoy route is a nice balance. I would not get wrapped up in the physical position of the vessels. Since the Sub must go where the shipping is and the DD knows where that shipping is going to be having to chase a sub with ships is backwards.


  • '13

    Why do you think that raiding is “without risk” to the sub? All other combat rules still apply, so the Allies can send a light carrier and destroyer to take out the sub if they don’t want it raiding.

    How does being an escort endanger a DD any more than not being one?

    I am concerned about physical positions for good reason. We all want rules that are plausibly based in reality. When rules do that, they make more sense, are easier to remember, and make this historical war simulation we call a ‘game’ more fun.

    As you said, the convoy-escort-raider process is a complex operation. Multiple convoys are going/coming along the convoy line all the time. If only one DD is assigned escort duty for 25% of the line (1 sea zone out of 4 between Nova Scotia and England), it is logical to conclude that convoys have no escort over the other 75%. [In fact, not all convoys had escorts until the end of 1942.] So it doesn’t matter if the DD knows where the convoys are going to be – it can’t protect them outside of its own area of patrol (sea zone). FYI by late 1942, the tactic of chasing a sub with ships had become standard practice. See the historical account of Captain John Walker http://www.historynet.com/captain-frederick-john-walker-royal-navys-german-u-boat-menance.htm.

    I like HBG’s idea of convoy lines, escorts, and raiders. It just needs some help. Maybe I went too far on the side of raiders – have to try it and see. If you think escorts need a shot against raiders for balance, keep everything as it is but allow an escort only one shot against its nearest raider. Multiple shots makes escorts OP.



  • “Two U-boats had been destroyed 40 miles from the convoy he was protecting”

    Walker was on escort duty. Those escorts are doing exactly what Walker did by patrolling the convoy line. Also each piece is not one DD rather about 20 DD, same with subs. The attack roll represents the efficiency of the DDs hunting down subs on that line. I do restricted escort to one roll regardless the number of subs. The term sub chasing does not mean “Subs were sighted of the coast of France. Move a small fleet to that position and start hunting.” rather an escort ships would make contact with a sub then pursue and kill. What Walker did was instead of turning back to the convoy to protect them he would finish the kill then return.

    With the Brits having 2 carriers at the start this would limit them to killing 2 subs per turn (aside from coastal zones that the Germans can avoid). This would mean that Germany spending 15 IPP a turn on subs(9 with shipyards) would flood the Atlantic more subs than the UK could kill. This does not seem a realistic kill rate for subs.


  • '13

    We both agree that the whole issue of convoys, escorts, and raiding is very complex and that the existing rules are unbalanced. My proposed changes go farther than just limiting escorts to one roll. Maybe they go too far and create unbalance in the other direction – I don’t know. Only testing will tell.

    But after such good discussion, I think I will start with only 2 changes:

    1. an escort must be in the same sea zone as a raiding sub to fire on it
    2. the escort gets only one defense roll even if multiple subs are raiding in its sea zone

    Here’s my last attempt to convince you about #1. In the notes about raiding and escorting (p.77), HBG says twice that the intent of the rules was to force Britain to “spread her ships out along the convoy lines” for escort duty rather than concentrating them into “a large attack force”. Allowing a DD to fire on a sub not in its SZ directly undermines this stated intent.

    The Brits aren’t limited to 2 carriers and Germany cannot spend 15 IPP per turn for very long and still expect to win the land war. There are just too many variables to determine a ‘realistic’ sub kill rate for the Brits and I don’t think it’s necessary, anyway. If the Brits dedicate more ships as escorts, the escorts themselves will have the opportunity to sink additional subs beyond the initial 2 per turn.



  • Lets examine a strategy and a set of assumptions…

    The situation prior to US entry.
    The UK has 2 carriers, one in the med and one in the Pacific. These will need to be pulled from their stations or the Atlantic is defenseless until new carriers are built.
    The Axis takes France … this generally occurs in 1938 in our games.
    The Axis builds an airbase in Normandy.
    The Axis station 2 Medium Bombers and 2 Ftr. Required IPC 21 with 21 existing Air IPC being committed to this operation.
    The Axis station Ftr/Float Planes/Medium Bombers on Sardina 2 or so. 11 IPC required.
    The Axis builds 3 Subs per turn to support Atlantic operations.

    The UK to cover the 7 atlantic convoy spaces require 7 DDs or other vessels. This is the entire DD force the Brits possess plus one Torpedo Boat Destroyer. Since the Lt Carriers will not have DD escorts now and they wish to keep their speed up they will require CAs to protect them. This means your 2 hunter killer groups have an 87% kill rate against subs. It also means that every DD/CA/CVL that started the game is occupied with fighting subs. This is 124 IPC of naval forces tied down in the Atlantic. Now this could be overkill but lets assume a player adopts this strategy to hard stop the German Sub war.

    Lets examine the exchanges from the perspective of the UK player
    Solo DD escort - attacked by Sub plus land based (of the 7 spaces 5 are in range of Normandy) - -5 IPC per attack
    Solo FTR CAP - attacked by Sub plus land based - -5.8 IPC
    Solo Sub - attacked by Hunter Killer group - +0.7 IPC
    Solo Sub - attacked by Hunter Killer Group (w Brit Sub for casulaties) - +2 IPC
    Solo Sub - attacked by CAP - +2.5 IPC
    Hunter Killer Group - attacked by subs and landbased air - -25IPC

    If the UK player spreads out and covers the convoy lines the German player hits his DDs with his subs. The German play can hit 2 spots easily and the Italian can hit one more. That is 3 DDs a turn lost for an average of one sub, -19IPC per turn. The responding hunter-killer groups pull this average down to a -15IPC net assuming the UK player commits subs to the defense as well. In other words the German Player is spending 15 IPC to attack the Atlantic while the UK player has to spend 30 IPC to defend it. Since the German player generally has 45 to 55 points after the Fall of France this is trivial to maintain. And this is without actually raiding with a sub. Since I am only threatening to raid 11 points a turn. The UK players would be better served ignoring the sub war.

    By removing the roll against subs you make any attack on a convoy a profitable venture. With 2 escort on a line a sub will still produce 1.6 IPC of damage, 1 escort is 2 IPC, while 0 produces 2.9 IPC damage. If one escort gets to fire the numbers move to 2 escort - -0.1 IPC … 1 Escort - 0.5 IPC … 0 Escort 2.9 IPC damage though this will vary based on the number of subs attacking the line. If one escort the second sub will not get attacked.

    While this is a crude analysis it represents the concerns I would have reducing the damage roll to just the same space. I look forward to any new information your create based on actual game play. Good luck 🙂


  • '13

    After doing a more detailed analysis, I have amended my position – raiding is totally broken. I will use two flaws in your analysis to prove it.

    @Warwick:

    With 2 escort on a line a sub will still produce 1.6 IPC of damage, 1 escort is 2 IPC, while 0 produces 2.9 IPC damage. If one escort gets to fire the numbers move to 2 escort - -0.1 IPC … 1 Escort - 0.5 IPC … 0 Escort 2.9 IPC damage

    The first problem is that these calculations are not correct. The average die roll for a d6 is (1 + 7) / 2 = 3.5. Since the same +2 modifier applies to one sub and to 2 escorts, the average raiding rolls will be zero (3.5+2 - 3.5+2 = 0, from my 1st post). For 1 escort the average loss is (3.5 + 2) - (3.5 + 1) = 1/turn/sub; for no escorts it’s 5.5/turn/sub. Since 2 escorts or 1 aircraft on CAP completely nullify a sub’s modifier, if Germany could raid with 1,000 subs then the average raiding loss will still be zero. With escorts returning fire on every raider, 1 CAP fighter will sink 500 of those subs. Ridiculous! Limiting escorts to one shot will still cause German losses of at least 2.5 IPC/turn (fighter 50% chance to hit * 5 IPC/sub). Subs can’t attack fighters, so there’s almost nothing Germany can do about it!

    @Warwick:

    The UK to cover the 7 atlantic convoy spaces require… the entire DD force the Brits possess plus one
    Torpedo Boat… 124 IPC of naval forces tied down in the Atlantic

    The intent of the rules (p.77) is to spread the British out, just as you described in your scenario. But doing so is a big mistake and totally unnecessary. One escort protects the entire convoy line. In fact, escorts in only 2 sea zones (21 & 79) will eliminate all raiding losses in the Atlantic and the Med. Just 20 IPC (2 fighters on CAP), not the 124 IPC of navy you suggested, is all the investment needed. And with their navy freed up from escort duty/protection, the Brits can force Germany into an IPC loss for every raid. You showed that the Brits cannot protect 7 convoy spaces and I agree, but now we know they don’t have to. Plus, CAP aircraft can refuse to engage surface ships, so the Axis will have to send planes to sz21 (not gonna happen) and sz79 (more doable but still not easy).

    In summary, the current raiding implementation cannot cause Allied losses if escorts are used correctly nor does it force the British to spread its forces out to protect convoy lines. Raiding is broken because:

      1. the d6 raiding roll is subtracted from the same d6 escort roll
      1. escort modifiers easily cancel out raider modifiers
      1. each escort gets a defensive fire roll against all raiders
      1. limiting defensive fire to one roll/escort only solves problem 3, but that’s not enough to fix raiding

    One last comment about this part of your analysis:
    @Warwick:

    The Axis builds an airbase in Normandy.
    The Axis station 2 Medium Bombers and 2 Ftr. Required IPC 21 with 21 existing Air IPC being committed to this operation.
    The Axis station Ftr/Float Planes/Medium Bombers on Sardina 2 or so. 11 IPC required.
    The Axis builds 3 Subs per turn to support Atlantic operations….

    the German Player is spending 15 IPC to attack the Atlantic… Since the German player generally has 45 to 55 points after the Fall of France this is trivial to maintain.

    There are several costs in your list that are ignored when you conclude that it will only take “15 IPC to attack the Atlantic” per turn. The costs for units already on the board have to be taken into account. Why? It’s called the opportunity cost. If not allocated to help kill escorts (or whatever), these units would’ve had the ‘opportunity’ to do damage elsewhere. Since some of the costs are one-time and some are per-turn, you have to convert one to the other. Total one-time costs are the airbase = 10 and 6 aircraft = 63. Total per-turn cost is 3 subs = 15. The real cost to attack the Atlantic for 5 turns is (10 + 63 + (15 * 5))/5 = 29.6 IPC/turn; for 10 turns it’s 22.3/turn. That’s roughly half of the German per turn income which I would not call “trivial”.



  • Your math is flaw. The median result is zero however since there are no negative results the average damage is as I listed. If the defending escorts rolls a 4 it makes no difference if I roll a 1 through 4 however on a 5 or 6 damage is inflicted. Therefore the average damage at a flat modifier (+0 total) when the escort rolls a 4 is .5 IPC. 1 IPC on a 5 and 2 IPC on a 6 means 3 total IPC across 6 outcomes or .5 IPC on average.

    The Germans build an airbase in Normady. This allows them to greatly effect the convoy war. Medium bombers based out of Normandy can wreck havoc on England’s economy through Strat Bombing as well as naval attacks. If the English devote their fighters to CAP then England is undefended and the bombers can strike with limited risk (AA). If England defends the factories then the bombers can hunt escorts supported by subs. If CVs pursue the subs off the special spots you have designated then the Land Based aircraft can scramble to make the fight a poor outcome or launch a counter attack in their turn.

    I do not argue that Germany has significant advantage in the Atlantic, rather the rules as they stand allow the Germans to engage in a plan that they can turn to their favor through appropriate application of resources and good decisions.



  • My math was flawed as well. While doing analysis I used Auto-sum in excel to calculate my totals but forgot I had used numbers for my header columns. This inflate my average damage by .6 or .7. Very silly mistake. However That would not change my assessment.


  • '13

    You are right, my math was off too, can’t use averages with escorts. Here’s a table created from my spreadsheet for raiding sub vs. escorts with +2 modifiers. I shortened it because creating a table was a hassle, no copy/paste 😞

    | raider roll - escort roll

    | 1 |
    | 2 |
    | 3 |
    | 4 |
    | 5 |

    | # ways

    | 5 |
    | 4 |
    | 3 |
    | 2 |
    | 1 |

    | expected IPP loss

    | 0.14 |
    | 0.22 |
    | 0.25 |
    | 0.22 |
    | 0.14 |
    | 0.98 |

    |

    The 2nd col is how many ways the raider minus escort roll can equal the 1st col (i.e. only 1 way to lose 5 from raiding: raider rolls 6, escort rolls 1). There is a 2.8% chance (0.17 * 0.17) for any combination of 2 rolls on a d6. The last column is the 1st col times 2nd col times 2.8%. So when both sides have +2 modifiers, the average IPP loss/turn/sub is 0.98, close enough to 1. If I understood you, it looks like we agree (you originally said 1.6, then said that was too high by 0.6-0.7). By the same method, I calculated 1.56 for 1 escort.  This is for no escorts returning fire.

    If escorts get even one return fire, that loses Germany 3.3 IPP/turn for 2 DD escorts. The only way raiding can be profitable for the Axis is against unprotected convoy lines. So keep on raiding and hope your opponent doesn’t read this post.


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