• Ok guys,

    I know a Battleship can withstand 2 hits before sinking, however what if one of those hits comes from a submarine in the same combat round?
    Combat example
    1 sub, 1 destroyer vs 1 BB.

    sub scores hit then destroyer scores hit (quality rolling)

    does the battleship get to return fire?

    I would imagine most of you would be inclined to say ‘yes’.

    If so, then lets us change the ships to 2 submarines versus one battleship.

    both subs score hits upon the battleship.

    In this scenario I would guess you would say the battleship does NOT get to return fire.

    Does this mean the difference between the battleship returning fire and not returning fire is based entirely upon what ship scores the killing blow?  If that is the case, then I would like the ability to use the submarine in combat in the order of my choosing, instead of being forced to fire first as the game would like.  Being forced to fire first with a sub upon a battleship seems like a major disadvantage in a mixed fleet operation……say in SZ13 for just a random example.

    Any comments?  Perhaps I have driven the sub right off the edge of the world…


  • Moderator

    First Scenario: BB returns fire
    Second Scenario: BB Doesn’t Return Fire

    It depends on the last hit…


  • If that is true, then subs being forced to fire first is a handicap versus battleships and works to do the opposite of what subs are supposed to do; conduct sneak attacks to prevent the enemy from shooting at you.

    This seems contradictory to me.

  • Moderator

    BB’s disadvantage is massed attack, limiting their ability to hit individual ships off while Tranny’s take the fire… If you see a lone BB consider sending in a crack force to take it out…

  • My understanding is that BBs got the 2-hit capability in A&AR precisely so that they wouldn’t be so vulnerable to submarines.

    I’m ok with that as far as it goes…what annoys me a little is that it makes no sense that a BB would defend on a “4” vs subs.  BBs had no sonar, no embarked aircraft, no ASW weapons.  I just don’t see that BB (or CVs w/o aircraft) should get their good defense rolls vs subs.

    We experimented in our group with a house rule that CV/BB, when attacked by subs ONLY (or if sub was only remaining attacking unit) could only defend on a 1.  It worked ok for several games, although we junked all our house rules when we started playing with LHTR.

  • Good points both of you, but my concern is not about the ability of the piece (the battleship), but the limitation submarine based on combat order.  Combat order was established in the first Axis and Allies, I think this might be a simple oversight.

    If the combat order was reversed (a non-submarine fired first) then the subs fired last, only then would you achieve a possible sinking without return fire.  It still takes two hits to sink a battleship as intended.

    As it stands now, the combat order is what is devaluing the submarine against a battleship, not the instrinsic ability of the battleship itself.  In this case, it seems the battleship has the power of the destroyer built in to nulify the affects of the submarine.

  • I’m really not sure I understand what you’re trying to say, Octo. Sneak attacks is 100% an advantage. Anything you kill during the opening fire round does not get to fire back.

    I think you’re confusing the rules - you think that the cause of battleships not firing back is because the sub kills it, which isn’t the primary reason. It’s because the battleship died during the opening fire step, in which step it does not have an attack. It is then not alive during the normal firing step to do any sort of return fire.

    Your example of the destroyer and sub versus the battleship makes little sense to me. You say that you should get to choose the order of attacks, because if you have the destroyer hit first then the sub would kill the battleship before it gets to fire. Well, the destroyer can’t really hit first against the battleship - they both fire at the same time. No matter how you did the order, the battleship would get to fire back unless they were both subs because destroyers and battleships share the same firing step.

    I don’t see how subs’ sneak attack defeats the purpose of subs. It makes 100% perfect sense to me the way it’s stated in the rules.

    Does this mean the difference between the battleship returning fire and not returning fire is based entirely upon what ship scores the killing blow?

    In a twisted sense yes, because if your subs didn’t sink the battleships then obviously there’s a chance for your normal ships to kill the battleships, but you’re confusing correlation with causation. It’s better to look at it just like the rules state:

    1. Opening fire steps. Units with opening fire roll here and now. Casualties are removed before the normal firing stage.
    2. Normal fire. The rest of the units do their normal rolls. Destroyers/battleships that are alive both fire at the same time (we just roll for attackers first for convention’s sake, but defenders get to roll even if they were chosen as casualties).

    The way you look at it is very strange - you think you should be able to assign both the destroyer AND sub hits before the battleship even gets to roll back, when in reality the destroyer and battleship fire in the same step as long as they’re alive.

  • I am playing the role as a devil’s advocate.  I understand and accept how the rules work, however I am seeing the battleship have extra survivability as a function of combat order, and not as a function of the unit’s attributes.  The idea was to demonstrate how the submarine’s sneak attack against a battleship was denied due to the combat order and not because of a special ability of the battleship.  The game makers have designed the submarine to be effective only against transports (which don’t shoot back well) and carriers.  Battleships not only take two hits, but are near immune to submarines.  Destroyers eliminate the first strike completely.

    I suppose the battleship will always get a shot to fire back.  Only under the most unusual conditions will multiple submarines be able to encounter a battleship sans destroyer escort.

    I just find this wierd to make a unit so weak (does anyone purchase submarines?) in contrast to several other game changes designed to promote those units (armor, fighters, artillery).

    To let you know, I agree with your ruling on this, it just seems like a flaw in the game that has been announced as a “feature”.

    Thanks for your insights.  I am certain this will not be the last time I ask something wild.


  • Not entirely true.
    The designers made the 2hit BB because in normal play a 8ipc sub could take out a 24ipc battleship without taking any loses. That is a bit off and caused BB to be useless.
    Subs are verry good VS anything even BB because they only hit ships. So if you attack with a BB and a few aircraft vs a fleet with 2 subs you can end up losing your BB because you cant take your fighters as casualties.
    Or how about killing that fully loaded carrier. Even if there is a destoyer i dont mind trading 3 subs vs 1 destoyer and a carrier and you get bonus points if the carrier is not close 2 a friendly landing zone.

  • I suppose the battleship will always get a shot to fire back.  Only under the most unusual conditions will multiple submarines be able to encounter a battleship sans destroyer escort.

    It does not matter if the subs have a destroyer escort or not; as Trihero pointed out there are the different firing stages that make the difference. If you attack a BB with 2 subs and they BOTH score hits, the BB is sunk without any return fire. It does not matter if you take 4 CVs and 8 destroyers with you into battle, because the subs fire on their own schedule and before anything else. It’s like an amphib assault: the opening BB shot comes before anything else fires and either hits or misses and after that everyone gets to fire and return fire.

  • Subs are the most efficient anti-navy unit per IPC. 3 subs will win out against 2 destroyers, or 1 battleship. They offer decent enough attack/defense and are cheap so you can mass a lot for fodder. They are very scary if there are no destroyers present since you will lose units before they can attack back. You can roll a tech for them that improves their attack/defense by 1, which makes a big stack of subs that much scarier.

    You don’t see subs being built because you don’t see people going after Japan very often. Otherwise you would/should see them a lot for people who do the math.

  • Kyrial,

    I was making reference to the battleship having or not having a destroyer escort to nullify the sub attack, not a destroyer in the attacking group.  As you pointed out, having a destroyer on the attacking side does not inferere with the sub’s sneak attacks.

    Shadow and Tril,

    I do understand your points of view.  I just think that one piece was made useful at the expense of making another less useful.  The net result is one unit is never purchased in play.  In this game, it is the submarine.


  • Moderator

    I purchase subs… Some Strats requiring Ranged Pacific Operations need submarines as first shot insurance against American or Japanese aggression… granted I don’t play that strat often but they come in…


  • 2007 AAR League

    Octopus: I reasoned the same way like you about subs for quite some time (ie - I never bought them). However, subs are the most cost-effective navy-killing unit out there (provided they bring a CV for air cover). Plus they are good fodders…

    Now, the only theatre of operation where you regularly actually NEED a navy-killing units is the Pac…
    And in many games the Pac sees no or very little action. In those games you never see subs…

    Then OCCASSIONALY I have seen Germany purchase 1 or 2 subs in the Baltic, around G3 or G4. In these cases Germany also have bought an AC in Baltic on G1, and now wishes to protect that Baltic navy from extinction from a potential allied attack…

    The UK or Russia should never - and I mean NEVER - buy subs…
    UK should be able to sink any potential German fleet in the Baltic w/o subs. If it is NOT able to sink a German fleet in the Baltic, it can only be due to the German spending so much IPC on fleet builds, that Germany will lose the game to the Russian anyway.  🙂

  • I don’t see anyone building battleships, destroyers, or bombers, so I don’t see why you’d pick on subs as the unused unit. Subs are the unit of choice if you’re going navy; I would be hard pressed to choose battleships or destroyers over subs. The improvement to battleships just makes the existing ones scarier and tends to help the Axis because they start with more of them.

  • DST’s are actually a COMMON build, especially by the US.  They make great screenign ships for “minor” threats to tranny fleets in the Atlantic.

    Bombers… I have a Classic strategy (that I have never had a chance to try to update and use for Revised) where the US buys almost exclusively Bombers…

    BB’s… truly rare.

    Subs… Common to the Pacific, rare elsewhere.

  • i played a game wher the usa player bought bb the first three rounds then set sail into the pacific and totally wrecked japans navy right outside tokyo, then started the ak to sfe flow.  i thought the guy was nuts (still do!) but those four bb’s along with the rest of the fleet was quite a sight to behold.

  • But easilly countered by just 2 builds of SUBs, and finish off with an AC and moving the land based FIG’s to the THREE Japan AC’s as the American’s arrive…

  • that was my suggestion, but they decided to split their fleet and keep the pressure on asia.  natural consequences and part of the learning curve i suppose

  • They don;t ahve to split the fleet,. just put it in SZ60 and drop your Japan forces bound for Asia to Bury…

  • that is what i am saying i suggested, but THEY decided to split their fleet and it cost us (i was germany) the game.  i was not saying that three straight bb builds by the usa is a great strategy, just that it was interesting and different

  • I play Japan alot, and well after the transports our up and running and asia is under control, I like to build BB’s and Destroyers, just for the psyce value.

  • Octo, we always play a sneak shot kills a battle ship (scapa flow)

Suggested Topics

  • 4
  • 21
  • 18
  • 8
  • 3
  • 7
  • 57
  • 27
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys