An issue with transports
So we had this situation arise from our game this weekend:
At the end of G3, Germany places two transports into SZ113. Germany is NOT at war with USSR. Also in SZ113 is a Soviet sub and Soviet cruiser.
At the beginning of G4 Germany declares war on Soviet Union. What is the ruling on those transports? There are no German combat ships in that sea zone.
My German opponent wanted to load those two transport and drop the troops off into SZ115 to reinforce Finland. If I had aircraft in Novgorod (and I did), could I scramble to destroy those transports in SZ115?
Since they are beginning the turn in a hostile SZ, don’t they have to move during the combat movement phase? And if the move to offload to a SZ adjacent to a territory where I have aircraft at a function airfield, can’t I scramble to defend that sea zone?
There were so many moving parts to this issue (in our minds) we weren’t sure how to proceed.
*edited for correction, Soviet cruiser not transport
The rules specially allow an exemption from not loading in a hostile sea zone on the turn that you declare war, so loading the transports is no problem.
However, since your opponent wanted to essentially move the transports for non-combat purposes, that’s not going to work. The transports are in a hostile sea zone because of the declaration of war, and so must either move during combat movement or participate in combat with the Russian ships. If the transports move during combat movement, they cannot move again later and cannot unload later.
So, your opponent would essentially have had one of the following situations:
1. Two unloaded transports that moved during combat movement to avoid combat.
2. Two dead transports because they would automatically lose the naval battle in sea zone 113.
3. Two loaded transports in sea zone 115 that could not be unloaded during the non-combat phase (and therefore easy pickings for Russia or the UK).
It would no problem for your opponent to load those transports and use them to amphibiously assault Russian territory though.
You could not scramble for your opponent reinforcing Finland, since his movement into Finland would by definition be during non-combat and therefore would not trigger a scramble. However, as I previously pointed out, he cannot unload his transport during non-combat movement having moved it during combat movement.
Thank you Mr Mallow.
Option #3 is not legal.
You must unload any units loaded in combat movement in the combat movement phase.