Simplified Bombers, Flak Guns, and Submarines


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Some of the fussiest rules in the A&A handbook are the rules for bombing runs, interceptors, AAA gunfire, and submarines.

    Many people enjoy fussiness; they like learning all of the intricate details of a complicated ruleset and then finding ways to exploit them. That’s fine. If you enjoy complex rules for their own sake, this House Rule is not for you. This House Rule is for people who enjoy complicated gameplay but who want the rules to be as simple as possible. The idea is to get a lot of theme and a lot of strategy without needing too many different rules.

    So, here’s my proposal:

    Bombers – bombers can make bombing runs against any territory, even if the territory has no factory in it. If you wish, you may escort your bombers with fighters by moving the fighters into the territory. When you make a bombing run, the defender does not get any automatic AAA shots. Instead, the defender rolls one die per flak gun in the territory (flak guns hit on rolls of 1), and one die per fighter in the territory (fighters hit on rolls of 2 or less). For each hit scored by the defender, eliminate one attacking bomber or one attacking escort fighter (attacker’s choice). Any surviving bombers then roll 1d6 and destroy IPCs from the defender’s treasury equal to the value shown on the dice. The defender cannot lose more IPCs from a territory than the territory is worth (e.g. bombing India can lose you at most 3 IPCs), and the defender cannot lose more IPCs than their entire treasury.

    Flak Guns – attack at 1, defend at 1, move 1 space, and behave exactly like a regular land unit. They can make a combat move, they can be taken as a casualty, they can conquer territories, and they don’t get a preemptive shot. The only two things that make a flak gun special are that (a) if they score a hit in a battle against you, and you have any planes in that battle, then you have to select one of your planes as the casualty, and (b) flak guns help defend against bombing runs.

    Submarines – attack at 2, defend at 1, move 2 spaces, and behave exactly like a regular sea unit. They are blocked by enemy warships, do not submerge, can be hit by planes, can hit planes, and do not make sneak attacks. Instead, each submarine adjacent to an enemy territory during that enemy’s collect income reduces the enemy’s income by 1 IPC. The income from a territory cannot be reduced below zero by submarines. It is recommended (but not required) to raise the defensive value of destroyers from 2 to 3 to help keep submarines balanced.

    All of this may sound like a lot to keep straight, but it’s mostly a matter of unlearning some of the fiddly rules that we’re used to playing with. These rules should be easier for new players to learn because they treat all units as essentially the same except for one or two special abilities: instead of submarines behaving totally differently from any other ship and requiring separate rolls and a separate phase of combat, submarines are just ships that are able to deal 1 IPC of industrial damage. Instead of AAA guns behaving totally differently from any other land unit and requiring separate rolls and unique rules for movement and capture, AAA guns are just land units that are able to preferentially target planes when they score a hit.


  • 2019 2018

    Could we stream line interceptors and escorts to 3? (I’ve never understood planes defending at 4.) I like that subs auto take one from coastal territories. I LOVE being able to bomb every territory. I love the flak gun rules.

    Why have subs capable of hitting fighters? I do like fiddliness around subs. I think they should be off the board, recorded on paper and revealed at collect income. I do like sneak attack and destroyers needed to find them. However, I would perfer to see the more complicated rules as optional, in the back of the book or in an expansion pack titled “Battle of the Atlantic–the Happy Days”.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Sure, you could put interceptors and escorts at 3 if you like, as long as only fighters are intercepting/escorting. I don’t think it makes much practical difference. And you could stop subs from hitting fighters; that’ s a simple enough change that speaks to most people’s intuitions.

    I think having hidden information (hidden subs) is not really the right fit for the rest of the A&A franchise; I like hidden info a lot but I’d rather just play a game with two-sided blocks, like Europe Engulfed or whatever it’s called, that is designed from the ground up to handle hidden info.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    You have some interesting ideas. I like the idea of SBR territories up to their value. Would make it harder to defend though.

    The subs being open to attack from all with them defending at 1 makes me shudder. But for me I like the sub element as is (not the def of 1).

    I see where your coming from though, simpler is better.



  • Usually in games where subs can reduce income (aka convoy rules, sub interdiction, etc), Germany is not affected, nor is Russia.

    I can see a mega Allied effort to reduce German income:
    UK subs, USA planes (mostly bombers and ftrs)
    There will be many AAA guns and ftrs for Germany… look out for the Russian steamroller coming to (help) bleed Germany dry with stacks of men willing(?) to be thrown to the wolves



  • Are ‘flak guns’ the same as AAA guns?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @axis_roll said in Simplified Bombers, Flak Guns, and Submarines:

    Are ‘flak guns’ the same as AAA guns?

    Yes. “Flak” is the Anglicized version of the German acronym “FlaK”, which stands for “FliegerabwehrKanone”, which means “aircraft defence cannon”, often also referred to in English as anti-aircraft artillery (AAA).



  • @CWO-Marc said in Simplified Bombers, Flak Guns, and Submarines:

    @axis_roll said in Simplified Bombers, Flak Guns, and Submarines:

    Are ‘flak guns’ the same as AAA guns?

    Yes. “Flak” is the Anglicized version of the German acronym “FlaK”, which stands for “FliegerabwehrKanone”, which means “aircraft defence cannon”, often also referred to in English as anti-aircraft artillery (AAA).

    I meant from a game perspective, in other words, is FLAK one piece, and an AAA gun another.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    @axis_roll No, I was just changing their name to try to suggest that they have purposes other than purely attacking aircraft.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    @axis_roll said in Simplified Bombers, Flak Guns, and Submarines:

    I can see a mega Allied effort to reduce German income:
    UK subs, USA planes (mostly bombers and ftrs)
    There will be many AAA guns and ftrs for Germany… look out for the Russian steamroller coming to (help) bleed Germany dry with stacks of men willing(?) to be thrown to the wolves

    Heh. Yeah, fair point. If the economic warfare becomes too powerful for your taste, you could always add some or all of the following rules:

    • intercepting fighters score hits on rolls of 3 or less (4 or less?)
    • submarine raids are capped at half the value of a territory
    • submarine raids are capped at one less than the value of a territory
    • bombing raids are capped at half the value of a territory
    • bombers only attack at 2, making them less of a dual-use unit and therefore less valuable
    • each nation can only send one bomber to bomb each territory each turn

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