Stopping a shore bombardment of 5 BB's with one sub? Is it worthwhile?

  • I was looking at a current game of ncscswitch versus Nix…

    There was a situation where 5 UK BB’s had the opportunity to bombard German territory…
    this can be stopped if G purchased 1 sub and places it in the sea zone adjacent to the territory that could be attacked.
    that has been done in the game…

    the question is:
    Is this worthwhile???

    Nope, I don’t think it is 🙂
    ncscswitch made a calc on this in the thread…
    but I think he forgot something 🙂

    you’ve got 5 BB’s firing first: 5x4 = 20/6 = 3,33 units will be lost by G.
    infantry will be choosen to be casualtied first, right?
    so this makes 3,33 x 3 IPC’s = 10 IPC lost for G…
    a sub costs only 8 IPC’s, so if you place this one and lose it, this is a gain, you think?
    nope!  8-)
    to attack with BB’s you need a landing troop!
    so, UK needs at least ONE infantry to do the job 😛

    this means: G loses (statistically=theoretically of course) 10 IPC’s and UK loses 3 IPC’s (1 infantry) 😛
    or, a net result of 7 IPC’s loss for G.
    a sub is 8 IPC’s…


  • If the BB force is only landing one Inf, then it’s probably not worthwhile to buy the sub, as your analysis shows.  But if the BB force is escorting a full landing, then the sub may be worthwhile to block those shots.

  • the other factor to consider is keeping a larger force from landing as well as controlling the losses of your own force in an easily planned for manner.  we had a throwdown last weekend where i hit 5 of 6 with defending  figs and BB for 3 rounds- ouch!

  • You also need to factor in the 1 for the attacking INF, taking the total combat roll for 5 BB’s with 1 INF to a roll of 21.  That is 3.5 INF dead on average, bringing the offensive IPC’s count to 10.5 IPC’s.

    The other factor in this game were the 3 TRN that, due to the rules regarding combat loading of TRN’s, could NOT be used to reinforce UK held Western, or any other friendly territory.

    This meant that 3 TRN’s could ONLY be used to suicide into Germany, land in Eastern and be chewed up almost without loss by a German counter-attack, or would have to sit and do nothing in UK.

    So it was not just a matter of saving 3 or 4 INF, but also of preventing UK form fully utilizing those 3 TRN’s in an effective manner.

    THAT calulation… keeping an extra 2 INF and 3 ARM out of a “threat” position for Germany also needs to be figured into the equation.

  • '10

    Can someone explain this rule to me.

    I had always thought that you could assign 1 battleship to the sea battle vs the sub, and assign the rest to bombard.  If the battleship kills the sub then the other battleships could go ahead with bombardment - similar to Germany attacking Egypt on G1 with the destroyer present in the seazone. (ie. having to kill the destroyer before being able to land troops)

  • sim, it does stop all of the BB’s shots, they are involved in a naval battle so they cannot bombard.  same is true in egypt, your german BB CANNOT bombard due to the DD’s presence

  • I think I have even played a few games in error (following other player strategy posts), but the rule is pretty cut and dried, and is a carry over from Classic.

    If there is a naval battle to be fought, then the BB’s cannot bombard, period.  Navy fights the naval battle, the trannies offload, then it is up to the land and air units to fight the land battle.

    All combat movement is simultaneous.  So ALL ships are present in the sea zone, even those loaded trannies that are awaiting the amphib landing.  The BB’s have targets, so they fire… all at once.  And once they fire, they cannot engage in a second combat that round.

  • 2007 AAR League

    personally, it seems like a clever, but ultimately cheesy exploit. 

  • Regardless, it works… in this extreme case (when is the last time you saw ANY nation with 5 BB’s?)

    May be cheesy, but it is within the rules, and it shut down the UK.

    The BB’s were a bad strategic move anyway… spending 24 IPC’s to kill 2/3rds of an INF a round?  It would take 12 rounds of BB shots to make the BB worth buying for that purpose… not counting the cost of the INF that has to be dropped each round to allow for the shot.

    The sub block just made the futility of massed BB’s for pseudo land combat more noticable.

  • i don’t think it was cheesy, it was a tactical decision to try and break the blockade with u-boats.  nix could have simply moved his BB’s out and strafed the u-boat with planes then used the fleet to hit other locations not adjacent to IC’s in subsequent rounds.  and it DID cost switch $8 each turn.  i got the impression that nix was trying an experiment and i feel it was partially successful

  • Well, ncscswitch,

    you’re right about the extra shot for that one UK infantry…
    therefor, the net result for G is a loss of 7,5 IPC’s rather than 7…

    and if you take the two remaining trannies into account:
    I can see why you bought that sub 😄
    good thinking!!!

    as for Nix,
    keep up the inventive strategies!!!
    Sometimes I don’t know what you are planning to do next  8-)
    (I remember ncscswitch said this in the game thread, too)

    as for the BB’s being purchased and used to this extent?
    it was worth a shot!
    but I think it is better to not use them in a constant infantry suicide mission.
    It’s better to use them with a worthy load of units being transported…
    the territory you offload can be cleared before a land unit hit the ground…

  • @mateooo:

    personally, it seems like a clever, but ultimately cheesy exploit.

    that’s what I think.  I believe this is put into the same category as “all retreats go to the same place” even if it means Infantry moving through enemy forces to get there.  I believe these rules were concocted to keep a single battle on the battle board at a time.  The concect of assigning ships to naval combat and offshore duty means that forces would have to be physically separated to keep track of them (keep in mind that more experienced players will have no trouble at this, but the rules are geared for newbies).

    In my last game versus Trihero, his rolls of 4’s (battleships, bombers, defending fighters) hit 24 out of 27 times.  In that case, I would most definately build a submarine.

    Cheesy rule indeed, but it is clearly stated and we have to deal with it.

  • as far as the retreat to a single territory octo, i see the supporting logic behind it.  it is kind of like a “rescue mission” for those trapped forces

  • @critmonster:

    as far as the retreat to a single territory octo, i see the supporting logic behind it. it is kind of like a “rescue mission” for those trapped forces

    and because of this rescue mission explain how infantry get to move 2 spaces* in a single turn.

    That is my beef.  Keep in mind, I agree with the interpretation of the rule, I just don’t like the rule.

    *A specific case is Axis forces attacking Russia from Archangel and Novosibirsk.  The forces retreat after 1 round of combat thereby moving any infantry from Novosibirsk 2 spaces to Archangel.

  • i guess i just don’t see it as a big deal, if you are hitting a country from both sides then your units from both sides are IN the area in question, then when they retreat they move OUT of the region.  if they moved back to the original location isn’t that still another space moved?  i haven’t seen it enough to think it is a big deal, but that doesn’t mean others haven’t.  the allied fleet thing was a different animal for sure and look what happened! we are movers and shakers! :lol:

  • 2007 AAR League

    an important thing to realize is that the game creators are not omniscient.  While perhaps a dozen playtesters perform playtesting for probably months or even a year before selling a game, there are thousands, maybe tens of thousands of players perusing the rules trying to use them and the board placement in order to gain an advantage. To think that we should stick blindly to the rulebook in the face of a situation that doesnt really make sense or one that is blatently unfair is kinda silly.  Its like that annoying dude who plays D and D and is constantly pulling out lame and obscure rules in order to do something that just doesnt make sense and makes him overpowered.Â

    For example, isnt there a way that Germany can spend all his or her money on weapon research to get long range aircraft, and then have a 90% chance or whatever to conquor England on the first turn.  To respond to this, wise gamers made the stipulation that research techs only work at the end of the turn, or that players could not invade capitals on the first turn, or they simply stopped using research techs. The designers did not make these rules, the players did.

    If the BB situation was stretched out to its extreme, 100 british battleships would still be unable to bombard because of the production of one sub a turn, and that just doesnt make sense. Battleships are already too rarely purchased, and any arbitrary rule that discourages the use of combined arms and a wide variety of units should be scrutinized carefully.
    There are already too many units that are not often used in competitive games.

    honestly, do we really need another reason to no buy battleships.

    Not to say that it wasnt a VERY CLEVER idea, its just one that needs to be looked at and a fair ruling needs to be made.

    As intelligent gamers with free will, we should not be constrained by nonsensical situations that occur because the game designers did not foresee every one of the million possible scenarios that can occur with AA.


  • But it also serves to make things more realistic… and more practical.

    A Battleship can fire about 16 miles, correct?

    So they can only fire on “coastal” emplacements.

    Yet under the BB bombardment rules, a German INF in Paris can be killed by a BB shot fired from the coast of Normandy.

    Also, Battleships WERE rare.

    A nation can build lots of battelships… as many as they want.

    The ONLY time the “sub rule” would come into effect is usign those BB’s in massed concert on an IC containing territory.

    You can fire those 100 BB shots into Western, Eastern, Karelia, etc., etc.  But against Southern and Germany, you need to be a bit more BALANCED in your tactics.  The same is true when attacking Los Angeles or London or Tokyo.

    I don;t see a problem with that rule.

    And as mentioned, it ONLY becomes an issue if a player is CONSISTENTLY using 5 or more BB’s on a territory with an IC.  Otherwise, the sub block is a waste of funds.  Notice in my game with Nix that once he split up those BB’s and moved some of them out of range of Germany, the sub buys stopped…

  • 2007 AAR League

    you make a good point

  • Overall, I agree with mateooo that the "single sub blocking infinite BBs” is a pretty bad rule.  Fairly simple to house rule it by saying that attacking BBs (and DDs with the right tech) get to choose whether to participate offensively in the naval combat or the amphibious landing.  They are present during the naval combat either way (and can be chosen as casualties), but they only get to fire during naval combat if they forego their bombardment shot.  And vice versa.

  • In no case in the rules are you allowed to “selectively” attack in a given area.

    If you move in, you attack, and you attack all that is there.

    That means that those 100 BB’s WILL fire on that sub.

    The rules are explicit…
    They either remain and engage in NAVAL combat, or they move out of the sea zone.  See also LHTR v 1.3, almost half way down the page (or page 10 if you have printed this out)…

    Sea Combat: This is handled like any other sea combat (only sea and air units participate). All your sea units (including your transports) attack all enemy sea units and fighters in that sea zone. If a sea combat occurs, your battleships fire at the same time as your other attacking units in the sea combat. They cannot support the assaulting land units.

    This is from the sub-section on Amphibious assaults under Step 8:  capture territory

  • Switch,

    I totally agree with your interpretation of the rule, and have used the tactic myself in games when faced with a mass of BBs preparing to bombard.  (Though in my case it was US BBs going after Japan).

    But that does not mean I don’t think it’s a bad rule.  What I proposed would be a HOUSE RULE, I fully know that it is against the PUBLISHED rules.

    About “nowhere in the rules are you allowed to selectively attack”, how about Bombers?  When they move into a territory containing an enemy IC, they get to choose whether to strategic bomb or attack the ground units there.  This house rule for BBs would be very similar.  When moving BBs into a seazone where they could bombard, they have to choose whether to bombard or attack the enemy sea units there.

  • OK, I see you point on the bomber analogy.

    To be honest though, I think it is such an exceedingly rare occurance that I don;t think it will be an issue in 999 games out of 1000.

    And I still like the “logic” of not being able to blast away Parisian INF from the Normandy Coast; or Chicago National Guard Units from the Virginia coast…

  • @ncscswitch:

    To be honest though, I think it is such an exceedingly rare occurance that I don;t think it will be an issue in 999 games out of 1000.


    And I still like the “logic” of not being able to blast away Parisian INF from the Normandy Coast; or Chicago National Guard Units from the Virginia coast…

    Yeah, that is kinda wonky.  But no more so than some of the other abstractions the game makes.

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