Should submarines be able to hit fighters? No seriously. Read.



  • Had discussion with player on Discord. OK, see if you follow.

    I say if you’re attacking with 5 submarines 5 destroyers against 2 destroyer 2 carriers 4 fighters, it’s important to know which dice are submarines and which are destroyers, because submarines can’t hit air.

    What I said was - say attackers get 5 hits. If it’s 4 destroyers 1 submarine hit, defender must remove one sea unit and four sea or air units at their discretion. If it’s 4 subs 1 destroyer hit, defender must remove four sea units and one air unit (as there are no sea units remaining to allocate the destroyer hit to).

    The response, which was . . . what it was, anyways the other player said the rulebook says all like-valued dice are rolled at the same time, so it’s just five hits, and the defender can assign whatever casualties they want, so long as they pick five units.

    And I said no, you can roll at the same time, you just use different colored dice, just like I’ve had in all my Axis and Allies physical board games, or you roll dice in different locations or whatever. And I said the reason you roll like valued dice at the same time is to prevent players from, say, rolling 3 attacking infantry, 1 artillery, and 1 tank at one time, then saying “hey, I got 11223, so that’s five hits” even if the “3” was actually for an attacking artillery, one of the "2"s was actually for an unsupported infantry &c. And I said the rulebook stays you have to assign maximum casualties, but nowhere does it state that defenders may assign illegal casualties; the rulebook states subs can’t hit air, that air can’t hit subs unless a destroyer is defending or attacking alongside the air etc.

    And the response was . . . what it was. And I got told all sorts of how I was unreasonable, how rolling at the same time means the dice are not differentiated and things. Well whatever, I blocked the player.

    So I mailed Customer Service at Wizards, and they stated they don’t handle rules questions, and to have fun. (Shrug). Fair enough. They responded pretty quick, they didn’t dismiss it, and if they don’t handle rules disputes eh.

    So I went to the Larry Harris website and the last response from Larry Harris in the Ask Larry Harris section was from 2019. Maybe he does visit every so often, but eh.

    So I came here.

    So. Is it important to differentiate between like-valued dice when the associated units of those dice have different properties? Like subs can’t hit air, air can’t hit subs without friendly destroyer attacking / defending. Or should players NOT differentiated, just roll whatever dice “at the same time” then choose maximum possible casualties?

    Mind, I expect players will respond saying you DO differentiate. And I expect when I bring this forum post to that player’s attention I’ll just be told everyone’s (fill in various pejoratives) that are using house rules &c. Well hey, it is what it is.



  • BTW - as far as I’m concerned, 1942 Online correctly implements how the rule should work, though they don’t visually differentiate the dice which I think should be addressed, but eh, if it’s working on the back end, I can live with it as it is.

    But according to this other player, well.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    @aardvarkpepper you do differentiate rolls from Subs.
    Sub hits have to be allocated to a naval unit.
    Equally, if you have Air units and no Destroyer, then your Air hits cannot hit enemy Subs.


  • Official Q&A

    You roll separately whenever units that can’t hit other units are involved. Rolling together and assigning the rolls to the units of your choice violates the principle that the owner of the hit units chooses casualties.


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