A&A Global 1940: Amphibious Assaults, Bridging, and Sea Zones that Start the Turn with Hostile Ships



  • I’ve read all the rules clarifications on amphibious assaults, bridging, and rules for sea zones that start the turn hostile due to enemy ships being present in them, and I can’t find an answer. If this has been answered before, please feel free to post a relevant link to the answer.

    Relevant Rules

    These are (copy-pasted from the A&A 1940 Europe rulebook):

    • Hostile sea zones contain surface warships belonging to a power with which you are at war.
    • A transport can’t load or offload while in a hostile sea zone.
    • A transport can load cargo in friendly sea zones before, during, and after it moves.
    • A transport can load and offload units without moving from the friendly sea zone it’s in (this is known as “bridging”). Each such transport is still limited to its cargo capacity. It can offload in only one territory, and once it offloads, it can’t move, load, or offload again that turn.
    • At the beginning of the Combat Move phase, you might already have sea units (and air units on carriers) in spaces containing enemy units that were there at the start of your turn. For example, an enemy might have built new surface warships in a sea zone where you have sea units. When your turn comes around again, you are sharing that sea zone with enemy forces. If you are sharing a sea zone with surface warships (not submarines and/or transports) belonging to a power with which you are at war, this situation requires you to do one of the following:
    1. Remain in the sea zone and conduct combat,
    2. Leave the sea zone, load units if desired, and conduct combat elsewhere,
    3. Leave the sea zone, load units, and return to the same sea zone to conduct combat (you can’t load units while in a hostile sea zone), or
    4. Leave the sea zone and conduct no combat.

    Here are the two scenarios. In both, I think the crux of the matter is the same, but each scenario has some slight differences:

    Scenario 1

    UK fleet in SZ 110 with 3 cruisers, 1 destroyer, 3 aircraft carriers, 6 fighters, 6 transports, and at least 12 infantry and three more fighters in UK. This fleet, without moving, could use the bridge rule to bridge 12 infantry into an amphibious assault on Holland or Normandy, along with 3 offshore bombardments from the cruisers, and up to 9 fighters could also join the amphibious assault. Now, let’s say that Germany has a factory in Normandy, and on its turn decides to build a destroyer and mobilize it into SZ 110. So, the SZ will start out hostile on UK’s next turn.

    Since the transports cannot load in a hostile sea zone, does this prevent the amphibious assault on Normandy or Holland? Or, does the bridging rule come into effect here, where the bridging (loading and unloading both happen at the same time without the transport moving in between) takes place once the sea battle part of the assault is over, and thus the sea zone is now friendly and the units can be bridged during the land battle part of the amphibious assault? If the German destroyer prevents the amphibious assault, then it seems silly that all Germany has to do is spend a few IPCs each turn to buy and place a single blocker to keep the entirety of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at bay.

    So, I assume the relevant choice for what to do about starting in a hostile sea zone is (1) above “remain in the sea zone and conduct combat”. And then declare the amphibious assault: move aircraft to Normandy and then declare that you have the intent to bridge 12 infantry over to Normandy after the sea zone is cleared (assuming it is cleared, which in the case would be hard to imagine it wouldn’t be with three cruisers, a destroyer, and three aircraft carriers that could be used to soak up a hit if needed). The bridging would take place in a “friendly” sea zone since the zone has been cleared before the bridging begins.

    Of course, the presence of the destroyer will prevent the cruisers from getting to bombard. All the sea units will have to take place in the sea battle and won’t be available for the land battle part of the amphibious assault. No matter what the case is on bridging, that part is clear.

    I know in this example, the transports could always take option (3) above and withdraw to SZ 109 (assuming it was clear of enemy surface warships), load the 12 infantry (sinze SZ 109 is also adjacent to the UK where the 12 infantry are), and come back and declare an amphibious assault, and the net result would be identical, except that now the transports are loaded with 12 infantry before the SZ battle part of the amphibious assault begins, and the transports are no longer bridging since they moved between the load and unload operations.

    Scenario 2

    There is a large US fleet in SZ 95 (SZ west of Italy), with US troops landed on the islands of Sicily and Sardina (which are in SZ 95). Can Italy build a destroyer and mobilize into SZ 95 and prevent the US transports in SZ 95 from conducting a bridging amphibious assault against Northern and/or Southern Italy? Or can the sea zone be cleared first during the sea battle part of the amphibious assault, and then the transports there be used to bridge those forces from Sicily and Sardina into an amphibious assault on Northern or Southern Italy?

    In this case, there is one main difference than Scenario 1: there is no option (3) since Sicily and Sardina are islands contained completely within SZ 95 and so there is no alternate place to move the transports to load them up before returning to SZ 95 for the amphibious assault. If again, it cannot be done, then it seems silly to me that Italy buying a single destroyer each turn can keep the entirety of the US Atlantic fleet and all the US Atlantic marines at bay indefinitely.

    It is also very clear that the transports cannot load up the troops on Sicily and Sardina and then move to a different SZ to amphibious assault there, since that would require the transports to load in a hostile SZ and then move elsewhere during combat movement to declare an amphibious assault from a different SZ, which is explicitly called out in the rules as not possible. So the destroyer does pin down those troops from being deployed to amphibious assault elsewhere, that is clear.

    Crux of the Matter

    The rules don’t state (or I can’t find it) when bridging for an amphibious assault as to when the transports need to be loaded. The fact that the term bridging and the rule about it is explicitly called out in its own separate line, and says “A transport can load and offload units without moving from the friendly sea zone it’s in” seems to imply that when bridging, you can “load and offload” all at once as long in a friendly SZ as the transport doesn’t move in between the load and unload, and thus it happens whenever it is appropriate to do so (in this case, right before the land portion of the amphibious assault happens). To me, it seems to be the only reason for the whole bridging concept to be introduced in the rule book at all. Afterall, if bridging is covered 100% by all the other transport rules, then why even put in the section about bridging?

    Thanks!

    -J.C.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Official Q&A TripleA Moderator

    @jchamlin Welcome to the forum 🙂

    Scenario 1

    @jchamlin said in A&A Global 1940: Amphibious Assaults, Bridging, and Sea Zones that Start the Turn with Hostile Ships:

    Since the transports cannot load in a hostile sea zone, does this prevent the amphibious assault on Normandy or Holland?
    Or, does the bridging rule come into effect here, where the bridging (loading and unloading both happen at the same time without the transport moving in between) takes place once the sea battle part of the assault is over, and thus the sea zone is now friendly and the units can be bridged during the land battle part of the amphibious assault?

    No. “Bridging” simply illustrates the fact that a transport can “move” carrying units without leaving a seazone (think of it as sailing from coast to coast within the same seazone). In general loading can only happen during Combat Move Phase (load in order to unload into a hostile territory) or during Noncombat Move Phase (load in order to unload into a friendly territory).

    Loading during Combat Move Phase in your scenario is not possible in SZ 110, as a transport cannot load in a hostile seazone.
    Also loading never takes place during Conduct Combat Phase. You can’t load any involved transport, you can’t add any Combat Movement once Combat has started.

    If the German destroyer prevents the amphibious assault, then it seems silly that all Germany has to do is spend a few IPCs each turn to buy and place a single blocker to keep the entirety of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at bay.

    That is a common strategy, however easy to deal with.

    So, I assume the relevant choice for what to do about starting in a hostile sea zone is (1) above “remain in the sea zone and conduct combat”…

    You can do that, but in this case - if you have not moved out the transport - the transport cannot be loaded for an amphibious assault this turn.

    The bridging would take place in a “friendly” sea zone since the zone has been cleared before the bridging begins.

    No, as the transport needs to be loaded during Combat Move Phase, what is not allowed in this case.

    Scenario 2

    The same rules as in Scenario 1 apply here, too.

    You can always unload units for an amphibious assault that have already been on the transport at the start of the turn (provided the seazone will be cleared of enemy units). So in your scenarios eliminate enemy units and load your transports during Noncombat Move Phase. So unloading into enemy territories is delayed by one turn.

    Crux of the Matter

    The rules don’t state (or I can’t find it) when bridging for an amphibious assault as to when the transports need to be loaded. …

    As I explained above “Bridging” simply illustrates the fact that a transport can “move” carrying units without leaving a seazone. Actually “bridging” is a word mentioned in brackets in the rules: “(this is known as “bridging”)”.

    Remember that the action behind loading a transport (regardless if and where the transport moves to) is moving other units onto it. That is bound to the movement phases and clearly explained in the rules.

    HTH 🙂



  • @Panther said in A&A Global 1940: Amphibious Assaults, Bridging, and Sea Zones that Start the Turn with Hostile Ships:

    @jchamlin Welcome to the forum 🙂

    Thank you for the welcome, and for the reply.

    No. “Bridging” simply illustrates the fact that a transport can “move” carrying units without leaving a seazone (think of it as sailing from coast to coast within the same seazone). In general loading can only happen during Combat Move Phase (load in order to unload into a hostile territory) or during Noncombat Move Phase (load in order to unload into a friendly territory).

    Well, the rules explicitly say that the bridging is moving units where the transport does not move. So, the transport either moves, or it does not. In the bridging case, the transport’s movement is used up (so it will be unable to move if used to bridge), but the transport itself is not considered as having moved.

    Loading during Combat Move Phase in your scenario is not possible in SZ 110, as a transport cannot load in a hostile seazone.
    The transport needs to be loaded during Combat Move Phase, what is not allowed in this case.
    Also loading never takes place during Conduct Combat Phase. You can’t load any involved transport, you can’t add any Combat Movement once Combat has started.

    I’m not sure I agree. The Conduct Combat Phase has the disclaimer right at the beginning of the section: “A number of units have special rules that modify or overwrite the combat rules in this section. See “Unit Profiles,” page 27 for combat rules associated with each type of unit.”. And it so happens that the rules for transport bridging are in the unit profiles section.

    If the German destroyer prevents the amphibious assault, then it seems silly that all Germany has to do is spend a few IPCs each turn to buy and place a single blocker to keep the entirety of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at bay.

    That is a common strategy, however easy to deal with.

    Are you sure this is what Larry Harris intended: that a single cheap surface warship is able to prevent an entire power’s navy and land forces from invading? I mean, there’s both a problem with the spirit of the intention (which seems plain wrong), and also, I’m also bringing up something in my post here which seems to cast doubt on also the letter of the intention.

    So in your scenarios eliminate enemy units and load your transports during Noncombat Move Phase. So unloading into enemy territories is delayed by one turn.

    It would appear that this is not possible either. If the transports stay to fight (i.e. option 1) with the intention of picking up units during the non-combat phase, then that’s not possible either. According to the rules all units present in the sea zone must participate in the combat action (you can’t have some hang-back and not participate). Since the transports participated in the combat action, they now can no longer participate in the non-combat action (which would be loading the units from islands). So, it appears the one destroyer built by Italy prevents those units from ever being picked up, unless the transports retreat from the sea zone in turn one during their combat move to escape, and then the following turn non-combat to move in, pick up, and either stay loaded or move back out and drop off outside of SZ 95. And then three turns from then they would be able to move back in and participate in an amphibious assault. That seems pretty absurd to me that a single destroyer built on each of two turns can delay the amphibious assault for three turns.

    The rules don’t state (or I can’t find it) when bridging for an amphibious assault as to when the transports need to be loaded. …

    Remember that the action behind loading a transport (regardless if and where the transport moves to) is moving other units onto it. That is bound to the movement phases and clearly explained in the rules.

    It is not clearly explained in the rules. If it were, I wouldn’t be here asking about it. The fact that transports can offload during the combat phase, means that some combat movement happens during the Conduct Combat Phase. The fact that bridging is a special type of transport movement called out in the unit profiles section with its own text completely separate from the other transport rules means it has a purpose for being there. The Conduct Combat Phase rules clearly say that rules in the unit profiles section have overrides to those rules from the Conduct Combat Phase. Therefore, it is in fact not clear at all if the rules for bridging units across a friendly (which could also mean a recently cleared sea zone) are meant to be able to happen during an amphibious assault.

    How do we know which rules in the unit profiles section are meant to override the rules of the Conduct Combat Phase, and which rules are not? In this case, it sure seems that the whole reason for the rule on bridging to exist is to call out the special bridging ability of transports and make sure that players are aware of that ability. It seems to me it is likely so that people were aware that it could be used to both load and unload units in the same sea zone as an exception to the rule where transports would normally just be unloading during combat. In Axis & Allies Classic (Second Edition) transports could move empty/partially empty into a hostile sea zone (with escort ships) and then if the sea zone was cleared, they could use their remaining capacity to bridge units into the amphibious assault.

    Thanks again for the communication. I’m not a rules lawyer, but this one really has me stumped. If Larry really meant the rules to work this way, then it sure seems wrong (sorry Larry, I mean you no offense if you stumble across this at some point). No way would the small fleet represented by a single German destroyer, freshly built and just rolling out of the shipyards, single-handedly prevent the entire British Navy from picking up troops from the UK, or from landing in Normandy (nor would a single Italian destroyer freshly built and rolling out of the shipyard in Italy prevent the entire US Atlantic Navy and Marines from picking up in Sicily and landing in Italy).

    -J.C.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Official Q&A TripleA Moderator

    @jchamlin said in A&A Global 1940: Amphibious Assaults, Bridging, and Sea Zones that Start the Turn with Hostile Ships:

    Well, the rules explicitly say that the bridging is moving units where the transport does not move.

    This is what the rules explicitly say:
    “A transport can load and offload units without moving from the friendly sea zone it’s in (this is known as “bridging”).”

    So in your scenarios eliminate enemy units and load your transports during Noncombat Move Phase. So unloading into enemy territories is delayed by one turn.

    It would appear that this is not possible either.

    You are correct. I haven’t been precise enough. I should have said “bring a loaded transport” instead. Alternatively let an ally eliminate the enemy destroyer in the meantime.

    I will be back on other details later, as I don’t have the time to further answer right now. Maybe someone else joins in the meantime…


  • Official Q&A

    @Panther is correct. Transports cannot be loaded during the Conduct Combat phase, even when bridging. Bridging is simply loading and offloading a transport without moving from the sea zone it’s in. and nothing more. I see your argument about unit profile rules overriding normal combat rules, but this only occurs if such rules explicitly make such an exception. The bridging rules do not make any explicit mention of overriding any combat rules, so they do not do so.

    To illustrate this point, the combat movement rules on page 12 of the Europe Rulebook state the following:

    All combat movement is considered to take place at the same time. Thus, you can’t move a unit, then conduct combat, then move that unit again during this phase. The only exception to this is land units making an amphibious assault that is preceded by a sea battle (see “Amphibious Assaults,” page 13), as they must offload after the sea battle is successfully completed.

    As you can see, this states that offloading units for an amphibious assault after a sea battle is the only instance in which combat movement may occur after combat has begun. This is an explicitly stated exception to the normal rule.

    As to Larry Harris’ intent, yes, this is the way he intended it to work. I understand your frustration at having an amphibious assault blocked this way, but when you think about it, it is really no different than a single unit blocking the movement of a large army or fleet and delaying its progress. It is simply something that must be worked around.

    By the way, these particular rules were the same in Classic, also.



  • @Krieghund said in A&A Global 1940: Amphibious Assaults, Bridging, and Sea Zones that Start the Turn with Hostile Ships:

    As to Larry Harris’ intent, yes, this is the way he intended it to work. I understand your frustration at having an amphibious assault blocked this way, but when you think about it, it is really no different than a single unit blocking the movement of a large army or fleet and delaying its progress. It is simply something that must be worked around.

    Hasn’t the fact that this incentives keeping units loaded across rounds been an issue in playtesting, since it is particularly difficult to track what is cargo of what if you don’t offload it on the same turn? I would say adding a rule that you can load in hostile sea zones as long as the transport ship has not moved yet would rather simplify gameplay.


    @jchamlin You just keep these units on the transports, instead of offloading them in Sicily and Sardinia, if they are not needed to capture the territories, for example.


  • Official Q&A

    @Cernel said in A&A Global 1940: Amphibious Assaults, Bridging, and Sea Zones that Start the Turn with Hostile Ships:

    Hasn’t the fact that this incentives keeping units loaded across rounds been an issue in playtesting, since it is particularly difficult to track what is cargo of what if you don’t offload it on the same turn? I would say adding a rule that you can load in hostile sea zones as long as the transport ship has not moved yet would rather simplify gameplay.

    I don’t recall this issue ever being raised during playtesting. As this rule has been the same in every game since Classic, I guess people are just used to it.


  • 2018 2017 '16

    Not being able to bridge into an amphibious assault after clearing a sea zone results in a pretty weird rules glitch. It results in people doing some strange moves like Italy building a destroyer and dropping it onto an oversized US fleet just to take advantage of this glitch. It makes sense that transports cannot unload / amphibious assault if the sea zone has enemy surface ships present, but not being able to bridge into an amphibious assault once the sea zone is clear doesn’t seem to fit the spirit of the game.

    What you’re advocating for is the ability to have a second Combat Movement Phase. That would be no different than taking a territory in combat and then combat moving units through that territory to attack another territory. You have to make all of your combat moves at the same time before you begin combat or that breaks the spirit of the game.
    I’m not sure how many different ways he has to explain to you that loading and unloading a transport into a hostile territory is a combat move. Your assertion that a ground unit can step on one end of a transport and step off the other end into a different territory is perplexing. It’s not a bridge as you contend, it’s a ship that transports units across the water. It makes no difference whether the destination is in the same sea zone or 3 sea zones away. Bridging is simply a term that’s used to describe the move. We also use the term “can opener” yet no cans need to be opened to accomplish it. It’s just a term.
    In your example you state that dropping a Destroyer in water to prevent a fleet from amphibiously assaulting in incorrect. The attacking player can kill the Destroyer and assault the territory on the same turn. The thing they can’t do is load the transport in that sea zone. The rules of the game are very specific and at times a little quirky, but they are fair for both sides. You have to learn to use those quirks to your advantage in order to truly appreciate them. It’s called strategy.
    Here are some of the quirky transport rules demonstrated;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkj_9K3lfQk


  • 2018 2017 '16

    What part of that is not legal in classic?

    This is the Global 40 Forum. Why bother arguing the rules of Global 40 using the rules of a different game. They are not the same game. None of them are the same game and that’s why there’s a different forum for each game here at A&A dot org. Take your discussion over there if you’re not interested in discussing the rules of Global 40 in this forum.
    Nobody cares what we think about the rules of Global 40 and how they make sense. Those are the rules of the game and anything else is a house-rule.



  • I don’t think it’s absurd to think 1 destroyer unit,which represents a flotilla of DDs(usually about 5 or 6),can disrupt transport loading.What if Italy drops 2 DDs or DD ,CA and loaded CV into sz 95?Where would you draw the line for it to be OK to load in the hostile zone?
    In sz 110 you can move your TTs to 109,load and move back to 110.In sz 95 maybe it was an error to land on scicaly and sardinia.You need to get an ally to take out the Italian DD before your turn


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

    ampdrive. I can see your point. While the surface ships on both sides are fighting (prevents shore shots) you think in mean time the transports can load
    and unload during combat. Who’s to say the enemy ships are focusing more on your killing your transports ? But G40 rule is what it is with an enemy ship in same sz as your fleet and TT’s no loading or off loading.
    So I’m assuming Larry is looking at all ships involved in combat but can’t take a transport casualty unless I missed it in the rules.

    Not to go off topic here but then you need to have a house rule for your game.

    1. Split your fleet for naval combat on enemy ships and other fleet shore bombards.
    2. All your ships can move out of sz and return with loaded transports and fleet.
    3. Can take a transport as a casualty.
    4. etc more options

    We also play 1 surface ship blocks 3 surface ships instead of 1 surface ship blocks the whole fleet. You can block 3 enemy ships. Rest of enemy fleet can pass through in combat, You can also kill the surface blocking ship but then those enemy ships have to stay in that sz until next turn.

    I’ll go now.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Official Q&A TripleA Moderator

    I have moved the follow up discussion about Loading Transports in Hostile Seazones in the Classic Editon to the Classic-Category:

    https://www.axisandallies.org/forums/topic/35796/loading-transports-in-hostile-seazones


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