[1942 2nd ] Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?


  • I understand that without a destroyer any attacking air units cannot hit submarines. Which also means as a defender I cannot assign hits from air units to submarines.
    Isn’t this a huge drawback if I, for example, use submarines to soak up damage in sea combat but would be unable to do so if the opponent doesn’t have any destroyers and therefor I would have to assign hits to more valuable units?

    The destroyers ability to make my subs visible should be a drawback. Why can’t the defender just order the subs to surface? From a tactical point of view this just makes no sense to me.


  • @megatron I play G40 and have hid a similar thought, maybe in testing that was just to overpowered but not sure

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    Have your tac bombers can hit surface subs only.


  • @general-5-stars That’s a cool idea and seems like it would work well


  • @tincanofthesea It can get even worse. An attacker can choose not to send destroyers but subs to the battle. Which means he can pick off my expensive sea units because I cant choose subs as casualties. Now if I happen to have destroyers in the battle group which I can’t just exclude from the battle he, on the other hand, would be able to assign hits to his subs.

    Either I misunderstood the rules even after reading through the forums and the rulebook several times but it seems to me just having destroyers in an army can be a devastating disadvantage in some scenarios.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    Your expensive sea units can hits subs. I’m assuming your saying first strike subs are wiping you out ?
    That’s why you should always have a destroyer in fleets.
    Does the rule say 1 destroyer blocks 50 subs first strike rule ?


  • @general-5-stars No, im not asking about first strike or other sea units. I was talking about air units in sea combat and how they can or cannot hit subs depending on destroyers being present in the army. (See my initial question)

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    @megatron said in Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    @general-5-stars No, im not asking about first strike or other sea units. I was talking about air units in sea combat and how they can or cannot hit subs depending on destroyers being present in the army. (See my initial question)

    Tacs should be able to hit them. Make sure there’s some on carriers or air bases.


  • @general-5-stars I think I did not clarify this well enough.
    I am saying, in that case, as an attacker with air units I would not want to hit any subs.

    Here is a scenario:
    Attacker has 2 fighters. Defender has 1 battleship and 6 subs.
    This would be about a 50% chance the battleship is lost. It’s the only unit that can be assigned hits to.
    If the Attacker sent one destroyer with the planes he would be at a disadvantage. Because now the subs can be used as casualties since they are “visible” to the planes which would give the defender an advantage.

    The problem I am having is that I cannot order subs to be visible to planes. Neither can I order a destroyer not to make submarines surface.

    It just seems like a nonsensical rule to me (ignoring balancing issues for now)

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    OK I see now. You have a few options if u gonna house rule it.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    The battleship should be the key piece being attacked and not the subs. That’s what destroyer are for. Fodder for battleship. Like in real war. So I don’t see no problem with this rule.


  • @general-5-stars I don’t quite follow. The battleship IS the key piece being attacked in that scenario. Yet if the attacker adds a destroyer he will have a disadvantage since the air unit hits can be assigned to the subs. Now if one sub returns fire and the battleship hits as well the attacker loses a fighter without doing any damage to the battleship. That means for round two its one fighter against an undamaged battleship with losses of 18 ICP and a 90% win rate for the defender.

    Without a destroyer in the attacking army it would be a 50% win rate since the defender cannot assign any hits to subs.

    So chances are extremely high that the battleship wont be lost if there IS a destroyer in the attacking army.

    (The destroyer cannot be fodder for the battleship if the defending subs score a hit which is the whole point of my problem)

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    @megatron said in Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    @general-5-stars I don’t quite follow. The battleship IS the key piece being attacked in that scenario. Yet if the attacker adds a destroyer he will have a disadvantage since the air unit hits can be assigned to the subs. Now if one sub returns fire and the battleship hits as well the attacker loses a fighter without doing any damage to the battleship. That means for round two its one fighter against an undamaged battleship with losses of 18 ICP and a 90% win rate for the defender.

    Without a destroyer in the attacking army it would be a 50% win rate since the defender cannot assign any hits to subs.

    So chances are extremely high that the battleship wont be lost if there IS a destroyer in the attacking army.

    (The destroyer cannot be fodder for the battleship if the defending subs score a hit which is the whole point of my problem)

    No I meant the defender should have the destroyer.
    Correct. Youd be wasting a attacking DD.
    If you want a rule for planes to see subs then house rule the Tac in game.
    Other wise the rule is what it is.

    I do use a rule where Tacs/Dive bombers can first strike surfaced subs and if sub survives it can dive and the destroyer gets a depth charge shot.

    Also BB and CR have AA shots at planes.

  • 2022 2021 '18 Customizer

    @Megatron I think you should absolutely be able to “turn off” your own DD’s sub-surfacing powers whenever it would be disadvantageous to use them… although that does add even more of a snarl in terms of death-by-rules and order of operations in combat when subs are involved.

    This is part of the reason why I think the game needs (in addition to secret subs), a true naval escort unit that doesn’t cost 8ipc. The opportunity cost is way too high to make naval purchases worthwhile. Subs as fodder makes $$ sense at 6ipc/hit, but they have gotten SO gamey once you try to get clever with the aircraft/destroyer rules… you get into these ridiculous counterintuitive situations like the OP mentions.

    Whether it’s a dedicated escort ship that fights at 0a/1d or 1a/1d and maybe has some rudimentary stat like 1:1 sub cancelation or 1-inf transport; or maybe a fighting transport at 0a/1d, or something… we want a unit that can truly fodder in the water at 5-6 IPC while still having some fun utility to justify it’s opportunity cost.

    I would personally want to rebalance naval forces/cost to something more like

    Escort/Torp Boat 5c/1a/1d ; cancel sub @1:1
    Submarine 5c/2a/1d ; submerge etc.
    Transport 6c/0a/0d ; transport 1unit + 1inf
    Destroyer 7c/2a/2d ; transport 1inf ; cancel subs @1:3
    Cruiser 10c/3a/3d ; bombard ;
    Carrier 12c/1a/2d ; 2-hit
    Battleship 14c/4a/4d ; bombard ; 2-hit

    Or forget the “Escort” unit completely, and just drop the destroyer stat line to 5c/1a/1d ; 1:1 sub cancel.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    Destroyer to strong for cost. Make 1:1 sub. IMO
    If I got what your saying 1 DD blocks 3 subs.

  • 2022 2021 '18 Customizer

    @general-6-stars yeah it’s a compromise with the OOB rules e.g. single DD = all enemy subs surface


  • @megatron said in Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    I understand that without a destroyer any attacking air units cannot hit submarines. Which also means as a defender I cannot assign hits from air units to submarines.
    Isn’t this a huge drawback if I, for example, use submarines to soak up damage in sea combat but would be unable to do so if the opponent doesn’t have any destroyers and therefor I would have to assign hits to more valuable units?

    The destroyers ability to make my subs visible should be a drawback. Why can’t the defender just order the subs to surface? From a tactical point of view this just makes no sense to me.

    Imagine two carriers four fighters are attacked by four submarines two fighters. Submarines fight best by submerging to avoid enemy attacks. It would not make sense that the submarines leap out of the ocean into the path of enemy guns.

    It’s not great that submarines are invincible either, but if one has to pick and choose, I’d say it’s not that bad.

    In the above scenario, instead of attacking with four submarines two fighters, the attacker could just go in with four submarines against two carriers, ignoring the defending fighters.

    But there’s any number of different situations, which may involve the defender deliberately taking destroyers as casualties early to manipulate how hits must be later allocated? Or attack/defense compositions could be given that are quite different to my example?

    Yes, absolutely. But again, we’re looking at submarines submerging, or submarines sort of leaping out of the ocean, and if a simple rule is to be made universal, which should be chosen? Or what other simple solution should there be?

    @vodot said in Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    Escort/Torp Boat 5c/1a/1d ; cancel sub @1:1
    Submarine 5c/2a/1d ; submerge etc.
    Transport 6c/0a/0d ; transport 1unit + 1inf
    Destroyer 7c/2a/2d ; transport 1inf ; cancel subs @1:3
    Cruiser 10c/3a/3d ; bombard ;
    Carrier 12c/1a/2d ; 2-hit
    Battleship 14c/4a/4d ; bombard ; 2-hit

    Or forget the “Escort” unit completely, and just drop the destroyer stat line to 5c/1a/1d ; 1:1 sub cancel.

    I feel those suggested changes may have come out of discussion for another version of Axis and Allies. The changes are just way too good for Allies in 1942 2nd edition.

    I’m not saying 20 IPC battleships are a GOOD thing either. But I expect 14 is too much of a good thing.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    @aardvarkpepper said in Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    @megatron said in Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    I understand that without a destroyer any attacking air units cannot hit submarines. Which also means as a defender I cannot assign hits from air units to submarines.
    Isn’t this a huge drawback if I, for example, use submarines to soak up damage in sea combat but would be unable to do so if the opponent doesn’t have any destroyers and therefor I would have to assign hits to more valuable units?

    The destroyers ability to make my subs visible should be a drawback. Why can’t the defender just order the subs to surface? From a tactical point of view this just makes no sense to me.

    Imagine two carriers four fighters are attacked by four submarines two fighters. Submarines fight best by submerging to avoid enemy attacks. It would not make sense that the submarines leap out of the ocean into the path of enemy guns.

    It’s not great that submarines are invincible either, but if one has to pick and choose, I’d say it’s not that bad.

    In the above scenario, instead of attacking with four submarines two fighters, the attacker could just go in with four submarines against two carriers, ignoring the defending fighters.

    But there’s any number of different situations, which may involve the defender deliberately taking destroyers as casualties early to manipulate how hits must be later allocated? Or attack/defense compositions could be given that are quite different to my example?

    Yes, absolutely. But again, we’re looking at submarines submerging, or submarines sort of leaping out of the ocean, and if a simple rule is to be made universal, which should be chosen? Or what other simple solution should there be?

    @vodot said in Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    Escort/Torp Boat 5c/1a/1d ; cancel sub @1:1
    Submarine 5c/2a/1d ; submerge etc.
    Transport 6c/0a/0d ; transport 1unit + 1inf
    Destroyer 7c/2a/2d ; transport 1inf ; cancel subs @1:3
    Cruiser 10c/3a/3d ; bombard ;
    Carrier 12c/1a/2d ; 2-hit
    Battleship 14c/4a/4d ; bombard ; 2-hit

    Or forget the “Escort” unit completely, and just drop the destroyer stat line to 5c/1a/1d ; 1:1 sub cancel.

    I feel those suggested changes may have come out of discussion for another version of Axis and Allies. The changes are just way too good for Allies in 1942 2nd edition.

    I’m not saying 20 IPC battleships are a GOOD thing either. But I expect 14 is too much of a good thing.

    I’m testing some piece changes as of now in my advanced 42 game. I did add the Tac Bomber too. If your interested in values let me know. I can post chart here or give you game thread on site here. Did add convoy boxes too.


  • @aardvarkpepper said in Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    @megatron said in Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    I understand that without a destroyer any attacking air units cannot hit submarines. Which also means as a defender I cannot assign hits from air units to submarines.
    Isn’t this a huge drawback if I, for example, use submarines to soak up damage in sea combat but would be unable to do so if the opponent doesn’t have any destroyers and therefor I would have to assign hits to more valuable units?

    The destroyers ability to make my subs visible should be a drawback. Why can’t the defender just order the subs to surface? From a tactical point of view this just makes no sense to me.

    Imagine two carriers four fighters are attacked by four submarines two fighters. Submarines fight best by submerging to avoid enemy attacks. It would not make sense that the submarines leap out of the ocean into the path of enemy guns.

    It’s not great that submarines are invincible either, but if one has to pick and choose, I’d say it’s not that bad.

    In the above scenario, instead of attacking with four submarines two fighters, the attacker could just go in with four submarines against two carriers, ignoring the defending fighters.

    But there’s any number of different situations, which may involve the defender deliberately taking destroyers as casualties early to manipulate how hits must be later allocated? Or attack/defense compositions could be given that are quite different to my example?

    Yes, absolutely. But again, we’re looking at submarines submerging, or submarines sort of leaping out of the ocean, and if a simple rule is to be made universal, which should be chosen? Or what other simple solution should there be?

    That kinda gives me different thoughts about. I think the role of the submarine as a surprise attack unit that is usually able to just avoid damage at all instead of being cannon fodder because its by balancing “unfortunately” the cheapest sea unit makes more sense.
    That said, ships should still have much more defensive capabilities against air units than they have now. Maybe giving +1 def against air, or a one time roll like an AA has.

    But I would like to stay as vanilla as possible. So maybe making the destroyers ability optional would be interesting as @vodot mentioned. Not sure how strongly this affects balancing though.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    The destroyer should be your cheap piece. They were the fodder of naval units. As mentioned I can post what I’ve been playing with. Could test yourself with just OOB rules and such with my piece tweaks.

  • Moved from Axis & Allies 1942 2nd Edition by  Panther Panther 
  • 2022 2021 '18 Customizer

    @aardvarkpepper said in [1942 2nd ] Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    I feel those suggested changes may have come out of discussion for another version of Axis and Allies. The changes are just way too good for Allies in 1942 2nd edition.

    I’m not saying 20 IPC battleships are a GOOD thing either. But I expect 14 is too much of a good thing.

    Yeah I shouldn’t have posted that table in this discussion or forum; it’s off-topic (cheaper/rebalance boats in general) and more directed at the larger/more open-ended games like G40.

  • 2022 2021 '18 Customizer

    @aardvarkpepper said in [1942 2nd ] Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    But again, we’re looking at submarines submerging, or submarines sort of leaping out of the ocean, and if a simple rule is to be made universal, which should be chosen? Or what other simple solution should there be?

    relevant RAW for subs in 42.2 is

    Cannot Be Hit by Air Units:
    When attacking or defending, hits scored by air units cannot be assigned to submarines unless
    there is a destroyer that is friendly to the air units in the battle.

    I think the simplest fix for the situation the OP describes is to make the following change:

    Cannot Be Hit by Air Units:
    When attacking or defending, hits scored by air units cannot be assigned to submarines unless
    there is a destroyer that is friendly to the air units in the battle and there are no surface
    warships friendly to the submarines remaining that can have those hits assigned to them.

    The two situations would then be

    1. Subs + no enemy destroyer = planes can’t hit subs
    2. Subs + enemy destroyer = planes can hit subs - but only once surface warships are hit/destroyed

    So subs could still be hunted and hit by A/C+DD groups, but they could no longer soak hits from aircraft in a mixed battle because in such a case they would now always be hit last. They retain their current ability to soak hits from surface ships and other subs, however.

    A problem with this change would be a case where an attacking group of ships and planes would want to hit subs before hitting enemy destroyers/other surface ships. Have you guys encountered such a case?

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    @vodot said in [1942 2nd ] Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    @aardvarkpepper said in [1942 2nd ] Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    But again, we’re looking at submarines submerging, or submarines sort of leaping out of the ocean, and if a simple rule is to be made universal, which should be chosen? Or what other simple solution should there be?

    relevant RAW for subs in 42.2 is

    Cannot Be Hit by Air Units:
    When attacking or defending, hits scored by air units cannot be assigned to submarines unless
    there is a destroyer that is friendly to the air units in the battle.

    The effect of this change would be that subs can still be hunted and hit by aircraft + DD groups, while not allowing them to soak hits from aircraft in a mixed battle because they will always be hit last in such a case. They retain their current ability to soak hits from surface ships and other subs.

    What do you mean by they will always be hit last ? Subs ?

    The problem is destroyers cost to much and subs to cheap.

  • 2022 2021 '18 Customizer

    @general-6-stars said in [1942 2nd ] Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    What do you mean by they will always be hit last ? Subs ?

    I mean that under my proposed rule change subs would always be hit last by any aircraft that could hit them. Subs could only be assigned hits from enemy aircraft if there were no surface ships eligible to receive those hits.

    Going back to the 1DD + 2FTR attacking 1BB + 6SS example, the defending subs could still be hit by the attacking aircraft - but only after the BB has been sunk (and providing the DD has survived that long).

    Currently per RAW, subs can soak aircraft hits as long as there’s also an enemy destroyer present (the gist of the original complaint from @Megatron). The attacker in the above example is forced to sub-hunt first (because of A&A’s defender-chosen Order-of-Loss (OOL) rules) - while the ignored BB shoots his sub-hunting planes out of the sky. If the attacker leaves his DD behind, this combat is suddenly correct - the fighters duel with the BB and ignore the subs.

    To rephrase the OP again, there shouldn’t be a case where an attacker is de-incentivized from bringing DDs into combat with subs out of fear that their DDs will enable the enemy’s subs to “leap out of the waves” (as @aardvarkpepper put it) to absorb hits from their attacking aircraft!

    My rule change represents what I think is a best of both worlds with one simple change - let the subs be hit by aircraft+DD groups while preventing them from soaking the damage from the aerial portion of a large combined air/naval battle.

    Making it based on OOL (order of loss) works well, I think, because OOL is not really relevant in the one situation where an a/c+DD group would WANT to hit subs - when sub-hunting/clearing sub groups. OOL isn’t important if subs are the only defending units!

    Does that make sense?

    At attacker that brings a DD + planes into a SZ with only enemy subs probably wants to sub hunt. That’s the RAI; he should be able to do that just like the OOB rules. However, an attacker bringing a DD + planes into a SZ with subs and a bunch of surface warships is definitely not sub-hunting - he is attacking a surface fleet! Sure, once he wipes out the fleet he will want to hunt the subs too; but that’s the correct OOL: he will want to hit the surface ships first. We shouldn’t penalize him for buying the DD by forcing every attack that contains a DD+A/C to sub-hunt before attacking the surface fleet.


  • @general-6-stars said in [1942 2nd ] Submarine/Air Unit rule actually a drawback?:

    The problem is destroyers cost to much and subs to cheap.

    I think thats the essence of the problem. In real life submarines are far more expensive than destroyers. But then their role is also less impactful in the game which kinda justifies the low cost.

    Giving surface ships AA capabilities would put more pressure on air units in naval battles. This would also reflect reality a bit better since ships were outfitted with countless anti air guns.

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