Sub v. sub combat clarification

  • 2007 AAR League

    The Revised rules say that both sides’ subs in opening fire simultaneously. But it also says to roll the attacking sub first.

    So does the defending sub still get to fire if the attacking sub hits and the defending sub is chosen as the casualty?

  • 2007 AAR League

    I think yes.  That is…

    1. Attacking sub fires.
    2. Move defender sub casualties to casualties section of battle board.
    3. Defending subs fire (including casualties). 
    4. Remove all sub casualties.
    5. Rest of attacker’s units fire.
    6. Move casualties to casualties section of battle board.
    7. Rest of defender’s units fire (including casualties).
    8. Remove all casualties.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I’ve always played it, and Flames of Europe and DAAK support me on this, that if the defending sub is hit by the attacking submarine, and no destroyer is present, it dies without firing a shot.

    What the rules are alluding too is that the attacking submarines fire.  Casualties are removed.  Defending submarines fire.  Casualties are removed.  Then combat proceeds normally.  That is, all submarines get to fire in opening fire, but only if they exist on their turn.

  • 2007 AAR League

    So we have some disagreement it seems. I’m with RJ, because Jennifer’s way has the effect of creating three stages of combat. If they fire simultaneously, I would think that both torpedoes are in the water and whether one hits has no effect on whether the other gets launched.

  • 2007 AAR League

    Common sense doesn’t always prevail in these rulesets, unfortunately  8-)  I’d like to hear more people weigh in on this clarification.

  • I always play they both fire. From what I remember it says all subs fire in the opening fire step, not attacking subs first then defending subs

  • Also on the FAQ at the avalon hill website it says all casualties are removed at the end of the opeing fire step

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I’d like to see where DM and Switch come in.

  • 2007 AAR League


    I’ve always played it, and Flames of Europe and DAAK support me on this, that if the defending sub is hit by the attacking submarine, and no destroyer is present, it dies without firing a shot.

    Well supports me  😄

  • 2007 AAR League

    i agree i would like to see what the mods. say.  but i believe they will say they both fire,  i had this issue a couple games ago where my uk sub attacked the japan sub in solomans,  daak rolled and they both got hits.  i siad how can that be if attacker hits there should be no return fire,   but the mods. went along with the daak. Â

  • 2007 AAR League

    Now I’m confused - you’re saying that DAAK allows both to fire. Jennifer said that DAAK backed her up though. How does TripleA do it?

  • Well, the way I read the rules is that they BOTH fire, and you have a “torpedoes in the water” situation, where even if the attacker hits, the defender’s “fish” is already heading for the target to either hit or miss based on the firing solution.

  • 2007 AAR League

    yes that is how daak rolls it. i do not know about flames of europe but the daak we use here to roll both subs fire at the same time. i don’t like that rule myself and when i play with my buddies subs that get hit do not return fire.

  • 2007 AAR League

    I just tried TripleA, jap sub v. UK sub. After both missing for three rounds, the attacking UK sub hit. TripleA then allowed the Jap sub still to roll (it actually does the rolls sequentially, not simultaneously), which also hit, and the SZ was left empty, both subs dead. Mutual kill.

    It seems to me the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of simultaneous opening fire. I consider this issue resolved unless someone has other evidence.

  • Page 15.  Both attacking and defending subs fire simultaneously.  (The attacking subs roll first, so the defender must allocate hits amongst defenders first.)

    The reference to “do not remove subs from the battle board” on page 16 indicates that subs are not DESTROYED after their opening round of fire, that is, they get to conduct opening fire each turn they survive.

    There is only one remove opening fire casualties phase per combat round, during which both attacking and defending sub inflicted casualties are removed.

    (edit) Remember that the game in question is Axis and Allies REVISED.  The original Axis and Allies used different sub rules, if I remember correctly.  (/edit)

    As far as LHTR goes, there is no indication that the functionality of sub casualty selection and removal has been changed from the original OOB/FAQ.

    The following is from the official FAQ at


    Subs have always been confusing. Can you summarize the changes?

    Here’s what you need to remember about subs.
    Every sub, regardless of whether it’s on the attacking or defending side, fires in the Opening Fire step of combat. That’s the only time a sub ever fires.
    Losses caused by attacking or defending subs are removed at the end of the Opening Fire step, before normal attack and defense rolls, unless the enemy has a destroyer present.
    If the enemy (attacker or defender) has a destroyer, then hits caused by your subs aren’t removed until the Remove Casualties step (step 6) of combat.
    In other words, subs work exactly the same for the attacker and the defender. Nothing, not even a destroyer, ever stops a sub from rolling its die (attack or defense) in the opening fire step. What a destroyer does do is let you keep your units that were sunk by enemy subs on the battle board until step 6, allowing them to fire back before going to the scrap heap.

    My sub attacks an enemy destroyer and hits it in the opening fire step. Does the destroyer get to shoot back?


    My sub attacks an enemy destroyer and aircraft carrier and scores a hit in the opening fire step. What happens?

    One of the two enemy ships is designated as taking the hit (moved to the casualty area of the battle board) but neither is removed from the battle board yet. Both get to shoot back. Let’s say they both miss (rotten luck). In step 6, the casualty is removed. If the destroyer is removed, then the sub has a chance to hit and sink the aircraft carrier in the next round before the carrier can return fire. If the carrier is removed, the sub may hit the destroyer in the next opening fire step but the destroyer is guaranteed a return shot no matter what, because it’s a destroyer.
    Assume that my attacking submarine submerges and then the surface ships of my attacking fleet are sunk. What happens next?
    The submarine surfaces at the end of the non-combat movement phase, regardless of what’s in the sea zone. The opponent can shoot at it again during his next combat phase, or move away from it during the combat move. (Nothing prevents the beginning of movement during the combat move, not even the presence of an enemy unit in your units’ space.)

    Can submarines attack or defend against fighters? What happens if a lone fighter attacks a sea zone that has four enemy subs in it? Can the subs defend themselves and destroy the fighter, or are the subs just sitting ducks until they submerge?

    Submarines can only hit sea units (p. 15). They must suffer a round of fire from the fighter before they can submerge.

    My sub attacks an enemy battleship. Can I sink it with my opening fire if I roll a 1 or 2, or does it still take two hits to sink a battleship?

    It always takes two hits to sink a battleship. Two subs attacking a battleship could sink it in opening fire if both hit. If only one sub attacks, the battleship is guaranteed to get a return shot no matter what because a single sub can’t cause more than one hit per round. If the battleship was hit in the first round and its return shot missed, then the sub could sink it by hitting it again on the second round. The battleship would not get an attack on that second round because it sinks right after the sub’s attack.

    An enemy sub attacks my sub. When can I submerge?

    In the Press Attack or Retreat step, same as always.

    An enemy sub attacks my sub. If I shoot back during the opening fire step, can I still submerge in the press attack or retreat step?

    Submarines are part of a large naval engagement. Do they get to fire during the opening fire step of every round, or only the first round?

    Every round.

    On the UK player’s first turn, he attacks my German sub with a fighter. He rolls and misses. My sub submerges. When does it resurface?

    At the end of the UK player’s non-combat movement.

    The evidence was right there.  Nobody reads the rules these days.

    That must be why I drink so much . . .  :lol:


  • I think I did say that I ahve “always read the rules as”  😛

  • 2007 AAR League

    I read the rules too, it just seemed ambiguous. After reading again though that in ordinary combat the attacker also rolls first, that makes it clear that the order of rolling is just for the sake of who selects casualties first.

  • 2007 AAR League

    The reason I posted here is that the issue came up in a game with CC. Our interpretations on reading the rules differed (we settled amicably) so I wanted to get some outside opinions.

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    newpaintbrush did exactly what I was going to do. Although I probably would have been lazy and only posted a link to the FAQ.

    Subs are kind of like AA fire- only it goes every round of combat and not just once. If you had a “flying Destroyer” all your planes hit by AA would still get to attack or defend.

    When we first moved to Revised we kept forgetting that there was a chance every round for subs to get a shot without having to suffer return fire.

  • 2007 AAR League


    When we first moved to Revised we kept forgetting that there was a chance every round for subs to get a shot without having to suffer return fire.

    Wasn’t this part of the rule the same in Classic?  I thought the only difference was the destroyers and defending sub fire?

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    I think we could probably devote a whole board to the sub rules. I think in Classic (bot many games of Classic under the belt went to that backwards via Europe) subs could come into a zone, shoot, and leave without being shot at. Not sure on that though.

    Our problem was we were not conducting opening fire every round that subs were still on the battle board. We would have opening shots then treat them just like any other naval units.

    The sub rules are different in all four versions of the game with subs that much I’m very clear on. The sub rules for Revised I’m very clear on because I think they are the cleanest.

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