Subs and Aircraft not as leathal …

  • Historically, subs and aircrft were much more leathal than they are in AAG.  I suspect the game would not be as much fun if they were.  But can anyone direct me to variants that change this?  I’d like to give it a try.  I can’t just jack their hit probabilities because it would likely mess up the play balance.  This is why I am asking you folks 'cause you know there is more to it than just the hit probability table.  At least, I think you do.

    I had one idea about subs.  In addition to the problem of stealth, they are too vulnerable after they exercise their attack.  Subs did not attack with surface fleets backing them up.  But in AAG this seems necessary to keep them alive.  What if there were a new attack round for submarines just like aircraft.  But only subs and destroyers could attack in this phase.  There might be a detection dice roll, followed by either the subs first strike and the destroyers counter strike, or the sub withdraws before attacking, or the destroyer gets to attack before the sub gets to counter only against the destroyer.

    I think this could be used for both AAG and even AAR if given some study.  It probably doesn’t work quite the way I described it, but it sounds much more realistic.  I just bristle at the idea of battleships and aircraft carriers attacking subs.  Remember, some of us grew up thinking there were two kinds of navy ships … subs and targets.

  • Official Q&A

    I agree that subs and planes seem underpowered in the game.  However, we also need to not fall into the trap of making subs overpowered.  A lot of people tend to ascribe the abilities of modern submarines to WW-II ones.  The fact is that they were a lot more vulnerable to attack in those days.

    Here are a couple of submarine variants that I’ve come up with:

    Patrol Subs

    Hidden Sub Movement

    I’m also working on a variant to address the air power issue, but it will take a few more weeks of playtesting before I’m sure it hasn’t imbalanced the game.

  • Hey guys,

    I have trouble remembering all those extra rules, so I invented one simple rule I use with my friends that works okay.

    Any sub in any zone cannot be hit by any dice unless there is an enemy destroyer present in that zone. If there is an enemy destroyer present, roll and count the dice normally. If there is not an enemy destroyer present, roll and count the dice as if there were no submarines present in that zone.

    The submarines, however, move and attack normally under all circumstances. Its simple but still motivates both players to utilize escorts.

    What do you guys think about this?

  • Official Q&A

    Seems like a nice, simple rule to give subs a better chance at survival.  I like it (but not as much as I like mine!  😉).

  • in the order of destruction, the sub IS the last one to be destroyed in the fleet.  The point is that you don’t send out subs to be a killing machine on their own, but they are the first to attack because of the move phase.  It’s the roll of the dice gods that find their mark.

    Even if you have a rule about shooting and not shooting, than destroyers can hit the sub at anytime.  They’ve been equipped with active pinging to find the sub.

  • My big rub is that historically subs are the real terror of the sea (at least through WWII era).  The curious thing about subs is that the US employed theirs to attack mainly Japanese supply but the Japanese employed theirs to attack US capitol ships.  From a gaming perspective, subs can deny the use of the seas to the other player.  This can make the game less fun because the game could take on a two phase feel; first obtain an overwhelming advantage in subs, then fight the enemy.  A game like this would not be fun at all.  If the sub were given its true potential, something would have to be done to limit their numbers in the game.  On the other hand, I don’t recall if subs played a key roll in Guadalcanal, possibly because of operational commitments elsewhere in the Pacific.  I still prefer my proposal for a submarine phase to capture the flavor of the stealth of the submarine.  However, I have not play tested my proposal so it could alter the fun of the game for the worse.

    I’m trying to come up with a similar rule for aircraft, but it could be that they are much more nearly modeled than I am giving credit.  On the one hand, I know the Japanese and US forces had carrier groups operating near Guadalcanal but I don’t recall a significant carrier group battle such as Midway or Coral Sea during the Solomon Islands campaign.  And it could be that I am thinking too much of the significance of aircraft in the Battle of Midway, which may have less statistical significance than I might give it.

  • Both the Battles of the Eastern Solomons and the Santa Cruz island battles were carrier battles which were part of the Guadalcanal Campaign.

    We lost the Hornet in the Santa Cruz Battle and Nagumo was relieved of his command after the fight and the Japanese lost the Ryūjō at Eastern solomons. The biggest losses were to Japanese Air Crews and these two fights basically finished off the veterans.

    Well the Japanese Sub I-19 torpedoed and sunk the US Carrier Wasp operating south of the Solomons in support of the Guadalcanal campaign.

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