Naval Units: what is worth buying?



  • two votes per poster: one for what to buy and one for what not to buy

    I guess we all agree that the best fleet is one that combines different units
    but, in Revised, Battleships were too expensive for what they delivered
    subs, on the other hand, were very cheap and many players liked to build massive sub-fleets (or that’s what I’ve been seeing playing TripleA)
    Carriers with fighters are the best defensive units, but they where expensive

    in AA50, naval units are cheaper.
    Battleships, especially, are even cheaper in relative terms
    Subs are even cheaper than before, some of their abilities are increased, but their defensive capability is reduced

    so the question is:
    is there a ‘triumph’ naval unit?
    does buy Battleships makes any sense?

    My own taken is that Cruisers are worthless: I would buy 3 Destroyers instead of 2 Cruisers (roll thee dices at 2, instead of 2 at 3… they add the same but can kill more and sustain more damage… plus their anti-sub capacity).
    I think that Battleships may worth buying now that they’re cheaper… but subs are probably still the best choice



  • It really depends.  Subs seem to benefit Germany + USA the most.  Carriers + fighters offer the best protection to UK transports from air attacks.

    The safe bet is destroyers.  You can never go wrong buying them.  They’re like the infantry of the waters.



  • @TG:

    The safe bet is destroyers.  You can never go wrong buying them.  They’re like the infantry of the waters.

    I like thinking what I get for the same price to make my comparisons

    So I was thinking… for 20 IPC you can have:
    1 Battleship
    or
    2 Subs + 1 Destroyer

    latter option is clearly better:
    It gives you much more offensive fire-power: 3 dice rolling at 2 = 6, against one dice rolling at 4
    For defensive fire power the odds are similar: 2 dice rolling at 1 + 1 dice rolling at 2 = 4; but you have the chance of getting more than one hit (the limit for the Battleship)
    Now, the Battleship has a can take two hits… but 2 subs and 1 destroyer can take three hits

    the only advantage the battleship has over the 2 subs + 1 destroyer pack is it’s capacity to naval bombardment… which doesn’t count in a navy battle



  • Personally I prefer buying subs and destroyers (with transports for later use) for my first 2 turns. Just to have some numbers. I will buy cruisers if I plan on landing somewhere. And by then I dont mind spending the extra money on them because I already have enough of the other units. From there I will throw in the odd carrier and fighters if i can afford it. So far in AA50 I have only purchased a battleship with the USA. I just couldn’t justify buying one for anyone else, except for the game I played Japan, I had ‘plans’ to purchase one on J4, but other problems arose so…



  • @Gallo:

    @TG:

    The safe bet is destroyers.  You can never go wrong buying them.  They’re like the infantry of the waters.

    I like thinking what I get for the same price to make my comparisons

    So I was thinking… for 20 IPC you can have:
    1 Battleship
    or
    2 Subs + 1 Destroyer

    latter option is clearly better:
    It gives you much more offensive fire-power: 3 dice rolling at 2 = 6, against one dice rolling at 4
    For defensive fire power the odds are similar: 2 dice rolling at 1 + 1 dice rolling at 2 = 4; but you have the chance of getting more than one hit (the limit for the Battleship)
    Now, the Battleship has a can take two hits… but 2 subs and 1 destroyer can take three hits

    the only advantage the battleship has over the 2 subs + 1 destroyer pack is it’s capacity to naval bombardment… which doesn’t count in a navy battle

    The advantage of a battleship in the fleet is that it’s a free hit… you don’t take any net IPC loss for taking a battleship hit.  That’s not a reason to buy one of course, just a reason to keep em around…



  • I think that AC and DD are the best investment for a defensive fleet. DD are the cannon fodder for naval battles and are also needed for dealing with subs, they are cheap and with good combat values for their price. AC are still the a good defensive addiction to a fleet, moreover the fighters on board benefit from more flexibility in term of range of operation and are always “detachable” from the fleet if needed for land battle or when the sea are free from enemy units. A Task Force composed of DDs, ACs and Fighters is not easily destroyed.

    On the offense I think that subs have to be consiedered a serious threat but DD may really ruin their day. Morover a fleet that lacks cannon fodder may be defeated by air power alone (no TRNs and no Subs absorbing hits means that hits have to be assigned to CA, AC and BB). So I am starting to consider that subs and aircrafts are the cheapest way to deal with enemy fleets. For this reason it could be possible to build a strong defensive fleet leaving the offensive role in the naval war to subs and aircrafts.

    I am slightly unhappy with the Cruiser ability, they should get a more distinctive ability. Right now they are like the old DD without the ASW capabilities. Naturally it can bombard before an ampibhious assault, but also BB do the same but the real interesting ability of the BB is the free hit absorbing. Right now I am not inclined to buy a lot of Cruisers.



  • I’m with Romulus on the CV issue, especially since most nations have a surplus of fighters which gives more bang for the buck; for 14 IPCs you would get 10 defence value if you land two fighters on them (and even 34 IPCs for 10 def+3 hits is really good). CV is the backbone of any fleet in AA50, and the best defence vs. air attacks which is the MAIN threat vs. fleets now that bombers are so cheap.

    Destroyers-subs are connected and I don’t think buying DDs if the enemy has no subs is worth it. DDs can never help out on land and therefore CAs are better, and even better CV+ftr if you can afford it since fighters can then even defend your land territory such as France or Italy or West US.

    Subs on the other hand are cheap attack units and if you already have a CV defended fleet buying a horde of subs might break your opponent. Now with subs so cheap surprise shots WILL have an effect in that if the defender has DDs they must be kept alive and then the enemy will be FORCED to take capital ships as losses rather than cheap DDs or FTRs! Also there is a possibility for Germany to buy subs and keep as an attack force together with aircraft, either in the '41 scenario if USA goes vs. Japan or in the '42 scenario if you get some Japan lend-lease air units (USA can block a UK invasion fleet in English channelby a DD in North Sea, so you need Japan to destroy the DD and this is only possible in '42, or in '41 Italy could kill a UK DD block but this won’t work if USA is going forward due to the play order). This is thanks to the limit of attacking air vs. subs which means you may keep subs in Baltic Sea unlike all earlier A&A editions!  🙂

    BBs will be the less common buy I think, they are still too expensive for most situations. USA will buy them if he wants to rival Japan in the Pacific, but only after one or two CV buys, that’s about it I think!



  • depends on what you want to do…

    cruisers are great for latter part of the game considering you play on allies side. you will strike the units on the beaches whom cannot defend anymore.

    but still I think that you have to mix up units to have a strong navy.

    The best german fleet you can have though is a bunch of planes and a nasty pile of subs.

    But just like Romulus said cruisers kinda suck, and if you are the Italian dude and you loose yours early on you start crying I guess…



  • DDs are a must cheap/defending against subs

    BBs because the free hit

    Cruisers would be an option if you don’t have enough money to buy a BB, but are to fragile

    CVs seem a powerful choice if you stack the with fighters, but once the fighters are gone…

    Subs - they don’t seem to influence my games - ever…



  • @Richter:

    CVs seems a powerful choice if you stack the with fighters, but once the fighters are gone…

    …you buy 2 more for only 20ipcs and get 2x 3/4units instead of spending 24 and getting 2x 3/3 units which cant help out on the land after the sea is clear.

    The AC doesnt just ‘seem’ to be a powerful choice in my mind.



  • Battelships make up the cost difference of a cruiser after the first naval battle. That is if you assume Destoyers are the new cannon fodder. Each consecutive battle, battleships are paying for themselves. absorbing hits is the best way to maximize your TUV trade in naval battles!!



  • @ShredZ:

    The AC doesnt just ‘seem’ to be a powerful choice in my mind.

    It’s pretty powerfull in Pacific ocean



  • The only bad sea-unit is … the cruiser! The rest is fairly balanced, let’s take the DD as the standard sea unit:
    sub = cheap naval hit, worthless if no enemy ships are around, bad defense, superb at keeping the opponent’s navy from spreading out, immune to air fleets => totally worth the cost if enemy ships are a problem. I would advise them to any nation except USSR.
    DD = cheap naval hit, neutralises enemy subs, can hit air, 2/2 is decent => The bulk of an all-round fleet should be this guy combined with subs
    AC = expensive naval hit, 1/2 is very low, but allows ftrs to engage in sea combat, is multifunctional: even after the enemy ships are gone, it still has the bonus of extra mobility for you’re fighters. => If you need to get fighters across a big distance (pacific!), or fast defense (with help of ftrs)
    BB = moderate naval hit: after 1 battle, the BB has repayed itself in terms of cost/hit (it still has 2 hits, even after taking 1), and you get an extra shore bombardment on top => 1 BB is always handy when waging a sea war, because of the free hit…
    Cru = expensive naval hit, can shore bombard, 3/3 is good, but 3 DD’s are better than 2 Cru’s because of the extra hit. => only good if a lot of shore bombardments are needed, otherwise, buy a battleship or DD’s. Note that for each shore bombard, 1 land unit is required, so shore bombardment doesn’t repay itself the way it did in revised… So how many times will one actually use the shore bombardment? => I don’t like the Cru… make it cost 10 🙂

    :oops: Just saw Romulus posted the same arguments in essay-form… Aw well, this is a summary then  😐


  • Customizer

    The worst has got to be the sub, I’m used to classic A&A and ever since AAR and the spin-offs the sub has become a complex, not worth it, pain in the ass. To the point where I don’t even buy them. Mind you, I just started getting back into the game and it’s been a while.



  • @HolKann:

    The only bad sea-unit is … the cruiser! The rest is fairly balanced, let’s take the DD as the standard sea unit:
    sub = cheap naval hit, worthless if no enemy ships are around, bad defense, superb at keeping the opponent’s navy from spreading out, immune to air fleets => totally worth the cost if enemy ships are a problem. I would advise them to any nation except USSR.
    DD = cheap naval hit, neutralises enemy subs, can hit air, 2/2 is decent => The bulk of an all-round fleet should be this guy combined with subs
    AC = expensive naval hit, 1/2 is very low, but allows ftrs to engage in sea combat, is multifunctional: even after the enemy ships are gone, it still has the bonus of extra mobility for you’re fighters. => If you need to get fighters across a big distance (pacific!), or fast defense (with help of ftrs)
    BB = moderate naval hit: after 1 battle, the BB has repayed itself in terms of cost/hit (it still has 2 hits, even after taking 1), and you get an extra shore bombardment on top => 1 BB is always handy when waging a sea war, because of the free hit…
    Cru = expensive naval hit, can shore bombard, 3/3 is good, but 3 DD’s are better than 2 Cru’s because of the extra hit. => only good if a lot of shore bombardments are needed, otherwise, buy a battleship or DD’s. Note that for each shore bombard, 1 land unit is required, so shore bombardment doesn’t repay itself the way it did in revised… So how many times will one actually use the shore bombardment? => I don’t like the Cru… make it cost 10 🙂

    :oops: Just saw Romulus posted the same arguments in essay-form… Aw well, this is a summary then  😐

    Yeah! You have explained better than me what I tried to say about ACs: flexibility.
    ACs great advangages, in fact, is that fighters may be used with an increased benefit for range and mobility, and once the sea war is finished they can leave the fleet going to combat on the ground.



  • toblerone77,

    The worst has got to be the sub, I’m used to classic A&A and ever since AAR and the spin-offs the sub has become a complex, not worth it, pain in the a**. To the point where I don’t even buy them. Mind you, I just started getting back into the game and it’s been a while.

    Agreed.  It’s such a turnoff when I see Larry Harris constantly tweaking the rules for subs – making them worse, not better – that people just got fed up with that unit.  This time around subs MIGHT seem like a worthwhile investment, but there are so many scars of Harris butchering the boat.  Simplicity please.



  • I consider the sub rules in Anniversary better than the rules of other A&A. Sub is a particular ship and deserve particular rules. Moreover I do not see them difficult to learn nor I believe that sub in Classic are better than in Anniversary.
    The problem in Anniversary is not the sub the problem is: one DD able to counter the ability on any sub…



  • I like the new sub rules.  It will force a lot of players to pay attention to the naval game and be prepared for balance and alternatives.  A lot of players are just tank commanders in AA Revised.

    Here are the most important items that I think will affect subs.
    1.  A player may not have enough IPCs to have enough DD’s in all of the correct places to counter subs.
    2.  2nd and 3rd rounds of a naval battle will be more critical if subs are involved and you lose your DD’s.
    3.  subs might be moved during non combat after a DD threat has been neutralized and the sub is in a better postion for the following turn while not subject to attack in the meantime.
    4.  DD’s are subject to air attack  thus they might not be forward deployed without other assets, while subs will be.
    5.  need a DD to hit a sub with air power
    6. Subs are cheap.


  • Customizer

    The problem is that they’ve been tweaked way too much and yet they haven’t ever really addressed the effect of submarines on commerce.

    On another note when I used to play Iron Blitz my favorite navies had lots of DDs and ACs.

    Again I haven’t played AA50 yet, but in AAR subs are just no fun for me unless radical house rules are used for them.



  • a few house rules have been mentioned with subs in other threads

    i think my favourites are one DD can detect and negate only one subs first strike and submerge, and the allies lose 1 IPC for every axis sub that is on the board at the end of each round


  • Customizer

    Yeah I’ve done stuff similar to that. After doing some reading around here I see alot of folks thinking along the same lines. I think the root cause of subs not being so hot is that the added destroyers to other AA games as, I suspect…a gimmick, without thinking it through well enough. Now it looks like DDs will be attack capable cannon fodder and the no defense TRN ? Well I’ll have to see how it all plays out in reality.

    I think they should’ve had convoy zones from AAE incorperated into AA50. Let subs defend against air, and kept the 1 DEF for TRNs.



  • i’ve never played any of the off-shoot games (being AAE, AAP, and AAG). what do these ‘convoy zones’ entail?



  • I am happy with the no defense TRNs and with the DD as backbone of the fleet.

    Gaining the uper hand on the sea is no more a question of how many TRNs one have in a fleet. TRNs where too good as they were: amphibious landing capability, transport to friendly territories, cannon fodder and also defend at 1! Naval battle were fought by the warships not by the transport ships. A single ship doing all the task is too much Risk-like IMHO.

    Now, I see the need for a more balanced fleet with each ship aimed to a task. Only the DD is slightly “overpowered” in terms of abilities. Before we toss in house rules, however, we should really test the gameplay.


  • Customizer

    It’s been along time since I played AAE. But there were SZs that you could capture that took away money from the allies, just like a land territory.



  • Being a battleship junkie I go all battleships, and usually I play Japan, so with the 41 setup I have 3 CVs to boot. I will build 1 DD for its anti submarine ability but basically only BBs, and I have never been let down in this new edition. My usual opponent loves a good naval battle so he goes all navy with the US. He has tried many combinations of ships against me but my old two hit ironsides have always pulled through

    Speaking now, a little more objectively, I don’t see a worth for cruisers. When I am playing I want to build them, they are new and exciting (I don’t have guadalcanal so this is my first exposure to them) But running it in my head, battleships seem so much more worth while when you are already putting that much down for a naval ship.


Log in to reply
 

20th Anniversary Give Away

In January 2000 this site came to life and now we're celebrating our 20th Anniversary with a prize giveaway of 30+ prizes. See this link for the list of prizes and winners.
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys
T-shirts, Hats, and More

Suggested Topics

  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 3
  • 32
  • 16
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

48
Online

14.8k
Users

35.5k
Topics

1.4m
Posts