• '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Also, the American’s in World War II invented a technique called “Skip Bombing” where the bomber would basically throw the bomb out of it’s cargo bay, let it skip like a stone across the waves and impact an enemy ship.

    I don’t know if it can account for any significant damage to the enemy or even if it was employed on a large scale at all.  I just remember from AFROTC that it was invented by an American Air Corps pilot in the early 1940s or maybe late 1930s.

    Also, America at least, employed bombers in significant numbers in the Atlantic to locate and destroy German U-Boats.  The bombers would use sonar buoys to find them, and then drop depth charges from their bays.  It was significantly faster and cheaper then sending out thousands of destroyers to cover the same area.

    However, this is a game, not a recreation of history.  If this was a recreation of history, then the axis would start in 1942 and never rise to power beyond their initial territories.  We don’t want to recreate history too well, but rather make the game more enjoyable.  Given that, I think it might be best suited to just exclude bombers from naval combat.  Not only do you negate the cost benefit of a bomber vs a pair of destroyers or a cruiser, but you also negate the effect of heavy bombers on fleets as well.

  • Moderator

    @Cmdr:

    However, this is a game, not a recreation of history.  If this was a recreation of history, then the axis would start in 1942 and never rise to power beyond their initial territories.  We don’t want to recreate history too well, but rather make the game more enjoyable.  Given that, I think it might be best suited to just exclude bombers from naval combat.  Not only do you negate the cost benefit of a bomber vs a pair of destroyers or a cruiser, but you also negate the effect of heavy bombers on fleets as well.

    See, I’d go the other route and continue to allow it for simplicity.

    Although, I think it might be cool to package the game with “Basic” Rules (think 2nd-3rd Ed combat) and then a set of “Advanced” or “Historical” Rules (think AA50, maybe add anything else that might be unrealistic etc).
    Make these indepth additions legitimate optional rules (kind of like tech), but also allow the simplified combat for new players or people that may just want to sit down for a game and not worry about can a bomber really kill a sub or needing a dd to see a sub, etc.


  • Did Bombers have any significant impact upon navies in WWII?

    YES.

    Jennifer already beat me to it, but bombers had a HUGE role attacking enemy navies, especially in the Pacific.  The role of skip bombing and dive bombing were two crucial elements in American tactical superiority over the Japanese shipping.  I’m can’t provide exact numbers, but medium bombers accounted for a large percentage of enemy shipping lost.  Search the Battle of Bismark Sea for an example of tactical of bombing when employed effectively.

    Also, I believe the Luftwaffe had a role in sinking Allied shipping other than just the condor bomber.  Much less so, since they simply didn’t have the resources to commit to a land and sea operation at the time.

    Personally, I don’t like the idea of air power not being able to attack naval units.  It limits the game and makes it less interesting, as well as being ahistorical.


  • These I think are the main reasons the cheapness of bombers won’t upset the game:

    1. Bombers also do SBR, so throwing them at navies means you lose one turn of SBR and also might lose the bombers. Germany has bombed Russia with SBR very effectively in some of the games I’ve played, for example.
    2. Transports are still needed for UK, USA and Japan to win the game. I actually think attacking over the Pacific vs. Alaska/West US might be the best strat for Japan, and then just land + air units + ICs won’t do it. You need lots of naval units to protect your transports= bombers won’t replace ships!
    3. Air force is Germany’s main way of countering a KGF. Subs are not easy to use and any surface ships will probably be blown out of the water. So Germany being able to destroy Allied fleets is pretty much necessary otherwise it will just be a sitting duck waiting for SBR and invasions to wear it down.
    4. Italy with NOs will get very strong if you can’t put them down, so cheap bombers here will be a counterbalance to an otherwise possible game-balance-upsetting big Italy.

    Historically, enough has been said. The demise of the battleship was performed by aircraft.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Let me clarify, what I am saying is it might be beneficial to game play to prevent BOMBERS from attacking naval assets at sea.  Fighters would still be available both on offense and defense.

    The only reason I am suggesting that bombers be limited to land only combat is because the bomber unit is significantly cheaper than it used to be after getting a 20% off discount.  Coupled with its range, range of uses and damage potential it almost seems unfair to have them in the same battle with other units.

    Instead of raising the price up to 14 IPC (a much more reasonable price in my opinion) or even back to 15 IPC each, or trying to reduce the costs of naval units to ridiculously low levels to compensate, we could simply write a tournament rule that bombers cannot engage in naval combat.

    This might even make submarines more valuable as assets to attack unprotected shipping in the back shipping lanes, now that bombers wouldn’t be allowed to exploit their long range and attack those assets, while submarines can ignore most surface vessels and slip through to attack anyway.


  • The Japanese also used the Betties to bomb ally shipping.


  • Let me clarify, what I am saying is it might be beneficial to game play to prevent BOMBERS from attacking naval assets at sea.  Fighters would still be available both on offense and defense.

    Allow me to clarify,
    I believe restricting Bombers, Fighters, or any combination of the two would have a Negative imapct on the game.  I believe it will limit the options given to players when planning out their combat phase and would stagnate air power to a degree.  Furthermore, I believe it throws any notion of combined arms, at a tactical level, out the window.


  • i’ve never had a problem with bombers being ‘overly’ used in killing fleets. it happens, but not so much that i’d ever contemplate denying them that option, changing their price, etc. the multiple uses for bombers just makes them a good purchase in general

    that said, i really would be worrying about a players sanity if that’s all they purchased. mixed buys make for a good game

    if you’re so worried about it, make your own house-rule and be done with it. i’d suggest upping the price again, rather than just saying no to naval combat. poor bombers  😐

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Tin,

    Thing is, in AA50 it is much easier to build a massive bomber force and sink anything in the water than it is to build ships.  This results in no ships.

    That’s why it would be better to eliminate bombers from naval combat.  You can have all the fighters in the world you want too, their price has not changed.  But bombers are just too cheap to be viable at sea without disrupting the balance.


  • I see everybody saying bombers were used to hurt enemy shipping… is there even any enemy shipping in Axis and Allies?

    Were they used extensively in all out naval warfare, to the extent where they wouldn’t have been just an accessory to a fighter squadron but a significant force?

    I don’t know, I always pictured the bombers in Axis and Allies as carpet-bombing land machines, not things that go after boats.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    I have to agree with Rakeman.  I always pictured fighters as both fighters and scout planes and small/medium bombers while bombers were the big nasties that flew way up in the sky, had belly gunners and generally made life a living hell for anyone living in a city either through firebombing or other means.

    I never really pictured them being a machine used for sinking ships.  That’s why I always figured they had a defense value of 1, not 2 or 3, because they were not equipped to handle being attacked, only to bring death to the enemy from way up in the clouds.

    But don’t take that to mean I don’t ever want to see bombers in naval combat.  I have no problem with them in all the other major editions of the game (AAR, Classic, etc) they just seem over powered with the huge cost reduction they got.

    I guess an alternative would be 2 hit Aircraft Carriers to force the enemy to build that many more bombers to sink a fleet and thus restore the cost. /shrug


  • I see everybody saying bombers were used to hurt enemy shipping… is there even any enemy shipping in Axis and Allies?

    In the board game abstraction that we call A&A, the answer is Yes – they’re transports.

    Were they used extensively in all out naval warfare, to the extent where they wouldn’t have been just an accessory to a fighter squadron but a significant force?

    Yes.  One fine example would be the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse.  By bombers – and these were capital ships!

    I don’t know, I always pictured the bombers in Axis and Allies as carpet-bombing land machines, not things that go after boats.

    The problem with Axis and Allies is that the pieces can confuse people sometimes.  You look at the USA and UK and see B-29s and Lancasters.  These must be heavy bombers!  But then you look at Japan’s bomber and say, “That’s a Betty Bomber!”  These must be medium bombers!  That’s true.  And it’s also false.  Yes, those are the bombers represented in this game.  But also remember, these pieces are just abstractions and represent the bomber arm of air power as a whole.  So a more “correct” way of looking at it is each bomber represents a medium, light, or heavy bomber or perhaps a combination of all three.

  • Customizer

    @TG:

    I see everybody saying bombers were used to hurt enemy shipping… is there even any enemy shipping in Axis and Allies?

    In the board game abstraction that we call A&A, the answer is Yes – they’re transports.

    Were they used extensively in all out naval warfare, to the extent where they wouldn’t have been just an accessory to a fighter squadron but a significant force?

    Yes.  One fine example would be the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse.  By bombers – and these were capital ships!

    I don’t know, I always pictured the bombers in Axis and Allies as carpet-bombing land machines, not things that go after boats.

    The problem with Axis and Allies is that the pieces can confuse people sometimes.  You look at the USA and UK and see B-29s and Lancasters.  These must be heavy bombers!  But then you look at Japan’s bomber and say, “That’s a Betty Bomber!”  These must be medium bombers!  That’s true.  And it’s also false.  Yes, those are the bombers represented in this game.  But also remember, these pieces are just abstractions and represent the bomber arm of air power as a whole.  So a more “correct” way of looking at it is each bomber represents a medium, light, or heavy bomber or perhaps a combination of all three.

    Yup.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @Cmdr:

    Also, the American’s in World War II invented a technique called “Skip Bombing” where the bomber would basically throw the bomb out of it’s cargo bay, let it skip like a stone across the waves and impact an enemy ship.

    I don’t know if it can account for any significant damage to the enemy or even if it was employed on a large scale at all.  I just remember from AFROTC that it was invented by an American Air Corps pilot in the early 1940s or maybe late 1930s.

    Also, America at least, employed bombers in significant numbers in the Atlantic to locate and destroy German U-Boats.  The bombers would use sonar buoys to find them, and then drop depth charges from their bays.  It was significantly faster and cheaper then sending out thousands of destroyers to cover the same area.

    However, this is a game, not a recreation of history.  If this was a recreation of history, then the axis would start in 1942 and never rise to power beyond their initial territories.  We don’t want to recreate history too well, but rather make the game more enjoyable.  Given that, I think it might be best suited to just exclude bombers from naval combat.  Not only do you negate the cost benefit of a bomber vs a pair of destroyers or a cruiser, but you also negate the effect of heavy bombers on fleets as well.

    Ah, this is what I was looking for.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @Cmdr:

    Let me clarify, what I am saying is it might be beneficial to game play to prevent BOMBERS from attacking naval assets at sea.  Fighters would still be available both on offense and defense.

    The only reason I am suggesting that bombers be limited to land only combat is because the bomber unit is significantly cheaper than it used to be after getting a 20% off discount.  Coupled with its range, range of uses and damage potential it almost seems unfair to have them in the same battle with other units.

    Instead of raising the price up to 14 IPC (a much more reasonable price in my opinion) or even back to 15 IPC each, or trying to reduce the costs of naval units to ridiculously low levels to compensate, we could simply write a tournament rule that bombers cannot engage in naval combat.

    This might even make submarines more valuable as assets to attack unprotected shipping in the back shipping lanes, now that bombers wouldn’t be allowed to exploit their long range and attack those assets, while submarines can ignore most surface vessels and slip through to attack anyway.

    Yes, this is the same conclusion I have come to.  Don’t forget, THREE techs that all apply to bombers, and cumulatively.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @Rakeman:

    I see everybody saying bombers were used to hurt enemy shipping… is there even any enemy shipping in Axis and Allies?

    Were they used extensively in all out naval warfare, to the extent where they wouldn’t have been just an accessory to a fighter squadron but a significant force?

    I don’t know, I always pictured the bombers in Axis and Allies as carpet-bombing land machines, not things that go after boats.

    Exactly.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @Cmdr:

    I have to agree with Rakeman.  I always pictured fighters as both fighters and scout planes and small/medium bombers while bombers were the big nasties that flew way up in the sky, had belly gunners and generally made life a living hell for anyone living in a city either through firebombing or other means.

    I never really pictured them being a machine used for sinking ships.  That’s why I always figured they had a defense value of 1, not 2 or 3, because they were not equipped to handle being attacked, only to bring death to the enemy from way up in the clouds.

    But don’t take that to mean I don’t ever want to see bombers in naval combat.  I have no problem with them in all the other major editions of the game (AAR, Classic, etc) they just seem over powered with the huge cost reduction they got.

    Absolutely.

    I guess an alternative would be 2 hit Aircraft Carriers to force the enemy to build that many more bombers to sink a fleet and thus restore the cost. /shrug

    Not an adequate fix.  Many times, 12 IPC bombers are used to terrorize small fleets that don’t have CVs.  I like the “no bomber attacks on naval” fix.


  • I am somewhat torn on this issue, 12 IPC bombers for Germany keeps atlantic shipping honest, it is almost like it represents the real effect of u-boats in the war: transports need protection. On the other hand, cheap air tends to stunt naval tactics which is a shame considering how much of the board is ocean, especially the Pacific side. I ould like to see some form of AA defence for fleets, either certain ships each get a shot at incoming air or you can use an AA from a transport or some such thing.

  • '16 '15 '10

    Interesting discussion.  One thing to note about bombers is they are effective for both Allies and Axis so they don’t actually throw off game balance unless some power researches heavies.

    This game seems meant to have a more historical feel than previous versions, and it succeeds in that Western Axis navies are no match for Allied air.  And while Germany can use air to effectively ward off Allied fleets, there is always a trade-off between using air to deadzone Western sea zones and using them air to wear down Russia.

    Solutions?  I’d like to see some changes to subs….  Either lower the price to 5, or boost it back up to 7-8 and give them the ability to do economic damage.

    For me, SBR is a big reason I buy bombers.  If I didn’t SBR I’d probably buy way more fighters and less bombers.  SBR gives the bomber something to do every turn, which makes it a much better investment than naval units.  If naval units also had the ability to do economic damage (as they should, if they are in an enemy convoy zone) then buying them would be more logical.


  • I really do not see bombers as a problem, rather, the tech that bombers can get is broken.  Destroyers always smash bombers IPC for IPC, as do loaded carriers.  Cruisers are another problem all together as I feel there cost is way outta line to begin with, but if you need fleet defense on the cheap avoid them.  Heavy bombers are still the most overpowered insane tech in the game.  It is almost back to classic levels with the price reduction on the bomber.  Add in LRA and/or paratroopers, and bombers are broken.  I play on tripleA though and usually avoid tech so this is typically not a problem for me.  The best alternative is to grant a tech, say radar, to improve boats vs air.  Perhaps with radar you get 1 aa shot for free with boats vs air, or maybe just cruisers or something.  Shipyards is not enough, or let shipyards reduce destroyers down to 6 IPCs, as 2 destroyers would then stand some chance against a heavy bomber I think.


  • The only buying bombers with Uk and such is pretty evil for Germany and Italy espescially if you throw in Heavy Bombers and long-range aircraft it gets worse but Radar and Aircraft carriers would help defeat the bomber menece.

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