Latest optional rules; escorting fighters & closed bosporus



  • Are they good rules? fun, balancing, handicap, realism, …?

    http://www.harrisgamedesign.com/bb2/viewtopic.php?t=1759

    They seem to add a touch of realism. I regard Axis & allies as a wargame, WWII flavoured. It is not an simulation. However some of the basic options of the leaders of second world war are the same ( Attack russia or not, Germany or Japan first?, Pacific or Europe?..) Tinkering with the rules ( who hasn 't? ) leads easily to unbalanced games. The game has to be kept balanced and fun to play (even with the crazy, unhistorical moves).

    Closed Bosporus: a handicap for the axis. It limits the options for Italy. And the other straits? Implementing rules for those as well seriously alters the game (esp. Gibraltar & Kattegat & The Channel and also Kra, Hormuz) If you feel that Russia is too weak you ca use it. (IMHO Russia is handicapped with the defense of three factories and very vulnerable in 1942).

    Maybe you can consider “running the gauntlet”-rules when trying to force straits: More hazardous if AA and air units are present in the adjacent land territories. (remember the channel dash of the Kriegsmarine, Das Boot and the Dardanelles disaster in WWI).But then there is still a neutral Turkey.

    Escorting fighters: On of the things i missed in A&A is not to have the option to wage a “Battle of the atlantic” and a strategic air offensive. The rules for submarines are the best yet but still there is something missing. Submarines schould be freely on the prowl; a few are pain in the ass, a lot are potentiol war winners. bothe sides have to devote substantial resources if one side decides to wage this war. The same for a bombing campaign.
    The suggested optional rules for fighter escorts are not very clear. I quote them here. The boxes below are from me.

    Greetings
    EL STEF

    Additional Optional Rules
    The following are additional optional rules that can be used in your games if all players agree.

    Dardanelles Closed to Sea Movement
    In order to maintain its neutrality, Turkey closed the narrow straights linking the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, permitting no naval passage by any belligerent nation on either side. No sea units may move into or out of sea zone 16, however air units may move through this sea zone freely.

    Fighter Escorts and Interceptors
    Fighters can participate in strategic bombing raids. Attacking fighters may escort and protect the bombers, and they can originate from any territory, range permitting. Any or all defending fighters based in a territory that is strategically bombed can participate in the defense of the industrial complex. The number of fighters that will defend is decided after the attacker’s Combat Movement phase is completed and before the Combat phase begins.
    After antiaircraft fire is resolved against the attacking air units, if there are any defending fighters an air battle occurs between the attacking and defending air units. This combat is resolved in the same way as a normal combat, with a few exceptions. The fighters have an attack value of 1 and a defense value of 2, and the bombers have no attack value. In addition, the combat lasts for only one round. After the battle, any surviving bombers proceed to carry out the raid as normal.
    Fighters participating as either an escort or a defender cannot participate in other battles during that turn. Defending interceptors must return to their original territory. If that territory is captured, the fighters may move one space to land in a friendly territory or on a friendly aircraft carrier. This movement occurs after all of the attacker’s combats have been resolved and before the attackers Noncombat Move phase begins. If no such landing space is available, the fighters are lost.

    | 1 ) Attacker is the player carrying out the bombing raid
    FTR STR
    Attacker 1 -
    Defender 2 -

    | 2 ) Attacker is the player defending his factories (attacking the bombers, defended by escorts)
    FTR STR
    Attacker 1 -
    Defender 2 1

    |

    |



  • The SBR Escorting Rules definitely reduces (if not totally eliminates) SBR’s from the game.

    Others can debate which side/country that helps more/less.

    I imagine in a very long game (12+ rounds) SBRs would become more and more ‘in-play’ as supply lines lengthened and initial expansion was reduced in the ETO.


  • Official Q&A

    @El:

    The suggested optional rules for fighter escorts are not very clear. I quote them here. The boxes below are from me.

    Greetings
    EL STEF

    Additional Optional Rules
    The following are additional optional rules that can be used in your games if all players agree.

    Dardanelles Closed to Sea Movement
    In order to maintain its neutrality, Turkey closed the narrow straights linking the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, permitting no naval passage by any belligerent nation on either side. No sea units may move into or out of sea zone 16, however air units may move through this sea zone freely.

    Fighter Escorts and Interceptors
    Fighters can participate in strategic bombing raids. Attacking fighters may escort and protect the bombers, and they can originate from any territory, range permitting. Any or all defending fighters based in a territory that is strategically bombed can participate in the defense of the industrial complex. The number of fighters that will defend is decided after the attacker’s Combat Movement phase is completed and before the Combat phase begins.
    After antiaircraft fire is resolved against the attacking air units, if there are any defending fighters an air battle occurs between the attacking and defending air units. This combat is resolved in the same way as a normal combat, with a few exceptions. The fighters have an attack value of 1 and a defense value of 2, and the bombers have no attack value. In addition, the combat lasts for only one round. After the battle, any surviving bombers proceed to carry out the raid as normal.
    Fighters participating as either an escort or a defender cannot participate in other battles during that turn. Defending interceptors must return to their original territory. If that territory is captured, the fighters may move one space to land in a friendly territory or on a friendly aircraft carrier. This movement occurs after all of the attacker’s combats have been resolved and before the attackers Noncombat Move phase begins. If no such landing space is available, the fighters are lost.

    | 1 ) Attacker is the player carrying out the bombing raid
    FTR STR
    Attacker 1 -
    Defender 2 -

    | 2 ) Attacker is the player defending his factories (attacking the bombers, defended by escorts)
    FTR STR
    Attacker 1 -
    Defender 2 1

    Attacking fighters may escort and protect the bombers

    Any or all defending fighters based in a territory that is strategically bombed can participate in the defense of the industrial complex.

    After antiaircraft fire is resolved against the attacking air units,

    Defending interceptors must return to their original territory.

    This movement occurs after all of the attacker’s combats have been resolved and before the attackers Noncombat Move phase begins.

    Seems pretty clear to me who’s the attacker and who’s the defender. |

    |



  • Surprisingly enough the attacker is (as always) the player who is taking their turn.

    I personall believe that playing with NO’s tilts the balance slightly towards the Axis, but by including the “closed Bosphoros” rule, the game returns to a very balanced position.

    I believe that bombers at $12 will make SBR too powerful and eventual “league” games may well adopt the escort/interceptor rules

    Still early days yet though.



  • I love bombers and I still feel like its a 15 IPC loss when one of them drops.  Its weird the cost only being 12 now.



  • Bombers were probably too expensive at $15 because they were rarely built. At $12 they are a bargain and many players build several.

    They are usually better than a fighter now. Both units are improved in “value” relative to land units if you allow tech, due to the research token / twin chart system.

    I think with escorts/interceptors bombers will still be good value, since there are so many more territories in AA50, the extra range and offensive punch is still great value at only $2 more than a fighter, but they will no longer be “broken”.



  • I haven’t played AA50 with the interceptor rule yet, but I like it.  Using it in Guadalcanal gives it more realism but how it works in the big one, we’ll see.  I don’t think that either side can dump everything into SBR too early without unleashing the other side from a front, but having that happen in previous incarnations got to be a drag.

    Maybe give the bombers an attack in the dogfight phase of 1, (that’s what it is in AAG) and at least for the american bombers, they could shoot back.



  • What I don’t get with this new rule is the dogfighting attack/defense values.  Why in the world do the defending fighters get a defense roll of “2”, but the attacking fighters only get an attack roll of “1”.  The fighters should roll at the same values either botth roll at 1’s or bothh roll at 2’s and have the bombers roll 1’s to hit the defending fighters.



  • Historically fighters that were tied to close escort missions protecting bombers performed poorly when compared with “free roaming” fighters. Fighters are much faster than bombers, so even throttled back a little they would have to perform all sorts of zig zaggy kind of patterns throughout the formation so as to not overshoot the bombers too much etc.

    As the war went on tactics changed and the attackers would send out fighter “sweeps” ahead of the bombers trying to draw the interceptors out into a more “even” fight. The defenders learned to try to avoid getting into these dogfights as they lost much of their advantage.

    Other tactics such as “top cover” where fighters would escort from a few thousand feet above the bombers so they could swoop down with extra speed/energy when they were called to engage.



  • My idea for the Escort Fighters:

    How combat is conducted

    1.

    • AA guns fire -

    Attacker takes any causalities

    • One Round of Fighter to Fighter combat only -

    Both escorts and interceptors hit at a ‘2’

    3.

    • One Round of Bomber to Fighter combat only -

    All surviving interceptors get one chance to fire at the bombers at a ‘2’
    Bombers defend at a ‘1’

    4.

    • Remaining bombers SBR -

    5.

    • Air Combat Ends -

    This rule is a bit more complex than the officially listed one, but it doesn’t nerf SBR as much.  It gives the defender an advantage, but only a slight one.  Also, it feels more historical.  ie, interceptors have to penetrate the escort screen, then attack the bombers, which themselves aren’t defenseless.

    An alternative to this rule is that the defender must choose between AA shots OR sending up interceptors.  He cannot do both.



  • I’m pretty sure fighters faired better than 2 for 1 against unescorted bombers (not that AA50 isn’t ahistorical in many ways however)



  • The tactics and their evolution used by both parties involved in strategic bombing are very interesting but they do not belong in a game with a strategic scope.

    A SBR attack in A&A represents a strategic bombing campaign, spanning several months aimed at the industries and civilians ( or air forces) of the other party. AA- fire and eventually defensive fighters represent the counter measures. Both sides have to invest a part of their their war effort and may invest in technology.

    Strategic air campaigns of the war: Battle of Britain, bombings of Germany, bombings of Japan. Al those took a substantial part of the war effort ( ex: The AA guns of the Kammhuber linie could not be used on the eastern front as anti tank guns)

    A strategic bombing campaign is rather wel covered within the rules and optional rules.
    Greetings
    El Stef


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Official Q&A TripleA Moderator

    @Bardoly:

    What I don’t get with this new rule is the dogfighting attack/defense values.  Why in the world do the defending fighters get a defense roll of “2”, but the attacking fighters only get an attack roll of “1”.  The fighters should roll at the same values either botth roll at 1’s or bothh roll at 2’s and have the bombers roll 1’s to hit the defending fighters.

    When playing with tech attacking fighters are supposed to attack with “2” with Jet Fighter technology.

    See

    @Krieghund:

    Since Jet Fighters increases fighters’ attack values to equal their defense values in normal combat, I’d say it would do the same in SBRs, allowing attacking fighters to roll on a 2. However, Larry will need to confirm that.

    But this is still not confirmed by Larry as I think. Or is it?



  • I’m pretty sure fighters faired better than 2 for 1 against unescorted bombers (not that AA50 isn’t ahistorical in many ways however)

    I’m pretty sure that AA guns hit at less than a ‘1’ in reality. 
    The main reason is for play balance. 😉


  • Official Q&A

    @P@nther:

    @Krieghund:

    Since Jet Fighters increases fighters’ attack values to equal their defense values in normal combat, I’d say it would do the same in SBRs, allowing attacking fighters to roll on a 2. However, Larry will need to confirm that.

    But this is still not confirmed by Larry as I think. Or is it?

    Yes, it’s just been confirmed.  It will be in the next version of the FAQ (soon, I hope).


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Official Q&A TripleA Moderator

    @Krieghund:

    @P@nther:

    @Krieghund:

    Since Jet Fighters increases fighters’ attack values to equal their defense values in normal combat, I’d say it would do the same in SBRs, allowing attacking fighters to roll on a 2. However, Larry will need to confirm that.

    But this is still not confirmed by Larry as I think. Or is it?

    Yes, it’s just been confirmed.  It will be in the next version of the FAQ (soon, I hope).

    Great, thank you 🙂


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