Lack of German naval strat: problem or not?


  • On another thread people are busy discussing a German Naval Strat., if its viable or not. Since air units are now so cheap it seems there’s no incentive to build naval units as Germany since they’ll be blown out of the water, or if you build enough of them, you’ll be spending so much it hurts your overall war effort.

    This is of course historically correct when it comes to surface naval ships which WERE crippled early in the war by the RAF. However, sub warfare was at its height in 41 and 42 and not till middle of 43 was the war against the subs won. So, do people think that the sub option should be boosted in some way for Germany?

    My proposition is to remove the DD ability to block sub movement, but keep all other sub rules. In this way Germany might build some subs and attack approaching fleets in conjunction with the Luftwaffe without being blocked by that one DD in the North Sea. As it is now, I just don’t see the incentive to buy subs rather than fighters or bombers!


  • I agree.  There should be some way for Germany to get subs into the Atlantic.


  • I also agree. But I have, on the other hand, never bought a Hochseeflotte. I have always spent all my German IPC to fight the communists in the east.

    However, if you have Super Submarines and/or Improved Shipyards, you might build a few to be used as quite cheap cannon fodder. However, I think that bombers and fighters are so much more flexible for a German player. Just as they should be.

    Regards, Håkan


  • Aside from Cairo not being a VC, this is my biggest disappointment with the game.  I for one will never build ships for Germany – which is a shame, because the idea of recreating convoys and wolfpacks is rather cool I think.

    However three things preclude this:

    1.  No starting IC in France.

    2.  Atlantic too small (not enough sea zones)

    3.  U-Boats don’t deal economic damage.

    Until these ideas are implemented we will NEVER see a A&A game that features a German naval presence.


  • Until these ideas are implemented we will NEVER see a A&A game that features a German naval presence.

    Well, my idea is that you could see a naval presence in the form of a reserve of 1-4 subs being kept in the Baltic Sea to strike at an invading fleet in the English channel or the Norwegian Sea in conjunction with air, IF you change the DD block move rule. Not a true battle of the Atlantic you might argue, but I’m after a simple rule change that doesn’t open the whole convoy zone debate again. Maybe even one that can make the next FAQ update?


  • In some WWII games you have “off map boxes”, so simulate the economic warefare. But I think that it might be somewhat difficult to actually simulate the economic ware fare in A&A. A&A is a simple and fast played war game. Not a hard core game like WiF. But that’s the soul of A&A. It is the simplicity that make it so fun!

    However, in the optional tournament rules for A&A revised, you actually have one German economic warfare sub-rule. I have never played with it, but perhaps you like it?

    1. U-Boat Interdiction
    During the collect income phase of the U.K. and U.S. turns, subtract 1 IPC from the collecting power’s income for each of your submarines on the game board.


  • I don’t mind people suggesting rules for what should or should not be the official AA50 rules, I have strong opinions myself, there are many things I agree with, and other things which should be different.

    There’s too many threads and posts which turn into “I will change such and such rule because…”  :roll:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love to discuss what should be different in AA50 and AAR, and what will hopefully change in the next A&A global war game from Larry Harris. But when I turn to the AA50 forums I expect to see posts about strats, what is smart and what is stupid moves and decisions.
    Is a German naval strat more efficient, does it make it easier to win the game, and what naval units is better for what purpose, not if DD’s should be able to block sub movements  :roll:

    We could have a designated category in the house rule forum of what house rules should make it into official optional or mandatory rules.

    I never play with house rules, and the only change that is needed, at least in Classic and AAR, which differs from the official rules is a bid for the side that is weaker. A bid is probably needed for AA50 also, but different players disagree on this matter, so we cannot make a safe conclusion of balance like AAR. But the only change I will be doing when playing AA50 is bid to either axis or allies if it’s needed to balance the game. And the 4 new optional rules make sure that there is no need for house rules anymore. Tech is optional, SBR can be nerfed with interceptors, NOs make more money for all countries. The closing of Dardanelles make it more historical. Why can’t we all be happy players?


  • @Subotai:

    I don’t mind people suggesting rules for what should or should not be the official AA50 rules, I have strong opinions myself, there are many things I agree with, and other things which should be different.

    There’s too many threads and posts which turn into “I will change such and such rule because…”  :roll:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love to discuss what should be different in AA50 and AAR, and what will hopefully change in the next A&A global war game from Larry Harris. But when I turn to the AA50 forums I expect to see posts about strats, what is smart and what is stupid moves and decisions.
    Is a German naval strat more efficient, does it make it easier to win the game, and what naval units is better for what purpose, not if DD’s should be able to block sub movements  :roll:

    We could have a designated category in the house rule forum of what house rules should make it into official optional or mandatory rules.

    I never play with house rules, and the only change that is needed, at least in Classic and AAR, which differs from the official rules is a bid for the side that is weaker. A bid is probably needed for AA50 also, but different players disagree on this matter, so we cannot make a safe conclusion of balance like AAR. But the only change I will be doing when playing AA50 is bid to either axis or allies if it’s needed to balance the game. And the 4 new optional rules make sure that there is no need for house rules anymore. Tech is optional, SBR can be nerfed with interceptors, NOs make more money for all countries. The closing of Dardanelles make it more historical. Why can’t we all be happy players?

    Quoted for truth 🙂

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    This is not another house rules thread right?  I can add wings to this thread so it fly’s away to its proper home.


  • I think that destroyers are overpowered since one destroyer can negate an unlimited number of submarine special abilities as well as allow an unlimited number of planes to attack all the submarines in a single sea zone.  Perhaps each destroyer should be limited to negating ONE submarine’s special abilities as well as allow planes to attack ONE submarine.  This would force the player to buy more destroyers in response to the enemy buying a bunch of subs.  I have no idea how this would play out in an actual game, so who knows if its a good idea or not.


  • Allright, bypassing the house rules discussions (especially the 1 DD vs 1 sub nonsense):

    Imho, it is possible to let Germany go U-Boat + air in AA41 with NO’s. Just spend about 20 IPC’s (leaving 20-30 going to Russia, including the ftrs/bmrs you bought with the first 20 IPC’s) each turn (= 3 subs, 2 subs 1 bmr/ftr and sooner or later 1 IC in France), which will get you:

    1. a safe mediterranean. (if the British fleet gets in, it might never get out  :evil:)
    with NO’s, this means 5/10 extra for Ita, 5 (either Gib or Egy will be axis) less for UK. Also, having that fun sidekick of Italy producing at about 20 each turn, makes for no worries to defend France, so those guys can go fight commies in the east.

    2. a safe Baltic
    making both Nwy and Swe much more easy to hold, and eliminating UK landing squads in Leningrad, Poland or Germany. So this also allows for more troops to the east.

    3. Britain will have to keep up fleet-wise
    which results in less British landing in Africa/Russia, thus again strengthening Italy and also weakening Russia.

    But alas, this is all theory. Has anyone actually tried it though, because it’s pretty easy both inventing and rejecting a killer strategy in theory. To quote H. Simpson: “In theory communism works.”

    But whoever said that subs don’t get you IPC’s are wrong. If they didn’t who would ever buy them? And in all the games I’ve played, they’re the single most used naval unit.


  • But whoever said that subs don’t get you IPC’s are wrong. If they didn’t who would ever buy them? And in all the games I’ve played, they’re the single most used naval unit.

    I did.  So in your strategy how many German subs do you end up buying?  How effective did you find them?  How many times did you rather wish you had purchased fighters/bombers?   And like you said, no theory, actual game results.

    Though if we’re talking about 1941 with NOs, the Axis seem at such an advantage anyways that whether or not Germany buys subs may not have that great of an effect on the game.  The net result is still be the same, i.e. a Axis victory.


  • there is a way to get subs in the med and thats a factory in bulgaria

    but yeah id always prefer 3 ftr over 5 subs / and 2 bmb over 4 subs BUT

    if i have a strong luftwaffe already (7 ftr 3bmb), 2 subs popping out bulgaria at round 4 or 5 will atleast soak 2 naval hits. then pimp italian fleet with ac/DD and have a nice counter attack on british fleet with luftwaffe + soaks.

    i could imagine this could work under right circumstances, which basically means US engages japan.


  • Though if we’re talking about 1941 with NOs, the Axis seem at such an advantage anyways that whether or not Germany buys subs may not have that great of an effect on the game.  The net result is still be the same, i.e. a Axis victory.

    I don’t agree and I think it will show in the tournament. People are starting to learn how to play the Allies and in the end I think the balance will be close to 50/50.

    But I do agree what you’re saying about fighters being better than subs, for 4 extra IPCs you get the ability to be used on land and to defend vs. invasions. A naval strat for Germany with today’s rules would have to involve buildning one-two CVs and probably some DDs so you can challenge the Allies directly and I’m unsure if that’s worth it IPC-wise.

    Subs in the Baltic won’t get out and will be blocked for 8 IPCs cost for UK, who can just put a DD in the North Sea. And if the Italians get a larger air force to attack that DD, USA can do the same and you’re blocked anyways.


  • I dont really see it as a problem, if you really wanted to use subs as germany just only build 1 per round and make sure you have a strong air force.  You dont have much room to dance your fleet, but that sub is powerful in tipping the scales when striking at navy with air power, just look at G1.  Would you trade the 2 subs in SZ 7 for 1 bomber?  I know I wouldn’t.


  • I don’t agree and I think it will show in the tournament. People are starting to learn how to play the Allies and in the end I think the balance will be close to 50/50.

    I hope I’m the one who’s wrong, but looking at the situation as a realist, the Axis earn too much money with NOs that starting rounds 3-4, they’re already outpacing what the Allies are making.  This completely throws off the balance of the game.


  • If you’re going to have ottawa as a victory city, the lack of a German Naval strat seems like a problem.  Either move the vc or give Germany a fighting chance in the Atlantic.


  • AA50, (and also Classic & AAR) is not about VCs. It’s about production, attrition and money.


  • @Subotai:

    AA50, (and also Classic & AAR) is not about VCs. It’s about production, attrition and money.

    Then why have them?  First side to take an enemy capital wins?


  • I’ve been trying out something lately.  Build 10 inf on G1, and then if you lost no fighters on G1, on G2 with your 48 IPCs, build 2 cv, 1 dd, 1 tr, 1 arm(or 1 researcher if playing with techs).  After this build, you can supplement the navy with just a few ships here and there, while sending large armies east to Russia.

    This won’t work for every game, but in one of my current games, it’s working like a charm.


  • I hope I’m the one who’s wrong, but looking at the situation as a realist, the Axis earn too much money with NOs that starting rounds 3-4, they’re already outpacing what the Allies are making.  This completely throws off the balance of the game.

    Yes, the IPC situation is tough for the Allies in the beginning, but once they strike at Italy it will change quickly. An Italy with both NOs is around 20-22 IPCs, and once that is erased the Axis is in a tough spot. In earlier editions, the weakest power was always the Soviet Union but that unenviable position has now been taken by Italy, and since eliminating a capital is so powerful I think Italy’s weakness outweighs the NO boost that the Axis gets in the early stages of the game.

    But the purpose of this thread was to see if people are lacking a German naval option or not. I think AA50 is a great game and certainly will be playing it no matter what, I’m just annoyed that the sub war wasn’t portrayed better, especially when they put so much thought into redesigning the sub unit.


  • Why does everyone think it impossible to keep a sub presence in the atlantic?  Of course, it takes a bit of work but it’s doable.  Firstly, build at least a bmb on G1, if not a sub/bmb, sub/ftr or 2 sub.  Secondly, make sure you clear the Atlantic as much as you can.  Can’t leave the bb sz 2, dd sz 6 or the ca/dd sz 12.  Those are all targets that are nice to destroy anyhow.  ftr nwe, ftr ger, sub sz 7 -> sz 12.  bmb ger, ftr nwy, sub sz 7 -> sz 2.  ss/ca sz 5 -> sz 6.  If you’ve done well, you have a ftr alg (reinforced by trn or by lib if desired), ftr fra, ftr bmb nwy, the ftr pol can go to nwy or fra after fighting in most any battle, and sub sz 6.  Now, if you built bmb on G1… you’ve got great coverage all the way to sz 2 and sz 8.

    The key here is, make sure you don’t get your subs trapped in sz 5.  Your target SZ should be sz 8.  From there you control every allied sz in the atl.  Since that’s as unrealistic as just about anything in A&A, your next two “control” zones should be sz 3 and sz 6… they can reach every GBR sz.  bmb operate ideally out of fra, their coverage there is nearly everything, they can even cover northern russian territories from there.  And just remember to keep building subs, they’re the infantry of naval combat.  You’re sending subs in to take hits, and ftr and bmb to kill.  Keep control of your vital SZ!  Anything that enters sz 3 or 7 SHOULD be killed if you’re building submarines, that’s the point.


  • Of course you should use your at-start subs aggressively like you describe. The problem is any sub you build will either be blocked in North Sea (sz6) or if you get it out to English Channel or Norwegian Sea (sz7 or sz3) it’s very easy for the UK player to send either one DD forward or move his entire fleet forward and destroy your sub while defending with their measly ‘1’ in defence. If you have enough air power you might force the UK player to send in only their DD with the RAF so as to not expose their fleet, but if I was UK I’ll trade one DD for one sub anyday since it comes out of Germany’s hard-pressed IPC pocket!

    The only way for BUILT subs to be effective for Germany is to get them to attack the main UK/US fleet in sz3 or sz7 in conjunction with air units and the mistaken DD block rule negates that possibility.


  • @Subotai:

    AA50, (and also Classic & AAR) is not about VCs. It’s about production, attrition and money.

    Says you.  My gaming circle plays way too aggressively to get bogged down like that.  The game is usually over by the 3rd turn.

    Also, I see no reason for Germany not to build Subs, seeing as they can easily shove Russia over to the point where Germany makes 50 and Russia makes 30, and then they can simply harass and trade till Godzilla crushes everything.  Why should Germany make a risky push into Moscow when they can win just by surviving?

    Also, you could declare that naval units can’t go to and from the Baltic Sea Zone unless Northwest Europe is controlled by friendlies.  Axis subs are thus invincible unless Northwest Europe is taken.


  • @wodan46:

    My gaming circle plays way too aggressively to get bogged down like that.  The game is usually over by the 3rd turn.

    Which side wins most often, which scenario, and do you play with NOs?

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