Caspian sub people, where did you go?

  • I really want some games with them… Alas, tis not to be.

    Is it true they only play ftf? Mainly in tournaments?

    Anyone else out there think tournament games, because of their strict time limit, are a completely different game than a game that goes to 9 or 10 vic?

    Against very good players online, with many things being automatically done for you, it could still take 6+ hours to have a good idea about who will win. 4 hour time limit tournament games? Not for me…

    Different goals, different strategies, and different tactics. Imo, tourney play doesn’t have much to do with actually winning the war…

    OHHHH mighty csub people, come out of hiding… Play A&A with me :).

    bb82 @ GTO.

  • Hah!  Thanks for the kudos, BB82.  I was the main CSub editor - themarvinmartian.

    The core CSub guys have all gotten pretty busy in the last year or two.  One’s a doctor, one’s a lawyer, two are computer guys, one’s a diplomat, etc.  We weren’t putting the time into the game to keep the articles at a high level, so we decided it was time to pull the plug.  Better to end the site cleanly than slide into obsolescence.

    I have played online a little bit (forum games), but that’s pretty rare.  If you’re in or near Detroit sometime, shoot me a line and we’ll see if we can line up a FTF game.


  • Oh, and as to your questions, yes:

    • FTF is very different from online play due to the inherrent time limit.

    • LL, common online, is very different from regular dice.

    • Tournament rules differ and have a large impact on the game.

    That’s one of the problems that will plague the AA50 discussions.  41 or 42? LL or regular?  SBRs or no SBRs or an SBR fix?  Tech or no tech?  NOs or basic rules?

    I’m quite sure that although everyone is in the same forum, they aren’t really discussing the same game 😉

    That was one of the CSub goals: a simple set of rule fixes that everyone could use without having to read a book of rules or alter the core game much.  All discussion was then based on those rules.

  • A CSub editor… It’s an honor…

    Yeah, I don’t like the time limit. I also don’t like LL. I feel dice not only make it more realistic, but it also makes the game harder, because you have to try to prepare for the unknown. But… You will lose more because of dice.

    FTF is usually out of the question for me. Drive time, setup time, scheduling, etc. Hence why I play online.

    I probably wont switch over to AA50 for awhile. I’ll give GTO some time to come out with it online before I start looking at another site. Besides, AAR is a great game…

    Do you have a list of the rules that you guys played by?

    There is nothing wrong with sliding into obsolescence, it happens to us all. Because of time, seems to me you guys should try online play. A 15 hour ftf game would be a fraction of that time online, not to mention, you can save the games online.

    Even though I’m in Ohio, detroit would be rough…

    Still, i’d love to play some of you guys. PM me at GTO if you, or any of the other guys would want a game.

    Glory to the CSub players !! ---- Tanks are STRONG !!


  • Yeah, for FTF games you do have to have a limit.  We went with a 4-hour, 6 round game.

    I do have the CSub rules.  Very simple for box-players or TripA players:

    Rule Changes
    1. Thou shalt have a new technology take effect at the end of the turn on which it was acquired.
    2. Thou shalt not do more economic damage to an industrial complex than the income value of the territory under attack.  This is a per-turn limit.
    3. Thou shalt disallow any capital from being attacked with ground units until after that power’s first turn. Bombing raids and strafing with air power are permitted.
    4. Thou shalt use the Caspian Sub bid system.

    Rule Clarifications
    1. AA guns fire at each plane individually.
    2. Subs submerge before the decision to press a battle is made. You can not retreat from a sea battle if the only enemy units left are submerged subs.
    3. If a fighter spends all its movement points going to a sea battle and the carrier designated as its landing zone retreats, then the fighter is lost because it has no landing place.
    4. Sub abilities are operational any time an opposing destroyer is not on the battle board.
    5. In regard to transports, strict distinctions between combat/non-combat must be observed.  For instance, a unit cannot be loaded during combat movement if the unit does not attempt to engage in combat that round.

  • And the bid:

    Caspian Sub Bid Rules

    1. Roll for high roll to see who gets the first bid.

    2. Conduct the bid like “Name that Tune”.  The player with the first bid says “I can win with the Axis and X IPCs.”, where X is the number of IPCs the bidder receives to play the Axis.  You are always bidding to play as the Axis.

    3. The other player either lets the first player have the bid or counters with a bid that is smaller than the first bid such as, “I can win with the Axis and X-2 IPCs.”  This is a bid-down system.

    4. Keep going until a bid is accepted. If the bid ‘goes negative’, then the bid becomes “I will take the Axis and give the Allies X IPCs.” Counter-bids then become higher values given to the Allies.

    5. Once the bid is accepted there is a pre-game bid placement turn. Whoever is getting the IPCs may buy units to place on the board.
      a) Unit costs are normal
      b) Land units can be placed in any territory a power controls
      c) Naval units can be placed with other naval units or in territories adjacent to a power’s land
      d) There is a limit of 1 bid piece per territory
      e) Powers cannot put their units in another power’s territory (i.e. no German pieces start in Japanese territory)
      f) IPCs do not have to be spent on units.  IPCs not spent on units can be given to any of the team’s powers.

    6. Play starts as normal with the Soviets.

  • Thank you.

    Rules seem like LHTR 2.0, which is how I play, except I don’t play with tech. Is this all of the CSub rules? Nothing about multiple bombardments?

    As for the bidding system:

    For 2v2, you probably just ask someone to be the bidder for that side, so it would work like 1v1.

    But, what about for 5 player games? 5 player games where the people don’t know who they will play yet. Would it just be the two lowest bidders take the axis?

  • Just want to throw some mad props your way, Mazer/marvinmartian (and the rest of the editors’ too).  CSub was in many ways my ideal A&A group.  It had easily the highest level of A&A strategy analysis I’ve seen.  I don’t want to knock this site–obviously I like it enough to be pretty active here!–but most of the forum threads are rules questions or superficial discussions, and truly in-depth analysis is rare.  I suspect the same is true of most other strategy forum sites.  By devoting itself to serious strategy discussion, CSub claimed a unique and extremely valuable niche in the A&A world.  I miss it!

  • Many do…


  • Vets at GTO wont do many bombards, so it’s not that big of a deal…

    They did say they would eventually fix it through programming, but money is tight for them…

  • @Craig:

    Larry Harris has clearly stated on his site that their interpretation is wrong, but they seem to be stubbornly sticking to their guns.

    We can’t have that, Larry Harris is TEH FUHRER in the A&A world!!!

    Even if many of us don’t like all the choices and rules in the games that L.H.designed, he’s teh big boss!

    If WOTC wants a war over this, we (A&A players) should all volunteer to fight for our cause, there can only be one leader, one president, and L.H. is the main man, who dictates all the rules in the A&A world.

  • Official Answers

    Yes, but Avalon Hill is the one writing the checks.  It’s usually smart to listen to that person/entity.

    I’m working on this from the other side by trying to get it added to the FAQ.  If AH’s position officially changes, GTO’s will change as well.  Of course, it certainly won’t hurt for the players to complain.

  • 2016 2015 '10

    Maybe someone in a position of power over at WOTC likes to come on GTO and play a gay bombard strategy?  That’s the only explanation I can think of.

    But honestly if you try to stack battleships against a good Axis it won’t work, so it really isn’t much of a game-breaker, just an annoyance.

  • 2007 AAR League


    Just want to throw some mad props your way, Mazer/marvinmartian (and the rest of the editors’ too).  CSub was in many ways my ideal A&A group.  It had easily the highest level of A&A strategy analysis I’ve seen.  I don’t want to knock this site–obviously I like it enough to be pretty active here!–but most of the forum threads are rules questions or superficial discussions, and truly in-depth analysis is rare.  I suspect the same is true of most other strategy forum sites.  By devoting itself to serious strategy discussion, CSub claimed a unique and extremely valuable niche in the A&A world.  I miss it!

    I wholeheartedly agree with Bongo. I cut my teeth on the papers CSub dished out and practically learned how to be a better player because of them. Sad to see you guys go.

  • I am from the Czech Republic a I have very little time. I play online from time to time but I am definitely not even an average player (I play chess much better.). But reading the CS policy papers I have downloaded recently might have been the greatest joy I have had with the game so far. I just wanted to ask whether the twenty papers is all that is left after the group? I could not find anything on Russia for instance…

  • Yeah, 20 is all of them.

    There is much that they didn’t do strategies about….

    But at least we got what they could give.

  • Hey guys.

    Thanks for the kind words; I’ll pass them on to the other editors.

    bb82 - we had a few long discussions about the Russian openings in email threads but we never finished the paper about them.  The paper was going to cover the Russian Double (UKR/WRU) vs the Russian Triple (UKR/WRU/BEL).

    The upshot was that the Triple had a high risk/reward swing where it really was in the hands of the dice.  Mighty Airforce preferred it; I preferred the Double.  In LL I don’t know which I would prefer, but probably the Triple.

    Ultimately it did not matter a lot because we began putting a bid unit in the European theater to break the Triple as a viable option.


  • Even though tourney games are very different than regular games, strategy wise, I’d like to hear some of your thoughts.

    Russian start:

    I usually prefer to limit luck, so I usually go very conservative… What about just Bel and WR, with only about 5 infantry on Cauc at end of R1?

    What do you think of 6 on bury, R1, even if your not bringing that UK fighter? (UK Fighter goes after sub on UK1)

    German papers:

    Do you guys prefer to always do the 2 trannies for SZ5 and start to set up a fleet combine on G2? (Bid is in Africa) If UK builds right it can go at your fleet on UK2, with USA. They can kill your fleet during the second round. If this looks to be possible, then do you not fleet combine or still combine to slow them down?


  • can you make the papers publicly available as well ?
    I understand you dont want trolling and flaming there but as it has become a sort of dead group ( nothing bad about that ) it would be nice if others can read the work you did without having to signup to yet again another service.

  • If a Csub person has a problem with the following, please let me know and I will end it.

    I am trying to get GTO to make a dedicated forum to the papers. A place that has a sticky for each paper. In that sticky/thread, we can read and talk about each paper.

    For now, I created a thread at GTO, with a link to the papers for people that want to read them,

  • BB82: Have at it with the papers. Post them wherever you want.

    Russian double with BEL/WRU: It was done on occasion, but the risk/reward isn’t all that great.  No because the risk is huge, but because the reward was so small.  WRu/Ukr was much more common.

    German 1st purchase: We went through several phases.  In a FTF venue, I’d buy 2 or 3 tra against any player who I suspected would be unfamiliar with it.  Against each other, 1tra was very common, but the most common opening became the UnBaltic.  Hard to say what the next iteration would have been because we had just started finding some counters to UnBaltic that we really liked.


  • I’m a very conservative player… I dont think I would do the triple. I used to do the double.

    For the double, would you guys bring as much armor as you could to the Ukraine battle or would you bring one extra armor to the WR battle?

  • @Craig:

    I never do the Ukraine attack.  I don’t feel comfortable with my USSR disposition after that, win or lose.

    Of course, the flip side of that is, I get very happy when I’m playing Germany and the USSR leaves Ukraine alone!  I’m sure you feel stronger as Russia, but Germany is stronger too.  Who gets the better end of the tradeoff is a judgment call, of course.

  • Yeah, I prefer Bel/WR too.

    But when you do hit Ukraine, do you go with two or three armor?

  • I can’t speak for the CSub folks, and I’d be interested to hear what approach predominated for them, but personally, whether I send 2 or 3 tanks to Ukr is the sort of fine-tuning that depends on how aggressive I feel on a given day, what I know about my opponent, which way the wind is blowing, etc.  🙂

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