Mixed forces Fighter defence against SBRs.

  • The rulebook (I think) is not very clear on whose fighters can defend against SBRs - can US fighters DEFINITELY defend the UK or is this open to interpretation. (I ask because of a reference to such in the ‘strategies’ section of this website).

    I personally don’t like this idea. I belive that if Germany is to stand any chance in an SBR campaign against the allies then she should not have to deal with potentially every single allied powers aircraft all at once - but rather the airforce of the power she is attacking.

    Also - from a simple procedural standpoint - if I strat bomb the UK it is up to the BRITISH player to decide whether s/he will send up defending fighters. Any US fighters are not under his/her control surely and therefore not able to be ordered into the air. This is distinct (for instance) from mixed carrier forces where fighters are under direct attack as part of a mixed fleet and defend accordingly.

    Equally - the US player is not the one being bombed and so has no role in that decision. Just as a US carrier with Russian fighters on board can take them into battle but cannot make them fight (they are cargo), so I think the british player should not automatically be allowed to order US units either, and that unless attacked US units in the UK are simply ‘cargo’ also.

    Just my two penneth.

  • Official Q&A

    Fighters in the territory belonging to allies of the power being bombed may indeed defend against the SBR, just as an ally-controlled AA gun would be able to fire.


    Just as a US carrier with Russian fighters on board can take them into battle but cannot make them fight (they are cargo), so I think the british player should not automatically be allowed to order US units either, and that unless attacked US units in the UK are simply ‘cargo’ also.

    That is a different situation, as the US carrier is attacking.  If that same carrier were defending, the Soviet fighters would defend along with it.  Allied units may not attack together, but they may defend together.

  • But the logic is still not right. This is why: I will devide this argument into two stages a) differences between attacker and defender choice and b) whether fighter response to SBR is a true defence (like AA) or as I believe an attack.

    A) Choice and Non-choice responses.

    Axis and allies clearly differentiates between choices and non choices.

    Attacker has choices.
    Attackers choose which units to devote to attacks. They choose how many. They choose where they will be deployed.  Attackers can retreat at any point. In some situations/versions they can retreat air if they want. Attackers have free choice about everything they do.

    The only restrictions upon attackers is they cannot attack as multinational forces. (except under special rules in revised i.e. joint attack US/UK). This even includes carriers with allied fighters going into battle (which instead of attacking are cargo).

    To me this makes sense - because while the US can order a carrier into battle (she is the attacker she issues the orders) - she cannot in turn order the UK fighters on board (which are not her units and not under her orders) to participate.

    Defenders have little/no choices.
    Defenders defend territories with only the units already present. They cannot add units after the event (except ULTRA in Revised). They simply have to bear up under the attack with what they have in the territory at that moment. Other than choosing casualties the defender has no choices about who to defend with.

    All units have to defend, and that duty is automatic: it has nothing to do with defender choice. Anti aircraft guns also fire automatically . The defender has no choice about whether to fire AA any more than s/he has a choice about whether to throw dice for all his/her defending units.

    The main advantage of course is that all allied units (multinational or not) defend the square together. For example Japanese fighters in Southern Europe defend alongside germany infantry and tanks. This is why it initially seems sensible that Russian, UK, and US fighters can all defend against SBRs. But - defence against SBRs is a special case which is in fact more like attacking! It is different from AA which follows normal defending rules.

    B) Why do I think fighters defending an SBR is an attack?

    Imagine germany AAE round 2. She has 6 fighters and 2 bombers in range of the UK. The UK has 2 fighters. Irrespective of the strategic wisdom Germany opts for a massive aerial attack. She wants to force UK fighters up into the air - where she may be able to shoot 1 or both down.

    She declares her SBR - 2 Bombers from Germany and 3 fighters from France and 3 fighters from Norway.

    The UK wants to send her fighters to Russia next round. So what does she do? She makes a CHOICE. Not to send fighters up in defence. To me this is an example that the UK is choosing not to use her fighters to attack incoming german aircraft.

    To me excercising choice is what defines to the UKs fighter response as an attack.

    The UK’s AA gun defends automatically (there is no choice) - which makes it a typical defending unit (in my fantasy it gets four 1’s as well!  :evil:).

    Just as nowhere else in the game can a foreign power choose to dispatch allied units into an attack - so they should not here. If the UK had 2 US fighters on its territory instead of UK ones then she cannot move them - they are not her units and she cannot order them to attack on her behalf. Just as if they were on a UK carrier sent against a german battleship they would not attack simply by virtue of being in the same sea zone as said battle.

    I know this seems a bit of an over the top analysis - but it’s one of those things I spent half of last weekend arguing with my playmate after I invested in SBR and she stocked the UK with US fighters.

    Yes: It was in my interest  :lol: - but I also reckon I’m correct that fighter interceptors are attackers as defined by the chraracteristic of ‘player choice to deploy’. By the same definition AA is a defending unit - which  responds automatically like any other unit defending a territory.

  • Official Q&A

    The fatal flaw in your argument is that the rules clearly state that the intercepting fighters are the defenders, not the attackers.  It’s true that the owning player(s) have a choice as to whether to send them up, and that’s an exception to the normal rules of defense, but that doesn’t make them the attackers.  Attacking units are the ones belonging to the player whose turn it is.  Defending units are the ones belonging to all other players.

    When a multinational force is attacked, it defends together.  In the unique case of SBRs, fighter defense is completely optional.  Because all nations’ units in a space defend together, this choice applies to all of those nations.  Therefore, when a territory with fighters belonging to multiple nations is SBRed, each of those nations has the choice to defend.

  • Thanks Krieg. That makes sense.

    Still no fun for Germmany though!!!  😮 😞

  • @Twigley:

    But the logic is still not right.


    The fatal flaw in your argument

    Twigley, your logic was sound enough, but in the case of arguing against the rules, the only way to fix them is for the guy who wrote them to say, “Hey, that’s not right, let’s change this and release an errata, 2nd edition rules, or optional rules.”

  • I think the real challenge with A&A Europe is during 1 vs 1 with experienced players. Because the allied aspects of debate and compromise simply don’t happen. Whenever I play my friend Cat - she always without even a thought sends 4 fighters and 2 bombers to Russia ASAP from the US and UK.

    When we play with more people (like her boyfriend and his housemate) you always get the UK/US ‘whining’ or wanting to do their own thing. Which makes it easier for Germany.

    I must admit I played Europe (normally play revised/AA50) for the first time in a long while recently. So I had forgotten about the ‘unstoppable’ version of the infantry/tank push mechanic - and spent time consolidating forces for a crushing victory in Belorussia - which - ahem - never actually happened! (Especially once she’d added all those allied fighters to the pile!)

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