• It is pretty well established that WWII itself totally changed the nature of naval warfare.  Battleships and Cruisers (as then understood) were fleet mainstays prior to the war but then largely abandoned for Carriers and Destroyers after the war.  There are cruisers today, but, as I understand it, in many respects the line between a cruiser and destroyer is pretty fuzzy now.  So, the availability of Cruisers and Battleships for purchase and the existance of a number of them at start on the board, on the one hand, and the rarity with which they are actually bought on the other hand is very accurate for a game with a WWII theme.  The point is not that they are a good buy more than on an occasional basis, IMHO.  Rather, the point is that they existed and complete the arsenal of basic ship types for WWII (BB, CV, CA, DD, SS).  They gave a little more oomph to an amphibeous landing, and a little more effectiveness in point defending against aircraft than a destroyer, but at a higher cost without the anti sub features and of course without the heavy armor of a Battleship.  The lighter armor meant they were faster than battleships, but that “benefit” did not seem to pan out real well when put to the test in fleet operations as they could be blown apart before closing range (HMS Hood vs The Bismark comes to mind).  3-3-12 with a shore shot seems about right to me.


  • Unfortunately we are getting off topic.  We should be talking about Cruisers.

    The basic economics of using 2/2 units against 3/3 units that have the same comparative price point (a 2 : 3 ratio) is that the lower cost units soak up hits better than the higher priced units.  In case you have never heard of this before, it works something like this:

    Buying units with $24 you have 4 tanks against 6 artillery
    The four tanks deliver two hits the first round (4 x 3VC = 12 / 6-sided dice = 2 hits), and the six artillery also deliver two hits (6 x 2CV = 12 / 6-sided dice = 2 hits).
    The tanks lost 2 units, and the artillery lose 2 units.
    In the second round the tanks deliver one hit (2 x 3CV = 6 / 6-sided dice = 1 hit), and the four artillery deliver one hit (4 x 2CV = 8 / 6-sided dice = 1.3 hits).
    The tanks lose another tank, and the artillery lose one unit too.
    In the third round the tanks deliver one hit (1 x 3CV = 3 / 6-sided dice = 0.5 hits), and the three artillery deliver one hit (3 x 2CV = 6 / 6-sided dice = 1 hit).
    The tanks lose their last unit, and the artillery lose one unit.
    The artillery win with 2 units remaining because the tanks couldn’t absorb the hits.  This analysis also rounds everything in favor of the tanks, so in practice the results should be slightly worse for the tanks over the long haul.


  • It all comes down to simple math.


  • @dinosaur:

    Unfortunately we are getting off topic.  We should be talking about Cruisers.

    The basic economics of using 2/2 units against 3/3 units that have the same comparative price point (a 2 : 3 ratio) is that the lower cost units soak up hits better than the higher priced units.  In case you have never heard of this before, it works something like this:

    Buying units with $24 you have 4 tanks against 6 artillery
    The four tanks deliver two hits the first round (4 x 3VC = 12 / 6-sided dice = 2 hits), and the six artillery also deliver two hits (6 x 2CV = 12 / 6-sided dice = 2 hits).
    The tanks lost 2 units, and the artillery lose 2 units.
    In the second round the tanks deliver one hit (2 x 3CV = 6 / 6-sided dice = 1 hit), and the four artillery deliver one hit (4 x 2CV = 8 / 6-sided dice = 1.3 hits).
    The tanks lose another tank, and the artillery lose one unit too.
    In the third round the tanks deliver one hit (1 x 3CV = 3 / 6-sided dice = 0.5 hits), and the three artillery deliver one hit (3 x 2CV = 6 / 6-sided dice = 1 hit).
    The tanks lose their last unit, and the artillery lose one unit.
    The artillery win with 2 units remaining because the tanks couldn’t absorb the hits.  This analysis also rounds everything in favor of the tanks, so in practice the results should be slightly worse for the tanks over the long haul.

    Nice post.


  • I happen to like cruisers when your navy plans on going on the offensive…but destroyers are perfect for defensive navys…i basically think that dstroyers work like naval infantry and cruisers work like naval tanks…

    but i will agree that cruisers are over priced…they should have been 10 IPCs not 12…and maybe attack on a 3 and defend on a 4…for 12 IPCs


  • A while back people were clamouring for the cruiser piece to have Movement: 3. This would give the unit the speed and versatility to be a viable purchase, IMO. No need to change the combat stats then, or its special abilities; its capacity to be rapidly deployed and make unpredictable moves would be sufficient for it to see more play.


  • Not a huge fan of giving them a movement of 3. As mentioned earlier in the thread, the shipyard movement bonus in AAP40 allowing them to move up to 4 spaces at once would make them too mobile, at least in my opinion.

    Personally, I agree with the idea of giving them AA ability and making them able to take two hits.

    But to balance things out, I think that damaged CA’s should lose both their AA and shore bombard abilities until repaired. That way they’re not too overpowered, but they still have their place on the battlefield.


  • Battleship - 20 IPC
    Cruiser + Destroyer - 20 IPC

    Both pairs can take two hits
    The battleship can repair, but

    The Cruiser + Destroyer COMBO-DEAL
    Can return fire against subs, shoot twice in combat, at a better overall chance to hit (2+3 / 6), and can bombard

    A battleship makes a good core unit for a fleet to base around, and a carrer or two.
    A GREAT fleet adds a few Destoroyer + Cruiser + Transport raiding parites, so you can split teams off from the main group

    Fact is……if Destroyer + Cruiser was less than 20 IPCs, would you ever buy a battleship?


  • And let me make one more thing clear……

    Giving cruisers AA is neato-toleado, but…
    It is entirely ahistorical

    Its not like any ship was specificly designed to swat down planes…they all were, its just that it must be done in combat

    An AA gun on the sea would be SO SCARY, could you imagine that? what about two!

    The flaw of big ships was that they were seceptible to air attack…Pearl Harbor, Taranto, Midway…plenty of planes were shot down, primarily by other planes

    Think of it like the deathstar…“the rebel craft are too small lord vader they are avoiding our turbo lasers” “Fine we’ll have to fight them ship to ship, ready my fighter”


  • @oztea:

    Its not like any ship was specificly designed to swat down planes….they all were, its just that it must be done in combat

    There were several purpose-built antiaircraft cruisers though. Namely the Atlanta class (U.S.) and Dido class (UK), among others.


  • Fact is……if Destroyer + Cruiser was less than 20 IPCs, would you ever buy a battleship?

    I wouldnt buy a BB now so that is no real loss. And in actuality BBs WERE obsolete by the end of 1941.


  • Some narrow-minded people are still using simple math to determine value of units, which is incorrect.

    We can take the stupid example of 24 ipc : 4 tanks vs 6 art

    WHO in his right mind would attack 6 art with 4 tank? Nobody? Good, simple math doesn’t work. Still not convinced? Would you attack with 6 art 8 infantry? (Both are 24 ipc worth)? OH NO, 8 INFANTRY > 6 ART, ART ARE OVERPRICED.
    What about fighter? 10 ipc (3 attack, 4 def, 4 movement). For 10 ipc I can buy 1 tank and 1 art. OH NO, FIGHTER ARE BAD BECAUSE THEY DIE TO 1 ART AND 1 TANK.

    See, simple math doesn’t work. Each unit has its use, and we must not only consider the economical aspect. Also, we must take into account offense vs defense. Units perform differently whether they are attacking or defending.

    For example, in Axis and Allies, on offense we have units that hit on dice 1, 2, 3 and 4. I consider the 1 and 2 to be MEAT to any army. In other words, Infantry, Art, and MECH infantry all serve 1 purpose : to take the hits for my more offensive units.
    What are the offensive units? Tank, Fighter, Tac and Bomber. I personnally see tanks as a cheap offensive tool. If you have the money (in other words, if you are able to max your production), Planes are almost always better than tanks. Note the almost, they are some situations where tanks are better.

    Lets compare fighter and tanks. An army of INF + FIG is a decent army. Alot of meat to keep the fighter alive, its very good to exchange territories with the enemy, since you fighter land safely behind. Fighter attack on 3, which make them a decent offensive unit. They also have a movement of 4, which allow them to strike at many places.
    Tank ALSO attack on 3, which make them offensive unit. However, unlike plane, they advance with the winning troops. It can be a disadvantage, it can be an advantage. This can be very important when you are on the offense. You don’t want your offense to be stopped by a counter-offense from the enemy. Tanks can strengthen your gains, whereas planes cannot (since they have to land behind).
    Tank also has a movement of 2. On offense, it is a very good idea to purchase tanks to catch up with your army and to reinforce it. It is said that AA40E will be huge. Do you want to walk armies of INF to Russia? I’m pretty sure, by the time they reach Russia, they will be overwhelmed by Russia’s closer production. Speed is a factor that cannot be neglected. It has already been pointed out that we might not be able to see tank’s full strength in AA40P because of all the islands.

    To sum up, if you take only simple math without taking the units into a broader situation, of course you will see that some units are “superior”. Instead, we have to consider an unit in a general situation. I think I showed it. Planes are very good as offensive tool (with their movement, they can attack undefended fleet) and can be used to exchange territories (inf + planes). However, planes must land elsewhere, thus making your army weaker on defense. Tanks, on the other hand, compared to other ground units, has a movement of 2, giving them the ability to catch up with the rest of the army. We must not neglect their ability to exploit a hole in the enemy’s defense (let’s remember the AA50 opener with Italy making a hole and Germany taking Moscow with tanks). With MECH infantry, tanks will also be able to bring more “meat” to the frontline.

    'm pretty sure though that Cruiser/BB will be better purchases in AAEurope. I’m thinking about UK mostly. The shore bombardment cannot be neglected. But again, this is just speculation. The game isn’t out. Maybe Germany will have a navy, forcing UK to purchase DD + AC.

    If we don’t consider units in a broader sense, Infantry will always be the best choice. In reality, army of ONLY infantry won’t do much, unless you cheat with dices

    Robert

    edit :
    About cruiser being useless. I do not agree.

    I believe fleets are built around CV and BB. They are the most expensive ships of the game. Both can take 2 hits. BB are useful when you expect a MAJOR battle that you need to win but also need to have the most units alive. Of course, with the new rule to repair at naval base, I’m not sure if the BB are still that good.

    For meat, (using my infantry analogy), it is better to have submarine and destroyer. However, for a little bit more strength, Cruisers are nice addition to a fleet.

    Some claim that AC are the best unit in the sea. While it is plausible, let’s not forget that AC require a major investment : (you need to buy 2 plane!!!) total of at least 36ipc. Quite expensive.


  • @oztea

    A cruiser and destroyer have the same odds of missing as a battleship. A battleship should miss 1/3 of the time, and a destroyer and cruiser should also miss 1/3 of the time.

    2/3 x 1/2 = 2/6 = 1/3 chance of missing

    However, in addition to anti-sub capabilities, the cruiser and destroyer combo have another advantage: there is a 1/6 chance of getting 2 hits in the same round of combat.

    1/3 x 1/2 = 1/6 chance of getting 2 hits


  • Sorry Omega, but I completely disagree with you.  Yes you need Inf, they have a definitive role, take hits and defend.  Artillery is the best offensive bang for your buck, etc.

    Here is the thing though, armor only has one special thing about it, its blitz.  Mech can move just as fast and are extremely much more powerful on the defense, and with art are sick on the attack as well.  Japan starts with 25 planes!  Germany will start with atleast 10.  At that point you do not need more punch, you need boots, and that is where inf/art/mech come into play.  Not to mention the fringe benefits of planes, such as threatening fleets, scramble, intercepting, etc.

    In the sea the only advantage a BB/Cruiser have is the shore bombard.  Dollar for dollar they are terrible in battle.  That bombard is highly situational as the enemy will rarely leave his units on the border to be bombarded.  Combine that with the all around better utility of the carrier with planes and you have a lost cause.  Even against a territory with an aa gun, the planes on a carrier will bring better odds into a large naval assault and is superior at defending your transports.

    Think about it, what is worse, a pair of carriers with 4 planes, or 8 cruiser shore shots, when trying to invade a heavily stacked territory.  By round 2 the planes got just as many hits and can be taken as casualties in a close battle.  Even against an AA gun on average if the fight lasts to round 3 the carrier out performs.  Run the odds if you don’t believe me.

    With the loose of the ‘first stike’ ability of shore bombard, cruisers became pointless.  The only time the bombard outperforms the carrier is if they are in a naval base and 3 moves away to drop off the troops so that the planes cannot reach.

    And on top of that, a singular DD can block as many shore shots as it wants, it has no such ability against a carrier’s planes.

    And stop comparing apples to oranges, comparing land units to air units is pointless as they have different roles.  The only reason air units are compared to naval units is the carrier.  I would almost always take 3 mech inf over 2 armor.  I’ll take what I start with but other than that, junk.


  • Let’s say there are 6 territories between Moscow and Germany. I will agree that the front lines must be mainly INF +art. But to catch the inf (once they are 2+ territories from Germany), you need tank and Mech inf (if I remember correctly, Mech inf need tank to blitz).

    Tank has blitz, and enable mech inf to blitz if I have read the rules correctly (Which I haven’t)

    While Germany may start with 10 Fighter, may I remember you that Russia won’t have that many? While you might have super air power, should I remind you that AA gun do exist and could follow Russian’s troops as they march toward Germany?

    Tanks are also boots. I believe I showed how Planes do not land in the territories you conquer. Tanks, on the other, follow the winning army. You cannot neglect this. Tank will give the edge to an army. Also, tanks combined with Mech infantry will make the “can opener” trick even deadlier (I’m hoping that it won’t be an issue).

    Shore bombard serve me quite well, especially with UK.

    “That bombard is highly situational as the enemy will rarely leave his units on the border to be bombarded”
    This statement is completely false. Germany WILL defend France. If he doesn’t, Allies just win the game. If he does defend it, that’s when shore bombard is useful. No need to risk your planes to the AA gun. Just bombard the hell out of them

    “Think about it, what is worse, a pair of carriers with 4 planes, or 8 cruiser shore shots, when trying to invade a heavily stacked territory.  By round 2 the planes got just as many hits and can be taken as casualties in a close battle.  Even against an AA gun on average if the fight lasts to round 3 the carrier out performs.  Run the odds if you don’t believe me.”
    Why wouldn’t a mix of both be possible? Why is it A or B with you? The world isn’t binary.

    “And stop comparing apples to oranges, comparing land units to air units is pointless as they have different roles.  The only reason air units are compared to naval units is the carrier.  I would almost always take 3 mech inf over 2 armor.  I’ll take what I start with but other than that, junk.”
    I suppose I can tell you this too. Why are you comparing two naval units when both of them serve a different purpose?
    DD : Meat to any fleet, detect sub
    Cruiser : Shore bombard, better offensive capabilities, is likely to be sacrificed before capital ships
    And you stated it yourself. Units have different roles. If air units have different roles than ground, why wouldn’t two units (ground-ground or naval-naval) serve different role? You are taking the units too narrowly and are not capable of seeing the game in its totality.

    I will go with Craig A Yope that some of the units might not be balanced. Increasing AC price is one step toward that direction. As for ground units, I will need to play the game myself before concluding. But theoretically, I see reason why they wouldn’t be balanced. Each unit serve a different purpose and has its role. While Inf + Art are the heart of any ground army. Mech inf + tank are needed for their speed. Same way for naval units. While sub and DD will likely be the meat of any decent fleet, cruiser + BB + AC will serve to give more offensive power to it. Cruiser and BB will allow you to have more punch when doing amphibious. And Air with their mobility is probably the best unit in the game. However, they are not capable of landing in a conquered territory, thus making your offense more fragile to a counter


  • Mech need armor to blitz, not to move 2 spaces.  Without mech inf i’d agree armor would still have a situational use, but with mech, meh.


  • Can someone clarify the mech inf rule?


  • I just did, mech inf can move 2 space, but they cannot blitz.

    Blitz is the action of taking an empty enemy territory and then continuing into another battle, mech if can do that if paired with an armor.  Mech inf is also boosted to a 2 attack when paired with an artillery.


  • I too have a problem with the ‘simple math’ line of reasoning.

    If the gameboeard was 2 nations and 3 total territories, then the ‘simple math’ would apply in this purchasing slugfest.  But, there are many, Many, MANY other factors like: how many transports are avaible, factory production limits, distance away, etc.  All of these cannot use ‘simple math’ to decide purchases.

    Of cousre, as Don Rae wrote in his essays that if your purchases are way off, it will really hurt your game.

    But to say ‘never buy such and such a unit, because it is not worth it’, is going too far.


  • Don Rae’s tactics don’t really apply to the newer games.


  • I would almost always take 3 mech inf over 2 armor

    The exception being production space. When producing at a minor factory, tanks are the best buy per slot for ground unit (just not per IPC). Ditto for transporting. Mech are just as ‘bulky’ for transporting as armor but deliver far less combat power on the attack.

    For those reasons, armor will still have a role (if more limited in the Pacific).

    But CAs just dont have even those saving graces. MAYBE if you are trying to maximize combat power in as few units as possible, but even there I’d rather have a CV and planes than a few CAs.

    And as noted above, you cant compare aircraft to ground units for cost because for planes you are paying for the versatility of a four range. But you CAN compare CAs directly to the other ship types since they will be competing for the same role. And in that competition, the CA is clearly inferior in 90% of the cases.


  • @maverick_76:

    Don Rae’s tactics don’t really apply to the newer games.

    Nor did I imply that Don Rae’s tactics apply here. Let me spell it out for you.  The general reference was to major purchasing mistakes would cost you the game.

  • '10

    Don’t forget the psycological element.

    When attacking a small naval task force with planes, I don’t care about a DD.

    A CA is another caliber and another threat.

    It is the same with infantry/artillery and tanks. You have allways a closer look on the enmy tanks.

    Shure, you can’t scare mathematicians with this psycological element, but an A&A player who cares for his planes, running out of resources.


  • Great point about deterring an air attack on your small task forces. +1
    If each cruiser got one AA shot @1 (not for each plane, but one per cruiser) that would be cool and valuable while keeping with the spirit and cost structures discussed.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Maybe they would be built if you couldn’t build Capital ships (acc + bat) out of Minor complexes.

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