And if we’re talking history, just about every source - the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Speer, and every recent book I’ve ever read - says it just didn’t work. German production lifted dramatically through the war years. despite the US and UK spending something like 20-35% of their entire national effort on throwing planes and aircrew away.
Latest posts made by HMS Onslow
RE: An introduction and a question about Strat. bombing
RE: AARHE: Phase 3: land Combat
Ground forces should have SOME ability to knock out planes. Fighters/dive bombers doing low-level attacks had to face machine-gun and even rifle fire which was no fun in large quantities.
We can’t forget that ground forces normally had some heavy AA (in British forces these were often a Brigade of 3.7s attached at Corps level). So there should be some small chance of taking out aircraft with ground forces; maybe 11+ on D12, or 1 D6 for every 2 ground units?
I reckon this is where the AA guns come in; they aren’t all that effective but they are pretty cheap, so you should be able to buy some mobile AA and use them to protect your ground forces from aircraft. A good NA is to allow Germans to use their mobile AA (which would include many 88s) as anti-tank. Then again I reckon we need anti-tank artillery units anyway (cheap, good in defence against tanks, bad against infantry) as this will reduce the power of tanks.
Out of interest, considering the duration of a turn (3 months) the fact that planes have to reload is not all that serious, is it, since so does everyone else over that sort of period. However, only allowing them a few rounds is quite a good idea because it sort of allows for the fact that it takes an enormous amount of supply to keep planes flying.
RE: AARHE: Phase 2: Units
Perhaps it’s just 'cause people don’t think AA guns are cool.
Look at the way people go mad for jet fighters, which (if I remember right) shot down a mere 150 or so allied aircraft. It’s nothing in the scheme of things, but people want to play with cool weapons.
Same with Tiger tanks….overall arguably a minus for the Axis because they cost to much and were so unreliable, but most games seem to include them.
In one way, the AA gun does hit too hard…in reality, fighters and night fighters were much more of a problem. If you don’t have AA, though, it’s too easy to just build lots of bombers knowing they’ll take no losses.
Maybe the answer is to reduce the effectiveness of bombers and AA, but that doesn’t fit A&A well.
RE: AARHE: Phase 2: Adding Italy to the game.
Well, in the interest of realism the Lend Lease stuff would have to get to Russia. Problem is, that takes up some of the precious US transports. Even if we gave the US extra transports, they move so slowly in the game that by the time they got to Murmansk or up through Persia, the Russians would be cactus.
Just another reason we need realistic speeds for ships, I reckon.
RE: AARHE: Phase 2: Units
The figure is from Max Hastings’ book “Bomber Command”. Hastings is a very respected war correspondent, Falklands etc and his research is pretty good. There’s similar info from Speer available in Galbraith etc.
Yep, you’re right, the women and kids (well teenagers) were in the cities. Because the Germans didn’t use women in industry like the allies did, their work in AA wasn’t such as loss to war production. The amount of guns and ammo WAS significant I think.
I think the idea that ICs have their own integral AA is a good one, and it would free the AA guns to be moved around in the role of mobile AA - or even used alongside the IC so they IC has its own AA PLUS the AA gun as well.
RE: Once and for all: Escorts and fighters in SBR'S
OK, here is the problem with adding interceptors, fighter cover, etc…
It was not until late in the war (specifically, the introducton of the P-51 Mustang) that Allied bombers had viable fighter escort for bombers. HOWEVER, the CBO was STILL effective using a combination of daylight precision and nightime runs on German targets WITHOUT figher cover.
But if you add CAP to the defender, and do not give the Allies automatic LRA by turn 4, then you have set up a circumstance where Axis air defense is, and will remain, superior to Allied bombing for the duration of the war (which is no where near accurate).
The AA roll of 1 in 6 includes CAP, the limitted FIG escort that was possible prior to the introduction of the P-51 et.al., etc. Otherwise, if it were Antiaircraft Artillery Only, the die would be 2 consecutive rolls of 1 on a d6 for a shoot down.
Also, the d6 variable for damage itself incorporates the effectiveness of defending CAP etc. This accounts for lost bombers on the run reducing total damage (as well as other factors like weather, previous bombing of the site, misses, etc.)
So… IF you want to include actual combat air patrol and fighter escorting, then any surviving bomber should do automatic damage of 6 IPC’s, since the bomber surviving to target means every single one of 1000 bombers on the raids made it to bomb their targets.
Sorry ncsc, but your idea that the allied heavy bombers was “effective using a combination of daylight precision and nightime runs on German targets” is incorrect according to the evidence as far as I can see.
Try reading the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. As JK Galbraith (the main author of rthe final version) admitted in his autobiography, it was politically influenced in favour of the bombing campaign. In fact, the whole basis of the strategic campaign was flawed.
The costly “battle of the Ruhr” in '43 reduced german steel consumption by 10%, but at the cost of 872 aircraft……each one containing some of the best-educated, longest-trained men the British had, in an extremely expensive bit of equipment.
Put it this way…they dropped (with VERY low accuracy) 58,000 tonnes of bombs, and lost about 20,000 tons of PLANES (872 planes at about 25 tons unladen each…OK maybe that should be reduced as some Wimpies may still have been shot down alongside Lancs, Stirlings and Halifaxes)!!!
So to put it in perspective, about 1/4 of the total weight of stuff hitting the ground was crashing British bombers. Does that sound like a successful effort?
All to reduce production by 4 to 6 weeks that year - when Germany had no massive problem with industrial capacity as they almost always had plenty in reserve.
The US daylight campaign was also unable to destroy German defence or industry until escorts arrived.
The famous Schweinfurt ball-bearing factory raids reduced production by 38 and 67%, but the Germans just used existing stock or redesigned gear. The official US report says that “there is no evidence that the attacks on the ball-bearing industry had any measurable effect on essential war production.”
And yet these raids - which cost the Germans no measurable effect - cost the Americans about 60% of the B17s used. The US official report says “repeated losses of this magnitude could not be sustained; deep penetrations without escort, of which this was among the earliest, were suspended.”
That’s “no measurable effect” For the loss of about 300 B17s.
Similarly, the US campaign against the German aircraft industry in 1944 was “a decisive victory for the German fighters” according to the US’s own official historian (Frankland).
So the US official reports themselves say the campaigns failed.
As Speer said, the allied effort was “vast but pointless” and had “no important effect on the German war effort by early 1944”.
By the end of '43, German war production had increased to three times what it was in January 1942. Yet more evidence that the allied SBRs failed.
If we’re going to try to enhance realism, we should make sure we’re heading int he right direction - that means doing research.
RE: AARHE: Phase 2: Units
Where flak batteries a major cost? Yep. In September '43, about a million people (many of them kids and women, though) were mannintg German AA defences, which used 8,876 of the superb “88” anti-tank/ant-aircraft guns, and 24,500 light AA guns and 7,000 searchlights.
Of course, the economic loss on the Allies in using many of their best men and most high-tech weapons to bomb German houses and fields (accuracy was terrible, factories extremely hard to destroy) was arguably higher than the cost to teh Germans, but there WAS a cost to the Axis.
By the way, if we’re searching for realism, allowing bombers to carry paratroops is extremely UN-realistic. Some obsolete bombers were used for paras when there was nothing else, but rarely; and I don’t think useful bombers ever carried paras.
RE: AARHE: Phase 2: Technology
But Duke, long-range fighters were completely different from jet fighters. In fact, the first jet fighter to enter service (Me 262 etc) had very short ranges by late-war standards (650 miles for the 262, compared to 2,125 miles for the F4U Corsair for example).
The early Zero had a range of 2000 miles, the early ME110 had a range of 1500, even the 1940 Spitfire (notoriously short-ranged) had a range of about 600 I think.
If the idea is to improve the realism, we shouldn’t be actually reducing realism.
RE: Axis and Allies Revised Varient ( historical edition)
I think the basic problem with improving realism is that the basic game is so incredibly un-realistic that sweeping changes are needed to make it even vaguely correct.
For example, it takes a whole move (3 months) to get from NY to the UK. The problem is that even ROWING BOATS can do it in less than two months in real life!
So according to A&A, a destroyer at top speed can do nothing more than look wistfully at a couple of guys in a rowboat as they speed past them……
I think the Shermans used at 2nd El Alamien left the USA just 3 months (1 move) before the battle. In the game, they would take 4 moves - a whole year.
But the slow movement doesn’t compensate for the lack of supplies, as the UK and Japan can still keep churning out weapons at full speed, even if they are blockaded by battleships and carriers six deep all around them. There’s no great drama if the UK loses the battle of the atlantic - the only thing that scared Churchill and a real possibility (unlike Sealion which was not really possible in real life yet is easy in the game).
On the other hand, many impossible moves are permitted - you can just wander into the Baltic with a transport. There is no terrain effect so you can drive a tank just as quickly through jungle, over mountainrs or through undeveloped un-supplied areas just as easily as you can drive through the steppes in the summer.
You get upgrades for jet fighters (which had only minor effects, due to allied tactics, reliability problems, armament which made them vulnerable to fighters, etc etc) and get to use kamikazes (again, really a minor effect on the war) but you don’t get to really use war-winning weapons like Liberty ships, ASV radar, escort carriers, or the vast improvements in ASW capacity.
Many of the major events of WW2 would either be impossible or not worth it in A&A, because of some fundamental features (lack of logistics, supply, terrain, speed/distance problems) and therefore maybe we need either massive change or to ignore the problems.
It could still be interesting to make a realistic set of rules, but there are going to have to be some massive changes.
RE: Anti-Aircraft Guns and Heavy Artillery
WARNING - NEWBIE’S LONG RAVING POST :?
If I can throw in a few ideas, as this thread seems to have moved on……
Impy like you I created the old battleships; they’re an interesting piece, well able to scare a Scharnhorst type or to defend (Surigao St) and useful for bombardment.
Personally I like having carrier planes (would Carrier Air Group be a better term as they are not all fighters?) separate from carriers, as it was quite possible for a CAG to be almost wiped out without the carrier itself getting scratched (see Zuikaku at Coral Sea IIRC).
One thing that could be interesting is to allow Japanese fighters to land on carriers in the Pacific, as many of their fighters were naval. While I don’t think all the pilots (apart from the vets) were trained in carrier landing, at least they did have that ability I think. And maybe other carriers could send fighters off but not take them back on, to replicate the sort of runs that Wasp and Furious did sending fighters to Malta. Just a minor detail but quite fun (mind you, I’m assuming the map is modified to include Malta which makes for some interesting play).
One thing is that cruisers didn’t hunt subs much. In fact off-hand I can’t recall a single instance where a cruiser sank a sub. Secondly is there any precedent for light cruisers being slower than heavy cruisers? Candidates for fastest cruisers were CLs like Atlantas and Didos IIRC.
One thing that’s strange is the incredibly slow movement of ships in the game. Like you I move the faster ones at 3 (which also adds the nice touch of having slow convoys and fast fleets) but this is still incredibly slow. A textbook figure for an armoured divison advance without combat was something like 2 1/2 mph during daylight only, which is 25% of the speed of a slow converted trawler which has vastly longer range and moves 24/7- yet in the game they move at the same speed! That takes away a whole lot of the flexibility of naval power.
It takes a 25 knot ship 9 turns to go from the UK around the world and back. That’s equivalent to what over 2 years, when the first guy to SAIL singlehanded non-stop on the same route did it in well under a year (4 moves) in a little old 33’ cruising ketch that did about 5 mph average! With distortion like that, no wonder naval units are under-used.
Exactly how you avoid the situation of having realistic-speed ships able to conduct a D Day landing from the USA without warning remains a problem; or does it? Just put a range limit on amphib ops?
I’m searching for a way that naval units can go something like realistic speed (which would improve the game IMHO) without getting too powerful. See below for some ideas.
There’s a guy with suggested rules somewhere else who allows planes to fly over only one sea zone to and from targets in combat moves; that looks good to me. Have you tried it?
These are just my ideas; you guys are much more experienced in A&A and it’s been years since I created any rules. It’s interesting to see how similar they are in some ways. I’ve given some a little “spiel” as in the real rules.
Anti-Shipping Aircraft. Cost 12. Attack/Defend 2 (v air/land) 4 (v ships). Gives ASW coverage to sea zones adjacent to “airport”. Non-combat move 6.
These represent anti-shipping and anti-sub forces (Liberators, Catalinas, Sunderlands, Beauforts, SM 179s, He 111 torpedo bombers, Nells, and landed CAGs like the Skuas of Norway '40 fame)? Normal bombers couldn’t hit a ship in a month of sundays, but the specialist groups sank the British capital ships Prince of York and Repulse and sealed the Japanese fate in New Guinea in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. (oh, and to anyone who is puzzled - yes there was such a battle and no it had nothing to do with the German Bismarck!..and I may be wrojng about the 5th AF having specialist training but I think they did)
Old Battleship â€“ Cost N/A, Attack 4, Defend 4 (ships) or 3 (subs) move 2, takes 2 hits.
The US and UK had many old battleships â€œleft overâ€ from WW1. They were weak and slow (hence the 2 movements) compared to other battleships, but in actions like Gneisenau and Scharnhorst v Revenge (IIRC) to Surigao Strait, they proved to be vital as far as defending freighters and troopships went. They were also good for bombardment. Because they were old, of course, you canâ€t build any more! (PS; it’s very tempting to create a few more units like modernised old battleships and old battlecruisers, but I’ll try not to!)
PS- battleships should be able to bombard IN DEFENCE without needing an amphib movement to support IMHO. Maybe drop attack to 2 to represent the fact that in such a situation many units they are attacking are inland. Even ships that were outdated in WW1 like the German Schiesen were pretty potent supporting ground forces in the Baltic - a hit by an 11" hurts no matter how old it is!
Carrier w 2 AC â€“ Cost 22, Attack 4, Defend 7, Move 3.
Light Carrier - Impy, Cleveland class CVLs were just as quick as an Essex weren’t they? Why do you have them slower?
Escort Carrier â€“ Cost 5, Attack 0, Defend 1, Move 2, Anti-Sub. Carries 1 CAG.
Escort carriers were enormously important in protecting convoys from subs. The cost seems low compared to transports, but each Escort Carrier (CVE) piece represents far fewer ships than a transport piece. The movement of 2 reflects the fact that these were capable of only around 18 knots (compared to the 26-30+ of a fast carrier).
Cruiser â€“ Cost 14, Attack 3, Defend 3*, Move 3 Shore bombardment 3/3.
Important ships; versatile. Some house rules have them basically as A/A vessels but out of the dozens of classes of cruisers, only 3 (Dido, Atlanta, old â€œCâ€s) were actually A/A vessels. Takes 2 hits.
Having CLs and CEs is interesting, but the CEs were not always as weak as you reckon Impy. I suppose it may be related to the fact that the terms were confusing in that there were “heavy cruisers” that were actually much lighter than some “light cruisers”!
Destroyer â€“ Cost 10, Attack 3, Defend 2, move 3, Anti-Sub, minesweep; shore bombard?
Some rules say destroyers can only move 3 when they have a fast carrier with them to refuel…their short range should be reflected in some way.
PS - DEs are good. I thought they might make life a bit complicated but hey, they’re fun. They represent both new DEs (US types, UK “Hunts”) and old DD (four stackers, V&Ws) and German, Italian and Japanese large Torpedo Boats (not to be confused with MTBs or TBs).
Impy re PT boats (let’s not forget also UK MTBs, Italian MAS, German E or S Boots… )
Interesting, but really did they ever DO anything during the war? Off hand I think I can remember one UK cruiser going down to “PT boat” attack; maybe some others. The biography of a successful commander of the largest “PT boat” of them all shows he was worried about converted trawlers and armed landing craft! At the very least surely you can’t allow them to move 3 since they were very, very short ranged; maybe like fighters they can just defend the area adjaent to their home port, and only otherwise move non-combat. They really should be weak as water IMHO.
Escort - Cost 6, Attack 1 (3 A/S), Defend 2, move 2. Anti-Sub, minesweep @
Represents corvettes, frigates, minesweepers, converted trawlers. The backbone of the convoy defenders, but too slow to move with a fleet.
Troopship â€“ Cost 20, Attack 0, Defend 2, Move 3 (or 4)? Carries 4 infantry.
Large liners like the Queen Elizabeth. These were among the most important of all units in the war, and perhaps the fastest of all over long distances (long range at high speed).
Transport â€“ Cost 4, Attack 0, Defend 1, Move 2 Carries ground units & logistics (8I.P.)
Becomes cheaper to allow for the fact that UK etc need lots of them (see convoy rules below) and the fact that they cannot be used in amphibious attacks against DEFENDED zones.
Landing Craft â€“ Cost 8, Attack 0, Defend 1, Move 2 Carries ground units and logistics
Note- I’m still trying to work out a logistics system for ground warfare! Any help?
Fleet Train â€“ Cost 5, Attack 0, Defend 1, Move 2 Repairs and supplies ships.
All combat craft must be within 2 SZ of Fleet Train or friendly territory, or add 1 to all rolls.
Note- this is another example of the old “captains think tactics, majors think strategy, generals think logistics” idea. Ships spent something like 20% of their time undergoing refit and without that they were slowed by dirty hulls, engines broke down, radars died. Oh, and without fuel they don’t go very well anyway! So the game must reflect that in some way. This may allow ships to get realistic range without dominating. This doesn’t reflect the long range of cruisers, though…must work that one out.
This also does not apply to transports as these had long range, or to long range subs.
I’m warming to this…it could accumulate so if you were 3 SZ from a base, you add 2 to all rolls; moves away. Note - DOES NOT APPLY to SZ 12 and under, to allow for the distortion in the map which would otherwise make life very hard for the Germans.
If it works, ships could be allowed to go even faster; perhaps they could go faster only in non-combat moves? More realism, more flexibility!
Submarine â€“ Cost 6, Attack 2* Defend 2, move 3 (or 1 when submerged).
Long-range subs are interesting and a very good idea IMHO, Impy, but there is little doubt that they were INFERIOR in defence as they took longer to submerge and were less manouvrable. I don’t think they were actually any better in attack either. See Doenitz’s memoirs, John Terraine and many other sources.
Maybe leave the cost high, have the same attack and defence, but don’t require Long Range subs to be near a home port?
Q Ships. Still wondering about this, just for fun. Not so much a Q Ship (it’s just a cool name) but an armed merchant raider of the Kormoran type. I wonder if it would be kept off the board, and the player running it could just write down the SZ it was in and then (assuming there was no combat) hand that over to the other player for checking later? Could a similar system make subs more powerful? Attack 1, Defend 1, speed 2, cost ???. Also act as “fleet train” for 1 ship (which is what happened when they were used as supply ships for PBs etc IIRC)
Q Ships are equipped for long voyages so the rule requiring ships to be near a home port doesn’t apply. The same could be applied to German “pocket battleships” which are otherwise CLs (which is what the germans late reclassified them as they were not as powerful as claimed). This gives the PBs some unique and realistic abilities.
Convoys - Nice system but saying you only lose points if the subs are off your IPC robs subs of a lot of their interest and power. Doenitz would sometimes send some subs into the St Lawrence and others to Cape Town at the same time. This flexibility was one of the interesting things about ASW.
I’ve tried various mechanisms and I’m turning towards a situation where UK, USA and Japan must keep freighters afloat in certain sea zones or lose IPs. It’s basically the Larry convoy route system, (which i didn’t know about at the time) but instead of one box, you have a whole zone to move around in. This allows you to dodge convoys and subs around like Wynn, Horton and Doenitz did in real life.
UK- SZ 1, 2, 7, 8,9,10,11 (have at least 1 transport at sea here or lose 8? IP). The main transatlantic route.
- SZ 28-35 (have at least 1 transport at sea here or lose 5? IP).
- SZ 11,12,17,18,19, 22-26 (have at least 1 transport at sea here or lose 5? IP)
US - SZ 10, 19 (simulating the Carribbean tanker traffic and the shipping along the E Coast) or lose 5.
- 1 transport at sea somewhere else or lose 5?
Russia (Yep, Russia). One US or UK transport in 30-35 OR in 3 and 4, or loses 5? IP (simulating the lend lease convoys through Murmansk or Persia…obviously both those must be held!)
Germany - Transport in Baltic OR ADJACENT PORT (to simulate the amount of fighter cover available) or loses 5 IPC (no iron ore etc from Norway and Sweden)
Japan - 1 transport at sea in 36,37, 49,59,58, or loses 8 IPC (vital oil traffic from NEI and Borneo)
1 other transport somewhere at sea in “japanese” SZ OTHER than 60-61 or loses 5 IPC
1 other transport at sea in 59,60,61, or loses 8 IPC.
So that’s a few ideas. Sorry to ramble on so much.
Add some retreat–on-land rules (I’m totally with you on that one Impy) and logistics and life could be interesting. Oh, and some rules to allow for fast movement inside sophisticated countries (ie Germany and Central US don’t count for movement of their forces), stop ships running through the Straits of Gib and into the Baltic; change the IPs to represent the fact that places like Ukraine and Caucasus created 60% of Russian supplies etc; and add some “terrain” (it’s very hard to attack India from Burma, it’s slow to attack through Italy/Southern Europe, give the poor Russians some more winter and maybe a monsoon for Asia, add in those interesting optional rules somewhere else for China, changing arty rules, introduce AT and mech infty…and we’ve got a totally new game. :roll: