So, the correct setting was only 1/6 per unit, either DD or TcB, for a single opportunity before Subs submerge.
This is interesting but I think that due to the size of sea zones, it should be for all fleets. In my current naval redesign, I made subs cheaper (4) and they attack and defend on a 1 (they were terrible at any kind of engagement where they were spotted) but they need to be spotted first. Surprise attack is still a 2.
I also halved the attack value of aircraft against vessels except for tactical bombers (which can be thought of as naval bombers as well) so fighters on a 2 and tac on a 3. Strategic bombers don’t have any use outside strategic attacks but strategic attacks matter more.
This means that air power needs volume to act as a deterrent.
Then I created a tech deck and you can develop radar and ASDIC to counter subs (centimetric radar was vital in the war of the atlantic as planes now could detect submarines far away and limit their on surface time which effectively hindered their ability to operate) and you can also develop Submarine tech to counter to some extent such advances (metox, decoys, snorkels, sonar ablative counters) and then the Type XXI and XXIII subs which can provide a new advantage if you are still in the battle of the Atlantic.
I also think that the rules for aerial combat from 1914 are the best ones yet and I kind of co-opted them. Planes can intervene only in the first round of combat and you can use TAC and fighters to attack enemy troops and there is a mandatory air superiority round (like the 1914 one) to decide intervention though both sides can scramble fighters and tac bombers to intervene in the ground combat.
I am in the process of revamping ground combat to a more interesting approach but I need to test a lot of things. Bottom line is that I always disliked the “one hit and you are out” system of A&A and I am trying things where units have multiple hit points and they represent army corps instead of divisions.
Here’s a couple of changes I am testing out so far (if anyone interested, we could arrange a tabletop simulator or another online platform game to try it out… It is quite a tedious process though as we aren’t playing a game really. Lots of testing, restarting, testing again):
When you buy an infantry corps, it has 3 disks under it (2 for Italy to represent their 2 brigade infantry divisions which in practice meant that their infantry formations were inherently weaker than French, British or German) and attack with 2 dice on a 1. Every hit, you remove one disc from under it. First disc is “free” and nothing much happens it just means that your infantry corps is getting disorganized. Second disc, you lose one attack die so now you only roll one die for attack. You need to pay 1IC per disc to recover org and strength. You lose another one and that unit is not combat effective anymore and wont roll any dice and another hit will remove it from the game (you will need to basically pay 3 IC to get it up to strength the advantage being that this inf corps will be at the frontline already).
This also means that Italian infantry after sustaining a single hit loses a lot of their grunt and in North Africa it seems to work quite well as the British with less apparent units can sustain themselves against Italy quite well especially on the defense since after the first round of combat, the Italians will lose a lot of their firepower and quickly becoming very ineffective.
The advantage of this is that for Operation Barbarossa in 1941, you can give a malus to the soviet infantry where they use only one die to represent the lack of organization due to the red army purges and whatnot meaning that the early german advance will be easier even with a numerical disadvantage (more on that on another post ^^).
I am also toying with the idea that combat is limited to 2 rounds (armored and mechanized units can fight an extra round) and then you need to pay with discs to push the attack representing lack of organization and attrition. It also changes the concept of Blitzkrieg for armoured units as it means that the concept of contested provinces gets introduced here (again, a great concept from 1914) and I want armoured units to be able to push through a contested province and attack the next one which can lead to encirclements.
This also seems to make (more testing needed to calibrate costs and stuff) your IC having to be split between building new units and maintaining the ones you have.
Artillery also work a bit differently and instead of increasing infantry attack, they have a pre-attack barrage which can hit on a 1 before combat starts. And I am toying with the idea of artillery in neighbouring provinces being allowed to take part in this bombardment. And they attack normally on a 2 afterwards.
Anyway, there are still many, many more changes I am working on (to do with the planning level of the game) and if there is any interest, I can discuss them.