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I have been playing A&A since I was twelve (I am 30 now!). I have all the different A&A games published up to now.
I just found out about this forum (and that Larry Harris is around reading the posts!) and I would like to suggest a rule that I have been using to address the issue of Heavy Bombers (the only rule I still think is very unbalancing even in the Revised Edition). I also like these rules more than just reducing the heavy bombers strategic attack to 2d6 (choose the best die) + 1...
This discussion started in another forum (www.axisandallies.org) and I will be pasting here the main points:
"My concern about Heavy Bombers (HBs) is not that they should not be allowed. My point is that you should have a defense against them. In a well balanced game, every offensive tatic should have a defensive tatic to be followed (ex: subs x destroyers). The more logical, and historically realistic, is to use fighters to defend against the bombers. Germany did and in the first allied attempts to bomb Germany without fighter escort, the americans had such terrible losses that they stopped running missions for some months.
So, historically, Germany had a possible defense against this tatic: to have many fighters to defend their country.
So, my suggestion is that (as in Axis & Allies: Pacific), Germany (or any other country, of course) could station fighters in CAP (combat air patrol) OVER THEIR FACTORIES. So, these fighters would be unable to make any attacks during their country "combat moves" in order to stay in CAP for a full turn. They would be put on CAP during the country's "non-combat moves" up to until the begining of that country's next turn.
If there was any strategic bombing, there would be 1 (only ONE) round of combat exchange between CAP fighters + AA guns and bombers + fighters in escort, all of them shooting at their normal value . After this one round exchange, the bombers would drop the bombs (would do economic damage) and fly away.
We assumed that the bombers + fighters in escort, who were going in a bombing mission, were the ones actually being attacked by the fighters in CAP. We did that to make sure bombers would shoot needing a 1 only (in defense) and it was actually more logical. You see, the bombers in a strategic attack are just going in to bomb the industrial complex, so it makes sense that the fighters in CAP are the ones attacking them.
Well, this way, a Strategic bombing raid works like that in our games now:
1 - Fighters can only be put in CAP over the industrial complexes in the "non-combat moves" phase. If they made any attacks, they cannot be put in CAP in this turn. They also CANNOT be purchased and put directly in CAP at the end of your turn. They also can NOT fly from somewhere else and be put in CAP at the end of their moves.
In short, in order to be allowed to be put in CAP, a fighter must have started the round in the industrial complex territory and DO NOTHING at all during this turn but being put in CAP.
2 - We put the "task force markers" (numbered 1 to 10), that comes with the Revised Edition, under the fighters to show planes in CAP.
3 - We have ONE ROUND ONLY of combat between the bombing forces (bombers + fighters in escort) against the AA gun + fighters in CAP.
4 - For this ONE round only, the AA gun shoots first (during the "first shots" phase, as usual) needing 1 against all planes in the bombing mission (rolling dice separately against fighters and bombers, as explained in the Revised Edition FAQ). Hits inflicted by the AA gun are removed before proceeding to the rest of the combat.
5 - Fighters in CAP attack needing a 3 or less (as usual) to hit.
6 - Bombers defend at 1 (one die only, even if they are Heavy Bombers, as stated in the rules) and fighters in escort defend at 4 or less.
7 - All casualties are removed. As usual, the defending player can choose wether to lose bombers or fighters in escort from the hits he received.
8 - Surviving bombers bomb the industrial complex (inflicting the usual damage for a bomber, or heavy bomber, if that is the case).
9 - The planes return at the end of the "combat moves" phase.
I think this is a very balanced rule that would make a better revised edition. We would be creating a possible defense to the bomber tatic but we would also make it have a cost for the defending nation; that is they could not use their CAP fighters in any attacks during their turn (if the nation attacks with the fighters during the "attack moves", it can not put the fighters on CAP as that happens during the "non-combat moves").
Even, historically, it would be interesting, because it would force the nations that want to bomb their enemies to send fighters to escort the bombers (and they would have to spend money to keep a reasonable proportion of bombers and fighters)."
Well, that's it. What do you seasoned players think about it?
1. Escort fighters roll 1 as hit.
..Intercepting fighters roll 2 or less as hit.
..AA-guns roll one die to each matching enemy aircraft. 1 is hit.
3.Surviving bombers roll die, number of eyes = loss of IPC.
Very easy and close to reality system, I love it.
The reason this system is not in Revised, can be found in Mike Selinkers words,.." It just didn't fit in."
Your proposal, mr War, is way too complicated.
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