Amphibious Assault Bonus

Have you been playing with some house rules over the years - or even recently invented, that you'd like to share?
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Der Kuenstler
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Amphibious Assault Bonus

Post by Der Kuenstler » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:03 pm

I believe one big problem with Axis and Allies is the Amphibious Assault. Battlehips and cruisers are able to fire a one-shot support attack before troops land, which actually makes it EASIER to do an AA than it does to do a conventional land attack. How many times have we seen the lone Japanese soldier on Okinawa simply blown aside by naval fire and 2 US infantry land like it was all a breeze. Historically amphibious attacks were much more difficult to do. They required tons of extra equipment and special planning.

A simple solution is to give units defending against a pure amphibious attack (not combined with any land attack) a defensive bonus. Set a section up on the defense side of the battleboard that looks something like this:

Image

Stack up five chips in this square when facing a pure amphibious assault. These chips do not fire, but they will will soak up hits from the attackers and represent the difficulty in wading to shore under confusion and duress. Only after the five chips are gone does the defender start taking regular casualties. The defender gets no bonus if the AA is combined with a land attack.

Under a game test I first attacked the lone Japanese defender on Okinawa with a large US force and had zero losses. With the bonus, however, the US still took the island, but it cost them an infantry and a fighter. Much more realistic, IMHO.

WILD BILL
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Re: Amphibious Assault Bonus

Post by WILD BILL » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:23 pm

I think amphib def could use some work, but 5 soaker chips (for free) just seems over board IMO.

Maybe for every inf you have in a territory on the coast, or on an island you can buy an extra hit chip for 1 IPC (like a bunker chip). If the inf moves from the territory, the chip would stay behind as long as you still have control of it (lose the territory and chips are removed). The bunker chip only protects inf (chip has no values, just soaks one hit), and if there are no inf then you get no bonus. Your inf can move to another territory leaving the bunker chip behind, and return later (or you could send in other inf to man the bunker).

So it would basically be a 2 hit inf for 4 IPCs for coastal tt only. Your inf wouldn't be married to the bunker, you could abandon it then move back with other inf.

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Der Kuenstler
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Re: Amphibious Assault Bonus

Post by Der Kuenstler » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:37 am

WILD BILL wrote:Maybe for every inf you have in a territory on the coast, or on an island you can buy an extra hit chip for 1 IPC (like a bunker chip).
Interesting, but why pay for something that is inherently easier? Realistically it is just easier to defend against an amphibious assault than a conventional land attack. 5 hits may be too much though - I'll have to experiment with that.

WILD BILL
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Re: Amphibious Assault Bonus

Post by WILD BILL » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:21 am

If your going to make it free, then you should have some limit based on the defending units there. I just don't think you should get 5 hit chips for one inf, and the same if you have 5 inf. Even if you didn't pay for the chips base it on how many units you have defending these fortified positions. Maybe place bunker chips at set up (free), then after that pay 1 IPC for them? Not sure though because many islands in the Pac start off unoccupied.

There's a lot of house rules for amphib. Some ppl have the attacking units fire a lower value (-1) the first round. Some have the def units get a boost (+1) in the first round to show the difficulty involved getting a beach head. Some give a bonus to inf, others to art. I have seen a +1 for inf in def of amphib when paired with art (similar to the attack bonus the inf/art pairing gets). Have also seen where def art gets a kill shot (still fires a 2) in the first round of battle in an amphib (attacking units don't fire back and are removed).

I like the idea of having some kind of bunker chip/block house in the game, and some should be added to set-up (free), then after that a cost is involved (like building an Atlantic wall). I also think they should be proportionate to the def units somehow (maybe manned 1:1 w/inf or art to soak a hit). Maybe you remove the bunker chip if assigned a hit, or maybe it soaks a hit, but after the battle it auto rebuilds as long as you still hold the territory?

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Der Kuenstler
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Re: Amphibious Assault Bonus

Post by Der Kuenstler » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:07 pm

WILD BILL wrote:If your going to make it free, then you should have some limit based on the defending units there. I just don't think you should get 5 hit chips for one inf, and the same if you have 5 inf.
But consider with one infantry defending, only one guy will be firing at the invaders @ 1/3 chance of hitting anything - so not much harm will be done while the chips are getting removed. If five defending infantry and a fighter are firing back, however, much more harm will be done before the five chips are removed. If you started adding more chips for more defending units, I think it would get too hard to even try an invasion.

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Der Kuenstler
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Re: Amphibious Assault Bonus

Post by Der Kuenstler » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:12 pm

After more game testing this bonus should be reduced to three if used.

timerover51
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Re: Amphibious Assault Bonus

Post by timerover51 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:34 pm

What I use in an amphibious assault is that naval gunfire does not have an independent bombardment roll, but fires in support of assaulting infantry or US Marine units, giving them an attack roll of 2 for infantry and 3 for US Marines. Add another rule that Japanese infantry take two hits to kill when defending (one hit when attacking like normal infantry), and Pacific amphibious assaults are much more difficult things.

I am considering requiring two (2) destroyers for support fire for one unit, or one cruiser, with a battleship able to support two (2) units. I may test that in my WW2 games class in a couple of weeks, with one game using the one ship for one unit, and the other game using 2 destroyer/1 cruiser/ battleship supports 2 rule.

One other rule that I also use is that aircraft cannot kill infantry. They can kill tanks however, and non-Japanese-held island artillery. Japanese artillery on the Pacific islands held by them was typically thoroughly dug in and concealed, and very hard to locate. The extreme examples of this are Iwo Jima and Okinawa. It is quite possible that all of the air attacks on Iwo Jima prior to the invasion failed to kill a single Japanese soldier.

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Der Kuenstler
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Re: Amphibious Assault Bonus

Post by Der Kuenstler » Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:20 pm

Interesting ideas - so your ships support infantry like artillery does. That sounds better - I just finished a book about island fighting and it was indeed very tough to take things out with planes.

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