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Oil Tankers

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:50 pm
by Flashman
Proposal for new piece: the oil tanker (AO)

This unit has no combat capability, but can fuel ships at sea so mitigating the need for fueling stops as described under my rules (qv)

Without this piece it would be impossible for the USA to carry out the invasion of Morocco (Operation Torch) in which fleet sailed directly from American ports to amphibious assault the African coastline. It would also be of vital importance in the Pacific, particularly if the US is forced on the defensive into the Eastern Pacific where there are relatively few potential refueling centres (islands).
Of course the oiler has to refuel itself in port (and replenish cargo) as per normal but it has the capacity to refuel a number of ships at sea effectively extending their operational range.

As far as I can gather only the US operated such a system, though Germany seems to have tried a refueling sub in the Atlantic and the Japanese could refuel seaplanes with subs (see Midway campaign).

So then, Oiler:

Move 2 (must refuel each turn)
no combat value (but can be taken as a casualty)
Cost 15?
Can refuel 3? ships at sea between it's own refueling stops.
Also considered to have refueled any fighters on refueled carriers.

To illustrate (on my map) the invasion fleet would leave US East Coast, pass Bermuda and end the turn with oiler/s in NA6.
On the next turn the invasion fleet refuels from the oilers then proceeds through the Azores into the Strait of Gibraltar (or NA8-Canaries) to AA Morocco. Since the oilers cannot refuel themselves! they would not be able to accompany the main fleet (you cannot refuel at a territory you've just captured) so would have to return to the US coast or any other friendly port (need not be a naval base). ... oosted.jpg

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:39 pm
by FleetAdmiral
Instead of introducing a new piece for this, why not instead use a Transport designated as such (although this transport cannot hold troops)? In order to distinguish this Fleet Oiler, place a nation marker below said Transport.

This helps to keep things simple, especially managing on-board game pieces.

Fleet Oilers, while critical (especially in the Pacific), 15 IPCs is too much. I'd say 8 to 10 IPCs.

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:08 am
by Dagon81
That would be great but first I think there must be an adaptation of the new units (trucks, cruisers, supplies...) to the Axis & Allies games. With the supplies management it would make some sense to introduce this new unit - the oil tanker.

But is this unit a transport? and what to say about the submarine oilers that cooperated with regular submarines? Its complicated... but Larry always has a the solution :)

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:18 am
by Flashman
I would say make it a new piece with no combat capability. But these were big ships and should be reasonably expensive - perhaps 10 or 12?

Only one hit point mind!

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:34 pm
by FleetAdmiral
There were a lot more Fleet Oilers than sub tenders. In the German's case the sub tender role was heavily determined by the Milk Cows in the Atlantic. The situation in the Indian Ocean was different of course.

In the case of the Japanese their fleet boats (I series, not RO series) were designed for extreme range and tended to refuel at bases...

For purposes of simplicity submarines should be exempt from the proposed Fleet Oiler rule. After all subs didn't refuel via Fleet Oiler anyway; consume a lot less oil, and tended to operate alone (with Germans being the exception).

Fleet Oilers set up on the game board -> only Japan, United States and Britain should have them. And each nation should only be assigned one such ship. Japan and the especially the United States suffered from a Fleet Oiler shortage, and Britain's capability in this area was also extremely limited.

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:16 am
by templeton
I thought the DD and BB models represented 'fleets', which would be assumed to contain their organic supply and support systems - including oilers.

One altenrative would be to treat naval units like air units - in so much as they can 'project' themselves a certain distance from their home port.

This of course makes Royal Naval Transfers around the Empire difficult, and then you need naval interception rules, and I guess it all gets too complicated.

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:16 pm
by Flashman
Most fleets were limited in range due to the need to refuel at friendly bases. My rules propose that every ship must refuel every turn. By using oilers the range can be effectively doubled, but the oilers themselves must refuel AND take on cargo in port.