The committee reviewing the rules provided in the game box has made a number of minor changes to help clarify the wording and intent of the rules as printed. We have made some substantive changes though too, for two purposes:
1) Clarification of the whole game move processes. Years of experience have taught us where problem areas occur, and transports cause the most difficulty.
2) Reworking of the rules that seem to tilt the balance of the game (Heavy Bombers, rockets, and technology timing are the prime examples).
Game Process Changes-
We have changed a number of rules that might have caused confusion or discord due to non-separation of the phases of a game.
The principal rules affecting the game are the opening sentences of the three core phases: combat movement; conduct combat; and, non-combat movement. Combat movement requires that you move only those pieces that will attack enemy units and/or that will attack (or in the case of transports - participate in the attack of) enemy spaces. Conduct combat is the phase when ALL rolling is done. Non-combat movement is the phase in which you may move any piece which did not move or participate in combat (air units are the SOLE exception).
The changed rules principally are the following:
I. Air units and Antiaircraft guns-
1) Air units that participate in combat remain over the battle site until the conclusion of all combat situations for that round. They land in the non-combat phase of play. They are the ONLY pieces that may move in BOTH combat and non-combat phases.
2) Antiaircraft guns only fire during the conduct combat phase against air units that moved in the combat move phase. They do not fire at any air units moving in the non combat move phase, whether just doing a non combat move or returning from battle.
3) No units may move in the mobilize units phase. You can place new fighters on YOUR existing carriers or on YOUR new carriers (if the carrier is in the sea zone adjacent to your IC).
Transports are often the most difficult pieces to understand for new players. We have simplified the rules for transports:
Case Set #1-
If you load a transport in the combat move phase, you must unload the newly loaded units in the same turn in combat, unless the transport is sunk or forced to retreat from a sea battle in its intended offloading zone.
Discussion. You cannot load a transport and then intentionally conduct only a sea battle with that transport. The unit moves in combat movement by boarding the transport. Since it can only board a transport in a friendly sea zone, this would be a non-combat move unless the land unit follows through and offloads into a hostile territory. It is cargo only during the transport's movement. The land unit does not participate in any sea combat (it may be lost, but it does not count as a combat loss).
Case Set #2-
If you have a unit(s) already aboard and move the transport to conduct a sea battle, the land units are just cargo (at least until the transport reaches the sea combat zone.) You must declare before you roll any battles whether you intend to offload any land unit (zero, one or two could offload in combat) from this transport into an amphibious assault. If you do not offload any units in combat though (and the transport participated in sea combat), you may NOT offload any units in non-combat as the transport has exhausted its move for the turn in the combat phases.
Case Set #3-
If you are loading units in non-combat, you may offload zero, one or two units in that phase (but still only into one territory).
Case Set #4-
If you have units already aboard and are offloading units in non combat, you may offload zero, one or two in that phase (but still only into one territory)
Game Balance Changes-
The principal changes are:
1) Tech rolls take effect in the mobilize units phase of your turn (effectively delaying their implementation by one turn)
2) Heavy Bombers roll 2 dice; you take the better roll. For SBRs add "1" to the better roll to determine damage done.
3) The COMBINED total of any bombing raid and rocket attack for a turn is limited to the value of the territory under attack.
***These three changes should prevent Sea Lion or a USA bomber buildup strategy.***
4) Super Subs at 3/3. No other special abilities.
5) Fighters can land in a sea zone adjacent to an IC if a CV has been purchased and is placed there.
Allowing fighters to end their move in a sea zone adjacent to an IC when you will place a newly purchased carrier there is the best solution to the concerns raised about reinforcing new carriers for the following reason.
If you attack with a carrier, but only plan to move its fighters in non-combat, you are permitted to have fighters "hanging" over an open sea zone for two phases (combat move phase and conduct combat phase).
So, since fighters are permitted to "hang in space" for an entire combat sequence, then it also made sense to allow them to hang in space long enough after the non combat move phase to place a carrier under them. This way, they do NOT get any additional movement points.
6) The other major balance change is to provide for a moderate Victory City condition of 9 VC's.
In answer to questions concerning the review process-
If you look at the preamble to the new rules you will find that our PRIMARY objective was to rewrite the rules so they were clear. Game balance for known issues (Rocket and HB damage, tech timing) was an important but secondary objective. The correction for fighters moving to new carriers was not a game balance decision - it was a rules clarity decision. Judging from the feedback we have received, you and many others believe that the change ALSO affected balance and in a strongly adverse fashion.
When the committee working on the rules reviewed the published rule set we found a significant number of rules that we felt would be confusing, especially to new players, as they conflicted with other parts of the rule book, quite often without any kind of specific warning (e.g., EXCEPTION, the following is an exception to the rule . . .).
Loading infantry in the combat move phase, then leaving them aboard a transport without ever planning to engage them that turn in combat. (They may have been collateral damage if the sea combat went awry, but they were not engaging in combat themselves).
Loading infantry in the combat move phase, then offloading them in the non-combat move phase (violating the opening sentence of the non combat move phase section - move those pieces you have not already moved this turn).
Antiaircraft guns firing in the non-combat move phase (we believed non combat means nobody gets shot at)
Moving existing pieces during the mobilize units phase (including pieces belonging to other powers) - this was allowing air units additional move points, not to mention additional turns for foreign powers.
We changed ALL these rules in a wholesale fashion to disentangle the major phases from each other and to strip out as many exceptions to the basic turn sequence as we could.
The new rule set had tried to make some effort to allow newly hatched carriers to have some air protection. Rather than totally removing this option, we felt it reasonable to allow new air units to mobilize in sea zones adjacent to IC's, so we went the "extra step" and added the rule permitting your new fighters aboard your old or new carriers.
BlackWatch, Vice JAG AAMC
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