Cruisers in Flames? (Full Version)

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Grotius -> Cruisers in Flames? (10/17/2014 8:07:56 PM)

I'm about ready to embark on a new Global War solitaire campaign, but I'm still newbish, even after beta-testing all these years. Up til now I've played with almost all the optional rules. This time around, I am inclining toward optional rules that help the Axis, as for whatever reason my solitaire games tend to result in big Allied wins. So, for example, I may ditch Food in Flames this time around. I'll still play with Oil, though, and most other optionals.

In particular, I'm wondering about Cruisers in Flames. I'd like to try a bigger Axis submarine offensive than I have in past games. Should I think about ditching Cruisers in Flames?




warspite1 -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/17/2014 8:14:58 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Grotius

I'm about ready to embark on a new Global War solitaire campaign, but I'm still newbish, even after beta-testing all these years. Up til now I've played with almost all the optional rules. This time around, I am inclining toward optional rules that help the Axis, as for whatever reason my solitaire games tend to result in big Allied wins. So, for example, I may ditch Food in Flames this time around. I'll still play with Oil, though, and most other optionals.

In particular, I'm wondering about Cruisers in Flames. I'd like to try a bigger Axis submarine offensive than I have in past games. Should I think about ditching Cruisers in Flames?
warspite1

NO!!

If you did you wouldn't get to play with this beauty [:(]


[image]local://upfiles/28156/C8F3850A75014F92B64DD4BBB36D631E.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/17/2014 8:30:40 PM)

In the absence of Convoys in Flames, Cruisers in Flames is a big gimme for the Allies for convoy defence.

So if you're trying to reduce the disparity between sides, I would concur with playing without that option.




Grotius -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/17/2014 9:56:17 PM)

Well, you guys have nicely captured both sides of the issue for me! Hmm. I'll think on it. Anyone else care to weigh in?




brian brian -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/17/2014 11:18:30 PM)

The submarines vs. merchant shipping is already a very strange thing in World in Flames, so it is a difficult question to answer, for me, as I look at things from a realism point-of-view. Some players will trade in realism for playability; I would rather increase realism as this game already takes a long, long time to play anyway.

In short: CRUISERS WERE NOT ASW PLATFORMS. It's just a playability fudge. The whole ASW system is that way - Allied investments in ASW are given to them free as the war progresses, for example, when they have to elect to build any other force, such as choosing more strategic bombers or more carriers. The weirdness just continues in so many areas when you compare the game mechanics to history and the whole system could use a major re-write. Sure, it kinda works, just don't watch how it works.

I have had some fun games with the Light Cruisers in play, particularly with the German Commerce Raiders, which aren't ready yet in MWiF.

Oil and the Light Cruisers gets to be a headache, counting manually, as now you have counters that need 2/5, 1/5, 1/10, and 1/20 of an oil point. The players quit moving them even when they can afford the oil, just to avoid figuring out the oil.

But ultimately too with the CL on the board, the navies just never get much smaller, and fewer Battleships ever sink, and having so many pieces essentially doing the same thing gets annoying.

I have liked playing with Presence of the Enemy, Light Cruisers, and a proposed optional rule not available in MWiF, Cruiser Damage, where each result against a Cruiser requires adding another identical result. That rule has it's own plus and minus that I can never recall, though I liked how it encouraged the players to use their Battleships, which have more staying power in combat. I like a robust naval game.

But whatever you do, World in Flames at sea is always an odd beast.




Grotius -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/17/2014 11:59:14 PM)

Thanks for your comments. I've played WITP/Admirals Edition for many years, and I'm inclined to think that if I really want to play with every CL, I'll play that game. Sorta leaning against Cruisers in Flames for my next MWIF go. But still curious what other experts think.




Ur_Vile_WEdge -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/18/2014 12:37:21 AM)

I think that Cruisers in Flames is a big boost for the Allies, and that Convoys in Flames is a fairly big boost for the Axis. You should play with both if you're going to touch either one, but I think playing with both nets a slight positive to the allies vs playing with neither.

It's more than just the greater numbers on both sides, CliF gives the British both the ability to specialize (since the BB are now nigh-worthless against subs and can consequently be concentrated where you're expecting to fight SCS) and the ability to establish presence in a whole lot of sea zones with your endless light cruisers.

Plus, they give a big ablative boost, which favors air combat over surface combat even more. Playing with CliF, you're going to be spending a lot more surprise points to pick targets unless you want to blow up yet another 2 surface factor no AA cruiser that has extraordinarily little firepower but can take a hit the same as your valuable ships.


I'm not going to hazard an opinion on which way is more realistic, but I do think that more cruisers actually results in a net negative to the game.




AlbertN -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/18/2014 1:09:23 AM)

I somehow feel there is a lot of AA due to them and that indeed submarines are pretty much doomed to fail due to the ever-present escorts.
Let's say that to play with Cruisers in Flames give a massive boost in BPs to the Allies more than anything else - which is quite felt via the game.

Food in Flames mentioned in the opener thread is a no go, as CW appears strong as it is without 3 BPs free per turn!




brian brian -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/18/2014 1:39:23 AM)

Ahh, I just remembered another optional rule that I really like, is very good to use with the Light Cruisers, and would be super easy to implement on the computer, though it is not all that difficult to do with 2d10 either, once you know how to do it. And is also good without the CL.

That is randomised naval targets, or whatever it was called. Instead of everyone trashing their ships strictly on counter values - worst when you pick, best when the enemy picks - the dice pick. I think it also improves things when TRS are selected, so the enemy doesn't magically get to zero in on the one with the HQ-A on it. You can still order your dive bombers to target CV first; but which flat-top they dive on is randomised, unless you spend three surprise points to be precise.

This also puts a premium on using your BB, rather than relying on a pile of cruisers to get lucky search dice to win a battle.

We might have house ruled that any Damaged ship could be picked - the bomber pilots follow the smoke or the oil slick and finish off cripples, your choice. We were probably also playing with screening in surface combat. If a ship doesn't add factors to your surface total, it can't suffer a result unless the enemy uses 3 surprise points.

The computer could make it all happen quickly, and perhaps on a computer more people would use it, to save time / clicks, particularly with net play or hybrids of it.

How do you do it on 2d10, say when you have 13 targets? Just roll the 2 dice as a percentile, 01-00 (100). Anything over a clean multiple of the # of targets is a reroll. For 13, that would be anything over 91. Then subtract the whole multiple lower than the number from the result. So a result of 67 would be ship #2 in a line of counters, or a stack, as 67 - 65 = 2. Simple.

Of course with dice and counters this instead adds time, so most players don't care as it is more interesting to play the next offensive chit on Manstein. And for that reason this is probably at least 5 years away from being part of a computer edition of World in Flames.




paulderynck -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/18/2014 2:25:30 AM)

RAW7 already has been critiqued for making the Battle of the Atlantic too easy for the Allies. With CLiF, it's an utter walk. Don't do it. (Even COiF doesn't rebalance the situation, and without COiF, it's beyond ridiculous.)




Grotius -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/18/2014 2:41:07 AM)

Started my game without Cruisers in Flames. Already glad I did! If nothing else, the counter density is much lower, which is sort of a relief. We'll see how it goes. I haven't had much success using U-Boats in my prior games; this time I plan to put more emphasis on that aspect of German production and play.




Courtenay -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/18/2014 5:40:51 AM)

I am playing with Cruisers in Flames in my game, and after two years of war in which submarines did little except make the other side respond to them, suddenly the last two turns submarines have savaged both sides convoy lines.
So I will attest that CiF does not make submarine actions impossible.




paulderynck -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/18/2014 6:35:21 AM)

NO. It makes them lucky.




AlbertN -> RE: Cruisers in Flames? (10/18/2014 12:01:06 PM)

On the subs I quite agree with Paulderynck - Submarines are more a threat that force the UK to scatter their forces in the Atlantic and not use them elsewhere - but in most case it's paramount to attack any convoy force with some cruisers escorting.
Especially as Germany too lacks actions to send ships out alltogether once they're at it with Russia.

Yes you can get lucky. In late '41 / Early '42 I reduced the UK capability to 9 BPs for two turns with two lucky searches in a row, by though winning initiative, going first, before the UK could send more in the area besides their Escorts at 0, and ultimately force them to depart from the sea-zone leaving a gap in a core / bottleneck region of their convoy pipeline.
But all other attempts to send subs out has been quite frustrating.

If you send them out first the enemy knows where you are and will react to it.
If you play second, probably then you have escorts all over the seazones with ships in the 3-4 box too.




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