Monday, 16 December 2013

Axis & Allies. War at sea

This weekend I've tried something totally different. A friend of mine (who is my regular oponent these days at most games) got 'Axis &Allies. War at sea' and, of course, we had no choice but to play it ;)

The game needs little introduction. Naval battles in WWII

We didn't dare to try any historical scenario this time, as we were just trying to catch up the rules, so please don't scream when you see the absurd bunch of ships we mustered and the battle we played :P

US and UK up in the pic, Japanese down. Pretty nice fleets
Having not any intention of historical accuracy, we felt free to simply send our ships ahead and see what happened. This is the kind of game I enjoy, easy going and quick to set. The rules are easy. The player with the initiative moves his ships, then the other one does so. Aircrafts move, ships defend themselves from aerial attacks, those planes still able to proceed make their attacks, then the ships shoot their cannons. That's it.

I'm too lazy to explain again. This is easier for everyone
So both players move, you resolve all aerial attacks and then shoot your ships.

The ships gather for the incoming battle
Airplanes begin their raids. Here the Avengers
And Zeros, 'Betty' and B5M2
We realized we were doing it wrong. Planes cannot but scratch destroyers or cruisers. They must focus on smaller ships or other planes. Besides, we also did it wrong with the rules. The air defence phase, if successful, makes the planes abort their attack, but we made it a quite effective phase, making ships take planes down. We weren't aware of that until the very end of our game. D'oh!

The explosion marker is a painted piece of sponge. Just for the show
The end of turn 1 left us this view:

You better do something with your helm. Right now.
USS Hornet and Shoho dancing around the island
When you shoot, you roll as many dice as your artillery value (as your ship description card states). Getting a 4+ means a hit, but you need to take more hits than the armour of the target ship.
So let's say you are trying to hit a ship with an armor value of 6 with your batteries, which have a value of 7. You roll 7 dice, but you need at least 6 results of 4+ to inflict any damage to the enemy. For this purposes, a result of 6 counts as two hits, so things can get ugly when you begin to roll dice and dice:

I'm recalling those images from documentaries. A hard day to be there
Submarines can also be quite effective
Whenever a ship is hit so hard that it becomes to the point of loosing all her hull points, the ship is sunk. This can only be achieved after a serious, heavy artillery punishment.

This is a real hell on the sea
Ships are sinking...
Once ships get close, artillery barrages are deadly. The Japanese fleet was hit hard this turn and suffered heavy losses, including their carrier.

By now we were running short of explosion markers!
Planes miss the submarine
The USS Hornet is endangered
Clash of the Titans. HMS Prince of Wales and Fuso. Boom! Boom! Blamm!
But in the final stages of the battle, the other Allied ships came to the rescue:

Boom! Boom! Ka-boom! Blast! Ba-da-boom!
And the Fuso was definitely sunk, giving Allies the final victory.

You can sink all the Japanese fleet, but your grandchildren will be subjugated by manga and anime! Remember my words!!
Well, we for sure did lots of mistakes during the game, but the most important thing is that we really enjoyed it; I had never played this kind of game and it is totally different to what I could have expected. War at this scale is quite a thing, now we have to see if we dare to play a historical scenario!


  1. Hace poco vendí mis flotas... Es un juego entretenido, pero demasiado abstracto para mi gusto. A parte de que conseguir juntar una flota medianamente histórica era muy complicado.

  2. Eso es cierto, me parece difícil juntar una flota "de verdad" y jugarla (salvo que estés dispuesto a hacer una inversión seria). Pero la verdad es que para ser mi primera toma de contacto, me lo pasé como un enano :)