18.0 Naval Power
Skip this entire section if the game being played does not include ships!
Naval warfare is handled fairly simply, because the series is built around land and air combat. However, some detail in naval operations is needed to allow for campaigns with an important naval component (specifically naval gunfire support and amphibious landings).
18.1 General Naval Rules
18.1a Supply. Ships never need supply.
18.1b Stacking. There is no limit to the number of ships that can stack in a hex. Ships cannot stack with enemy ships. Ships can enter hexes with enemy non-combat units, but cannot stack with enemy combat units (see 4.8c).
18.1c Naval Movement. Most ships can only enter all-sea hexes. Landing Craft can additionally move in coastal hexes and in either hex bordering an estuary (see note below), even if it looks like they are crossing all-land hexsides.
Play Note: An Estuary is a sea hexside near the coast. It is often, but not always, marked with a prohibited hexside. The rule allowing landing craft to move along an estuary does not apply to rivers or canals!
Specific Game Note: In THE BLITTZKRIEG LEGEND Destroyers are allowed move into a port. This is an exception to normal rules. A large ship is automatically DG in a port, which makes it more susceptible to damage (since another DG converts to a loss).
18.1d Naval DG. Ships do not have modes, but they do use DG markers to show an increased vulnerability to damage (see 18.3d). DG markers are removed from ships during the player’s Clean Up Phase. Note that ship values are not affected.
18.1e Phasing. Ships can move during friendly Movement, Exploitation, and Reaction Phases, and expend 1 MP per hex. Every ship can move in all three phases (no need for Reserve markers).
18.1f Speed. Most ships can move 20 hexes per phase. Slow ships (designated with a white stripe) can only move 10 hexes per phase. A damaged single-ship counter converts to slow speed, but a damaged multi-ship counter (destroyers and cruisers) retains its normal speed. These changes are reflected on a coun- ter’s damaged side.
Design Note: The speeds above are indeed “slow” given regular steaming rates. They exist here not as a measure of how fast the ships can go, but rather as a measure of flexibility. Ships dedicated to an operation cannot instantly shift focus as would be the case if they had a movement rate matching their potential steaming distance.
18.2 Aircraft Carriers
Carriers are limited in the number and type of aircraft they carry. In some games, only planes with the carrier’s name on them can use that carrier. In other games, each carrier has a number on it for how many aircraft it can support (counting both Inactive and Active aircraft).
18.2b Refit. Carriers can refit all of their planes in the Aircraft Refit Phase. Exception: Damaged carriers can only refit 2 planes (regardless of their normal rating). There is no SP cost.
18.2c Carrier Planes. Air units on a carrier perform missions and project Patrol Zones from the carrier’s hex. A carrier can move in the same segment, either before or after, its planes perform missions. Aircraft stay with a carrier as it moves—and this includes a “move” to the Dead Pile. (Note tagging along with a moving carrier is not treated as a mission.) Otherwise, carrier planes operate as regular aircraft.
18.2d Surface ship gunfire cannot be directed at a carrier if any non-carrier surface ships are in range. This rule does not apply to coastal artillery gunfire (18.3g).
Design Note: This rule shows the effort by members of a carrier group to defend the carrier. A surface attack will not get to the carrier until the screen is eliminated.
18.3 Naval Combat
Ships attack enemy naval and ground targets using barrage. Anti-ship attacks of all kinds are also resolved via barrage.
18.3a Ship Barrages. A ship is able to barrage once per friendly Barrage Segment, choosing either a ground or naval target in range. There are some restrictions:
- A) A ship can fire at naval targets in every friendly Barrage Segment it does not fire at a ground target.
- B) A ship can fire at enemy ground targets only once per game turn. For example, a ship that barrages an enemy air base in its Reaction Phase is unable to fire at a target during Movement or Exploitation.
18.3b Ground Targets. Naval barrages against ground units have reduced effects as noted on the Barrage Table; barrages vs. Facilities have no special reduction. Ships firing together do not need to be stacked together. See 18.3g for special handling of Coastal Artillery.
18.3c Naval Targets. Enemy ships can only be barraged by naval units, planes, and Coastal Artillery. These barrages are made against individual ships, not entire stacks. There is no limit on the number of barrage missions that can be directed against ships in a single hex in a Barrage Segment, but no ship can be targeted by more than one barrage in a phase.
After announcing a barrage against a stack of ships, the firing player is allowed to see all the available ships (but not their cargoes, if any) before selecting individual targets. For example, a stack of two aircraft could combine against one ship or each attack a different ship. (The strength of a barraging unit cannot be split, however.) Resolve each barrage independently, using the regular Barrage Table. Several special rules apply when barraging ships:
- A) The only possible shifts are those related to an attacking aircraft’s distance from its base.
- B) Multiply the Barrage Strength of all attacking planes by x2.
- C) Divide the Barrage Strength of all attacking units by the target’s Protection Rating (treat as ‘1’ if none is printed on the counter).
- D) All Landing Craft in a stack are treated as “one individual ship” for target and DG purposes.
18.3d Naval Damage. A ship is affected by hits and DG results generated by the Barrage Table. Damaged ships cannot be repaired.
- A) Hits on Ships. A hit flips a ship to its damaged side; a second sinks it. Also apply a DG result to the ship (see below).
- B) Hits on Landing Craft. Each hit eliminates one point of the unit— use a counter of a reduced value to reflect the hit. (Exception: When an LST takes a hit, convert the counter to Landing Craft of the reduced point value.) Also apply a DG result (see below) to all the Landing Craft in the hex.
- C) DG results. These results affect the target only, not the entire hex or any cargo. The first DG does not cause damage, but on a second DG remove the marker and then apply a hit (per “A” or “B”).
Important Note: A player conducting a barrage selects its target if shooting against ships. If firing against Landing Craft, randomly determine the target. Eliminated cargo is also randomly determined. For example: a 2-point DUKW carrying a regiment and an SP takes a loss. Reduce the DUKW to 1 point, and then roll to see if the SP or the regiment is lost.
18.3e Torpedo Bombers.
Air units with a Barrage Strength in parentheses are Torpedo Bombers. They can only barrage ships; they can never barrage land targets of any kind.
18.3f Ship Flak. The Flak value of a ship (if any) is given on the counter. This adds to the Flak rolls made against all Air Barrage missions in the hex (not just those targeting that particular ship).
18.3g Coastal Artillery.
Coastal Artillery can fire as “land-based ships” using the rules for ship barrages (this includes being exempted from supply use). They are the only ground units that can barrage ships.
- A) Coastal Artillery can fire at ships in every friendly Barrage Segment it does not fire at ground targets. Resolve the barrages using 18.3c. These have no supply cost.
- B) Coastal Artillery can sometimes fire at ground targets in friendly Barrage Segments. They cannot fire at enemy ships in the same phase, however, and all normal rules for artillery barrage apply— including mode/phase restrictions and limits. These have the normal supply cost.
- C) Ships can fire at Coastal Artillery as a naval target, independent of other units in the hex. (Or they could do a regular barrage against the hex, per 18.3b.) Always treat these as “spotted” barrages, with Barrage Table results adjusted as follows: a step loss eliminates the Coastal Artillery unit and a DG result is ignored.
Design Note: It is important that players realize the abstractions represented in ship vs. ship exchanges. Ship location at this level is not all that precise—range changes and gunfire exchanges happen in the hours significantly “below” the resolution of this system. This is not a tactical naval system!
18.4 Landing Craft
Landing Craft, DUKWs, and LSTs are collectively called “Landing Craft.” These are naval units used to deliver cargo (troops and supplies) to invasion beaches. Landing Craft do not have a Flak value or Barrage Strength.
18.4a Capacity. Landing Craft have a capacity number on the counter and function much like Transport Points. They do not count for stacking.
18.4b Movement. Landing Craft are slow ships (18.1f). Exception: DUKW can only move 8 hexes per phase.
18.4c Loading. Landing Craft can carry combat units, SP, and Transport Points up to the limit of their capacity (see 4.7 for Transportation Equivalents). Loading has no movement cost, can only be done in port hexes (subject to current capacity), and the cargo cannot have been moved before being loaded.
18.4d Handling. Handle Landing Craft like SP and Transport Points—they can be split up and combined in various combinations of points. When taking losses, either from ALT results or from barrage, just replace the current counter with a Landing Craft of the reduced number of points. LSTs are an exception (see 18.3d).
In addition to being Landing Craft, DUKWs can operate as Transport Points (see 13.2; captured as a Truck per 9.14c). When moving as Transport Points, DUKWs lose their ability to move in all three Movement Segments, but their MA is tripled to 24. The switch between Landing Craft and Transport Point (and vice versa) can occur at any time during the Movement Phase—just triple the remaining MA when it starts to move by land (or divide by 3 when it starts to move by water).
- A) Make an ALT roll (see 18.5f) each time the DUKW switches movement type from Landing Craft to Transport Point (not vice versa). This can be the same roll used to unload cargo (but this will end movement, per 18.5e).
- B) When acting as Landing Craft, DUKWs can only carry the cargo types allowed on Air Transport Missions (restricted as per 14.9c). Treat as a Landing Craft if overrun (9.14g). Unloaded ground units can move after landing (18.5h).
- C) When acting as Transport Points, DUKWs can only carry SP. Treat as a truck when overrun (9.14c). Loading/unloading cost is 2 MP (per 4.7d and 13.2f).
In addition to being a type of Landing Craft, an LST in a coastal or estuary hex can be converted into a port (by flipping to its port side). This ‘conversion’ requires an ALT roll (see 18.5f). Any cargo on the LST unloads when it deploys as a port, using the same ALT roll as the port deployment. (The cargo is landed before the port exists in the hex, so note the restrictions of 18.5e do apply.)
Some special rules apply to LST ports:
- A) Unlike regular ports, they cannot be targeted by barrage (the hex can be barraged, but the port ignores any result).
- B) They are destroyed when an enemy Attack-Capable unit enters its hex. They can never be destroyed or captured by any other method.
- C) They can never move or convert back into an LST.
- D) They are a 1 SP port, which makes them a supply source.
- E) LST ports are not functional in the phase they deploy. (So in that phase no shipping is allowed into the port and the port does not assist other ALT rolls.)
- F) An LST cannot convert into a port in a hex with another port.
18.5 Amphibious Landings
Landing Craft can unload the combat units they are transporting when they end movement in coastal hexes. The risk attached to such landings is reflected by the required roll on the Amphibious Landing Table (ALT). These landings are limited to undefended coastal hexes. For hexes occupied by enemy combat units, see Beach Assaults (18.6).
18.5a There is no movement cost for unloading; just drop off the units when the Landing Craft enters the coastal hex. The Landing Craft must end its move at that point.
18.5b Any number of Landing Craft points can unload in a given hex in one phase.
18.5c Combat units must unload in either Combat or Move Mode.
18.5d Landings requiring an ALT roll can only be done during the player’s Movement Phase. Note that landings in ports which do not require an ALT roll can also be done in Reaction and Exploitation Phases (see 18.5g) — this is a way to get extra cargo ashore!
18.5e Transport Points and SP cannot be landed by ALT roll (but see 18.5g). SP loaded on Landing Craft can only be used by units in the same or an adjacent hex (even if off-shore), and HQs are not allowed to “throw” supply drawn from a Landing Craft.
18.5f The ALT Roll. Make ALT rolls after all Landing Craft have finished moving for the phase. Roll two dice per hex containing units that landed during the phase. Add applicable modifiers and execute the result.
- A) When there are several types of terrain in the hex, use the most difficult on the ALT.
- B) Roll and carry out ALT results separately for every group of 3 RE landed in a hex. Make as few rolls as possible, but otherwise a player can arrange units into these groups as desired.
- C) When partial losses are required by the ALT result, randomly choose the lost Landing Craft and cargo.
- D) Wait to do “after landing” moves (18.5h) until all of the player’s ALT rolls have been made.
- E) When entering a hex with enemy non-combat units, resolve Specialized Combats (9.14) after making the ALT roll.
18.5g Ports. Do not make an ALT roll for Landing Craft that unload cargo using a friendly port’s capacity (19.0a). (Additional units can be landed in a port hex, but these do require an ALT roll.) When no ALT roll is required, SP and loaded Transport Points can be unloaded.
18.5h After Landing. Combat units can move 1/2 their MA during that same Movement Phase after an ALT landing (per 4.7d). Such units are fueled before landing for free (at no SP cost) via the “single-unit method” (see 12.5c(C)). DUKW can move a proportion of their remaining MA (per 18.4e).
- Units that come ashore without an ALT roll (via 18.5g) do not get any after-landing movement.
18.6 Beach Assaults
Landing Craft can position units for an assault on a coastal hex that contains enemy combat units. Think of Beach Assaults (BA) as a last resort, when landings via the ALT are not possible.
18.6a Resolve Beach Assaults during the friendly Combat Phase. Several special rules apply:
- A) The attacking units in a BA must be in Combat Mode, stacked in the same hex, and total no more than 3 RE.
- B) Combat supply for a BA can be drawn only from Landing Craft carrying Supply Points in the same or an adjacent hex.
- C) All atacker option results must be taken as step losses.
- D) Units making a BA can keep any Exploit marker they might earn.
- E) If the BA does not dislodge the defenders from the hex, destroy all attacking units and also their Landing Craft.
- F) There is a nominal hexside terrain that makes all units x1/2 when attacking in a BA. The defender can choose that or the hex terrain in 9.4b.
- G) BA combats cannot be made in conjunction with attacking units that have already landed.
- H) If all of the defenders are destroyed by a barrage, resolve the assault on the ALT instead (but there is no “after landing” movement).
18.6b Just before the execution of a BA, the defending player can opt to resolve the landing as an ALT instead of as a BA. (This can be done if the odds are overwhelming and an ALT roll has a better chance of inflicting losses.) The decision cannot be changed once made, and must be made before any dice are rolled, units exposed, or combat supply paid. Spend no supply for a BA resolved on the ALT.
If the defender makes this choice, the normal ALT procedure is modified as follows:
- Regardless of the ALT result, the defenders are destroyed.
- Unloaded units advance into the vacated hex, but there is no “after landing” movement (per 4.7d).