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Second World War at Sea: Bomb Alley» Forums » Rules

Subject: Air Rules Questions rss

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joe mcgrath
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I'm thrilled to have recently picked up a copy of this game and am just now digging into the rules and my first play-through. A few questions arose which I couldn't find answers to in any of the forums or FAQs:
- I'm having a hard time grasping the concept of range/endurance, particularly as it applies to air search. The example under 11.0 states that an AC with a range of 17/1 can search for enemy TFs within 8 zones of its base [and, I presume, stay airborne for one phase]; that an AC with a range of 16/2 can search for enemy TFs within 16 zones of its base [and, I presume, stay airborne for two phases]. But what about a British Sunderland? Its value is 8/3, so I assume it can search within an 8 zone radius and stay airborne 3 phases, right? But since 8x3=24, why doesn't the counter read '12/2'? Or '6/4', for that matter?
- In the supplemental Bomb Alley rules, under 'Fragile Aircraft', it lists the Swordfish, Albacore, BR.20, and SM.85 as fragile. I could not find a single SM.85 counter in my game, and it was unpunched. What am I missing?
- Supplemental rules, ASW. 21.3 states: "Land-based AC may not be assigned to ASW patrol". Does that only pertain to Axis AC, or does it mean all land-based AC? In either case, why do all the airfields on both the Axis and Allied Airbase Cards have ASW Search boxes?
 
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Andrei Shlepov
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We played Star Fluxx, Star Munchkin, Dixit, and, of course, Bomb Alley.
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I would give you *my* answers before James Stear comes to the rescue.

1) Sunderland could search for 8*3=24/2=12 zones. Search planes stay on search all day, no need to count their endurance. They probably fly patterns and substitute for each other.

2) It's there, countersheet 4, top row in the left half. Just one counter, easily to miss.

3) All land-based AC. Because you have to base your seaplanes somethere.

All in all, SWWAS is a great series, but very shoddy-developed and (up to the recent time) very poorly-supported. Just don't hesitate to use your own house rules and suggestions because you'll not find all the answers. The rules are purely conjectural and theoretical in many places as if the designer never actually thought someone would be really playing the game.
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joe mcgrath
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OK so I guess I'll give Sunderlands a 12-zone search and strike radius - but I still wonder what the designer's intent was for an air unit with an 8/3 endurance rating...
Which brings up another question: seaplane bases - what/where are they? 13.5 states that "Airfields have an AA value of 12 and seaplane bases have an AA value of 8", so it seems that they exist, but I don't see anything else in the rules or on the map that identifies them. Do seaplanes fly from airfields associated with friendly ports? Or out of port the ports themselves?
 
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Andrei Shlepov
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I'd say many seaplanes (including Sunderlands) have some offensive capability so you could use them for strikes where endurance is important.

Look at 10.24. They take off and land near seaplane carrier, at a friendly port or a seaplane base.
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Joe Hepp
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navigator37 wrote:
OK so I guess I'll give Sunderlands a 12-zone search and strike radius - but I still wonder what the designer's intent was for an air unit with an 8/3 endurance rating...


For searching the endurance times speed gives you how many zones it can cover. So 8 * 3 = 24 zones. Since you fly out and back that gives you search radius of 12.

The endurance/speed factors comes into play more when you want to run a strike mission with the unit. Your range will still be 12 but it will take you 1.5 turns to get out to that distance.

Turn 1 - Head out 8 zones
Turn 2 - Head out 4 more zones, resolve strike, head in 4 zones
Turn 3 - Head in final 8 zones

Airstrikes get trickier when both the source and target are task forces since they can both move.
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