Submarines and Axis & Allies 1940

I never spent the time to really understand all the rules surrounding submarines. Why? Well, I prefer my battleships. Ridiculous reason, I know, especially considering your opposition may be a sub-freak.

So, here are the interesting things about submarines (for the Europe/Pacific/Global 1940 game at least) that I was initially unaware of:

  • A submarine can move through a sea zone that contains enemy units, either in combat or noncombat movement. However, if a submarine enters a sea zone containing an enemy destroyer, it must end its movement there. If it ends its combat move in a hostile sea zone, combat will occur.
  • Any sea zone that contains only enemy submarines doesn’t stop the movement of a sea unit. Sea units ending their combat movement in a sea zone containing only enemy submarines may choose to attack them or not. Sea units can also end their noncombat movement in a sea zone containing only enemy submarines.
  • When attacking or defending, submarines can’t hit air units.
  • When attacking or defending, hits scored by air units can’t be assigned to submarines unless there is a destroyer that is friendly to the air units in the battle.

That last one is interesting. Those who like to use subs as fodder can’t do so when it’s an all-air attack on a bunch of sea units.

So, for example, if I bring my bombers in to attack a convoy of various ships, the defender can’t use the subs as casualties. This can be a great reason to not bring a destroyer in on the battle, as that opens up the defender to using the subs as fodder (is my understanding).

Of course, the reverse is also true. If you want to eliminate subs with air units, you need a destroyer in on the battle.

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