Bombers, dogfights & ships…what happens?

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    So a question came up on the wardroom today… so I thought I’d see what opions here is!

    Scenario – there is a bomber flight (dive / torp /bomber..doesnt matter) thats touching the base of an enemy ship.  Also touching the bomber flight but not the ship (not that would matter) is an enemy flight…

    Now RAW doesnt say anything about this…so the questions –

    1) can the ship still AA the attacking flight? or does the rule (pg 16) about never firing in to a dogfight take precidene?

    2)can the bomber attack the ship or does the dogfight take priority?

    3)if the bomber can attack the ship do they get to roll a die in the dog fight? or does it become unopposed?



    my feeling is

    1) ship cant AA

    2)bomber can attack

    3)bomber can defend in the dogfight


    The rules are pretty clear about not being able to fire into a dogfight. While I’m a bit dubious about how historical that was (anti-aircraft gunners were unlikely to take the time to note whether there was a friendly fighter tailing a bomber that was in a dive), that’s the rule.

    There’s nothing that says that a bomber can’t attack a ship while it’s in a dogfight. And, in fact, a bomber flight that gets that close to the ship is probably already in the middle of its attack when the fighters arrive – either executing its low level torpedo run, or initiating its dive. The moral here is to initiate the dogfights *before* the enemy bombers can get close enough to move adjacent to your ships.

    I would say that the rules for the dogfight play out as written. The bombers arrived to make their runs, and the fighters arrived just a bit too late.

    The better option here is to *NOT* get into a dogfight when the enemy bombers are adjacent to your ships. That way, the anti-aircraft gunners have a chance to clear out the attacking bombers before they can make their attack rolls. It would also simulate the fact that in real life, a friendly fighter is probably going to be cautious about chasing an enemy bomber directly over an Atlanta-class cruiser. The anti-aircraft gunners on the cruiser are probably going to be focusing on the bomber that’s right on top of them, and might not notice that there’s a friendly fighter that could get hit as well.


    So your saying ignore the dogfight completely?


    Note I’m not talking tactics about if you should engage the attacking bomber flight or not ….purely what would happen if you did


    Rules are clear that dogfights are immune to AA, that bombers attack when activated during the gunnery phase, and that dogfights happen at the end of said gunnery phase. There are no stated limits to being able to defend yourself if you have already attacked as a bomber.

    So, in order:

    1. No, the ship may not engage the flight with AA

    2. Yes, the bombers can still attack during the gunnery phase

    3. Yes, the bombers can defend themselves during the dogfight

    It’s not like the bombers are defending themselves with their bombs :shrug:


    Yes, I would agree with you, Enioch. I love the aircrafts in VAS.
    I am really looking forward to future aircraft sublements, especially IJN divebombers and torpedobombers like the Aichi D3A1 Val or Nakajima B5N2 Kate, to bring a little bit more power to the imperial airforce 🙂


    @enioch – so you agree with my reading.. thats good!


    @d.giessmann – the Val & Kate are in the main rulebook from what I hear 🙂 …theres over 40 pages per nation!… most of the mongoose v2 beta is included…

    also some of the US distributors are putting the Sub & MTB boxes up for pre-order … so hopefully we’ll see them at the same time as the convoy box (december time)


    By the way @d.giessmann, Kate and Val stats from beta:

    Kate: Bomber OR Torpedo bomber; 16″move, CV-capable, -1 dogfight, 1937 deployment, 3 DD if Bomber, 4 DD if TB

    Val: Dive Bomber; 17″move, CV-capable, -1 dogfight, 1940 deployment, 1 DD, Devastating

    Obviously these are old stats and everything about them is subject to change – we already know that the stats of many ships have been changed from final beta to published version

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Enioch.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Enioch.

    “So your saying ignore the dogfight completely?”

    I’m saying play it as written. AA can’t shoot into the dogfight, bombers make their attacks, and then probably get savaged by the fighters afterwards (but might actually win if they get lucky with the die rolls – particularly if the “bombers” in question are F4U Corsairs).

    As justification for items 2 and 3, I direct your attention to the attack runs of the US Navy torpedo bomber squadrons at the Battle of Midway. The results of those runs are well-known. Nearly all of the torpedo bombers involved in those attacks were shut down, with just a handful of surviving planes (a few each from the flights off of Enterprise and Yorktown, and a single surviving plane from the contingent of Torpedo-8 that was flying off of Midway). However, the intercepting Japanese fighters didn’t arrive until after the torpedo bombers had already started their attack runs. And some of the American aircraft were able to release their torpedoes. Unfortunately, none of the torpedoes had any effect. They all either missed, or possibly failed to detonate. But the point is that while the fighters pretty much wiped out the squadrons making those attacks, they couldn’t stop the torpedoes from being released. In game terms, the American torpedo bombers were able to move into base contact with one or more Japanese ships before the Japanese fighters moved into base contact with them to force them into “dogfights”.

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