Smoke and aircraft – Like to hear your opinions

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    Hello all, let’s get back to asking playstyle / rule advice:

    Does smoke spawn behind the base of a ship or at the bridge?

    Can a ship whose bridge is in smoke  (hidden in the smokewall) be attacked by aircraft? Can a ship in smoke fire AA at enemy planes? Can planes in smoke strike ships?

    If fighting only enemy planes, what (if anything) is to prevent a player from setting their ships up in a line ahead formation and have ships spam smoke, while the only targetable ship is the leading one (which seems to be valid- just very game-y).

    Very interested in hearing if Matt has stated anything about this @Nat.

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by Enioch.

    As a followup, here’s an example lineup

    The bridge of the CV is in the smoke laid by the middle DD and therefore the CV cannot be attacked.

    The middle DD is flanked by two evading DDs

    The CV cannot fire at anything, because it sees nothing, but that doesn’t matter because she can still launch planes (air ops don’t require line of sight to anything)

    No planes can enter into base contact with the center DD, because she is bodyblocked by the other two DDs.

    Any successful hits vs the evading DDs need to be re-rolled, so good luck killing them.

    Is this working as intended? How do you break this with a CV strike? (keep in mind there’s still CAP around)


    I don’t think this has come up much…if at all

    now the diagrams show smoke from the base…but the rules indicate that it should be the bridge – good question will ask the wardroom!

    aircraft attacking ships in smoke, I’m tempted to say no they can’t because they wouldn’t be able to see the ships to attack…however I don’t thin the QSR says either way I’ll have to check when I get a chance …

    Re you 2nd post example…..Hopefully the full rules will give us something to stop this model given the size of the CV you’d need 6 DDs to protect all the base…and flights launched need to be touching the base as well so you’d need to launch your own flights before moving the last DD…(but I’m not holding my breath that it will)


    you’d need 6 DDs to protect all the base…

    No, I don’t need any DDs to protect the base. Only one to smoke.

    If the bridge of the ship is in smoke, then the ship is un-targetable by any attack. As long as the smoke from the first DD reaches and covers the bridge of the CV, the CV is invisible and invulnerable, unless the enemy has a gunship with advanced radar. And it can launch and recover planes in complete peace of mind, as the area around it is clear of other ships.

    Now, imagine there’s a daisy-chain of ships behind the CV. Imagine the CV is laying smoke. Imagine the next ship is laying smoke. And the ship after that. Each of them covering the ship behind them.

    What you have is a centipede of invisible ships, sitting in a smokescreen that creeps forward. And any CVs in the smoke can launch planes with no problems.

    The only visible ships are the two evading DDs protecting the sides of the smoking one (and good luck hitting evading DDs) and the smoking one itself. If you have gunships, that’s OK, you can focus the DD. But if you’re playing a Midway-like scenario, with only planes attacking, this is quasi-unbreakable.

    And if you feel the first DD is too much of a weak point? Put a second DD right behind it. Make the first DD smoke the second, and the second smoke the CV. Now you have a DD (which can cost as little as 35 pts) as an extra buffer.

    Literally the cost of two flights of planes. Which your CAP is going to rip apart without them being able to even see your big ships.


    The rules say that the smoke counter is placed “behind” the ship. I read that as “the back of the stern”.

    Aircraft attacks work differently than ship attacks. They don’t draw a line of sight. Instead, they’re placed in base to base contact with their target. Assuming that smoke works against aircraft (and I’m not certain that it even should), I would argue that any aircraft that’s in contact with a part of the ship base that’s not covered with smoke can launch an attack.

    Note that most of the smoke counter is narrow enough that the only ships that you *might* be able to completely cover with the smoke marker are destroyers. The USS Essex definitely won’t completely fit under it as the base (as well as the ship itself, for that matter) is too wide. Given that, aircraft are going to be able to find uncovered sections of the ship base to come into contact with and attack.

    invisible officer

    There is the usual gap between history and simple game rules.


    Can aircraft attack a ship prorected by a smokescreen?   Surely not if the ship is not moving like Tirpitz in Norway. Smoke dischargers at the coast and on pontoons produced a Screen that made the RN and RAF attackers blind.


    A moving ship will not be in such a thick screen. Smokescreens had been normally laid BETWEEN target and ground attacker. To have the bridge of the CV smoked is a funny idea. ;-),  coughing guys, humming “smoke gets in your eyes”. sailing totally blind in a squadron.  Later might use ship Radar to prevent collisions but in early/mid war…..


    To start a plane in thick smoke from CV was suicide. Even today thick fog closes Airports for Cessna and similar small plames.  Jumping from deck you need to see if you are going up or down. Because at first you go a bit down anyway “Feeling” is not enough for a safe departure.    And with the masts of a hidden DD in front……


    The smoke cans had been at the aft of escorts or MTB. So the laying ship was not effected. To cover own ship it was laid behind in running away. It worked well. But you find few smoke laying actions against aircrafts in fast moving fleets.

    Typical anti plane Action of ships was fast changing the course. Not good in a thick smoke Screen.     Better role for DD was side AA protection with guns, building up a screen of steel.

    So my friends will not use smoke in that Situation.


    So my friends will not use smoke in that Situation.

    I am very much aware of the ridiculousness of this situation IRL. IRL absurdity is not in question here XD. My point is that it is not clear whether it is illegal per game rules – and, if yes, which particular part of it is illegal.

    And my friends want to use smoke in that situation, as cheesy as it is, so that’s why I’m asking.


    And we’ve all got friends like that.


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