So I've got a question about Axis and Allies Spring 1942 edition.

I had a German fleet off the coast of England (cruiser, battleship, two subs, and two loaded transports), and the US attacked with two fighters and a bomber.

The subs can't defend against aircraft, but I believe are not considered "submerged". The cruiser and battleship were destroyed after two rounds of combat, leaving a bomber on the american side and two subs and transports on the German side.

In this case, are the transports "defenseless" and automatically destroyed? by the aircraft? They are "defended" by submarines, but those subs can't "do" anything in this instance. If it were ships attacking, presumably conflict would continue until it was resolved, but with air units I'm not sure. We played that the transports were destroyed (to my irritation). What's the technical ruling here?

Thanks, Nate

1 Answer 1


You played the right way.

Basically, the turn continues until 1) all the defending forces are destroyed, or 2) all the attacking forces are destroyed or 3) the attacker elects to retreat.

The defender cannot retreat. The exception is submarines, which can submerge (and retreat) if they get the right rolls.

Earlier on, you might have taken at least one transport as a casualty (8 for the transport, 6 for e.g. two infantry units, 14 in total) to save your battleship (15), the unit that has the best chance (going forward) to fight back. Instead, when you sacrificed your battleship, you doomed your transports because they can't fight back.

  • 2
    I think I must have a different version than you're referencing. The rulebook with my game specifies that transports can only be chosen as casualties when no other units exist (warships protect transports, not visa versa), and that they have no attack or defense value. I'm not sure which edition it is, but It appears to be the first edition of the 1942 version. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 21:52
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    @NathanaelYarger: I edited my answer to remove references to rules that are different in different versions of the game.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 1:37

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