No home rules please

So heres the scenario: I attacked with one sub.

The enemy has one battleship and one sub.

Can I sneak attack the battleship if there is an enemy sub in the same battle?

Can I do so if I had a destroy in the battle? Is this possible at all?

Thank you!

2 Answers 2


A&A 1941:
If you have a sub and the enemy has a sub and a battleship, you can make a Surprise Strike, but the defender can take the hit with whichever unit he wants (and if it's the sub, it would still get return fire if your opponent also chose to do a Surprise Strike). Having a Destroyer prevents your opponent from making a Surprise Strike, not yourself.

Rules: http://www.axisandallies.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Axis-Allies-1941.pdf

Step 2. Submarine Surprise Strike or Submerge (Sea Battles Only)
This step is specific to attacking and defending submarines.

Before the general sea battle takes place (steps 3–5), both attacking and defending submarines choose to either make a Surprise Strike die roll or submerge. However, if your opponent has a destroyer in the battle, your attacking or defending submarines cannot submerge or make a Surprise Strike. Combat proceeds normally, and your submarines fire along with your other units in step 3 or 4.

Submerge: Attacking or defending submarines that choose to submerge are immediately removed from the battle strip and returned to the game board in the contested sea zone, removing them from the rest of that sea battle.

Players on both sides have to decide whether attacking and defending submarines will fire or submerge before rolling any dice. The attacking player decides first.

Surprise Strike: Each attacking submarine conducting a Surprise Strike rolls one die, scoring a hit on a roll of “2” or less. After the attacker has rolled for all attacking submarines, the defender chooses one sea unit for each hit scored and moves it behind the casualty strip. (Submarines cannot hit air units.) Then each defending submarine conducting a Surprise Strike rolls one die, scoring a hit on a roll of “1.” After the defender has rolled for all defending submarines, the attacker chooses one sea unit for each hit scored and removes it from play.

Once all Surprise Strike rolls have been made, remove the defender’s casualties. This step is over for this round of combat. Repeat this step during each round of combat as long as there are attacking and/or defending submarines and no opposing destroyers. Any hits made during this step that do not destroy units (such as battleships) remain in effect until the end of the combat.

Note: In both cases, attacking or defending, transports can be chosen as casualties only if there are no other eligible units. You cannot choose submerged submarines as casualties since they have been removed from the battle.


This may depend on the version of the game, but I'm going with the Revised edition, as you mention a destroyer. Rules: http://www.axisandallies.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Axis-Allies-Revised.pdf

In order:
Both attacking and defending submarines fire in this step. If submarines are present on both sides, they are considered to fire simultaneously. Roll for attacking submarines before defending submarines. Submarines can fire only on sea units.

Remove Opening Fire Casualties Clear both casualty zones, destroying all units there. (Return them to their owners’ inventories.) Return all antiaircraft guns to the game board, as well as battleships that conducted shore bombardment. Do not remove submarines from the battle board.

Destroyers and Submarine Casualties If a destroyer is present in a combat involving enemy submarines, the destroyer’s player skips this step. The submarines’ casualties can fire back at the normal time in the combat sequence. (The destroyers provided enough advance warning to allow return fire.)

The owner of the units would get to choose what is taken as casualties; so if you attack with a single sub and hit, he could choose to lose his sub or take one hit on his battleship. If for some reason he took the hit on his battleship and it was the second hit, his battleship would be destroyed and would not get to return fire.

  • This is for the 1941 edition, I'm sorry I failed to mention this.
    – MikeB
    Aug 1, 2017 at 22:16

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