From watching better players than I and reading their commentary on the game, it seems that BBs would never ever be worth the purchase, even 2 HP battleships in the later versions of the game. Especially with house rules that drop the cost of DDs, and HP being so important to the game, it doesn't seem like they'd ever be worth buying.

Am I missing something? Bombardment surely isn't that valuable.

2 Answers 2



24 IPC is just way too costly, even with double HP. I think this gets along with real history: no super power build any BBs after the war had started.

Found several house rules that makes BB a better buy:

  1. Cost 20 + Allowing battleships to transport 1 ground unit.
  2. Cost 18 or have them defend at a 5 or have them costal bombard at a 5.
  3. BB with 1 damage can be repaired.


  1. How to make battleships a more attractive purchase
  2. Balancing Cruiser (CL) and Battleship (BB) units with other A&A units
  • 2
    If you had to suggest a house rule making BBs more worthwhile, what would you reckon?
    – neph
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 16:37
  • My first suggestion is to keep with the original rules and just don't buy BBs. After Dozens of games, I would try Cost 18 + costal bombard at a 5.
    – Cohensius
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 19:34

There is one case where they are useful - when you don't have enough production slots to build the more efficient units. Some examples are...

  • you want to build navy in India, and there are only 3 slots. So battleship is an efficient use of a production slot - you could build 1 destroyer and 2 subs for the same cost. While it is a better use of 20ipc (3 hit points,6 attack,4 defense vs 2,4,4 for battleship) you can build more if you have the income.

  • another reason to purchase a battleship is when your navy is doing trading - ie lots of battles, or multi-wave attacks. if you think of say a 1-2 punch on Japan's Navy (ie US attacks first, and UK second), then provided the first attack by the US doesn't win, the battleship gets its 2hp back for the second fight. So it kind of has "3 hit points" in a multi-wave attack.

As a simplistic example, consider a two wave attack of 3 bombers, then 4 bombers. If we have 64ipc, then 8 destroyers gives maximum hp. This has around a 45% chance of at least 1 destroyer surviving. If you have 3 battleships, which cost 60ipc, this has a 60% chance of at least 1 battleship surviving. However, the efficiency gain tends to be when the first attack is smaller. In the example, if you switch the order of attack, so the 4 bombers go first, then the 3 battleship defence has 45% chance, whereas the 8 destroyer chance stay about the same

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