Why are Destroyers so ineffective?

Having just played a Pacific scenario with a beach landing, I have to ask what you think about the role of Destroyers. In the scenario I played the Destroyers were totally ineffective (I was expecting them to have a significant impact).


Firstly, there is the logic of the card; it says a destroyer ‘‘Cannot move adjacent to beach’’, but on a standard board there is only one other row of hexes anyway! The same problem applies to ‘‘takes hit if cannot retreat’’ - there is nowhere for them to retreat to anyway!
Also, why can they fire 3 onto the adjacent square when it is the beach/ocean immediately in front of them?! The only thing likely to be there is their own side! There is also the slightly bizzare chance for 2 or 3 infantry units to sink a destroyer…
So, that all sounds to me like they weren’t really thinking when they made this card.

More importantly perhaps is their firepower. Destroyers were part of bombardment groups, although much larger vessels with bigger guns and greater range were of more significance.
The firing range of Destroyers is the same as Big Guns. Is that realistic? WWII destroyers had guns with a range of 15 to 20 km, much further than land artillery. Should Destroyers be able to fire one or two hexes further? And surely their guns have the same effect at whatever distance the shells land? (That also applies to Big Guns.)
So, maybe it should be something like 0-3-3-3-3-2-2-2-2

Thoughts welcomed

Very interesting. I haven’t played a scenario yet with destroyers, but I totally agree the card is poorly written and the destroyers are rendered mostly useless almost by design.
Without being overpowered, perhaps we can redesign destroyers for better realism and application.
I think it’s reasonable to say that a destroyer has to stay on the outermost row because it would otherwise be beached. So, from there, we have entirely lateral movement, which I think we reasonably say would be very slow- I propose one hex at a time or battle. On the other hand, I agree that their firepower should be greatly improved. I suggest making the first turn have a lower opportunity to hit compared with subsequent hits from the same place: a 1d penalty on the first go? They have to shoot perpendicular to their position, but with one hex leeway on either side. I think the hit range that you suggested would work well.

As for the three infantry hits in defense, yes, it does sound rather silly, but I suppose the infantry tokens do not represent just four men either, it’s a sliding scale. Assuming we are on quite a large scale, I think it is ok to say three hits could kill it off, but I suppose it could be tweaked to follow something similar to Tiger rules. I know you don’t bother with aircraft, but they would maybe hit at an advantage?

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