The Caio Duilio is one of six Italian Battleships. She belongs to the Andrea Doria class along with the Andrea Doria and is also an excellent unit for power per points.
Cost: 37 – Year: 1940 – Class: Battleship – Set: Condition Zebra – Rare *
M: 13 – 12 – 11 – 10
2: 6 – 5 – 5 – 4
Armor: 7 – Vital Armor: 13 – Hull Points: 4
Extended Range 4
Torpedo Defense 1
Like the Andrea Doria, the Caio Duilio is a tank of a battleship with armor defense ratings of 7 and 13 plus some survival bonuses such as torpedo defense and covering fire. In a 100 point game she does best with a powerful cruiser sitting at the middle of your battle lines. Use her range to whittle down the cruisers of the opposing player’s advanced force and let your cruiser pick off the destroyers that are sneaking in under her main guns. The goal is to weaken the cruisers so much that the subs in your back line, or the cruiser next to her will sink the opposing player’s key ship in one, maybe two rounds. The Caio Duilio’s Extended Range 4 ability complements the Andrea Doria’s Harassing Fire 5 ability. Between the two of them they can keep out of reach of the main guns of the enemy, and with a good dice roll put their extended range out of commission. Your secondary guns should always be trained on destroyers and torpedo boats while your main gun concentrates on heavier and larger ships. Note that using the Caio Duilio’s main gun on destroyers and torpedo boats results in the Small Ship Evasion advanced rule being in play. At any range beyond 3 the main gun can not target a small ship and in range of 0 – 3 all rolls are at a -2 meaning that the main gun of a battleship only hits a small ship on a roll of 6.
Caio Duilio has two guns both with range 3. She also has an anti-aircraft roll of 7d6. The main gun has rolls of 13 – 12 – 11 – 10. With the Extended Range 4 ability the main gun can also fire using its profile for range 3. The secondary gun has rolls of 6 – 5 – 5 – 4 with no abilities that augment its range or power.
The key to the Caio Duilio is both her armor profile and her covering fire. When she successfully attacks an enemy ship, that ship then has a -1 on each attack die when rolling against other units. This forces the enemy ships to concentrate on taking her out of the game leaving your smaller vessels open to attack as they see fit. And to knock a hull point off her the opposing player needs 7 successes and almost twice that for a vital hit. Most ships that the Caio Duilio will go toe to toe with have a remote chance of reaching that vital which means with 4 hull points she will last multiple rounds and sink more points than she is worth. Her anti-aircraft roll is nothing impressive but it is enough to swat a small air fleet away but not down them. The Torpedo Defense 1 ability is useful for those subs that sneak through during the waning turns of the game.
Overall this Italian battleship is a key piece in a medium sized 150 point game and the leader of a small task force in a larger point game especially with her flagship 1. I like her for a 100 point game, in a similar role as the Andrea Doria but feel the Caio Duilio really works best with a strong cruiser for support. She can take a beating and deliver great support for her fleet. As an added bonus if you are playing the year restrictions she enters relatively early in 1940 with the Andrea Doria. If playing the historical fleet rules she can team up with a powerful US navy for post 1943 games.
What are your thoughts on the Caio Duilio for Axis and Allies: War at Sea games? Would you take her in a 100 point game or hold her for a powerful 1-2 punch in a 150 or 200 point game?