No unit carried nearly as much prestige, in the era of Axis and Allies Classic, as the battleship. Rarely purchased, it was the most expensive piece as vulnerable as any other vessel requiring just one hit to sink her. But the battleship was a feared complement in amphibious attacks . At 24 IPC, virtually no one purchased a battleship unless they had IPCs to burn. Most likely, a round after seizing a capital. Buying it was more about making a statement than strategy. Its one-hit vulnerability encouraged cannon fodder escorted by submarines or worse yet, transports. All said and done, operating a battleship-led fleet was expensive! Until the rule change, casualties from bombardment attacks did not fire back. Therefore, they were more influential made easier to pick off islands in the Pacific or invading coastal territories for a quick IPC grab.
When interested in battleships, Germany would re-acquire their “Bismark” protecting their transports in the Mediterranean or Baltic Seas. before invasion of Africa or England. Great Britain would often buy battleships late after the fall of Berlin helping the Allies combat the Japanese Imperial Navy. It was rare they would purchase on beforehand unless Germany was so weakened, the U.K. and the U.S.A would in-tandem raid Western Europe in establishing a landing zone. Japan begins with a mighty fleet but resource bound. If they happen to take claim of the Soviet Union’s IPC, it wouldn’t be unexpected investing in a unit to set eyes on the United States making very contentious battles. The United States, having the most resources may at times, sit a round out, pooling their income for an amphibious-readied fleet. After hitting the beaches of Western Africa, they were within arms length of France and Italy. Finally, let’s not forget Russia. If the player controlling the Soviet Union ever purchased a battleship or even an aircraft carrier, he was just bragging. Never in my memory did a Soviet navy make a difference late in the game. Since the Gamemaster’s era, the creators acknowledged the high price and vulnerabilities.
Beginning with Axis & Allies Revised, it became a capital ship requiring two hits to sink. Afterwards, into the modern varieties, the price was reduced to 20 IPC.