I'll be checking in on this thread now and then and hope I can answer any questions you may have.
Stalingrad game would be awesome! or the release of 50th A&A game again.
I wholeheartedly endorse Ironside's choice of Stalingrad for your next game. More importantly, however, your series of articles preceding the introduction of A&A WWI were not only excellent history plus insightful lessons in game mechanics, but surely must have increased anticipation for the game's release. Your analysis set the tone and bar high for future games. I would strongly encourage you to continue with those same type of reports prior to whatever game is next in your A&A series.
Should you ever decide to tackle Stalingrad, David Glantz has written a detailed account of the battle. The book entitled "Armageddon in Stalingrad: September-November 1942" is the second in his trilogy of the conflict. This book deals with every aspect of the battle within the city and tends to be a bit pedantic at times. But if you're looking for detail, look no further.
And by the way Larry, where have you been lately? I for one, miss your wisdom, commentary, and wit laced with a touch of sarcasm. I can only assume you're deep into the final stages of your next A&A masterpiece; gone undergound and unavailable for comment.
Stalingrad is on my list of games to do. Thanks for the Glantz heads-up.
I appreciate your review of my A&A 1914 articles. Based on your comments, it seems that I managed to do what I set out to do. Thanks! I will indeed do the same with future project.
You ask where I've been lately... Working my ass off. I'm slowly but methodically developing a new game which I call "War Room". It's a new World War II global war type game. It's not Axis & Allies, but is as close as copyright laws will permit it to be. I'll post more on this in the coming months.
Forgive my absence from these pages. When I get a new project between my teeth I seem to be able to only focus on that. I of course read these pages, but find myself not posting much, as you have observed. I'll try harder to not neglect my posting here as much as I have been.
If you do Stalingrad, you should follow the design principles in AA Pac 2001, the best designed AA game IMO. By that I mean set a time limit and auto condition under which the Axis can achieve victory in the face of growing and overwhelming opposition. Make it a "race" game were the Germans outstrip the Soviets at the start but steadily lose that advantage as the game progresses, with a real tip to the Soviets at some point to signify the onset of winter.
Historically the Axis probably could have only "won" Stalingrad if the drive to Baku was successful so that southern forces could have been redeployed north. But the drive south could only have been successful if the northern flank, i.e. Stalingrad, held. Thus victory by the Axis can only be achieved by holding BOTH Stalingrad and Baku at the end of the game, with a Soviet victory being either the recapture of both or just one, depending on how the play testing runs.
Some other ideas:
1. Same regular suite of land units and air units and their abilities from AA 40 2nd, no naval units.
2. Maybe add a special unit type to sell the game, i.e. mech artillery, Katyushas?
3. Maybe add special unit like Axis allied infantry (different color at 1d, 1a) and/or Red Guard (diff color Soviet tank at a4, d2)?
4. Air units placed off board and used like in AA D-Day for simplification.
5. Game length, say 10-14 turns max or so? About 2 turns per month of the campaign, i.e. July 42 to Dec42/Jan or Feb 43.
6. No purchase phase, all reinforcements set by reinforcement cards like AA BofB and D-Day, with Soviet power really building up.
7. German airlift capability worked into game to simulate airlift reinforcement/supply into captured airbases that are printed on board. Work in some sort of Soviet interdiction ability. (If you want to get fancy add Junker 52 unit.)
8. Cut map spaces in hexagons like AA BB -- this I think would really work in this type of game. Although may require unit number limits per territory.
9. Have terrain like cities, forests, roads/RRs and mountains with diff defense factors or attack power reductions -- this would be critical to simulate urban warfare.
10. Urban combat -- make it only 1 turn, like AA 1914 with contested territories.
11. Give Axis sea supply from Crimea to captured Soviet ports on Caucasus penn.
12. Work in supply rule, not like AA BB, but just that your units have to trace back open terr to designated supply hex on respective Axis/Soviet sides of the board.
13. Winter rule -- the last couple turns in Dec 42 to end of game Soviets get attack bonus or something.
14. Soviet ability to keep reinforcements off board and "release" them at will into resupply hexes to give Soviets some flexibility at start in how to respond to Germans.
15. Map structure --
a. I think tilt the whole thing like AA 1914.
b. Have Voronezh in one corner the idea being if/when Germany captures it, they can use it to stop Soviets from trying massive end run along German side of board.
c. Also have impassible water spaces on the Don to break up movement, i.e some non-contiguous land terr, to "drive" the action toward the historical areas -- maybe just set the river as straight lines along the side of the hexes for simplicity.
d. Another corner would be the Crimea -- maybe have some action there as the final Soviet forces fall in the siege of Sevastopol.
e. Another corner would be somewhere behind Stalingrad -- a Soviet supply hex.
f. The last Corner would be Baku.
Anyhow, lots of ideas. I understand that in making these games "marketable" a lot of stuff gets dropped on the cutting floor. But I think you could make this game pretty good and as the basis for a full on Eastern Front game, which, since WWII was largely won there, would make it the best AA game ever.
If you would like me to flush these ideas out more let me know. (Although I suspect many of them you've probably already thought of! )
Karl, Thanks for your comments. And so noted. This game is well on the back-burner at this time however
If you are working on a different game for World War 2, a couple of recommendations. First, ditch the D6 for determining combat results, as you have too many different types of units to use that any more. Second, ditch the idea that the same unit cost each country the same amount of Production Points.
That is what I have done for the WW2 Global Game that I have been working on. Still has a few bugs, but I am using the Historical Board Gaming 4' X 8' map, with a lot more countries involved. However, to do that I am using a mixture of A&A pieces, Historical Board Gaming battle sets, units from the Attack Game, and units from Xeno games.
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