I'll be checking in on this thread now and then and hope I can answer any questions you may have.
I have some questions regarding my thoughts on the upcoming global campaign. If you wouldn't mind induldging me on what information you can give on the subject.
I just have a question about how well the Russians will be represented in game, and how true to history their application will be. I know you are very happy when things tend to play out historically and after reading your post about the Japanese, and playing PAC40 I am satisfied that Japan will not be readliy able to help the Germans unless the allied player has capitulated in that theatre. So I would like to ask you about the global game you are playing at the moment (where it all went wrong for the Japanese) and to explain how the Russian campaign has gone, what the situation was like at startup and how it progressed. Did it go historically as you planned? I would like to see the Russians being forced back and back at the start but able to hold their lines depending on what the british do to aid them.
What I don't like to see (as you do) is ahistorical movement of US troops or British troops into Russian territories and (although this is a viable strategy) it would be nice to see some incentive for the russians other than 5 IPC's for allied units to help them on the western front, rather than ahistorically assisting them on the eastern front.
Also, I would like to see Italy and China given more of a role in the game than in aa50. China are there as a mere roadblock in aa50 and still in aapac50 (not to the same extent). Italy are mainly used (when played competetively) as a can opener for german forces. Africa is generally ignored. What role will the italians be able to play in global and will africa be a truly fought over theatre of war, essential in supplying the germans and the italians with money to fund the war in other theatres.
I do really look forward to the release of this game and I dream about how it could become the best world war two strategy game of all time if it is done right. I have every confidence in you and your playtesters to deliver these things.
Thanks Larry and if you could reply that would be great but don't worry if you are busy.
I'm known on the AA boards as General Chang.
Interesting questions you ask here… I am busy, when are any of us not busy? With that said let me try to answer some of your questions.
Taking your questions one at a time:
(where it all went wrong for the Japanese) I contribute two simple factors to Japan’s demise in the game I wrote about. The first, but not necessarily the most important, is the presence of a somewhat large Russian army along the Manchurian border. The Japanese player has got to keep an eye on this potential threat. The Japanese player may also be tempted to venture up into the Russian territories along that border. Doing so would reward Japan in two ways. First it would remove that constant threat and secondly it has the potential of awarding additional IPCs for the capture of those territories. The problem for Japan, however, is that this pressure point distracts from other thrust, especially from the conquest of China.
In the game I wrote about, Japan and Russia just kind of set there eye ball to eye ball. Neither one was very excited about attacking the other, and neither one felt comfortable or desperate enough to down grade their presence along the border. However, Japan blinked first. It slowly was forced to down grade its presence due to its needs in China and else where. The Japanese player thought that he could make some quick and temporary “loans” from these Manchurian forces. He was confident that he could bring them back to Manchuria if needed. This proved to be a mistake. He (Japan) simply got sucked into China deeper and deeper and because he was working under the misguided assumption that he could always send them back to Manchuria if needed. He used them in a piecemeal fashion which neither greatly helped his efforts in China nor maintained an effective Manchurian force. His Manchurian presence simply diminished to an ineffective state in time. At no time did he feel that he wanted or should attack the Russians. He felt that this could be done eventually, but that he had other more pressing objectives in Asia.
The second, and somewhat more surprising development was the British/ANZAC strategy of fortifying Java. As it turned out, Java became a centralized position that grew stronger and stronger as the game went on. Not only did it have a rather effective defense but with all the allied aircraft that gathered there the allies had a serious offensive ability that could strike all kinds of targets of opportunity. The main allied target being small collections of Japanese ships – especially if they contained transports. Japan has got a serious transport limitation. The loss of each transport curtailed, and in some case simply stopped any successful Japanese adventures into the DEI and South East Asia. Japan found itself not being able to collect the much needed DEI bonus it so badly needed. This of course made it difficult to effectively move against India. The Fortress Java strategy proved to be a thorn in Japan’s side that stalled their progress. The combined British and ANZAC forces were a constant threat to the Japanese flank. This stalled progress allowed the US to develop a very powerful presence in the North West Pacific, a presence that in time could not be ignored. Consequently the Japanese found itself having to mix it up with the US. Normally this could be a manageable problem but without the additional income from DEI and being totally out of strategical position the Japanese player found himself outmatched. The American player also was relentless in his aggressiveness. The American player was confident that he could suffer losses and over time wear down the Japanese. This proved to be a good strategy.
In a nutshell, Japan beginning the game with a full tank of gas, but just had too many fronts to deal with, could not deal with them all. If it neglected the Russian front it could end up losing IPC rich Manchuria and Korea. If it could not capture DEI it could not afford to offset its military loses anywhere due to a relatively low IPC income for a superpower. If it did not maintain pressure on china it could be sure that it would eventually lose that important source of income and even potentially be totally kicked out of Asia. This would be especially true if the Brits and the Chinese could establish an effective one-two-punch in South East Asia. But… most importantly, it had to deal with the mighty US navy. A navy that would not only match its own but in a relatively short time over take it. A navy that could support an ever growing air force and bring to bear a force that could actually threaten the very shores of Japan itself.
…and to explain how the Russian campaign has gone, what the situation was like at startup and how it progressed. Did it go historically as you planned? I would like to see the Russians being forced back and back at the start but able to hold their lines depending on what the british do to aid them. What I don't like to see (as you do) is ahistorical movement of US troops or British troops into Russian territories and (although this is a viable strategy) it would be nice to see some incentive for the russians other than 5 IPC's for allied units to help them on the western front, rather than ahistorically assisting them on the eastern front.
Russia has a totally new feel to it in this game. It still is the underdog when it comes to dealing with Germany but this dog has got some real teeth. The Russian motherland is deep and the German player has got miles and miles to go before he can rest. If you follow the historical maps – I’m talking about the ebb and flow of the two armies, you will see many historical similarities. I’m talking about the initial Barbarossa thrust. This is especially true when you consider the additional power it has accumulated following the fall of France. The Germans often follow the same Northern thrust to Leningrad and of course the mighty drive into the Caucuses, but the Russians seem to just keep coming.
I think Russia’s need for allied assistance has been reduced. Couple that with some modest penalties incurred if allied forces find themselves in Russia, the Russian player is somewhat reluctant to accept outside assistance from the other Capitalist and feels that it can run its own Patriotic War.
With all that said and done, I think the allies will focus more on their own problems and leave Russia to manage its own affairs somewhat more than what you, as an experienced A&A player, are used to. Don’t take that the wrong way, however, the Soviet Union is very much a part of the alliance. If Moscow does fall, the allies will be having one very difficult time.
You see the allies have a new problem to deal with that they never really had in the past. It’s called ITALY! All of Africa is in play. The Middle East is also in play and the Atlantic is no cake walk. The closer the Allies come to Europe from North America the deadlier the German and Italian navies and air forces seem to be. Nonetheless, from a design point of view I’m concerned about Germany’s ability to bring Russia down. It may be one territory too far to Moscow. I hope you can prove me wrong. Germany will have to be played with the greatest efficiency and cunningness to achieve its ultimate objective, the capture of Moscow. My advice to you and any other old veterans of A&A is watch out for those automatic tactical assumptions you’ve acquired over the years. Often they will prove to be outdated. You’ll run the risk of looking like an old General fighting the new war with the strategies of the last war.
Also, I would like to see Italy and China given more of a role in the game than in aa50. China are there as a mere roadblock in aa50 and still in aapac50 (not to the same extent).
Sorry you feel that way, or should I say… Sorry it is that way? Well, there is no doubt in my mind that you’ll find Italy playing a much greater role in this game. As for china… I don’t know… all I can say is that it has been my experience that China is one big pain in the ass for Japan. Maybe in my games Japan is not being played right or something.
What role will the italians be able to play in global and will africa be a truly fought over theatre of war, essential in supplying the germans and the italians with money to fund the war in other theatres.
Italy will be the main power in Africa and the Middle East. But first it’s got to get past the Allies in Egypt. Do that and the Axis might actually win the game. Germany will play a far smaller role in that troubled part of the world. They can get there but it will take an extra effort or two for that to happen. There is an IPC bonus for doing just that, however. Also, a German factory in the Middle East is really something that the Russians don’t need. If and when Egypt is captured the struggle is not over, however. There is that South African minor factory kicking out units and threatening all those hard won IPC producing African territories that Italy is presently enjoying. So to answer your question – “Will Africa be a truly fought over theatre of the war…” Oh yeah! And it even gets bigger if you throw in the Middle East.
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