Alpha + // Play test version

This game, measuring 35”x32” is compatible with the yet to be released Axis & Allies Europe 1940 game (coming in August 2010). This game includes newly introduced units such as mechanized infantry and tactical bombers.
Oakshield
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Re: Alpha + // Play test version

Post by Oakshield » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:36 pm

calvinhobbesliker wrote:I agree with the point about Sealion. Unfortunately, Sealion is now a winning strategy since the US can't build a liberation fleet because it has to focus on the Pacific to prevent Japan from gaining an immediate victory.
Whether Sealion is a winning strategy should not depend on the US. Sure, the fall of London should trigger the US wartime production so it doesn't have to wait for a Japan attack and a liberation fleet should show up in a couple of rounds. Perhaps another transport could be added to the East coast. However, the disadvantage of Sealion must always be to fall behind schedule in taking on the USSR. If that isn't happening, the USSR proably needs a boost.

I was thinking that a Russian sub could be added to SZ115, giving a little more headache to a Sealion transport flotilla. The USSR had over 200 subs in the beginning of the war and a large number saw service in the Baltic.

allweneedislove
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Re: Alpha + // Play test version

Post by allweneedislove » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:00 pm

Larry wrote: I'd like to add that I'm putting together a recap of this entire thread... person by person, topic by topic. As soon as I'm done with that I'll post it. I think this document will be helpful in that it will give us a birds eye view of the collective thinking as relates to each topic. The topics being:
i have rearranged the list but have not excluded anything.

Taranto
Sicilian Airbase
Malta
Northern Italy Airbase
Tobruk
Gibraltar
French Navy

these are all mediterranean changes and need to be looked at as one. So far the alpha and alpha+ have offered greater decision making opportunities than oob(EVERY uk1 smashed sz95) well done so far larry.

italy is a good place to help with game balance. axis need to perform better in the game than in real life for the game to be balanced and fun. italy(the mediterranean being italy’s main sphere of influence) is a good place to strengthen the axis as they performed worse than expected.

i believe the ideal uk1 would offer lots of decisions that are equally effective making for varied game play. this would look like the following
25% of games no attack on Italy
25% of games attack tobruk or other land forces but not enough fire power to attack land and navy
25% of games attack sz95
25% of games attack sz97
in games with attacks on italy navy have the option to just bring “part of fleet or just air” into battle so the battles vary from game to game.
now actually achieving all these design goals will be very difficult. i would be happy and very impressed if a med setup could succeed in the preceding.




West India/British Colombia
AA Guns

i assume you mean aaguns being removed like all other units. these are great rule changes that can happen without effecting game balance or other rules.





Russian/Japanese None-aggression Pact
Neutral Blocks
Strategic Bombing Raids
Base and IC AA Guns

technology
Chinese Movement Restrictions

I think all of these are rules that can improve the game but do not affect game balance. I would like to see all these change as it would improve the game, but if no changes were made it does not render the game unplayable.

Russian/Japanese None-aggression Pact
there has been some great ideas in how to improve the non-aggression pact. turning it into an NO style rule was a great decision larry. 10ipcs given to the opponent of the power that broke the pact helps to dissuade an attack but does the right thing by making option less appealing yet still available. i believe the best option that was talked about was making the rule more dynamic than just 10ipcs but giving the player the choice of "12ipc worth of units immediately in either the attacked territory or an adjacent territory". this adds more choices which means more fun and more variability.

Neutral Blocks
in all the games I have played, not one has had a neutral attacked. The penalty is far too strict. I recommend breaking neutrals down into blocks. all the others in the block become pro the other side that attacked.

south american block
europe block(portugal, spain, switzerland, Sweden, turkey)
african block
middle eastern block(turkey, saudi arabia, afghanistan)
mongolian block

I am not sure if turkey should be in middle eastern block or both middle eastern and Europe block.
this will encourage more action around the globe. but still keep a stiff penalty. Remember that neutrals can never attack you, have defenders that can kill your units, have small ipc values, and switch allegiance of other neutrals in their block.

Strategic Bombing Raids
sbrs have disappeared. i brought up this topic to bring it back into the game. i had offered several ideas on how to increase sbrs. the simplest idea came from larry to just double the damage, simple and effective. i do not think that you need to lower the maximum damage on ics and bases, if anything I think bases damage should be increased.

others have offered ideas adding damage to the sbr roll, this is good at increasing damage and reducing variance but the ideas offered so far are too low for the reward to be greater than the risk. I like your “on or off” idea to bases and ics, this forces players to pay to use a damaged facility, it just makes sense.

i think the best way to handle sbr is to add 3 (or 4) damage to all sbrs , each successful bomber that rolls can inflict between 4-9ipcs of damage as opposed to larry’s suggestion of 2-12.

There have been several ideas to make sbrs more frequent and fun that I agree with such as…

tactical bombers being able to bomb air and naval bases.
naval and air bases needing to have no damage to be operable.
change to dogfights, escorts fire at 1, hits to interceptors are removed, surviving interceptors fire at 2, only bomber scan be taken as casualties and are removed, built in aaguns fire at 1, surviving bombers roll for damage and add 3 damage.

technology
i know technology was not on the list but as it stands now it is not worth rolling for. even as an optional rule I would love it if you went back to the aa50 anniversary tech tokens idea. it is a great system that gets technology into the game and reduces the variance in cost of technology.

Chinese Movement Restrictions
i do not recall any discussion on changing the chinese movement restrictions. i personally do not like the restrictions and think china should be treated like other power when it comes to where they can move. this would get rid of one exception rule.






New Scrambling Rules
this rule change gets rid of the huge air stacks to protect japan, caroline, phillipeans, and Hawaii making these territories harder to defend. it makes england, gibralter, west usa, india, australia, leningrad, and west germany easier to defend. after looking at the two list it would seem that it gives a huge advantage to the allies. however, in the first round the most significant is west germany and not having to defend sz112 as much making sealion even easier.





Sealion
with the new scambling rules and moving of uk sz91 fleet into the med germany needs very little to protect transports. ontop of this germany has been given 2 extra air units making the killing of the uk navy on g1 even easier, and the surviving air gets to participate in a later sealion invasion. adding the german NO for holding London just makes sense. usa now has to split its forces into the pacific and europe for a smaller England liberation force. sealion is now easier to succeed, gets 5ipc/round for success, and is harder to liberate. with all this said i still am not sure if sealion is a winning strategy, the jury is still out on this one.

on a side note, i find it a shame that for uks first turn they need to buy all infantry to defend against sealion. this happens in almost every game i have played and seen. uks first purchase is predictable and not exciting(borderline boring). it would be more fun to be defending with fleet and air(and more realistic for all those history buffs that keep harping on about how every rule is unhistorical). it is a delicate balance to make the uk navy and air strong enough to prevent sealion but not so strong that germany is overwhelmed and allies win every game like oob.

if uk had enough air force (and navy that survives g1) that no german navy could survive uk1 in sz112 then i believe uk could protect itself with air and navy. the problem is on g1 germany can build 1carrier, 1destroyer, and 1sub into sz112 to go with its surviving cruiser and damaged battleship, and land 2 fighters on the new carrier. now with scrambling rules germany can get another 3 fighters into sz112, this brings a total of 10 german units to defend sz112. this is why sealion is so easy to pull off.




General Game Balance
Victory Conditions
National Objectives
Major and/or Minor ICs
Set-Up Change
US Minor ICs

this is what alpha is all about, correcting the game imbalance of having the allies win every game.

General Game Balance + Victory Conditions
the best way to balance the game in terms of which side will win and where the action is fought is to alter the victory city conditions. excellent decision larry. however the immediate 6vcs on the pacific side MIGHT be too easy to achieve early on, this needs more play testing the jury is still out on this one.

National Objectives
changing national objectives is a good way to add small tweaks to game balance and direction. I like what the ideas you have come up with. but I would like to put down some posters’ ideas that NO changes alone without victory condition changes is enough to get usa to fight in both theatres of war. having japan go up an extra 10ipc and usa down 10ipc is not enough for the axis to beat the allies in oob.

Major and/or Minor ICs
no major ics being built on foreign soil is a great rule. this greatly hinders the allies by not allowing usa to move all their production into norway or korea.

Set-Up Change
the setup changes have been great so far. from oob the game has come a long way. reduction of japan air is was the most dramatic and very good for the game. adding a major ic to berlin is a huge boost to barbarosa. now we just need a dynamic mediteranean.

US Minor ICs
i like the us minor ics rule but it does seem easy to get around. in my games I have spent all of usa income to go into the pacific. even if usa can only place 3 units in sz10 they can be expensive units and then build air in the east to fly into hawaii or onto carriers. or with central usa being next to sz101 usa can build 6 navy units into the atlantic right away.



well done larry. i am very impressed that you continue to work for the betterment of a product i have already purchased.
Last edited by allweneedislove on Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Funcioneta
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Re: Alpha + // Play test version

Post by Funcioneta » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:14 pm

Oakshield wrote:Whether Sealion is a winning strategy should not depend on the US. Sure, the fall of London should trigger the US wartime production so it doesn't have to wait for a Japan attack and a liberation fleet should show up in a couple of rounds. Perhaps another transport could be added to the East coast. However, the disadvantage of Sealion must always be to fall behind schedule in taking on the USSR. If that isn't happening, the USSR proably needs a boost.

I was thinking that a Russian sub could be added to SZ115, giving a little more headache to a Sealion transport flotilla. The USSR had over 200 subs in the beginning of the war and a large number saw service in the Baltic.
Sea Lion should not be so powerful. It should not stop all the european board production of UK. Since there is not a rule to Canada and South Africa surrendering after fall of London (becoming true neutral or such), those countries should be allowed to fight -> bring back the exiled capital rule. After all, UK is going to lose the full production of 1 turn, 6 IPCs from England for at least another round and probably even 8 IPCs more (Scotland) if London is not liberated: don't add more salt to the wound and let the poor canadians countinues the struggle. I still don't understand how the capital sacking rule continues being in action with Sea Lion being viable: it's leading to some perverse dinamics, and it could have annoying effects if, say, USSR loses Moscow but still keeps Leningrad and Stalingrad (and maybe even Siberia!). Should the soviets continue the struggle in such case in real life? Absolutely yes! Or at least have a option to surrender. But continue the fight without producting units seems a bit ... sadic? Another case could be done for Italy and the Socialist Italian Republic: let Mussolini continue the fight from Milan!

The exiled capital rule was one of the best new rules (and also the 6 VCs victory). I don't know why was deleted

Funcioneta
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Re: Alpha + // Play test version

Post by Funcioneta » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:27 pm

allweneedislove wrote:Neutral Blocks
in all the games I have played, not one has had a neutral attacked. The penalty is far too strict.
I agree with the latter: one never attacks the neutrals if the objetive is win the game. However, I have to add that the first game I played, I attacked a empty territory in Mongolia with Japan just to see how West Axis was toasted and laugh at that ... of course, that was because the german player and I had a strong dispute from other games ... but the point is that the true neutrals rule can be a potential source of such game-killing situations. In a FTF game, one could be angried with the teammate because of him doing bad and so taking revenge of him with this wicked move :lol:

WILD BILL
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Re: Alpha + // Play test version

Post by WILD BILL » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:47 pm

Funcioneta wrote:
allweneedislove wrote:Neutral Blocks
in all the games I have played, not one has had a neutral attacked. The penalty is far too strict.
I agree with the latter: one never attacks the neutrals if the objetive is win the game. However, I have to add that the first game I played, I attacked a empty territory in Mongolia with Japan just to see how West Axis was toasted and laugh at that ... of course, that was because the german player and I had a strong dispute from other games ... but the point is that the true neutrals rule can be a potential source of such game-killing situations. In a FTF game, one could be angried with the teammate because of him doing bad and so taking revenge of him with this wicked move :lol:
That was awesome Funcioneta, I'll have to keep that in mind. :lol: :twisted: :lol: :twisted:

Seriously though I would like a way have access to the true neutrals, with out all turning. Many countries were neutral at the start of the war, and weren't able to stay that way. I think that this game allows us arm chair generals to direct the war. If we want to invade Turkey or Spain so be it. There should be consequences, but in many cases I think that opening up another tt for your enemies to possibly use against you may be consequence enough. Here's some thoughts that could be combined.

1) A neutral block based on location, and/or political alignment would be one way to handle it. Keep it simple though, and make sure that it isn't easy for the US to claim S America (6 ipc's)

2) Build up the standing armies especially in the more strategic tt's. Maybe add 1 art, 1 tank, one AA, and 1 ftr (more or less) to Turkey, Sweden, and Spain). Crush their forces and the tt is yours. Make it a dedicated effort, and if you retreat you would be leaving your enemies something of value. The one game of E 40 that we did invade the true neutrals I was amazed at how easy they fall. We (allies) set up multiple attacks in the same round. Even the 8 inf in Turkey didn't do much damage against a fairly weak Russian force (nomads after Moscow fell).

3) Pay a fee to enter them (like in the old days) plus beefed up forces. That way it takes you a while to recoup the cost, and its not a cake walk.

4) Some kind of sliding dice scale to sway them back-n-forth. (I'm not crazy about adding more political rules, or a political phase to the game-to time consuming). It would have to be very quick & easy to get my vote.

5) Maybe have dice determine if they join you, or fight you.

I would rather keep it simple and just invade and get it over with. I wouldn't want to spend the time involved with more political stuff.
Last edited by WILD BILL on Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Carico67
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Re: Alpha + // Play test version

Post by Carico67 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:19 am

There might be a simpler solution: Add 3-5 UK Inf to UK, and a sub unit in SZ 111 (Scapa Flow).

Here's why I say that:
  • For the Axis to be competitive ITA must do better than they did historically, and the Alpha+ set-up allows for that.

    Sea Lion is a huge concern as it is now easier in Alpha + (It's also a huge concern of mine in regards to online rated play and crapshoot games) and 3 Inf will help the balance quite a bit. The sub in SZ 111 adds to the risk there, or allow for a dive option based on the GER players build on G1.

    Personally, the game does not seem enjoyable to me with the idea of having to buy all Inf with UK to stop the dreaded Sea Lion.... boring boring boring....let me play China instead; at least they have options tactically.
On another note:
The US minors and hitting AUS on round 4 thing is easily remedied by removing the immediate victory condition and going back to the old "hold it for a round" idea. I think a concentrated ITA/JAP attack force could really pressure IND if played properly on rounds 4 or 5. That would only force the JAP fleet to have to take either HAW or AUS and have a fleet in place that could hold off the counter-attack for a round (assuming the no-instant -win rule is in effect)
Carico67, Vice Chairman Axis and Allies Members Club (www.aamc.net)
email me for help or questions about PBEM; Carico67@hotmail.com

Carico67
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Re: Alpha + // Play test version

Post by Carico67 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:53 am

In this thread (somewhere) I remember seeing captured Full IC's downgrade to minors. Was that just a post or was it erroneously left off of page 1? Thanks for help/info. Chris C
Carico67, Vice Chairman Axis and Allies Members Club (www.aamc.net)
email me for help or questions about PBEM; Carico67@hotmail.com

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Krieghund
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Re: Alpha + // Play test version

Post by Krieghund » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:54 am

It's in the box global rules, so it doesn't have to be on page 1.

At any rate, the rules here have been superceded by the ones in this thread.
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