ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Link up A&A Pacific 1940 and Europe 1940, and you've got Axis & Allies Global 1940.
Whackamatt
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Re: ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Post by Whackamatt » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:23 pm

Whoever heard of the allies getting the first shot against the axis. The OOB basically allows the British to perform their own Pearl Harbor attack like a surprise attack against Italy before they even get going.


But that’s exactly what happened, IL. It was called the battle of Taranto, where the UK used outdated Swordfish biplanes to torpedo the Italy navy while still in harbor. It decimated quite a lot of their fleet, and it was indeed a surprise attack by the Allied powers against the Axis in November 1940.

For m7574
As the UK player I believe it is in the UK's best interest to avoid the Italian navy for a couple turns then bring the hammer with overwhelming odds a few turns later. If you are worried about preserving the Italian navy it is a lost cause. Against me you might get to keep it a few turns, but lets face it, that fleet is going to the bottom weather the axis like it or not.


And where does this naval building UK money come from? Does that mean you’re putting no pressure on Germany proper? You didn’t buy any land units on UK to fend off against a Sealion? Letting the Italian navy go on UK1 means twice the units landing in Africa, and allowing them to consolidate their navy. I just don’t think there are that many foregone-conclusions in Global. The sinking of the Italian navy by the UK isn’t a given, especially not if you let them go on UK1.



National Objectives
I think the NO are pretty good as they are in .2. The idea for the cash model was deferred to as PR and national prestige which makes countries work harder and such, which would give production a boost. I appreciate what they try to do without making the game even more complicated. Most player can understand a +5 income for 5/7 islands in a group. As long as the game takes to play, I don’t want to add time to it. Changing the NOs to more specific bonuses like extra defense, cheaper production of a specific unit, etc. would only be lost in the shuffle during a game. Checking the NOs once per turn during Collect Income is manageable. I’d hate to have to check a reference chart every time I purchased, moved, and rolled for attack or defense due to some country-specific NO. Beyond straight money, any NO that’s more specific has more of a “House rules” feel to them.

I feel the same about National Advantages. While they all sound nice, checking every countries NA every turn before I move, attack, etc. would be very cumbersome. Part of what makes the game so appealing is the universally applied attributes and costs of units, barring development.

Global feels as close to the perfect game as anyone will ever get. I want simple refinements from this point on, not added rules for the sake of history and/or complexity, or in an effort to reduce the game.



Germany gets a surprise attack on Russia on the first turn of her attack, perhaps just the first round.


But how effective would that really be? Wouldn’t the Russian player just pull back and place a 1INF buffer in every bordering territory? The only benefit I could foresee is if they amphib Leningrad.

Remove the OOB rule that if you attack a pure neutral the entire world of pure neutrals are now at war with you. Remove this domino effect in the game.


Sounds like a house rule to me. But I do agree, with the current domino effect, strict neutrals are never attacked, which eliminates some fun possibilities.


If Japan loses DEI they suffer income loss

If Soviets lose Caucasus they suffer income loss.

This forces players to try to get it back. IN the game players are busy trying to turn on all the bonus and not necessarily fight over them because their are so many to go around, conflict is minimal.


It feels like you don’t care for the longer duration of Global play. Perhaps AA50 is the right length for you? I love the current amounts of money, which while that does make the game last longer, it also leads to more epic battles and allows for the pricier units to come out for larger naval battles. If NO only subtracted money, we’d see less carriers, less battleships, less tanks and mechs on the board.

The current NOs reward you for being aggressive and attacking. I dislike ones that penalize you when you’re already losing. If Germany takes Caucus, isn’t Russia already doing badly enough? These negative NOs would make for “tipping points” that would hasten a country’s downfall. There would be no coming back for Russia, etc.

I agree that they would shorten game play, but that’s something I don’t want.

I disagree that making NOs negative will make players want to take territories back any more than they already do. The money game is played in absolute terms. Denying Germany a +8IC gain works out the same as trying to counter a -8IC loss as Russia. Only in the negative scenario, I’m harder pressed to actually take it back due to the diminished income.

I think negative NOs would lead to less fighting because there would simply be less pieces on the board.

On every turn you should be aware of your opponents NOs and trying to stop your enemy from acquiring them. That’s what happens in our games around here. The current NOs lead to more fighting for us, not less. And with more money, the battles have a more epic feel to them.





As for changing NOs:
Making NOs optional, i.e. taking them out if the players so wanted, would require a set-up change. The current balance of the game is somewhat dependent on the players battling it out over those extra resource territories. So if Japan doesn’t get a bonus for the DEI or being at peace with the US, they should get more units to compensate for the lack of expected income. The Russian and Japanese borders would both need to be beefed up to replace the loss of 12ICs if they are attacked by one another, etc.

Changing the NOs to = extra VCs.
I’m not sure that this would work. Some of the NOs can’t really be stopped. Japan can take all of the DEI if they so choose, and they’re probably going that direction anyway. They pretty much have to at some point. If they gained an extra VC, it eliminates the need to take Hawaii or Australia. I don’t think that expands gameplay, but rather narrows it. A consolidated push for India wins the game, where currently it would not.

So too with any of the others. If Germany takes Caucus and eliminates the Russian player, it won’t matter if they lose Paris or Italy doesn’t take Egypt? That doesn’t make too much sense. It feels like it would play more into an “All in” strategy by Japan or Germany, and leaving the Allies with little chance of countering it.

The current counter for any VC is to protect or liberate others. I would find it hard to accept a German victory if the US has liberated France, but due to NOs Germany has won.

1. In addition to cash NO's, it's an NO that allows that if territories A,B,C... are controlled by one side, a Strict Neutral in the area switches to be pro-one side.

The example given was if Axis controlled Syria, Trans-Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Persia, and maybe a few others at the end of a round, Turkey would become Pro-Axis. There's a few others that could apply to as well.
While I like the idea, it feels more like additional rules that would only come into play when the game is already a foregone conclusion. The Axis have enough bonuses for taking Iraq, etc. Do they really need to be given a +8inf on top of the +6ICs they get for the current NOs?

Or would such an idea REPLACE the +2ICs for oil?






Tech
No one uses Tech in the current incarnation in my group. 5ICs for a single roll? Who has that money to waste? What I LOVED about the AA50 token system was that you weren’t gambling on IF you’d get a tech, but WHEN. There should be no waste of money. And it’s still a gamble, as a tech that you don’t get for 5 rounds was wasted money.

It’s even more of a waste after reading the revised techs. Flat out, only 2-3 are worth vying for. Some are marginally useful at best. You run the risk of spending a ton of money for mediocre techs. Not worth it. However, if it was a token system, even Italy might be tempted to throw out a fiver now and again.

If the worry is that the US or some big-dollar power might get all the techs, let them. It’s money not spent on units, and besides, so very few of them are “game-changers” anymore. A power can only get 1 tech per turn, so I don’t see the problem anyway. As the Axis, I would rather see the US throw away 30ICs or so a Round just to get paratroopers or improved mechanized infantry.






It makes more sence to just balance the game first w/o them, then latter add in another layer of stuff and see how it effects the game. Appealing to the OOB setup is not wise since neither game offered a balance of forces and why we are in this predicament in the first place.


No, it doesn’t. Since NO are NOT optional in Global, there’s no way to balance the game without their inclusion.

I think the changing of the scrambling rules, the new victory conditions, and no new major factories in foreign lands did waaay more to balance the game than any change of setups did.

IN fact, most people view the inclusion of NO's as more imbalance citing AA50 as a case in point. The axis had more favor with them in that game.

I disagree. NOs were awesome in AA50, added a whole lot of fun to the game, and in only one setup did it feel like the Axis was close to having the advantage.

The time it takes to play AAR or AA50 is nothing compared with Global 1940. Most AA games are under 5 hours, but can last longer. Global 40 is nothing less than a all day thing and that makes it less attractive,


I disagree here too. Every A&A game I’ve played has been a 7-8 hour affair. Unless your playgroup always does the same moves and buys, thus making it an effort in dice rolling, I don't see how it could be 5 hours. Or perhaps a new player was given a key power with no guidance and makes some rookie mistakes taht speed up the game. Maybe we just drink too much when we play. Lol.


You can’t have the complexity that Global brings with a lesser time commitment. I don't see it as being possible without wholly changing what Global is all about.

Because the game w/o NO's can lead to a shorter game and alot of people do not prefer a 8-12 hour game.

Then you shouldn’t play Global. Don’t change the rules because you’re trying to make this game something it wasn’t meant to be. I have no problem with a 12+ hour game. Optional rules for shorter game play are fine, but they should NOT be mandatory. If I want a shorter game, I’ll play a different version.


I think the VC changes you propose would not shorten game play, IMO. It would lead to way too much “Wait…wait. How much is this city worth again?” And a lot of stopping and adding up the weighted costs of each city.

IL, I think it was my idea in another thread for strat bombing to allow the defenders to bring in planes for defense if an adjacent land territory has an AB.

I’m not sure why it would include sea territories, as AB adjacent to the see can scramble against amphibs already, and planes can’t start in the seazone (unless on a carrier), and there’s nothing to strat bomb in sea zones anyway.

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Re: ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Post by Imperious leader » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:46 pm

I will reply to you , but you wrote a book and i don't have time right now.

I will submit a response.
But that’s exactly what happened, IL. It was called the battle of Taranto, where the UK used outdated Swordfish biplanes to torpedo the Italy navy while still in harbor. It decimated quite a lot of their fleet, and it was indeed a surprise attack by the Allied powers against the Axis in November 1940.
The game manual states the game starts about the time of early June 1940, while that attack occurred nearly a half a year latter after Italy had some time to do her own thing. IN the game it should not be any different.
National Objectives
I think the NO are pretty good as they are in .2. The idea for the cash model was deferred to as PR and national prestige which makes countries work harder and such, which would give production a boost. I appreciate what they try to do without making the game even more complicated. Most player can understand a +5 income for 5/7 islands in a group. As long as the game takes to play, I don’t want to add time to it. Changing the NOs to more specific bonuses like extra defense, cheaper production of a specific unit, etc. would only be lost in the shuffle during a game. Checking the NOs once per turn during Collect Income is manageable. I’d hate to have to check a reference chart every time I purchased, moved, and rolled for attack or defense due to some country-specific NO. Beyond straight money, any NO that’s more specific has more of a “House rules” feel to them.

I feel the same about National Advantages. While they all sound nice, checking every countries NA every turn before I move, attack, etc. would be very cumbersome. Part of what makes the game so appealing is the universally applied attributes and costs of units, barring development.

More money means longer games, since it also means more pieces that need to be destroyed to get a victory result. I prefer NA's because you get more flavor that is a specific nation bonus for combat or whatnot, while this 5 IPC jackpot is a bit boring to me and also requires alot of checking to see if you satisfied the conditions. NA's are somewhat easy, since the UNITS get some advantage and you are always using UNITS, not always taking groups of areas or other groups of areas and checking the master list, etc.
Sounds like a house rule to me. But I do agree, with the current domino effect, strict neutrals are never attacked, which eliminates some fun possibilities.
Well its just more realistic to not get everybody at war if you attack one. NATO came latter, and in this age you can pluck down a good neutral and few nations stand up to you. I just want the game to mirror the war so you can attack some of these neutrals and not have a "meet Jesus" moment or some huge penalty to happen to a nation. The allies invaded Persia, Russia, invaded Finland, Allies attacked Madagascar, Syria, Morocco, Azores, and the world didn't declare war on them.
It feels like you don’t care for the longer duration of Global play. Perhaps AA50 is the right length for you? I love the current amounts of money, which while that does make the game last longer, it also leads to more epic battles and allows for the pricier units to come out for larger naval battles. If NO only subtracted money, we’d see less carriers, less battleships, less tanks and mechs on the board.
Oh yes, AA50 is preferred. But what i really like is the option to have NO's not in the game officially as optional rule, or make NO's optional.

Id also prefer NA's as optional as well.

IN this manner you can add more stuff to make it longer, but the default should be a shorter game.
On every turn you should be aware of your opponents NOs and trying to stop your enemy from acquiring them. That’s what happens in our games around here. The current NOs lead to more fighting for us, not less. And with more money, the battles have a more epic feel to them.
They also have an epic length. Long battles are fine, but not every turn.

The rest i can finish latter. must go.
We really need an Axis and Allies World War one game so i can play that on August 1st, 2014.

Whackamatt
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Re: ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Post by Whackamatt » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:23 am

Sorry about the wall of text. I had been gone for awhile and just copied everything worth replying to in the whole thread.

The game manual states the game starts about the time of early June 1940, while that attack occurred nearly a half a year latter after Italy had some time to do her own thing. IN the game it should not be any different.
But I’ve seen Larry say something along the lines that each Player’s Turn advances the time line a bit, so that Russia’s Turn 1 happens after Germany’s chronologically. While the game starts in June 1940, that’s just Germany. Each player advances it until by the next round it’s however further along. So on each Players first Turn, it is NOT June 1940, that only applies to whomever goes first.

Or something like that.

For the NA, while yes you always use units, you’d still need to check everyone else’s unit advantage. It might only take longer on the first couple of games until we get used to it, though.

I do worry about play-balancing NAs. I like the additional flavor, but worry that some would just be awesome, while others would just completely suck. If only a few are useful, and some are never used, it isn’t really and advantage for everyone. I’d like to see multiple per country, but you only get to use 1 or so many of them. People could roll random, or let everyone pick the one they want.

Wasn’t it revised that had the NA options in the rulebook? We had each player randomly roll for theirs. I was the US and got startofortresses (immune to AA). On Round 1 I spent it all on development and got heavy bombers. :) Great times! They didn’t actually do much, but it was a mental victory. German complained all game about how they were going to lose, and they did because he turtled. I think I bombed him for 12 all game. Lol.

Man, something like the trans-siberian railway would rock in Global.




Neutrals

What about tying some of them together, but not all. I never understood why attacking Turkey as Italy would make BRAZIL and all of South America pro-Allied. It would make sense if Portugal & Spain were linked, but not countries on another continent.


In our games there were only a few epic battles, really. Italy and the UK Egypt forces never get that big. The only huge battles we’ve seen are for Moscow, Leningrad, and when the US and Japanese fleets finally throw down. The rest of the game is small battles here are there.


I disagree that the default game should be the shorter one. This game wasn’t designed to be a quick game. It has more spaces, more money to go around, more rules, and more units. It will never play as fast as AA50. While small fixes might speed it up a little bit, I don’t see how to make it too much faster without fundamentally changing what Global is all about.

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Re: ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Post by mantlefan » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:31 pm

The difficulty of checking for NOs has been completely exaggerated in my opinion. After only one game, the easiest ones are no problem to memorize, and the one's that aren't easy to memorize are easy to check.

Some people are acting like you have to meticulously search every aspect of each NO before you figure out whether or not you get them. USA's might be the most complicated, but honestly, other than Hawaii and the Phillipines, what's gonna be taken that affects an NO? (Midway and Wake Maybe, but that 5 of 7 island thing hardly comes into play)

To claim that NAs are simpler than NOs makes no sense. NAs can come into play at any time, Combat move, during combat, NC move, collect income, and possibly more.

NOs, with a few exceptions that only occur during the most MONUMENTAL of events (Japanese war with USSR and USSR occupation of Berlin), happen during collect income.

It makes no sense to say NOs are too hard to remember but to not say that the convoy disruption is too hard to remember. NOs don't change, you either meet the conditions or you don't. Convoys on the other hand require people not only to know which zones have convoys, but to keep track of ships that have variable locations.

Don't forget that even without NOs, the things that activate most NOs are big deals anyways, with a few exceptions. Plenty of the NOs have to do with Declarations of war or holding victory cities. Convoys? The situation can change drastically by moving 2 or 3 subs.

If we are to say for certain that NOs or NAs are more complex, we will need a list of the NAs, but going by the NAs in AA Revised, it is completely indefensible to say that NOs are more complex
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Re: ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Post by Imperious leader » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:30 pm

The argument against NO's is primarily one against making the game longer and historical modeling. A very minor concern is what you elude too ( e.g. too many to remember)

The other argument is they don't really in most cases address anything but a translation of an advantage by CASH. Strategic advantages are not in most cases economic, but military, political, or other means and the solution does not model all the cases and these issues better than a solution that allows for greater dynamic historical modeling.

More cash means more pieces means more time playing and most people don't have 10 hours to play.
We really need an Axis and Allies World War one game so i can play that on August 1st, 2014.

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Re: ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Post by Whackamatt » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:45 pm

While I agree more cash = more pieces = longer playing time, I don't think that a solution that allows for greater dynamic historical modeling would simplify or shorten the game. If we're not careful with some new type of NO modeling, you'll only make the game longer, even in the absence of CASH.

I think the CASH system is used because of its simplicity, summing up NOs into CASH is a simple and universally applied system.

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Re: ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Post by Imperious leader » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:04 pm

I think the CASH system is used because of its simplicity, summing up NOs into CASH is a simple and universally applied system.
It is one form of simplicity and not the only one. Yes is is simple but it is entirely possible to make rules that don't add more time to get a result.


Using the idea from AAE where capturing a strategic area does not add to your income, but a income loss to the original player is one way.

Making some political consequence a result of capturing a location is another ( e.g. Gibraltar, Malta and Egypt fall and Spain is pro axis)

Another idea could be to just have NA's which added in unit bonuses, which tended to make combat more deadly, which means indirectly that the game will get a result sooner. NA's added alot more flavor than NO's, though they are not even that related.

Another idea is to not allow a sea invasion to happen if your not coming from an area that is controlled from a close sea zone. This means you cant bypass the pacific islands to invade Japan, you got to do a proper island hoping campaign from one island to another and not bypass any area in hopes of a more juicy target.

What NO's have become is the monopoly version of "free parking" except it's all over the place and serves as a constant flow of more income to sustain the game unnecessarily longer. In monopoly, the more cash you got the longer it takes to go bankrupt and this NO's are no different.
We really need an Axis and Allies World War one game so i can play that on August 1st, 2014.

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Re: ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Post by Whackamatt » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:33 pm

I think some changing of neutrality if you take countries X or Y might work. Say you take Gibraltar as Italy, which would make Spain pro-Axis or something.

However, what would you get on the Pacific side of the board, where there are no neutrals?

What I dislike about the negative money NO is that it penalizes a country that is already losing. It would remove some dynamic back-and-forth gameplay of retaking strategic areas. You’re penalizing Russia for losing territory to Germany. So the closer they get to Moscow, the easier it gets for them?

I like the idea of NA and wouldn’t mind having them in the game. I’m not sure how they’d be able to replace NOs straight up. Might require some rebalancing.

I don’t think the current NOs are that big of a deal, really. Most countries get +5 or maybe +10 on a given turn until they start to do really well. They’re also the only reason the smaller countries like Italy and ANZAC can stay in the game. You’d cut Italy’s income in half in a lot of cases. That’s pretty drastic. I’m not sure how any kind of NA could compensate for that.

As for the island hopping, wouldn’t that increase the length of game play if you had to take all of the islands one at a time? The US strategy in the Pacific was island hopping, meaning if there was a well-defended but cut-off Japanese-controlled island, we’d skip it. They picked their battles for the most strategic importance instead of going after every fortified island.

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