ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

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

Post by mantlefan » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:15 pm

Imperious leader wrote: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.
Cool, It’s good you agree that the process of computing and distributing NO IPCs is quite simple. Now on to the issue of more IPCs in the coffers and game length.

The main issue for game length is not more IPCs, but increased board size (and therefore territory count), along with an increase in number of turns per round.

NOs do create more fighting in more theatres, and yes, that may make turns take longer, but isn’t that better than having a game based on whose inf stack on the Eastern front does better?

Don’t forget the fact that Transports need a lot more protection than they did back when they could be taken as casualties.

In games with NAs, the games can take pretty long as well, potentially because of less income, among other things. Look at AA revised. I'm not sure what your NA system is, but it's quite conceivable it could add to game length if not implemented with extreme care.

Maybe the game takes longer, but there sure is more action. In AA revised, Germany's income is more than US's for most of the game. In 1940, Germany only gets to US levels once russia is taken. This puts tremendous pressure on Germany not to inf turtle like it could in Revised. The game is going to be longer regardless because you have more territories, more powers, and more income than other versions.

There will be more income even without NOs. The main issue with length is not income, but more things to do on the map and more turns. Consider this simple fact. Germany is 4 turns away from Russia in Revised. In 1940, Germany is 5 away. (The real center of German Power, Western Germany, is 6). Remember that one more (well, debatably 2 more) territory(ies) to go to Russia does not mean only one more round of play. The game can actually often times go slower with lower income, because when there is less income, income is less of a driving force. Look at how many NOs reward activity that leads to victory. At least 9 of them reward activities that also lead to victory. Income drives victory in 1940 more than any other version.
MAYBE the game will be shorter without NOs, but when income is made less important, turtling results. I'd rather have a 10 hour dynamic game than a 7-9 hour infantry fest.

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Anyways, that’s the long version. I’ll bullet the main points (If you want to address these it would be best to break them up IMO, it would help me stay organized)
Game length is a result perhaps of more IPCs, but what should not be ignored or underemphasized are:
-More territories/sea zones
-More powers (more turns)
-Transports require more protection
More IPCs may mean more units and more time to physically move and manage the pieces, but:
-NOs are for the most part tied DIRECTLY in what it takes to try to win the game. Therefore, the side who is most actively trying to win the game reaps the rewards. The game is not just about capitals. It creates more fighting in more theatres (This might actually make the game longer, but how is more fighting not worth it?). NOs make victory cities incredibly more important, in an incredibly simple way compared to ideas tied into units costs and such.
-An income-oriented game puts pressure on the axis to HURRY UP and attack. The gulf between initial Axis and initial Allied income is one of the biggest, if not the biggest in an AA printing so far. This gulf makes it essential that the Axis get moving.
-For the most part, allied NOs are based on keeping what they have, while Axis’ are based on getting what they don’t have. This creates an incredibly more dynamic game.
-A game less driven by IPCs will only make turtling a more viable strategy.
-Reduction in IPC rewards for opening multiple theatres will mean there will be less battles. Less battles mean less units being killed, along with more static warfare (skirmishes between two powers where territories are attacked only with the bare minimum to take it, and the two trade back and forth, until someone gets the guts to push everything.)
-In summary, the NO system encourages the game to last shorter in terms of rounds, but the realities associated with more territories and more turns per round are much larger effects.

Is making the game a few minutes shorter per round really worth sacrificing multiple fronts and the incentive for axis to get moving and not turtle? Other than the time it takes to physically move pieces, less income does no good. A game with less IPCs may take less time to move pieces per round, but it will ultimately result in more rounds.

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The last point, separate from the others, is the unflinching and unreasonable insistence on calling IPC's "CASH." Let's look at how wrong that is first by examining them in the aspect of cash. They never, ever, ever ,ever (etc.) were just “cash”. Ever. Obviously they are not just cash (first by what was printed on them back when they were paper), since you can’t just throw money and have an organized military. It takes bureaucracy and trade networks to acquire resources, among other things.

Second by examining the concept of them being man-hours (like what was printed on the paper IPCs back when we had them), we are left with another interesting discovery. Let’s say the UK produces X IPCs per turn. They get X*1,000,000 (I think that’s what’s printed on there) man hours of production, according to this definition. So let’s say they save those IPCs a turn or two. So they have their workers sit around and drink tea, and then have them work twice or 3 times as hard? Well lets say people in wartime were working 8 hours a day producing for the war. If you save for 4 turns, assuming production is consistent, all of a sudden people are working over 24 hours a day. Clearly, this too is not exactly what IPCs are all about.

Enter AAG1940 (and anniversary too) Now you have the definition of IPCs being expanded, to represent advantages like propaganda value, motivation, national prestige, hegemony, trade, strategic value, oil, lend-lease, defense perimeters, and treaty obligations.

THE GAME IS AN ABSTRACTION

A definition of IPCs that actually works is “Measure of the ability to wage war.” Not just cash, not just man hours, not just national prestige, not just propaganda value. An efficient abstraction combining all of those and more, that’s what IPCs are.

Just because they at one time looked like monopoly money doesn’t make them cash.
“A lie never lives to be old.” — Sophocles

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Re: ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Post by Imperious leader » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:20 pm

However, what would you get on the Pacific side of the board, where there are no neutrals?
Well sort of. If Japan attacks Russia, id make all of Mongolia pro soviets and activate their army. The various island group NO's can be considered groups of extra victory points. If Japan controls X and Y they can claim an extra point and yes the VC total for victory might need to go up.

I actually prefer a third option:
Keep the VC, plus you need to occupy the various island groups, but you just don't GET PAID FOR IT. This would be the solution in the cases where the other methods don't apply. But that is the whole idea really, is to apply not the same universal rule to everything ( e.g. CASH solution) but to look at each unique situation and solve it individually.

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?
Well if you lose something you will be more inclined to take it back ( to create an immediate motivation) then if you are just trying to add to your income.

For example: are you more inclined to retake France as Germany, or take a Soviet area far from your home? You will always try to get back what was lost much greater than to take something that was not yours at start.
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.

AS is said the solution must dynamic and be different ideas used at the same time because you can't just treat everything the same way because they have UNIQUE strategic considerations and not only economic. I think a few are economic, but most are not. I advocate much fewer NO's and more ideas that have some flavor that will not add to game length.

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.
Look at Italy, they are weak, but the games NO's artificially inflate them to like double income if they get all their NO's Historically, Italy was weak and for many reasons and its not solved by just taking X, Y and Z...

Italy should always be somewhat weak and really should have some ways to improve, but to give them all this cash is not realistic and just keeps them in the game longer.

NA's can get some special flavor in Italy's case: Frogmen, Kesselring, and other ideas can give them some bonus and sting against the British player consistent with what Italy was capable of doing.

But the true solution is to do about 4 things all used at the same time:

NA's, Political changes if they take X areas, added VC conditions, and other ideas used to solve things including a few NO's ( like the ones that are one time events, which are not too bad)
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.
Thats not my idea, you just cant take an island thats far in the interior of the controlling players holdings in order to pick juicy targets. This means you must have a path of conquest. It is not the case that you need to take all the islands to move forward, but those in a direct line. I can give examples if need be.
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 Imperious leader » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:25 pm

Cool, It’s good you agree that the process of computing and distributing NO IPCs is quite simple.
I actually said it is a minor issue as to their complexity of volume. Having alot of them is just more keeping track of stuff, when other solutions can be more dynamic than treating everything with CASH.

It is simple idea itself, but less desirable than other solutions because it treats all the issues with the same result....more cash.

And taking some small islands ( not DEI or Borneo) is not adding any measure that can be translated into cash.
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 mantlefan » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:49 pm

Imperious leader wrote: And taking some small islands ( not DEI or Borneo) is not adding any measure that can be translated into cash.
The whole third section of my post above (sorry it needed sections) addresses this, but why do you equate IPCs with "cash" It's nice shorthand to say cash but apart from that, what is your justification for calling IPCs cash?
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Re: ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Post by Imperious leader » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:59 pm

Now lets look at them currently:
Germany
When Germany is not at War with the Soviet Union
1. Collect 5 IPCs per turn for not being at war with the Soviet Union. Theme: Wheat & Oil trade with Russia
this is fine.
When Germany is at War with the Soviet Union
2. Collect 5 IPCs per turn for EACH of the following territories, Novgorod (Leningrad), Volgograd (Stalingrad), and/or Russia (Moscow) controlled by the Axis. Theme: High strategic and propaganda value.
This is bogus, they already have IPC value. and these areas are already VC cities so they are accounted for.
3. Collect 5 IPCs per turn if Germany controls Caucasus. Theme: Access and control of vital Russian Oil production.
It should be some cost to Russia if they lose it, like roll extra die for oil loss but no add for Germany.
When Germany is at War with the European Allies
4. Collect 5 IPCs per turn if there is at least one German land unit in an Axis controlled Egypt. Theme: Gateway to the Middle-East Oil fields (high propaganda value).
No. Should be that UK loses some money since colonial resources now need to go around cape horn... not sure, but another solution might be Turkey goes pro axis if Axis also take Syria
5. Collect 5 IPC per turn if Germany controls both Denmark and Norway while Sweden is not pro-Allies or Allied-controlled. Theme: Access to Iron Ore and other strategic resources.
This is not bad but the amount of aid is ridiculously inflated. Should be more like 2 IPC. Why is everything 5, 10, or in 5 point increments? You see another example of solving all the problems with one solution and not looking at the issue uniquely and using numbers 5,10,15,20 because it looks like a idealistic solution.

6. Collect 5 IPCs per turn that Germany controls the United Kingdom. Theme: High national prestige.
If UK falls Germany has enough income FROM THAT ALONE and does not need free parking bonus. Not to mention the game is probably over.

7. Collect 2 IPCs per turn for each of the following three territories that Germany controls: Iraq, Persia and Northwest Persia. Theme: Access to strategic oil reserves.
Rather prefer the old AAE oil rule to be applied here.

next up is Russia...
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 Imperious leader » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:17 pm

The whole third section of my post above (sorry it needed sections) addresses this, but why do you equate IPCs with "cash" It's nice shorthand to say cash but apart from that, what is your justification for calling IPCs cash?
Because new units are generated with IPC to buy them.... CASH

War bonds form a loan with the citizens to the government, so the government can buy more war making weapons...CASH

People working in factories are earning a wage to produce weapons. They in turn get paid and the value of their work is CASH

IPC is X number of manpower and material which cost money...CASH

Reason why GM, Chrysler, Ford, Boeing, and various other companies which are building war material get paid in CASH because they have to hire people and make trading agreements with foreign powers to sustain the war effort.

This is why some of the NO's justify this ( German trade agreements with Sweden "iron ore" NO)

When you get down to it CASH is nothing but a promise to pay at least since 1933 in USA when FDR put USA into bankruptcy and got also rid of the gold standard.

So CASH actually represents a loan of sorts since Gold no longer is used to back up the currency.

This is not indifferent from what IPC represents, except they represent an economy of scale which is much larger. But it is still CASH
We really need an Axis and Allies World War one game so i can play that on August 1st, 2014.

mantlefan
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Re: ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Post by mantlefan » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:24 pm

When Germany is at War with the Soviet Union
2. Collect 5 IPCs per turn for EACH of the following territories, Novgorod (Leningrad), Volgograd (Stalingrad), and/or Russia (Moscow) controlled by the Axis. Theme: High strategic and propaganda value.
This is bogus, they already have IPC value. and these areas are already VC cities so they are accounted for.

But not in IPCs. Remember, NOs are National Objectives. Completing the objectives should make you more able to fight a war. Once you finish one, you can focus more on the others. They are already VCs, sure. But VCs don't matter until the game is over. Until the game is over, there is lots more war to fight. This NO resembles not only German success but Russian failure and disaster.
3. Collect 5 IPCs per turn if Germany controls Caucasus. Theme: Access and control of vital Russian Oil production.
It should be some cost to Russia if they lose it, like roll extra die for oil loss but no add for Germany.

So you say NOs are too complex, but you want to add die rolls? Conceptually Germany has access to Oil. They shouldn't get rewarded?
When Germany is at War with the European Allies
4. Collect 5 IPCs per turn if there is at least one German land unit in an Axis controlled Egypt. Theme: Gateway to the Middle-East Oil fields (high propaganda value).
No. Should be that UK loses some money since colonial resources now need to go around cape horn... not sure, but another solution might be Turkey goes pro axis if Axis also take Syria

So the only thing that matters in war is material? Propaganda and psychology are irrelevant?
5. Collect 5 IPC per turn if Germany controls both Denmark and Norway while Sweden is not pro-Allies or Allied-controlled. Theme: Access to Iron Ore and other strategic resources.
This is not bad but the amount of aid is ridiculously inflated. Should be more like 2 IPC. Why is everything 5, 10, or in 5 point increments? You see another example of solving all the problems with one solution and not looking at the issue uniquely and using numbers 5,10,15,20 because it looks like a idealistic solution.

You claim NOs are too complex, and then want more IPC values to remember? Don;t forget this one also encompasses the extreme strategic value of Norway
6. Collect 5 IPCs per turn that Germany controls the United Kingdom. Theme: High national prestige.
If UK falls Germany has enough income FROM THAT ALONE and does not need free parking bonus. Not to mention the game is probably over.

Please. This needs to exist just to try make sealion viable. It's been stated in multiple threads that taking UK doesn't last very long and that if Germany goes Sealion, they are in trouble from Russia
7. Collect 2 IPCs per turn for each of the following three territories that Germany controls: Iraq, Persia and Northwest Persia. Theme: Access to strategic oil reserves.
Rather prefer the old AAE oil rule to be applied here.

That really only adds complexity and time. The allies would need to decide how to split up the IPC loss, which sometimes takes a minute or two, rather than a nearly instantaneous 1, 2, 3 counting. If you're gonna argue to change nearly everything, it helps not to contradict the ideas of quicker games and simpler NOs that you presented only hours earlier
“A lie never lives to be old.” — Sophocles

mantlefan
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Re: ALPHA +.2 THEORY CRAFTING THREAD

Post by mantlefan » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:33 pm

Imperious leader wrote: Because new units are generated with IPC to buy them.... CASH...

...

This is not indifferent from what IPC represents, except they represent an economy of scale which is much larger. But it is still CASH
You miss the point completely. You yourself have said Larry is the one that makes the decisions. You have said it.

Now, We have people being rewarded IPCs for psychological, hegemonial, and strategic reasons. Larry has redefined NOs. They are not just about physical resources, and definitely not just about money (cash).

It's not a matter of opinion. You are wrong. Don't get mad, offended or annoyed. Being wrong doesn't make you stupid, nor does it mean that other things you say are automatically wrong. It's simple. Read the NOs. It's right there in black and white. Regardless of whatever IPCs have ever been about before, NOW, regardless of your opinion, they represent a concept beyond just cash. Larry has decreed it. I would think that someone who posts as many suggestions for changing things as you do would be more receptive to changes in the definition of IPC.

I suppose it's your right to ask that IPCs be made just about money, but that still doesn't mean that IPCs right now in AAG1940 represent just money, or even just material resources.
“A lie never lives to be old.” — Sophocles

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