Balance Issues in 1942.2

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Balance Issues in 1942.2

Post by Cyf_Nwyl_1412 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:02 am

My friends and I have played Spring 1942 Second Edition six or seven times now. Axis wins easily every time no matter who plays them. Are there any suggestions out there for adding some additional Allied units to the game setup, as was done with the 1941 edition (which helped immensely to balance that version of the game)?
We have discussed adding US units to China, possibly implementing the Sino-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact from the actual war, as well as giving Russia a few more units east and west, a unit to the British Indian fleet, and moving the US cruiser from the Panama Canal to the eastern seaboard (SZ11).
Thanks for any help!

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Re: Balance Issues in 1942.2

Post by oztea » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:21 am

I have yet to try it, but for allied balance add one AA gun to each of the following territories:

Soviet Union
Karellia S.S.R.

United Kingdom
Eastern Australia

United States

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Re: Balance Issues in 1942.2

Post by Wittman » Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:55 am

Morning Cyf Nwyl 1412.
We put an Inf in Egypt and a Sub off India. If this does not prove enough, then give Russia one more Inf.

I have the same experience as you with the balance and whomever I have played on the AAA site thinks the same.

I can announce, however, that I played a game with my best friend and he won as the Allies without a bid.
He went all Pacific and I was unlucky in the one naval battle(possibly J3) and had failed to sink the two US Atlantic Transports on G1, but I was surprised at how going all Pacific proved too much for me.
Have you tried ignoring Europe as the US and only spending in the Pacific?
My friend's reasoning was US out financed Japan, while Russia/UK out financed Germany. He could not see what chance I had!

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Re: Balance Issues in 1942.2

Post by Black_Elk » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:32 pm

A pre-placement bid is the standard way to re-balance an A&A board. I've never much liked bids, because an extra unit on a key battle can dramatically alter the variability of first round attacks, but since Bidding has been the traditional way, most people still opt for it.

in 1942 sec ed. the standard bid has settled somewhere between 15-10 ipcs awarded to the Allies to distribute as they see fit. 13 ipcs on average.
Among these, some of the popular combinations are...

3 ipcs to Britain: One additional inf unit in Egypt. This brings the German Egypt attack with the bomber down from about 75% odds (provided they don't get diced by the destroyer in sz 17) to 50/50 or less. Many players feel that the British fighter in Egypt can swing the game, so without the bid here, German players will often take a chance at 75%, but less than 50% becomes a much much riskier proposition. 1 extra inf here on the bid, can push the German player to go for Gibraltar or Trans-Jordan instead, or just stack Libya, which gives Britain an extra fighter to cover Russia or pressure Japan.

10 ipcs to Russia: this is the most common bid I have seen. 10 ipcs gets you a fighter, or 2 inf and artillery, or a tank and an artillery, or some combination of these with inf and money in the bank. Since holding Karelia is a very risky thing to attempt, most players will distribute the bid to maximize their attack potential in the first round, or counter attack potential in the second.

Depending on your purchase with the 24 ipcs, 2-3 ground units, is enough to stack W. Russia, cover Karelia on the counter, and tank trap Caucasus (e.g. leaving Caucasus just light enough to bait an attack from Germany, while covering the space on the counter-attack.) Or you can stack W. Russia and Caucasus for the defense/counter. Or you can go with the summer offensive into Ukraine (e.g. take W. Russia, and take or strafe Ukraine). Alternatively, some players will bid a fighter, since it gives you a potential shot on the Baltic fleet, or some added attack advantage against Ukraine, Belo, or W. Russia, but can still be flown to safety afterwards, or to set up a coordinated strategy against Japan. A Fighter gives you the advantage of some added flexibility on attacks and covering territory, but the ground game is so tight on the eastern front, that many will still opt for 3 ground over 1 air on the bid. Comes down to your playstyle, the dice, and how experienced the German player is.

For simplicity you can call this the Russia/Britain bid, and it is the most common.

Another bid I have seen, is one which tries to give the Allies some kind of edge in the opening naval battles. Of these an extra destroyer in sz 10, or sz 11 seems to be the most common. That's a cost of 8 ipcs, to either the British or Americans, which leaves you on average with enough for just 1 ground unit somewhere else on the board. A destroyer in either sz, forces Germany to concentrate their uboats on a single attack, preventing the Atlantic sweep (e.g 1 sub sent against both the British and American transports, at roughly even odds, to clear the Atlantic of all allied ships in the first round.) The philosophy here, is that the western Allies can put pressure on Germany a round earlier if their ships aren't completely annihilated, so they will risk a battle or two on the eastern front to secure an earlier Atlantic crossing.

Then there are potential KJF bids (kill Japan first), which allow for the Germans to skate by in the opening rounds, in exchange for an early attack advantage against Japan. Such a bid is less conservative, but could pan out if the Allies are trying to coordinate a pacific game. The difficulty here is that the German player may see your bid and adapt their gameplay to counter. But of the pacific bids I have seen...

1 sub and 1 inf to Britain, to set up the attack in sz 37. (The Egypt fighter has to survive for this to have much chance of success, so 1 inf there, and another inf somewhere in Eurasia.) The idea here is to max the potential for damage on your subs, which could conceivably result in a first round sinking of the Japanese carrier (if you hit the amazing double deuce) and to provide extra cheap fodder for the British. This can still be a risky attack regardless, and any move that leaves the second Japanese transport alive is certain to create problems for the Allies.

I have yet to see an American armor bid in China, though I suppose this might be used to set up a KJF.

Finally, any bid at 12 ipcs or greater allows for a pre-placement Bomber bid. Its hard to overstate the potential attack advantage that an extra bomber can provide in the opening round. If you are uncertain of what to do, you could always try giving an extra bomber to any one of the Allies and go from there. Unlike ground or naval units, Aircraft can do double duty and cover a lot of space on the gameboard, and each round they survive into the endgame, they are bringing additional force to bear which the allies would not otherwise have at their disposal.

A Russian bomber, while risky, can get you a decent shot on the German Baltic fleet, at the cost of maybe one fighter. Gives you a little more flexibility in trading infantry on the eastern front, and covering against the Japanese.

A British bomber can be used to clear Axis fleets, or double down on an opening round strat bomb of Germany.

An American bomber (if properly supported) can threaten sz 62, or other zones around Asia, forcing Japan to spend more energy covering their transports. Or provide a little extra heat on Europe.

Anyhow, this is what I've seen so far. Hopefully it helps

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Re: Balance Issues in 1942.2

Post by oztea » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:49 am

I really dislike bidding, and think the allies are really behind in the opening setup.
One of the US transports should be moved to the Gulf of Mexico (so Germany cant kill both in one attack) and the US should get a second bomber.

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Re: Balance Issues in 1942.2

Post by adpac740 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:51 pm

Has anyone else had success using revised edition National Advantages in efforts to create balance for this version?

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Re: Balance Issues in 1942.2

Post by Imperious leader » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:06 pm

Not a bad idea, except remember they were different games- different rules.

Id rather see a version with all the global pieces used, and possibly a few Vichy French forces deployed. I would find the solution in setup changes, not bidding.
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: Balance Issues in 1942.2

Post by ChristophfromGermany » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:25 am

Hi Krieghund, hi Imperious Leader,

an old gaming buddy of mine, with whom I used to play A&A Classic in the late 1990s, now passes by every two months for a game. Due to his long pause we started with A&A 1941 and find it quite balanced – of course we include the setup changes and the Soviet-Japanese Non-Aggression Pact as proposed by Larry Harris. It's not only good for Newbies like my boys but also for those who didn't play the game since Classic.

Now I think of switching to A&A 1942 SE, but as far as I can read here in the forum, it needs some changes for balancing too.
@ Krieghund: are there any official proposals on a setup change as in A&A 1941? And how about transfering the Soviet-Japanese Non-Aggression Pact to A&A 1942? In A&A Classic the two-front attack on Russia, even though it was very unhistorical, was a common strategy. I like the NA-Pact Rule in A&A 1941 quite a lot. It makes Japan go for India and Pacific to grab IPCs instead. Even though India is hard to hold for the UK then, but that is a different story or needs a different approach of the Allies player.

@ Imperious Leader, you mentioned in your last post to prefer setup-changes to a bid and I fully agree with you. Have you got any idea or already tried some changes and if so, how did they work?

Would be a pleasure if one or both of you could answer me.

As I finally could get my hands on an A&A Anniversary Edition this will be the final step for a multi-player game with the son of my gaming buddy and my own son. I still have got many units to paint, but the map looks great and the increased number of territories in China and Eastern Russia as well as the National Objectives seem to prevent Japan from an early rush towards Moscow. But I have to make all the others comfortable with the rules first.

Best regards

No decent man can prefer war to peace, because at peace-time the sons burry their father while at war, the father burries his sons. (Herodot)

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