Balance Issues 1942 2nd Ed. Re-Visited

Not to be confused with the 1st Edition This is a larger game... bigger map and more units. The game was released this past summer (2012)
This promises to be the core game and it will be around for many years to come.
Argothair
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Re: Balance Issues 1942 2nd Ed. Re-Visited

Post by Argothair » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:27 am

I strongly agree with Black Elk. By far the best fix for this game is to start the turn order with a restricted American turn where America buys units, makes a non-combat move, places its units, and collects income. This one rule change fixes essentially all of the major problems on the map. Instead of an anachronistic 1942 Pearl Harbor battle, the US will typically concentrate its forces near Solomon Islands, setting up the more historical Guadalcanal conflict. Instead of getting crushed in China, the US will typically concentrate its forces in Szechuan or Sinkiang, easing pressure on Japanese Manchuria while plugging the 'back door' to Moscow. Instead of being wiped out in the Atlantic, the US will typically build an Atlantic capital ship and get set up to launch Operation Torch on schedule during America's first unrestricted turn. A stronger American navy sets up a chain reaction where Britain can safely build an Atlantic navy with multiple transports, putting pressure on Germany that forces it to divert troops west, away from Moscow. Russia will still be somewhat weak, but in the games I play, Russia always survives the initial German onslaught -- what breaks Russia's back is the Japanese assault that comes barging through Sinkiang or India on turn 5 or 6. The more generous turn order allows America to fight a two-front war, putting real pressure on Japan that will prevent Japan from funneling 5+ tanks a turn toward Moscow. Japan might eventually get a few troops into Kazakh or Evenki, but it's not going to be anything like the death blow that Japan typically inflicts in a standard game of 1942 Second Edition.

It's possible that the Axis will need a bid with an American first turn opening, but that's fine. The bid will probably be much more reasonable -- something like 3 to 9 IPCs.

If you decide not to change the turn order, I would suggest adding the following Allied troops to the setup:
Russia: 1 tank in Vologda; 1 bomber in Moscow
Britain: 1 artillery in India, 1 artillery in South Africa, 1 destroyer in Sea Zone 6 (North Sea)
America: 1 destroyer in Sea Zone 19 (near Panama); 1 factory, 1 infantry, and 1 AAA gun in Sinkiang

The goal of these changes is to make it possible for the Allies to rapidly recover from the first-turn attacks on the Allied navies. Germany can still sink the American transports in Sea Zone 12, but the added destroyer allows America to immediately counterattack, killing off the German subs and making it reasonable for America to buy transports in the Atlantic on America's first turn. Similarly, Japan can still sink the American fleet near Hawaii, but the extra British artillery allows for a profitable British attack on Borneo, and the additional hit points in China mean that Japan will have to buy some land units if it expects to achieve supremacy in mainland Asia, giving America a fighting chance to achieve naval superiority in the Pacific while it's still early enough to make a meaningful difference to the game. Meanwhile, the extra Russian offensive pieces will allow Russia to either plausibly attack three German territories on turn one, or safely attack two German territories on turn one, adding strategic variety and helping keep Russia alive as a going concern for a few extra turns.

As far as victory cities, I would recommend adding Sydney, Singapore, and Kiev to the mix, for a total of 8 Allied VCs and 8 Axis VCs. The addition of Kiev gives Russia a chance to capture a victory city if Germany is on the defensive, and the addition of Sydney and Singapore help encourage more realistic combat in the south Pacific. In a standard game, many British players will simply evacuate Australia. Adding insult to injury, many Japanese players will not even bother to occupy an evacuated Australia. Making Sydney a victory city should help deter this behavior and tempt Japan into striking south.

BushidoBlitz
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Re: Balance Issues 1942 2nd Ed. Re-Visited

Post by BushidoBlitz » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:37 am

Imbalance exists whether format is tourney (6-7 rounds in 4hr 45min) or OOB.

Atlantic map/G1 sea crush forces Allies to KJF; unhindered Germany takes Moscow by turn 5 or 6.
From there, building 4-12 units/turn in Russia/Caucasus, it's easy march south to Calcutta or east to Shanghai, should Japanese need liberation there.

For the longer OOB format, even if Germany's up Leningrad/Moscow while US/UK is concurrently up Manila/Shanghai, difference is German IPC boost from Moscow's fall. With 70+ IPCs in hand, G6/G7 Baltic fleet drop puts UK on its heels while German tanks march east or south in Asia. Allies do not get a similar boost in income, as Tokyo (should) never fall.

To make KGF viable on current map, need a UK fleet that can survive G1, which means significantly altering the starting setup. E.g. remove 2-3 German subs and add des+cru to the UK SZ 7 fleet for BB to have fighting chance of surviving G1. Alternatively, move UK fleet out of range to Eastern Canada SZ.

Jeff

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GSmorey
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Re: Balance Issues 1942 2nd Ed. Re-Visited

Post by GSmorey » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:03 am

Larry wrote:Thanks guys.


Here's what I propose. And perhaps we can all work on this together.
Being guided by your list of issues, Greg, I will take a stab at a new setup. This setup will be guided by a couple of principles ... Make as few changes as possible, and pay attentions to historical considerations etc, as usual. And, finally Does this address Greg's issues.

To get things off the ground let me take a quick stab at a new setup. This setup is only to be considered a starting point for this conversation. Everyone and chime in but if your off subject "ping" I delete you.... This important stuff. I want to hear from best and the brightest out there. So feel free to comment and recommend changes.

New Setup to follow...
Larry, I like your proposal...looking forward to it.
Gregory J. Smorey – EO/GM
SmoreySwamp: Axis & Allies Event Organizer/GM: GEN CON, ORIGINS, Spring Gathering
Web: headlesshorseman2.com

Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.

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GSmorey
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Re: Balance Issues 1942 2nd Ed. Re-Visited

Post by GSmorey » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:23 am

VanGal wrote:Hi.
I believe that the Allies can have a substantial fleet off NW UK by the end of turn 3. Give the US EUS fleet an extra DD to start. US turn 1 purchase an AC, UK can save some money. UK turn 3 purchase an AC and 2 DD. US fleet which moved on turn 2 to Canada can join. This gives the Allies 2 AC, 4 ftrs, 4 DD vs a mostly all German airforce. This will either deter Germany or cost Germany most if not all of its' air power. More or less units can be purchased but it gives you an idea of how to accomplish this.
If the Allies were not so gung ho on killing Japan it could work.
However, in a 6 to 7 round game the Allies must concentrate on a specific side of the board and Japan is the weakest.
If you strengthen the Allies in the Atlantic you may have to weaken the Allies in the Indian Ocean.
VG, I like your suggestion. We must also remember, that there will still be a bid. We just hope it won't be continuing at the rate of 20+Ipc to the Allies...
Gregory J. Smorey – EO/GM
SmoreySwamp: Axis & Allies Event Organizer/GM: GEN CON, ORIGINS, Spring Gathering
Web: headlesshorseman2.com

Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.

Black_Elk
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Re: Balance Issues 1942 2nd Ed. Re-Visited

Post by Black_Elk » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:14 pm

This is exciting! I think any solution proposed for tournament play is likely to be widely adopted by players in the long form OOB game as well. Even moreso than say LHTR was for Revised, since the players I come across all seem really hungry for some kind of standardized balance solution for 1942.2 that doesnt require a 20+ bid.

I agree with Greg and others that it largely comes down to UKs inability to get any kind of realistic transport capacity going in the Atlantic. Even with a successful DD bid for as sz 11, and a full Altantic investment by US, you're still looking at like 4 rounds before UK can drop a safe transport fleet, and if G is stacking aircraft, even a strong defensive fleet is often not enough. Because even if Germany can't sink the combined Allied Atlantic fleet, they can usually just eject the expeditionary force once it makes landfall with overwhelming air power. So very hard to pressure Berlin and draw them back from the East before the Moscow pocket collapses.

I don't know which approach to bolstering the UKs Atlantic options is best, but something here would definitely help. I tried a turn order solution for the Americans because most people in my play group felt that the US was too slow out the gate, and it seemed like a nice way to indirectly influence the UKs starting options. With a stronger China or US Pacific fleet you take some of the heat off India, allowing the Western Allies to put more into the Atlantic. With the US Zero turn (full turn), it's basically a full balance reset, Axis bid. A restricted opening for the US Zero turn and the balance there is much narrower. But even then a lot still comes down to the Russian opener, since it's very tight on the Eastern front. Thats why I also explored the red bomber option, since it gives the Soviets more to work with there. But yeah, I think players are chomping at the bit here, and will definitely be quick to embrace whatever solution is suggested.

Can't wait to hear the ideas. Some official Tournament rules for this board would be so glorious! Thanks again for looking into it

Larry
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Re: Balance Issues 1942 2nd Ed. Re-Visited

Post by Larry » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:09 pm

Thanks for the input. I know your comments represent hours and hours of experience. For what it's worth here's my attempt at a modified Tournament Setup. Let me remind everybody that what we're trying to do here is assist Greg Smorey with his Tournament Game Rules setup. It's ultimately his call. I'm happy to help and look forward to participating in this worthy effort. Working together how can we fail.

Here's where I would start:
Added UK-DD to Sea zone 7
Moved UK-Cruiser from Sea Zone 14 to Sea Zone 13
German Bomber in Germany moved to Ukraine
Remove 1 German sub from Sea Zone 5
Added 2 UK Infantry to India (Total now 5).

In general terms I think this will help maintain some kind of interesting T2 Allied presence in the Atlantic. Also wanted to help India a bit in the process. Sneaking up on it...

Black_Elk
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Re: Balance Issues 1942 2nd Ed. Re-Visited

Post by Black_Elk » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:08 pm

I love what I'm hearing so far! I think the 2 additional hitpoints for India will definitely help to strengthen the Allied position at the center.
It will also make an aggressive Pacific play a bit more palatable, since they could take a shot on East Indies without giving up too much initiative in South Asia. Or conversely to dedicate more effort against Germany with less fear of getting rolled up by the Japanese in South Asia.

Personally I've moved away from the UK hit on sz 37, and definitely favor destroying the second Japanese transport in sz 61 instead. But that's usually for long games. I can see how the needs of a tournament with time restrictions would change the dynamic there somewhat if you really need to hammer the IJN. Without a strong bid, say 2 subs (one for the India fleet and one for the Aussies), that sz 37 battle is just too narrow for my liking. Also kind of hard for me to place that opening attack by UK in a historical context, since the British withdrew the Eastern Fleet in 42, and didn't really come back into the Pacific until 44. So it feels like a bit of an anachronism to have them rock the Japanese in sz 37 on UK1 hehe. But that said, at least this new set up for India opens the play to be a bit stronger, which should give the USN a little more breathing room if the British go this route.

I also really like the tweaks to the Atlantic. When playing G, I always prioritize the battleship, but it's pretty easy to handle OOB. Usually I can get the job done there just with the subs from sz 5 and fighters from Norway and Northwestern. Typically I'll save the bomber to kill the British med destroyer rather than sending it against the home fleet BB. I'm a bit of a gambler with that bomber. Most times I won't even bother bringing the German cruiser into the fight vs the Battleship, and instead save that to draw down the RAF on UK1, and try to put them out of position for the Russia transit. But one less sub in 5 and few more Atlantic targets to deal with (without a bomber to ice it) should at least put some more pressure on G to make a deliberate decision. I think I would still go after the US transports with the Atlantic subs, but the Brit Cruiser in sz 13 rather than 14, gives the UK a way draw a German fighter or sub out of position if Axis really want to sink it, instead of just using the Regia Marina battleship to do the deed while they snap up the Gibraltar landing pad.

I will try this set up in my next game and report back!
Larry wrote:Thanks for the input. I know your comments represent hours and hours of experience. For what it's worth here's my attempt at a modified Tournament Setup. Let me remind everybody that what we're trying to do here is assist Greg Smorey with his Tournament Game Rules setup. It's ultimately his call. I'm happy to help and look forward to participating in this worthy effort. Working together how can we fail.

Here's where I would start:
Added UK-DD to Sea zone 7
Moved UK-Cruiser from Sea Zone 14 to Sea Zone 13
German Bomber in Germany moved to Ukraine
Remove 1 German sub from Sea Zone 5
Added 2 UK Infantry to India (Total now 5).

In general terms I think this will help maintain some kind of interesting T2 Allied presence in the Atlantic. Also wanted to help India a bit in the process. Sneaking up on it...

Dmarts
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Re: Balance Issues 1942 2nd Ed. Re-Visited

Post by Dmarts » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:48 pm

I really like a lot of the ideas being laid out here. I feel as far working towards "balance", a little can go a long way. My take:

-I love the idea of 2 additional infantry in India. That change is much needed.
-Along those same lines, I think an extra artillery in Leningrad, Caucasus, or both (?) could do a lot for the Russian player's options for their opening turn.
-Likewise, in Egypt and Szech, an extra infantry could prove pivotal (especially in China)
-Finally, one idea I like is removing both German subs in the Baltic Sea, but leaving the 2 in the Atlantic. This would force Germany into some tough decisions with their first turn without completely de-fanging them.

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