Page 1 of 7

Balance Issues 1942 2nd Ed. Re-Visited

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:55 am
by GSmorey

Over the past few years of running 1942 2nd Ed. Tournaments, and playing in one myself this weekend, there seems to be, still, an unbalance of power for the Axis (Germany) in the Atlantic. (maybe an extremely balance)

In short, and even after the bid for sides, which produces extra money for the Allies (up to some 20+ IPC's), after turn 1, there are no Allied Ships in the Atlantic and based on the play of the German's should never be for the remainder of the game.

This is a very frustrating thing for any Allied player and convention tournament player. Basically, the only way to win with the Allies in a FTF tournament game with time restrictions is to Kill Japan first (KJF) because there is literally no way to ever have ships in the Atlantic to make "Kill Germany first" (KGF) an option and it is even more impossible to have a front on both sides...

I was hoping to get some good ideas on how to balance the game with not to much of a setup change. But IMO and most out there playing in tournaments that know what is going on, there has to be something in the way of errata or change to game board and placement of setup pieces.

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

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:00 am
by GSmorey
And More so...US is not the problem. The UK is. They will never have ships in the north Atlantic. When you take all the ships Germany has to start the game and add in the aircraft and the T1 Carrier build, the UK has to always allocate 3 units to India, or it will fall. And in most cases, the bid goes to the UK in India to give it a fighting chance or game is already over vs. Japan.

Then in Germany T1, it removes all UK naval units and the US naval units in the east. If for some reason the Allies would get luck, at best they would do is to knock out a few planes and maybe a sub or two...Germany needs none of these units for their advance on the eastern front until all of the Atlantic naval units are gone. It gets worse, even if the UK saves for one turn to build a big enough navy to hopefully withstand the German onslaught, it is not enough to rebuild a fleet and keep India safe from Japans take over of Asia.

The bid in most cases of the players that know what they are doing, is at minimum 20 IPC. And in most cases, the Allies are buying a BB and Placing it in India and killing the Japanese fleet in East India. Giving no money to UK's Homeland. This is the only real strategy the Allies have of winning.

You have no idea how frustrating it is that UK can NEVER have ships in the Atlantic and put pressure on Germany to aid in taking pressure off Russia. In 9 our of 10 games Russia will fall because of this and the Allies only chance of winning is in the Pacific and taking over Calcutta, Manila and Shanghai if not Japan...

It is impossible based on the current set up and map layout to have a 2 front war. And in most cases one has to go with KJF instead of KGF due to the fact if you ignore Japan, and the US has to in the Pacific if you have any chance to make KGF work, Japan just rolls over, and game over as well...

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

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:01 am
by GSmorey
I would also like to start by giving you some other observations we have regarding the game board:

The Atlantic is brutal for the Allies even with out of the box rules.
Here are the details in relation to my comment regarding the 2 front war:
· Cannot transport units from EUS to UK in one turn (takes 3 sea zones of movement)
· Cannot fly fighters from EUS to UK in one turn (takes 5 zones of movement)
· Cannot fly fighters from UK to Moscow in one turn (takes 5 zones of movement)
· German fighters positioned in France, NW Europe or Norway can reach ANY sea zone surrounding UK—i.e. you don’t even need a carrier to hit the UK fleet drop

The bids in general are now in the range of anywhere between 17-23 and they always go to the Allies. If not, then it is most likely and inexperienced player that is not aware of advantage the Axis have.

Over the past 5 years there have been many different strategies in what the bid ends up being, but in the last year, we have come to find out that if a bid of 20 or more is received, the best buy is a BB given to the UK in the India ocean fleet. And if things go well, it eliminates the Japan fleet in the East Indies.

Again, most bids are indeed >20, but buys to date have mostly involved some combination of Russian frontline forces, UK inf in Egypt, and assorted sea units (subs/destroyers for Indian and EUS fleets) to increase success of UK1 attack on East Indies fleet and chance of EUS fleet surviving the German sub attack.

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

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:53 pm
by Dmarts
I fully agree with Greg. Tremendous "out of the box" advantage for the axis. Moscow and calcutta are all but doomed from the get go. Severely limited options for the allies. America has to focus on one side of the board to make any sort of impact, surrendering the other side of board to the axis. 20 bid should be the absolute minimum, and I don't think that comes close to balancing.

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

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:23 pm
by Larry
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...

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

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:09 pm
by VanGal
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.

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

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:30 pm
by taamvan
first off, love the game, really appreciate the support for the community from Smorey and Dave Jensen et al and am thrilled you are open minded to revisit the setup here.

i think a fair amount of low hanging fruit exists:

move the sz 10 cruiser to join the us fleet off atlantic coast, %61 chance of surviving tts
add a dd to australia fleet, this only changes the opener a bit (with no bid) but makes a more viable uk split
many people sugggest ussr bomber this isnt too historical but it doesnt change the open as much as the bid could

other issues are more complex

the middle of asia could be more dynamic, japan t1 can destroy most usa pieces there and ALSO do coral sea, trimming usa too much. it might be more fun to make this an either/or so that at least 1 usa node survives with something left. since usa soon has less money (38) than germany this is a very uphill fight

even when axis get drained fighting t 1-3 they can still take most of the asia money once they annihilate the 10 or so infantry there, this is a kind of economic victory pretty fast once theyre making 50/40 each. this feels much like the original version where the middle is key but cant be easily saved

russia can survive with a combination of an agressive opener and luck and lend lease fighters but once japan and germany double team them and own the factories they can deliver the deathblow with ease itd be nice to have a dance going on in the backfield to save russia's economy and hit those german nodes but they are full of tanks

and same atlantic, the usa and uk need to have some ships live during T1 or it feels like a lost cause. uk fighters need to head to moscow, but uk desperately needs the fighters to cover its fleet, and germany doesnt feel threatened much until T5 by which time russia is dead or dying

thanks for listening and thanks for starting the discussion mr smorey

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

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:48 pm
by Black_Elk
I've been exploring a number of possibilities to make 1942.2 viable at my house and on the A&Aorg boards. I've found the following to be pretty helpful while still staying within the scope of the timeline...

My favorite solution for 1942.2, even more than set up changes, is the US Zero Turn.
Basically America moves first in the turn order... with an option to restrict the opening if desired (sans combat phase) similar to what some people did with Russia in Classic. I like it because it's simple to implement (doesnt require any changes to the unit set up or the rules) and pretty much inverts the board from heavy Axis advantage to slight Allied advantage. I think it might be cool as a tournament option.

For more traditional set up changes, I've tried the following with some success...

At the Center:
Russian Bomber for Moscow. (Gives the Soviets a stronger opener, and the ability to trade territory with Germany during the midgame.) I prefer this solution to a British bid, since it's less distorting in the Med or for Suez, while giving the Reds a bit more to play with. It also allows for bit more dynamism vs Japan with a possible KJF game. I prefer the bomber to a 3rd fighter, which was something else we tried, because it increases Russian attack power, without giving them too much defense power, and because it is an unlikely purchase for Soviets.

British factory In Canada. (Provides a safe zone for Atlantic naval builds.)

US Atlantic destroyer (better chance to preserve the American transports from a G1 uboat attack.)

In addition to the Center and the Atlantic I think there are two other problem areas that would be worth addressing in a tournament/3rd edition set up change.

The first is to somehow avoid the J1 Pearl Attack. This is where Japan attacks sz53 with 2 fighters 1 bomber, 1 cruiser and 1 sub. Takes the first casualty on a fighter so they don't have to move the carrier on non com. (Japan then lands the surviving fighter and bomber at Wake or Solomons.) This is a common play by Japan that really diminshes the ability of the Americans to come out gunning vs Japan on the water.

The other area is China, where it is very hard to halt the Japanese advance, even when Russia or UK sends more fodder or fighter cover to support Szech. In my experience Japan can push into Yunnan out of sz61 (shucking units from Japan) and amass a pretty huge stack in fairly short order. From there it's 3 moves to Moscow, which gives Japan a way to drive on the center while still staying in position on India with their transports. I think the inclusion of even a couple more hitpoints for the Chinese would bring Central/South Asia into balance, so Japan can't just flatten the Chinese. An alternative option would be to close the border of Western China with an impassable tile, representing the Taklamakan Desert, Kunlun mountains etc, a region that would be very difficult to move a mechanized army through in this period (or even in the modern day.) Basically no movement for any units between Sinkiang/Szech and the USSR. That is maybe more extreme than others would want to go, but I think it makes sense for the geography of the region.

I've tried most of these ideas independently, sometimes with one or two in conjunction with each other, but I usually dig the effect on game balance. Just thought I'd toss them in the hat.

I still prefer the US Zero Turn though, as a quick fix, since it accomplishes most of what I want without a whole lot of overhead. Improves the situation in China, allows for an earlier Torch, let's the Americans position fighters to help the UK in England/India, and avoids that crushing attack on the USN at Pearl.

Oh also, here are a few 1942.2 threads where I posted some strategy ideas on the boxed game. Maybe some of those discussion might be helpful for brainstorming? ... ic=35703.0 ... ic=35487.0

Love this game and love this map! Really look forward to hearing what might be done to make it even better!

All the best