Strategic Movements Mechanic

Breaking away from the Second World War and paying a visit and tribute to the First World War. Coming this March, 2013
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Flashman
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Re: Strategic Movements Mechanic

Post by Flashman » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:44 pm

I see no reason to limit anyone's "rail" movement through friendly territory. I'm sure the French were more than happy to allow American divisions to use the express service to Lorraine.

As long as I can make loud "choo-choo!" noises when I'm strategically moving them.

For historical logistic purposes, I'd suggest banning SM in Africa, Arabia, Persia and Afghanistan, which places had no modern transport networks. This was one of the reasons the war in Africa was so different.

But the rule dramatically changes the game; with the old rules, the roads leading from Berlin & Vienna were constantly choked with troops marching towards the front line. After Austria and Germany's first turns in my game with the new rules not a single unit remained in either country's home regions.

Another thing to consider is that, if using the new sea movement rule, cruisers become obsolete. A new ability is needed for them; perhaps something along the lines of my suggested naval retreat/pursuit mechanic.

Striker
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Re: Strategic Movements Mechanic

Post by Striker » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:06 pm

Wall of text incoming, hope you have reading glasses!

Ok, I tried a game out with the rules changes, I've wrote a report on the game, concentrating on the effects the movement system changes.

First of all, to give some context I must explain the general strategy of each nation:

Austria: Crush Italy first.
Germany: Initial push west turn 1-2, then a all east strategy to get Russia.
France: one front war against germany.
Italy: "" against italy.
Russia: "" against Germany
British: Ottomon first, all production to india.
Ottomons: Delay the British as long as possible.
USA: Flexible land reinforcements as needed.

Let's look at naval movement first:
Naval movement being 5 standard: This absolutely made the "naval war" A quick cleanup operation for the allies. Outnumbering the axis fleet severely, the allies used the additional movement to make attacks that weren't available before(This mainly benefited the French).
The first allies to have their turn(IE russia) sacrificed their navies to put a dent in the CP naval units, then the later allies(britian, france, Italy) send in their navies to finish the damaged CP ones off. No axis naval units were left on the board end of turn 1. Rolls were not particularly lucky on either side.

The other effect of 5 naval unit was giving USA 2 significant advantages:
1) Immediately upon entering the war they were able to land 4/5 transports of troops on the ottoman capital, at the same time that the british were reaching it, sealing the fate of the ottoman empire.
2) A very efficient shuck was established between Canada and France. A set of transports starting off France could pick up US troops that moved to Canada and unload them in france the same turn. This effectively halves the amount of money that the US needs to spend on transports.

Final thought on a standard naval move of 5: This removes the single advantage cruiser have. Everything else outperforms them dollar for dollar. No cruisers were bought in the game.(actually, no warships were bought period, only transports, due to the quick naval victory described above.)

Post game opinions: 5 naval movement standard is extremely overpowering and felt "gamey". "non combat" naval unit of 5 would be fine, but combat operations should be limited to 2 space movement.

Now on to the strategic movement side of things.

Germany's perspective: Germany initially expanded east and west with it's forces turn one. After securing some "buffer territory" between the french and Berlin Germany SM'd it's entire western front to join the east front. The next turn it did not move it's forces freshly produced in the capital, so that it could add another turn's purchases and SM them both to the east. Russia had no chance facing the *entire* german army all of a sudden and quickly fell to revolution shortly after.

The western front had no German soldiers for about 3 turns. In that time the french advanced uncontested 2-3 territories in, occupying even Munich. However at that point, the entire German army phased in from the east front to meet them. At that point the French had equal numbers and a superior economy to Germany. They would have had Germany on the ropes if it wasn't for Austria.

The Austrian perspective:
Austria demolished Romania with available forces on it's first turn and then focused completely on Italy, knowing Russia would be tied up with Germany.
Stategic movement sealed Italy's fate, which was quickly ran over by Austria's superior forces.
Austria had skirmished with France and gained a foot hold in southern france thanks to a lucky infantry attack. The same turn that Rome fell(turn 5) the entirety of Austria's force in Rome strategic moved to threaten Paris, forcing the French to strategic move back to Paris and abandon their advance into Germany.

The ottoman perspective: One useful strategic move was made using the Bulgarian reinforcements to get to the east quickly to delay the British one turn.

The British perspective: Strategic movement made the "All India, Ottoman first" strategy a no brainer. With France not threatened they strategic moved their Indian reinforcements with the steadily advancing front line towards the Ottoman capital. The ottomans fell British turn 5 or 6 thanks to the American attack turn 4 or 5. Not being able to strategic move into/through allied territories meant that it was out of the question for Germany or Austria to consider sending reinforcement sot help defend.

The end game: With Russia revolted and captured, Germany and Austria focused on France, knowing it required less moves for them to reach Paris compared to the amount of moves that the British east army required to reach Austria's capital. Britain, France and America pumped infantry into Paris but it fell within a couple turns. CP victory was achieved before Britain could advance quick enough into Austria's undefended east.

The difference between victory and loss may have been due to the ottomans sending a raiding force(~8 units) into Africa which took away about 10 income from the allies even if they weren't getting anything themselves. (the player felt that the capital was falling regardless, so why not be a pain in the but guerrilla force?).

Concluding thoughts/Post game opinions:
Naval movement: We agreed that the combat capable 5 naval movement was overpowering. There's an entire section of the game being resolved in one turn, and being able to reach turkey in one turn also felt abusive. We don't feel the game gained much by this addition.

Strategic movement: we were more divisive on this.
Pros: It makes for a quicker game.
It fixes the frustration with the vanilla rules, which make for a slow game because it takes so many turns for units to get from Paris to Berlin. Freshly produced units being useful immediately rather than taking 4 turns to reach combat seems like a good idea.
Cons:
-UBERSTACKS. This was laughed at earlier but it is no joke. The game was dominated by nations having one stack of troops each. The game mechanics naturally favor the army with superior force in a territory but the strategic movement rules as is encourage that even more.
Follow this logic:
Strategic movement is *Very* useful, it can be used to move your force from any territory you own to any connected territory you own.
You can only strategic move from one territory per turn.
Therefore: Keep most your army in one territory, so that most your army can be moved wherever it is needed at the end of a turn!
-The other con is that it highlights the abuse of British all Indian spending to an even greater extent. Britain being allowed to do that feels just wrong, but it's an obvious strategy for quickly taking out a CP power.

Suggestions:
-Don't allow naval moves greater than 2 result in combat for reasons already outlined.
-Adjust the strategic movement rules "somehow". The concept of it is great but needs fine tuning. If you are only allowed one stategic move it encourages uberstacks even more, so maybe allow multiple? Counterbalance this by not making it an unlimited move. About 5 spaces seems right, enough to get fresh troops to the front line but not enough for Germany to instantly move it's entire army to from one front to the opposite front in one turn.
-Finally, I know it's not related to the movement rules but do *something* about British spending in India, the Ottomans just don't have a game and are simply a speedbump like Italy.

Most Holy
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Re: Strategic Movements Mechanic

Post by Most Holy » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:50 pm

I think the idea of USA moving to Constantinople or any other Ottoman tt is being oversimplified here. In the above report, which is very helpful and the first non speculative example of the use of SM and 5 naval movement, You have a CP controlled Rome which means every US ship, including transports have to get through the mines to get to Constantinople. Also the effect of having just 2 artillery in any CP coastal tt being attacked gives the CP 2 shots at 50% at every ground unit coming in does it not?

An effective defense against any amphibious assault is to have artillery present. Our group have played to the end of round 5 in our first game (In which the CP player keeps forgetting to move his Berlin forces out, and would benefit from the incorporation of SM in the following rounds, as a test.) and have been very reluctant to take the neutral Scandinavian tt's due to the 1 art that pops up never mind a couple or 3 art that would most likely wipe out the entire landing force.
My A&A blog: Home of the Dicetruction Podcast and other A&A related nonsense
http://www.dicetruction.blogspot.com

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Flashman
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Re: Strategic Movements Mechanic

Post by Flashman » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:09 pm

I think you are mistaken here; mines in captured naval bases territory are neutralized, but they do not transfer to the capturing power.
Most Holy wrote:
You have a CP controlled Rome which means every US ship, including transports have to get through the mines to get to Constantinople.

Striker
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Re: Strategic Movements Mechanic

Post by Striker » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:22 pm

Most Holy wrote:You have a CP controlled Rome which means every US ship, including transports have to get through the mines to get to Constantinople. Also the effect of having just 2 artillery in any CP coastal tt being attacked gives the CP 2 shots at 50% at every ground unit coming in does it not?


Rome fell the turn after the Constantinople landing. The artillery on Constantinople had little effect. I forget the details, but either they killed a single US infantry or they were already engaged.
Last edited by Striker on Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Flashman
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Re: Strategic Movements Mechanic

Post by Flashman » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:27 pm

I agree with pretty much all your points here. In my game with these rules the first four powers all formed super-stacks in order to move them straight to the front lines; this left Austria and Germany empty.

Sea movement is already powerful enough. Do not allow extra sea movement to result in a combat move.

Possible tweaks:

1. Allow SM only from your capital. This still allows the opening turns to form a big stack to move all units to the front, but thereafter only new units are likely to be moved this way. Maybe also allow units to SM TO the capital for R&R before redeployment.

2. Allow a maximum of 10 units to SM at a time. Perhaps allow multiple SMs, but you can only reinforce any single tt by 10 units.

3. Allow SM only in Europe and Ottoman starting tts, blocking the Indian portal via Persia & Afghanistan.

4. Allow SM only through controlled tt, certainly not into contested tts you attacked this turn. Germany could have all its European units in Belgium & Switzerland on turn one!

5. Place SM before Place New Units.

6. I favour a limit of 4 units per turn placed in India.

7. Enforce a stacking limit of, say, 20 units per side per tt. This would perhaps restore the gameplay to the authentic "slogging matches" of WWI, but with SM constantly reinforcing contested tts.
Striker wrote:
Concluding thoughts/Post game opinions:
Naval movement: We agreed that the combat capable 5 naval movement was overpowering. There's an entire section of the game being resolved in one turn, and being able to reach turkey in one turn also felt abusive. We don't feel the game gained much by this addition.

Strategic movement: we were more divisive on this.
Pros: It makes for a quicker game.
It fixes the frustration with the vanilla rules, which make for a slow game because it takes so many turns for units to get from Paris to Berlin. Freshly produced units being useful immediately rather than taking 4 turns to reach combat seems like a good idea.
Cons:
-UBERSTACKS. This was laughed at earlier but it is no joke. The game was dominated by nations having one stack of troops each. The game mechanics naturally favor the army with superior force in a territory but the strategic movement rules as is encourage that even more.
Follow this logic:
Strategic movement is *Very* useful, it can be used to move your force from any territory you own to any connected territory you own.
You can only strategic move from one territory per turn.
Therefore: Keep most your army in one territory, so that most your army can be moved wherever it is needed at the end of a turn!
-The other con is that it highlights the abuse of British all Indian spending to an even greater extent. Britain being allowed to do that feels just wrong, but it's an obvious strategy for quickly taking out a CP power.

Suggestions:
-Don't allow naval moves greater than 2 result in combat for reasons already outlined.
-Adjust the strategic movement rules "somehow". The concept of it is great but needs fine tuning. If you are only allowed one stategic move it encourages uberstacks even more, so maybe allow multiple? Counterbalance this by not making it an unlimited move. About 5 spaces seems right, enough to get fresh troops to the front line but not enough for Germany to instantly move it's entire army to from one front to the opposite front in one turn.
-Finally, I know it's not related to the movement rules but do *something* about British spending in India, the Ottomans just don't have a game and are simply a speedbump like Italy.

Most Holy
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:51 am

Re: Strategic Movements Mechanic

Post by Most Holy » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:49 pm

Flashman wrote:I think you are mistaken here; mines in captured naval bases territory are neutralized, but they do not transfer to the capturing power.
This is correct, I overlooked that. Only the original owner of a Naval Base can use the mines.
Striker wrote: Rome fell the turn after the Constantinople landing. The artillery on Constantinople had little effect. I forget the details, but either they killed a single US infantry or they were already engaged.
Well I don't know how many Americans came in but if only one of them died and you brought in more than 2 then the defender rolled poorly if there was one art and VERY poorly if he had more than one.
My A&A blog: Home of the Dicetruction Podcast and other A&A related nonsense
http://www.dicetruction.blogspot.com

Striker
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 10:44 pm

Re: Strategic Movements Mechanic

Post by Striker » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:52 pm

Most Holy wrote: Well I don't know how many Americans came in but if only one of them died and you brought in more than 2 then the defender rolled poorly if there was one art and VERY poorly if he had more than one.
10+ Americans landed. The artillery support fire did nothing or next to nothing, but the ground combat ended with a slaughter of the Americans. The American player said that the point was the Americans were a sacrificial attack force to make Constantinople fall a turn earlier by killing some of the ottoman troops. Actually surviving was not expected.

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