Is the French fleet too big, and unlimited India builds

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WILD BILL
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Is the French fleet too big, and unlimited India builds

Post by WILD BILL » Sat May 04, 2013 2:57 pm

Larry, there has been a lot of talk about a couple things over at AA.org that I would like to bring to your attention. With the land and sea movement options you have proposed some could be remedied, but could also be compounded (will see through testing). I thought I'd run it buy you anyway because these new proposals are as you said for "optional play", and probably won't make it to the base game (or will they?)


1a) The consensuses is that French surface fleet seems to be over sized in comparison to the German surface fleet (German fleet being #2 only to the Brits). The French getting 2 BB's and a cruiser (plus 3 transports?), and the Germans only having 1 BB, two cruisers (no transports) seems to be off. From what I've read (and others have posted of each powers navies) the French fleet in the Med seems to be ok (most of the French navy was in the Med fearing the Italians joining the CP), but the 2nd French BB in the Atlantic is a bit over the top (the French Atlantic operations were only to supplement the British). I can see why the Germans don't get a transport at set-up because of possible G1 landing in northern Russia/Scotland (don't think that would have been possible?), if they want one let them build one, but the French also having 3 transports gives them too many options IMO (maybe you could look at removing one?).

In our OOB games the French generally bring up the 2nd BB and cruiser to the Atlantic making them the big fish in the sea (seems out of perspective). Their role was more supportive in the Atlantic, and this also allows the UK to not build many (or no) war ships even if the Germans hit them hard wiping out the home fleet. The French aren't really needed in the Med, as UK places a cruiser w/Italian fleet to keep the Austrians tied down. Then the UK not needing to protect their transports off India (Suez), bring the surface fleet into the Med to knock out the CP. I think that with the new proposed rule of +1 from a NB my concern is the French Med BB will be able to make it to sz8 off England (giving them 2 French BBs and a cruiser there). I will say though to watch what you wish for, because the French having a 2nd cruiser that can move 4 spaces from a NB could also be interesting.

I also think the French getting 3 transports isn't good for game play either. I think that 3 transports give them too many options for activating minor powers, and troop movement afterwords. They should be torn between getting units home from Portugal after activating it, get more units into the African fight, or activating Albania for the Italians (the Italians like having units already there when their first turn comes up).


1b) Many are also saying the Russians having 2 cruisers in the Black Sea is also a concern for game play, and they're hitting the Turks R1/R2 most times. Maybe reducing them to one cruiser (or 1 cruiser, 1 sub) would also be more historical to their abilities in 1914/1915 IDK? (I don't see the Turks hitting the Russian fleet, leaving the protection of their mines, or making it easier for an Amphib of Constantinople).

**We are looking at reducing the French Atlantic BB to a cruiser, and removing one of the French transports. Maybe also reducing the Russian Black Sea fleet as well, what do you think Larry?


2) UK India having no build limits (should this be allowed). Some are seeing the UK using all income in India for 2-3 turns early on to overwhelm the Turks, or to rescue the Russians OOB. W/O your new proposed movement rules it takes a long time for the Germans to threaten Paris, so the UK can spend all income (or nearly all) in India for a few turns, then focuses on London (transports) to aid the French. This is partially allowed to happen because of the size of the French fleet and its abilities, and the UK not needing to supply many war ships in the Atlantic IMHO.

***We have adopted a house rule that the UK can't build more then 8 units (2X its IPC level). It isn't much off a limit, but it does stop them from dropping 10-12 units there like we have seen in games. Others are saying India should be limited to fewer units then that (I disagree), I wouldn't want them to to be unable to defend India from the Turks, who we have also seen become dominate in the Middle East with some of the optional movement rules that are being tossed around.


Anyway Larry, just though I'd bring some of this to light, and do appreciate your ongoing attention to your games. I'm sure others will give their own responses from the games they have played concerning the French fleet, and unlimited building in India.
WB

Thanks Wild Bill
I recognize your concerns. I’m becoming convinced that the game would better and appear more historical, when’s the last time that happened, if indeed the French navy was reduced somewhat.

I would reduce it pretty much as you’re recommending. I understand that to be: SZ15 French Battleship becomes a Cruiser. As for removing a transport I’d prefer to remove the SZ 15 transport than one of the two SZ16 transports.

UK India having no build limits... I have so often seen very powerful Ottoman Empires in games I’ve played. That makes me a bit reluctant to limit UK builds in India. That thinking could well be a result of my playtesting group’s way of playing. I for one felt that Britain had to work hard to help the French. That England’s priority was to get units onto the continent. I’m beginning to think they don’t have to work as hard in that area as I thought they did. That Britain has the ability to dump large numbers of land units into India in the opening rounds of the game, and not necessarily pay too high a price for neglecting Belgium and the surrounding territories.

I think your number 8, as a maximum build might be a bit too high. At the same time 6 would probably be too low. So what is it the number... 7? I don’t know what the number is. Perhaps there should be no maximum or minimum number of builds in India. Leave it as it is. At least until we get a few game reports that deal with a reduced French navy... I’m sure you’ll agree with that.

Russian Black Sea Cruisers... I don’t know... I really don’t have a problem with the current setup. I’d rather not change it.

Next time I setup to play I will remove one Fr. Transport from SZ 15 and Change the Fr. battleship to a cruiser.

VonLettowVorbeck1914
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Re: Is the French fleet too big, and unlimited India builds

Post by VonLettowVorbeck1914 » Sat May 04, 2013 7:46 pm

Even with the new speedy movement (2 moves), Paris is still a LONG way from Berlin.

In our games, even when Germany is going full Paris (and therefore Russia is being a handful for Austria and Ottomans), Germany has big trouble taking Paris even 1 on 1, since it is moving towards the French supply while away from their own.

Britain really can afford to go very heavy in India without much danger of losing Paris before the ottomans are irrevocably in deep trouble.

(Agree on French navy being too big in principle too, but that's more of a <shrug> no big deal thing for me, but I understand the issue)

What would you think about a land units moving 3 instead of 2? I'm beginning to suspect that units should be able to move 3 territories. As with the current movement test number "2 territories", movement into a hostile or contested territory can only be made during the unit's 1st movement and such a move ends the unit's movements.

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Chacmool
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Re: Is the French fleet too big, and unlimited India builds

Post by Chacmool » Sun May 05, 2013 1:41 am

VonLettowVorbeck1914 wrote:Even with the new speedy movement (2 moves), Paris is still a LONG way from Berlin.

In our games, even when Germany is going full Paris (and therefore Russia is being a handful for Austria and Ottomans), Germany has big trouble taking Paris even 1 on 1, since it is moving towards the French supply while away from their own.

Britain really can afford to go very heavy in India without much danger of losing Paris before the ottomans are irrevocably in deep trouble.

(Agree on French navy being too big in principle too, but that's more of a <shrug> no big deal thing for me, but I understand the issue)

What would you think about a land units moving 3 instead of 2? I'm beginning to suspect that units should be able to move 3 territories. As with the current movement test number "2 territories", movement into a hostile or contested territory can only be made during the unit's 1st movement and such a move ends the unit's movements.
Sounds good I will try out the 3-tt-movement rule in a game today (moving into hostile/contested tt is only during first move allowed right?)

I still think that the Set-up for Germany should include 3 Artillery in Hannover to push the frenchies a little harder back to Paris in the first Rounds.
Would be great to see Paris fall at least one time in this game. (It never did in all the games we played, but even historical it was closer to do that)
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Flashman
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Re: Is the French fleet too big, and unlimited India builds

Post by Flashman » Sun May 05, 2013 6:08 am

The French SZ15 Battleship is significant for the Allies, but I agree with reducing it.

Assuming the British main home fleet is sunk by Germany, the usual Allied response is to move the French BB from SZ15, and the cruiser from the Med to SZ8, then the UK builds a new BB and 3 transports there.

If the French BB is reduced, the British would have to build two new Battleships, delaying an effective transport fleet for another turn.

Another move for Britain has been to use the Canadian transport (if it has not been sunk) to move 2 infantry to French West Africa, allowing them to clear the Germans out of Africa sooner.

I therefore support the idea of a German cruiser being placed off Africa (SZ26?) to represent German commerce raiders, defend against Allied transport reinforcement of Africa, and threaten the UK fleet off India.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_K%C3%B6nigsberg_(1905)

To bring fleet more into historical proportion, both UK and German main home fleets could be expanded by 2 BBs each. These should balance each other out, while better representing the dominance of these two navies relative to the other powers.

Another possible change important for naval balance would be Italy remaining neutral on round one. This would allow the Austrian fleet to move through SZ17, possibly linking up with the Turkish cruisers. In most cases Austria will likely invade Venice anyway, but this gives their navy an option other than just sitting in port.

Regarding India, my preference is a lower limit of 4 units per turn, or even a maximum of 12 IPCs of pieces. This way the UK will have to think ahead about how many troops to place in India, rather than just laying down a big stack in one turn. After all many of these units represent troops shipped in from Australia, so it should be a steady but limited stream rather than a huge army.

I would also question the building of tanks in India; if this is barred then Britain will have to consider going harder against the Turks early on in order to prevent a Turkish tank push it cannot counter.

VonLettowVorbeck1914
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Re: Is the French fleet too big, and unlimited India builds

Post by VonLettowVorbeck1914 » Sun May 05, 2013 9:45 am

What would you think about a land units moving 3 instead of 2? I'm beginning to suspect that units should be able to move 3 territories. As with the current movement test number "2 territories", movement into a hostile or contested territory can only be made during the unit's 1st movement and such a move ends the unit's movements.
I think 2 works fine for most powers; I have thought about proposing this for a while, but there were so many ideas being tossed around at the time that I did not want to stir the pot when my main concern was with how contested territories would work with any form of SM.

Anyways, what I think would be effective would be allowing Germany 3 spaces (at least in originally German territories) while everyone else gets 2. Germany undoubtedly had the most efficient rail schemes, so it makes historical sense, Germany already has at least one exclusive special rule so we are not breaking new ground there, and it is a minor modification to a rule change already in the works, whereas India limit and French navy reductions (both of which I would support in principle), would require new lines of change.

KimRYoung
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Re: Is the French fleet too big, and unlimited India builds

Post by KimRYoung » Sun May 05, 2013 11:12 am

Perhaps a better idea to get units to the front (and still keep move at 2) is to make a change in the Mobilize New Units Phase:

“Place all your new land new units and fighters on your power’s capital territory and/or on any other friendly original (and uncontested) territories of your power that can trace an unbroken link by land of such territories to the capital"

With this for you can place your new unit’s right on the borders of your country as long as it’s a friendly territory and not contested. The Germans could for example, place their turn one build right in Alsace ready to move into Lorraine turn two.

This could be considered a defacto type of your “strategic movement” idea as you are quickly mobilizing your new unit’s right to your countries borders. From there, the 2 move range gets you to the fight.

The current mobilization of new units is not only too restrictive, but make no sense that the capital is the only place new troops were mustered or guns, planes and tanks manufactured. Placing new units anywhere in your home country’s territories makes sense both historically and more realistic then limited to the capital.

Consider this “mobilization” rule to reflect the use of internal railroads to get these troops quickly positioned near the front you want them to. It is also more comparable to where units get placed in other A&A games in relation to the distance to each others capitals.

With this, the Germans could have newly built units attacking either Paris or Moscow in 3 turns, provided they control the territories right up to the capitals, (i.e., if Germans control Lorraine and Burgundy, build in Alsace, next turn move through those two territories, and in position to attack in to Paris on the third turn) with the two movement rule.

What you think?
Kim
Last edited by KimRYoung on Sun May 05, 2013 12:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

WILD BILL
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Re: Is the French fleet too big, and unlimited India builds

Post by WILD BILL » Sun May 05, 2013 11:31 am

Larry, thanks for the quick response. That was my line of thinking as well to reduce only the sz15 French Atlantic fleet by swapping BB for cruiser, and remove the transport (leaving it with just a cruiser at set up). I wouldn't want the French to end up with just one transport after Germany's first turn, which could happen if you leave the sz15 transport (with a weaker escort) and remove one of the Med sz 16 transports (best to leave both Med transports so the French keep them both).

The Russian Black Sea fleet was a toss up to me personally, but I don't think they had the ability to destroy the Turk (German supplemented) fleet early in the war (1915). We are seeing the Russians make that attack R1 or R2 in nearly every game to at least weaken it for the other allies to clean up. The Russians really don't have any reason not to do it. They don't need to worry about an amphib, or naval bombardment through the Black Sea (haven't seen the Turks build a transport, and the Austrians don't generally make it past sz17), so for the Russians it isn't even a risk IMO. It is however a big deal for the Turks to lose their fleet before their first turn in many cases. I have seen that battle go both ways, and once the Turks even rolled snake eyes for the mines (that was so cool). Even if the the Russians are sunk, and a Turk cruiser survives the Russian attack it is a win for the allies IMO.

As for a build limit for India, I agree that a limit may not be needed with the tweak to the sz15 French navy (we have been experimenting with that). In addition the new optional movement proposal very well could put India in a sticky spot (the Turks will be able to reinforce faster), so UK may might need to have full build potential (IDK). I'm looking forward to testing that out after we finish up our current game(s).

For the move 3 territories for land units, I think we should table that for now until you get some feed back from the 2 moves you just posted a couple days ago. If the CP own all the territories from from Berlin to Burgundy (Berlin, Hanover, Munich, Switzerland, Burgundy) units in Berlin can move to Burgundy in just two turns (it took four turns before). Maybe allow the first move into a contested territory, then on to a 2nd territory that you already had a unit in when your turn started (rules for moving out of a contested territory). This could cause a leap frog effect though, but you still couldn't perform an attack with that second move, just reinforce so it might be ok (would be harder to explain though).

To Flash,
I know the reasoning behind adding 1-2 BBs to both the Brits, and Germans home fleets (I have seen the tonnage, and historical postings over at .org). I also think that it is a bit over the top as far as game play though.

It would be cool for both the Brits, and Germans to get an additional cruiser off the African coast though to duke it out. If the Germans win the 1 on 1 battle, then the Brits have to protect their Indian transports. It would also increase the size of both the starting navies a bit (closer to historical). With a reduction to the French navy, the German navy would be 1 cruiser, and 4 subs bigger then the French, and that would please many ppl.

I would like to see an optional rule for Italy to be neutral until its first turn (where it would have to DOW at the beginning of their turn). It would allow some naval movement for the CP in the Med, unless the Austrians attacked them. This is something we have agreed on, and at some point I think we should test the waters on this (pun intended).

As for India I strongly disagree with your 4 unit (or 12 IPC) limit. The Turks would be able to crush them if they wanted too, and the UK would be of no help to the Russians (they are going to be in more trouble with this new movement proposal). I think Larry is right about tabling that for now until we see what effects these other test changes will have on it. The French fleet reduction, plus the movement bonus the Turks would get could put the UK India on its heals (for now we will probably keep our 8 unit (2X IPC level) house rule to see if it has any effect).

Great discussion though
WB

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Chacmool
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Re: Is the French fleet too big, and unlimited India builds

Post by Chacmool » Sun May 05, 2013 12:19 pm

KimRYoung wrote:Perhaps a better idea to get units to the front (and still keep move at 2) is to make a change in the Mobilize New Units Phase:

“Place all your new land new units and fighters on your power’s capital territory or on any friendly original (and uncontested) territory of your power that can trace an unbroken link by land of such territories to the capital"

With this for you can place your new unit’s right on the borders of your country as long as it’s a friendly territory and not contested. The Germans could for example, place their turn one build right in Alsace ready to move into Lorraine turn two.

This could be considered a defacto type of your “strategic movement” idea as you are quickly mobilizing your new unit’s right to your countries borders. From there, the 2 move range gets you to the fight.

The current mobilization of new units is not only too restrictive, but make no sense that the capital is the only place new troops were mustered or guns, planes and tanks manufactured. Placing new units anywhere in your home country’s territories makes sense both historically and more realistic then limited to the capital.

Consider this “mobilization” rule to reflect the use of internal railroads to get these troops quickly positioned near the front you want them to. It is also more comparable to where units get placed in other A&A games in relation to the distance to each others capitals.

With this, the Germans could have newly built units attacking either Paris or Moscow, provided they control the territories right up to the capitals, (i.e., if Germans control Lorraine and Burgundy, build in Alsace, next turn move through those two territories, and in position to attack in to Paris on the third turn) with the two movement rule.

What you think?
Kim
I had the same idea today!
But what I don´t see is why the new mobilized units have to be placed in only one original friendly tt?
Why can`t for example some Infantry be placed in Ruhr while big guns were placed in Silesia? Lets get over this 1-tt restriction. The High Commands would be happy too :wink:
Last edited by Chacmool on Sun May 05, 2013 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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