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Author Topic: Concerns and Balance Problems with 42.2  (Read 2664 times)
taamvan
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2017, 07:47:16 am »
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I am open minded, but I do not like TrippleA or low luck.   While I respect the community that made the app, and I understand that the majority of players do not have a regular group of people to play with live, I am really only interested in head to head play.    We have a lot of people here in KC who will take the effort to drive from the outer burbs to play live and Gencon has 40+ people who want to play all day, every day...

I play plenty of PC games but AxA is only interesting to me live, there are so many better games and better PC games (Total War, Crusader Kings, Twilight Imperium, etc..) that playing a 1990 interface era wargame based on a boardgame is only interesting if there were no other way to play....

We played Game 118 on Friday night (me: Rus/UK), and it was another Axis blowout (+12 bid, club game).   I sent 3 subs 2 cruisers 1 carrier 1 plane to kill 1 BB 1 Carrier 2 fighters and I got demolished.   Still, there is some promise of keeping a UK fleet alive down there and then India has a navy...just bad luck I suppose.

America went 100% KJF but with anything less than 100% commit of the US in the atlantic, its very tough to do anything with UK over there.   With Britain, I saved about 1/2 my money each turn, until I had about 65 and was ready to put a fleet in the water.  By this point, Germany had some money so it chose to go 5 strat bombers, plus the rest of the planes that could make it (all;  the territories are massive), and to make it worse, his med navy of 1 bb 1 dd 1 sub came out to play, so that I couldn't even put a navy in the water without it getting schmaked.   

With all that money, it made me think that putting a huge drop off india (2 BB + whatever else I could afford) has some promise as a surprise.   Because without American fleet beef, UK alone in the Atlantic is probably pointless anyways.

I tried to apply a lot of the things we discussed here.  The greatest point of weakness at game start seems to be attacking Japan assets until they no longer have 2 Grand Fleets, then they have to be wary of making more attacks.    Still, he bought 2-3 extra strat bombers;  these were even better than ships at blowing up any strongpoints that remained in Asia.

Guess I'm hoping that I have better luck AND better ideas next time.

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Black_Elk
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2017, 01:52:16 pm »
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Right on, face to face is definitely the way to play if you have a good group.

I spend a lot of time playing total war too, and a few other classics like MOO2 or battlefront hehe. But I keep late nights, and sometimes it's fun to just bomb on the machine in tripleA if I have a couple hours to kill. The AI is pretty formidable now in Classic and Revised. For the more recent maps like AA50, Global, or 1942.2 it's not as strong yet, but redrum does make improvements to it over time.

In v5 (which is 1942.2) I like going 20/20. 20 ipcs on the bid, and 20% income for the AI.
Which gives a pretty tough game. Not as engaging as a live enemy, but it's always eager to fight, even when my friends pull a no show haha.

Sorry to hear of tough times in the Pacific. Always burns when that carrier fleet claps back!
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Argothair
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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2017, 02:58:05 pm »
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Very interesting. Sorry it didn't work out! What happened on Germany's first turn? Did you lose the American ships? British ships? Egypt? West Russia? What, if anything, did the UK do to help contain Germany? Did Germany get huge? Was Japan feeling any pressure by the endgame?
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taamvan
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2017, 09:46:32 am »
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I hit Baltic states and West Russia, didn't get baltic.   German player is fairly conservative so he didn't demolish Russia, that was the big difference from other games is that Russia survived and held in the middle.  India lost a bunch of men at the beginning of the game losing india was just poor play.   India is key.

American ships dead
Uk ships all dead...no prospect of atlantic navy so saved up tons of money
Shoulda used it to buy fighters later on bc...
US 100% KJF, eventually killed off japan naval assets but india fell

lessons learned
bring 3 subs 2 fighters 1 carrier 2 cruisers every time don't amphib
turtle india better
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Black_Elk
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2017, 09:01:08 pm »
+1

Yeah the Indian defense is crazy narrow, and they really need everything in range to get the job done. Japan can quickly set up against India, bringing 8 units every round, even more if they expand production, plus all their starting troops/air, against only 3 units per round for India defense. Maybe a few more if you're flying in fighters each round, but that presents logistical challenges that need to be accounted for well in advance. Russia is usually hard pressed, so any hitpoints you're bringing after the first round (beyond the 3 you can drop directly at the factory) are likely being flown over.

If you bounce on Egypt and let the Americans deal with the canal, you can have 10 hitpoints on India at the close of UK1 (with a transport sacrifice.) If things go really well you can potentially fly in another 6 hitpoints the following round. That's 4 British fighters, 1 British Bomber, and the American fighter from Szech. Add to that the 3 hitpoints you can build on the India complex, the Egyptian tank, the Trans-Jordan dude who has since moved to Persia, and you're looking at a max of like 20-21 hitpoints on India at the end of UK2. Maybe a little more if the Russians send something, but Stalin isn't very reliable. He has his own problems. The US can fly in the bomber (if it went to Arch on the first turn), but fighter support takes longer. This all assumes that the Germans aren't immediately beating down the gates and driving against W. Russia, which is the real kink in the India defense plan, since chances are you're going to need fighters there as well.

It typically takes Japan only 2-3 rounds to set up a consistent shuck-shuck out of sz61, and once that happens they're bringing more hitpoints into Asia every round than its possible for UK to match. You need a gang fighters in the pipeline, ready to go, to overcome the disparity, and even then Japan can just push towards the middle if they want, leaving you kind of stuck. It's a definite bind. I like the starting factory, but Larry didn't give the Brits enough cash or starting units to make it viable. I'd suggest using at least 3 ipcs or more of the bid, to help shore it up, and turtle tactics to string things along. But keeping the Japanese out of Burma is rough no matter how you slice it, and once they can stack, it's really tough to defend against a combined push from both land and sea.

I guess that's where a Pacific presence from the Americans would really come in handy, though I still favor KGF for this map, given how cash strapped they are, and Germany being such a beast.

What are your thoughts on Strategic Bombing? It's tough if you're risk averse, but I get the impression that this one was designed with an Allied bombing campaign in mind. It's really hard to take Berlin or Tokyo without a preliminary bombing campaign.

Hopefully the next game pans out a little better for the Allies. Let us know how it goes
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 11:28:56 pm by Black_Elk » Logged
Black_Elk
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« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2017, 12:28:45 am »
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Here's a kind of scenario you might like. Instead of open bidding you can make a chart of openers that your group creates, and then roll to determine which one is played. For example, say you settle on 18 ipcs as a decent number for Allied bid units, you might do something like the following...
(These examples might not be the strongest possible use of a bid, but intended rather to provide an interesting challenge. A way to put the emphasis on just one of the three Allies per game, providing some randomization, but without too much distortion.)

Flip a coin or Roll 1d6
Odd/Heads = player takes Axis
Even/Tails = player takes Allies

Allied player rolls 1d6 to determine their advantage for that game.

1. Russian bomber in Caucasus, and tank in Volodga.
2. Russian fighter in Archangel, artillery in Caucasus, artillery in Karelia.
3. British sub in sz 35, tank in India, artillery in Burma.
4. British destroyer in sz 10, fighter in Egypt.
5. American destroyer in sz 11, fighter in Szech.
6. American Bomber in Greenland, inf in Szech, inf in Sinkiang.

Or you could do it in a more open way with a Roll 1d6 simply to determine which nation gets the bid pile. (More potent)
1-2 Russia
3-4 Britain
5-6 America

Then go from there, with a set amount. Or if you want a more controlled thing, you could roll 1d6 a with six possible starts for each Nation using some pre-sets. Basically making it a bit like a tech chart process, but where the game's bid set up itself is subject to initial rolls. Others have proposed specific set up tweaks, so there are definitely multiple ways it could be approached.

The idea is that, instead using an "anything goes" model for Bid placement, you instead work with a series of agreed upon set up changes. The rolling is mainly for variety, to keep some dynamism in the process.

Things like that can help to bring some flavor, and suspense to the start, beyond just balance by sides. There is less flexibility in structure like that than open bidding would allow, but it also gives you a way to control for really one sided or overpowered bids at a given amount. So you can go a bit higher on the total amount than you might otherwise, while still trying to keep things fair for the Axis.


« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 12:38:01 am by Black_Elk » Logged
taamvan
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« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2017, 06:20:12 am »
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Again, another great, creative idea guys.    Really appreciate it, we seem to have worked out that the bid can and must be used in some abusive ways (which have yet to be fully fleshed out by myself in this version) in order to gain the Allied advantage.   That gets pretty boring to play against (just like playing against the Axis over and over but some of us love to play the "black" team).

Your idea makes it more creative and fun, so that there isn't an element of "how do I use this to exploit it to the maximum" its more a here are 6 ways to open the game.

Game 119 Friday (Club game, 42.2)
Game 120 MLK Monday (G41, Champions Club)

Plenty more coming up on my schedule for us to discuss and will def. give battle reports for us to consider.
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Argothair
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2017, 09:53:24 am »
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That does sound interesting, Black Elk. I'm envious of anyone who plays often enough to playtest all six variant bids! Another (wacky) option would be to put various small bids on little index cards, and then bid a number of index cards drawn at random. E.g., I'll play the Allies if you give me 3 index cards. Then you don't know what each card will give you -- maybe it's a couple of infantry in the Middle East, maybe it's a destroyer, maybe it's a fighter, etc. You find out after you win the bidding auction! Or, for a (slightly) more strategic version, deal out 6 index cards or so, and then bid how many cards you'd need to play the Allies -- if you win the bidding auction with 2 cards, you get to pick out your 2 favorite cards from the 6 on display.

Taamvan, it sounds like you had some bad luck mixed with a couple of minor mistakes near India, and that you've learned your lesson on the Indian front. You probably had a fighter in Egypt, right? If Germany hit Egypt on G1, I don't see how Germany could have sunk all British ships *and* all American ships in the Atlantic *and* still had enough of an airforce left to pressure your fleet.

On the theme of German airforce pressuring the British Atlantic fleet, I do not recommend saving 50% of your budget toward a fleet, because of exactly what happened to you -- Germany can afford to build bombers to keep up with your budget, and whenever you do plop the fleet in the water, Germany can sink it at a profit. Instead, I would recommend either saving 70%+ of your budget for a fleet, or saving 0% of your budget for a fleet. On B1, you can build, e.g., 2 artillery in India and save the rest. If Germany wants to buy 3+ bombers on G2, that's fine -- that's so inefficient that Russia will probably be able to gain ground in eastern Europe. If Germany buys less than 3 bombers, then you can probably safely buy a fleet on B2 with your savings. You can put it to the northwest of Britain if you need to, and you don't necessarily need to build more than one transport at first -- that will protect the fleet from most German fighters, and still give you a chance to put at least some early pressure on Norway / NW Europe / France.

On the other hand, if you feel that you can't build a useful, safe fleet with 70% of B1 income + 70% of B2 income, the alternative is to build a second factory and then build nothing but air force. For example, a factory in South Africa (or Egypt, if you've held it) will give you 5 build slots in the British colonies. If you've maintained your starting income of $31, then starting on B3 you can buy something like 2 inf, 1 art for India and 1 inf, 1 tnk for your African factory, and then also buy 1 bomber in London. That neatly spends your $31 each turn without going overboard on planes. The bomber can be sent to Africa or Rome to help with combat, and it can even bomb Berlin along the way.

Finally, if you feel tempted to drop 2 BB off the coast of India, consider going for a quick walk around the block, instead. When I get that urge, it's a sign that I'm feeling angry and frustrated!
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taamvan
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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2017, 11:32:15 am »
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Yeah I had a concept recently like this for a game version of "Draft Global", where the teams start out with a skeletal setup of men and basic ships, and then pre-game you go through a series of draws (pick 1 of 2 or 3 cards visible then opponent does same then reverse) that award your team(s) a mix of IPCs, free bases or factories (built anywhere!), prebuilt stacks/fleets, techs to certain powers, or even units styled as leaders (eg gain Rommel/Patton hes a mech infantry with a star, place 3 mech infantry with him, adds +1 to up to 4 other mechs on attack etc etc)

That way, the game would start with certain values and if all the cards were somehow roughly even, the players would have a different set up and arrangement at the beginning of each game.   Cards chosen would be played down immediately so the setup would evolve until you had made say 10 choices from the draft deck per team (each team choosing first 5 times), allowing you to react to the other teams choices.  Each card could be assigned to 1 or more powers on your team.  If Germany chooses the rockets draft card, then USA or Russia might get 25 IPCs to place on any two territories (similar to the cards in El Grande or Fortress America).   Or the Allies might get to place 4 destroyers together in any empty SZ etc etc.   

Anyways, Argo, no he didn't go for Egypt this game at all.   I goofed my UK start, but still putting a US fleet in the water wasn't going to happen.   I don't think a second factory is ever that great in 42.2 (max prod, 2, cost +3), but I gotta do something with that money

I held the cash back; Germany didn't really deal with Russia he was kinda just getting big and mean---he wasn't going to win or lose that game and his potential attack on the fleet never shrank

You point out some good ideas for making more hay with the UK, but 31 is chump change.   It might change the game over in India...Sea Lion is harder to pull off or even make a convincing threat of, so turtling the UK isn't necessary either.   Without Canadian or SAfrica factories, the choice is...India.

What I was suggesting about the BBs was that they are the biggest 1 unit deploy.   I've used this in a G42 game; I built 3 BBs at Hong Kong on the second to last turn, which was the only way to put that much power that close to the action with just 3 placements. 

If I can keep just 1 UK fighter and the carrier (losing 1 fighter, 2 cruisers, 3 subs (some bid), then I can put a DD in the water on UK2 or 3, or could save up so that the remaining UK south seas fleet can end its turn off india and then I add my whole buy with 3 turns of partial savings (this last time it was 63$).   If I had the carrier, 2BB and whatever else lives, then Japan has to deal with me and he cant walk over my fleet without committing the air he would need to wipe out the ground forces also.

That's the plan.

Of course, someone though it would be a good idea to switch teams on Friday, so I'll probably get stuck with BEING Japan, and as usual, all these new ideas will get used against me!
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Black_Elk
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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2017, 12:21:06 pm »
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I find that the biggest challenge is just getting a group to accept set up changes. The bid process is so commonplace that many players see it as the only 'official' way to tweak the start. But it's important to remember that bidding is mentioned nowhere in the rulebook. In that respect, it would be nice if one of the major regional tournament venues tried adopting some alternative methods to help popularize them.

The main problem I find with pre-placement bidding, is that it always favors hitpoints for round 1 battle breakers (i.e. as many of the cheapest available units on land or sea, placed at the most sensitive tiles that your bid rules allow, in order to return a large TUV trade in the first round.) That's why no serious Allied player would bid for something like a bomber or a factory, even if it might provide a more enjoyably balanced game for both sides.

Just as an example, a free factory in E. Canada would really help the British to develop an Atlantic fleet, with no distortion in the opening round combats, but nobody is going to use a 15 ipc bid that way left to their own devices.

Or similarly, a free British fighter in Eastern Canada, would likewise really help for early carrier purchases to jumpstart an Allied fleet (either in the Atlantic or the Pacific), but nobody is going to put a fighter there.

Both of those bids have more historical justifications and less distortion, than an extra sub in the Pacific to create a naval battle off East Indies that never occurred in 1942. But the later is more popular, because it's cheaper and more potent and the results are more immediate.

You could probably balance the map, just by focusing on China all by itself. A few more infantry, a couple artillery pieces, another flying tiger, maybe a 1 ipc factory in Szech. This would be more historical than most standard bids, but in raw numbers that's 5 times as expensive, as just giving the Russians or British a couple units to ice a key round 1 battle and swing it in favor of the Allies.

I think it probably falls to the tournament community to provide alternatives, or to the creators to provide an addendum to the manual that gives some options for set up tweaks, because players are kind of set in their ways absent some outside authority lending alternative approaches some weight.

It would be cool to see some kind of "historical bid" at a higher total value, but with more restrictions on unit type, total bid unit numbers, or location for placement. You could advance a different historical theme for each.

Maybe you have one called Torch, that helps the Allies to lead the fight on sand and sea in Africa and the Med. One called Tankograd, that bolsters the Soviets at the center. Maybe a Pacific themed set up, that helps the Chinese, US or Anzac forces to wage a more effective war on that side of the board etc. If desired, each might be accompanied by a slight tweak to the Axis start as well, so that the other side also gets to try out something different from time to time.

One idea that is less rigid, but also might work, is to give both sides a bid. Axis get some smaller portion of a larger total. Then do a secret bid, where both sides reveal simultaneously. Although this runs a bit counter to the game's appeal as one that "always has the same basic set up" it would probably increase the shelf life, and the novelty factor. But again, it's hard to convince people to try things like this, when they're used to bidding in the familiar way.










« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 12:42:05 pm by Black_Elk » Logged
taamvan
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« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2017, 12:51:07 pm »
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Very true, Black Elk.   

At Gencon, Tirano and I discussed the effect of using any bid (X bid amount/3 = infantry on paris at game start), then contrasted that with the opposite approach (X bid amount/destroyers battleships or fighters on Scotland/111/110/109 etc that would dissuade a German attack and save a fleet)   

These two approaches revealed the careful balance of the German opener, some small (UK figher on Scotland) can slightly alter the balance of all the attacks being made simultaneously, whereas certain amounts tend to distort or dissuade the traditional opener entirely. 

Different pieces operate differently at different times and in different games;  one example is that mechs are far stronger than infantry in global and either artillery or mech is probably a better buy for $1, but since mechs are not available in 42.2, infantry is all you have.   

It is a common refrain at public games that bidding and tech (and interception and closed dardanelles) are ALL house rules.   Economic victory is also a house rule.   

However, some changes are suggested that are essentially neutral. For example, YG adds UK-P to ANZAC, I like the idea of taking Canada's economy, factory and pieces and moving them from UK-E to ANZAC, or permitting the player to choose 1) traditional UK 2) ANZAC Pacific as per YG or 3) Dominion ANZAC at the beginning of the game, kinda a player's choice model.   Then again, many house rules seem to address non-problematic rules or alter/add pieces/bases to the setup in a way that can't really be assessed, so when people are committing to a 10 hour game, they don't want to be facing hordes of unknowns.

Lots of people like the idea of making it random, or at least not player choice.   Maybe a stronger compromise than any of these is to just add Russian income or Russian at-war-NOs (aka balmod).
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Black_Elk
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« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2017, 01:53:35 pm »
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Yeah I feel you man! Too true

To go back to the nuts and bolts for a sec, just thought I'd chime in on the British fleet question.
For an Atlantic crossing set up, I enjoy something like the following...

Round 1:
UK buys 2 fighters setting up the transit to W. Russia or Arch (and then India) in the following rounds. 3 hitpoints built for India factory.
US buys 1 carrier, 1 destroyer, 2 transports and 1 sub to recover their Atlantic position.

Round 2:
UK repeats first round buy, and basically does the same.
US buys 1 carrier, 1 fighter, 1 transport, 1 destroyer.

Round 3:
UK builds 3 hitpoints in India, saves the rest for round 4 purchase.
US buys 2 fighters, and as much ground as they can afford. All available Anglo-American naval units should by this time be able to safely, converge off Africa, in range of UK for the following round.

Round 4:
UK drops a double carrier fleet with the second deck to be supported by US fighters. (You can try alternatives depending on whether the sz 35, or pearl carrier is still afloat to converge, but the goal is an Atlantic fleet with at least 4 carriers.) They don't need to be fully stacked with fighters immediately, as long as you have sufficient defense to deter an airstrike, or room for the full 8 fighters should you need them. It can actually sometimes be advantageous to have a landing spot open for UK fighter flexibility or emergency escapes from Russia.

US from this point focuses primarily on purchasing transports, ground and aircraft. Moves the Atlantic fleet to support the British naval defense, while the transports go to sz 10 (or sz 1, if 10 is threatened by Axis bombers). All north American ground to Eastern Canada, to set up a repeating launch on either Africa or the North. From here on the goal is to build tandem transport fleets, capable of delivering as many ground units as possible across the pond. The ideal is building towards a dozen total transports  (6 to launch, and 6 to return) capable of dropping 12 US ground each round. Basically 12 inf, if you can maintain 36 ipcs on income. As soon as it's feasible you want the whole fleet up north, first Norway, then Finland every round until you can move on Karelia, with the British backing them up each time. The principle objective is to stack Baltic States or France, with a line on Berlin (and hopefully prevent a premature Moscow collapse by diverting Germany, so the Russian killing role falls to Japan alone.)

This is a painfully long and narrowly focused KGF set up for the Allies, which means Japan is almost certainly running the board. With any luck, you got enough ground out of India before abandoning it to make the Moscow battle a bloody affair for Japan, but in the end you're hoping to trade a Japanese Moscow, for an American Berlin, at which point the balance resets with an insurmountable Allied advantage.

With a 4 carrier Atlantic fleet, it's very hard for the Axis to build up sufficient bombers to challenge you, as long as you can keep it out of Axis fighter range. For their part, Axis will be hard pressed to retain fighter defense on Karelia and Berlin at the same time, while simultaneously threatening Moscow. At some point Germany will make a bold move on the center or south, or withdraw to protect the fatherland, ceding the North, and that's when you want to crack Karelia. In the lead up to this I would try to avoid trading too much territory with American units unless you really need to block an Axis air landing. Better to stack the American ground so you can build for a back-to-back drop that will actually make a difference (e.g. 24 hitpoints, using all the transports at once for a key drop, with another dozen or more hitpoints at the ready for an immediate follow up. This is way better than taking France or Northwestern for a one round income boost, losing the dudes, and then back to being 2 turns out of position.) This is particulary true when setting up the final stack drop as a precursor to the amphibious assault on Berlin out of sz 5, since your transports will then be committed and unable to return to North America for more troops.

Whether any of this is achievable short of an early Axis setback somewhere, or a crushing and consistent bombing campaign against G, is where the whole bid discussion comes in, but I think that's probably the cleanest route to Allied victory on this map. The alternative of stalling Japan and redirecting after, or just gunning for Tokyo is much harder, mainly because it's so hard to cover the center against a full press by G under those conditions. Even if KJF is always more entertaining, it's dicey, and doesn't result in the same kind of overwhelming advantage that a Berlin kill affords.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 08:35:32 pm by Black_Elk » Logged
craykirk
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« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2017, 05:09:03 am »
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I've been lurking in this thread really hoping someone is going to figure out how to make this game more fun.  One of the big issues, to me, is that Russia and Britain are simply in survival mode hoping America will come to the rescue.  Buying inf/art or inf/arm as Russia, inf/art/fig as Britain every single time is just boring. Russia pretty much has no real fun value.  Sit in the middle and get squeezed while it watches its units and territories disappear.

My friends and I have always wondered why Russia even has AC/DD/BB units included as they are never purchased.

Maybe because of the hit point model, there just isn't much that can be done.  I know submarines have been changed yet how is it that an infantry division can take down a bomber or fighter?  Or a bomber have a 66% chance of taking down a fighter?

I play real time strategy games, like Starcraft, which use a rock/paper/scissors model.  The problem is that the Axis are the rock and Allies are the scissors and just get pounded.

I like the KJF idea however Germany starts out so strong that Britain/Russia have trouble containing it.  One of the issues is that while the two Allied forces can be used to slow the advance, they offer no real combined counter as a stack of 10 Rus inf/5 Bri fig has no attack ability.  A combined attack would sure seem to help.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 05:24:26 am by craykirk » Logged
Wolfshanze
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« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2017, 06:47:45 am »
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My friends and I have always wondered why Russia even has AC/DD/BB units included as they are never purchased.

Not true... there's a post around here somewhere about a guy that is so obsessed with purchasing naval units, that when in frustration, his friends made him play Russia so he'd stop buying naval units, the guy did the unthinkable and started building a Soviet Navy.

So there you have your answer... the reason why Russia even has AC/DD/BB units included is precisely because there's always someone who will buy them.

Also, in the standard "KGF" strategy, where Berlin falls and people are playing a "last man standing" game of conquest, those Soviets might want a shot at Japan... and yeah, they'll need a navy for that end-game.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 06:50:00 am by Wolfshanze » Logged
Black_Elk
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« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2017, 07:23:39 am »
+1

I don't know that there are a whole lot of ways to address your concerns without substantial adjustments to the rules. There are many suggestions in the house rules section, but the issue with any HR is that it's hard to persuade others to use it.

Map:
Adjusting the territory divisions on the map is the hardest, so I've moved away from that as a serious solution, though most issues in 1942.2 probably come down to the map itself.
Adjusting the territory connections on the map is possible (e.g. introducing an impassible border somewhere, or removing the wrap-around effect between the Europe side and the Pacific side) though again pretty hard to get people to adopt.
Adjusting the production/ipc values is possible, but requires some simple universal like +1 ipc production to every space that meets "such-and-such" requirement (e.g. all VCs get +X, or all starting factory territories get +X, or all Russian starting territories get +X.) If you don't want a universal, but wish to modify each territory individually, then you need some sort of game marker/method of representation that makes all that easy to parse at a glance.
That is pretty tricky, so I'd set it aside as the least feasible way to adjust the game.

Income bonus:
This is in my view the simplest way to go, either through a universal bonus or specific objective bonuses, or simply by adjusting the starting cash of each nation.

Unit set up change:
Adjusting the position of starting units. This is basically what we are doing with a bid, but also possible to just make a hard set up alteration as many have discussed (i.e. add a Russian bomber, add an American destroyer, add/remove a factory somewhere etc.)

Unit roster:
Adjusting the costs, attack/defense, or abilities of the units. See Baron's HR threads for a number of ideas.
I think this approach is particularly challenging getting people to adopt alterations to the roster, but probably has the most potential for a major overhaul.

One-Off rules:
These could be things like the National Advantages from Revised that offer some kind of limited bonus at a specific point in the game, Russian Winter, D-Day etc. Or an HR with narrow applications, like allowing players to destroy factories, or provide lend-lease etc.

Turn Order:
I think this method is particularly promising, though I haven't seen many people explore it. Like playing AA50/Global where China moves first in the turn order sequence, randomizing the turn order sequence, or things of that nature. For example, playing 1942.2 with the following turn order...
USA > Russia > Germany > UK > Japan.

But it's just very hard to achieve a critical mass with solutions like these, such that they become popular enough to serve as viable balancing solutions.

As for myself, I enjoy the vanilla map, even if the Allies are rather pigeon holed. I definitely see what you mean though. I still prefer AA50 over pretty much anything else. It was the best A&A game since Classic. I preferred it to Revised, and definitely prefer it to 1941 or 1942.2. Global is a rather different beast, the rules overhead on that one makes for a challenging comparison with the smaller scale maps. As a successor to Revised 1942.2 is passing fair, but I wish there was more to it. At least AA50 had an alternative start date to explore when you got bored, and a tech chart. I think we could have used some optional official rules for 1942.2 beyond just sz 16 and the intercept rules to keep it going, since I don't know when we'll see another A&A map at this scale, if ever. For now, if you want to re-balance it, you basically have to get creative on your own, and then find some friends who are willing to come along for the ride.









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