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Author Topic: 1941 and the IPC/Purchasing issue  (Read 1587 times)
Wolfshanze
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« on: July 14, 2016, 06:31:53 am »
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I could've sworn this issue has been discussed before about 1941 (I know I personally put some input on the matter previously), but for the life of me, I can't find a/the thread that discusses the topic, so I'll start a new one and clearly label it.

Before I get started I'll make one thing perfectly clear... YES, I know the PRIMARY reason for 1941 even existing is a "fast/quick, light version of A&A designed to be played quickly and not overload new players with too many rules/units" type of introduction to the A&A family of games.  Any changes to those rules might add a little more complexity and/or length to the play session.  Having said that, there is one really big thing that has always bothered me about 1941...

Every nation in 1941 feels like a broke down hobo wishing they had two dimes to rub together to buy units.  Of all the games in the A&A family, 1941 is the poor cousin living in the slums when it comes to purchasing power... I'm going to assume that's a very intentional design decision to "keep things simple, keep new players from having to decide what to buy and to keep game time down with fewer units to kill/roll/move about".  While I can appreciate the reasoning behind that decision, it just feels poorly implemented to me, and really... how much harder/longer would 1941 be with just a little more cash for each nation than the default (paltry) amount already in-game?

Every time I've played 1941 (and I've always used the default rules) everyone I play with from my 50+ y/o  friends to my young children... everyone has wished they had more money to buy units with.  I've thought of (and discussed in other threads which I cannot find now) different ways to boost in-game income that is both easy to use/remember and a fair amount for all sides without ending up with a zillion units on the board.

My first idea (which is probably still a good idea if I do say so myself) is simply DOUBLING the value of every territory already on the board... if you look at those incomes and double them, that puts each nations overall income very close to the original 1984 A&A Classic income levels which 1941 is a very close cousin to.  While I think this is a good amount, it might be "too much" for some people and/or a something easy to forget when adjusting territories conquered (moving that value-2 territory up/down by 2 on the income tracker when you should have moved it 4, because of double in value).

I've more recently come up with the idea of a set "capital bonus" for all nations that is fully adjustable to each game and the players involved to adjust the incomes to whatever they are more comfortable with... simply put, have everyone agree at the beginning of a game of 1941 to assign a set capital bonus... so long as the home country holds its capital, each nation gets a set income bonus each round (lets say something between 10-to-15 IPCs for each nation, but everyone could set this to their own value).  This bonus is only for the original power that controls the capital (Germany would not get Russia's capital bonus if they took Moscow for example).  This would allow each country to actually make purchases every turn and feel like they actually have a war production as opposed to being a poor hobo with no money.

It could be further refined if balance is an issue (3 Allies vs 2 Axis) by setting different values for Axis vs Allies (say 7 for each allied capital and 10 for each axis, so both sides roughly get a total of 20 IPCs extra per turn, or just go "meh" 10 more IPCs for everyone).  It's also an easy way to bid a handicap between experienced and inexperienced players (income per turn) as opposed to the more traditional "here's an extra couple units to start with" approach.

I don't know about you guys, but the one thing that has always bothered me about 1941 more than anything is the completely anemic IPC values on the board... I'm sure its intentional for simplicity's sake... but I think it was either a bad decision to start with, or something that should be more flexible to people who'd like to play 1941 otherwise, but would really like a little more money to spend each turn.

I've always found one of the most fun parts of any A&A game is the purchasing of new units each turn to decide the fate of the world, and its something 1941 seems to go out of its way to prevent you from doing this.

I'm also a fan of tossing in Artillery to 1941, but that's a topic for a different day/thread.

Thoughts?

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Baron Munchhausen
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2016, 09:11:36 am »
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I played with all units access, Art and Cruiser, even Tacbomber with modified values.
I did not add more money but lower cost structure.
5 Subs,
6 DD,
9 Cruisers,
12 Carrier (A0, D3, 2 hits, 3 planes),
15 battleship.

Fg A2 D2 cost 6
TcB A3 D2 cost 8
StB A4 D1 cost 10

It makes longer game IMO but allows much more options and more naval units on board instead of the tray.
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CWO Marc
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 10:01:33 am »
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I've more recently come up with the idea of a set "capital bonus" for all nations that is fully adjustable to each game and the players involved to adjust the incomes to whatever they are more comfortable with... simply put, have everyone agree at the beginning of a game of 1941 to assign a set capital bonus... so long as the home country holds its capital, each nation gets a set income bonus each round (lets say something between 10-to-15 IPCs for each nation, but everyone could set this to their own value). 


If I understand the proposal correctly, you might in fact just want to call it a national bonus rather than a capital bonus.  The OOB rules say that "If your capital is under an enemy power’s control, you cannot collect income," so under your house rule a player who loses his capital wouldn't be in a situation where he loses his bonus but keeps the rest of his income, he'd be in a situation where he loses all of his income.  In other words, there should only be two permutations: if a player holds his capital, he collects regular IPC income + a national bonus; if he doesn't hold his capital, he collects no income of any sort.

Regarding the low IPC value (and in many cases zero value) of most of the map territories, I agree that this is probably meant to make the game go faster because a single territory gained or lost counts for a lot proportionally.  There are a total of 57 IPCs on the map, with the initial holdings being (from highest to lowest) US 17, UK 12, Germany 12, Japan 9 and USSR 7.  Given that there are so few IPCs on the map, the value of each IPC (as a gain or as a loss) is correspondingly magnified; if the USSR loses one of its 1-IPC territories, for example, that single miserable little territory represents a 14% income loss, which is pretty significant (especially when you consider that a lowly infantryman costs 3 IPCs to purchase).

A lot of the income on the board, by the way, is capital-concentrated.  44% of Japan's starting income comes from the territory that holds its capital, with the corresponding figures for the other powers being 43% for the USSR, 35% for the US, 33% for Germany and 25% for the UK.  If the OOB rules allowed (which they don't) a power to collect income from its non-capital holdings while its capital was under occupation, then Japan would be the most economically vulnerable power in this regard while the UK would be the least economically vulnerable one.
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Black_Elk
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2016, 12:29:24 pm »
+1

My thoughts haven't changed much in the past few years...
http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=33104.0

If anything, playing more 1941 games in the intervening period has hardened my position, such that I wouldn't really recommend 1941 for new players, unless you add in some kind of bonus cash mechanism. I think an national bonus is the easiest to implement, though it has the drawback of making it more attractive for players to just turtle up on the capitals.

My favorite method for introducing cash is the battle bonus. There a couple of ways to go about it, but the easiest is to say that whenever a territory is captured, the conquerer gets +1 IPC added to their war chest, in addition to whatever the normal value of the territory might be. This ensures that all territories are worth contesting, even zero IPC tiles.

Another option is the round tracker ascending income bonus. Here each nation gets additional income based on how long they've been playing, round 1 = 1ipc, round 2= 2ipcs, round 3 = 3 ipcs and so on. This not only helps you to keep track of how long you've been going at it, but also provides an incentive for the dominant side to resolve the game more quickly, and risk more decisive battle, rather than dragging it out, since the advantage to the underdog gets stron German the longer they can survive into the endgame.

For a more variable approach, another method is to give each nation a "War Bonds" or Wartime Economy bonus. Each player nation rolls 1d6 at collect income and adds that to their total ipcs for the round.

Doing stuff like this will give your players at least a little more flexibility during the unit purchase phase, although I still feel that without artillery at 4 ipcs, you will run into problems with players not being able to spend a remainder of 1 or 2 ipcs.

If you don't have artillery pieces, and don't mind seeing a lot of armor on the board, you might consider reducing the cost of tanks to 5 ipcs ala Revised/AA50.

Tanks at a cost of 5 accelerates the gameplay, and allows players to at least spend a remainder of 2 ipcs. Otherwise you're stuck with infantry at the 3 ipcs, and nothing to spend a remainder on unless you go up to 8 for the destroyer or 10 for the fighter. Of course this will turn the board into a tank fest, but honestly it's better option than OOB, since everyone loves tanks and it gives new players a way to get around the map and knock off territories much faster than the infantry grind.



 
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Wolfshanze
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2016, 06:23:15 am »
+1


If I understand the proposal correctly, you might in fact just want to call it a national bonus rather than a capital bonus.  The OOB rules say that "If your capital is under an enemy power's control, you cannot collect income," so under your house rule a player who loses his capital wouldn't be in a situation where he loses his bonus but keeps the rest of his income, he'd be in a situation where he loses all of his income

Kind-of a derp moment.  tongue

National Objective, hold capital, more money... sure, i'll buy that for an IPC.

Regardless, my thought stands firm, more income needs to be added to 1941 to make it more enjoyable... purchasing units is a cornerstone of the franchise and the default rules to 1941, while certainly shortening game length is really a lead pipe to the knee on fun.


For a more variable approach, another method is to give each nation a "War Bonds" or Wartime Economy bonus. Each player nation rolls 1d6 at collect income and adds that to their total ipcs for the round.

That's not a bad idea, but in the realm of how much should be added to the economies, 1d6 wouldn't hack it, 1941 is woefully low on cash flow... I think 2d6 would be better, which would be 2-to-12 IPC a turn per nation, with an average roll of 7 IPC a turn.  Oddly enough I recommended anywhere from 7 to 10 IPC per nation under my "national objective" sort of cash bonus... so a "War Bond" program of 2d6 a turn would be in the ballpark of how much oomph needs to be added to 1941's cash flow (in my opinion).
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Benito Mussolini
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 11:01:51 am »
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Oh did I see some 1942.2 units in that first pic?
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Wolfshanze
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 11:51:32 am »
+1

Oh did I see some 1942.2 units in that first pic?

You most certainly did (though its an old picture, I have even MORE units now)... as-is out of the box, I think its no surprise that 1941 has a shortage of units... I knew that before I even picked up 1941... so I bought both 1941 and 1942.2 at the same time, combined both games units into common nation bins (throwing out stupid stuff like Japanese Tigers) and then bought even MORE units from HBG to fill any perceived holes by my OCD-on-sculpts mind.

Since I never play both 1941 and 1942 at the same time, its not an issue, I just use say the "German" unit tray for either 1941 or 1942.2... whichever game I'm playing that day. Here's my unit bins below (also an older picture, they're more full these days... I really need to update that pic).

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Benito Mussolini
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 02:15:43 pm »
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 shocked
I only have 1942.2 right now.
But my awesome little bro got me 1941 and it'll here tomorrow. CAN'T WAIT FOR THE TIGERS!!!!
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Wolfshanze
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 05:25:20 am »
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CAN'T WAIT FOR THE TIGERS!!!!

Yes, Japanese Tiger Tanks are the best...
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CWO Marc
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 06:21:24 am »
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Yes, Japanese Tiger Tanks are the best...

I'm also fond of the 1941 game's green and tan IS-2 tanks.  Having the Americans and the British operating Russian heavy tanks named after Joseph Stalin is a splendid tribute to Allied wartime cooperation between the decadent capitalists and the godless communists...er, I mean between the gallant Anglo-Americans and the heroic Soviets. 
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Wolfshanze
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 06:40:47 am »
+1

Yes, Japanese Tiger Tanks are the best...

I'm also fond of the 1941 game's green and tan IS-2 tanks. Having the Americans and the British operating Russian heavy tanks named after Joseph Stalin is a splendid tribute to Allied wartime cooperation between the decadent capitalists and the godless communists...er, I mean between the gallant Anglo-Americans and the heroic Soviets. 

Indeed... 1941 is a very odd game... for every five national units of any given type (fighters, bombers, tanks, etc), TWO nations get it right, and THREE nations get it wrong.

I can, however attest to the fact that there is at least several Mitsubishi Tiger Tanks, General Motors and Rolls Royce IS-2 tanks sitting at the bottom of a Florida land-fill somewhere.
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wittmann
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2017, 06:54:46 am »
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You got it right the first time, Marc.

I hate that  the Tanks are wrong and have not  used them, although I am not sure I would go as far as you, Wolfschanze, by throwing them away. I can live with the ships and aeroplanes being wrong, just. Tanks being my thing.
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Wolfshanze
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2017, 07:09:07 am »
+1

I hate that the Tanks are wrong and have not used them, although I am not sure I would go as far as you, Wolfschanze, by throwing them away. I can live with the ships and aeroplanes being wrong, just. Tanks being my thing.

Well 3 nations out of every 5 have the wrong units for each unit-type in 1941.

Why did I throw them away? Why would I keep them is the better question! Simply put, I can NEVER see a scenario where I'm going to say to myself "Gee... what this game needs is more Japanese Tiger Tanks" (or American IS-2s or so on and so on). If it's flat-out something a certain country never ever used, I'm just not going to have it in my game... however, some things that are "wrong" in 1941, actually aren't all that wrong, thanks to Lend-Lease... they used the American P-40 Warhawk for all Allied Nation's fighters in 1941... as much as WotC tried to screw me over on that one, last laugh is on them, because I kept my UK and Soviet P-40s since both flew them under Lend Lease. American IS-2 tanks? Nope, in the dumpster they go.

The only logical reason I can see for holding onto all these 'wrong' units is because you have no other choice but to use them... like someone who ONLY owns 1941 and never bought extra units or combined it with anything else... then ya... Japan needs SOMETHING to represent tanks, so Mitsubishi Tigers for everyone! In my case, 1941 is not my only copy of the game... if Japan needs tanks, I use the Type-95 Ha-Go's from 1942.2, and I bought extra to boot from HBG (I think Japan has 30 Type-95s in my bins)... same goes for any other nation that got something "wrong", it was replaced and/or reinforced from 1942 and HBG... so (for me anyways) there's absolutely no reason to hold onto my Mitsubishi Tiger Tanks... if anybody wanted them, they should have spoke up! wink
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Private Panic
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2017, 08:18:52 am »
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What a sad lot you are! rolleyes Stop retaining your posteriors and get a life! tongue
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CWO Marc
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« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2017, 08:20:02 am »
+1

so (for me anyways) there's absolutely no reason to hold onto my Mitsubishi Tiger Tanks... if anybody wanted them, they should have spoke up!

I wish I had.   grin

I keep all of my A&A sculpts, which I think of as collectibles as much as playing units, and I deal with national incongruities via the sorting process for my collection.  About half of my A&A sculpts are sorted into nation-based trays that I regard as the primary units for each player power; this more or less corresponds to the Global 1940 Second Edition array of sculpts, plus any sculpts from other games which are identical to them in terms of basic design (e.g. a Spitfire), of current design version (e.g. the current flat-winged Spitfire, as opposed to the older uptilted-wing one) and of colour and shade (e.g. the current light-tan Spitfires).  

Everything else gets sorted into auxiliary trays.  In terms of the 1941 tank sculpts, for example, the black German Tiger tanks and marroon Russian IS-2 tanks reside in a set of trays that could be described as "supplementary special units of particular nations, having the correct design and colour".  The wrong-colour green, tan and orange 1941 tanks are in another set of trays that could be described as "current-design sculpts that are the right colour for a particular country but which are the wrong design for that nation."  That's actually a large number of trays because it's not just the 1941 pieces that have that problem; for example there's the French equipment pieces, which are a mixture of Russian and Anglo-American designs (or the mainstream non-British UK transport ship, or the maintream non-Russian USSR aircraft carrier, both of which I've replaced in the primary-units tray with their correct-nation 1941 counterparts).  I also have a tray of what I call "collector's variants" sculpts, where I put oddities like the alternate-version Russian and German artillery sculpts.  

Getting even further and further away from the primary trays, I have trays of 1940 American sculpts that are the right design and the right colour but the wrong shade (yellowish-green as opposed to medium green), and I have trays of older sculpts which are in obsolete older colours and/or which are older designs (like the "pre-refreshed" infantry sculpts that were used in the first few A&A games).  And then I have trays of statistical outliers like the 1914 sculpts and the generic equipment sculpts from the Milton Bradley edition of A&A.  (I also have quite a few trays of sculpts that aren't official A&A pieces, like for instance the ones from HBG, but we won't get into that.)  

From a practical point of view, all of the above is unnecessarily complicated...but as I said, I view my A&A sculpts as collectible items, and it's not unusual for collectors (of anything) to pay attention to the fine details of the multiple variations and subcategories of models that have been produced of whetever item they're collecting.  Part of the payoff for this kind of obsessiveness is that a collector will take great satisfaction from owning a rare or unique version of something (like a coin with a minting error), even if a non-collector might miss the point completely ("What's the big deal?  That's just a nickel and these days a nickel is hardly worth anything").
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