Revised still best of A&A as strategy ?



  • Greetings from ROmania!
    I had played A&A Revised regularly on the former TripleAWarClub Ladder and discussed on this forum - but 2-3 years ago.
    I had enjoyed greatly the strategic depth of AAR (No Tech, mostly Low Luck, pairs of 9IPC bids for Axis played by each side) exactly for what it is - a much stylized representation, not a simulation of war, but not exactly chess either. Much more interesting as choices than the first A&A.
    At the time, when A&A Anniversary was launched, there was much criticism that it introduced way too much randomness with the strategic bombing and countermeasures.

    In your collective opinion, has A&A Revised remained the best for the niche that it was at the time ?
    I don’t refer to slight improvements in historical accuracy/simulation value/feeling.



  • @Magister:

    Greetings from ROmania!
    I had played A&A Revised regularly on the former TripleAWarClub Ladder and discussed on this forum - but 2-3 years ago.
    I had enjoyed greatly the strategic depth of AAR (No Tech, mostly Low Luck, pairs of 9IPC bids for Axis played by each side) exactly for what it is - a much stylized representation, not a simulation of war, but not exactly chess either. Much more interesting as choices than the first A&A.
    At the time, when A&A Anniversary was launched, there was much criticism that it introduced way too much randomness with the strategic bombing and countermeasures.

    In your collective opinion, has A&A Revised remained the best for the niche that it was at the time ?
    I don’t refer to slight improvements in historical accuracy/simulation value/feeling.

    Hi. Anniversary is simply more complex, but the National Objectives add something to the strategic element. I still play Revised but nowadays I’ve switched to 1942, which is basically Revised but using Anniversary rules. It gives more options concerning use of ships and planes and makes a Pacific strategy more likely to succeed.



  • Revised is the best tested game of all the series, it’s almost perfect is you ask me, at least in that sense. In some areas seems they tested all sort of strats. For a 4-5 players game, is almost or totally balanced. I think the bids grew too much in late times, but I see that LL and no tech could have corrupt the balance

    AA42 has no testing in all, they simply copypasted annyv. rules to Revised map with some really bad changes in American mainland. It also lacks tech and even the components are of lesser quality. Since trannies doesn’t defend and Germany has a very strong naval option early game, I think it gives advantage to axis. Is a great setback from Revised

    Annyversary has a great core ruleset and some bright ideas as the new tech and SBR systems, the new subs and the NOs, but even if some tested had done in Europe, still lacks playtesting (specially in Asia), giving obscene advantage to axis in 1941 scenario and strong advantage to axis in 1942 scenario (with NOs, the default in most games). It has a patetic fantasy set of un-rules for China. But still, you can make it a great game (in fact, better than Revised) if you play 1942 scenario with some bid for allies or if you make some house rules for Asia (not LL, that gives even more advantage for axis)



  • @Funcioneta:

    AA42 has no testing in all, they simply copypasted annyv. rules to Revised map

    And how would you know that?

    I have no knowledge of how the development process went but considering that they had to test the new rules when designing them for AA50 it makes sense to me that they also tested them on the old Revised map, simply because it is easier to try them out separately on an existing product and see the effects than to put all the new rules together at the same time on an untested game.

    Also, AA50 was advertised from the beginning to be a special edition, not a replacement for Revised. They had plans for releasing a new edition of the core Axis and Allies game to replace Revised and to introduce the game to new players. Did the company decide simply to stick AA50 rules to Revised map and pack it all in 1942? Yes, it’s possible. But I seriously doubt that the developer team didn’t already had a good idea of how they would work on the old Revised map based on previous playtesting.

    As for the quality of the pieces on AA1942 check the discussion on this thread:
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=15264.msg484075#msg484075



  • I have no proof of this, of course

    But, since WOTC politic is lowing costs without caring for game balance or quality, the logic conclusion is that they didn’t any playtesting for AA42. As much, a couple of games but I doubt even that: they would had changed at least z10 (2 tra, cru) to at least 2 tra, dd, cru to ensure no gamey killing of the whole USA’s fleet. Same could apply for z2: rules changed balance greatly here as well. The changes for America’s map simply are horrible, preventing Polar Express and thus backing to 100% KGFvsJTDTM fanmania … if allies manage beat Kriegsmarine, and that is a serious task in this edition

    However, you could have a point. Let’s see, two possible scenarios:

    • I’m right and AA42 had zero testing while AA50 was tested only for 1941, European theater
    • You have right with AA50 rules being tested first in modified Revised map, but with WOTC high profit low responsability politics, they only tested KGFvsJTDTM without german navy, failing to test alternative options as german navy, Polar Express or KJF. Then, they did zero testing for AA50, assuming also 100% KGFvsJTDM without german navy and without KJF and also assuming that greater map, NOs and tech don’t alter the balance (in fact Craig a Yope said a year ago NOs don’t affect balance  :lol:). That could explain the China mess, because even a simple view of China’s deployment says clearly that setup is broken

    Any case, I doubt they did enough testing work. Money goes first, all the other issues are pointless for them


  • Customizer

    Funcioneta:

    I’m not of a mind to enter the other areas of this discussion, but you said:
    “AA42 has no testing in all, they simply copypasted annyv. rules to Revised map with some really bad changes in American mainland. It also lacks tech and even the components are of lesser quality.”

    Lesser quality how?  As in no money, etc.? Yeah….  but far as miniature components go… the one thing that I noticed was that the miniatures from 42 are actually superior to Anniversary (I even replaced some 50th units for these). The battleships are a little larger to help differentiate from cruisers. The infantry unit’s stands are slightly larger - and the sculpts appear to be a little cleaner, not near as many half-helmets, not just my own but others I’ve seen off and online (admittedly a small test group). The T-34’s sculpts themselves are imo, much better than the 50th’s, which are like pyramids.  And though I feel a Sherman could be done far better, I can tell it is a Sherman, and it seems they tried to make this miniature better, though mostly the idea of better ended up being “make it bigger”. And the Japanese artillery was slightly improved (as far as handling) as well. And the panzers have gradually improved as well…

    My 2 cents anyways.



  • @Funcioneta:

    I have no proof of this, of course

    But, since WOTC politic is lowing costs without caring for game balance or quality, the logic conclusion is that they didn’t any playtesting for AA42. As much, a couple of games but I doubt even that: they would had changed at least z10 (2 tra, cru) to at least 2 tra, dd, cru to ensure no gamey killing of the whole USA’s fleet. Same could apply for z2: rules changed balance greatly here as well. The changes for America’s map simply are horrible, preventing Polar Express and thus backing to 100% KGFvsJTDTM fanmania … if allies manage beat Kriegsmarine, and that is a serious task in this edition

    Hmm. My game experience so far with 1942 has showed me that a good way to defeat the Axis is with a Pacific strat, otherwise Japan can send plenty of planes to Europe and that can make things very difficult for the Allies on the Atlantic. I don’t think that was an unintended consequence of the rule changes since the new naval rules shorten Japan’s abilities at J1: the 2 allied subs are impossible to sink unless the allied player decides to, and if the UK submarine moves to New Guinea and the US sub is left on Hawaii then Japan needs move BBs to protect any ships that are not on SZ60 (assuming a DD buy for Japan), otherwise the subs will sink any unescorted transports and place the Japanese carriers at a great risk.
    I suspect the change to the North America map was made also to give Japan a chance, to prevent the US bomber to reach SZ60 and land on Buryatia (I usually move the 6 Russian infantry there to add more to Japan’s problems). It busts your Polar Express strat but it helps preventing Japan from being crippled due to bad dice on J1.    
    This is my experience playing so far, after some 30 something games but I haven’t played yet as Japan against a Pacific strategy by the US - I’m guessing players so far are too conditioned by their own experiences from Revised to trying such a strategy.
    Also, the weakness of the Allies on the Atlantic balances against the weakness of the Germans on the Med/Africa/Eastern fronts, since there’s no bid to shore up German strenghts there. And trying to sink both the UK/US fleets is a gamble for G. G can reinforce the Kriegsmarine to delay the Allies further but that will leave it weakened against Russia, or worst, allow Russia to add to Japan’s miseries if there’s a Pacific strat going on.  
    All of this makes me think that all the changes were considered previously with playtesting. One of the reasons of many of the changes between Classic and Revised was to try to increase the fighting on the Pacific but it failed because players soon realized that a KFG strat was the best way to win the game as Allies, despite the designer’s intentions. When I started playing 1942 I assumed that they would continue to make the Pacific a viable option for the US, so I decided to try that strat as much as possible. So far, I haven’t played a game that made me change my mind but that can change.


  • 2016 2015 '10

    It’s really impossible to make conclusions about playtesting without input from insiders like Krieghund.

    On the one hand there are almost no substantial changes from Revised to 42 re. board set-up.  On the other hand the game plays out balanced (from my limited experience no bid is necessary).  So maybe it was tested.

    42 may be a little more open to KJF tactics–it looks that way (even though Allies are in a poorer positoin in Europe and the Atlantic).  Still, Revised may offer greater strategic variation.  For example, German navy is a much better bet in Revised than 42.  But it’s too early to make conclusions.



  • @Zhukov44:

    It’s really impossible to make conclusions about playtesting without input from insiders like Krieghund.

    Completely agree with that. Unfortunately due to their non-disclosure agreements we might never knew anything about the whole process.

    42 may be a little more open to KJF tactics–it looks that way (even though Allies are in a poorer positoin in Europe and the Atlantic).  Still, Revised may offer greater strategic variation.  For example, German navy is a much better bet in Revised than 42.  But it’s too early to make conclusions.

    Again yes. 1942 right now seems to be the underdog, since people on the forums seemed to be more focused on AA50 and AAP40 and waiting for AAE40. But as time goes by more tactics will be discovered, like R buying a sub on R1 to kill the Med fleet on R2.

    There’s a difference I’ve noticed during my games, but probably it’s just that I’m changing my gameplay. On Revised the goal is to kill either Russia or Germany as quickly as possible. On AA42 I’m leaning more towards gaining and retaining control of key areas to keep my production above my opponent, specially when playing as Allies.



  • @Hobbes:

    This is my experience playing so far, after some 30 something games but I haven’t played yet as Japan against a Pacific strategy by the US - I’m guessing players so far are too conditioned by their own experiences from Revised to trying such a strategy.

    That’s the bigger problem: no wonder how bad ignoring Japan is, always will be people doing that, and without another viable counter than JTDTM, games become a boring stackfest

    The issue was solved in Revised with Polar Express, that can be letal if correctly done. In AA50 Polar Express was difficulted by ice cap, but since Japan is such monster if ignored, there is still room for Polar Express, and anyway there are more annoying tricks in axis sleeve than pure JTDTM

    To resume: I finally managed liberate from KGF fanmania with Polar Express in Revised. If I want play back with Revised map, I’ll play Revised. If I want play with AA50 rules, I’ll play AA50. But this hibryd AA42 is simple forces one to back to old boring KGFmania days without Polar Express chance, so no point for me playing that game



  • @Hobbes:

    Also, the weakness of the Allies on the Atlantic balances against the weakness of the Germans on the Med/Africa/Eastern fronts, since there’s no bid to shore up German strenghts there. And trying to sink both the UK/US fleets is a gamble for G

    Well, I think no need of much bid was needed for Revised in first place, unless you corrupt the balance with LL

    Of course, trying kill both fleets is a gamble, but inferior players could try gamble to achieve a unjust advantage. Anyway, you have 100% chances against canadian tranny and a very high chance if you try only z2

    I’m not saying AA42 is horribly unbalanced, such honor goes to 1941 scenario of AA50. Simply could have a minor advantage for axis



  • @Funcioneta:

    Well, I think no need of much bid was needed for Revised in first place, unless you corrupt the balance with LL

    That is not true in a 1vs1 experienced setting. LL or reg.dice does not matter in Revised, but I admit it does have an impact in AA50.



  • @Funcioneta:

    [
    I’m not saying AA42 is horribly unbalanced,
    [/quote]

    Agree, although I didn’t play half as many AA42 games as Revised, but it seems that AA42 is more balanced than Revised.


  • Customizer

    Huh… your past post in regard to said matters was deleted?  That’s strange… it strikes me as being more ‘on topic’ than many other things I read, and moreover, information to do with the actual play testing processes of A&A should be regarded as very relevant to this site.

    As to the info you’re looking for… been a while since I play Revised, but - with the recent completion of my ‘learner board’ - my '42 is getting some action (though AA50th is IMO still supreme).  I’ll play revised the next time and give you some ‘initial thoughts’ feedback…



  • @Yoper:

    I am especially interested in this simply because of how this will affect my use of it in the A&A tournament that I run.  Being that it is a timed event for the individual games, I am curious as to how the extra need for naval units will slow down the Allies in building up for their attack into Europe.

    I’d say it can slow down the Allies from 1-3 turns. It really depends on how many naval and air units G has at the start of G2. It might be enough to sink the AC and 2 DDs that seems to be the regular UK buy for UK1, depending on where they are placed. It also depends if the US landed on Algeria on US1 or not and how Africa is going for the Allies.


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