How to balance a round 1 Japanese Declaration of War


  • TripleA

    @kaufschtick:

    …I’m in the same camp. I don’t think any changes are needed, and I think the J1 attack probably always was what the designers thought would be the best option for the Japanese.

    thanks for the replies kaufschtick.

    even if the designers thought that a j1 dow was best for the japanese it would be fun for us gamers to have a valid strategic option for when to have a dow.

    @kaufschtick:

    …My bud Buckeyeboy on here and I have have both commented how historically accurate the J1 attack appears. The US transport getting zapped at Pearl kinda represents the situation after Pearl Harbor without actually having to recreate that disaterous chapter of the war for the US…

    remember the game starts in 1940 japan launched their surprise attacks on the uk/usa on the 7th/8th of december 1941. this is about 3 weeks from 1942 almost 2 years after the game starts. for a more historical playout usa would need to take a turn and non-combat move more naval pieces to pearl harbour then japan declares war and takes down more navy in that battle.

    all this said historical accuracy is not what the game should be about otherwise japan gets crushed every game, and there is no variability in playouts


  • TripleA

    @Variable:

    How about move the Japanese transport from SZ33 to SZ6. Makes Japan choose targets on a J1 attack, or set up for a J2 attack. Is that more of what you had in mind?

    thanks for the idea variable.

    this is more what i had in mind. however, moving the transport from sz33 to sz6 does not hinder a j1 dow enough to make a j2 dow equivalent. the transport in sz6 can not reach the dutch territories but still can reach kwangtung, philippines, and french indo china on a j1 dow.


  • '16 '15 '10

    The solution is do what the play-testers should have done.

    Come up with cash ipc amounts that will be paid out to the Allies in case of a J1 or J2 DOW, and test the game enough that you come up with numbers (for ipcs) that will make a J1, J2 or J3 DOW roughly equal in terms of effectiveness.  Also figure out a fair distribution for the IPCs that doesn’t break the game.

    I think you’ve already arrived at the solution Allweneedislove; it’s just a matter of play-testing to arrive at the appropriate ipc amounts to be paid out for each DOW.



  • I think simply not allowing Japan to build any factories should even things out since Japan is going to have to rely more on transports and sea routes than an armored push to India.


  • TripleA

    @The:

    I think simply not allowing Japan to build any factories should even things out since Japan is going to have to rely more on transports and sea routes than an armored push to India.

    i also enjoy the logistical problems of japan having to transport its units, while protecting the transports. however, not allowing j to build an ic does not effect the the strength of a j1 dow compared to a j2 dow.


  • TripleA

    @Zhukov44:

    The solution is do what the play-testers should have done.

    Come up with cash ipc amounts that will be paid out to the Allies in case of a J1 or J2 DOW, and test the game enough that you come up with numbers (for ipcs) that will make a J1, J2 or J3 DOW roughly equal in terms of effectiveness.  Also figure out a fair distribution for the IPCs that doesn’t break the game.

    I think you’ve already arrived at the solution Allweneedislove; it’s just a matter of play-testing to arrive at the appropriate ipc amounts to be paid out for each DOW.

    is there any difference between your idea and my idea number 2?


  • Customizer

    I’m playing bid.

    I’m getting allies at $20 and still getting whooped.


  • TripleA

    @jim010:

    I’m playing bid.

    I’m getting allies at $20 and still getting whooped.

    hey jim,

    are you getting the 20ipc after a j1 attack or is this a bid at game start?
    are you playing that you can place the 20ipc in units? if so are there any restrictions?

    what we do right now is bid for sides and place units pregame. we have no restrictions on how many units can be placed in any one territory, except that the territory must already have a unit of the same power.

    what i would like to do is keep bidding to determine sides, however we are having problems balancing a j1 to a j2 dow. i think my idea number 2 is best right now but am hoping for some critiquing or new ideas. right now our bids are between 17-11ipc. if we were to use my idea number 2 with x=5, i think the bid would drop to 6ipc or less



  • The US was gearing up for war and the UK was already at war with Germany (although it was the “Phoney War” that didn’t end until April/May). As such most resources were focused on Europe. But if Japan had attacked earlier, I think more resources would have been made available for the beleaguered Pacific theater.

    I agree with allweneed that since it is rapidly becoming evident there is no balancing Allied strategy to answer a J1 attack (or J2 for that matter) his balancing proposals deserve consideration. I think though instead of giving a IPC bonuses, that fixed units be made available that were earmarked for Europe/Africa/Atlantic in the deployment phase. US should receive naval and air units, the UK naval and ground units while ANZAC should get a fighter and some infantry. For the China airlift, they should get a free artillery unit each turn the US deploys a bomber in Szechwan.

    I don’t agree with withdrawing the UK naval force at Singapore back to India. This deployment is historically accurate.



  • I’ve been reading through this again and thinking about it now that I’ve had a chance to look at what is going on with the board and rules for Pac40, and I agree that idea #2 (extra Allied bid in the case of a J1 DoW) is probably the best idea, but right now the example is that the Allies just get extra IPCs they can spend on the first turn.  While this is good, it still means that the Allies are only limited to having those units T2 and only at IC locations…  This means that the bids lack flexibility in placement and could potentially lead to large stacks around the ICs rather than being used in needed areas.  It basically amounts to giving the Allies a larger version of the US’ wartime NO.  Of course, considering that there might not be many Allied locations where you would want to place a bid except where there already are ICs anyway (except China, which has free placement anyway), it might not make much of a difference regardless.

    However, what if we were to implement an incremental bid, where you bid as normal and place units before game start as usual, but in the case of a J1 DoW the Allies get another bid placement of units following normal for the same amount following the Japanese turn (or perhaps before the second Japanese turn)?  This could be reduced to a 50% bid on a J2 DoW following the same reasoning.  Incremental bidding like this would allow greater flexibility and strategic placement of units, either for a counter-attack if placed immediately after J1 or for shoring up defenses in areas not having an IC, while also allowing bids to remain lower than in the “increased wartime NO” type scenario, thus hopefully keeping the game from becoming a super-long stackfest.  If necessary it could be changed to the Allies get double the initial before-game-bid after a J1 DoW or a duplicate before-game-bid after a J2 DoW.

    Example:
    Player A and Player B decide sides with Player B taking the Allies at a bid of 9.  Player B places his bid of 3 infantry split to India and China before game-start.  Player A makes a J1 DoW.  Now Player B gets the chance to place another 9 IPCs of units on the board anywhere there are already units as usual, and this could be decided to happen before the Allies take their turns so ANZAC might get an extra transport to try to take some of the DEI before Japan gets another chance, or it could happen at the end of the Allies turns so the British could put an extra destroyer with the small fleet off India for extra sea defense or extra infantry at India.

    If Player A waits to make a J2 DoW, Player B only gets 4 IPCs (or maybe 5?) to place following turn 2.

    This would encourage Japan to put off attacking sooner and allow for the least amount of changes to the current bidding system while also allowing flexibility and limiting the game breaking possibilities, as far as I see it currently.

    Thoughts?



  • So no one has any thoughts for/against an incremental bid system?


  • TripleA

    interesting ideas sas. good thinking outside the box.

    @SAS:

    means that the Allies are only limited to having those units T2 and only at IC locations…  This means that the bids lack flexibility in placement and could potentially lead to large stacks around the ICs rather than being used in needed areas.

    the usual game play only has units coming from ics so there will be stacks there anyways

    @SAS:

    However, what if we were to implement an incremental bid, where you bid as normal and place units before game start as usual, but in the case of a J1 DoW the Allies get another bid placement of units following normal for the same amount following the Japanese turn (or perhaps before the second Japanese turn)?  This could be reduced to a 50% bid on a J2 DoW following the same reasoning.  Incremental bidding like this would allow greater flexibility and strategic placement of units, either for a counter-attack if placed immediately after J1 or for shoring up defenses in areas not having an IC, while also allowing bids to remain lower than in the “increased wartime NO” type scenario, thus hopefully keeping the game from becoming a super-long stackfest.

    i think that placing units anywhere mid game would be too random making it impossible to create a strategy.

    i like your creative ideas but do not think it would work. it would be nice to hear what anyone else thinks.


  • Customizer

    the problem with many of these solutions is that they would hurt a game where japan did not declare war on the first turn

    complex solutions, and solutions with IF statements would not work in my mind.

    the best solution would be a solution that did not change any game rules, and did not create any if statements, and did not do anything that triplea could not implement without using edit mode or a second xml file

    so for example,
    moving the 2 UK transports out of reach of a J1 attack is a really good solution, because it does not change what a j2 setup and attack would look like, therefor you don’t need special rules or anything complex at all

    whereas, giving the allies a bid or something complex like giving japan an incremental bid at the cost of starting money, or something like that, would not only completely change the rules, but it would also change the j2 attack balance, and j3 attack balance, etc. (and i won’t work with triplea)



  • @Veqryn:

    the problem with many of these solutions is that they would hurt a game where japan did not declare war on the first turn

    complex solutions, and solutions with IF statements would not work in my mind.

    the best solution would be a solution that did not change any game rules, and did not create any if statements, and did not do anything that triplea could not implement without using edit mode or a second xml file

    so for example,
    moving the 2 UK transports out of reach of a J1 attack is a really good solution, because it does not change what a j2 setup and attack would look like, therefor you don’t need special rules or anything complex at all

    whereas, giving the allies a bid or something complex like giving japan an incremental bid at the cost of starting money, or something like that, would not only completely change the rules, but it would also change the j2 attack balance, and j3 attack balance, etc. (and i won’t work with triplea)

    The entire purpose of this thread is changing the j1, j2, and j3 attack balances…  I haven’t played with TripleA, so I don’t know how it works, but I don’t see how having a second bid placement determined by what turn Japan declares war changes the rules more than a pre-game bid placement really does.



  • @jim010:

    I’m playing bid.

    I’m getting allies at $20 and still getting whooped.

    If your getting $20 bid and still loosing, you have a big problem. What are you buying? If UK just bought 4 INF 2 ART and placed it in Hong Kong That would cause Jap a whole lot of problems.  Or 1 Crusier + 1 Destroyer with their BB and Tranys.  With a bid that large Japan should loose everytime.


  • Customizer

    I don’t think that it is necessarily a J1 that throws the game, but a turn 3 India that makes the game unbalanced.

    If your getting $20 bid and still loosing, you have a big problem. What are you buying? If UK just bought 4 INF 2 ART and placed it in Hong Kong That would cause Jap a whole lot of problems.  Or 1 Crusier + 1 Destroyer with their BB and Tranys.  With a bid that large Japan should loose everytime.

    I have played with a number of combinations.  What you propose won’t save India.  Hong Kong can be overwhelmed with how many planes?  As for your fleet, 4 bmb and 1 fht will still take it out.  Nothing changes.  The bid needs to be higher.  Maybe $24

    hey jim,

    are you getting the 20ipc after a j1 attack or is this a bid at game start?
    are you playing that you can place the 20ipc in units? if so are there any restrictions?

    what we do right now is bid for sides and place units pregame. we have no restrictions on how many units can be placed in any one territory, except that the territory must already have a unit of the same power.

    what i would like to do is keep bidding to determine sides, however we are having problems balancing a j1 to a j2 dow. i think my idea number 2 is best right now but am hoping for some critiquing or new ideas. right now our bids are between 17-11ipc. if we were to use my idea number 2 with x=5, i think the bid would drop to 6ipc or less

    The bid is a pregame placement.  Unrestricted in territories you own, at sea, you must have a ship in the space already.  We start at a number and bid down until someone is not willing to go any lower.



  • I have not played this game enough to know how they normally turn out. For a J1 attack what if the US focused ALL of its support on saving Australia (this is historically accurate as one of our 1st objectives was Guadalcanal. Then if the UK only focuses on buying infantry to keep India alive then it seems like even if Japan had slightly more IPCs then the Allies then it would be in a tough place trying to contain the US from expanding their island-hopping campaign starting from Australia and containing the british from starting to push back with all the infantry they have been buying to protect India.

    Is the amount of air power Japan starts with just too powerful for the british to defend india using only infantry?



  • Trackmagic, the US can’t do this as it leaves Honolulu open and doesn’t threaten Japan. UK/infantry strategy doesn’t work as it allows Japan to overrun the SW Pacific and SE Asia and then with their 60+ IPCs a turn over the next few turns build a tank army, rebuild their air force, crush India and defend Japan.

    The problem is the Allies don’t have time to develop any long, drawn out strategy of island hopping or war of attrition. I usually don’t deploy the IJN against India, keeping them in reserve to deal with island hopping strategies. The Japanese quickly reach parity in income and are already ahead militarily. Once they shut down the UK/China front, they can focus on Sydney or Honolulu and the Allies only have enough forces to successfully defend one or the other.



  • @jim010:

    I don’t think that it is necessarily a J1 that throws the game, but a turn 3 India that makes the game unbalanced.

    If your getting $20 bid and still loosing, you have a big problem. What are you buying? If UK just bought 4 INF 2 ART and placed it in Hong Kong That would cause Jap a whole lot of problems.  Or 1 Crusier + 1 Destroyer with their BB and Tranys.  With a bid that large Japan should loose everytime.

    I have played with a number of combinations.  What you propose won’t save India.  Hong Kong can be overwhelmed with how many planes?  As for your fleet, 4 bmb and 1 fht will still take it out.  Nothing changes.  The bid needs to be higher.  Maybe $24

    hey jim,

    are you getting the 20ipc after a j1 attack or is this a bid at game start?
    are you playing that you can place the 20ipc in units? if so are there any restrictions?

    what we do right now is bid for sides and place units pregame. we have no restrictions on how many units can be placed in any one territory, except that the territory must already have a unit of the same power.

    what i would like to do is keep bidding to determine sides, however we are having problems balancing a j1 to a j2 dow. i think my idea number 2 is best right now but am hoping for some critiquing or new ideas. right now our bids are between 17-11ipc. if we were to use my idea number 2 with x=5, i think the bid would drop to 6ipc or less

    The bid is a pregame placement.  Unrestricted in territories you own, at sea, you must have a ship in the space already.  We start at a number and bid down until someone is not willing to go any lower.

    We start the bid low and who ever bids highest gets Japan.  1 $7 transport on you bid purchace placed in India is also a great buy.  Slows Japans DEI efforts, and gives UK extra cash to hold out longer.  With a $21 bid I would get 3 Transporst and get the DEI bonus first turn.


  • Customizer

    Problem I see is you’d get 5 more men at best before Japan hits on turn 3.  Not enough.  You need to calculate what you need against a max of 6 loaded Japanese transports and a max of every plane they have.  It just won’t hold.



  • I’d like to throw one additional idea into the mix. (I’m not necessarily saying this is the best possible idea or anything.) While at peace, the U.S. could collect income at half its normal rate. That would simulate the fact that the U.S. peacetime economy was less focused on military production than it later became. The Japanese player would want the U.S. to collect income at this reduced rate for as long as possible, and so would have a strong incentive to postpone the declaration of war. Also, the lower American income would reduce the extent to which the Japanese player fell behind in the cold war with the U.S. in the absence of war.

    There are, however, several disadvantages to this strategy.

    1. Implementing it online would be slightly cumbersome, and would require editing American IPCs for the first few rounds. (Not a huge deal though.)
    2. It would affect the balance of the game. I know you wrote that game balance issues can be dealt with via bids; but this is a fairly big issue. Probably if you were going to do this increasing the Americans’ base income by a moderate amount would also make sense.
      3. This, alone, still might not be enough to balance the J1 attack with the J2 - J4 attacks. Moving that British fleet away from the Japanese might be a good thing to do in conjunction with this.


  • Do you mean half of 57 or half of 17? If it’s half of 17, that’s a greater disadvantage to the allies.


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