I went out to Dayton last week, my best friend Tim and I (he goes by Buckeyeboy on here) played 6 games of AAP40 from Monday around 7:30 to Wednesday around 7:30. Drank lots of beer, ate many “Lucky Sandwhiches”, and I got to see just how huge the AK Steel plant down there is.
Of the 6 games we played, 5 we played by giving the US their 40 bonus IPCs “immediately” on the turn the Japanese attacked, which was turn 1.
The last time I was out there, we played 3 games by giving the US the 40 IPC bonus immediately, and all three games went into the mid game turns as anybodies game. We stopped there because we wanted to reset and see if the next game would yield similar results. All three games did.
Our aim was to see if by giving the US the 40 IPC bonus immediately, if it would balance the game any. So we were kinda playtesting the idea.
This time around, we played the games just a little further longer, until we could sorta see that one side or the other had gained an advantage, and had the upper hand.
After the first 4 games this time around, we played two that had the Allies having gained a clear advantage, and two where the Japanese had gained the upper hand.
They were all great games too, plenty of battles with both sides in the game.
Then I had the great idea to try playing the game as the Allies agian with the OOB rules. That game went just as every other game we’d played with the OOB rules, the Japanese rolled while the Allies just kinda sat on the sidelines, never really getting into the game full swing.
Then we went back to the “immediate 40”, and had probably the best game yet. We played it to a complete standstill, and ran out of time. It was anybodies guess as to who was going to gain an edge in that game. The last turn we played saw a huge naval battle in SZ37 which saw the annihilation of both fleets involved, which included 3 CVs per side!
Anyway, a pretty good playtest session. 5 games using the “immediate 40” meathod, and they went 2 Allied, 2 Japanese and 1 undetermined tie.
The problem we found with the OOB rules was that the Japanese could attack J1 taking the PI & taking the Celebes. On J2 they took the rest of the DEI. On J3 they took Singapore, and built a major IC there on J4.
By turn 4, both China and Britian were down to earning 4-5 IPCs each, with China nearing elimination in the game. The Japanese would play extremely smart up to that point in the game, conserving it’s forces and not giving the Allies any cheap victories.
Once this point in the game was reached, the Japanese were pulling in 65+ IPCs to the US & ANZACs 65-70 IPCs, and the Japanese were matching US-ANZAC buys. The US-ANZAC forces still hadn’t come even close at that point to making up the gap in strength the Japanese start the game with, and so the game stumbles forward into its end game with the Allies fighting an uneven match.
We played well over 150 hours of the game using the OOB rules trying to figure out how to stop this strategy as the Allies. The game really was no fun to play as the Allies. You even knew what the Japanese were going to do each game, yet there was nothing the Allies could do about it. We came up with some really imaginative Allied moves, but the Japanese start with enough pieces to counter anything the Allies did.
By giving the US their 40 bonus IPCs immediately as soon as the Japanese attack, the game takes on a whole new feel. The Allies are suddenly fun to play.
Most important of all, the Allies can do some serious damage if the Japanese just plod along doing the same thing every game. For the very first time, as the Japanese, we’ve suddenly been watching the Allied moves with a close eye and starting to formulate counter moves to the Allies!
So we’ve played 8 games now with the immediate 40 change, and every game has been a good one.