Tweaking China for AAP40



  • This is a balance rules change my group has played with a couple times and had success with.  I’d appreciate if someone else out there with some time on their hands would try out the these new China rules and check to see if they offset the Japanese.  Its worked in our little group, but as I am pretty sure we are the only A&A players in central Africa I have a limited player base to work with and I want to see if other metas get the same result.

    We modified the following rules with the assumption that:

    1. Japan is too strong and their military superiority + potential IC advantages need to be offset and

    2. China isn’t the tarpit it should be

    So, we have played with this rule:

    China’s turn sequence is modified from that presented in the AAP40 rulebook.  In China’s case the turn sequence is now:

    1. Mobilize new units
    2. Combat move
    3. Conduct Combat
    4. Noncombat Move
    5. Collect income
    6. Purchase Units

    As you can see, steps 1, 5, and 6 are modified.  China now must purchase units and sit on those purchased units in the muster area while all the other players take their turns.  Its only when China’s next turn comes around that they may place the units they purchased last turn.  Additionally, newly mobilized Chinese INF (and only INF) may be placed on ANY Chinese-marked territory (a territory with the Chinese national symbol).  This means that the China player may place newly mobilized units in territories occupied by hostile forces.  If China places newly mobilized INF in a hostile territory it is considered a combat move – those units can no longer move and must resolve their combat as normal in phase 3.

    This also modifies the very beginning of the game.  After starting IPCs are passed out to the players, but before Japan takes their first turn, China has to announce their build for the coming first turn.  After China declares their build and places the appropriate pieces in the muster area, play starts as normal.

    In play, the modifications to China have led to Japan having to dedicate more resources to the Chinese front.  If determined, Japan will still overrun China – but now that progress takes 1 or 2 turns longer.  China has the option of screwing with the Japanese behind their lines, popping 3 or 4 INF in unguarded or lightly guarded territories.  This, in turn, forces the Japanese to slow any rapid gains in China with bolstering their back lines with 1 or 2 INF to dissuade the China player from “surprise insurrections.”  Japan can no longer throw everything they have at the Chinese on turn 1 because leaving places like Kiangsu and Shantung undefended is a very bad idea.  Garrisons become very important to the Japanese player.  The moderate drain on IC and resources the Japanese would certainly like to get to India or the Pacific has helped counterbalance their other advantages.

    And finally, its fun, as the Chinese player, to pop 3 INF into Chahar (or whereever) after the Japanese have moved on to see if you get lucky and can roll a couple 1s to eliminate the garrison.

    So, there ya go.  Like I said, my little group of 4 players has had good fun with the rule and it seems to help balance the Japanese – but would appreciate it if someone else could try it out.  Let me know how it goes.



  • I like it.  😄
    I remember years ago a similar set of rules of the orignal A&AP dealing with the gurrilla arimes in China. I have an alternate starting set-up for the Chinese as well, it dosnt dramatically change things or involve the introduction of new game concepts. It dose give the Chinese a bit more focre to start and was really deisgned to stall a J1 attack on the allies. Japan could still advance when and where it wanted to, but it would need to be a more concentrated push then before. I just posted it in the threat Balanced! if you want to check it out or I can post it here.



  • @Clyde85:

    I like it.  😄
    I remember years ago a similar set of rules of the orignal A&AP dealing with the gurrilla arimes in China. I have an alternate starting set-up for the Chinese as well, it dosnt dramatically change things or involve the introduction of new game concepts. It dose give the Chinese a bit more focre to start and was really deisgned to stall a J1 attack on the allies. Japan could still advance when and where it wanted to, but it would need to be a more concentrated push then before. I just posted it in the threat Balanced! if you want to check it out or I can post it here.

    I saw your rules in the Balanced thread - we may try those out next.  I fully accept that my tweaks to China aren’t as elegant as adding more units or going the bid route – but they do make playing China a fundamentally different play experience than commanding as one of the other powers (which is a good thing, IMO).

    So, yeah, I like the idea of adding units to China as a way to forestall the Japan push into China, but these proposed rules do the same thing while also changing the tactics and approach to the game by both China and Japan.  Same goal for both rules tweaks, different methods for getting there.



  • I think that your ideas work better with this game then the similar set that had been crafted for the original AAP. I think that a combination of your new deployment rules, and my alt setup would make China a far more entertaining, important, and historical (always a plus with me  :-D) power to play.



  • @Clyde85:

    I think that your ideas work better with this game then the similar set that had been crafted for the original AAP. I think that a combination of your new deployment rules, and my alt setup would make China a far more entertaining, important, and historical (always a plus with me  :-D) power to play.

    Doing both my mod and your add’l troops?  Yeesh, that may be a bit much.  We’ve had the Japanese player have a bit of a slog in China with  only our tweak - add in extra units from set-up and China might become a fortress.  😮



  • No one willing to try this mod out and see if it works for them?



  • To complicated. I also don’t think it is historical. Shagki Shek, (forgive the spelling) never did to good against Japan and his forces often retreated. MAO on the other hand, after the war was well under way did give Japan a run for its money, but they didn’t do all that much deep behind enemy lines.

    It might make more sense to force Japan to Garrison all thier territory. So any space not occupied, China may place one infantry their. That would make more sense. Leveling the play. I would say either China inf. cost only 2 IPC’s, or they get to place an extra infantry in each territory besides what they purchase.

    Eddie

    Me and my son are in the middle of modifying China for better play in AAP40. Will let you know how it works out.



  • @eddiem4145:

    To complicated. I also don’t think it is historical. Shagki Shek, (forgive the spelling) never did to good against Japan and his forces often retreated. MAO on the other hand, after the war was well under way did give Japan a run for its money, but they didn’t do all that much deep behind enemy lines.

    Your understanding of how Japan and the Chinese fared against one another are very different.  Very different.

    The NRA was increasing decentralized after 1939 with warlords basically running various regions and promoting partisan activity.  The IJN had difficulty controlling and garrisoning China (which was part of the reason they established a series of collaborator governments)… formal battle lines basically evaporated after 1941 especially in the southern regions of China.  Both the KMT and the Red Chinese promoted the use of resistance forces, blowing up railways, sabotaging food production, destroying mines… and generally forcing the Japanese to have to fight against a guerrilla force.

    I mean, the Red Chinese and KMT thread of a relationship fell apart (finally) in large part because the Communists were co-opting local insurgent forces at a much more successful rate than the Nationalists.

    Suggesting that the Chinese didn’t do much behind enemy lines, I think, does a disservice to the efforts that occurred in post-1940 China.



  • I agreed with praetoerian.

    That’s why I separated china in two forces.
    KMT and Mao forces cannot attack or share the same territories.
    I also included a partisan rules.
    China player can place 1 infantry on a china territory under japanese control.



  • @crusaderiv:

    That’s why I separated china in two forces.
    KMT and Mao forces cannot attack or share the same territories.
    I also included a partisan rules.
    China player can place 1 infantry on a china territory under japanese control.

    Thats been something I was toying with as well - how to respresent the Chinese civil war that raged while the IJN was occupying much of the region.

    I’ve been toying with a bidding mechanic – where the US and Soviet players make a blind bid at the beginning of the Chinese player’s round to see who gets to build and control China for that turn.  I’m not sure how it would work… and think that the extra income the US gets might lead to the Soviet player simply allowing the US control turn-in-and-turn-out.  Thats not what I want… I would like a mechanic where the Soviets and US have a friendly competetion to see who controls the Chinese and hopefully lead to a bit of a schizophrenic play-style on the part of the Chinese since they may flip-flop control each turn.

    Not sure how to do it, though.  Two distinct forces may be the way to go.



  • I think the forces reresented in China should be seen as their avaliable conventional forces. If you were split China into 2 factions I think it would weaken an already weak faction. The setup I proposed IS more historical as most Chinese forces were located in Southern China, places like Hunan and Guangxi (kwangsi). In fact during the end of 39 Chinese forces had sucessful repulsed a Major Japanese drive on Changsha, the capitol of Hunan, and had also crushed a Japanese invasion of Guangxi (kwangsi). So having the Chinese so weak in these places really makes no sense to me, from a historical stand point.
    I like the garrison rules praetorian puts forth, as this better represents the historical situation on the ground. However I reject the initial setup for the Chinese as being to weak, and inacurate historically. My setup, i’ll agree, is a bit over powered, and I think placing extra troops in the Northern areas, like Hopei, should probably removed. However placing more troops in Hunan and Guangxi(kwangsi) should remain.
    The Chinese KMT get a bad rap with reguards to their fighting abalities. In the early stages of the war, between 37-40 the KMT gave a good account of themselves and really put up one hell of a fight. However, by the time the west got involved KMT were exausted and broke. Look at Chinese victories in places like Changsha, Nanning and taierzhuang, where they beat the all powerfull Japanese. After the winter offensive of 1940 however, the KMT armies were a spent force.



  • I think I have a pretty good understanding of the Chinese efforts against Japan. The premise of my idea was simplicity. KISS!!!. Then, didn’t do all that much, is a reference to the idea you can place your infantry anywhere, even territories occupied by Japanese troops. Unless I misunderstood, placing 4 infantry on Kwantung and taking over a factory with say only 2 Japanese infantry, and being able to do that anywhere, justifies the comment, “they didn’t do that much”.

    So my idea was to place and infantry in unoccupied areas. Much like the French resistance, I am sure china’s guerilla efforts behind enemy lines had an effect but not the effect of placing all available infantry anywhere in Japan occupied China. The partisan idea would be really great.

    My son and I have institued placing an extra China infantry on each territory and the end of the turn for play balance. I am not sure how you would split Kashicheks (forgive the spelling) forces from MAO’s, but that would be interesting.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Just let China play on the Soviets turn. Thats kiss enough and no gimmicks like “give them X additional forces” are not needed.

    Also, let them round up on the infantry, so japan does not make a mockery of glitching the game by always holding on to an odd number of spaces to deny that extra Chinese unit



  • The soviets are not in AAP40. Letting China go first might be the equivelant and was also an option but didn’t seem to be enough, though we hadn’t tried it. We just finished a game where besides doing thier normal buys in the normal way, they recieved 1 additional infantry to be placed in each territory they controlled.

    That worked great. We may try China going first instead to keep it more KISS.

    I have to say, I have been playing AA for over 20 years. Since the first edition when Russia went first and was allowed to attack first, to the second addition where they were allowed to go first but not attack first, to the revised additon ect… it seemed that with each addition they fixed major problems that were obvious. Well from the first edition, all the problems were obvious, yet they fixed each one, one at a time, and very slowly.

    Who play tests these things. And they should all be fired. Though China being to weak and Japan being to strong has been improved, I had to only play test it once to see they bungled it. To level the playing field, all they had to do was make the US weaker. I mean, in the global game, thier is no way the US is going to put 57 IPC of resources towards Japan. They may have to pay attention to the Japs finally, but thier is no way they are going to be able to mostly ignore the Germans.

    It is really dissapointing to have to alter the rules to make it make sense and have some historical value.

    Why can’t they play test it right the first time and fix all the problems.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Well i meant global games, but the idea is for them to play before japan.


  • '10

    @Imperious:

    Just let China play on the Soviets turn. Thats kiss enough and no gimmicks like “give them X additional forces” are not needed.

    Also, let them round up on the infantry, so japan does not make a mockery of glitching the game by always holding on to an odd number of spaces to deny that extra Chinese unit

    I have play tested these changes in AA50. I let the Chinese move after the Soviets as IL has suggested. I penned in a Burma road with a red sharpie. I gave them a second p-40 and a five IPC bonus NO after each turn if the Burma road remains open. This allows the China player to position his army before Japans turn. China can spend or save the five IPCs. They also have the option to buy artillary if the Burma road remains open. No IPCs to start the first round. Now Japan does not just roll over China in AA50. IL has suggested having China go before Japan in AAP1940 as well. I have not had time to try this yet. In AAG1940 I will try this change if needed. Of course China gets six IPCs in AAP1940 instead of five. I tried giving China extra infantry to start in AA50 but this made them too strong. The changes I have listed for AA50 slows down the Japanese to where if they still go after the Soviets right away then China can build up a sizable army and become a tough nut to crack. If they go all out for China then this gives the Soviets a little break. Also the Japanese will have second thoughts about sending planes to help Germany. In AAP1940 this idea just might give the U.K. a little break in India. I will try it when I get a chance.



  • Air power has completely changed the game now. The fact that a stack of 5 infantry can be taken out with a force of equal or less troops as long as they have enough Tac bombers means that the old way of thinking is obsolete.
    Japan has total air superiority over China, meaning they can move at will through any Chinese force. The 3 Japanese Infantry and arty poised all along the coast in the original set up, is enough to take China, as long as its backed up by the airforces in Manchuria and Jiangsu (kiangsu).
    I have seen games where this force has taken down stacks of Chinese infantry twice as large in one round of combat. In reality, the best thing you can do with China is to kindly remind the Japanese player that in order to win he needs to take VCs and China has none, and that while all of China is worth 12 there are 3 allied tt to the south, that would be much eaiser and quicker to take, that are worth just as much.
    I have an alternate set up that I like to use, but in reality, of the extra troops I give to China, which is 7, 5 get killed in the first turn by Japan with minimal to no loss by Japan. The 2 I add to Hunan, making 3, get killed by Japans air power and the 3 I add to Kwangsi are all killed by Naval bombardment when they retake the area with an anphibious assault that usually bring a tank into play on the mainland. That leaves the 2 inf I add to Hopei after Japans opener, which really dosnt change things up too much later on. By the end of Chinas first turn I’ll have a line that runs Hopei-Guizhou(kewichow?)-Yunan with stacks of 5-5-7 respectively. Japan can choose to move and destroy any of these on its next turn, with out having to commit anymore ground forces then what it already has on hand.
    I think China needs to be thought of as more of a seperate power then being subordinate to an allied power. When you look at the victory conditions, there really isnt much point to advancing into China as Japan, its a place for missed placed agression. Outside of taking Yunan, Japan has no where else it needs to go in China. Its not like a Japanese player will be unable to tell if the Chinese are getting to strong in an area, and be able to redeploy its airforce to destroy any concentration of Chinese forces. So, China’s goal becomes getting Japan to attack the west and leaving it alone so it can build up enough troops to ensure its survival and not much more. I think China was historically much more independant from the allies then the game represents. This needs to be changed, along with our alternate set-ups and house rules. China should function, politically and milatarily, more like the Soviets will in AAE40, Independently. I would even go so far as say China should have its own victory condition, that may even run counter to the allies. This would really better reflect the situation, and make for much more intresting games. Imagine the consequences of ceasfires between China and Japan, or other such things, on allied strategy.



  • But China is worth 12 ipcs, a lot of money. What 3 allied tt are you talking about? The DEI?



  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    But China is worth 12 ipcs, a lot of money. What 3 allied tt are you talking about? The DEI?

    I figured that’d be kinda obvious. China IS worth 12, but it takes an uncertian amount of turns and the comitment of large parts of Japans airforce. The DEI on the other hand, can all be taken in one turn, with an equal amount of forces commited (equal to your comitments in China) with a higher net return. Look at it like this, If Japan loses 1 infantry taking a Chinese tt, it take 3 turns for Japan to get the value of the trooper back for the tt it took. However, if Japan loses 1 infantry taking Java, it automaticaly get the value of that trooper back and then some. So from an ecnomic standpoint, China is pretty useless, in terms of Japanese economic growth.
      From a gaming point, taking all of China takes a varying number of turns and pulls your forces away from more important fronts. China is not a war winning front. The DEI is a war winning front, and the troops are right in the middle of the action so to speak. These forces are well poised to be redeployed to other crucial fronts, like India and Australia and the central pacific, which are areas Japan HAS to take in order to win.



  • Then why not take both at the same time?



  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    Then why not take both at the same time?

    Because, China is not worth it. Why waste units running around deep into China? What happens if your plan to take the DEI goes wrong or the Americans launch an unexpected offensive somewhere in the central pacific? You’ll need to react and reinforce yourself, but the more units you’ve got deep in China, the less you’ll have to react with and the harder it will be to reinforce yourself. There are 4 Chinese tt that Japan needs/should take
    1. Yunan: this province is worth 1 to you but 7 to the Chinese, the burma road adds a 50% increase to China’s economy, it is a priority and must be taken
    2. Hunan: it is centraly located and gives you interior lines against the Chinese and a buffer between the chinese and your costal holdings.
    3&4. Charhar&Anhui, they are unoccupied and you might as well, they also have the advantage of interior lines.
    Outside of that, there is no need to advance any deeper into China. With Japans air superiority any concentration by the Chinese can be swiftly destroyed if it becomes too threating. With only having infantry China has no real offensive punch. Its a defensive force, and holding/bogging down force.
    Japan needs to hold 6 victory cities to win the game while holding Japan itself. The only VC in China is already under Japans control. So what value is a prolonged venture deep into China to Japan? 12ipc for 6+ turns and your forces taken away from the important fronts? Thats not a good trade off.



  • Americans going on the offensive(with 17 ipc’s on turn 1)? The DEI going wrong???  :lol:

    All the DEI can be taken by turn 2, 3 if the Brits sac their navy to block Sumatra

    China, with 12 inf and a fighter is not hard to beat and doesn’t waste much resources. Japan will have 27 planes after a J1 that can kill any chinese inf. Just attack with 1 inf and planes and kill planes. After China and India fall, you’ll be making 78. If you avoid 8 chinese tt, you make 70, the same as the allies.



  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    Americans going on the offensive(with 17 ipc’s on turn 1)? The DEI going wrong???  :lol:
    All the DEI can be taken by turn 2, 3 if the Brits sac their navy to block Sumatra
    China, with 12 inf and a fighter is not hard to beat and doesn’t waste much resources. Japan will have 27 planes after a J1 that can kill any chinese inf. Just attack with 1 inf and planes and kill planes. After China and India fall, you’ll be making 78. If you avoid 8 chinese tt, you make 70, the same as the allies.

    I dont think your stratgey is very sound. You cant take all of China in 1 turn, its not possible, the least amount of turns it would take is 4 or 5. Why would you ever take planes as casualties? That is a total waste of resources, all just to take a tt worth 1ipc. Why Would Japan use 27 planes just to the take 12ipc of China? Japan has the potential to get 20ipc from taking the DEI and southern areas, wouldnt that be a better use of those 27 planes? Also, China has only infantry, if you place 4inf in one of their tt, to take it back they would need atleast 8inf(12 would be better) to even have a chance of retaking it.
    I suppose your one of those lucky players that never has a bad roll? Well, im not, and even the soundest plans are up to the dice in the end.
    Anyway, the point of this thread is NOT to discuss J1 attack stratgey or other game tactics, there is plenty of that going on in the Pacific forum. This thread is for discussing ways to tweak China to make them a more fun/historical/viable power to play. If you have nothing to add with reguards to the topic please stop posting here.



  • Japan doesn’t need planes to take those areas.
    Let’s look at the math: if I have a large plane mass vs 3 inf, they all die on the 1st round, and I lose a fighter. I lost 10, he lost 9, and I get 1 ipc from the territory. I’m saying to sac planes to take a tt so that you have ground units that China can’t counter.



  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    Japan doesn’t need planes to take those areas.
    Let’s look at the math: if I have a large plane mass vs 3 inf, they all die on the 1st round, and I lose a fighter. I lost 10, he lost 9, and I get 1 ipc from the territory. I’m saying to sac planes to take a tt so that you have ground units that China can’t counter.

    Which is counter to what the purpose of this thread.
    I think you’ve got some fuzzy math there too. You loose a fighter, which is 10ipc, your opponet has lost 9ipc, and you gained one. So not only do you lose a higher ipc value unit, and a more useful unit, but it will take 10 turns for you to recoop the ipc spent in taking the 1 ipc tt. Thats 9 turn 10ipc deficit, dosnt seem like that great of a trade off to me. I understand that 12ipcs seems like a lot, but there are better places to send those planes and troops. Im not saying never finish off China as Japan, but until Kwangtung, the Philippines, and India (tt with victory cities you need to win) are under your control, China is a low priority.
    I played a game just last night, and the Japanese player didnt attack until turn 2 and didnt buy anything for 3 turns, just saved his ipcs, and he was still able to overrun India and be in a strong enough position to call the game by turn 3. So clearly, Japan dosnt really need the extra 12ipcs of China that badly, it wont massively change the game for Japan, or handicap them horrificaly.


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