USA Too many IPCs? Too much Power?

  • '10

    Hello All,
        Just played 11 hours of Global this weekend with 7 players.  All but one were very experienced.  I played ITALY and loved the new set-up.

    My question is that I found the USA to have WAY to much power and IPCs!!!  He was building a BB or a loaded CC in the Atlantic every turn and also dropping men all over the place.  For him to build a MAJOR IC in Norway was like finding loose coffee change in his pocket.  I also have to report that Japan was fighting him hard and he was spending BIG in the Pacific.

    Every other power ALLIED or AXIS was counting every IPC and making tough choices during purchasing…

    I had a great time playing ITALY, BUT even after HUGE successes and collecting 30+ IPCs per turn I just could not complete with the power of the USA and UK combined.

    After many games am I the only one that thinks USA is OVERLY powerful??  Leaning almost towards unrealistic? historical?  I seem to recall reading many reports from the time where USA was scrounging to find materials and men to meet the needs of many fronts… and the threat of a Japanese invasion was believed to be REAL after Pearl Harbor?

    Maybe USA pre-war economy should be lower?  In the words of FDR… should they not be “building refrigerators” ??  …instead they collect over 50 IPCs which is greater then most other powers.

  • '10

    I’m arguing both on game balance AND Historical accuracy ( I know the two don’t always jive)

    Notice in this chart that US war production MORE THAN doubles in 1942.  SO , my argument is that before USA declares war they should make no more than 40 IPCs if 80 is their war economy? (And I will argue that is to much)


  • Off the bat folks are complaining about an imbalance in favor of the allies.

    The game reminds me of the old pacific game in some ways. The axis have to accomplish a bit im the limited number of turns before america’s industrial might makes even a United States newby the most powerful nation.

  • '10

    @FieldMarshalGames:

    Hello All,
         Just played 11 hours of Global this weekend with 7 players.  All but one were very experienced.  I played ITALY and loved the new set-up.

    My question is that I found the USA to have WAY to much power and IPCs!!!  He was building a BB or a loaded CC in the Atlantic every turn and also dropping men all over the place.  For him to build a MAJOR IC in Norway was like finding loose coffee change in his pocket.  I also have to report that Japan was fighting him hard and he was spending BIG in the Pacific.

    Every other power ALLIED or AXIS was counting every IPC and making tough choices during purchasing…

    I had a great time playing ITALY, BUT even after HUGE successes and collecting 30+ IPCs per turn I just could not complete with the power of the USA and UK combined.

    After many games am I the only one that thinks USA is OVERLY powerful??  Leaning almost towards unrealistic? historical?  I seem to recall reading many reports from the time where USA was scrounging to find materials and men to meet the needs of many fronts… and the threat of a Japanese invasion was believed to be REAL after Pearl Harbor?

    Maybe USA pre-war economy should be lower?  In the words of FDR… should they not be “building refrigerators” ??  …instead they collect over 50 IPCs which is greater then most other powers.

    You are quite correct.


  • @MarkVIIIMarc:

    Off the bat folks are complaining about an imbalance in favor of the allies.

    The game reminds me of the old pacific game in some ways. The axis have to accomplish a bit im the limited number of turns before america’s industrial might makes even a United States newby the most powerful nation.

    Except OOB Pacific is unbalanced.

    US is supposed to be uber strong. Realistically, their income should be at least 120.

  • '10

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    @MarkVIIIMarc:

    Off the bat folks are complaining about an imbalance in favor of the allies.

    The game reminds me of the old pacific game in some ways. The axis have to accomplish a bit im the limited number of turns before america’s industrial might makes even a United States newby the most powerful nation.

    Except OOB Pacific is unbalanced.

    US is supposed to be uber strong. Realistically, their income should be at least 120.

    Not if you want to have a decent game!


  • @Fishmoto37:

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    @MarkVIIIMarc:

    Off the bat folks are complaining about an imbalance in favor of the allies.

    The game reminds me of the old pacific game in some ways. The axis have to accomplish a bit im the limited number of turns before america’s industrial might makes even a United States newby the most powerful nation.

    Except OOB Pacific is unbalanced.

    US is supposed to be uber strong. Realistically, their income should be at least 120.

    Not if you want to have a decent game!

    The game is decent already. Yes, eventually, the US is unstoppable, but that just means the axis have to perfect their delaying skills until they take Moscow. Don’t lose faith in the axis so early


  • I can understand a slight economy reduction while not being at war as the USA but it was already brought up that Japan is an absolute monster in the Pacific theater.  I think the axis should just play smart and delay getting the USA into the war until turn 3.  Like getting the UK and ANZAC to declare war first on Japan.  If your Russian player isn’t immediately going to war with Japan just to be able to at least bolster China and to take neutrals then the Axis have a huge headstart.  I think the game is fairly balanced after just one run through on it.  Key decisions and common goals are ever the more present in this game than before.  Also, did your German player not realize that with National Objectives that he could reach 50 IPCs at the end of his first turn, on top of the 17 he gets from steam rolling France?  And the fact that Germany can really rip apart the UK navy?  Perhaps a more detailed evaluation of turn 1 tactics might be needing, lots of options out there for everyone.


  • Germany needs every point it can get.  It has to deal with a near 40 point Russia, Britan at 20-30, and then defend against mega America.  Russia has the advantage of only really needed to buy art and inf which leaves them with a bargan basement army that can attack and defend well.


  • Historically the US was “the sleeping giant.” Yes it was still struggling from the depression pre-war, but it still had the highest industrial capacity on Earth. The US helped bankroll almost every allied power pre-war and throughout the war (Lets not forget that America became one of the banks of the world after WW1 and had been heavily involved in lending European countries money since the treaty Versailles). Once the US entered the war it was able to outproduce almost all the other powers combined. The US possessed almost every resource needed for the war, and those it did not have in great quantity (ex. rubber) it could import from it’s sphere of influence within South and Central America. Yes the war was won by the allies, but it was won with US dollars, weapons, and ordinance (except maybe Soviet Russia although it did receive massive amounts of lend-lease weapons early-war and copied American technology whenever it could late-war). Russia may have survived without the US, but not for long. England would’ve fallen as easily as France without lend-lease or if Hitler wasn’t intent on invading Russia. The US defeated Japan almost on it’s own and all while fighting a war on another front. By the end of the war the US fielded more aircraft carriers than all nations combined. The US conducted (with the British) the largest amphibious invasion EVER. The US dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs. Game play wise, the US needs to build a transport (7 IPC) for every 2 land units (assuming at least one is infantry). So in essence, it pays double what Germany or Russia has to spend on land units. In the Pacific, it is dealing with a monster (Japan) that no other power can fend off unless the US is involved in 30+ IPC per turn builds. Let’s not forget that after turn one Germany makes 70 IPC and around 50-60 IPC per turn after, and by round 3 latest Japan has 50+ IPC. Not to mention the US starts out with very few units compared to the other major powers. Almost every build the US makes (minus air units) will take at least 2 rounds to reach the front. I think the US is represented fairly in-game and fairly historically. If the US is not a beast, it cannot fight a war in the Pacific and Atlantic and the Axis will run all over the board. In fact in most of my games the Allies can only win by playing defense until the US gets involved (just like in real life!) and smart Axis players can knock out both UK capitals by turn 3 and whittle the USSR to 30ish IPC. The Axis needs to wait until turn 3 or 4 to bring the US into the war. When they have in my games, they have won.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    This IS a concern.

    Every game I play, I play for one thing.  The Money.  Be that through territories and IPC gain, or battles won where I destroy more IPC value of opponents pieces.

    Most games have what’s called a “climb”.  That is the amount of IPC’s each alliance is earning at the start of the game, and how far they must raise their income through conquest, to reach parity, or overturn their opponent.  Almost always, this is the Axis climbing to reach above the Allies.  Now obviously there is some grey areas, in that you take some territories, and your opponent takes some back, but the general feeling is, that if your incomes are close,  it’s your strategy and game play that are the deciding factor, as long as your dice hold.  National Objectives also skew this chart a tidbit,  but if you view them as just like controlling a territory, you can compare the climbs similarily.

    Look at this chart for a basic comparison, of income disparity over a few games.

    Original - allies 90  axis 57  difference 33.  (CLIMB TO PARITY - 18 IPC’s)  - game favoured allies
    Revised - allies 96  axis 70 difference 26      (CLIMB TO PARITY - 13 IPC’s) - game favoured allies only slightly
    Annivrsy - allies 113 axis 58 difference 55  (CLIMB TO PARITY - 25 IPC’s offset significantly by the fact axis has easier NO’s  realistically about 15 worth of territory)

    GLOBAL - (Assuming all powers at war, and once parity can actually start to be compared, including china…)

    Allies 180-190(US 80 UK 30 IND 30 ANZ 10 RU 30 CH 10) - Rough estimates

    Axis 120ish  (GE 50 - IT 20 JA - 50)  Again Roughly…

    difference 60 ish

    Alot of estimation there, but you get the picture, the climb is roughly DOUBLE a regular game.  Climb 30 ish…

    That’s TWICE as many territories on average the Axis have to take, granted with a little more time on their side, before they can even HOPE to reach parity with the allies, who once fully at war, get the balance of the postive climb on their side to spend on one theatre or the other.  Now there is all kinds of arguing about starting IPC value of units, and value of units by the time you actually get to play a countries turn and so on.  But the reality is, it’s a LONG haul for the axis to get to par, a long haul in Axis and Allies, is a LONG time for things to go wrong.

    To sum it all up, This great game goes sideways if the axis make mistakes early.  And it’s unrecoverable at that point.  Good American play, will be the deciding factor on whether people consider it “broken” or not,  personally I’m not willing to go that route at say that,  but I have to agree with FMG, that the American party is a bit too heavy handed.  The long haul Japan has into russia compounds this factor, by applying more time and less axis pressure to the equation.

  • Customizer

    don’t forget both TUV (total unit value) of the pieces already on the board,
    and the location of the pieces too (an infantry on the eastern front is worth up to 10x times as much as an infantry in central usa)

    that said, I like the idea of the USA being a sort of clock.  as in, axis have to get to their objects, otherwise that usa is going to catch up and beat you senseless


  • Russia deserves its forty bucks. It did survive without the US for a long time.

    How many american troops were in europe when the germans were falling back from moscow?

    No american units in the fall of forty two either when the germans were falling back from stalingrad. Perhaps we were landing on some frenchmen in morocco and we were making the germans expend all that energy shooting down our bombers.

    By kursk at least we were preparing the italian campaign.


  • Are you playing with default Pacific setup or the new one suggested by Larry Harris to stop J1 from being so effective?

    Either way, it sounds like Japan was not pulling her weight in your game.  Particularly if you are playing with the default setup.  I was playing Japan using the default setup in our game yesterday (just found Larry Harris fix suggestions  last night) and am absolutely trouncing the allies in the Pacific.

    Turn 1 I collected 41.
    Turn 2 I collected 63.
    Turn 3 I collected 63.
    Turn 4 I collected 70 + 15 from taking Sydney.

    USA has been buying boats like crazy but still hasn’t reached naval parity with me.  We’re going to try LH’s changes for our next game and see how that goes.


  • I’d love to see the US IPC’s toned down a bit. The way the game is structured the Axis are totally at the mercy of the dice early on.  In order to bridge the huge gap in IPC’s they need to make significant gains with minimal losses.  Leaving a GB ship or two alive off the coast of Germany can put the Axis on the back foot right off the bat.  Heavy G1 losses in France can make it next to impossible to press into Russia effectively.  The fact that the Allies have the untouchable US IPC’s on their side means they can afford to take their lumps early on dice-wise and still recover pretty easily.  The Axis player has to play nearly perfectly as well as avoid getting screwed by dice in order to pull off the win before the US reaches critical mass.  Lowering the IPC’s the US collects before going to war would be a great way to make the game slightly more competitive, although I’m not quite sure how one does this without massively unbalancing the Pacific.

  • '10

    @dadler12:

    Game play wise, the US needs to build a transport (7 IPC) for every 2 land units (assuming at least one is infantry). So in essence, it pays double what Germany or Russia has to spend on land units.

    That is a good point.  Thanks

    I agree that the US should be very powerful once they are at war…  my concern is over their pre-war IPCs.  By turn 3-4 when they are brought into the conflict they have already spent 150-200 IPCs on units!!  Historically they were unprepared for war.  After the Japanese attack they should be scrambling to fill the gaps and build a defense!  Sure their industrial might grows throughout the war and the Axis have to move fast…  but I find in this game that when they are brought in (unless Japan somehow pulls of a REAL Pearl Harbor type attack) they are already a monster and ready to pounce on Europe and the Pacific.

    I think they should collect less while a neutral…  sure they had the industrial might but were they not building refrigerators and Automobiles before Dec 7th? AND/OR having most of their military production sent to UK and other Allies via Lend-Lease?


  • Maybe some sort of NO that gives Russia/UK an extra 5 IPC’s a turn while the US isn’t in the war to represent lend-lease, while the US pre-war eco is lowered to 40?  Just throwing ideas around.  I guess it would work better with the alpha changes as they make it harder for Japan to attack early anyway.


  • @FieldMarshalGames:

    @dadler12:

    Game play wise, the US needs to build a transport (7 IPC) for every 2 land units (assuming at least one is infantry). So in essence, it pays double what Germany or Russia has to spend on land units.

    That is a good point.  Thanks

    I agree that the US should be very powerful once they are at war…  my concern is over their pre-war IPCs.  By turn 3-4 when they are brought into the conflict they have already spent 150-200 IPCs on units!!  Historically they were unprepared for war.  After the Japanese attack they should be scrambling to fill the gaps and build a defense!  Sure their industrial might grows throughout the war and the Axis have to move fast…  but I find in this game that when they are brought in (unless Japan somehow pulls of a REAL Pearl Harbor type attack) they are already a monster and ready to pounce on Europe and the Pacific.

    I think they should collect less while a neutral…  sure they had the industrial might but were they not building refrigerators and Automobiles before Dec 7th? AND/OR having most of their military production sent to UK and other Allies via Lend-Lease?

    I do agree that a smart US player can prepare for war while neutral in a way the US simply did not historically (I know I have when playing US). Maybe if there was rule incorporating lend/lease into the game while America is neutral would help. Say, a cap on the total number of units US can mobilize per turn for itself while neutral and the ability to buy certain units for the allies while neutral (tanks for UK/USSR, destroyers UK, planes/artillery China)? Maybe also incorporate an IPC cost for transporting the units as well?


  • just lower the territory value of east-US and add the difference to the ‘at war’ NO
    it might give axis a slight advantage a bit too, cause i think they’ll need it
    (tbh, i only play europe, but they could use it there)


  • In the single game I’ve played, I was the US and simply crushed Italy with a steady flow of transports into the Med. I was only delayed because of an early UK attack to kill some freebie planes and hold open the road. When I arrived though, it was in full force and we called the game seeing as there was no way to stem the tide of incoming troops.

    The Axis moves were far from optimal. Japan had a high income but had not managed to crush India or China. They split attention too much. Italy was stalemated with the UK in Africa. Germany was doing okay against Russia but made a bad mistake in leaving a stack of tanks vulnerable.

    So, it did look like the US is completely unstoppable in that game, but I really need to play a game as all the Axis to see their real potential. I reserve judgment until I’ve seen several games and have worked out what I consider best course actions for all powers.

    Many years ago, it was pretty much a given that the classic game required an Axis bid to be even remotely balanced due to the US “shuck”. I agreed–until one player convinced me to try a fairly unorthodox Axis strategy. I argued strenuously against the strategy, and then had to eat a whole lot of crow when I finally tried it out. I then went on to an unbroken (I think?) Axis winning streak, including against players on this board.

    Lesson learned: Hundreds of veteran A&A players can be dead wrong, and all it takes is one person ignoring conventional wisdom to find a new, workable strategy. I wouldn’t count the Axis out yet.

  • Customizer

    I like it this way.  Indeed isn’t it necessary for the USA to have this eventual avalanche of units in order to give the game a sense of urgency and avoid a stale slugging match?

    The VC requirement can be adjusted to give the Axis a more attainable target; inevitably if it fails after a number of turns it’s game over.  But the game would go on forever otherwise.

    Or adjust Axis winning conditions as I’ve suggested with 3 VCs from each of 3 regions.


  • @Kobu:

    In the single game I’ve played, I was the US and simply crushed Italy with a steady flow of transports into the Med. I was only delayed because of an early UK attack to kill some freebie planes and hold open the road. When I arrived though, it was in full force and we called the game seeing as there was no way to stem the tide of incoming troops.

    The Axis moves were far from optimal. Japan had a high income but had not managed to crush India or China. They split attention too much. Italy was stalemated with the UK in Africa. Germany was doing okay against Russia but made a bad mistake in leaving a stack of tanks vulnerable.

    So, it did look like the US is completely unstoppable in that game, but I really need to play a game as all the Axis to see their real potential. I reserve judgment until I’ve seen several games and have worked out what I consider best course actions for all powers.

    Many years ago, it was pretty much a given that the classic game required an Axis bid to be even remotely balanced due to the US “shuck”. I agreed–until one player convinced me to try a fairly unorthodox Axis strategy. I argued strenuously against the strategy, and then had to eat a whole lot of crow when I finally tried it out. I then went on to an unbroken (I think?) Axis winning streak, including against players on this board.

    Lesson learned: Hundreds of veteran A&A players can be dead wrong, and all it takes is one person ignoring conventional wisdom to find a new, workable strategy. I wouldn’t count the Axis out yet.

    What strat is that?

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    There are strats like those in most games.

    Revised for example, seems balanced, until USA puts a factory in Brazil, and makes controlling africa a prime directive.  The Axis at that point, barring a MAJOR collapse on the eastern front, never even get close to income parity, and it’s only a matter of time until they give up.


  • i think that the US should have the split income, not the UK. it should be 41 pacific, 41 Europe. then the player is forced to commit in both theaters.


  • I think the US has too much income before war, but then again, her fleet is much smaller than it really was (compared to other nations…I mean, RUSSIA has a BB and the US only has ONE?).

    Of course the US also lost a lot of at surface power at Pearl which will likely not happen in A&A so I guess the trade-off is that they start with less power, but get the money to build it. This means it’s likely not going to be deployed forward in attack position like it would be if they actually started with their historical forces.

    But if anything, the US ‘at war’ income is LOW compared to reality. I agree though that giving the US their ‘real’ income would be a game-ender. Really as of Dec 7, 1941, WW2 was no longer in doubt…it was just a matter of time from there.

    In the game, I think 52+30 is a decent compromise. Compared to other nations, that is not really that much higher and as was pointed out above, the US has a ‘shipping fee’ on nearly everything they want to send to war. I think this keeps the US from getting out of hand.

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