Axis & Allies Global Design Flaws Part 4



  • This commentary will deal with the Global Game Setup & the Bonus Income Rules. First off, the game starts before Germany invades France, hence the German turn starts in May 1940. So what is the esteemed designer Larry Harris saying in his designer’s notes that “In June 1940, the British and other remnants of the Allied armies had just evacuated Dunkirk…… I decided to begin the game at that moment.” Well, Larry, if you had done so there wouldn’t be a big French army in France along with it’s British assistants nor would there be a French Infantry unit in the United Kingdom before France falls). So please, just get your history right, first off. Place that Fre Inf in Normandy (or in France).
          Secondly, the rulebook (A&A Europe, pgs 33-35) doesn’t say (correct me if it does) whether players gain bonus IPCs for any pre-existing conditions prior to the game start when the conditions for gaining the bonus IPCs are, in fact, already there. The game tray unit setup lists give the starting IPCs but to my reading of the rules, if the conditions are met for the bonus income at the start of the game then that will alter the listed starting IPCs. Hence, for example, Germany should start with 30 + 5 = 35 IPCs (the wheat and oil from the Soviet Union) since this economic trade was part of the German-Soviet Union Non-Aggression Pact. I also interpret this to mean that the Soviet Union would then start 37 - 5 = 32 IPCs for the very same reason.
        My main criticism of the Bonus Income provisions is that, imho, there are too many of these bonuses and they appear to have little basis in reality. For instance, 5 IPCs for the Soviet Union if sea zone 125 is free … etc? Why? What about transport(s) loaded with either units or IPCs actually moving to Archangel to effect an economic transfer (not some freebie extra 5 or whatever IPCs)? Or worse yet, 6 IPCs for each original German territory if the Soviet Union captures them? Are you kidding? So now the Soviet Union will get 18 IPCs (instead of just 6 for the territory values) for holding Romania & Slovakia/Hungary (as an w example)? Too bad Germany can’t get IPCs like that for all the Russian territories it might control.Could these bad design sops be included just so the Soviet Union has has some? Sure looks like it.



  • OY!  You don’t need to start 4 threads to complain.  One would serve fine, doesn’t clutter the board, and could consolidate your gripes so that they can be responded to clearly and without repetition (as I suspect MANY of them are linked from one thread to another).



  • It’s quite the feat to get Russia the ability to actually TAKE Germany territories.  Russia is most of the time on a defensive strategy.  Most of your changes are making the game even rougher for the Axis powers to win.



  • Regarding time, please read Larry Harris’ comments on the subject at his forum if you’re that concerned about setup timing for Dunkirk, etc.

    @aethervox:

    Hence, for example, Germany should start with 30 + 5 = 35 IPCs (the wheat and oil from the Soviet Union) since this economic trade was part of the German-Soviet Union Non-Aggression Pact. I also interpret this to mean that the Soviet Union would then start 37 - 5 = 32 IPCs for the very same reason.

    ???  Whoa there, National Objectives don’t work like this.

    A)  You don’t collect them at setup.  This has been the case since their introduction in AA50.  If it’s not explicitly stated in the rules, well, it’s not the first time that’s happened, but still, you don’t collect them at setup.  They’re collected in the collect income phase, and the game doesn’t start with a collect income phase.
    B)  Russia doesn’t GIVE Germany IPCs if they acheive the trade NO.

    The Soviet bonus for archangel is meant to reflect lendlease trading and the fact that Germany is able to disrupt this by parking in that seazone with a sub.  It IS based in history, but abstracted for the sake of this actually being a game, and one where Germany might succeed where historically it failed.



  • These ‘Global Design Flaw’ posts are, as you see, early posts of a new registrant. Thank-you for the responses to my observations/critiques. My ‘thing’ is map accuracy/ historical accuracy where if accuracy can be represented then, imho, that is better than ‘abstracting’ it. For example, the point totals being the same for Germany say, I’d argue that some of the territory values could & should be altered (see my Flaws, Part 3 post). The same for Bonus Income, is it realistic - maybe the Sea zone 125 convoy bonus is in some way but the 6 IPCs per original Ger territory still is not (imho).



  • @aethervox:

    These ‘Global Design Flaw’ posts are, as you see, early posts of a new registrant. Thank-you for the responses to my observations/critiques. My ‘thing’ is map accuracy/ historical accuracy where if accuracy can be represented then, imho, that is better than ‘abstracting’ it. For example, the point totals being the same for Germany say, I’d argue that some of the territory values could & should be altered (see my Flaws, Part 3 post). The same for Bonus Income, is it realistic - maybe the Sea zone 125 convoy bonus is in some way but the 6 IPCs per original Ger territory still is not (imho).

    You need to understand that Axis & Allies is a board game using WWII as a backdrop.  It is not and cannot remain map accurate or historically accurate and be balanced.  Historic accuracy means the Axis will always lose (Because the US and Russia will ALWAYS eventually win).  It also usually means it will take far longer to play and it already takes a long long time to play as far as the majority of the gaming population is concerned.  You can house rule whatever you please, but these “design flaws” aren’t necessarily flaws but tools to make the game playable.

    Your historic income values would cripple Anzac, make it difficult for Japan to make headway (as suddenly they cannot increase income from many territories, disregard the fact that Eastern Russia DID actually have natural resources that Japan wanted (but opted instead for the southern islands because of their failed 38-39 offensive), attempt to make Canada worth so much in Europe that would again upset the balance and Germany & Italy would never be able to contain the UK, OR if Canada is playable, never allow Germany & Italy to have a fighting chance.

    There is an arguable defense for every decision regarding the map (even Northern Ireland & Scotland being one territory that doesn’t require a transport to move between).

    I can understand the question about the amount that Russia makes per territory in their NO, especially as the Axis is not favored to win in Europe or Global, based on action reports.  However, NOs are easy to revise; the map is not.  And remember that IPC value and NO are as much about morale & strategic value as they are natural resources.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Russia must control ALL original Russian territories to collect any of those +6’s.  If Russia controls ALL original territories plus some German ones, you should be in the end game.  Actually, 95% of players probably would have resigned as the Axis by then, so this point is moot.

    I appreciate your (original poster) criticisms regarding starting setup and territory IPC values.  I have many of the same questions myself sometimes.

    But this is all irrelevant to me, because I like to play a variety of opponents.  To play a variety of opponents you need to play OOB rules (or widely accepted house rules).  It’s pretty unorthodox to change a lot of territory values, especially changing 2’s to 3’s, like in Ukraine.  Making Ukraine a 3 gives the potential to build TEN units a turn on that territory.

    I think there was more thought put into making this game than you give them credit for.  And as I say to other critics, thanks for your 2 cents, but if you know so much about making a good WWII game, why don’t you make your own?

    That said, I, like you, am baffled at some of the setup.  ANZAC being a big playable power (who easily collects 18 for several turns at game start, and is as strong as Italy) is baffling to me.  India being able to pump out 5 or 6 infantry a turn is baffling to me (I don’t recall from history a huge production of men and war materials from India, used to dominate Africa, the Middle East, reinforce Russia, or move mass armies into China).

    Like you, I wish the game was a bit more historically accurate.  And I scoff at the point that many make, that if it was historically accurate the Axis would always lose.  That is not true.  There were MANY factors in WW2, that had they gone the other way, we would all be speaking German or Japanese right now.  (Unusually harsh Russian winters, Midway, Battle of Britain, the list goes on)  So I don’t subscribe to the theory that we need to throw the Axis a bunch of bones to give them an equal chance to win.

    There are MANY important factors in WW2 that really can’t be feasibly simulated, and so Axis and Allies is a generalization, approximation, etc and the focus is on playability and fun.  On these 2 points, Mr. Harris has hit a home run.



  • Gamer, I have to refute one of your points. You imply that if the axis won at Midway or Battle of Britain, or there was a warmer Russian winter, axis would have won. However, even if Japan killed all 3 US CV’s, US would still outproduce Japan by 1943. Even if Germany won over England, and invasion was impossible due to the better strength of the Royal Navy. And Russia would not surrender if Moscow had fallen.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    Gamer, I have to refute one of your points. You imply that if the axis won at Midway or Battle of Britain, or there was a warmer Russian winter, axis would have won. However, even if Japan killed all 3 US CV’s, US would still outproduce Japan by 1943. Even if Germany won over England, and invasion was impossible due to the better strength of the Royal Navy. And Russia would not surrender if Moscow had fallen.

    I completely disagree.  You can’t predict what would have happened if Midway had gone differently, either.

    It wasn’t all about sinking carriers.  There were hundreds and hundreds of planes and high quality pilots the Japanese lost (who could not be replaced).  The Americans got a huge morale boost (as opposed to another defeat) and realized the Japs were beatable.  There were very significant intangibles in each of these 3 Allied victories that you can never project the effects of, or make a meaningful projection, and frankly I think you’re clueless to represent that the end result of WWII would be unchanged by any of these events going much differently.

    Don’t believe EVERYTHING the history books/teachers tell you.



  • My reply is directed at Gamermans post where he says a Ukraine territory value 3 can pump out 10 units per turn. Only if a major industrial complex is placed there (quite a few IPCs that). I have already concluded that if an enemy spends IPCs on industrial complexes it is only because they can afford to do so. When a player does this then their enemy(ies) has that fewer opposing units to remove. Personally, I would take advantage of this at every opportunity since only by relentless attacks can the Attacker win. Point taken too that the game must be fun - this appears to be the original game expanded. I still remain skeptical whether Larry Harris hit one out of the park (to use a baseball analogy). I also think that the Axis would have had a very difficult time to have eventually won WW2 (with our 20-20 hindsight we have). However, certain events (Dunkirk, SeaLion, Battle of the Atlantic, Pearl Harbour, Midway, Russian Winter, different political decisions) made the outcome of WW2 doubtful - history may really have been different. It is informative to read the different posts - if A&A Global was perfect there wouldnt be anything to say, hehe.



  • @gamerman01:

    It wasn’t all about sinking carriers.  There were hundreds and hundreds of planes and high quality pilots the Japanese lost (who could not be replaced).  The Americans got a huge morale boost (as opposed to another defeat) and realized the Japs were beatable.  There were very significant intangibles in each of these 3 Allied victories that you can never project the effects of, or make a meaningful projection, and frankly I think you’re clueless to represent that the end result of WWII would be unchanged by any of these events going much differently.

    Don’t believe EVERYTHING the history books/teachers tell you.

    You should define Japan “winning” as the best that they ever hoped to accomplish:  Sue for peace with a larger empire than they started with.  Japan KNEW they could never defeat the US in the long run.  They hoped a war of attrition would eventually lead to the US losing interest in war.  The US would never have fallen to a Japanese assault.  To suggest otherwise, well, yes, in an infinate number of universes, in at least one of them, the US would have been fighting with paperplanes and pitchforks in three point hats.

    But since the US had already started the beginnings of what would be the manhatten project PRIOR to the war breaking out (for them, not Europe), the simple differences in tactics and approaches to war (keep you most powerful warships in home waters waiting for an epic battle) and technology (why bother with self sealing fuel tanks when your planes are more maneuverable?); to suggest in THIS reality Japan could ever capture more than the pacific islands at their height is naive.

    Europe is another matter.  Germany and Italy did have setbacks, and in this reality, yes, maybe Europe could have ended up looking different.  But then, the A-bomb was meant for Germany first.

    There was a reason all the axis powers didn’t want the US in the war.  They all understood the implications.



  • well you are right in some points and may be wrong in others. My opinion is that is excellent to develop new ideas, but you are just altering too many points.

    Try to make fewer changes and them we can all together develop the game instead of replacing the game.


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