Alpha vs Beta



  • I have seen many murmurings similar to:

    • 'when is Alpha going to done’?
    • ‘we must be up to Gamma, Delta, or Omega about now’
    • ‘I didn’t pay $180 to be a playtester’
    • 'why do they keep changing Alpha so fast’?

    If Larry is following the theme for Alpha and Beta testing, then Alpha should see many, many changes quite quickly.
    With Beta, changes should slow down.

    Alpha vs Beta Meaning.

    http://www.rebol.com/article/0030.html

    _"The purpose of an alpha release is to get you some “experimental” code that lets you try out a new idea, but the implementation itself is not final. It may not be stable at all (perhaps it crashes as soon as you run it), and the API is also subject to change… We want to get you “samples” of the system, get some feedback on them, and work toward finalizing it. After a while it becomes stable enough for a beta release.

    For a beta release: we hope the code is more stable. The API is much less likely to change unless we find some big problem. During the beta stage, it is very important to let us know about bugs, especially any new problems that may have popped up."_

    People theorize quite a bit about how starting set-ups and rules affect gameplay.
    Real testing is where the advances are made!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle

    _"Alpha software can be unstable and could cause crashes or data loss. The exception to this is when the alpha is available publicly (such as a pre-order bonus), in which developers normally push for stability so that their testers can test properly. External availability of alpha software is uncommon.

    The alpha phase usually ends with a feature freeze, indicating that no more features will be added to the software."_

    Wow, Larry has allowed us, that want it, into the inner circle.  Those that do not want it can play OOB. We have choices, enough with the whining already.

    Your thoughts?



  • agreed Krieg stated they were only given six weeks to play test instead of the six months they wanted sounds like a business decision forced on them



  • I totally agree.  This game deserves the time and careful consideration to be the best game it can possibly be.  If that takes tweaks and revisions for the next three years… it’s worth it.  Nobody is forced to change the way they play, but if ways of improving the game are discovered, there is absolutely no reason not to give them official endorsement - the improvements are, by definition improvements!  and if you don’t think they are improvements, then you don’t have to use them, so what is the problem?  People should be extremely grateful to everyone willing to playtest and write their own suggestions and analysis and opinions, and even moreso to Larry & Kevin for taking the time and effort to sort through it all.  They do it for US, the players… if we complain about it they should have no reason to give their time and skills to improve the game and then we’re all just left with a game that’s not as good as it could be, so who suffers?

    @morrel:

    agreed Krieg stated they were only given six weeks to play test instead of the six months they wanted sounds like a business decision forced on them

    WOW! I had not heard this.  That explains a lot… hopefully WOTC has learned from their mistake (wishful thinking).


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Honestly, I do not mind shelling out $360 for two game sets that are both in “alpha” status.  There is no reason one cannot staple rule changes to the back of your book if you dont want.  Also, a sealed release before any changes might be worth something in 20 years. spththt.  Not to mention, of course, that if we make the game better and future players buy a fixed game, they might like it and join our ranks, as opposed to seeing the game is hopelessly biased towards the allies and return the game to the store for a refund.



  • The rule changes are absolutely ridiculous and call into question the “integrity” of the game and the game design itself!

    For every Axis and Allies game in the future NO RULES should be included in the game becz one rule set is just as good as any other rule set;

    as all these Alpha machinations have demonstrated.

    I have yet to hear about any formal apology issued by Harris or by Kreighund who devised this disaster of thier own making.

    The disaster is not the original rules, but thier response to it: PANIC!!

    Yes, it is a disaster becz who ever heard of changes in the rules which number in the hundreds. Literally hundreds.

    Krieghund you can’t deny that! Neither can Harris.

    I am appalled when I try to read the new rules and setups, if they issue a new rules set like Columbia Games;

    where the new rules are inserted in red font next to the old rules which remain in black, these new red Alpha, Beta Gamma setups

    would bleed the rule book red.

    I reject all these changes becz what they tell you is that any rules set is as good as any other.

    They no longer have any credibility: subs can’t sink lone transports, what the heck is that all about?

    Isn’t that the new rule? Or did I get that wrong becz I refuse to even consider that one. Becz it is so counter intuitive

    They rejected a minimalist approach to “correcting” the whiners’ complaints and we get this mess.

    Or at least it looks like most of you have bought this Alpha Beta Gamma correction scheme as valid.

    This is all just so absurd and disheartening.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Stoney229:

    I totally agree.  This game deserves the time and careful consideration to be the best game it can possibly be.  If that takes tweaks and revisions for the next three years… it’s worth it.  Nobody is forced to change the way they play, but if ways of improving the game are discovered, there is absolutely no reason not to give them official endorsement - the improvements are, by definition improvements!  and if you don’t think they are improvements, then you don’t have to use them, so what is the problem?

    Agreed. In another post somewhere, Krieghund said that one way of looking at Alpha is to think of it as getting a whole new game out of the same purchase, which is a good point.  As this board’s own House Rules section shows, this community has a long tradition of developing improved / alternate / variant rules which add to the fun for people who are interested, and which nobody is obliged to follow if they don’t wish to do so.  I see the Alpha and Beta rules in the same way.  To me, the primary things I paid for when I bought Global were the maps and the plastic playing pieces…neither of which I can manufacture on my own, and both of which can be used in all sorts of ways that are limited only by a player’s imagination.  The rules are the most flexible part of what came in the packages, and it requires no additional purchases to replace them with upgraded or variant ones.  When rules different from the out-of-the-box ones appear (whether official ones from Larry or homebrew ones from this community), I regard them as a bonus, not as evidence that I was short-changed by the ones which came with the original game.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    In very complex games like this, there are always rules changes!

    You would rather have a completely unusable game because one side always has no chance of winning and the other no chance of losing?  Do you think Risk was produced with no rules changes, ever?  What about Chess?  Eh?  I bet anything the King had all the powers of the queen and the queen the king when the game was first devised, then the rules changed.

    Rather have the rules fixed and have a new copy mailed to each person who bought the game and submitted a warranty card than not have the changes.



  • If you don’t want to pay $180 to be a playtester, just pretend that the games haven’t been released yet. We’ll let you know when it’s safe to buy.



  • @morrel:

    agreed Krieg stated they were only given six weeks to play test instead of the six months they wanted sounds like a business decision forced on them

    That’s what happens in business. There’s usually an unrealistic timeline and the finished product is not going to be everything the creators wanted. Responsibility is when you spend time fine-tuning an already released product at no charge to the original consumer.

    I personally don’t view the rule changes as set in stone but as options. They add depth and replay value to the game. Like the unescorted transport rule? Then use it. Don’t like it? Don’t use it. It’s that simple.

    No apology is needed for the work Krieg and Larry are doing and it’s ridiculous to suggest this. Their continued effort to perfect the game and include the community in this process is laudable.



  • Anniversary edition was released with two scenarios, I don’t think anyone minded then. Revised edition had many optional national advantages, they were not often used in my sessions, but they sure added flavor and I doubt many people objected to their existence.

    I look at the other rule sets as additional scenarios for an impressive game.

    To me its a non issue, as I play face to face games, and I don’t expect to play many global games until I can retire in the next 30 years.
    The global games that I do play, over a span of weeks, are still fun with either version of the rules.

    I applaud all the effort going into my favorite board game. This only gives me more options. Balance is in the eye of the beholder. Recently I played OOB Pacific 1940 as the allies (minus America) and fought the Japanese to a stand still, the Jap player resigned once the US entered the war. Yes, amongst people with the same play styles you might arrive at the same outcomes game after game. That is why it pays to play many types of people.

    The true thrill is overcoming any obstacles in game and scratching out a win. Whether its a bad round of dice, a critical mistake, or a strategy that favors one side over the other, when you turn the game around and deliver an unexpected outcome anyway, that is true satisfaction.

    Its why I never call a game, until its over. I can look at a game in progress round 4, and think it is going one way, and come back to that game round 9 and see it going another. That’s why we set up the pieces, toss the dice, and play.

    Again, I applaud Larry, Keven and the countless masses that strive to enhance my experience with my favorite game. I pray that they have the time, desire, and energy to keep the games rolling out. I’ll keep buying them, and helping my community meet up and play them.



  • “Whiners?”

    The whiners led to Alpha Beta and Gamma

    “Wah wah wah, I (supposedly) can’t win as the Axis.”

    Guess what whiners,  the Axis really did lose!  The OOB rules reflected this!!

    Chess is an abstract game recreating no known battle

    and yet it is imperfect and our whiners here would still whine about chess becz black

    is at a real disadvantage in chess. Every one knows white has an advantage!

    If Krieg and Harris had devised Chess and received that complaint they would have gutted chess:

    Black and white would have had different setups, they would have given black 4 rooks, devised penalties for white on the 1st turn

    and taken away from the rook the ability to kill pawns if the pawns were unaccompanied or some such nonesense.

    I can’t understand this willingness to gut the OOB game with ARBITRARY rule changes.

    Based not upon the designers vision, but upon a hodge podge of suggestions.

    YES IT IS TRUE: TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL THE BROTH!



  • @Shakespeare:

    “Whiners?”

    The whiners led to Alpha Beta and Gamma

    “Wah wah wah, I (supposedly) can’t win as the Axis.”

    Guess what whiners,  the Axis really did lose!  The OOB rules reflected this!!

    Chess is an abstract game recreating no known battle

    and yet it is imperfect and our whiners here would still whine about chess becz black

    is at a real disadvantage in chess. Every one knows white has an advantage!

    If Krieg and Harris had devised Chess and received that complaint they would have gutted chess:

    Black and white would have had different setups, they would have given black 4 rooks, devised penalties for white on the 1st turn

    and taken away from the rook the ability to kill pawns if the pawns were unaccompanied or some such nonesense.

    I can’t understand this willingness to gut the OOB game with ARBITRARY rule changes.

    Based not upon the designers vision, but upon a hodge podge of suggestions.

    YES IT IS TRUE: TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL THE BROTH!

    First of all, there is no gamma or even beta.

    Second of all, the game is not supposed to reflect history over being balanced.

    Third of all, the difference between white and black is so negligible that it is overwhelmed by either a difference in the experience of the players or by a blunder. Not so for OOB AA.

    Fourth of all, they are not arbitrary.

    Fifth of all, you are not forced to use any of these changes.

    Please don’t demean the constructive efforts of those who have worked to make the game better; they have done it for their own satisfaction and the satisfaction of others. Larry obliged because he realized that the game was unbalanced(it was not intentionally unbalanced as you imply). The suggestions made were sometimes bad but often good; those suggestions don’t carry less weight just because they didn’t come from the creator of the game.



  • @Shakespeare:

    They no longer have any credibility: subs can’t sink lone transports, what the heck is that all about?

    Shakespeare,

    Which rule are your talking about?
    A) AAE40>page 18>General Combat>Step 2. Submarine Surpise Strike ?
    B) AAE40>page 30>Submarines>parg 2>Doesn’t Block Enemy Movement?
    C) Something else?



  • I can only assume he’s talking about the pot shot, here subs fire pot shots at unescorted trannies that move from, into, or through the sea zone



  • I did not want to assume things, that is why I asked for clarity.



  • Well, that’s the only one that was ever removed.



  • Yes, yes, let your anger wash over you, let it take control….my young apprentice…Bwah ha ha ha…(say like the Emporer from Return of the Jedi)!



  • Calvin that question was asked to Shakespeare, not to you.

    I know you want to seem helpful but control yourself and let Shakespeare answer for himself.



  • I am kind of enjoying the “open-source” approach to product development A&A is becoming. We are getting to give our input into the FM pieces project and we are getting to give our input to the designs of A&A. In the end we will end up with the greatest board game ever made since it will be so refined. I hope the there is an alpha +3, +4, etc.

    If you like a particular version then you can play with those rules, but if we keep developing then the game will get better and better. I will probably always play with the latest rules set, but I will welcome changes.



  • @Shakespeare:

    The rule changes are absolutely ridiculous and call into question the “integrity” of the game and the game design itself!

    For every Axis and Allies game in the future NO RULES should be included in the game becz one rule set is just as good as any other rule set;

    as all these Alpha machinations have demonstrated.

    I have yet to hear about any formal apology issued by Harris or by Kreighund who devised this disaster of thier own making.

    The disaster is not the original rules, but thier response to it: PANIC!!

    Yes, it is a disaster becz who ever heard of changes in the rules which number in the hundreds. Literally hundreds.

    Krieghund you can’t deny that! Neither can Harris.

    I am appalled when I try to read the new rules and setups, if they issue a new rules set like Columbia Games;

    where the new rules are inserted in red font next to the old rules which remain in black, these new red Alpha, Beta Gamma setups

    would bleed the rule book red.

    I reject all these changes becz what they tell you is that any rules set is as good as any other.

    They no longer have any credibility: subs can’t sink lone transports, what the heck is that all about?

    Isn’t that the new rule? Or did I get that wrong becz I refuse to even consider that one. Becz it is so counter intuitive

    They rejected a minimalist approach to “correcting” the whiners’ complaints and we get this mess.

    Or at least it looks like most of you have bought this Alpha Beta Gamma correction scheme as valid.

    This is all just so absurd and disheartening.

    YEAH bleep board



  • @trackmagic:

    I am kind of enjoying the “open-source” approach to product development A&A is becoming. We are getting to give our input into the FM pieces project and we are getting to give our input to the designs of A&A. In the end we will end up with the greatest board game ever made since it will be so refined. I hope the there is an alpha +3, +4, etc.

    If you like a particular version then you can play with those rules, but if we keep developing then the game will get better and better. I will probably always play with the latest rules set, but I will welcome changes.

    I agree



  • @trackmagic:

    I am kind of enjoying the “open-source” approach to product development A&A is becoming. We are getting to give our input into the FM pieces project and we are getting to give our input to the designs of A&A. In the end we will end up with the greatest board game ever made since it will be so refined. I hope the there is an alpha +3, +4, etc.

    If you like a particular version then you can play with those rules, but if we keep developing then the game will get better and better. I will probably always play with the latest rules set, but I will welcome changes.

    like



  • trackmagic you have set it all



  • @Shakespeare:

    I have yet to hear about any formal apology issued by Harris or by Kreighund who devised this disaster of thier own making.

    Have you ever heard of a weather forecaster apologizing for messing up the forecast? Mistakes happen. To err is human. Larry has been making quality games for years. Once in a while things can go wrong. I play AA42 since I don’t have AAE40 yet to play AAG40. I have had AAP40 on the table 2 or 3 times and never got into the game because there is so much more to remember. All games have errata and I don’t mind that. I prefer the least amount of errata and right now AA42 has the least amount of the A&A games: 3 pages of Q&A with 2 rules clarifications. Kreighund did a great job with the rule book for AA42. I won’t go as far as saying that Larry or Kreighund need to apologize for anything. They are trying to make a bad situation into more of a “this is what should have been in the game in the first place” type of game. Also, Larry has said on his site that these Alpha +2 changes will be made in future reprints of the game. I will pick up AAE40 when I can afford it, but for right now AA42 with some additions from the house rules forum and the AA50 tech that I got from BGG has made for a very enjoyable game for me and those that I play against. I applaud Larry and Kreighund for all of the time and effort that they have done and it sounds to me like they are listening to the fans of the game and trying to incorporate the fans ideas.  Just my 2 cents.



  • This has been noted somewhere else on this forum but I can think of countless video games i have bought, played for about a month then have 6 or seven different patches to correct the game etc. These are downloaded for free. Making changes to the dynamics and rules of a board game is no different. It is a patch for the board game. It could even be classed as an expansion for a board game which you would normally pay for if it was a video game. Let the creators do their thing. Its their project they can do what they want. There will be a final version, just be patient.


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