Global is a true game of skill - the balancing factor

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    After many games of Global,  OOB, Alpha +, + 1, + 2.  I have come to one final conclusion about the whole mess.

    It’s a great game.  Best A&A has ever seen.  But the “balance of power” wholly relies on one factor.


    There is so much happening, so fast, and so many things going on, that even if you are only focusing on one player - if you don’t know EXACTLY where and how to move every piece and WHY, you are doomed.

    It’s next to impossible to pay attention to all of your allies and their moves - yet you must rely on them, and if they aren’t of the same level of compentance of you or your opponents - they WILL lose you the game.  And no one wants to play puppet master for thier alignment all game.

    Skill is the deciding factor handsdown, EVERYtime,  Bad dice remains a factor - but it is no longer the driving force of failure, because of all the pieces and income readily available on the board.  You can still win the war, whilst loosing many battles, simply from strategic expertise.  This is GOOD news for this game - and Axis and Allies as a whole community.

    That said, if you want to balance the game, make sure the veteran players are split evenly.  And I hate to say it, but they have to be allowed to coach in some way - or it perverts the game balance drastically.  Coaching ought not to be “controlling” however.  A player monitored system should be instituted per the house on this issue.

    Now the better player wins, not necessarily the better roller.

  • '10

    The more i play, the more i come to the same conclusion…although it is not “final” (as so few things really are “final” in life…).

    The skilled player will constantly adapt to the situation, and play accordingly. Even if he’s unlucky with the dices, he will still make the apropriate moves given the position.

    The “just average” player will generally “stick to the plan”, even if that plan has now became bad because of the outcome of certain battles, or because of an inexpected move from the opponent or because of subbtle factors that were not taken into account in the first place.

    The more the game is complex (size of map, duration of the game, new rules, AB and NB that affect movement etc…), the more the skill factor will be rewarded.

    I also agree, this is the best AA game i’ve ever played, even better than my so beloved Guadalcanal.

  • In our games there are different levels of skill,  some veterans some fairly new.  We have a house rule in place to prevent coaching,  but still allow help.  Our rule is teammates can talk all you want before their turn but once the turn is started you can’t help.  Therefore you can’t remind your teammate to move that one piece he might have forgotten.  This rule works well in allowing new players to get better without playing their turn for them.  It also allows for a communication breakdown between teammates.

  • For coaching i think that questions are the best way to do it w/o making your teammates pawns. This causes them to think for themselves and not only helps them not make stupid mistakes ("Is your capital defended?) but arrive at their own style of play.

  • Thats awesome you guys have  been able to play all the variations enough times to get a handle of the game, see what works best etc.(I take it youre using a board game not PBEM) Ive got a couple of mates im trying to teach this game too, but it takes a few weekends to finish games. I havent the luxery of being able to play against people who are actually into the game and know the rules back to front which would make the games a whole lot smoother. Playing against other “followers” of the game would help attain a true skill level of ones self . Playing against people  youve taught is pretty much playing yourself to a certain extent, until they decide to jump into the game and  remember the rules know the capabilities of every unit before they battle and make an effort.

  • '20 '18 '16 '13 '12

    I’ve got to agree with you G. One critical factor IMHO has swung the game towards the skill factor:

    The bigger the game, the more units/territories means more battles means MORE DICE.

    Which means the LAW OF LARGE NUMBERS.

    You roll enough dice and luck ceases to be a factor.

    It also doesn’t hurt that the game is magically complex and strategic with endless possibilities. This bodes well for the skilled player.

  • I agree. The games I’ve played against my opponent have been close, but we can always find the flaw in our strategy that lead to defeat – it never seems like it was just “the dice”, unless Germany rolls really bad in some of the critical early battles.

    We’re just getting started with our first alpha +2 game, but I feel like the changes improve the gameplay. They make a slower Axis strategy viable, whereas before I felt like I always had to blitz to win.

  • Neat idea about strategy talks only between rounds. My groyp is all over the place in experience. We usually play Revised as a team game because Global is a two day affair.  I will impliment this.

    Something we do is allow texting. Sometimes I even text the opposing team. Something like ‘shucks he left Okinawa empty’ is occasionally enough to goad them into making a bad move.

    With five players this is such a social game of convincing folks something is a threat when it isnt

  • AXIS & ALLIES was first released in 1984. Then in 1986 the 2nd edition came out with new rule variations/clarifications and it rocked for 20 years with no adjustments needed. From my perspective  this version (Alpha) game is not even a month old. When one thinks of the January 13 2011 as the last and hopefully final Alpha update….were all Rookies> compared to the original.

  • 2023 '22 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator

    Great posts, guys.  Thanks for starting the discussion, Gar.

    I have played a few games remotely of P40, G40, Alpha 1 and now starting Alpha2.  Probably haven’t played half as many games as Gargantua.  So I’m glad to hear the report that you’re convinced skill is a much bigger factor and luck is diminishing.

    I too agree that with more spaces and more types of units to choose from, and more powers, that surely success in this version will be due more to skill than luck compared to previous versions.

    I’m glad they toned down LRA to +1 finally.  +2 was always overpowered.  Of course, I’m also glad 3 hit heavies, 1 hit battleships, and 2 IPC men (4 IPC tanks) are ancient history.  Oh, and AA50 paras could be a little ridiculous, too…

    So yeah, liking the new game but only playing 1 at a time, waiting for the final word from Larry before diving in all the way…

  • Yeah, agreed here.  It’s the hardest climb for the Allies yet, with the Axis in the hands of a skilled player.  The Allies start the game out in trouble, and their early turns are difficult exploiting their economic advantage due to US neutrality issues and the Sealion threat.  It helps the Allies some once the US is in the war, but with all the new NOs and the new scrambling ability to protect the Italian fleet in the Med it can be anyone’s game by Turn 4.

    Prob the biggest swing are the extra NOs, up to half and maybe MORE of both ANZAC’s and Italy’s income can come from NOs.  Essentially free IPCs that aren’t being taken away from your opponent’s territory income, they can really be a force multiplier if the players use them right.  Germany and Italy between them can easily get +30 in NOs by Turn 3, and then they’re matching the US’s bonus income already.  Right now it even almost seems the Axis have the advantage since the US has to build extra navy and transports to get troops into both fronts and the Axis can capture the plentiful Allied AB’s to defend their own fleets (using their massive starting airforce).  Plus, they have the home-turf advantage of producing onto their front lines.

    I think some of the Axis starting units were buffed up way too much to try to balance the game between the European/Pacific theaters and the Taranto Raid in Alpha +.2, and the game doesn’t really work out all too well if the Axis players are cautious in preserving their superior starting units in the opening battles.  11 German planes vs. essentially the same starting Russian forces as the OOB setup and you’re got some overkill.  But perhaps I’m biased as I played Global from the box release.

    I guess this makes the Allied players more cautious with all the new rules and money in the game, and leads to a longer, more epic conclusion at the end.  Not a bad thing at all.

  • I think the biggest change in gameplay for alpha 2+ is the increase of options for the Axis player. I played a ton of OOB Global games, and the Axis start with such an economic disadvantage and so many guys that the only viable strategy I found was to blitz my opponent and take as much territory as fast as possible. The allied economic might inevitably grinds away any slower strategies.

    With the alpha +2 scenario, I’ve been able to take a slower approach with the Axis. Since the Allies are forced to defend both theaters, I can “bail out” Germany with Japanese offensives. The USA’s spread out NOs mean that a lot more of the map is in play. Basically, the options available to me as an Axis player are multiplied.

  • '20 '19 '18 '16 '15 '11 '10

    This is has been my experience so far as well. It seems the Axis has a lot more latitiude to try different approaches to skinning the Allied cat. Being able to has some effect on the US NOs as opposed to them just getting a ton of IPCs when they go to war is a big plus as well as the new victory conditionds. Now they can’t just get the gravy and pile it on in one theatre. They have fight for it.

  • I disagree with Mega.  I think the focus is correctly on having a fairly well-balanced game within the general historical framework.


    the main issues should not be about balancing the game but about making the game as historical as possible.

    by the way, i lose what?

    Bah.  Historically, the Axis pretty much dropped the ball already at the beginning of the game.  They could have captured the entire BEF at Dunkirk and made a Sealion attack a possibility through capturing Gibraltar via an invasion of Spain.  Some things I’d like to see as house rules for a historical version:

    Pro-Axis or Not-Really-Neutral-Special-Case Spain.

    The UK gets like 3x as many boats as it has already on the board at game start.

    Russian peace with European Axis can hold on indefinitely until the Germans capture London or Washington.

    The Russians can mass conscript like 5-10 INF a turn for free once at war with the Axis.

    Italy starts out neutral with the UK (maybe, depends on time frame of game start, it was definitely before the fall of Paris).

    US cannot enter the war without an unprovoked Axis attack.

    When the US does enter the war, it gets triple income plus NO bonuses.

    Yeah.  Not that any of these ideas are very fair, but it makes the game more historical.  I guess.

  • 2023 '22 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator

    Hehe - great posts, Sarge.  Good thoughts.

Suggested Topics

  • 26
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 7
  • 5
  • 20
  • 3
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys