How is the balance with the new Alpha 2 changes? Please give your view.

  • Official Q&A

    Proposing rules changes in this thread is counter-productive.  We need to limit this discussion to the balance of the game as it currently stands.  Thanks.


  • Tally one for the Axis this week end.  Operation Barbarossa was a success. Germany took all of France on G1.  Japan hit China and Russia on J1.  G2 was a clean up and reorganize along with some convoy raiding. US1 was a dump in the Atlantic. J2 was Pearl Harbor with the occupation of Hawaii,  then off to ANZAC with the smaller of the 2 Jap fleets pushing on Kwangtung and the Islands.  I had 2 good goal line stands as Russia,  but it wasnt enough.  The players on the board are experienced and they are open to suggestions,but they dont like to be told what to do,  so what can you do,  point out the mistakes after the fact….yea. the Axis had some real hot rolls.    DONT CHANGE THE GAME…(make a new one)


  • How does Japan go after Russia and keep enough of a fleet to fend off a US Pacific build? You also don’t mention what the UK did in the game. The Axis can win, but, I think it relies more on Allied mistakes.

    My last game, I built mostly Atlantic for the first three rounds of the game, giving only a few DD’s to the Pacific, and once Japan got strong enough to worry about, I switched to an all Pacific build and put Japan in an untenable position by turn 8 or 9. Japan is simply pulled in too many directions. If you try and operate in the south, you’ll get cut off in the North and your naval builds will dry up. If you operate in the north you’ll lose the DEI’s, and if you split up your navy you’ll delay the hammer fall for a few rounds, but, it will likely come at the expense of any land campaign you have going on, because you’ll need your air power to guard Japan and threaten a counter attack on the US fleet.


  • @Krieghund:

    Proposing rules changes in this thread is counter-productive.  We need to limit this discussion to the balance of the game as it currently stands.  Thanks.

    That’s easy- NOT balanced- Allied advantage- now let the propsed rule changes continue…

  • Official Q&A

    @Cmdr:

    Keep in mind, if Germany goes Barbarrossa over Sea Lion it’s abilities to stop the British fleet drop to near zero and it’s abilities to maintain its own fleet likewise drop to zero.

    @Cmdr:

    And if Germany decides NOT to go 100% against Russia, then what’s the point?  You don’t have the strength to do both which means you won’t accomplish either.  All that changes, really, is the rate in which Russia retreats in front of you, laughing at your tanks as you get stuck in the mud and run out of fuel.

    I disagree.  I have taken down Russia without a 100% commitment from Germany.  Germany can spare enough resources to keep UK contained for a few rounds without sacrificing its efforts on the eastern front.


  • @Krieghund:

    @Cmdr:

    Keep in mind, if Germany goes Barbarrossa over Sea Lion it’s abilities to stop the British fleet drop to near zero and it’s abilities to maintain its own fleet likewise drop to zero.

    @Cmdr:

    And if Germany decides NOT to go 100% against Russia, then what’s the point?  You don’t have the strength to do both which means you won’t accomplish either.  All that changes, really, is the rate in which Russia retreats in front of you, laughing at your tanks as you get stuck in the mud and run out of fuel.

    I disagree.  I have taken down Russia without a 100% commitment from Germany.  Germany can spare enough resources to keep UK contained for a few rounds without sacrificing its efforts on the eastern front.

    Not if they build from Canada from the get go and vacate the Med.  Also if you keep UK alive they CAN help Russia defend in multiple ways.


  • Seriously though, I can tell from my limited experience that there are lots of options for all powers, definitive statements aren’t going to work on this larger board with more spaces.  That being said, I have found a slight balance edge towards the Allies, but then the Axis have initiative.  So it is still too early to tell if this slight advantage means the allies will win more.


  • If you have two evenly skilled players, how much of an edge do you need to win? A slight one or a huge one?


  • ugh, got my joke censored by IL:(

    I think the edge is slightly in the allies favor, I would think the dice and possibly an unforseen/unplanned offensive could tip the scales in the axis favor.  Because they have the initiative they do have options, you don’t /have/ to attack UK if you plan on hitting Russia G3 right?

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Geist:

    All things being equal (players, standard set up as detailed in Alpha 2, dice that come out with median or mean results in each and every battle, etc) all one would need to balance the game is to move 16 IPC worth of American builds (per round) from the Pacific into the Atlantic and the game would be balanced.  In every game in which America ends up with +128 IPC worth of units in the Atlantic side of the game map (16 IPC per round, 8 rounds) the game has come down to skill and dice, as far as I have seen and experienced.  Why the resistance to splitting the American build, which would be the easiest method and least impactful on the game, I do not know.  I suspect those who resist this change are the same ones who conceed defeat the instant their opponent takes their Queen in chess.

    Krieg:

    Germany neither has the time, nor the resources, to successfully handle both Russia and England.  If England is not under pressure, they can easily hold Southern and Central Africa, the Middle East and the North Atlantic while Russia turtles.

    I suspect, what you have seen, is a Russia that is trying to win the game.  This is a common mistake by players of all levels of expertese, I believe.  In this game, given the shear distances, Russia should not play to win the game, they should, instead, focus on not losing the game.  This is a very significant change in mental and physical strategy on the board.  Mentally one has to leave the notion that you are “losing” ground just because you are pulling back and replace it with “Germany is getting extended, as they get extended their lines weaken through attrition, they slow down or they must purchse more expensive units.  Further, they now have trains of say 30 IPC worth of Infantry spread over 5 territories, instead of 150 IPC worth of infantry in one territory, letting me hit them with overwhelming force at the time and place of my choosing.  Lastly, they now have half their army scattered all over Western Asia and Eastern Europe, with very little defending Western and Southern Europe, making it easier for England to set up an invasion.”

    Second, if Sea Lion is not conducted, taking England gets exponentially harder each round.  Further, once England is unconquerable (given board position and barring weird dice) which should be about round 4, Germany’s fleet must retreat else be lost.  Even if it does retreat, England can readily drop fighters into Russia to make it that much harder to “win” an invasion there, as well as the more traditional route of dumping infantry and artillery into Arkhangelsk to reinforce Muskva or Novgorod.  As Germany’s fleet is now safely contained, there is no risk of Sea Lion, and therefore, there is no risk to England and thus, England no longer needs to be protected.  Thusly, all those units England needed to dissuade Sea Lion become “free” units allowing England to focus on nothing but fleet and air power to maintain supremecy.

    In regards to Africa, with a complex in C. Persia (if needed) and the Complex in S. Africa, containment of the Italians should not be that great a task.  I can readily see Italy earning 5 IPC for Egypt/Greece/S. France + 5 IPC No Surface Ships + about 18 or 19 IPC a round, this is hardly “over powering” nor is it a “death knell” for Russia.  The ludicrous statements of a 60 IPC or more Italian payroll seem implausible at best, a gross suspension of disbelief at worst.  Are you blithely ignoring Italy all this time?  Sure, if you just outright ignore them, and you maximize every possible territory for Italy to get you might get up to 60 IPC, but that would not be an equitable matchup of players.  Italy should, and probably always will be, limited to around the 20 IPC income level, Germany stuck at the 50 IPC level (Russian invasion, no British invasion) with England at the 30 IPC level, England Mark 2 at the 30 IPC level and Russia at the 30 IPC level this should not be a very hard challenge.  You have a defensive force of approximately 90 IPC against an attacking force of roughly 70 IPC giving the Allies at least 10 IPC worth of land (at 1 IPC per in Russia, that’s 10 territories) to give up before the playing field is leveled, meanwhile, it will take a very long time to get all those units over to Russia. (1 round for England to get to Arkhangelsk, 4 rounds for Germany to get to Arkhangelsk.  England can get there 4 times faster, Russia starts there so they’re infintely faster.)


    Here’s an idea, what if:

    1. The Continental United States National Objective (Currently worth 10 IPC) was reduced to 5 IPC.
    2. The American National Objective for Mexico was removed entirely.
    3. America is given a new National Objective, worth 10 IPC, for London being under the control of England?

    This would signify America’s desperate need to save England which was a significant influence on America’s desire to get in the war, and why they gave away all that war material to England for all those years, would intensify America’s need to invest in the Atlantic AND rebalance the game with a historical context many would feel needs to be there for any change to be justified, in their minds.

    Not to mention, it really drives home the point that America needs to be present on both sides of the board!


  • I wouldn’t mind seeing the 10 point US NO reduced to 5 and an additional 5 point Europe based NO in the game.


  • On a second look, yes Jen I am in favor of #1, #2 and #3

    Yes that will work- clever- your not eliminating and IPCs from US only shifting it to the Atlantic- very nice- yes I think that would work nicely.  Now the US has 10IPCs to gain in the Atlantic and 5IPC to gain with either board (Continental NO) and 15 IPCs to gain in Pacific (2 island NOs and Philippines)- seems very fair to me.

    Excellent writing!!!


  • I don’t really care for the 10 point London NO. I don’t think it would have the desired effect of committing the US to the Atlantic, London can turtle in fairly effectively without help from the US, so now it’s just a guarenteed 10 IPC for the US and as long as London play conservatively the first few rounds and protects it’s capital USA get’s a guarenteed 10 IPC. I’d like to see the NO encourage action and attempts to actively contest territory rather than reward inaction.


  • @Geist:

    I don’t really care for the 10 point London NO. I don’t think it would have the desired effect of committing the US to the Atlantic, London can turtle in fairly effectively without help from the US, so now it’s just a guarenteed 10 IPC for the US and as long as London play conservatively the first few rounds and protects it’s capital USA get’s a guarenteed 10 IPC. I’d like to see the NO encourage action and attempts to actively contest territory rather than reward inaction.

    How???  Sealion is nearly guaranteed every game- if Germany wants it- they can take it G3 or G4 barring really bad dice.  UK turtle is not enough.  Show me the punch counts- prove it.


  • Jen makes a compelling and convincing case. The imbalance is clear. This thread should shift to solutions.

    Germany was researching nukes and relatively close to resolution. Perhaps a given turn allows Germany a one time spectacular effect on one territory.


  • If you retreat the RAF from the Med, along with 9 Infantry in your turn one build, then 10 infantry (you usually can make a beter turn 2 defensive build) with your turn 2 build you’re looking at 23 Infantry, 6 Fighters and one Tac Bomber for defense (french forces included) that does not include any transports that survive to bring over additional Canadian troops. The transports will die, but, the objective is for the UK to survive. Let’s assume the Germans build 12 transports between turns they will be able to get a Max of 26 land units and 11 air (this assumes a best case scenario for Germany, no air units lost turn one and an aircraft carrier and two transports bought turn one, 10 transports on turn 2) so yes, in this best case scenario Germany brings 13 Infantry, 8 Artillery, 5 Tanks, 5 Fighters, 5 Tac bombers, and 1 Bomber vs 23 Infantry, 6 Fighters and one Tac Bomber for defense at this point you have good odds (roughly 99%). But what if a transport survives the G1 attack and brings over an infantry and a tank from Canada, now your odds drop to 92%, still good but you get mauled on the ground.

    If you go with a standard G1 build of 1 CV, 1 DD, 1 Sub you now have 4 less ground troops and your odds (not assuming the two additional Canadian troops land in the UK) your odds drop down to 88% (72% if Canadian reinforcements come) with high ground losses and on a bad die roll you’re losing air units to keep a tank alive to claim the capital. None of these scenarios take into account the possibility of German air unit losses or the possibilty that the UK will park the Med fleet in SZ 110 to buy an extra round of building up.

    With the 10 point London NO, you’ll do one of two things, you’ll encourage the UK to turtle above all else or if I’m missing something here and it truly is a cake walk to take the UK, then you’ll make that the new standard opening for Germany because the Allies get hit twice, once for losing a capital and a 10 point hit to the US economy.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Geist:

    The problem I have with your objection is that England already does what you say and is still lost to Germany by round 4 (vs round 3 if they harras the Italians instead.)

    The other problem I have with your objection is that the 10 IPC NO is already automatic for America since it’s virtually impossible for Japan or Germany to get E. USA, C. USA or W. USA anyway.

    The idea is, if we move that objective to London, then America will lose that NO unless the dice go crazy, or they go liberate it.  However, it is logical that the Continental United States should be worth something (I would actually lump Alaska in here, but they were not officially a state yet, so I’ll let that one drop) so giving that 5 IPC is okay with me.  However, a Mexican NO? Sounds like they were hunting and searching for anything so as to give America more money, presumably because they thought America would need the cash for both hemispheres, but I cannot read minds and I was not privvy to the discussion at the time of creation.  I suggest removing this NO entirely and moving it, along with half of the continental NO, to England.

    American intelligence networks knew, quite well, that if England fell, breaching Europe and defeating Hitler was going to be almost impossible.  They realized how evil “Unkle Adolf” was and had first hand accounts of concentration camps from escaped survivors (whether or not they believed them is a moot point, they had the reports, you can get copies from the government under the Freedom of Information Act.)  Thus, America knew it had to save England, if only to have a stepping stone into France to win the war.  That is not the case in this game.

    Further, do not the justifications for these National Objectives all call upon the history of the political and military situation at the time?  Mexico was hardly militaristic nor strategically nor even politically significant to World War II (I apologize to any Mexicans who are reading this, no insult is intended, but they were hardly under any threat historically speaking, nor were they a threat.)  Meanwhile, as detailed above, the fall of London would have been a crushing defeat to the Allied aspirations of victory, yet there is no national objective for America to stop London from falling.  There is one for Germany to take it, primarily because the fall of London would have assured them success, in the real war, or very close too it.


    Granted, to judge the viability of the change, we would need test data.

  • Official Q&A

    @Cmdr:

    Why the resistance to splitting the American build, which would be the easiest method and least impactful on the game, I do not know.  I suspect those who resist this change are the same ones who conceed defeat the instant their opponent takes their Queen in chess.

    The reason for the resistance to this idea is that it simply will not work, for reasons that have been adequately explained before.

    @Cmdr:

    I suspect, what you have seen, is a Russia that is trying to win the game.  This is a common mistake by players of all levels of expertese, I believe.

    Are you kidding me?

    This discussion is going in circles.  What I’d like to see from this thread is more reports of results from people trying this Allied strategy.  That’s what would be really useful at this point.


  • @Krieghund:

    @Cmdr:

    Keep in mind, if Germany goes Barbarrossa over Sea Lion it’s abilities to stop the British fleet drop to near zero and it’s abilities to maintain its own fleet likewise drop to zero.

    @Cmdr:

    And if Germany decides NOT to go 100% against Russia, then what’s the point?  You don’t have the strength to do both which means you won’t accomplish either.  All that changes, really, is the rate in which Russia retreats in front of you, laughing at your tanks as you get stuck in the mud and run out of fuel.

    I disagree.  I have taken down Russia without a 100% commitment from Germany.  Germany can spare enough resources to keep UK contained for a few rounds without sacrificing its efforts on the eastern front.

    I think the game is pretty darn balanced from my experience.

    I have also taken Moscow without a 100% commitment from Germany.  I have also lost Moscow to an opponent who did not give a 100% German commitment.  Russia just does not have the starting units or economy to go toe to toe with Germany alone.  If I am attacking Russia as Germany I build Artillery first to go with my huge starting Infantry force.  Then as the march goes in I reinforce by spamming tanks with Germany’s large economy at that point and then as the fall of Moscow becomes imminent I seal the deal with some bomber purchases that can also be brought back to help keep the other Allies in check.

    I have found that if the US goes in the Pacific first with all it’s resources it might be able to maim Japan first but the situation in Europe will just get out of hand if the Axis players on that side of the board have done their job.


  • Well I agree with Geist that a london NO for US is a mistake, but that’s because in my axis games I have yet to capture UK, although I have won one and lost one.  I agree this discussion is going in circles, at first it was a discussion that US was too strong, now it has switched to a way to make Germ go after UK more.

    Best fix for the US is to put a NO in North Africa.  This gets their attention at least and might at a minimum keep US involved in Atlantic to hold Africa.

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