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New AA players - problem with balance (rules?)



  • We play weekly, we’re all new AA players. We’ve played 6 games now. Thought we had the rules down solid for the last 2 games, but this last game just seems so strange and out of balance. I’ve read the entire rulebook since and have only encountered 1 rule I missed, regarding an AA rolling for each plane, and not just 1 roll.

    Russia had his turn, pretty standard infantry stockpiling. Germany’s turn comes around and they all out attack /amphibious assault London (House rule, we allow kamikaze’s) and conquer it. London loses all IPCs and it’s only factory, essentially out of the game. UK’s turn is pretty moot at this point, so we’ll move to Japan. Japan moves all ships within the area and attacks the US carrier / 1 fighter (we determined the plane starting on Hawaii couldn’t participate in defense). Completely out matched. So US starts with ally UK out, and only 1 battleship / 1 transport in the pacific. US managed to liberate London that turn via amphibious assault but Germany easily takes it again before UK’s next turn and places a rather large defense to prevent another easy liberation for me. The game ended in just 4 turns.

    I’ve seen no other strategies mention such an attack on london the first turn, and it just seemed too easy for axis. Something must be amiss.



  • germany can not use kamikaze’s… and im 99 percent positive they never used that tactic historically either.  don’t remember there being any rules for kamikaze’s in the book, but the advantages (house rules) only stated that option for japan.



  • You think removing kamikaze would have made it impossible?



  • definitely yes.



  • actually there’s a lot amiss with that.  even with german kamikazes, taking UK isn’t a sure thing, only ~70% odds.  and if they do take it, they’d only have at best 1 tank to defend.  america could then easily take that back with at least 2 tanks 1 inf.  by then germany will have lost all their planes on the kamikaze attack, so they can only come back with either 4 planes or a bunch of transports.  ON TOP OF WHICH UK can take out the german transport with the battleship.  if they spent money either way, then russia should be able to put a serious hurting on germany very soon, because it would mean no defense.  if russia is putting 24 IPC’s against germany and germany is putting 0 IPCs against russia, russia will win and soon.

    basically, even with kamikaze’s germany would be crazy to try it on G1 because it will deplete all its resources and they’ll never hold it.



  • If I remember correctly, US did liberate London on it’s R1 turn. UK lost it’s battleship trying to weaken the force for the US to hit, Germany starts off with a cruiser and two subs right there, but they were on the other side of the map so I believe they avoided being hit by US R1, also they’d built some naval vessel in their R1 as well.

    They immediately took London back R2, and built all land defenses to hold off russia this time since they were earning like 50 IPC now. Also, their med battleship that starts off italy had fought it’s way into the open Atlantic by then. R2, Germany had too big of a fleet built up now with 4 naval vessels to fight off the naval vessels US had moved from Pacific into the Atlantic theatre by now. US bought 2 battleships. Start of the next turn, Germany all out attacks Leningrad or whatever the northern victory city in Russia is. It’s overly defended and the amount of space between Russia’s forces makes it impossible to hit European victory cities this turn, but Russia does make a big move into Europe at the lack of Germany’s defense.

    Japan had been maneuvering for Calcutta for awhile with naval vessels, as the japanese took out US’s carrier off hawaii R1 (before US even had a turn, kind of unbalanced in my opinion that 3 japanese vessels are in range of 1 carrier, 1 fighter.), and the other US ships had to tend to the atlantic problem so Calcutta just got rocked. Boom, Axis has 9 victory cities (the amount needed to win) in R3. US does all it can to take back London one final time and fails. Victory conditions are met, Axis wins in R3.

    Oh! Also, that UK tank that starts in Canada would have been nice, but that transport is lost before UK even has a turn by a german uboat. Which is also conveniently in range. It seems like there’s too many units placed on the board that can be easily removed by Axis before Allies have the opportunity to do anything.



  • @mbennett2603:

    House rule, we allow kamikaze’s . . .
    I’ve seen no other strategies mention (G1 attack on London) the first turn, and it just seemed too easy for axis. Something must be amiss.

    It’s hard to take you seriously when you write stuff like that.  I’m going to announce my suspicion that you’re a troll.  A well spoken and knowledgeable troll, perhaps.  But a troll nonetheless.

    On the off chance that you are honestly confused -

    That house rule you’re using is so ridiculously and obviously different, you MUST realize when you’re in a forum of people NOT using that house rule, of COURSE they are not going to use strats that rely on that house rule mechanic.

    Your G1 attack without kamikaze fighters is 1 bomber 2 fighters 1 infantry 1 tank vs 3 infantry 1 artillery 1 tank 1 bomber 2 fighters 1 AA gun.  You have almost no chance in h*** of success.

    Your G1 attack with kamikaze fighters is 1 bomber 5-6 fighters 1 infantry 1 tank.  That’s a gigantic difference.  There’s an AA gun, but the German attack is also high dice attackers at 3, while most UK defenders are low at 2.

    The lesson?  If you want to play house rules, don’t think it’s strange and surprising that strategies that require your house rule to be viable are not widely discussed.  Honestly.  It’s like asking why your muffins don’t taste good when you use sawdust instead of flour.

    Revised vets already know a bunch of responses and pre-emptive preventative measures against a G1 London attack.

    1.  Russia fighter(s) to London.
    2.  Russia hitting Ukraine or Norway to kill a fighter.
    3.  Russia using air force to sink Baltic fleet.  (This was a really crappy idea in Revised, but viable under current A&A rules.)
    4.  UK E Can retake.  I notice you said something about E Can transport being whacked.  Under Spring 1942 rules, you can pick up the East Canada tank with your transport as if the German sub was not there, then do a tank / support shot attack against London.
    5.  US retake.
    6.  If Germany does capture UK, it’s not great for the Allies, but it’s hardly the end.  Germany will had to have dropped a lot of attacks to be able to take London, and will be crippled to trade vs Russia on G2.

    Germany can do a G1 transport build to recapture London, but if it does, UK can hold off on retaking London (to avoid getting income), then US1 recapture, then G2 recapture, then US2 recapture with US1 fleet/ground build.  US and Germany can slug it out while Russia gets super fat.  It is really not a strategy Germany should be able to pursue for very long, unless Germany went 5 transports or something like that.  But if you’re allowing kamikaze fighters in the first place, a G1 build of 5 transports should be whacked out by Russian fighters anyways - assuming that Russia didn’t take any preventative measures in the first place.

    BTW, I am myself a troll-ish sort of writer.  :lol:



  • @Bunnies:

    @mbennett2603:

    House rule, we allow kamikaze’s . . .
    I’ve seen no other strategies mention (G1 attack on London) the first turn, and it just seemed too easy for axis. Something must be amiss.

    It’s hard to take you seriously when you write stuff like that.  I’m going to announce my suspicion that you’re a troll.  A well spoken and knowledgeable troll, perhaps.  But a troll nonetheless.

    On the off chance that you are honestly confused -

    That house rule you’re using is so ridiculously and obviously different, you MUST realize when you’re in a forum of people NOT using that house rule, of COURSE they are not going to use strats that rely on that house rule mechanic.

    Your G1 attack without kamikaze fighters is 1 bomber 2 fighters 1 infantry 1 tank vs 3 infantry 1 artillery 1 tank 1 bomber 2 fighters 1 AA gun.  You have almost no chance in h*** of success.

    Your G1 attack with kamikaze fighters is 1 bomber 5-6 fighters 1 infantry 1 tank.  That’s a gigantic difference.  There’s an AA gun, but the German attack is also high dice attackers at 3, while most UK defenders are low at 2.

    The lesson?  If you want to play house rules, don’t think it’s strange and surprising that strategies that require your house rule to be viable are not widely discussed.  Honestly.  It’s like asking why your muffins don’t taste good when you use sawdust instead of flour.

    Revised vets already know a bunch of responses and pre-emptive preventative measures against a G1 London attack.

    1.  Russia fighter(s) to London.
    2.  Russia hitting Ukraine or Norway to kill a fighter.
    3.  Russia using air force to sink Baltic fleet.  (This was a really crappy idea in Revised, but viable under current A&A rules.)
    4.  UK E Can retake.  I notice you said something about E Can transport being whacked.  Under Spring 1942 rules, you can pick up the East Canada tank with your transport as if the German sub was not there, then do a tank / support shot attack against London.
    5.  US retake.
    6.  If Germany does capture UK, it’s not great for the Allies, but it’s hardly the end.  Germany will had to have dropped a lot of attacks to be able to take London, and will be crippled to trade vs Russia on G2.

    Germany can do a G1 transport build to recapture London, but if it does, UK can hold off on retaking London (to avoid getting income), then US1 recapture, then G2 recapture, then US2 recapture with US1 fleet/ground build.  US and Germany can slug it out while Russia gets super fat.  It is really not a strategy Germany should be able to pursue for very long, unless Germany went 5 transports or something like that.  But if you’re allowing kamikaze fighters in the first place, a G1 build of 5 transports should be whacked out by Russian fighters anyways - assuming that Russia didn’t take any preventative measures in the first place.

    BTW, I am myself a troll-ish sort of writer.   :lol:

    Not a troll, just new to board games of this complexity and our group just sort of jumped in. Generally reading the rulebook as we go. The first game actually, arguments broke out about a units defense being hit points! HAHA!

    Having no prior A&A experience, we assumed kamikazi’s were legal. It’s only been after that game that I learned otherwise. Also, we were giving anti-aircraft only 1 roll, not 1 roll per plane… which also was a huge balance issue. We’ve also been doing bombardment incorrectly, allowing them to continue participation in land assaults, not just opening fire.



  • The rulebook for Spring 1942 is pretty awfully written.  Some veterans have even discussed putting together a new rulebook that’s better written, so new players can understand the rules better.

    I would participate, but for some reason my idea that there need to be pictures of strippers from each of the five powers on at least every other page hasn’t gone over very well.  :roll:



  • It’s an attractive game board though. I’ve seen some of the original AA boards and they were hideous. I think it serves the purpose of getting people into the series well. We’ve added D-Day to the game list. The games get very heated and the players are very competitive, this last game was sort of a buzz kill because it was over in only 3 rounds and seemed too easy, I was convinced we must have been doing a lot of things wrong, and I think I’ve realized all of those things now. 😃


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