Changes still needed to the game, IMHO

  • Officially I am against the American split idea.  However, I am in favor of beefing an NO #4 by 5-10IPcs by adding Shanghai, Manila or Hong Kong or some combination of them.

  • Good points overall, but IMHO I think Alpha +.2 1940 is probably the most balanced AA game we’ve seen so far.  The earlier versions of AA were so heavily slanted towards the Allies that it took a miracle, at least even odds most battles, and several builds of infantry push to get an Axis victory.  Even the recent AA50 Anniversary edition had the game set up where the Allies could completely ignore one the of the main theaters (usually the Pacific) and crush the Axis (usually in Europe) before they could even get started, then turn right back around to the other front on a dime.

    Now, with a larger Global map, more NOs, more IPCs, and generally more territories and SZs in the first place, the game finally has some epic feel to it. Repositioning forces actually matters and such things like working with what you’ve got in a specific theater takes precedence.  If the Allies try to concentrate on one theater exclusively the other sides can really contend with the major powers in the others:  i.e., Japan can get into the 70s-80s if left alone and can actively match US buys (even with the US’s NOs), and Germany and Italy can both get into the 70s and 40s, respectively, if ignored on their side of the board (easily matching the Allied powers’ strength entirely).  The addition of the “No ignoring one theater now” rule in Global 40 also adds some much needed realism in that the Allies NEED to focus on both theaters at the same time to contain the Axis at first and then gradually push them back.

    If you’re complaining about the US just being too large and powerful in AAG40, I believe that was part of the game design, the US’s war NOs are the time bomb ticking behind the entire economic system that tip the balance over to the Allies as soon as the US enters the war.  If the Axis aren’t making enough money to effectively keep their forces competitive (or are playing too conservatively or not taking advantage of early IPC gains cough DEI), their initial starting unit advantage gradually whittles away until they are permanently on the defensive (and losing the war).  The US’s war NOs are also probably there so the game doesn’t take 20 rounds to play like it used to and can come to an earlier conclusion.

  • I think most people think the game is balanced Jennifer.  Adding 3-4 infantry (not 5-6) would make things a little easier for Japan in Asia without it making it too easy for Japan like it was OOB.  And an 18 bid is not what you had suggested, read your posts, you had suggested a bid for each Axis country totalling around 40 some IPC.  And there are not two camps, everything is not black and white.  Some people may find the Axis are at a slight (but not unplayable) disadvantage, some people may find the Allies at that slight disadvantage, some find it very balanced.  And in reality, doesn’t it all depend on who you play with, how their playing styles are, and how the dice land for you?

    “If you’re complaining about the US just being too large and powerful in AAG40, I believe that was part of the game design, the US’s war NOs are the time bomb ticking behind the entire economic system that tip the balance over to the Allies as soon as the US enters the war.”

    Great point Blitz, this really gets to the crux of the matter.  From a design standpoint America has to be the way it is, it is both historical and a game mechanism for controlling length and forcing the Axis to be aggressive early (historical as well).  I’m not saying the game should end up Allies winning every time because that is how it happened, but Axis and Allies is a WW2 game and it strives to create the atmosphere of that conflict.  Hence the Axis start with the units and positioning to attack but the Allies have the economic might to conquer them if they do not act accordingly.  As the game stands it is not impossible for the Axis to win, it is actually pretty well balanced.  There should be no major changes (bids over 12) or rule corrections.

  • I feel nothing should be changed at all, frankly.  Japan is overmatched by the US, to be sure, but to about the same degree that Russia/ UK are by Germany/ Italy.  That’s the part of your argument that doesn’t jive with my experience of the game.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator


    Officially I am against the American split idea.  However, I am in favor of beefing an NO #4 by 5-10IPcs by adding Shanghai, Manila or Hong Kong or some combination of them.

    I could see that as well, as NO $4 generally comes into play only when FIC NO is lost, so it would be a quasi-replacement.

    Dadler, I honestly and truely think adding infantry to the game for Japan is a much more significant impact than having America build a couple of units on the other side of the board.  Seriously, you’re delaying the Americans by maybe half a round.


    Actually, 1940 has bids for the Allies, AAR, AARe and Classic were all made balanced by bids or were balanced to begin with.  Something major happened on this game, the designers lost their minds, first the Axis were way too powerful, now the allies are significantly (fine, America is significantly) too powerful.  They seem to be shooting for a middle ground and only hitting their own feet, or so it seems.  To be perfectly honest.  I feel this is the most unbalanced game in the history of the franchise, however, each incarnation of Alpha seems to be getting closer to the mark, if they do over compensate and reverse the bias each time.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator


    I feel nothing should be changed at all, frankly.  Japan is overmatched by the US, to be sure, but to about the same degree that Russia/ UK are by Germany/ Italy.  That’s the part of your argument that doesn’t jive with my experience of the game.

    Germany and Italy cannot beat Russia before America has both beaten Japan AND moved enough equipment to Russia to assist in repelling the Germans.  Not if the Russians play a conservative game, yeilding land as needed to stall the Germans as best possible.

  • With germ usually making in the upper 50s/low 60s, and russia usually making in the low 30s/upper 20s, I fail to see how russia easily put produces germ.  If russia dedicates forces to scandinavia like u said, then there should be no problem taking the south.  In all my games as russ, germany attacks be with a huge amount of units that will require everything i have to prvent me from beign destroyed, and he usually has a large garrison in finland, so scandinavia is unrealistic.

    With the UK fleet in shambles after G1, and the new scramble rules, the UK could not afford to commit its few fighters/remaining ships against the german navy on UK1, then germ can just hide in 113 where its generally safe from most threats.

    Since attacking the italian fleet UK1 is generally suicide (especially when germany lands its planes in Sita), the italian fleet shoudl easily be able to block the UK fleet and/or sink the french navy.  Thus allowing it to steal greece and cairo with maximum forces.  The games ive played, italy usually manages to hold egypt for 3-4 turns.
    If the US goes all pacific, italy can stall the UKs ability to reinforce the med (especially if germ is going sealion).  South africa usually takes a few turns to reach egypt, and an IC in persia usually weakens britains home defense.  If italy wants to, he can definately get Iraq and its NO by I2 (maybe not hold it for long, but the money helps alot).

    For most of my games, I see that by the time Japan and the US are at war, Japan has taken at least 90% of china or simply killed the chinese resistance by using air, gaining most of DEI and maylay, and locking india down to about 6 ipcs a turn.  Anzac usually sits at 15.  If Japan prepares liek it shoudl for a J2 or J3 attack on the DEI, he should have and income in the upper 50s, and maybe in the 60s.  Enougfh to stall the us/anzac while china is finished and india is starved to death in attrition.  I dont see hopw US can severely threaten Sz6 if japan destroyer blocks like it should.  In my more recent games, Japan held tthe US back till round 9 before the US could score a siginificant victory and Japan’s incoem was aboutn 60.

    Even with russia getting about 39 ipcs a turn on average, germany was still able to keep russia from bursting out, even with some unlucky aa roles against germ.

  • I’m talking about when germ and rus are at war, and with a sealion, i also don’t see how germ will permanantly lose scan unless sealion failed.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Uh, are you looking at Axis and Allies 1940: Global or some other game???

    Russia starts at 37 IPC and will easily get the NO from SZ 125 so that’s 42 IPC right there. Assuming you give up the two lands worth something you’re still making 40 IPC.  And that’s assuming you just stay in your own land, you have plenty of forces to move out of your land and go for Iraq or C. Persia on top of it all, and with Scandinavia you’re up to 49 IPC right there.

    Germany, in contrast is only earning 36 IPC (6 for Normandy/France + European territories) and has no national objectives.

    So yes, I believe Russia is more than adequate at keeping Germany at bay.

    Sea Lion isn’t a sure thing, there are numerous demonstrations on how to block it with England, so I will not assume it happens.  So perhaps you are dumping units into Scandinavia, that just means my NO territories are lightly defended for Russia and you’ll have incursions going through Romania.  Losing proposition to say the least.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Oh, and don’t forget you get +3 for each of Norway, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Holland, W. Germany, S. Germany and Holland (10 for E. Germany).  Those quickly add up as well.

  • I know I am late to this argument but I was reading posts a few weeks ago about how England had no chance to stop sealion. Now we are arguing that the Axis have no chance at victory.? Wow the tables have turned. I would argue that if USA goes full bore at Japan and does little against Europe partners. Russia would be annihlated. I have only played this new one a few times and have been Germany twice and won both times because the USA didn’t come at me hard enough. Like I said I am not saying anyone is wrong or picking a fight because most of you have played this more than I have. I personally feel the game is pretty balanced.With that being said if the game can be improved I think Larry will fix it. Have fun everybody. Cheers

  • Jenn,

    Not that AAG40 actually IS balanced or anything, but I think Japan is fine where it stands at game start.  They are not in position, unit-wise or IPC-wise, at the start of the game to go after the US directly in Global, but by the third turn they should very much be a contender in the Pacific.  My real issues with the game are on the European side of the board.

    I would actually advocate that the next alpha should tone DOWN both Germany’s and the UK’s starting forces, as their airforces/navies are WAY overpowered compared to the rest of the board.  Both sides have been buffed to the point of insanity over the Sealion/Taranto options and there are many overpowering situations that can occur later on with such a disparity of starting units if their owners are careful to keep them alive.  For example, the UK can manage to keep ALL of its starting airforce alive to land on England to protect against Sealion.  However, Germany actually gains the edge in the Alpha +.2 version in that they usually manage to kill most of UK’s fleet with very few air casaulties on G1, plus they start with more fodder than they used to in the East.

    So, Russia is a prime example of this disparity; the Russians usually are permanently on the defensive for the first 5-6 rounds of the game, if not completely on the defensive until Moscow falls.  The Germans’ starting forces have been buffed, and buffed, AND BUFFED, to hell and gone over Sealion complaints since the launch of AAG40, while Russia has remained with basically the same units as OOB.  Usually an early G2 Barbarossa can keep the Russians on the defensive until they fall, as the Germans’ ten planes and blitzing units make it difficult, if not impossible, for the Russians to hold the line until their ART/ARM buys can come into the fray.  The Russians’ crappy starting units are supposed to signify Stalin’s military purges and the “historical accuracy” of the game, but since the Russian player can also retreat at will from the game’s start, I would assume the Russians in this timeline could also afford to keep some of their bourgeois military units around.  As it is, there’s hardly any “surprise” or anything to Barbarossa in AAG40 as Russia has no chance in hell of holding the border if the Germans are serious about the initial attack.  Russia really needs some kind of a buff.

    I believe Larry was attempting to address this issue awhile back by reintroducing 3/2/2 armor into the game, so that Germany wouldn’t be quite so overpowering in Russia, but most people didn’t like that idea, as armor units were already increased to 6 IPCs in the first place.  Now, Larry is even advocating increasing Germany’s power even MORE by making mech inf now attack with a 2 when paired with armor.  I like the unit changes in that it makes combined tactics and units more fun for the game (and especially Germany), but Russia really really REALLY needs a buff somewhere to counter those starting units.

    Giving Russia some more mech and arm units at the beginning of the game, with some possibly starting in Siberia that can arrive on the Eastern Front by turn 3 or 4, would really balance things against Germany and force Hitler to decide on either Sealion or Barbarossa.  Historically, Russia had just finished a successful minor border war with the Japanese in 1939 and was in the process of shipping its armor units back to Moscow, its also why Japan/Russia have a peace treaty at game start (battle of Khalkhin Gol, really it was a Japanese rout before WWII officially began).  So there would be an easy precedent to introduce those units into the game.  Really good article on Wikipedia:

  • @chompers:

    The US, as the primary force of the Allied side, needs to be unrestricted in it’s ability to deploy on either front as necessary in response to whatever the Axis’s opening moves are.  To me, restricting that is a far more drastic change than an extra 4 inf for Japan, whose presence would only really be felt if the US was spending heavily in the Pacific anyway, as otherwise they would just be making an overwhelming Japanese starting advantage in Asia slightly more overwhelming.

    I agree.


    Oh, and don’t forget you get +3 for each of Norway, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Holland, W. Germany, S. Germany and Holland (10 for E. Germany).  Those quickly add up as well.

    If the US is spending most of it’s points in the Pacific and Germany has launched operation Barbarossa I just don’t understand how Russia is getting any of these bonuses.  The Germans have been buffed a lot since OBB while Russia has stayed almost the same.  The math is just not there for Russia to accomplish this.  If Russia really wants to take Norway from Germany it probably can but only at the cost of losing Moscow much faster than if they had rallied their units together to defend their economy and capital.  Also if Germany built the Baltic fleet G1 they are just going to take Norway right back.  In my opinion the Eastern front is the most broken front in Global, not the Pacific.

    While I do think the game is very close to balanced I would be more likely to agree that Russia is more in need of getting buffed up than Japan.  I have found that Germany can force Russia to retreat or be destroyed very quickly.  Once they retreat their economy collapses and Germany’s explodes.  This is the penalty the Allies pay if they decide to send the US mainly against Japan early.  Not to mention that Italy can grow quite large as well and there is no reason they should not have Cairo on lockdown if US went mainly to Pacific first.  The US might succeed in maiming Japan if it goes there first but the Axis player has many options to respond with.  One very viable option that Chomper’s brought up is leveraging Japan’s power to crush India J3 with the J1 purchase of the Hainan naval base.  From there Japan can either help Italy hold down Cairo or attack Russia and help the Axis seal the deal in Europe.  Yes by that point US might be able to sink the Japan Navy and limit it’s economy but they will have won the battle only to lose the war.

  • I am looking at G40, what are u looking at?

    Yes, Russia does start with 37, but since any germany worth their salt can use a sub to blockade 125, and causes russia to lose 4-5 ipc worth of land easily, Russia would be hard pressed on cash.  And in any normal game, UK easily has CPer by UK2 and usually either it or italy has Iraq, basically too far out of the main effort to commit enough troops to hold it.  Also, if Uk blocks sealion, the massive transport fleet can easily reinforce scandy/take Nov, in order for russia to take scandy then, is if they want to sacrifice the Ukraine and then the caucuses soon after. 
    Germany usually has 30 IPCs(original terr)  + 6 in france + 5 (neutrals) +5 NO, 46 guarrenteed base, not including the 19 plunder in france, the 5 peace bonus with rus
    conquered rus terr(when at war), and 5 NO for german soldier in cairo(easily done with a decent italy).  Germany is usually around 51 while russia is around 31.
    I don’t think u realize how hard and fast germ can hit russia (especially with italian can openers).  If germ does not sealion, then he has a alot more against russia.

  • Granted, if UK SACRIFICES the Med, to stop a sealion, then germ would of had spend alot on trannies that won’t do much. to help the land battle on russia.  But they can be used to shuttle men from Egerm to Novgorod.  Not as ideal as a sealion success or skipped for barb, but still rather doable.  (depends if the dice roles are friendly or not).  But this means that italy would have more time to consolidate its gains and keep UK from easily kicking italy out(assuming us is goin 100% pacific).

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator


    If I had my druthers, there would be quite a bit of changes to the global situation.

    1)  Japan would have at least 1 more transport in the S. Pacific, preferably off the coast of the Carolinas.  This, and perhaps another submarine or two may be enough of a bid to balance things out there. (13-19 IPC, roughly equivalent to what others have said is needed, I only differ and say it should be in the water, not on the land.)

    2)  England would start with 3 more infantry, located on Scotland. (Give Germany a shot at killing them, but then Germany is pulled out of position a little in the process of doing so.)

    3)  All Russian naval units would be removed.  It was bad in classic, it has only gotten worse since, IMHO.  Replaced with a strategic bomber and infantry up to the equivalent in what was lost.  This would give Russia a slight edge over the Germans - perhaps - which might necessitate the Italians assist more on the Asian front.

    4)  One could only build Minor Industrial Complexes, regardless of who owned the territory.  The only time one could upgrade to a major complex is if one was upgrading their own capitol’s complex after liberation.

    5)  Attacking British/Australian controlled Dutch territories would not be viewed as an act of war by the United States (thus it would now be more probable that Japan would get the DEI NO at least for one round.)

    6)  America would collect its war time NOs when actually at war, not the round previous.

    7)  The British fleet would be relocated south of the Suez Canal, not north of it.

    E3) (the eight makes a face) The Italian fleet would be unified in the Adriatic Sea (between Greece and Italy.)

    Granted, not all of those should be implemented at the same time, perhaps the best six could be chosen and a die thrown, prior to Germany 1, to determine which would occur?  No idea.  Essentially what I am saying is that the game is not balanced and I do not feel that “bidding” is the solution this time.  Rather, I do not like the concept of bidding at all and only tolerate it as one would when one has to clean the sh!t off their baby’s @ss because you have too.  Not because you want too.

    As for increasing Russia’s defense in the rear.  Well, for one, I rarely see Japan moving into Russia these days.  That penalty is murder on Germany and Japan really does not have the equipment to spare.  I’ve given it a go a few times and I have gotten to TIM before stalling out and it’s never really paid off for me in the long run.  I cannot say I’ve seen anyone make it successful these days.  In actuality, I view the Japanese invasion of Russia as a throw-back to the old days of A&A and no longer a viable nor wanted strategy.  Perhaps if the non-aggresion pact was re-written so that it only applied to Russia.  After all, Japan won and sank the Russian fleet which is how it all started. (Another reason why I don’t think Russia should have a fleet.)

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator


    No, I think you underestimate just how strongly Russia can defend itself.  There is just no realistic manner in which Germany can get Moscow before Japan is neutrallized and America has started landing in Arkhangelsk.

    Russia does not need a buff at all, unless you do so in a manner I mentioned above by removing Naval units and replacing them with ground units located east of Moscow.


    Germany won’t have a blockade in SZ 125.  All the good players have found ways to stop Sea Lion, with Sea Lion stopped, England is more than capable of preventing a German blockade.

    Likewise, Germany has no NO.  None.  Not a single one.  Since Russia has taken Norway and Finland, they do not get the Sweeden one, since they are at war with Russia they do not get the Russian one, and how in the blazing nine levels of hell are you getting units to Caucasus?  Find a decent opponent man!

    Germany is getting maybe 40-45 IPC, Russia is getting 40-45 and Germany has lost more units than Russia has.  Yes, you get the 19 plunder, you also lose a lot more than 19 in your opening attacks.

    Most of the time Germany does not even bother building the transports.  Sea Lion is readily blocked now that teh tactic has been revealed.  Thus, the German tactics have changed so that they nail what they can of British ships, take France and start moving over to face Russia.

    Russia sees this coming, sets up a minor attack force in the north that readily grabs scandinavia, and then stacks behind that neutral territory where it can pummel everything from one stack, preventing Germany from getting any closer.  I even have enough time and money left over to send half a dozen tanks down and get Iraq and C. Persia for Russia (England is glad to give it up, lol, of course, I am also England…)

    Germany could, theoretically, throw all they have into St. Petersburg, you are correct there.  You have purchased 10 transports and you have moved 22 units to St. Petersburg.  Yay.

    To counter, I have taken Poland, Hungary, S. Germany, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and Yugoslavia for the Russians giving me +23 IPC to counter the 7 IPC you got for St. Petersburg and NO.

    You’ll have, perhaps, 24/25 units there next round, I will have over 60 units in Belarus and Arkhangelsk (combined total) with plenty of firepower to prevent you from getting closer to Moscow.  However, you will not have units in Range to liberate south Europe because you just dumped them all in St. Petersburg.

    I actually prefer if my German opponent does this!  This is wonderful!  Stalin is greatly pleased as he now no longer even needs Churchill, let alone not needing Roosevelt!

    And yes, that can all be taken in one round, or two depending on where Germans are.  What really matters here is you blew 70 IPC on Transports in a failed Sea Lion attempt and are now scrambing to find a purpose for them.  Then, to top it off, you put them in SZ 115 where they are too far away to pick up units from W. Germany, Denmark or Norway and return to SZ 115 that same round.  And, if that wasn’t bad enough, you just moved a major portion of your army into a location that is easily blocked.  And if you claim you do not move all that, then why bother doing any of it?

    So really, it all comes down to Germany has to go in by the traditional method, Infantry Push and that’s going to be a long, LONG, dragged out nightmare for Germany.  Quagmire comes to mind…  First I stop you in E. Poland, then N. Ukraine/Belarus, then Bransk (dont need stuff in Smolensk, I can hit Belarus from Bryansk just as easy).  Since all you have is the one transport, a minimal defense of St. Petersburg is enough.  And the Caucasus is probably the safest square on the map!  You’ll never get through S. Ukraine and Rostov…you might TAKE S. Ukraine and Rostov, but you’ll never get THROUGH Rostov to Stalingrad or the Caucasus.  Russia has too much defensive firepower for that to become a reality.

  • I tend to agree with doing away with most of the Russian fleet. I though most of the Russian fleet in WW II was old US lend lease destroyers. I’d rather see a Sub and Destroyer in SZ 115 and a destroyer in SZ 127.

  • Eh, clearly u and I have not faced the same players as axis.

  • Ill try your method next time im rus, ill tell u how it goes

  • We’re in two team games together…

  • @Geist:

    We’re in two team games together…

    I was talking to Jen…

  • Oh ya, she’s not in our games.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator


    Oh ya, she’s not in our games.

    Lol, no.  I am not in your games.

    As for the Ruskie fleet, I mean, it’s not unbalancing having it there, but if we’re going to make it stronger than it already is (which is strong enough, imho) then we need to kill that BB at a minimum to offset the value of pieces on the board…

  • @Cmdr:


    No, I think you underestimate just how strongly Russia can defend itself.  There is just no realistic manner in which Germany can get Moscow before Japan is neutralized and America has started landing in Arkhangelsk.

    Russia does not need a buff at all, unless you do so in a manner I mentioned above by removing Naval units and replacing them with ground units located east of Moscow.

    Germany Units

    43 Infantry Starts with 35 Infantry +8 G1 when Germany takes Finland and Bulgaria.
    8 Artillery
    8 Tanks
    4 Mechanized Infantry
    11 Planes
    Total 74 and lots of attack power.

    Russian Units

    27 Infantry, not counting the units located by Japan because they are too far away to effect the Eastern front for the first six turns.  They usually end up fighting Japan one way or the other in most games I play.
    3 Artillery
    2 Mechanized Infantry
    2 Tanks
    3 Planes
    Total 37 and almost no attack power.

    By utilizing its starting 2 to 1 unit advantage Germany is very capable or tearing up Russia if the German player decides on operation Barbarossa after France and the US does not pose a threat to Germany.  Not to mention Alpha +2 also upgraded the Factory in Germany to a major making it easier to build mass amounts of units to send in Operation Barbarossa.

    The Germans will lose a few units smashing France and build the Baltic Fleet G1 but then on G2 they are free to spend about 70 points on the Eastern Front because US is going mostly Japan first.  They will always be able to produce more units to attack Russia than Russia can to defend because unless the US attacks Europe there is no reason for the German economy to not be much larger than the Russian one.

    With the Baltic fleet built and the starting units in Finland and Norway for Germany it will take a sizable force for the Russians to take Norway.  If they do this they are now even more outnumbered by the Germans and that means Germany will eat more of the Russian economy and capture key points such as Stalingrad, Leningrad, and the Ukraine Minor.  Also the Baltic Fleet and the Air Force will then just take Norway right back from Russia insuring Germany keeps it’s five point bonus.

    Russia will also never see their five point bonus if the German player keeps a sub in Sea Zone 125.

    If the Allies decide to send the US to the Pacific first and stay there until Japan is neutralized they will pay a heavy price in Europe.  Moscow may still be technically alive when the US player makes it out of the Pacific (Though I am not convinced Japan can’t keep them there quite a long time if the US player wants to stay until Japan is neutralized) but Moscow will be on it’s deathbed.

    This does not even touch on the growth of Italy, lockdown of Cairo, and anything it sends towards Russia.

    The Allies may be able to neutralize Japan first as a viable strategy but there are great costs in doing so even if they are successful in the Pacific.  If they are not careful they risk losing 8 victory cities on the European side of the board.

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