Low Luck in Alpha 2 - how is balance impacted



  • My friend and I played a lot of 1942 and switched after a few games to low luck. When we got 1940, we went with LL from the get go.

    How does it tend to affect game balance? What problems does it create? What does it solve?

    Thanks,
    F



  • Well, people no longer need to attack with an overwhelming force to know that they’ll win a key battle.  And they’ll know that a long shot to sacrifice a few units to damage something isn’t worth it.  It removes the risks.

    It does stop those occasional situations where the dice really go against someone, though.

    Edit: It also makes single units a lot less strategic.  Like, if you have one infantry or a sub or whatever in a territory, you know you have a 1 in 3 shot of doing damage.  But with low luck it becomes 0 chance.



  • @Ruanek:

    Well, people no longer need to attack with an overwhelming force to know that they’ll win a key battle.  And they’ll know that a long shot to sacrifice a few units to damage something isn’t worth it.  It removes the risks.

    It does stop those occasional situations where the dice really go against someone, though.

    Edit: It also makes single units a lot less strategic.  Like, if you have one infantry or a sub or whatever in a territory, you know you have a 1 in 3 shot of doing damage.  But with low luck it becomes 0 chance.

    Yeah, I agree here with these observations.  I’ve played LL with AAG40- its OK.  I feel that it takes away from the risk and excitement from the game a bit.  It does change strategy too knowing that some battles are now “guaranteed”.

    In Regular luck if you get dice-whipped one time, the law of averages says your opponent will get a dice whoopin in a battle also- so it seems to balance itself out.

    I’m open to play LL- usually for playtesting a strategy or something, but in a tourny game or competitive game a regular luck game seems more satisfying IMHO.



  • Low Luck works in favor of the Allies – at least in the early game.

    The Axis start with the more mobile army, giving them more flexibility in the early game. Flexible units enables a flexible strategy – if one of your battles goes sour, you can pull your reinforcing tanks back to attack another front; if you roll better than expected for a battle, maybe you want to pour into the gap using units you were saving for another battle. This flexibility and unpredictablilty is one of the best tools the Axis have in the first few rounds (and given the number of “Alpha 2 is unbalanced for the Allies” posts, one of the least appreciated).

    Low Luck takes all of that unpredictablity away. I couldn’t imagine trying to conquer Russia as Germany if the Russians could see exactly what they needed to keep in each territory to perfectly defend. In my regular games, sometimes I win those close battles and sometimes I lose, but my advantage comes from my ability to react to the randomness, not from “getting lucky”.

    There is an additional effect on game play balance, because Low Luck favors one type of player over the other. The players who spend hours staring at the intial set-up, hatching the perfect plan of attack or defense love Low Luck, because with the exception of some small battles, there’s no chance that the dice will derail their plans. The players who are skilled at quickly adjusting their strategy to the changing battlefield (i.e., the players that always seem to find a way to attack that one weak spot you thought was out of harm’s way) find the usefulness of their skills diminished. When the game goes as predicted, there’s less chance to find the hidden opportunities that seem to pepper regular games.

    Low Luck basically turns Axis and Allies from a messy war simulator into a complicated game of chess. Whether or not that’s what you’re looking for, keep in mind that it takes away an advantage for both the Axis and players who are skilled at making quick adjustments to strategy in an unpredictable environment.



  • Pardon the ignorant question, but how do you play with LL?



  • @Ruanek:

    Well, people no longer need to attack with an overwhelming force to know that they’ll win a key battle.  And they’ll know that a long shot to sacrifice a few units to damage something isn’t worth it.  It removes the risks.

    It does stop those occasional situations where the dice really go against someone, though.

    Edit: It also makes single units a lot less strategic.  Like, if you have one infantry or a sub or whatever in a territory, you know you have a 1 in 3 shot of doing damage.  But with low luck it becomes 0 chance.

    That’s diceless, not low luck.



  • @Kobu:

    @Ruanek:

    Well, people no longer need to attack with an overwhelming force to know that they’ll win a key battle.  And they’ll know that a long shot to sacrifice a few units to damage something isn’t worth it.  It removes the risks.

    It does stop those occasional situations where the dice really go against someone, though.

    Edit: It also makes single units a lot less strategic.  Like, if you have one infantry or a sub or whatever in a territory, you know you have a 1 in 3 shot of doing damage.  But with low luck it becomes 0 chance.

    That’s diceless, not low luck.

    Well, maybe there are multiple meanings for the same term, because what I described is low luck.  It is also diceless, though.

    If you know something else, please feel free to add it.



  • Well not quite.

    In low luck, you would roll for 1 sub, and it would hit on a 1 or 2, like normal.
    It’s only once you had 3 subs would there be no rolling.



  • @Alsch91:

    Well not quite.

    In low luck, you would roll for 1 sub, and it would hit on a 1 or 2, like normal.
    It’s only once you had 3 subs would there be no rolling.

    Well,I guess there are several variations.  That version makes sense, though.



  • @taschuler:

    Pardon the ignorant question, but how do you play with LL?

    In Low Luck you add up the Attack points (or Defense points) of the units, and for every multiple of 6 you get a hit, and you roll one die for any left over points to see if you get an additional hit.  Attack/Defense points are what that unit hits on.

    So 4 Inf on defense have 4*2=8 Defense Points.  They get one auto hit and roll a die and get a second hit on 2 or less.

    4 Inf, 1 Art, and 2 Tanks on the Attack have (3+2+2+6) 13 Attack Points, so two auto hits and a third hit on a 1.

    What Ruanek plays is no luck, where no dice are ever rolled.  I think how that works similar but if the leftover points is 3 or less there is no addtional hit, and there is an additional auto hit if the leftover points are 4 or more.



  • I proposed a stack-of-six rule, whereby you can opt to have your stack of six units hit according to the probability, where a stack of six tanks always hits three times.  Spare units would roll as normal.  So 9 tanks would be 3 hits plus 3 rolls.  This is an entirely optional thing, and can be used as desired on a round by round, or case by case basis.  If you only have 5 units of the same type, you roll as normal.

    It can speed up combat, if Russia is defending with 38 infantry, you know you have 12 hits plus 2 rolls…OR, you can feel lucky and roll 38 infantry, OR you can do 4 stack-of-six rules for 8 auto-hits, and roll the remaining 14 infantry.

    I like this concept because I’ve seen massive luck change the outcomes of some huge battles, and I hate that.  I don’t mind a small fight going according to luck, but large fights should be somewhat predictable, and the stack-of-six rule is cool, I think.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Low Luck, IMHO has the following detriments:

    1)  Infantry, Fighter, Tactical kills defending Infantry 100% of the time with only 33% chance of losing your guy.  Means you no longer need to use 2 infantry to be relatively assured of getting the territory
    2)  Naval battles are INSANE to calculate!  Then again, they always are.
    3)  Picket lines tend to have significantly more units than in ADS. (1 Infantry in ADS ~ 3 Infantry, or 3 Infnatry, Armor in LL games to stop a break through)


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