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ALERT- Last shot for Alpha+3 changes for FINAL Alpha



  • That’s right,

    Read this- Larry’s post on this page:
    http://www.harrisgamedesign.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=6149&start=200

    We’ve got less than 6 weeks- he only wants game reports.  So all of you that whine about the changes- here’s your last chance.  Get on Larry’s site and give a report of the Alpha+3

    Do it- and don’t be whiner. 😄


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I think he is pretty much tired of stupid lists of proposed changes. In terms of the glitching of the current new ideas, he is more inclined to hear about them ( e.g. scripting on Japanese- Soviet treaty, etc).


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Six weeks is hardly time to do an exhaustive study.  Best we can do is give him potential problems with maybe 3 or 4 games as evidence, far from the amount I’d like.
    Anyway, I have to agree, it’s time to finalize the rules like when he had LHTR Tournament Rules for AAR and that was that.


  • '10

    @Cmdr:

    Six weeks is hardly time to do an exhaustive study.  Best we can do is give him potential problems with maybe 3 or 4 games as evidence, far from the amount I’d like.
    Anyway, I have to agree, it’s time to finalize the rules like when he had LHTR Tournament Rules for AAR and that was that.

    Amen!!!



  • Agreed - the game is fantastic and just needs tweaks- we have a chance to add our rational, play-tested two cents - and then we get rules for the long haul.

    Then, those of us who are still whiney about it can use house rules and be quiet, or go play Risk.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @Stalingradski:

    Agreed - the game is fantastic and just needs tweaks- we have a chance to add our rational, play-tested two cents - and then we get rules for the long haul.

    Then, those of us who are still whiney about it can use house rules and be quiet, or go play Risk.

    You mean they can go and play Classic, right?  This is the Axis and Allies forums, not the Risk forums. ^_~


  • Customizer

    The rules will be changing again in 6 weeks?  Alpha 4?

    ( … next time I see a new Axis & Allies game, I’ll keep my money …)



  • Nope - Alpha 3 will be finalized and set in stone in six weeks.

    The next A&A game that comes out, I’ll buy it, and like it, flaws and all. Life seems so much more interesting when the glass is half full. That’s what I’ve found.

    If you don’t like it, don’t play it. If you think you can design a better game, go do it. The world is full of critics, and very few creators.

    For me, A&A has brought untold hours of fun for 2.5 decades, bub. My six year old daughter already knows what a rondel is… you know?


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Been teaching my eldest how to play classic for weeks now.  He’s better than some of the opponents I’ve played recently. Actually made me think once or twice.  That’s what makes this game truely remarkable, in my book.

    Anyway, he shouldn’t call it Alpha…he should call it Larry Harris Tournament Rules 2.0 or something more “official” sounding.

    In any event, these seem to be far more balanced than the previous versions.  Granted, Alpha 2 was much better than OOB, there were just too many issues and exploits in it.  Sea Lion (very dicy), American Pac-Strat (very dicy, but more reliable than Sea Lion), Russia could grow way too strong because of Sea Lion, France was never liberated despite being the stated goal of the allies for years after the fall of France (Churchill, De Gaul, perhaps Roosevelt, etc) because it hurt the Allies…many of these are fixed now (as far as I can tell).

    Of course, 6 weeks is a bit short to test, but the way I play games, I think I can have some test results by then. wink


  • Customizer

    If you don’t like it, don’t play it. If you think you can design a better game, go do it. The world is full of critics, and very few creators.

    I did create my own.

    And if the product is not finished, don’t release it.  Over a year after the release, and he’s still trying to fix his game?  You think that’s ok?  I’m fine with playtesting his games, but I’m not fine with paying $200 to help him balance his game.  Next time, I’ll wait for abattlemap and NOT hand over my money.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Jim,

    The problem with that is no matter how many rule changes are released, they never seem to include them with the box in reprints.  Classic did come with a pamphlet of some other rules, but man, that was in the 80s I think, different company, different proceedures.

    I don’t mind helping to balance.  I feel kind of good that Larry is willing to listen to the community and fix errors after the fact.  His little group of people cannot possibily find every contingency and account for it.  That’s why we get LHTR, LHTR 2.0, Alpha’s etc.  Because there are hundreds of us with hundreds of brains thinking in different ways than his little community.  Have you ever noticed if you play the same people, that after a while you start playing alike?  Groupthink it is called, and it cannot be helped.  It blinds you to obvious issues because you are not “trained” to see them.  In AAR if Germany got LRA round 1, it could do Sea Lion and destabalize the game.  Larry’s crew never saw it, they didn’t think that way.  But when it was brought to his attention, the rule was changed so that technology came into effect at the end of the round, not the beginning, stopping the error.  (It’s the easiest one and most glaring one I can think of atm, to use as demonstration, by far not the only issue that has ever come up.)  It took gamers like us to find the error and bring it to his attention.  We contributed to the betterment of a game we enjoyed, gave the creator feedback (which in turn probably demonstrated our love of his product and encouraged him to keep making games, as there were many many more that came shortly after AAR was released, faster - I THINK - than between the release of Classic and AAR)

    So if I shell out the cash to get 5 copies right away when it is released (3 stay factory sealed for my collection, 2 are opened and married together for pieces) and then give him feedback, I don’t mind.  I own a printer and google will find AA.org when people hit a search engine (don’t believe me?  Ask IL about the number of new registrations daily, okay?) that I can have the rules printed and so can almost anyone else.



  • @Stalingradski:

    If you don’t like it, don’t play it. If you think you can design a better game, go do it.

    @jim010:

    I did create my own.

    Me too!  😄 I used my A&A Europe 1940 board and pieces and created my own game, my friends and I play that more then anything else. It took a several games worth of play to balance out the rules and the set up but now i’ve got a great and well balanced game. Having done that and spent so much time trying to work out all the kinks and what not, keep the gamey-gamers in check while not taking away the open natuer of the game, it has given me alot of insight into what goes into making a game and how all the different mechanics work. It has also given me a great apperication for what Larry has done with these games, all the hard work he must put in and the wonderful job he has done, good on ya mate!  😄

    One very important thing I have learned though is you cant please everyone, so you shouldnt bother to try. In my game everything flows together and balances out well, however there is still one of the group who loudly complains that France should be taken out of the game, or made an NPC or something stupid. He goes on and on about how France is too weak to play and always loses. Now, mind you, this might be because we always make him play as France (if he bothered to show up on time though he wouldnt have this problem 😉 ) but any argument he makes about how bad this certian part of the game is can always be countered by pointing out all the amazing things he does when he plays as the French. I found myself trying make fixes and adjustments to the game just for him, trying to make it so he would like it and stop complaining. Then I realized that I was wasting my time and was running the risk of ruining a good game to appease a small minority of my players (1 out of 7 in my case). People are always going to find ways to “break” a game and you can bend yourself backwards trying to please them, or stand firm and let the work speak of itself and keep to the spirit of the game.


  • Customizer

    Clyde,

    This is not a matter of trying to please everyone.  It is an issue of having a product not ready for market.  I am not taking issue with the game itself.  The problem I have with the handling of E40 and P40 is the the large changes to set-up and rules that is still ongoing.  If to balance the game all that was needed was to add a couple units or remove a couple, that is fine, but the changes have been profound each time.

    I too have an appreciation for game design, 3 games and 15 years later.  But I also understand that if such large changes were warranted, then the game was nowhere near ready.

    In any other industry, the company would get punished by the consumer.  I can live with little issues, but not when they require such changes well over a year after release.  And are the changes even going to be accepted by Avalonhill?

    Ie:  when I buy a car, I don’t want it to be a work in progress.

    As a consumer, this is not unreasonable.  $200 may not be much money to some, but it is plenty to me.  Larry has lost my confidence, and I am not buying his products in the future.  And I am not alone.



  • The main issue is there are probably a ton of people out there who own AAG40 (or just Europe or Pacific) and don’t know how broken it is and don’t know where to get more balanced rules.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @Ruanek:

    The main issue is there are probably a ton of people out there who own AAG40 (or just Europe or Pacific) and don’t know how broken it is and don’t know where to get more balanced rules.

    But unlike 1987, if you find something that is broken, you can google the game find AA.org and find out people already know.  Didn’t have the luxery back then.  No public sector internet.


  • Customizer

    @Ruanek:

    The main issue is there are probably a ton of people out there who own AAG40 (or just Europe or Pacific) and don’t know how broken it is and don’t know where to get more balanced rules.

    Agreed.

    The consumer should be able to go to Avalon Hill’s website and find the fixes, and all future runs of the game should have the changes as well.  They did that with AA Europe, as I recall?  They included an addendum sheet in the game, as my copy came with one.



  • Let me tell ya Jim, I hear what your saying and I do understand your point, you make a very good case. That said, im going to say something that is going to sound crazy but, when I got A&AG1940 and first played it I didnt find it to be broken or have any balance issues. Right out of the box(es) we set it up and played it with out noticing any real problems or having any issues at all. Yeah it was an uphill battle for the axis powers but that made sense to us and was a welcome change to how these games usually played which was the US/Uk frantically trying to break through to Russia before Germany and Japan could squeeze the Soviets between them till they poped. Now it is the Axis who are frantically running around trying to accomplish their goals and we liked it, it was the right feeling to us, thats how the war was and even though some of the specifics of the war werent there (i’ve droned on about that stuff enough 🙂 ) atleast it felt right.

    It wasnt until I found A&A.org that I realized anything about the “broken” things and all the changes. I think comming here has opened my eyes to alot of things with this game and helped me see it from many different perspectives but that is not inherently a good thing, nor is it inherently bad thing. I really dont take the set-up changes and the Alpha+billion seriously, that stuff is for the gamers who need them and I have always considered them optional. Sometimes they’ll come up with something that I like and i’ll incorporate it into my game, but some things I dont. I really think its up to the individual to decide what they like and how they will play.
    Jen makes a very good point about Groupthink and the effects it does have on gaming groups. Some people need the rule changes and the setup changes cause they are inclined to abuse different rules in the game, some people dont. Its as simple as that, use what you want, ignore what you want and no one can tell you you’re wrong.



  • @jim010:

    Clyde,

    This is not a matter of trying to please everyone.  It is an issue of having a product not ready for market.  I am not taking issue with the game itself.  The problem I have with the handling of E40 and P40 is the the large changes to set-up and rules that is still ongoing.  If to balance the game all that was needed was to add a couple units or remove a couple, that is fine, but the changes have been profound each time.

    I too have an appreciation for game design, 3 games and 15 years later.  But I also understand that if such large changes were warranted, then the game was nowhere near ready.

    In any other industry, the company would get punished by the consumer.  I can live with little issues, but not when they require such changes well over a year after release.  And are the changes even going to be accepted by Avalonhill?

    Ie:  when I buy a car, I don’t want it to be a work in progress.

    As a consumer, this is not unreasonable.  $200 may not be much money to some, but it is plenty to me.  Larry has lost my confidence, and I am not buying his products in the future.  And I am not alone.

    I totally agree.  I thought we were heading somewhere and when Alpha3 rules came out I was excited as everyone to see what improvements were made.  Instead new aa guns are revealed that totally influence every corner of the board.  It was a massive change to a units profile that will most likely end up breaking the game after the solution is found.  It was the massive changes to the aa gun rules that came from nowhere( I never saw people complaining about aa guns on his site) that have soured me to the process.  I think he doesn’t want gamers, he wants playtesters.  So he’ll keep tweaking the rules until a few months from production of his newest project.  I am with Jim in that I won’t be buying the next A&A product until it has been peer reviewed for at least 2 years.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    It didnt really come from nowhere.  We’ve been complaining to Larry for a while that Sea Lion was too easy.  Instead of giving you infantry, he put some aa guns in and then nerfed them so they were far weaker against planes than before.



  • Exactly, he took an issue that was being complained about and changed a units profile all over the board.  Influencing all powers.  Not well thought out.  He should have been concerned with finalizing this edition and not making major changes to unit stats.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    It is a far cry better than dumping +4 infantry in England.  At least the AA Guns dont have attack or defense values and are relatively expensive meaning they probably wont be replaced for Russia, England, America, Japan or Australia if you think about it.

    I like the AA Gun changes.  I think it really makes Germany a lot stronger while failing to increase Russia much at all. (Russia has 3 planes, 1 AA Gun can take out 3 planes.  Germany has 11 planes, 1 AA Gun cannot take out 11 planes, it cant even shoot at 11 planes.)

    I think this is a knee jerk reaction due to Sea Lion being made almost impossible on Germany 3 and not a real value judgement of the real impact on the game, personally.  Not just you, but others too.  I don’t think you are really seeing the powerful impact on balancing the game and getting it away from hoping for good luck in England.  IMHO, of course.  I’ve pointed out before how this can be very overwhelming for the Russians to manage.  THey cannot possibly hit 3 or 4 large stacks of units, especially if there are AA Guns there.  They would get depleted of their powerful units too fast.  That means they have to retreat, meaning less income over the rounds for Russia, more for Germany/Japan/Italy.

    Of course, it means London isn’t taken, so Engand needs to get on the ball and get SZ 125 opened up and start landing reinforcements FAST to keep Russia from collapsing.



  • I have yet to come to the conclusion that Sealion is out, that’s why I’m running that experiment.  I do think it got harder.

    Changing a unit statistic all across the board is my issue.  I think we’ll find out why in a few weeks/months at most.  That being said, I also like the new rules, I wish he had written his next game around these rules.  Since they are going to have far reaching on board results, the starting setup is probably wrong and needs to be tweaked.  New unit rules like this work best for new games, not games that have already been purchased.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I’m sure Axis and Allies 1937 will have the same AA Gun rules. ^_^

    I don’t think they have as big of an impact as I think you think they do, however.  American guns, useless.  They’ll never be brought to bear anywhere, especially now that Kill America First is out of the question.  British guns?  Without Sea Lion they’re useless as well.  Japanese guns?  Seriously?  I’m not wasting transports on these, so they’re useless as well.  Russian guns but I can overwhelm them with German planes.  German guns of course, very big use now, since you dont need a bunch to defend home.  Italian guns have marginal use…great replacement for the guns in Germany so you can bring all of them from Germany.

    And I think with the change to England, Sea Lion round 3 is out.  Round 4 there is still consideration, but probably out due to cost.



  • @Cmdr:

    It didnt really come from nowhere.  We’ve been complaining to Larry for a while that Sea Lion was too easy.  Instead of giving you infantry, he put some aa guns in and then nerfed them so they were far weaker against planes than before.

    Sealion should always be a longshot for Germany.  The game needs to favor the Allies.  As it did historically.  Germany will have its shot at winning, but it will come down to the Eastern Front, not Sealion.  I totally agree with Larry, Sealion should not happen.  Germany did not have the navy to conduct the invasion across the channel. Their best hope was destroying UK’s economic resources.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I dont mind sea lion happening, what I mind was how bloody easy it was and before Russia or America could be in the game.  The changes at least give the allies a chance to make it hard for the Germans.


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