• '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    What do you think of this, guys? IMO fortress areas like Gibraltar are too easy to take. Piling up huge stacks of infantry is not realistic in smaller areas. What if you could add entrenchment to areas you really want to protect?

    I’ve made some sample entrenchment roundels that can be placed on top of chip stacks:

    Entrenchment levels could be placed in certain territories during setup. (like Gibraltar and Stalingrad) It’s pretty simple - all entrenchment does is absorb the hits meant for other units. For example, if a territory had three entrenchment chips, you would have to take out the three chips first in order to start damaging the units.

    After successfully taking an entrenched territory, half of the original entrenchment could be restored to the attacker (representing still useable trenches that the attacker can now use to defend with)

    To add a little strategy, each player could get to add ONE free entrenchment per turn to any land zone that has infantry in it. (any more entrenchment might slow the game too much I think)

    Here is an example picture: here the British only have one infantry defending Gibraltar:

    But look - it has an entrenchment value of five, so it will not be that easy to take. Two battleships bombarding the coast would only remove two entrenchment chips at most, and the defending infantry would still be unhurt.

    Imagine trying to take a Japanese Island or Stalingrad with this in rule in place!

  • '18

    I like this rule.  It adds a realistic quality - such as the British digging into the desert to withstand Rommel.  This rule has some similarities to several fortification house rules I have read, except that it only takes hits whereas other house rules incorporate “return fire” as part of the fortifications.  I like yours - would you mind attaching a file with the roundels you’ve created so others could try it?


  • It’s a good idea, but this would make infantry very dominant, and make the game go looong.

    I think that you need to add some cost to make entrenchment a real decision, and not just an auto-upgrade to infantry.

    How about this?

    Entrenchment: During the ‘Purchase Units’ phase, choose one Infantry unit in play and pay 1 IPC. Put an ‘Entrenchment’ counter under that infantry. That infantry cannot move this turn. You may remove one ‘Entrenchment’ counter from the board every time that infantry is allocated as a casualty. Only one infantry per territory may have ‘Entrenchment’ counters placed under it. If there are no ground combat units defending a territory containing ‘Entrenchment’ counters, they cannot be removed from the board as casualties, and may be captured by the enemy (as with other infrastructure, such as Air Bases).

    To make it less of a dominant strategy, you could make Entrenchment a Weapons Development, or you could limit the # of entrenchment counters per nation per turn to 3 (makes the choice of placement more interesting), or raise the cost to 2 IPCs (to represent the cost of shipping building materials and armaments to remote locations).

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this.

    Keep up the good work, M_I_R


  • I’m with M_I_R. It should cost 1 IPC to build a trench, infantry building a trench should not be allowed to move on that turn, you can only build 1 trench in a territory in a turn, and you cannot build more three trenches in a turn.
    In addition to this, I think that territories should be limited to the total trench value they can have. It would ruin the game for USSR to invest heavily in trenches and force the Germans to get through 20 soak kills before they can kill a single unit in Moscow. Here some suggestions toward that limitation.
    1. A territory’s trench value cannot exceed the number of infantry in it. This is tricky. What happens if infantry move out of the territory? Does limiting it this way get rid of the point of heavily defending a territory with minimal infantry? How are the Pacific islands ever going to be well entrenched?
    2. A territory’s trench value cannot exceed 3. This one is plain and simple. But, once again, does this ruin the point of the trench rule?
    3. A territory’s trench value cannot exceed its IPC value. I like this one the most. It is simple, and it uses the relative importance of a territory as its own moderator concerning its defensability. Capitals have greater infustructure, therefore can be more readily defending with things like trenches. The downside of this is that Gibralter was specifically named as needing trenches, but wouldn’t be able to have any with this rule.


  • @MacNaughton:

    It should cost 1 IPC to build a trench, infantry building a trench should not be allowed to move on that turn, you can only build 1 trench in a territory in a turn, and you cannot build more than three trenches in a turn.

    2. A territory’s trench value cannot exceed 3.

    I like this rule.  It would represent Japanese digging in on islands like Peleliu (palau), Iwojima, Okinawa, and the allies could use it in Malaya, Kwangtung, Borneo, Philippines, Sydney, and any DEIs.  It would also give USSR a needed boost - in the first three turns they could build trenches in Smolensk, Bryansk, and Moscow so by turn 3 they basically have an extra 3 hit soaks in each of those for $9.  Germany could build them in West Germany, Denmark and Norway.  UK would want them in London if there is a sea lion threat and probably Egypt.  Would it make taking these places too hard though?


  • @MacNaughton:

    I don’t think that we need to limit the # of entrenchment counters on a territory. Why not?

    Well, we can only build 1 entrenchment counter per territory per round, to a limit of 3 territories. The game rarely lasts even eight rounds, so I wager that we’ll never experience the nightmare scenario of facing +20 entrenchment counters when attacking Moscow. Maybe three to five, but rarely more.

    However, if you’re still concerned about towering stacks of entrenchment counters bringing unseen imbalances to the game, I prefer your solution #2 to all others. Sure, the three-counter-deep limit is arbitrary, but so is the only-three-territories limit. The number three is easy to remember with regard to this new unit, and allows a reasonable entrenchment effort to occur in places like Gibraltar and Iwo Jima, where you need the extra cushion, without making any one territory impossible to take.

    I still worry that 1 IPC is too cheap for entrenchment, but think that 2 IPCs is probably too expensive. 1.5 IPCs is the right price, but for some reason I loathe the idea of buying new units with fractions of IPCs… seems messy to me.

    I think that for 1 IPC, every player with any thought for defense will buy the maximum amount of entrenchments, every turn. The only thing that will stop it from becoming a dominant strategy is the set of limitations we’ve put on their purchase and placement.

    Still, it opens up the interesting possibility of potentially hanging onto the far-flung corners of our empires… without exposing valuable transports to devastating counterattacks along the way. If my entrenchment counter in India gets destroyed by the Japanese, but an infantry of mine survives, there’s a certain satisfaction involved in my having a chance to ‘rebuild’. [This may also have the effect of making the last infantry in a territory very important to keep alive, which changes the usual priority of casualty choices in A&A.]

    Overall, I think that entrenchments add a lot of flavor to the game, really capturing the sense of bracing for a spirited defense. They also telegraph the territories that you and your opponent think are the most important, which in itself makes for fascinating play decisions. My group is meeting up for a big game next month; I’ll see if they’re willing to try this rule out, and if so I’ll post back here.

    Best,

    M_I_R

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    I worded my original entrenchment idea badly - what I meant was you could entrench ONLY ONE land zone per turn. In other words, you only get ONE entrenchment chip per turn to put out, during the “place new units” phase - so choose wisely. If entrenching every land zone with an infantry per turn were allowed, it would get out of hand and slow the game to a crawl.

    I like the idea that the infantry must have been in the land zone and inactive since the beginning of your turn to entrench there.

    I see no need to charge IPCs to entrench - it takes no real resources to dig a ditch - but it might make a good use for that extra IPC you have at the end of a turn.

    I think there should be a cap limit of ten in entrenchment. I don’t think it should be limited by economic value as some of the most entreched areas in WWII (like Gibraltar and Iwo Jima) had no economic value.

    What would happen if all units moved out of an entrenched area? Then the enemy should be able to move in there and use the entrenchment, like they do an AA gun.

    My thought was to start the game with the following areas having a base entrenchment level:

    Gibraltar: 5
    Western Europe: 3
    Stalingrad:3
    Leningrad:2
    Moscow:3
    Japan:3
    Iwo Jima:5
    Okinawa:4

    Then you could add ONE entrenchment chip TOTAL per turn to your territory of choice that contains inactive infantry. As was mentioned, if a game lasts 8-10 rounds, you’re only talking 8-10 more entrenchment chips per country for the whole game. Not enough to seriously disrupt the game, but enough to add a little more strategy. A player might choose to bypass Japanese Islands with high entrenchment levels and go straight for Japan. Gibraltar might be avoided altogether if the price was too high, as it was historically.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    A JPEG of my roundel sheet is attached if anyone wants to print it…

    entrench2.JPG

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I like where this is going, but lets keep a few things in mind.

    You are adding units to the board, that are “worth a hit”, for $1.

    For Example, I am russia,  I buy 37 entrenchments first turn.  Turn 2 I do the same.

    OR, if I am SBR’d to death, and my capital is at risk, I spend whatever I’ve got on entrenching my infantry, DOUBLING the amount of units that can be hit.

    You are now fighting units that can produce anywhere, at $1, in a game that already favours the defense.  (It’s why infantry defend at 2)  This has nothing but room for exploitation,  even sealion, or the capture of Egypt, are totally off of the table.

    Why not sell $4 infantry that are worth two hits? I’ll tell you why, because it’s a bad idea.

    You also must note, that the purpose of tanks, and artillery, were to BREAK entrenchment.  That needs to be encompassed or included in this rule,  perhaps each tank, or artillery, freely negates an entrenchment?

    It would be much better to see a new piece, called a land fortification, or trench system, that you could “fill up” after building, much like a transport, that either offered your units extra protection, at atleast a $2 a hit price, or retained other abilities, like preventing 2 enemy tanks from rolling each turn or something (Idk).

    you could then spend $6 on a place like egypt say, and have a trench system, that you can load 3 infantry into.  That protects them from hits by infantry,  or takes an extra hit for them, or reduces attacking artillery to 1, or something.


  • Instead of making them a hit soak, how about:

    Infantry entrenchment.
    One infantry per territory per turn may be entrenched at a cost of $2.  No more than 3 entrenched infantry may occupy a single territory.  Trenches are represented by a trench roundel placed under the infantry unit and are immobile.  An infantry unit to be entrenched must have been in the territory at the start of the turn.  If entrenched infantry are later moved or killed, the trenches remain unless they are destroyed by the enemy.

    Entrenched infantry are immune to attack by enemy infantry, mechanized infantry, artillery, or shore bombardment.  Only armor and air units can kill entrenched infantry.  Trenches may be destroyed by artillery or shore bombardment.

    Example: you attack 2 entrenched infantry with 1 infantry, 1 artillery, 1 fighter, and a cruiser bombards.  On the first dice roll you hit with the infantry and a cruiser.  The infantry hit doesn’t count but the cruiser shot de-trenches 1 infantry.  The defender doesn’t hit anything.

    On the second dice roll you get hits for the infantry and fighter.  The enemy also gets a hit.  The untrenched infantry is killed by the infantry hit and the fighter hit kills the entrenched infantry. One trench remains unscathed.  You decide to lose the artillery and occupy the territory with 1 entrenched infantry.

    So if you are amphibiously assaulting an island with entrenched infantry you will always want shore bombardment (to weaken enemy defenses), air support (to kill the enemy), armor (to kill the enemy), and infantry (hit soak to protect your armor OR to occupy a usable defensive position).  Bringing artillery might be a bad idea because trenches would soak hits  from artillery and you might want to preserve those defenses for yourself.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    @Gargantua:

    For Example, I am russia,  I buy 37 entrenchments first turn.  Turn 2 I do the same.

    Yeah that’s what I’m saying - you’d have to somehow limit it or it would totally take over the game, however you wanted to use it. I believe getting only one entrenchment chip per country per turn would make things interesting without it dominating the rest of the game.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    This is a really good concept…

    But we need to get it just right,  hmm… lost in deep thought


  • how about making the entrench token expensive but can be built wherever one of your infantry is. something like 5-6 ipcs, that way people aren’t spamming that many of them, and allowing people to reinforce their guys in places where ICs are not available.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    What if they can be placed in any territory with a facility?

    And they either negate the first 3 enemy rolls, or give the defender an extra dice or two?

    They then operate like and in accordance to a facility, and can be strategically bombed before hand.


  • Would facilities include AA guns?

    Suppose 3 infantry are entrenched and then 2 of them leave, so there is 1 infantry and 3 trenches left.  If attacked, do the trenches take 3 hits or just 1?

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Entrenchments should be limited to the IPC value of area or glitching can occur making capitals impossible to take.

    Another route would be to limit entrenchment to IPC value and if you allowed more, the cost above the IPC would be double per unit.

    Small Islands and fortress areas would have different max values to reflect those areas. ( e.g. Gibraltar might have a max of 5 even if it has no IPC value)


  • This is a great idea but it would work much better in a game with a limited scope, say just Europe, and a heavy infantry focus with emphases on defensive warfare. So essentially you’ve got a great system for a WW1 themed game, I use a similar one in my home brewed WW1 game, but in that artillery has its own bombardment phase to try to knock out the trenches, A&A doesn’t work that way.

    An idea I’ve used in a couple of home made A&A variants is to add the fortress (the blockhouses from D-day) facility. It can only be placed in a Territory with a victory city, costs 15 IPC and takes 3 hits to render in-operable (but can have up to six points of damage done to it). Unlike the other facilities (Airfield and naval port) it doesn’t have it’s own “built in” AA defense and it’s bonus is raising the defense of up to 4 infantry to 3 or less. Keeps it balanced and works well.


  • @Make_It_Round:

    @MacNaughton:

    I don’t think that we need to limit the # of entrenchment counters on a territory. Why not?

    Well, we can only build 1 entrenchment counter per territory per round, to a limit of 3 territories. The game rarely lasts even eight rounds, so I wager that we’ll never experience the nightmare scenario of facing +20 entrenchment counters when attacking Moscow. Maybe three to five, but rarely more.

    Best,

    M_I_R

    I agree with you completely. I mentioned +20 trench counters in Moscow as the justification for limiting the number of trenches placed per turn (like you suggested).
    Also, I wasn’t thinking that Moscow itself would ever have 20 trenches. The Germans have to move through 3 territories before they get to Moscow. Depending on how the trench rule is limited they could have to fight through a large number of trenches before killing any Moscow units.


  • @Vance:

    Instead of making them a hit soak, how about:

    Infantry entrenchment.
    One infantry per territory per turn may be entrenched at a cost of $2.  No more than 3 entrenched infantry may occupy a single territory.  Trenches are represented by a trench roundel placed under the infantry unit and are immobile.  An infantry unit to be entrenched must have been in the territory at the start of the turn.  If entrenched infantry are later moved or killed, the trenches remain unless they are destroyed by the enemy.

    Entrenched infantry are immune to attack by enemy infantry, mechanized infantry, artillery, or shore bombardment.  Only armor and air units can kill entrenched infantry.  Trenches may be destroyed by artillery or shore bombardment.

    Example: you attack 2 entrenched infantry with 1 infantry, 1 artillery, 1 fighter, and a cruiser bombards.  On the first dice roll you hit with the infantry and a cruiser.  The infantry hit doesn’t count but the cruiser shot de-trenches 1 infantry.  The defender doesn’t hit anything.

    On the second dice roll you get hits for the infantry and fighter.  The enemy also gets a hit.  The untrenched infantry is killed by the infantry hit and the fighter hit kills the entrenched infantry. One trench remains unscathed.  You decide to lose the artillery and occupy the territory with 1 entrenched infantry.

    So if you are amphibiously assaulting an island with entrenched infantry you will always want shore bombardment (to weaken enemy defenses), air support (to kill the enemy), armor (to kill the enemy), and infantry (hit soak to protect your armor OR to occupy a usable defensive position).  Bringing artillery might be a bad idea because trenches would soak hits  from artillery and you might want to preserve those defenses for yourself.

    I like this, but I think you should be able to place entrechments equal to the territories IPC value. Islands have a max of 3, No ipc territories have a max of 1.


  • Soaking up a hit and boosting an infantry or artillery (what about mechs? Are they ‘just’ infantry with trucks or no?) to 3 defense seems reasonable to me.

    The cost should be the same as the amount of trenches already in the territory. I don’t like hard limits, and this would simulate the cost of various stages of fortification quite well I think.

    So if you decided to place 10 in Moscow:
    0+1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9=$45
    to soak up 10 hits.

    Past a cetain point, it stops being viable and so self-balances.

    Limit to no more than one placed in any given territory per round.


  • A graduated cost- Now there’s a  good idea!

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    Fortifcations. Cost 2 icp’s to start first level. Can buy extra levels at 1 icp. Up to 3 levels only per territory. Absorbs 3 hits. Then fort is destroyed. Then have to remove any hits after that. In are 1939 game, France starts with a 9 level fortification along the Franco-German border which is removed once France falls. In the 1942 game, Germany starts with a 9 level fort known as the Siegfried line goes from Switzerland borded to end of Belguim border. UK starts with 2 six level forts at Gilbraltar and Malta. 1 six level on each island.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    I still see no reason to BUY entrenchment if you only get to add one chip per turn. It is only digging trenches. Wouldn’t you rather spend your money on weapons?


  • @Der:

    I still see no reason to BUY entrenchment if you only get to add one chip per turn. It is only digging trenches. Wouldn’t you rather spend your money on weapons?

    Because this game is both strategic and economic. And those two aspects are absolutely linked. All of your economic advantages are dependant on your strategic maneuvers. And all your deployments that enable your strategic maneuvers are dependant on your economic strength. It is the principle by which the game is balanced at the start and the principle by which nations gain the momentum toward victory.
    You change the game at a foundational level when you start creating deployments that have nothing to do with your economy.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    @MacNaughton:

    @Der:

    I still see no reason to BUY entrenchment if you only get to add one chip per turn. It is only digging trenches. Wouldn’t you rather spend your money on weapons?

    You change the game at a foundational level when you start creating deployments that have nothing to do with your economy.

    But using that reasoning why don’t we have to pay for the gas when we move our armor? Or pay for the bombs we use in strategic bombing?  Or pay to fix battleships and carriers?

    My original concept of entrenchment was not things like blockhouses or shore guns that would cost IPCs - it is just giving an infantry a shovel and saying “here -  dig in.”  For example - how much economic cost was involved in the Japanese tunnels at Iwo Jima? I’d say it was 90% shovel work.

    By limiting the digging in to one entrenchment chip per turn, a limit is already imposed. Why impose a financial limit also? But each person can implement what they want with their own game. To me you are not actually producing any new weapon - you are just digging holes to hide in.

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