What to teach new players



  • I have recently been able to wrangle together 6 of my friends who are up for playing G40 regularly.  Now 2 of us have played a dozen or so times, one of them once before (Pacific), and the other 3 haven’t played at all.

    I have been hoarding as much resources and information to help them ease into the game, and am hoping the first game won’t be too slow, and not too much “holding back on the new guys” occurring.

    Now I am not sure how much information I should try cramming down their throats at this point.  I want them to not make too many rookie errors, but I am a huge advocate of players experimenting with strategy rather than following an “Accepted strategy” for a Nation, even if that means they take longer to arrive at the same conclusion.

    So far I am trying to avoid any move specific, or purchase plan strategies for Nations.  Am trying to go for more basic strategy concepts like linking units inf and art together can be just as viable attack option as a tank.

    Now what I want to ask, is what are some BASIC strategy concepts that you would consider are valuable to teach newbies?

    At the moment the only write-up I have done is survival rate estimations (eg. 3 destroyers are generally a better investment than 2 cruisers if you look past the first round of combat and cost to replace) and hit/cost estimates (estimated IPC value of each kill you score).

    I have also done up an FAQ sheet (http://www.elliottfox.com/files/AA_FAQ_1.pdf forgive me for typos!) for Rule clarificatons.  I made this by trawling the first 30ish pages of the Global Forum and collating them into a basic QA format.

    Any tips and advice on initiating new players would be great!  I would love to keep these guys playing so we have a more consistent playing group!



  • Ultimately, each individual will develop themselves into their own strategist. The trick is to just allow them to experience the game at their own pace, even if its slow to the experienced players. I once organized a game of 6 newbies that had never played before, and I was a coordinator/referee/banker/adviser that made sure the game flowed smoothly. Everyone caught on quickly and had their own ideas on how to strategize. They would move in their battles and I would tell them what to roll and what they needed to hit, I also removed their casualties for them and did all the income counting. what happened was great fun, and although 4 of them haven’t shown interest in playing again, 2 of them have become very active gamers and now play with us every month. If you show them the basics and do a lot of the grunt work (tagging new territories, counting new income, handing out money) it will go along way in allowing them to enjoy the experience, without being over welmed.

    Don’t stress the strategy aspect to much, seriously… they might feel that they are being directed, and if you constantly point out bad moves, they won’t come back. Say things like… “are you sure you want to move that there?, you might lose it to a counter attack” or “thats a good idea, but if you do this it might be better because…”
    In the game that I mentioned above… the German player bought 6 cruisers with his 72$ in round 2, I asked him if he was sure he wanted to do that and after much thought… he purchased 3 cruisers and 6 submarines…  :|, but it turned out to be a great game because the reactions to it were also unconventional.

    My point is, when you have that many 1st timers playing… you can’t play for proper strategy structure, you play for a great gaming experience. The 2 players from our game have become great strategist over time and have learned the best use for all the units on the board, but they did some pretty crazy stuff that first game, and you know what?.. you just gotta let them. We had a new player come to our place and played Italy, he wanted to buy ships turn one, but than proceeded to move his fleet away from his port in the Med… we told him not to buy ships if he was just going to move the support ships… I felt like we were telling him what to buy and where to move… he hasn’t been back to play with us since.

    In a nut shell,… do all the work for them, while they play their own style. the game will end with a lot of unorthodox twists, but they should all feel that they are the director of their own fate. that will allow their imaginations to burst with possibilities… not stiff strategy structures.


  • 2019 2017 '16 '15 '13

    As far as strategies go, I would just impress upon new players that, not only should they try to hold the territories that they have, but also try to gain more territories. After a few rounds of combat, they’ll decide if they’re going to play defensive or aggressive. You really never know what new players are going to do…so just let them play the way they want and hopefully they’ll have fun.

    I’ve found that the most challenging aspect of the game for new players is the purchasing of units and understanding each units capabilities. That can be somewhat overwhelming for some new players.

    I’ve also found that new players aren’t really that concerned with having some kind of “grand strategy”…because they don’t know wtf they’re doing. They’re more focused on getting good dice rolls.
    And when it comes down to it, that’s what really wins the game.

    The main thing is that they have fun…if they get steamrolled by an experienced player their first game, they might not want to play again. So I’m easy on new players…I might even throw the first game so they like playing.
    If they want to play again though, they find out how things really work!


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    IMNSHO:

    A) Remove Artillery, Mechanized Infantry and Tactical Bombers from the game.  I view these as more “flavor” units.  That is to say, I see them as units that can be removed from the game without significantly changing things.

    B) Remove all SBR rules and Technology from the game.  Again, these are more “flavor” and less “mission critical” rules.

    C) I would leave in national objectives.  It is my opinion that these are really designed for both historical accuracy and to help guide players into specific types of tactics.  Later on, these players can choose which objectives to ignore or focus on better. ^_^  But for now, leave them in so they can help guide the players.

    D) Give the worst player America.  Since he’ll then have 4 rounds to see how things are going.  Second worst Germany.  Third worst England/India.  Then give the Best player Russia (preferably one that can dial back his or her skill to make it fun for Germany/Japan/Italy.)  Russia is EXTREMELY important to be played by someone who can allow Germany to have a good time, especially in early games!  Think of it as playing Black in Chess against a new player.



  • I wouldn’t insult them by dumbing it down, they will ask questions during the game and will eventually find out that you removed some rules on them.


  • Customizer

    Elzario,

    ––I believe most of us would agree that this game is best when players are required to THINK for themselves.
    ––IMHO a ‘COACHING’ player, maybe after sharing some pre-game thoughts, might do best by allowing new players to play their game ‘on their own’ STRATEGY-WISE, as long as there is a post-game ANALYSIS of what went right, wrong, and HOW things could be improved. This way new players learn from their mistakes, sometimes the best way. Also, they would have an attitude of ‘OWNERSHIP’ for their strategies and their consequences. This should lead to MOTIVATING them with a desire to become better, more efficient/effective players.
    ––To play this game well, players have to constantly consider, offense, defense, efficientcy, strategy, logistics, etc, etc., all at the same time. Experience helps a lot,…but IMHO desire and logical thought are primary.

    ––My ‘gang’ of my Dad(88), older brother(64), and I(54) have had a tough time the last 2-3 years finding additional players. Most people our age seem to have too many responsibilities to enable good, regular occuring games. We have a few occasional players, but mostly try to invite/dare(?) some young, aggresive college guys to play with us. After the first few games some of them become really competitive. Don’t get me wrong. We’re competant players, but I’m sure MANY of the A&A.Org crowd could probably show us a thing or two. But at least at the moment, we in Shreveport, LA have somewhat of a drought of A&A gamers.

    ----Anyone in NorthEast Texas/NorthWest Louisiana up for a f/f G-40 game???

    “Tall Paul”



  • What to teach new players?

    How to roll low #'s  😄

    Seriously the first thing is to obviously divide up the players so each side has a guy or two that has played before to take somewhat of a leadership role (w/o trying to micro manage). Keep the newer guys in the loop when you do your purchases, and moves so they don’t lose interest.

    Make sure everyone goes over their chart and understands cost, attack/def values, and movement.

    Go over the political rules, what restrictions US and Russia have, and what happens if Japan attacks early. Then describe the roll of each power a bit, and how the axis will be kicking A$$ in the beginning. How the UK is alone the first couple turns etc….

    Purchasing units is always hard for newbies not able to see to far into the future. Guide them in the right direction pointing out what powers might need more navy/transport vs heavy ground units buys. Maybe have them look at replacing units they may lose in battles w/purchases.

    I certainly wouldn’t change that game or units. Just play, have a good time, and let the game come to them.


  • Customizer

    Hmmm,

    @WILD:

    What to teach new players?
    How to roll low #'s  😄

    Love it!!!

    ––It just seemed logical that there would need to be an adaquate studying of the rules/attack proceedures before playing. And before a game a basic ‘strategic gameplan’.
    ----This is such a wonderful game that veteran players are glad to help some rookies learn it,…And the KILL THEM!, haha

    “Tall Paul”


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    @Young:

    I wouldn’t insult them by dumbing it down, they will ask questions during the game and will eventually find out that you removed some rules on them.

    I would tell them I am removing some of the rules to simplify a very complex game and that we will add them back in after we play once or twice.


  • 2017 '16 '15

    you should just play revised then

    I think GH is on the right track



  • @Young:

    Don’t stress the strategy aspect to much, seriously… they might feel that they are being directed, and if you constantly point out bad moves, they won’t come back.

    I might not of pointed this out in the initial post, but this is exactly the approach I am taking.  Trying to give them the rule basics and them learning the ropes.

    @captain:

    As far as strategies go, I would just impress upon new players that, not only should they try to hold the territories that they have, but also try to gain more territories. After a few rounds of combat, they’ll decide if they’re going to play defensive or aggressive.

    This is a great reminder!  At the end of the day, keeping and gaining territories is what it is all about.

    @captain:

    I’ve also found that new players aren’t really that concerned with having some kind of “grand strategy”…because they don’t know wtf they’re doing. They’re more focused on getting good dice rolls.
    And when it comes down to it, that’s what really wins the game.

    That is good to hear, that is really what I wanted reassurance about, that they don’t NEED long term strategy for their first few games

    @Cmdr:

    A) Remove Artillery, Mechanized Infantry and Tactical Bombers from the game.  I view these as more “flavor” units.  That is to say, I see them as units that can be removed from the game without significantly changing things.

    I think I might do this, understanding units and rules associated with them can be confusing.  This might help flatten out the learning curve on the first game.

    @Tall:

    I believe most of us would agree that this game is best when players are required to THINK for themselves.

    Without a doubt, this is exactly what I want them to do.  Play their own game and maybe I can learn something from a few of the freshmen!

    @Tall:

    ––Anyone in NorthEast Texas/NorthWest Louisiana up for a f/f G-40 game???

    I am in Australia, so is probably a bit of a hike for me to get there 🙂

    Thanks for all the suggestions guys, most of it reaffirms my thoughts to not push anything much on them, mostly just basic rules and unit abilities.  I am going to try and simplify the game a bit too, maybe take out tactical bombers, arty and mech - although I like to use inf + arty a lot so will see 😛



  • What I appreciated being taught, in hopes that I would do the same when the time comes:

    1. Being kept out of the fighting.  For me, observation is a key for in learning moves/strats, and being the USA (I first learned A&A via the MB version).
    2. While not giving away every move, before the game, give them the overall goal of the Allied/Axis attack.  Where is the target zone of the attack.  For global, being taught to go for Italy was key.  It helped reinforce it when I played the Axis and saw somebody try Normandy.  It was an epic fail.
    3. Fodder, fodder, fodder.
    4. Use grade school math when calculating probabilities.  if you have 6 inf attacking, 1 should hit…8 tanks? 4 should hit.  Figure out the losses from there.
    5. Ensure your opponent drinks a lot of Makers Mark!


    1. They should also learn how to flipp the table in anger with the proper grip, so that all the pieces get scattered and not just some of them  8-)

  • Customizer

    Everyone,

    ––I think it’s just great that there’s such a healthy discussion about this subject.
    ----And it’s a lot of FUN, too!
    @Young:

    They should also learn how to flipp the table in anger with the proper grip, so that all the pieces get scattered and not just some of them  8-)

    @Mallery29:

    @WILD:

    How to roll low #'s  😄

    Ensure your opponent drinks a lot of Makers Mark!

    ––Some really classic competitive strategies here???(Grin)

    “Tall Paul”





  • I think the best advice you can give a new player is to not get discouraged because the rules and strategies are complex.

    If they are entirely unfamiliar with Axis and Allies, I would recommend playing one of the simpler versions to minimize the learning curve for the Global Version later.  A strong understanding of why protecting Armor/Aircraft with Infantry/Mech is much easier to grasp in a game that takes 3 hours versus one that you invest 6 hours into and find out the hard way and lose the game because of it.

    I’d employ a recommendation strategy to them if you observe them doing something very obviously wrong such as buying 4 bombers on G1 with the idea they want to start flattening London from the get-go.

    You want to remain competitive, but perhaps giving them a “simpler” country (or countries) to manage on the first game through such as running China, Anzac and India may help them learn the rules without the added pressure of driving the game if they play as Germany or Japan - or equally so in countering the Axis as the US.

    When I showed my brother the Europe stand-alone version of global, he was rather miffed with the naval bases, air bases, joint attack bonuses from Armor/Ftr paired with Tacs, and US not being in the war for 3 turns, etc.  I ended up giving him a recommendation of how I’d play Germany on the first two, or three rounds at a high level:

    1. Crush Paris first without using any aircraft, sink as much of the British navy as possible and buy units you’ll need to keep the UK and the US off your back while you march on Moscow.
    2. Attack or stage to attack Moscow, buy units that will make it to the front line in time to reinforce your armor, and support Italy with aircraft.
    3. Shore up your defenses and keep the pressure on Moscow with purchases that can get to the front line to replace losses as you advance.

    Those three tips helped him formulate a strategy while he learned some of the finer things such as manipulating AB’s, NB’s and combining units to good effect.  Unfortunately he took all my advice to buying max armor every round and driving straight for Moscow from G1 forward.  Proved to be interesting for 5 rounds until he couldn’t keep the Allies off of France and lost his armor stack attacking Moscow.  Lesson learned though, I suppose.



  • Make it a little easier for them by moving the purchase new units phase to right after noncombat. Keep repair at the top of the round though.


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