What impact will the USA have, if any?

  • Customizer

    The only plausible justification for America having more than a turn’s money to spend in 1917 is the vast interest charged on loans to the Allies. But America went to war partly to secure the repayment of the debts, only likely if the Allies won. It made a big profit from the war, but didn’t expect to collect until after the shooting stopped.


  • Well, the US’s estimated GDP is double Germany’s in 1913 (admitting using quick wikipedia search http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_regions_by_past_GDP_%28PPP%29 ), so it isn’t like the US couldn’t have built up its military and there were many debates about doing so when WWI started (again, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_entry_into_World_War_I).

    If different political priorities existed, it isn’t outside the realm of imagination that the US would have built a few ships and trained a small army before 1917 (all you can do with the 60 IPCs from turns 1-3 anyway).  It isn’t like we are talking about the 200 IPCs the US gets in AA1940 if they start the war on turn 4.

    If you wanted it to be more historically correct, the US would not be able to build anything in AA1914 until turn 4 and then start collecting ~60 IPC per turn to reflect its industrial might.  But, such a historically accurate economy would be game unbalancing (much like the US getting a more accurate 120 IPCs/turn in Global 1940, based on GDP).

  • Customizer

    I’ve no problem with America getting a higher base income as long as it can’t spend anything until it declares war.

    The main reason Germany decided to risk USW was the poor showing of the American army in Mexico; it persuaded them that Pershing and co were not worth worrying about.

    The paradox, then, is that if America had had a significantly bigger army in 1917, it may never have been given the opportunity to use it.

    Even if US income is huge, it still gives the CPs the incentive to

    a) keep America out of the war for as long as possible,

    b) defeat the Allies before America can make a difference.

    Which gives the game a certain momentum beyond a simple die rolling attrition fest.


  • Agreed Flashman.  I may experiement with the US not moving/buying but just collecting 20 IPC/turn.  Then when at war the US can buy and move and perhaps a national objective of an additional 10 or 15 IPCs.


  • The US shouldn’t be able to do anything until war is declared.
    Then and only then would they deserve a 40 IPC “War Declaration Bonus”
    So for one turn they can spend 60 IPCs.

  • Customizer

    I would prefer to think of this as a “mass conscription”, since at this stage the American contribution was largely in manpower, certainly not in advanced weaponry, which it had to borrow from the Allies.

    This goes back to something I mentioned before about the UK & US not having compulsory military service; hence very small peacetime armies. This did mean, however, that upon declaring war they could enact conscription which would immediately raise large, but untrained armies.

    Britain did not do this immediately, relying on volunteers to swell the ranks of the small professional army. But as casualties mounted up, the Military Service Act brought in a flood of new manpower:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Service_Act_(United_Kingdom)

    America was much quicker to bring in conscription:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Service_Act_of_1917

    Therefore, I suggest that when America goes to war, rather than getting an IPC boost as such, it gets to declare a draft and can place X “free” infantry. These can perhaps be trained up into other units, though I prefer them having to be shipped to Europe to be equipped with B & F weaponry to bring them up to standard.

    Britain could be given the same option once per game, but there would have to be a balance (loss of morale?), or the declaration restricted to turn 3 or later.


  • I think we need to keep it simple Flashman- the US not getting money until turn 4 with a ‘bonus’ would be easier.

  • Customizer

    What could be simpler?

    On declaring war, America drafts X free infantry.

    Much easier than all that fannying around lurking off the coast of France waiting for turn 4 to arrive.


  • I was referring to US troops getting British and French equipment ‘turning into’ artillery and tanks.  Definitely not against x number of infantry turning up on turn 4.  They will need them.

  • Customizer

    @Flashman:

    I’ve no problem with America getting a higher base income as long as it can’t spend anything until it declares war.

    The main reason Germany decided to risk USW was the poor showing of the American army in Mexico; it persuaded them that Pershing and co were not worth worrying about.

    The paradox, then, is that if America had had a significantly bigger army in 1917, it may never have been given the opportunity to use it.

    Even if US income is huge, it still gives the CPs the incentive to

    a) keep America out of the war for as long as possible,

    b) defeat the Allies before America can make a difference.

    Which gives the game a certain momentum beyond a simple die rolling attrition fest.

    I agree as well. This was the point of the German Spring Offensive of 1918; they were trying one last ditch effort to overrun the Allies in the West before the Americans could arrive with their massive numbers of ground troops. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Offensive

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

    Well obviously nobody has played the game, but if it turns out that the game is not balanced ( and makes the central powers too weak) when the Russian player leaves the game, a bonus to Germany of X IPC would be in order to simulate the transfer of units back to the western front for 1918.

    Id rather not speculate and just play the damn game first, which may seem as a novel concept before inventing 50 pages of house rules to “fix” it.

  • Customizer

    @Imperious:

    Id rather not speculate and just play the damn game first, which may seem as a novel concept before inventing 50 pages of house rules to “fix” it.

    Not sure where the hostility is coming from…it seems like the sole purpose of these boards is for people who are (despite the complaining and houseruling) genuinely excited about this game coming out and just like to kick around ideas for making the game even cooler.

    Or, I guess if you want traffic on the site to drop to zero, we can all log off until the game comes out so we can have a truly informed conversation.

    Personally, I’m really f***ing excited about the game coming out, and besides consuming all the information about it I can, I like to come here to have conversations with people who are as interested as I am.

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

    It’s not hostility and my commentary is not directed to anybody. Just commentary of the incredible amount of house rules to fix a game that nobody has played. I don’t think it falls under excitement but rather nitpicking a game that never claimed it was the absolute truth of WW1, but really as Larry put it a “broad stroke of Historical accuracy”.

    None of the rules i have seen have any KISS about them or in keeping with the complexity of the game as we know it.

    They are all way out of the ballpark.

    I encourage rules that “look like” something that would already be in the game…something Larry would come up with. If USA enters on turn 4, that’s just fine. The playtestors have played this out to create the best balance possible so nothing should change that by way of altering the US entry.

    But a rule like “if you fight in an area perhaps the economic value is reduced by 1 to reflect the quagmire of the Great War” is a good one because it equally effects both sides and is realistic.

    A rule like “US player enters on turn 1” would just destroy the game and make it unbalanced.

  • Customizer

    I personally don’t think all house rules have to be KISS…if they add flavor or interest, then they’re worth it in my eyes.

    I think the idea that house rules have to simplify or streamline the (usually already simplified and streamlined) OOB game is a bit off…while I’m sure some rules are born out of the players trying to correct something they find imbalanced or incorrect with the original rules, most of the house rules I create (or like) are either trying to make the game more historically accurate or interesting.

    My ‘Waffen SS’ or ‘Vichy France’ rules don’t really do anything for balance, but it’s pretty cool to see those markers on the map during a G40 game.


  • Sorry, but what does KISS mean?!

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

    Keep it simple stupid.

    If the game is rock-paper scissors, you don’t make a new rule about wind disposition and rolling a d20 to resolve critical hits from the rock. It just looks ridiculous IMO.

    The rule addition has to have the “look” like it belongs to the game and does not effect one player only or it may upset balance.

    Its’ like wearing an Armani suit with a yellow 5 gallon foam cowboy hat. You just don’t do it.


  • How about for US entry, a track from 0 to 6 where the US starts at 0 and for every IPC they lose to unrestricted sub warfare, they go up 1. After they go above 0, they roll a die each turn and enter the war if they roll at or below the level they are on. For example, of they have lost 1 IPC, they enter when they roll a 1, if they’ve lost 2 they enter at a 1 or 2, and so on with automatic entry on turn 6. Any turn the US is not at war, they gain 1/2 income with a 20 IPC bonus upon entry.

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