Just an update on the game so far; not putting up a full report, but I wanted to post my first impressions of the game and how the house rules I’m trying are affecting it.
Flash, thanks for that note, I’ll use the ‘1 ipc’ caveat, but I’m still going to give them an income throughout the game, so theoretically they could build 10 transports (60 IPC’s) on Turn 3 and be ready to move by Turn 4. As far as the breakthrough thing, let me test it and see how it feels, I want to keep it as simple as possible.
So I decided to tweak the ‘Devastation’ rule:
At the beginning of each game round, place a ‘damage’ or ‘devastation’ marker in all contested tt’s. If a tt changes to controlled (i.e. not contested) and stays controlled until the end of the round, remove the marker. At the end of the game round, all tt’s with devastation markers remaining have their IPC values reduced by 1, to a minimum of 0.
This was to avoid the ‘devastation’ marker from being reset if the tt became controlled, but then became contested immediately again.
It’s awesome to finally have a WW1 Axis & Allies, but to be honest, I feel gypped. This game should have been max $50. From the non-unique sculpts, to the fact that Germany doesn’t have enough infantry pieces to buy on its first turn, to the sloppy control marker printing (as an engineer, it bothers the hell out of me; all my tricolor flags are off-center), to the unusable income chart (printed in the Sahara to avoid the cost of printing a separate board), this game just doesn’t look like a $99 game. It looks like they tried to squeeze every last penny out of production cost. That’s all I’ll say about that.
As others have mentioned, the mechanics feel great. You really feel like you’re hanging on a razor’s edge on your fronts, and good or bad dice rolls have a huge impact. At the end of the second round, I still have no idea how the game will go. On the game design aspect, I think Larry hit it out of the park (not counting some of the anachronisms in the map and setup against him).
My only complaint with the mechanics is one that I suppose I’ve always had: the inability to exploit an attack. Even when a country is victorious in a battle and overruns the enemy, they are forced to sit still as their enemy is driven back into the next territory, allowing the enemy to simply move in on their next turn and contest the first tt all over again. Not sure how to fix this, but it just feels slightly wrong.
House Rules So Far
I like the Devastation rule, it serves as a reminder that a particularly vicious battle was fought in a tt. Poland became a hotspot, a 2 turn battle being fought there, and when Russia finally prevailed (only to have it contested again), they only received 2 ipc’s for the tt. It reminds me that most places that saw intense fighting in the war were literally obliterated, turned into charred moonscapes by artillery.
The U.S. isolationism rule is working well, we’ll see how it goes when they join the war. They feel very much like the ‘sleeping giant,’ just sitting back and raking in their cash.