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New: optional technology chart + rules for A&A 1914



  • Hello everyone,

    I made some optional rules and a technology chart (which I printed on card stock) for my gaming group.  We played with it a few times already – this is version 8 of the rules and chart, so it has been revised a great deal.

    It is over at Boardgamegeek.com, on the A&A 1914 page, in the Files section. Look for “A&A 1914 optional Technology Chart + Rules”.  If a moderator wants to post it here then by all means, feel free to do so.

    Feel free to use it or not use it, and modify it to suit your own needs.  It is intended to be optional rules that you can use or not, just like the tech rules in Global 1940 (they are written the same way), so experiment and see if you like it.

    Anyways, the intent with the optional tech chart and rules was to address, as minimally and elegantly as possible, the biggest technology gains throughout the war. It also addresses the very slow movement (Advanced Rail Network), and spices up the war in Africa to feel more like a brush war (Increased Mobilization).

    Enjoy!


  • Customizer

    Volcano,
      Overall, I really like these. Especially like that you give some nations techs to begin with, however, I’ve got some constructive criticism that might help you:

    1. First of all, while I liked the fact that you put in a sort of ‘allowance’ for Germany, GB, and France, I still think 5 IPC’s (and especially 10 IPC’s) is way too much for research. You’ve played the game, did anyone have that kind of money laying around?

    2. Don’t really care for the fact that you have to research all Tier 1 before going on to Tier 2…maybe 3/6? This is especially painful since you made tanks a T2 tech, because if you think about it, nations are going to have to sink massive amounts of cash into researching all of T1; not to mention that since you can only get 1 T1 tech per turn, it will be turn 7 at the earliest when tanks are allowed to show up (for some nations).

    3. I would lower the threshold for Increased Mobilization to maybe 3 infantry…if you’re buying ships and/or fighters, you really don’t have the cash to buy 5 infantry. I like the general idea, though. Good going simulating Askaris and the continental mobilization systems with a single rule!  😄

    4. I’m kinda not sure why you put that caveat about starting in an ally’s tt for Advanced Rail Network. Any historical or gameplay reasons for this?

    Overall, thanks for your efforts, the chart looks really nice and the techs are very well thought out. Let me know what you think about my suggestions.



  • Thanks for the feedback.

    1. Well, we couldn’t decide that either. 5 IPCs isn’t really that much, but it can certainly bite into your budget.  We found that Germany, France and Britain would usually spend 5 IPCs per turn + the regular free one they got, as the norm, for two dice. Once more money started coming in (especially for Germany) then they started spending 10 to 15 IPCs plus the freebie, so 3 to 4 dice per turn. They ended up getting four technologies pretty quickly and started moving on to the 2nd Tier (because the rules state that once four tier 1 techs are obstained then tier 2 is also 5 IPCs).  The game ended shortly afterwards though because of time constraints. At one point Britain was getting enough money and everyone else was doing all the nasty business of dying, that they were able to skip to some tier 2 dice. Of course luck determines whether that is a waste of money or not.  😐

    That said, I did write down a note for 3 IPCs/die for tier 1 chart, and 6 IPCs/die for tier 2 tech. We haven’t tried that yet though. 5 IPCs/die is the Global 1940 standard, but I think on average there seems to be much more income in that game so yeah, it might need to be less. Please experiment and let me know if 3/6 is better. Another idea though was to give 2 free 5 IPC dice to those nations mentioned in the rules, instead of 1. Lots of options here.

    Also, keep in mind that Tier 2 is supposed to be 2x expensive to make it more of a gamble, and to have it mostly be a sort of progression, so that it isn’t likely that someone will end up with Assault Infantry, Rolling Barrages and tanks until later on (and when they do, they will probably just have just two of these tier 2 techs, which was intentional).

    1. You mentioned that you have to research ALL tier 1 before going to tier 2 but that is incorrect. The rules state you have to have 4 of 6 before all tier 2 dice become 5 IPCs. That said, perhaps instead of 4 of 6 it should be 3 of 6 like you mention.  Interesting, this is the same number that I mentioned above that we cannot decide on our research dice.  Perhaps 3 and 6 are magic numbers for both cases.  I will consider that in our next play.

    2. Hmm, try that out and see if you like it that way.  We played it as says (1 free infantry per 5), and it wasn’t bad since everyone usually seems to buy 5 infantry at a time anyway. I just wanted to be cautious about overloading Africa – in the game we just played it felt just right, but perhaps it influenced an infantry centric game because of that. The Germans were placing the free troops in East Africa  and the British were moving troops from India to deal with them. The French were also putting their colonials in Africa as well and it was pretty tense at times. Eventually, maybe turn 6 or so, the Germans were eradicated, but it took some effort.

    So yes, I might try it as 3 : 1 next time and see how that works.

    1. Yes indeed. The reason for this is the historical movement of German troops through Austria-Hungary. This happened at least four of five times. Once when Austria-Hungary couldn’t deal with Serbia (1915). Again when Romania was invaded and conquered (1916, von Mackensen’s lighting campaign). Again when the Germans sent any army to help the Austrians in Galicia offensives (actual several times here I think) and again when the Germans sent an army to help with Italy in 1917 or 1918 – I don’t recall exactly.  Of course the Germans also sent some units to help the Ottomans as well. Given how the game works, it would take about 5 or 6 or more turns to get to any of these places, so this just simply isn’t practical nor possible.

    Also, the idea is that a nation can basically send a contingent of troops on a one way trip to assist, because they can’t quickly move back to their homeland the same way (which provides a realistic penalty – since that is more or less how it all worked; the trains had to be specifically assigned and organized to the task, away from their normal mobilization and supply duties).

    Now the question here for me was, the rail movement limit of 5 units was really just a number pulled out of a hat.  I didn’t want it to be too high or too low, but it could have very well been 6 or 8 units also. I may change that, but 5 seemed to work well in our game.

    Thanks again for the info. Tinker with it and see if any good or bad comes from it and let me know. I will do the same and report back after our next game. 🙂



  • OK, I made a version 9 of the chart and rules and uploaded it to BGG. I will try this out at our next game meet and see if it it is an improvement.


  • Customizer

    Awesome! I’ll have to test v9 on my next playthrough….haven’t had much time with work lately.



  • Well that’s just great. My bumbling butterfingers just deleted my previous huge post. sigh so much for browsing the forum on the iPhone…  😢



  • There is an alternative tech ruleset that has been in the works that Wove and I have been working on.
    The rules are similar to yours, and different than yours in some respects.

    It may be possible to meet in the middle someday and have one grand ruleset for tech that the community would consider the default….perhaps someday.

    Check ours out at http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=30565.0


  • Customizer

    @oztea:

    There is an alternative tech ruleset that has been in the works that Wove and I have been working on.
    The rules are similar to yours, and different than yours in some respects.

    It may be possible to meet in the middle someday and have one grand ruleset for tech that the community would consider the default….perhaps someday.

    Check ours out at http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=30565.0

    Oztea,
    They are very similar, but I really like Volcano’s implementation (giving certain nations default techs, giving certain nations allowances, etc.) much better. I like some of your techs better, however, so maybe we can come up with a happy medium someday. I think the objective should be techs that are simple and easy to implement and use (minimize dice rolling, etc.) while still adding a small advantage for those with the techs (not to mention the fun factor).



  • Yes, I have tried to cover all of the major tech advances in the war but I might be a bit too heavy on the die rolling.  I don’t see any other way to do it though. We really like the Advanced Trench Network tech for example, because it makes it feel like the game has transitioned to the 1916 Verdun like state (until a side gets Advanced Infantry, which then simulates the transition to 1917-18, along with Assault Infantry Tactics), but it requires die rolls at certain times.

    Of course the problem with any tech enhancements is that you have to remember your own tech advances and to actually use them, otherwise they are pointless. In that respects, tech advances does increase the amount of book keeping, but not too much I don’t think (unless you are playing several countries, all with a lot of tech advances).

    Oh well, it is always good to have several methods, options, house rules to pick and choose from.  🙂

    It would be difficult to decide which techs my group likes and which they dislike, simply because we pretty much already did that in the first 7 versions. 😉  This pretty much has been a process of elimination/evolution already, but that is not to say that improvements (and simplifications) cannot be made.  Different strokes for different folks, and all that.



  • OK, version 10 is now a available at BGG. An error was corrected and the Advanced Rail Network tech was enhanced a bit, hopefully it hasn’t become too terribly complicated - just a bit more useful.

    We finished our second game with these rules. The Central Powers won it, Austia-Hungary was the star of the show, interestingly enough. It took Rome and jointly defeated Russia. Built a massive fleet in the Meditterranean and gained control of it where it was able to invade France from the southern coast while the Germans kept the French busy, and fleet battle after fleet battle kept the British occupied in the North Sea.

    The Americans were sent to Italy to save them, which they did until the massive Austia fleet took the Med and entered Rome amphibiously. It was an 8 turn epic, at 1.5 hours per turn until the allies finally threw in the towel.

    The tech kept things interesting. The more you accumulate the harder it becomes to remember to use it but that is a good problem to have. 😉


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