What Makes For The Most Balanced Game?



  • ghr2,

    I would agree on your number of 60-70%. Unfortunately that is what the US should at the minimum be spending against Europe to maximize the Allies chances to win. The 6 victory condition for the Pacific forces that 60-70% to be ineffectively spent in the Pacific. That is why I don’t like it.

    So far I can’t tell how unbalanced the game is. I read most people complain the axis now have the advantage. But in the games I have played, playing with the 6 victory city rules most definitely puts the Allies at a greater disadvantage. So much so, no of my buddies like to play with it.

    We are near agreement on some house rules that keeps it realistic in terms of the history and did some research on how many resources were spent on Japan vs. Germany and on Navies vs. Air Forces and Ground units.

    So far it seems that it needs to be easier for the US to get to Australia to better assist, we are introducing a “Merrills Mauraders” rule, and we are dramatically making Naval units cheaper.

    This is to encourage realistic Naval action in the Pacific without the silly 6 victory city rule.

    Bottom line, Japan can capture 6 cities and win the game while obviously losing the world war.



  • I am suprised that in your games, the US cannot aid Australia unless he goes 100% Pac.



  • In my last post I agreed with your numbers, 60-70% to avoid the 6 victory city. You could probably do it with less, but my ultimate point is that for the greatest chance of an allied victory, it ought to be 70-80% in Europe and 20-30% in the Pacific. The Germans are too much for Russia without that kind of assisitance.

    Now Germany is hard to play, but with equal efficient players, Russia cant stand without significant help. Offensive in Europe and defensive in the Pacific. That basic has not changed from the game unless you play with the 6 victory condition for Japan.


  • '12

    @eddiem4145:

    In my last post I agreed with your numbers, 60-70% to avoid the 6 victory city. You could probably do it with less, but my ultimate point is that for the greatest chance of an allied victory, it ought to be 70-80% in Europe and 20-30% in the Pacific.

    There may be a flaw in this logic.  If the game is tweaked so that the US can merely break even with Japan at 30% spending, then why wouldn’t they continue to spend the 60% and just utterly trounce the Japanese?


  • Customizer

    Also, with the US only spending 20%-30% in the Pacific, isn’t it possible that Japan could get so powerful that they can’t be overcome? If Japan captures the DEI and takes out Calcutta, they will be making a lot of money. Even with ANZAC help, 20%-30% of the US economy will be nothing against Japan at that point.



  • The point is, as I make it again and again, is that Victory must come from Europe. The resources it would take to “trounce” Japan would result in Germany taking Russia. Assuming of course you had extremely proficient players on both sides.

    The war is won in Europe, not Asia. Japan is important in that once, if it can, China and India falls, it can help win the war in Europe by various means. Going after the US (not recommended in my opinion), go after Russia full force, or go after Africa if it was not yet taken depending on the circumstances.

    Enough resources needs to be put into Japan to slow them down, but the bottom line, without a majority of the US resources helping in Europe, Germany would win. Once that happens, it is all over. That part of the game has not changed.



  • Once the allies get italy locked down, a decent landing force in the atlantic, and a gravy train of units going into russia from persia, then germany has almost no chance.


  • Customizer

    @eddiem4145:

    In my last post I agreed with your numbers, 60-70% to avoid the 6 victory city. You could probably do it with less, but my ultimate point is that for the greatest chance of an allied victory, it ought to be 70-80% in Europe and 20-30% in the Pacific. The Germans are too much for Russia without that kind of assisitance.

    Now Germany is hard to play, but with equal efficient players, Russia cant stand without significant help. Offensive in Europe and defensive in the Pacific. That basic has not changed from the game unless you play with the 6 victory condition for Japan.

    This is WRONG. I have seen Russia hold out on their own against Germany, Italy and Japan. Now, if you mean “help” by the UK and US attacking the Axis in other places, then yes they need that. But if you are talking about actual US and UK units being sent to Russia for defense, it is not necessary.
    One strategy I have seen work, and I know some people don’t like it, is infantry stacking for Russia. Every round Russia is still neutral and making 37 IPCs, they buy 9 infantry and 1 fighter. Also, they start moving at least 12 of the far east guys plus the 2 AA guns toward Moscow, leaving the 6 guys on Amur to give Japan something to think about. As soon as Germany attacks, withdraw EVERYTHING toward Moscow, leaving 1 infantry in each territory to prevent blitzing. Keep buying all infantry.
    Japan will attack and gobble up all the far eastern territories. Germany/Italy will gobble up the territories in the west, and Russia sacrifices Leningrad, Stalingrad and the Ukraine, but Moscow will have a stack of 60 men or more plus 3 artillery, 2 tanks, 2 mechs, 1 tac, 6 AA guns and 5-6 fighters.
    In a recent game, Russia did this and after 2 large German attacks and 1 Italian attack on Moscow, Russia still had infantry left plus all their other equipment. Meanwhile Germany/Italy was losing men, artillery, tanks and planes in these attacks. Moscow held out and not one other Allied unit was in a Russian territory.
    England kept Italy in check in the Med while bothering Germany from the back with SBRs and small attacks. The US spent most of it’s money in the Pacific and basically closed Japan off. Japan was still in the game but was making no money thanks to US convoy raids and SBRs. Their army on the continent got whittled down and ANZAC was taking their islands.
    When you get to that point, the US just has to keep a supply of subs to keep convoying Japan and bombers to keep the factories out of action. China and India will eventually wipe out the Japanese mainland army because Japan won’t have money to buy reinforcements for it. Japan becomes a “non-entity”.
    Then the US can send ships and troops to Europe to support UK and knock out Italy. Germany’s offensive in Russia will be exhausted and they won’t be able to keep building there because they will have to answer to the US and UK. Then Russia will be able to start making money again and start re-taking their own territories.
    THAT’S how you beat the Axis. Having the US spend mostly in Europe with just a little in the Pacific is almost a gift to the Axis, particularly Japan. Sure, Germany and Italy will hurt but Japan will gobble up everything in the Pacific.
    But then, perhaps that is your REAL intention all along……



  • This is WRONG. I have seen Russia hold out on their own against Germany, Italy and Japan. Now, if you mean “help” by the UK and US attacking the Axis in other places, then yes they need that. But if you are talking about actual US and UK units being sent to Russia for defense, it is not necessary.

    Not sure how you interpreted actual units in Russia, but I meant attacking Germany and Italy specifically.

    One strategy I have seen work, and I know some people don’t like it, is infantry stacking for Russia.

    It is impossible to determine if a specific strategy would always work. If this strategy in fact would always work, then in fact it is impossible for the Axis to win. If Germany by itself could not take Russia, then the game is historically and severely unbalanced towards the axis. Which is a different argument in itself. I don’t know yet how the balance of the game is due too to many variables, such as the expertise of the players since the game is still relatively new, mistakes made when great players get tired, and the luck of the roll. But this post is preferenced on an Axis clear advantage and how to balance it. My suggestion is to not play with the 6 victory city in the Pacific option. That allows the US to more efficiently spend most of it resources on Germany, thereby tilting the balance more towards the allies.

    England kept Italy in check in the Med while bothering Germany from the back with SBRs and small attacks. The US spent most of it’s money in the Pacific and basically closed Japan off. Japan was still in the game but was making no money thanks to US convoy raids and SBRs. Their army on the continent got whittled down and ANZAC was taking their islands. When you get to that point, the US just has to keep a supply of subs to keep convoying Japan and bombers to keep the factories out of action. China and India will eventually wipe out the Japanese mainland army because Japan won’t have money to buy reinforcements for it. Japan becomes a “non-entity”. Then the US can send ships and troops to Europe to support UK and knock out Italy.

    If this overall strategy relies on Russia holding out for a while, while the US first goes all out against the Japanese with the sole purpose of weakening them so ANZAC, China, and India can contain them on their own, thereby allowing the US to then go all out against Germany, I can’t say this obviously would not work. It may. My initial thought, based on the 10 or so games played with Europe and the 5 games played with Global, is it may work, but more victories would be obtained by the Allies if the US only helped minimally to contain Japan and spent most of its resources from the get go against Germany. Of course this carries a greater risk of losing the whole game when you play with the 6 victory city in Asia rule, which I abhor and never play with. There is too many other variables in this game and tactics, skill, calculated chances play a much bigger role in this game then the other smaller Axis and Allies version. This game is truly more like Chess than it has ever been before where the middle part of the game is purely tactics and not definitive strategy can be developed. Except for one. The war must still be one in Europe. That part of the game has not been changed.


  • Customizer

    Well, without the 6 victory city rule in the Pacific, I don’t think Japan could ever win a game of Global unless the Allies almost totally ignored them. It sounds to me like the only way there will be an Axis victory in your game is if it is by Germany.
    That seems unfair to the Japan player. I know that the Axis are supposed to win as a team, but it’s always nice if you can be the leader of the team once in a while.
    Also, if you strip away the victory conditions for Japan, they basically can’t win no matter how big they get. Then everyone piles on Germany so they are unlikely to win.
    Do you just not have any Axis victories?



  • I have never played with victory cities. The game is always called well before that and someone surrenders. There could have been a time when it was temporarily met but no one would have even noticed. Either the allies would surrender just before or just after. Once the game becomes obvious as to a clear winner, agreements are always made to play a certain number of turns with some qualifiers that must be met, otherwise the losing side must surrender.

    When I was in the army, I remember just one playing the Axis IPC victory if anyone remembers that. The axis for a moment, that could not be maintained, had the level of combined IPC’s to win the game. I was on the allies side. 5 of us were playing. The axis claimed their victory and we, (the allies) were livid and declared it a false victory.

    I understand you issue with Japan in the sense that it is Germany who will always dominate when the Axis wins. But that does not take away from the importance of Japan. If Japan is able to win in the Pacific, (without declaring an end to the game), it can then place incredible pressure on Russia, the UK via Africa, or the US via Alaska or Hawaii, that will bring victory to the Axis.

    Japan would be a power house if allowed to take China, India, the Middle east, and all the Pacific Islands so they cannot be ignored. They just need to be slowed down. One of the things I think should change to encourage action in the Pacific without unrealistic NO’s and “technical wins” would be dramatically lowering the costs of building a Navy. Subs $4, Destroyers $6, Cruisers $8, Air Craft Carriers $10, Planes $8, Tac Bombers $10. Then you could have real action in the pacific without taking away so many resources from other fronts that are more important.

    Also, instead of making Hawaii worth more to the Japanese then to the Americans, which makes no sense at all, they should be penalties to the losing country, such as a one time surrender of IPC’s, $20 or so to mimic a loss of morale, as suppose to a constant unrealistic stream of income to the Japs. These things combined would be more realistic, historical, encourage action in the Pacific and still allow for the efficient expenditures of resources.

    Historically, the US spend less than 15% of its resources fighting the Japanese in the real war. There was a reason for that, but there was still meaningful Pacific action. That was because building one air craft carrier with a full complement of planes and a ship or two did not require nearly 100% of their resources for 3 months.



  • So far the Axis has won just less than half of our games, but every strategy has yet to be explored. We are just beginning to decide what house rules to add for realism. Optional rules from past axis and allies and expansion sets. Like Wolf Packs for Germany. We played our first game with changing the R&D rules.

    One of the early advantages for Germany was that it had a head start on technology. But with $5 a roll and not knowing what you are going to get, buying rolls in not worth it. Which is again unrealistic. I am investor with a Degree in Economics and Finance. The division of labor is such that pouring all of your resources into war troops means your sending genius scientists who can’t fight for $%#& to be slaughtered. Economics teaches that the smartest and brightest scientists you pull off the front lines are going to produce the most for you money. You then get diminishing returns as you attempt to pull more and more people off the front lines for R&D. Your first dollars spent are the most productive. The last dollars spent are the least.

    So what we did it this. 1 roll cost $1, 2 rolls $2, 3 rolls $3, ect… You get to pick what you roll for and can only roll one group of dice for that tech. You have to be at war, so that give Germany and Japan a head start over the US and Russia in tech. They can also afford the extra rolls.

    That would also balance it out more towards the Axis.


  • Customizer

    KimRYoung had an idea for tech development that we have been using in our games. It has worked pretty well. Everyone but China gets to roll and see what they could possibly get.
    First, you pick which chart you want to try for. Then you roll a die and see what comes up. Then you decide how much (if any) you want to invest to get that tech @ $5 per dice. Then roll however many dice you bought and if you get a 6, you get that tech.
    The last game we played, the US was very tech heavy. They had 2 on chart 1 and 5 on chart 2.

    You mentioned cutting the costs of ships and planes. Do you remember a tech from Classic called “Industrial Technology”? If you got it, all your units were reduced by 1 IPC.
    I’ve been trying to think of a tech to replace Paratroopers. Perhaps this would be a good one.


  • '16

    @knp7765:

    You mentioned cutting the costs of ships and planes. Do you remember a tech from Classic called “Industrial Technology”? If you got it, all your units were reduced by 1 IPC.
    I’ve been trying to think of a tech to replace Paratroopers. Perhaps this would be a good one.

    I think “shipyards” replaced IT because of the game breaking effect 2 IPC inf had.



  • Fixing the tech stuff would also help balance the game towards axis.

    No rolling until at war.

    Your idea is fine but the cost to reduce the rolls is also necessary. $1 for the 1st roll, $2 for the second, $3 for the 3rd, ect… I outline in another post how this is not only more historical, in terms of what it would produce, but it is more realistic from an economics perspective based on the idea of diminishing returns and the efficient allocation of your resources.

    Germany would get a head start on Russia and the US on technology.



  • Fixing the tech stuff would also help balance the game towards axis.

    No rolling until at war.

    Your idea is fine but the cost to reduce the rolls is also necessary. $1 for the 1st roll, $2 for the second, $3 for the 3rd, ect… I outline in another post how this is not only more historical, in terms of what it would produce, but it is more realistic from an economics perspective based on the idea of diminishing returns and the efficient allocation of your resources.

    Germany would get a head start on Russia and the US on technology.

    Your better of with letting income deside the number of dicerolls. Max one breaktrough each round, no rolling when not at war (and for soviet it has to be war on the atlantic side), UK use combined income to deside number of rolls, china never rolls.

    0-15 income: No dice
    15-30 income: 1 dice
    30-45 income: 2 dice
    45-60 income: 3 dice
    60-75 income: 4 dice
    75-90 income: 5 dice
    105< income : Free tecn

    Now enjoy lots of tecn.



  • That would make sense if you mean you do not have to buy rolls


  • Customizer

    @eddiem4145:

    Fixing the tech stuff would also help balance the game towards axis.

    No rolling until at war.

    Your idea is fine but the cost to reduce the rolls is also necessary. $1 for the 1st roll, $2 for the second, $3 for the 3rd, ect… I outline in another post how this is not only more historical, in terms of what it would produce, but it is more realistic from an economics perspective based on the idea of diminishing returns and the efficient allocation of your resources.

    Germany would get a head start on Russia and the US on technology.

    When you say $1 for the first roll, do you mean $1 per dice? In other words, say Germany wanted to try a tech roll with 6 dice, it would only cost them $6? So for the price of a tank or a sub, Germany could possibly get heavy bombers or long range aircraft.



  • Not sure how you interpreted that from my post.

    What I meant by $1 for the first roll, $2 for the second, $3 for the third, ect… is…

    If you buy 1 dice it is $1. If you buy 2 dice it is, $1 plus $2 equals $3 total. So 6 rolls is 1+2+3+4+5+6=$21

    Assuming you didn’t read my entire post, this idea is based on economic principles of diminishing returns and the efficient division of resources. Scientists not being put in a fox hole for example.


  • Customizer

    @eddiem4145:

    Not sure how you interpreted that from my post.

    Because you said $1 for the first ROLL, not the first DICE. A Roll means when you roll the dice, it doesn’t state how many dice there are. Increasing the $ per dice makes much more sense: the better the chance you want, the more you have to pay.

    At first it sounded like you meant the first time you roll for techs, it costs you $1. The Second time you roll for techs, it costs you $2. And so on…



  • @eddiem4145:

    I have never played with victory cities. The game is always called well before that and someone surrenders. There could have been a time when it was temporarily met but no one would have even noticed. Either the allies would surrender just before or just after. Once the game becomes obvious as to a clear winner, agreements are always made to play a certain number of turns with some qualifiers that must be met, otherwise the losing side must surrender.

    When I was in the army, I remember just one playing the Axis IPC victory if anyone remembers that. The axis for a moment, that could not be maintained, had the level of combined IPC’s to win the game. I was on the allies side. 5 of us were playing. The axis claimed their victory and we, (the allies) were livid and declared it a false victory.

    I understand you issue with Japan in the sense that it is Germany who will always dominate when the Axis wins. But that does not take away from the importance of Japan. If Japan is able to win in the Pacific, (without declaring an end to the game), it can then place incredible pressure on Russia, the UK via Africa, or the US via Alaska or Hawaii, that will bring victory to the Axis.

    Japan would be a power house if allowed to take China, India, the Middle east, and all the Pacific Islands so they cannot be ignored. They just need to be slowed down. One of the things I think should change to encourage action in the Pacific without unrealistic NO’s and “technical wins” would be dramatically lowering the costs of building a Navy. Subs $4, Destroyers $6, Cruisers $8, Air Craft Carriers $10, Planes $8, Tac Bombers $10. Then you could have real action in the pacific without taking away so many resources from other fronts that are more important.

    Also, instead of making Hawaii worth more to the Japanese then to the Americans, which makes no sense at all, they should be penalties to the losing country, such as a one time surrender of IPC’s, $20 or so to mimic a loss of morale, as suppose to a constant unrealistic stream of income to the Japs. These things combined would be more realistic, historical, encourage action in the Pacific and still allow for the efficient expenditures of resources.

    Historically, the US spend less than 15% of its resources fighting the Japanese in the real war. There was a reason for that, but there was still meaningful Pacific action. That was because building one air craft carrier with a full complement of planes and a ship or two did not require nearly 100% of their resources for 3 months.

    I don’t know how the axis win a global game with normal set up, let alone having the navies cost less. The allies buy way more navy than the axis. The main problem with Japan is that she is so far from the real money (Europe).

    A good way to make Japan be able to wage a consistent war would be to allow her to build major factories on foreign soil. This way she could turn the factory in India into a major, or even build a major factory in the middle east.



  • How a cheaper Navy helps the allies is this. The US comes in after turn 4. With a cheaper navy, namely transports, Japan could be a real threat to Australia, forcing the US to pay attention to it, making it historically accurate.

    The US paying some attention to Japan helps the Germans.

    Lastly, IMHO, the game is close enough that these changes don’t ruin the game. But seeing your point, to go along with this, you would also have to fix the sub problem which is horrible. The advantage Germany had in the beginning of the war with their subs just doesn’t exist in the game. They need to make the subs more stealthy, like rolling the dice to locate them before attacking them, (destroyers would have a better chance than other units) and greatly expanding the areas they can convoy. Also giving the Germans a wolf pack advantage that the US copies and made use of much later in the war against the Japanese.

    This whole incredible aspect of WW2 was somehow left out of the game.  A real shame. That would bring some balance.


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