In my opinion it is impossible for the CPs to win without the Russian Revolution rules (still super hard with them). Be sure however, to allow the Central Powers to decline the armistice if they wish, as detailed in the errata.
One could get a rules download, get different colored pieces that look similar from other AAA games and hand them out as tryout games to newbies with excellent map, piece containers, game box and odd looking but functional pieces. If one is feeling benevolent, throw in some dice. 🙂
OK after playing the game a few times I have to say this is my least favorite AA game to date.
I agree with many others it is near impossible for the Central Powers to win, the first game we played I won but we where still new to the game.
The Russian Revolution oob was just broken, now it has been fixed but I still hate the idea that if the Russian Revolution is triggered the CP lose one of the victories cities need to win the game. As if it’s not hard enough for the Central Powers.
The debate over contested territories and moving out of, is just silly. The first game we played this rule wrong, but the idea that you cannot leave a contested battle into a territory that you already have units in is beyond stupid. The idea I couldn’t leave a contested zone into an allies is bad, but not being able to move into territory with my own army unless I own the territory. Shows a easy way out when writing the rules in my opinion.
Cruisers are next to useless in this game. The extra movement of 1 does not make it worth buying them, with battleships being so cheap.
Obviously many rules where overlooked when first released such as
US neutral rules and what they can or cannot do (many of these things are not in the OOB rules as written)
US transports before they are at war.
I also notice when many of these things where questioned the official response came back with what seemed like a bit of attitude at people pointing out these errors and that truly turned me off. It is not the players fault the rules are unclear or just out right do not say something cannot be done. There is no reason to blame the players for pointing out these faults in the rules.
Should the opening setup reflect the situation on August 4th 1914? In this case, Germany will have the equivalent of 7 armies massed in the West, with just 1 to hold tt in the East.
This effectively commits Germany to the Schleiffen plan; just about practical if rail movement is used, suicidal if it is not.
However, I would suggest a non-combat “Mobilization” round before any combat rounds, following these steps:
1. All starting units are placed in their Army Corps district headquarters/depots (land) and Home Station (ships). That is, each county’s units begin on their Peacetime settings.
2. Each player will simultaneously write down his mobilization orders in secret (don’t worry its one turn only). They are then revealed and units given their Mobe orders.
3. Referring to MOs, land and air units are moved as ordered, restricted of course to moving anywhere in home tt. Ships can be moved to any friendly port, or ordered to sea. This may result in rival fleets passing through the same sea zones, or ending up in the same zone. This is not a problem, as there is no combat in this round.
4. Nations may call up their national reserves, placing such units in their appropriate depots. Any new units purchased are also placed at this time.
Players may, Diplomacy style, confer in secret with Allies before writing orders.
Depending on politics at set up:
The Mobilization round may involve just Germany, Austria, France & Russia; perhaps Serbia as Russian ally.
Britain can only mobilize after G or A attacks a neutral. Turkey mobilizes at the start of Round two; Italy mobilizes in May 1915; USA under conditions agreed as per rules.
Newly mobilizing nations do not collect income before their Mob turn. Effectively they don’t take a turn before this.
Any country coming under attack before it is mobed automatically activates. Its units can defend themselves, and attack next turn.
I suppose it works out that way, as most of the machines used by, say, the Turks, were supplied by Germany. There were a lot of arms and training given to the American troops by France, as well. Though, Pershing wanted complete autonomy. A lot of sharing going on with the Great War.