Does it seem like it’s perfectly balanced to everyone at the moment? I’d really like to hear what else can be said on this.
The one change that could be formally adopted that I would appreciate the most would be the removal of Germany’s 2nd impulse phase on turn 1. Evidently, I’m assuming it was introduced to bring perceived balance to the game, but it just doesn’t seem like the mechanic creates a level playing field with the current setup and rules. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t make the game historically accurate either because Paris didn’t fall so quickly, the Royal navy didn’t get sunk by such a great magnitude and Italy didn’t join the war until later on… all these until 1940, at least. I suppose that doesn’t actually matter much in this case however… I know house rules are widely used and varied, but I think this one should take the spotlight in front of everyone and be discussed.
The reason I mention this is because my group has found a way to guarantee the fall of Cairo, Calcutta, Leningrad and Hong Kong on round 3 without any form of reprisal afterward. Sydney is usually threatened by round 4 and the Allies cannot afford to defend Stalingrad because Moscow is just under too much pressure with no backup, which usually results in an eventual German take over (before round 6). Manila and Singapore just can’t be defended. The Axis have 6 cities they’ve secured very well by the end of round 1, which are their Capitals, Paris, Warsaw and Shanghai. By the end of round 3, they usually have 10, which are their Capitals, Paris, Warsaw, Leningrad, Cairo, Calcutta, Shanghai and Hong Kong, which are very difficult to reclaim for the U.S. . At the end of round 5, the Axis have control of 14 cities, which some might be reachable, but not enough of them. Those cities are their Capitals, Paris, Warsaw, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Cairo, Calcutta, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Manila and Sydney. Sydney has been seen to trade hands, but it was irrelevant in the bigger picture. The Chinese always seem to have bad luck and can’t seem to retake Hong Kong or Shanghai for long (thanks to Japanese air power and bombardment). The Americans are only a threat after round 5 (so round 6 and onward). The only allies the U.S. have by the time they show up in force are the British, which are in severe recovery mode and Canada, who can’t generate enough IPCs to help turn the tide. The U.S. usually have 100 IPCs or so to spend, with the Commonwealth having between 30 and 40, with the 2 Chinas having between 10 and 20 and Russia along the same line (if Novosibirsk still stands), which gives 150 to 200 total. The Axis easily outproduce the Allies where units are needed, which usually means game over because we’ve only got 12 rounds to do anything about it, as officially stated.
I’ve tried abandoning Calcutta for Cairo. I’ve tried the opposite of that. I’ve tried standing my ground in both. I’ve tried running to South Africa with both. I’ve tried building infantry and forts in Sydney. I’ve tried building only men and forts in Moscow and moving everything there. I’ve tried defending Leningrad/Stalingrad and building tanks and/or infantry (with no backup from the West, of course, because that opportunity is denied very early on). I’ve tried using American air power in conjunction with the Chinese to take Hong Kong and Shanghai. I’ve tried focusing the U.S. in either the Pacific or Atlantic. I’ve tried smashing through Gibraltar with the U.S. and Commonwealth whether I focused the U.S. there or not.
None of it worked.
I think the removal of the 2nd impulse on Germany’s first turn will buy the Allies enough time to prepare, put up a decent fight and give a 50/50 shot to who wins. I’m looking to this community for some answers.
Maybe I’m just in a lot of despair, who knows lol.