Help Needed For Allied Strategy - Updated thoughts on Bid?

    1) Dug-In Defenders
    ~ On the Pacific islands, Japanese commanders deployed their soldiers to caves, bunkers, and other dug-in positions, which had to be taken one by one. Called “Fukkaku”, this tactic of endurance engagements inflicted maximum casualties on the attacking force, as many Japanese troops elected to die at these positions rather than surrender. ~
    Your infantry on originally-controlled Japanese islands defend on a 3.  Additionally, when defending solely with land units, they can only be hit by enemy naval bombardment on a 1.  If you have any air units on the island, this second ability is cancelled, and enemy ships may conduct bombardment as normal.

    2) Yamato-Class Battleships
    ~Although three Yamato Class battleships were constructed, only two saw service as planned.  In keeping with Japanese preference for quality over quantity, they were equipped with nine 18.1" guns, so as to engage multiple capital ships at once. Proud symbols of Japanese naval power, these vessels were the largest and most powerful warships ever constructed. ~
    Replace the battleship in Sea Zone 60 with a Yamato-class battleship. You may build up to two more of this class during the game (3 total). Yamato-class battleships roll two dice during combat and naval bombardment.

    3) Kamikaze Attacks
    ~ Later in the war, upon recognizing that Japanese air forces were no longer competitive, Vice Admiral Onishi Takijiro proposed turning planes into human missiles.  The Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944 was the first engagement in which Japanese pilots employed this concept, flying their planes and themselves directly into American warships.  These pilots, known to American servicemen as “Kamikazes” (“Divine Wind”), willingly sacrificed themselves in battle; it was seen as a great honor. With human guidance, Kamikaze attacks were more accurate than conventional bombing, and their explosive payload was much greater, causing massive damage.  By wars end, Kamikazes had sunk or damaged more than 300 U.S. ships, and inflicted roughly 15,000 casualties. ~
    If enemy surface ships come within two Sea Zones of Japan, you may designate up to one attacking fighter per ship as a Kamikaze (up to two for battleships and U.S. Resilient Carriers). A Kamikaze may utilize its entire move to reach a target, as it will not return to land in the Noncombat Move phase. After placing units on the battle board, but before the next combat step, allocate and then resolve Kamikaze rolls against each target independently; Kamikazes hit on a 4, and are then removed from play. Only the targeted surface ships can be chosen as casualties from a Kamikaze attack; these are removed from play outright, and do not return fire.

    4) Tokyo Express
    ~ The Japanese High Command used destroyer convoys to ferry infantry. Allied forces at Guadalcanal dubbed this the Tokyo Express. ~
    Each of your destroyers may act as a transport for one infantry. These destroyers follow the same rules for loading and offloading units as transports do, but may still conduct combat whilst transporting or offloading.

    5) Long Lance Torpedoes
    ~ The IJN invested heavily in developing a heavy, long-range torpedo designated the Type 93 (Type 95 for submarine use). Its long range, high speed, and heavy warhead provided a very formidable punch in surface battles. The capabilities of the Type 93/95 went mostly unrecognized by the Allies until intact examples were captured in 1943. ~
    During the first cycle of combat, your destroyers and submarines attack and defend against sea units at +1 to their rolls. Any successful hit rolls of 3 can only hit sea units, therefore only sea units may be chosen as casualties from that result.  In subsequent cycles of combat, both units fire normally without this modifier.

    6) Fighter Aces
    ~ Before they engaged U.S. forces, Japanese pilots were at war in China for nearly 5 years gaining valuable combat experience.  A veteran pilot paired with a quality Kawasaki or Mitsubishi fighter plane became a deadly adversary.  In the early campaigns, Allied fighters struggled to match them, but when an ace fell in combat, the skill and experience lost proved irreplaceable. ~
    Replace four of the six starting fighters with red fighter models. These veteran units re-roll misses during combat, but otherwise operate normally.  If destroyed, these special fighters cannot be rebuilt.

  • Here are the National Advantages I’ve been tinkering with. The rules are an ongoing project, and my gaming group has been revising them as we go. Some are more powerful than others, but generally most rules have a counter on the opposing side. The way we’ve been doing it is “Roll randomly for two rules, then choose a third”.  So far I’m pretty happy with them.

    1) Airborne
    ~ Impressed by the potential value of paratroopers, the Allies developed several airborne divisions.  During Operation Neptune, these units proved decisive in preventing the Germans from counterattacking the Allied beachheads. The airborne contribution to that effort alone more than justified the resources that were poured into the development of airborne tactics and training. ~
    During your Combat Move phase only, each of your bombers may act as a transport for one Allied infantry unit. Both the bombers and the infantry they load must begin their movement in the same territory. After AA fire is resolved (infantry treated as cargo), surviving bombers may retreat or attack normally in conjunction with the dropped infantry, but they cannot conduct a Strategic Bombing Raid.  For the duration of this attack, airborne infantry hit on a 2. If dropped into a “Fortress Europe” territory unaided by seaborne land units, that rule is negated. Airborne units may only ever retreat from combat if land units joined the attack from an adjacent territory.

    2) Resilient Carriers
    ~ In 1941, the U.S. Navy began building a fleet of new Essex-class carriers. These carriers had better armor protection than their predecessors, better facilities for handling ammunition, safer and greater fueling capacity, and more effective damage control equipment. These features, plus the provision of more anti-aircraft guns, gave these ships enhanced survivability over previous designs. In fact, none of the Essex-class carriers were lost during the war, and two (USS Franklin and USS Bunker Hill) made it home under their own power even after receiving extremely heavy damage. ~
    Your carriers can sustain 2 hits before they are sunk. If a carrier survives a battle having been hit once, mark it with an orange damage counter underneath. Damaged carriers are reduced to a move of 1, a defense value of 1, and an attack value of 0.  They can however, be repaired by moving to a friendly Sea Zone adjacent to an Allied territory containing an industrial complex.  On your next Purchase Units phase, you may elect to repair the carrier by paying 7 IPCs to the bank. It may then act as normal in subsequent phases.

    3) U.S. Marines
    ~ The USMC played a central role in the Pacific War, where amphibious assaults were common. The Marines had the organization, equipment, and training to bring the fight to the enemy; no one did it better. ~
    During an Amphibious Assault, your seaborne infantry attack on a 2.  Even if supported by artillery, their attack value remains a 2.  (Additionally, when assaulting territories affected by the “Dug-in Defenders” [Japan] or “Fortress Europe” [Germany] National Advantages, a maximum of one infantry and one tank may be upgraded with flame-throwing weapons.  These special units attack at +1, but must be the first casualties you remove.)

    4) Motorized Infantry
    ~ With its fleet of trucks and halftracks, the U.S. Army was the most mobile force of soldiers during the war. Most other countries opted for only partial motorization of their infantry because of the great cost and logistical implications associated with the deployment of so many vehicles. While the bulk of German and Soviet infantry remained on foot, U.S. forces could redirect the activities of enough trucks to motorize an infantry regiment. ~
    Your infantry (except Airborne units) have a move of 2, but may Blitz only when paired with a tank.

    5) War Economy
    ~ The U.S. mobilized its economy for war on an unprecedented scale. Every resource was tapped to support the Allied war effort abroad.  Rationing, war bonds, Liberty Ships, and “Rosie the Riveter” all became iconic features of American war-time culture. ~
    During your Collect Income phase, roll a D6 for every U.S. Industrial Complex on the board, and pick the highest result - collect that number of additional IPCs. You may distribute these among the Allies in any way.

    6) B-29 Superfortresses
    ~The B-29 was a very advanced bomber for its time, with features such as a pressurized cabin, remote-controlled turrets, and an electronic fire-control system.  Due to its impressive range, speed, and bomb payload, it became the primary aircraft used in the American firebombing campaign against Japan. These attacks devastated Japanese cities and industrial facilities. ~
    When conducting a Strategic Bombing Raid, your bombers have a move of 7, and hit interceptors on a 2. When rolling for damage against the industrial complex, each bomber rolls two dice and takes the highest result.

  • I like your NAs in general but I have a few comments and questions:

    • Tiger Tanks are completely useless. There isn’t a single situation where you wouldn’t do better buying 2 INF and 1 ART for the same price. They would attack at 5 and defend at 6 (rather than 4 and 4) and after one loss is taken, would still attack and defend at 4. In addition, they would cost only 3 to replace the lost INF as opposed to tiger tanks that cost 5 to repair one hit.

    • U-boat Interdiction is too powerful with 6-IPC subs if you allow it to take away both British and American cash just by sitting near India. Forcing them to be in the Atlantic would at least allow the Allies to go after them, while making more sense historically.

    • Lend-Lease is too powerful when you allow air units. That’s why Larry Harris changed it to land units only in Revised.

    • For Red Army Conscription, where are we supposed to find red infantry units? Remember this is 1942.2.

    • For Mobile Industry, you should only allow production if the territory was under your control at the beginning of your turn, as in Revised. Might also want to limit them to red territories.

    • Commonwealth Volunteers seems very powerful, basically allowing UK to produce units directly in the Middle East and Africa without needing transports and a defensive fleet.

    • How is one supposed to represent Yamato-Class Battleships? I suggest just making this ability apply to all their battleships. It’s not like battleships are a good value to start with.

    • For Fighter Aces, again I don’t know where you get those red pieces from.

    • How do you represent damaged Resilient Carriers on the board?

  • Zombie I appreciate you going through these in a thorough manner and finding potential issues/problems. I haven’t received this feedback elsewhere so I’m glad I posted these.

    I agree with you entirely on the tiger tanks. Coming to a final decision on this rule has been a real problem. It’s been in a state of constant revision. I have tiger tank models I can use which is fun, but they only lasted one game before everyone realized how lame they were given the rule. I still think they might be worth saving. Any further suggestions on how to improve them? Simple price drop?

    As for uboat interdiction and mobile industry, that’s kind of how we play those rules already, but I failed to articulate those exceptions explicitly in the wording of the rules.

    We haven’t had a chance to use Lend Lease yet but I’ll revise it accordingly. To be honest I had thought about replacing it with the old transiberian railroad rule. Haven’t decided yet.

    As for commonwealth volunteers, I rather like the rule, but I can see how it might be an issue. That rule hasn’t been played yet either. I’ve seen many revisions of this rule. Some give you free infantry on certain places and others are mobilization benefits. I didn’t like the idea of free infantry, but only allowing 1 infantry to be placed didn’t sound a worthy rule. Very few territories without an industrial complex already have a value over 2.

    For all rules asking you to replace models, I wrote them for my setup and have the models to stand in. But you could use chips as well. I use orange chips for damaged carriers. That’s another rule btw I’m not fully settled on. As in how much damage to inflict on the carrier and how much to charge for it’s repair (if at all).

  • Your Tiger Tanks would become relevant if you simply made their repair free at the end of the turn. Then they would become the land equivalent of a battleship. I also don’t see any good reason to limit them to 3 on the map, it just complicates things. However, the whole rule is unworkable for anyone who doesn’t have special tank models or chips lying around.

    For Commonwealth volunteers, to balance it you might want to price those infantry units higher, for example 4 or 5 IPCs. Or you could limit it to one infantry unit per turn, but free.

    Resilient Carriers should repair for free at the end of the turn like battleships do (and so should Tiger Tanks). That’s one less thing to keep track of and so makes for a better designed game.

    Using chips to keep track of things isn’t an option either for someone who only owns 1942.2 and doesn’t have extra chips of a different color lying around.

  • @Zombie69:

    I like your NAs in general but I have a few comments and questions:

    • U-boat Interdiction is too powerful with 6-IPC subs if you allow it to take away both British and American cash just by sitting near India. Forcing them to be in the Atlantic would at least allow the Allies to go after them, while making more sense historically.

    GG, allies have zero chance. Germany just buys 6 subs R1 and that with the starting 4 subs = -10 UK R1 income. R2 another buy of 7 subs results in -17 income a turn and allies having to overcome a stack of 17 subs and fighters. The damage/cost ratios are even better than the bomber, AND you can use it to deadzone UK and US in the atlantic.

    All these rules add a lot of complexity and are difficult to balance.

    If you want balance -> apply a bid
    If you want interesting -> Reduce production costs to zero, and/or remove production limits if you’re feeling extra adventurous. Infinite vs infinite unit battles… now that’s interesting!

  • I realize this topic concerns bids and all, but figured that National Advantages might be a fun alternative. It’s certainly not the simple solution to correct potential imbalances, nor is it ideal for super competitive environments, but the extra flair it adds could be worth the effort.  I’m certainly not going to just trash the idea and move on. So far, a lot more work has gone into these than it would appear at first glance. That, and everyone I play with is into the National Advantages concept; that’s always been the case since Revised. Our enjoyment of the special rules is derived from a desire to differentiate (with semi-historical relevance) the playable nations beyond just plastic figure sculpts and the game board setup. Of course it’s still a work-in-progress, but at this point, I’d rather push on through the process, and invest more time into getting them as close to fair as possible.  Complexity of a rule is generally less of a concern, as we never intend to play with all 6 per nation in a single game (usually limited to 2 or 3). Nevertheless, I don’t believe even the clunkiest of these rules as currently written are really that complicated.  Ultimately, the players I most often game with will pass final judgement on whether or not a given rule is reasonable. Even so, I still feel obligated to try and remove any glaring, game-breaking issues.

    Iguana, I’m not so confident in this defeatist interpretation of U-boat interdiction. If it’s revised as per Zombie69’s suggestion to specifically restrict the rule to the Atlantic, and if the submarines are forced to leave Sea Zone 5, I don’t see why Axis victory has to be so predetermined.  The rule takes effect during the US or UK Collect Income phases, and Germany can only build subs in Sea Zone 5 or next to Italy.  So assuming both the UK and US player do nothing to destroy any subs on their first turns, the most they will lose is 4 IPCs. Keep in mind those IPCs are not subtracted from both nations at once (hope that was clear).  There is no sea zone that is within 2 spaces of both Eastern US and UK.  Now assuming that all four starting subs are alive by G2, and Germany spends all of its income on more submarines, then yes that’d be a problem for the Allies, but there are some counters to this situation that they could employ in the form of other National Advantages.  Germany’s national advantages are determined before UK and US. If Germany went for the sub-specific special rules, then UK can either go for “Colonial Garrison” in Eastern Canada, or “Anti-Submarine Warfare”. The former would put ships in a position to cover all of the relevant sea zones without much risk of German air attacks (a bomber could make it from France, but then Germany already spent its IPCs on subs). The latter option of course gives a simple boost to destroyers when dealing with subs.  As for the US, the few IPCs lost could be regained through “War Economy”, or they could go for “B-29s”, sending a couple over to England per turn and robbing Germany of its 7 sub purchase. All the while, Russia would be appreciating a lack of German reinforcements for 2 or 3 turns.  The rule was intended to recreate a struggle for control of the Atlantic, and I think it may accomplish that without resulting in a total floor-wiping Axis victory every time.

  • Your rule doesn’t say that a sub must be within 2 sea zones of a nation’s factory to affect them, it just said that it has to be within 2 sea zones of an allied factory. If the intent is otherwise, you’ll have to reword it.

    You also didn’t mention the order of choice for national advantages. Lots of stuff isn’t spelled out in your previous posts. They need to be ironed out.

  • Point taken. A group of players should decide beforehand on the number of National Advantages each nation will receive, and by what means they will be selected. As the rules are numbered, my group prefers that each player roll randomly for two, and then select a third.  This method keeps lady luck from completely screwing you over, but also promotes variety by preventing players from using the same combination of rules every time.  Setting the number of rules to three each seems about ideal, but stepping down to two (usually rolling randomly for one and choosing the other) is a decent option as well. We’ve found that using more than three rules out of the six approaches the limit of what we’re willing to deal with and keep track of.

    Suggested order in which each nation receives/selects their National Advantages is the same order in which they were posted. The game’s standard turn order could be substituted just as well.
    1) GERMANY
    4) JAPAN
    5) U.S.A.

    Here is a proposed revision of the German “U-boat Interdiction” National Advantage:

    _~ The “Battle of the Atlantic” was essentially a tonnage war.  The Allies struggled to supply Britain with materiel via merchant ships, and the Axis attempted to terminate those shipments.  Admiral Donitz sent out large numbers of U-boats with orders to sink the maximum number of ships, and at a minimum cost. ~  _
    For each U-boat in the Atlantic (outside of Sea Zone 5) within two Sea Zones of a U.S. or U.K. Industrial Complex, the owning power subtracts 1 IPC from their income in their Collect Income phase.

  • @seawolf:

    Hey guni-kid, thanks for some nice input on the allied strategy.

    I was curious about why you always would go for a UK1 buy of 2 tanks, 2 art and 1 fighter. The one artillery in UK would not be used until later rounds. Why not a 2 inf, 1 art for India, and 2 fighters UK?

    And about the northern route from US to Norway. I guess you mean moving units from SZ10 (Eastern Canada) to SZ3 (Norway). How can this route enable the British fleet, since UK cant place transports in any of those zones? Do you split the US navy between SZ3 and a UK SZ when it is time to drop the UK navy, or do you take a 1 round pause in the US landing to stack the navy safe?

    Hi Seawolf,

    sorry for my very late answer… Was busy with other stuff and totally forgot to take a look into the forums…

    Okay to your questions: Yes, I changed my 1st round purchase for UK indeed: 1 Tank, 1 Art, 2 Fighters (1 Fighter to UK, the rest to India), this way I have more material to hit the Axis in all war theaters.

    And to the northern route: Yes again, I mean from SZ10 to SZ3. This is the way the US troops will move there and back (slowly growing the Transport capacity over time to about 8 transport ships, being escorted by all the US navy you have from the beginning plus two more fully loaded carriers). The UK transport and destroyer do it only once to SZ3 in round three (since the US fleet is coming the same way this round, it’s safe for the UK units). In round 4 they go to SZ8 where they meet the merging India and Australia fleets. Put fighters on the Indian carrier and build even a second one if you like (depends on how the German plays his fighters). Now you should have three UK transports in SZ8 ready to take action… From round 5 on you can bring each round 6 UK Units plus 8 US Units to Europe and add it to the few units Russia is getting by this time (let’s hope it’s still allive � 8-) ) Do that for about 3-4 rounds and the German will face a real Problem. If you held India against the Japanese and Russia is still alive by this time you are about to win. It’s getting more interesting when India falls and Russia seriously struggles… Which is more likely � :evil:

    I hope you still read the answer since it came so awfully late… Sorry again!

  • Hi, guni-kid

    Thanks for the late answer, great details there:)

    What do you think about sinking the UK Aussie fleet (transport+cruiser+sub) on J1 with sub+2figs?

    You would probably only lose 1 sub, and you could maybe draw the US Pacific fleet south instead of straight to the atlantic, to force some Pacific naval action.

  • I’m not quite sure if I understand you right there… The Jap can intercept your Aussie fleet in round one with 1 Sub and 1 Fighter… the odds are slightly in his favor then but it can also go wrong for him… in any case, those units are a nice-to-have but not the most crucial things on the board in my opinion. What is much more important is to get all US navy into the Atlantic, though. Because you want to secure your troop movements over to Europe as soon as possible with the least IPCs to spend… because from round 3 on you really need the US IPCs for land units to let them flow into Europe… Well, that’s at least how I play it. The US production is under a lot of pressure from the beginning to bring as much stuff into action as possible and asap. I have seen players not really knowing what to do with the US and splitting forces and wasting the first rounds for undecided actions in both Pacific and Atlantic… I think you should decide very early in the game whether you go for KGF, then you should throw literally everything against him (apart from some action out of India against the Japs in Asia). Or you go for KJF, that would be a different approach, harder though (stalling the Jap on his mainland, using united Brithish and US forces in the Pacific -> that eases the pressure on Russia from the east but Germany can go wild… not so good for the Russians, which might fall in the 4-5 round if you have an aggressive German player who sees what you’re up to from the moment you buy stuff for UK in the first round… but that’s a different story I think)

    Coming to the balancing issue again: I very carefully reconsidered and I can only repeat myself: The board might favor Axis from the beginning, but it is shifting during the game. I personally like to play the Allies because it’s a real challenge, and when I win I know I earned it…  :mrgreen:

  • My bad, its just 1 sub + 1 fig you can bring to attack the Aussie fleet. (sub + cruiser + trans + 2 inf)

    Seems like a good trade (average 24 defender IPC losses in excess of attacker losses)

    And, if you survive with the fighter and land it on a carrier next to New Zealand, the US will have to make a choice.
    Either bring some of the Pacific fleet (Hawaii) down to New Zealand to kill the fig and carrier, and thus delay atlantic fleet build up. Or just ignore the carrier+fig.

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