• Ok back to topic.

    I agree with most things here, the battle for the Atlantic is nearly nonexistent. USW needs to be more effective, and submerged subs need to be harder to kill.

    1a) Allow German subs to attack in more szs as they did historically. Allow any sz that touches UK/Ireland, or Canada plus the 3 Med sz’s (16, 17, 19) to target the UK’s income. Opening up sz’s that can be raided (and making submerged subs harder to kill see later) will allow the German subs to spread out, forcing the allies to chase them down. It could thin out the allies fleet(s) making them better targets for counter attacks.

    1b) The Med was also targeted heavily, and as noted German subs worked their way into the Med through the Straights of Gib, or over land by rail. Many of the Austrian subs were of German design, and/or maned by German crews (same w/Turks). I think you need to either allow a limited number of German subs (one per turn) to be mobilized in friendly ports (sz 18 & 20), or allow the Austrian and Turk subs to raid the UK econ in the Med.

    1c) The USA and Unrestricted Sub Warfare (USW). Have the original USW sz’s (2, 7, 8’) raid both the US and UK econ, and also allow sz1 to raid only the US. Rather then having two types of raiding, I would just allow the damage done by USW to trigger an early US entry into the war. Track the damage done by USW through the first couple turns. If the US pays 3 or more damage, then they can go to war (reflects the 3 warnings given by Wilson). Also set a damage mark of 10 damage paid collectively by US & UK to trigger war w/USA. That way if the UK paid like 9 damage, the US 1 damage then US is at war.

    1d) I like rolling for convoy damage, you could use the tourney rules that 3 or less is a hit, and the number rolled is amount deducted. I would favor rolling 1-2 deduct 1 IPC; roll 3-4 deduct 2 IPCs; roll 5-6 is a miss deduct nothing. That way as the Germans you would have better control of the damage done to the US econ (very important).

    1. To ColonelCarter if you force a sub to either go to battle, or raid in its combat phase I think there would be less raiding going on. I would leave the raiding in the victims turn, but maybe move raids to the beginning (re-name phase Purchase, Repair and Convoy). By allowing a sub to take part in clearing a sz in combat, then raid in the victims turn you are allowing them to kill off the escorts and then raid the merchant ships (as they did). The UK wouldn’t be able to stop the raids by clearing those zones during its turn because the damage is already done. At the beginning of UK’s turn the Germans would roll for subs in the raiding zones. You place a chip under each sub that hit convoy, and those chips are deducted from the UK’s collect income even if the sub was killed during UK’s turn (damage done before UK’s combat phase). Of course France would have a chance to clear the German subs for its ally (France goes between Ger and UK). Both the French and the Brits could clear US waters, as they go between Germany and US.

    3a) I like the idea of making it harder to kill submerged subs. In WW1 there really wasn’t much sub detection going on w/ships, and depth charges were in the early development stages (not very effective). The allies used air to spot subs, but  range restricted that as well. I’m not sure why the game allows high rolls of 3 & 4 to hit a submerged sub (defiantly seems wrong). Subs were pretty much blind and immobile when submerged, so I like that they can’t submerge and roll in combat (either/or). I also like how ColonelCarter suggested that you need to roll better to hit a submerged sub (only rolls of 1 can be applied to submerged subs). I think rolling at 1 might be a little over the top, but would defiantly like to test it out (maybe trying rolls of 2 or less as well).

    3b) Being that air was used to spot subs, maybe a slight tweak to air spotting capabilities, and their movement is worth looking at. Your planes would still only have only 2 moves, but you could fly out to sea (1 move) to spot subs in adjacent sz’s, then land (2nd move). This would allow your ships to hit submerged subs at their normal attack values. Could even give this movement to planes in ground battles. If you use 2 moves, the plane has to remain in the contested territory at the front. If it only uses 1 move to get there though, it could retreat with its 2nd move behind the lines after the battle.

    1. We always make changes to the French fleet in sz15. Remove the transport and swap BB for a cruiser. We also have used the other unit changes from the tourney rules.

    2. I agree, changes to the map isn’t my cup of tea either (sorry Flash, although I wouldn’t mind down loading some of your maps to play on). I would stick with some tweaks to the set-up and rules. I also favor using 2 space movement on land (from tourney rules) rather then new complexes near the front.

    3. India is also a hot spot of conversation. Limiting their builds seems harsh especially if subs and raiding get a much needed boost. This problem may fix itself if the English have to fight in the Atlantic, or lose Royal Pounds. I wouldn’t want want to fix one problem and create another with India getting overrun by the CP. I have come up with something in another thread of limiting India’s production to a min of 4 builds (India worth 4 IPCs), and get bonus production based on what the allies control that is adjacent to sz 29 when the UK starts its turn. Like if Persia (2 IPCs) and Arabia (1 IPC) are in complete control of the allies when UK’s turn starts then UK can build 3 additional units in India (7 total). If Egypt was captured it would have a negative impact on bonus production (-2). This probably wouldn’t be needed though if USW was fixed. Might look at +1 cost for art or plane builds in India though (not to inf) because of shipping these things in. Wouldn’t bump inf though because that would effect India’s ability for defense.

    7a) Not a big fan of bringing Bulgaria or Romania in as their own mini powers (maybe as an optional rule, would be fun on occasion).

    7b) In the base game having the Turks start as neutral and come in on their 1st turn (neither Russia or UK can attack them) sounds cool. I would like do do something along those lines and restrict allied attacks on the Ottoman Empire, but not give them a complete pass (they were all at war in late 1914). It is my understanding that in Oct 1914 the Turkish navy (of which was comprised mostly of German vessels, maned by Germans) fired the first shots bombing the Russia Black Sea port of Odessa (lets say that already happened). This led to a Russian DOW and invasion of Turkish territory from the north. At roughly the same time the English looking to secure their Persian oil fields (it’s always about the oil) also landed in Turkish territory from the south (Fao Iraq). Both of these invasions would be into the territory of Mesopotamia in this game. So why not allow the Russians and English to attack round 1, but only Mesopotamia. You might need to tweak the starting units in the region. This would allow the Turks to hold Trans Jordan which is where they planned on launching their attack on the Suez, and Battle of Gallipoli could be UK2 etc…… By only allowing attacks into Mesopotamia, the Turkish navy would also be safe round 1.

    7c) Italy also starting as a neutral is intriguing. The question is how long should Italy be neutral. I would probably say the CP can’t attack them on the first turn, but when Italy’s first turn rolls around, they must declare war on the CP. Italy was slated to join the CP, but delayed for a nearly year on the grounds that it was a defensive pact, and the other CP members were the aggressors (Austria mainly). Italy was also meeting secretly with the French & British to reach a deal so they could gain territory that was in the possession of their traditional enemy (Austria). The Austrians shouldn’t be invading Venice on the fist play of the game because they had a pact w/Italy, so they thought (which wasn’t broken by Austria). I don’t see a problem with the Italians stabbing A/H in the back on Ita1 though. So it was a little earlier then history showed (no big deal) at least Italy’s neutrality is represented better then OOB (who’s to say they weren’t considering going to war 6 months earlier). A/H can build up the border on turn 1, they just can’t cross it.  I think that some French or English cruisers should be moved to sz 17 because they did blockade the Austrians so they couldn’t just venture out freely (Italian mines don’t work until Italy is at war). Some might say that Italy comes in round 2, but why wait that long (they could have jump the gun earlier). Plus you don’t have the conversation that Italy shouldn’t be able to move, or build round 1, because they go to war on their first turn.

    Anyway nice topic, hope it picks up steam WB

  • I like a few of the ideas that have been presented so far.

    1. I like how WILD BILL organized his thoughts, so I will copy his method. (Imitation is the best form of flattery)

    2. First I’ll say that I have no experience playing any tournament rules, and I feel like 2 move units could seriously throw off game balance with too many other changes, but I’m open to 2 movement and the unit set up changes (although I really don’t like the African ones, really just removes almost all the action from that theatre and adds a lot of luck into it (i.e. the 50/50 possible battle in South Africa would have massive implications on IPC values depending on how it went) and it also removes a lot of possible early earnings for the Germans. I understand that the movement change necessitated removing all those troops though. I also don’t really like the addition of the brit cruiser into sz 9 because it basically means that the only safe German strategy in the Atlantic is to send everything possible to sz 9 on turn 1, and the results of that battle would majorly impact the game. While some kind of change was needed in the Atlantic to partially make up for the loss of the French Battleship, I like Colonel Carter’s setup change of adding a German sub to sz 3 and a brit cruiser to sz 8 instead of sz 9. This would give the Germans even more round 1 naval options, and also help preserve more subs to convoy in the future. In case Germany proves too strong in the Atlantic, I would add an American Cruiser too. This would go with the idea of Germany doing much better at sea until the Americans really got involved.  I do think that the extra movement from the tournament rules will help our goal of adding more strategies to this game, and the other setup changes (besides the naval one that I talked about above) are necessitated by the new movement. I would still say no to the naval base movement because this almost entirely favors the Allies (the US only needs 2 transport fleets to drop every turn into Picardy which is ridiculous, and it also does things like allowing the UK to get extra transports to India in 3 turns).

    2a) I really like the idea of expanding USW as WILD BILL describes it, so that it includes the Med (sz 16,17,19) and all sea zones bordering Canada and the UK. The total list of sea zones for convoying the UK: sz 2,3,4,5,7,8,9,16,17,19; and for convoying the US: 1,2,7,8.

    2b) I might have been a little ambitious with two phases of Submarine Warfare. Instead I agree with bolstering USW by making submerging subs more difficult to destroy as suggested by Colonel Carter and WB. I think that requiring a 1 would be too much, but requiring a 2 or less to hit would be pretty good. I would also add that subs shouldn’t be able to hit submerging subs because as is was mentioned subs were pretty much blind underwater, and undersea sub to sub combat would be pretty ridiculous. These changes would make Cruisers much more enticing for the Allies, because they would be the most cost effective way of destroying subs (which would also make historical sense, because I don’t think the dreadnoughts were going out on sub-hunting expeditions).

    2c) I would definitely favor doing 1 damage for a roll of 1-2 or 2 damage for a roll of 3-4 for every sub. The tournament rules way is just too weak to make a major impact.

    2d) I really like the idea of Germany being able to mobilize 1 sub per turn in the Adriatic. There is a historical basis for this and it would give the Germans more options with sub purchases.

    2e) I think plane scouting for submerging subs is also a good idea. Planes can use their normal movement to move into a sea zone, and use their scouting ability to allow naval vessels to hit submerging subs at their normal combat values (so Cruisers can fire at a 3 and Battleships at a 4, but subs still can’t hit enemy submerging subs). This could encourage the UK (or USA) to spend a little bit of money on planes to hit the subs more easily.

    2f) As far as early US entry due to USW, I like the 3 strike approach. Once 3 damage has been done to the US, it can declare war. The US can also declare war if 10 IPC damage has been done to the UK, which would reflect the unavoidable loss of US life or goods that would result from many UK ships being sunk.

    2g) WILD BILL I also like the idea of adding convoying to the victim’s (US or UK) purchase/repair phase. This would ensure that subs would get to do at least one round of convoying to the power before said power had a chance to destroy them. This would also open up more choices for the Allies because as you say France would have to think about clearing sea zones for the UK and UK/France for clearing for the US.

    3a) I find the idea of 1st round neutrality interesting, but I think it is just making the game a little too complicated and would necessitate more set-up changes (such as moving navies around in the Med) . 1st round Italian neutrality (until their turn) would really help Italy out, which might be necessary if 2 round movement causes the capture of Italy to happen too easily, but I think we should try playing a few games before making such a big balance change (because Italy would be able to get every single one of their troops on the Italian peninsula into Venice before it could be attacked). IMO 1st round neutrality for the Ottomans makes them a little too strong since the Trans-Jordan attack is pretty much a must for the UK round 1 to protect Egypt.

    3b) Adding minor powers is really unnecessary and makes little sense regarding the scale of the game. How would Bulgaria be worth the same as Ruhr? Italy feels minor enough and they start with 14 IPCs, let’s not make any powers weaker than that.

    1. Changes to the India rules are unlikely to be needed with the new USW rules that we have proposed in both this thread and the India one, but if we need them I like WB’s idea of limiting the number of units produced to the value of UK territory touching sz 29 with a minus 2 if the Suez is lost, but a minimum production limit of 4. With all the other balance changes I doubt it will be necessary to raise the cost of units in India, and as I said in the India thread, India had at least as much industrial capacity as the Ottomans and really more since the UK could ship in heavy equipment. If you want to remove India’s ability to build certain units, you’d really have to do the same to the Ottomans.

    2. If the CP are still too weak on the ground in Europe, then I would start by adding an inf+art to Hanover. If more is needed then add another combo to Berlin. I don’t think these extra units will be needed because of 2 movement, but if the CP need more units, these two territories are the best place to add them.

    Summation of my proposed changes from FAQ and OOB:
    1. Expansion of USW in the amount of damage it can do, the sea zones it can be conducted   in, and the time that it is conducted (during the purchase phase rather than the collect income phase).
    2. PTR 2 unit movement, as well as most of the setup changes stated except…
    3. Change the Atlantic by adding a German sub to sz 3 but a Brit Cruiser to sz 8 (instead of sz 9) and an American Cruiser in sz 1
    4. Allow the Germans to mobilize 1 sub per turn in sz 18 (off of Trieste)

    Possible other changes if needed:
    1. 1st round neutrality of some kind for Italy or the Ottomans (who must declare war on their respective turns in the first round)
    2. Limiting India’s production to the total value of UK territories touching sz 29 and the negative bonus for losing the suez.
    3. Adding inf+art combos to Hanover, Berlin, or both.

    Please feel free to comment on my ideas, I’m really trying to get a good balanced game for everyone to play without turning the game into something radically different.

  • Customizer

    I’m moving towards one round of combat only in naval battles, making the RN/KM confrontation more of an attritional conflict than the all-or-nothing round one battle.

    Essentially, it would be more of a stalemate with each fleet making straffing attacks before retreating behind their own minefields.

    However it might unbalance by allowing the UK to spend heavily on ground units B1; usually it has to spend everything on a new navy at this point. Consider balance with new USW rules.

    I’m also in favour of moving the SZ8/SZ9 border so that US shuttles have to unload in Brest (I’d guess this was the original setup, but was changed to get the Yanks into battle sooner).

    Why not allow Austrian subs to count towards USW rather than an artificial German build in Trieste?

    Regarding neutral Italy; it is essential that if Italy is neutral it does not have a turn. A nation at war should not be allowed to do anything more than maintain its peacetime establishment and deployment (i.e opening setup).

    Same for USA; how boring is it for the American player to have to buy unit sit cannot yet use? Far better to not have turn until at war then have a higher base income.

  • '14

    Has anyone considered giving the humble cruiser more to do? It’s the one naval piece that really, other than speed, doesn’t have much of a purpose. I would say factor its role in commerce raiding purposes, but that was only true for the first few months of the war. Other than the Koiningsberg in East Africa, all were sunk by March 1915.

    Armed merchant cruisers, like those used by the Germans, were also very destructive on the high seas. They sunk a fair amount of shipping, but also wasted a lot of resources in the hunt involved in neutralizing them. Maybe a role for German transports in this… This might produce some wild goose chases and give the cruisers something to do for once.

    I agree with most of the above. Austrian subs would probably be better suited to conducting USW warfare rather than German subs. Any German subs operating in the Med were dependent upon A-H bases and resources anyhow for operations.

  • Customizer

    German subs also operated out of Constantinople, though probably under nominal Ottoman control.

    The most obvious use of cruisers is as defacto destroyers in anti-sub role; Battleships sunk a total of 1 sub in the war (by ramming).

  • Some pretty cool ideas have been thrown out here, but I would suggest we try to bring our focus back in a bit. If we truly want to just balance the OOB game (which I’m sure is a goal many people would agree should be done), then we should make small changes to boost the weaker side until both sides have a chance, or at least either side can punish smaller mistakes by the other. That’s why I think we should pick one “drastic” change to make to get the game close, and then tweak it by bid/extra pieces. These “drastic” changes fall around aspects of the war that are underrepresented or not represented at all (in no particular order):

    1. Italy stays neutral R1. They do not start with money, cannot move troops, and SZ 17 is open to all and no one rolls mines. They declare war before their collect phase so that they do get their starting income.

    2. Representing the efficient railway system the Central Powers had. PTR is an option that can be implemented OOB, but having special “armored train” pieces (something like A0D0M4 carry any 2 units, cannot enter hostile TT, must end movement if entering contested TT) is another option.

    3a) USW rule changes. The two main fixes to USW rules themselves in this thread are:
    i) Restricted and Unrestricted stages. Restricted targets UK only, and does rolled damage at 2 or less. Unrestricted targets US as well, add SZ 1, and does rolled damage at 3 or less. US entry upon taking damage.

    ii) Either nothing or Unrestricted, with a “strike policy”. 3 or more US damage causes entry, or 10 UK+US damage. 1-2=1 damage, 3-4=2 damage, 5-6=no damage
    3b) USW expansion. Add SZ 3,4,9,16,17,19 as UK only blockade zones
    3c) Submarine changes. Submerging subs can only be hit by surface ships @2. Possible additional stuff:
    i) Can only be hit @1 for round 1 only.
    ii) Fighters adjacent to a SZ that have not moved allow surface warships to hit submerging submarines at their full attack value. (I prefer just @3, Dreadnoughts were never effective at sinking subs. Maybe only give the bonus to cruisers to increase their importance.)
    iii) Do blockades before the respective powers’ turn.
    3d) Setup change: French SZ 15 BB->CA, +Brit CA SZ 8, +German Sub SZ 3

    That said, changing up the Battle of the Atlantic is my personal preference because it gives the UK the conundrum of spending in India early to contain the Ottomans and risk the noose around Britain getting too tight, or build navy to break the blockade early and risk the Ottomans getting so strong that the normal UK isn’t enough to push them back.

    Re: German subs out of Trieste/Constantinople-Perhaps let Germany buy subs for Austria/Ottomans if the CPs control a connected series of territories from Berlin to Trieste/Constantinople? i.e. Germany spends 6 IPCs during its purchase phase, but puts an Austrian/Ottoman sub in the mobilization zone and then mobilizes it in the respective sea zone.

    Has anyone had any time to test any combination of changes yet? I tried a solo game with 3a,3c(+i),3d and the Allies definitely had to play better to make sure the CPs couldn’t make too much progress. (As a note: I always play with Russian Revolution in effect, as it is a good boost to the CPs to be able to “kill” ~60 Russians for only ~40 Germans or Austrians) I kind of like the “lower luck” blockade rules, but my TripleA representation can only roll blockades normally and there’s already a ton of editing needed.)

  • '14


    German subs also operated out of Constantinople, though probably under nominal Ottoman control.

    The most obvious use of cruisers is as defacto destroyers in anti-sub role; Battleships sunk a total of 1 sub in the war (by ramming).

    A U.S. battleship, wasn’t it? Assigned to the Grand Fleet in Scapa Flow?

    I just kind of look at cruisers as representing about half a battleship, i.e. a crusier squadron at most.

  • I know you want to fix the OOB but I have found the tournament rules even this thing up quite a bit. I do think the game would have been better with more production zones per country and more victory city’s. We have had more central victories with the tourney rules because of the collapse system that Larry has come up with. I really like this game and hope he does an upgrade with new units and a bigger map. Cool game.

  • Customizer

    Don’t you find it a pain in the arse having to check the collapse thresholds, especially as they’re given in the negative?

    Doesn’t the collapse system inevitably lead to KTF and KIF?

    I think my VC system is simpler.

    Do you play with time limits, if so is the Economic Victory system viable; i.e. can the Allies ever win an EV?

  • I do agree with you Flash we only play for about 6 hours. At that point we kind of come to an agreement who is the victor or call it a draw. I am with you that there should be a victory point system it would make achieving victory easier to calculate. After having multiple cocktails and the combat fatigue of playing this you sometimes lose track of what it takes for all of the countries to collapse.

  • As the co-champion in the Origins 1914 tournament I might have a little insight here maybe…
    My partner at the time also won the GenCon 1914 tourney as well…so I know how he plays.
    By now he has probably over 30 games of experience…6 games in tourney format.
    I myself have played the game 10-12 times- 3 in the tourney format.

    The tourney format at GenCon and Origins were slightly different than Larry tourney rules (here -->


    …GenCon/Origins adopted them but changed 2 things:

    1. They didn’t use the new setup

    2. They allowed US to enter at turn 3 instead of 4.

    This yielded in an average 18-20 IPCs given to the Allies in order for the other side to take the Axis.  However, personally I like the tournament rules AS written by Larry WITH the setup changes and the US still entering on round 4.  This makes the bid much lower too- balancing the game better IMHO.

  • I agree, just played Larry’s tourney rules last week for the first time and accomplished our first “real” CP victory.  The game was over in 4 rounds and all players were relieved by the relatively quick play.  I think with the new tourney rules this game is getting closer to being one of the best A&A games.  But as a WWI buff I’m a bit biased on that point.  Looking forward to a new and improved 2nd edition in the future.

  • Our games ended at about the 6 hour mark.  I’m safe to tell people its a solid 6 hour game give or take an hour.

  • This is my suggestion for a balanced A&A1914 second edition:

    Set-Up like the TT-Rules (but OOB-Setup for Africa)

    New IPCs:

    Germany has 37 IPC with
    Hannover 3 IPC
    Kiel 3 IPC

    France still has 24 IPC but with
    Picardy 3 IPC
    Lorraine 3 IPC and
    Burgundy-tt erased (its 6 Inf 2 Art were split and 3Inf/1 Art go to Brest, the other 3 Inf/1Art to Bordeaux)

    Switzerland 4 IPC
    Norway 3 IPC
    Sweden 3 IPC

    Additional USW-Zones: 2,3,4,7,8,9,15

    Faster economical/political collapse for:
    Russia 10/12

    Different economical/political collapse for:
    France 12/14
    Germany 18/20

    Edit: changed Switzerland to 4 IPC and gave the Burgundy units to Brest and Bordeaux.

    (Because from Marseille they could be shipped with two transports and 1 BS to the Ottomans Round1 and contest Smyrna; Together with the invasion of Mesopotamia by Russia and Trans Jordan by Britain OE would be in economical collapse before they get a turn.)


  • Customizer

    Surprised you haven’t corrected the Prussia-Poland and the Bulgaria-Greece borders.

    My guess is that on this map Germany will take Paris most of the time; making Switzerland impassable may be the only way to balance Paris being nearer.

  • @Flashman:

    Surprised you haven’t corrected the Prussia-Poland and the Bulgaria-Greece borders.

    My guess is that on this map Germany will take Paris most of the time; making Switzerland impassable may be the only way to balance Paris being nearer.

    I did not want to change too much of the OOB-map because I dont know what was the intention behind this unhistorical borders (also Finland/Norway etc.)

    What I can tell from 2 games we played this map is that Germany allthough they threw everything into the West could only manage to contest Paris (actually for the first time ever in A&A1914) but couldnt manage to capture it because of arriving Americans. Maybe it was bad luck on dices…

    This scnario keeps Great Britain on focusing more on the Western front than putting all their forces into the Near East wich gives the Ottomans time to breathe. I also like that Russia goes faster to Revolution just in time for the US entry…

    Dont forget that Switzerland is not that easy to take with 3 IPCs…

  • Customizer

    But possibly worth it given the strategic location. My inclination would be to make it 4 to reflect the terrain.

  • Yes thats true I corrected Switzerland up to 4 IPC.

  • I suggested a rule once concerning limited India builds:

    India can build four units (IPC worth of India)
    This can be increased by +1 for conquering Afghanistan and +2 by conquering Persia. This way it isn’t four builds from the start and Britain really has to do something to get those builds and it will be ultimately limited to 7 builds.

  • Nice tavenier.
    I think sorting out India’s production(lessening it), will greatly help balance.

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