• 2024 '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    These points all came up in my last game

    1. Aircraft are overpowered on this board. The distance between Berlin and Moscow, and sz 45 and Moscow, is 3 moves. Fighters can move 4, so they can defend one capital while threatening the other provided there is an adjacent space to land. USA fighters can defend Moscow while threatening Berlin. Japanese fighters can defend Berlin while threatening Moscow and so on. There is no anti-aircraft mechanism on this board, so fighters are only at risk in normal combat.

    2. Bombers? They can’t strat bomb, so the unit is already nerfed on this board and not really representative of the unit’s unique ability on all other boards. Their reach at 6 is even more significant, given the short distances and many shucks on this gamemap.

    3. The game suffers from the lack of artillery. Artillery would have made more sense than the bomber, if the goal was to keep the unit roster simple. Not having any unit between the 3 ipcs of inf, and the 6 ipcs of a tank leads to consistent infantry purchases. Since it is often impossible to spend the remainder on anything but inf, even when you start to grow. Which leads to the most basic point about 1941…

    4. Infantry walls! The lack of artillery, and the steep cost of tanks relative to the overall income/production of the gamemap means that this board reverts back to the most static form of Classic style gameplay. The dynamism introduced in Revised with the artillery unit is lost on this board. You are back to pushing stacks. Honestly, the board feels so much like classic. The only difference is that here, ships are even more expensive than they were in classic, relative to the overall cashflow. The battleship at 16 seems cheap, until you consider that this is now the equivalent of the entire US economy for 1 round. At least in classic they could afford 1 and still have some change left over for an infantry unit or two. Not so here.

    So basically, as an introduction to Axis and Allies, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I like aspects of this board, but I don’t see how it is particularly fast paced. The flow in Revised felt more dynamic than here, even with the short distances the game can last a number of rounds, where the stack push race just plays out in basically the same way it did in Classic, trying to gain that slight edge on inf fodder. I guess if the goal of the map is teach new players that basic mechanic, then it is a success. But A&A had come a long way from that in the last few iterations. So this feels like a step backwards.

    Has anyone else had this experience?
    Or has anyone tried playing this map with artillery included? To see if it changed things

  • Customizer

    All of what you’re saying is true. However introducing this game to someone who has never played I have found that they find it almost overwhelming until they have played a few games. I think it does very well as an introductory game.

    As for more advanced and experienced players, this opens up a lot of opportunity for HRs and quick games especially if you just want some fun and don’t have time for a larger edition. It can also be a great way to start simple and then slowly add units and mechanics from other editions. This could be done pretty easily IMO and is a great way to start new or inactive A&A players.

  • '17 '16

     I agree with you it’s a little chess like. I don’t think off hand with you that adding art. would hurt. Which reminds me of your idea for adding 1 IPC for everyone per territory controlled. I did a couple of games of '41 using your idea. Made the games more interesting and I’m really thinking not to unbalanced. It’s the only way I’ll go at the moment. Art. could help the Axis early on with a little cheaper bite and not hurt anything but I don’t think I would add mech., the tank is enough. Production capacity has been a little stifling and challenging.

  • 2024 '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    The shorter distances, relatively few starting units and substantially reduced economy does make the set up faster…

    But what you gain on the front end with a quick set up, you loose on the back end, because this board reverts to classic style gameplay mechanics with the inf push, as the game drags round by round, since the unit replacement cost is so high, that you can’t afford to buy anything other than inf! The lack of artillery and increased cost of tanks (relative to classic) exacerbates this issue.

    The overall production limitations, and the inability to purchase new production is headache inducing. The prime example is the inability to spend a remainder of 1 or 2 ipcs. This leads to situations where you are constantly purchasing inf and pointlessly saving the remainder of ipcs, because there is nothing that can be bought with the remainder, as the only divisibles are of 3! The next lowest is at 8 ipcs for the destroyer. This leaves a huge gap between the available unit purchases, which pushes it even further in favor Infantry, ala Classic. Relative to the numbers on the rest of the board, ships in 1941 are about twice as expensive as they were in Revised, maybe even more if you look at the sliding scale. The cost of the individual ship in IPCs may have come down, but the relative cost (to the total money in play) has gone up dramatically.

    I agree that Axis and Allies is an exceptionally difficult game to teach new players. I hear you on this point, trust me. It is also harder to get enthusiastic about a new game, if that new game allows no margin for error the way 1941 allows no margin for error.

    That’s why I find it incredibly frustrating that so much attention gets paid to fixing the 1940 games and Global, while this board seems to have been rushed out and now languishes. Not to bag on Global, I know many people enjoy it, but the charm of A&A has always been its intermediate position somewhere between a simple rainy day boardgame and the full on war game. If you want a game that is so nuanced and complex, there are other advanced wargames or computer games that will do a much better job of modelling WW2 to the Nth degree than the Axis and Allies system can effectively support. But even if you do enjoy A&A games at that scale and level of complexity, you have to admit that players need somewhere to start before they will ever get there. To my way of thinking, the starter board should be just as fun for the experienced player as it is for the total newb. It should provide a level of strategic depth and enjoyment, for old and new players alike. Right now 1941 strikes me as having all the drawbacks of Classic, with none of the charm of Revised. People who played Classic will immediately recognize the inf push dynamic as stale and tried, new players, while they will surely learn the lessons of the inf push, are saddled with an economy so tight, that they can’t do the normal things players like to do and experiment with. Like foolish naval buys, or ill placed factories, or crazy air or tank buys, when they have no fodder to back it up, you know, the stuff we probably once did too. On this board there is almost no room for error. You basically have to be an expert, and deeply familiar with inf push logistics and map exploits, or else very lucky, in order to win. And even then, the board is admitted to be unbalanced without a bid.

    What good does a starter board, meant to teach people how to play, really accomplish if the unit cost/ability structure is so simplified? When many of the core mechanics that you need to learn to win on other boards are completely absent here? Factories, AA gun fire, Naval Bombardment, SBR, Artillery etc.

    All this is supremely annoying, when it could have been easily fixed. Even if you were dead set against including the Artillery (which just seems stupid given it’s popularity since introduction) and determined to remove the new factory unit from the game, what would have been the harm of including some optional rules to allow for the important teaching of mechanics like AA guns, SBR, and bombardment? I mean 1 page in the rule books with listed “options” would have gone a long way.

    Sure its possible to change this stuff, with House Rules, or by cannibalizing other boards for sculpts or rules, but it would have been a lot better and lot more engaging if this was just put out in the official box.

    I don’t dislike the simplified map, or the simplified naval unit roster. On principle I think both those ideas are good. It is the simplified production that kills me.

    The production distribution in 1941 has me completely convinced that IPCs are being arbitrarily kept low when they don’t need to be. I have made this point on basically every board that has come out lately, but 1941 just takes the cake. This map makes the comparisons even more stark, just a few examples…

    Hawaii is the same relative value as Borneo (thank you! Finally! Now can you please do this with every other new board?)
    If we accept that they have the same relative value here, why not on other boards? Where Borneo and Dutch East Indies have consistently been worth between 3-8 ipcs taken together. Borneo is 4 in Revised and 1942. Why then, is it so hard to justify Hawaii at that same relative value on those boards, the way it is accepted here?

    There are other examples that drive the point home.
    Alaska and Italy and Hawaii are all worth the exact same amount of production here at 1
    Coastal China is 2/3rds the value of the United Kingdom
    Manchuria has the same value as the entire continent of Africa

    But most important, half the land area of the entire globe, is worth absolutely nothing!

    I just don’t see the internal logic of production distribution. It seems increasingly arbitrary and meaningless to me every time I see a board like this come out. The relative production values, when you compare individual territories to one another, doesn’t hold up. Why not balance the base up to 1 ipc minimum instead of down to zero ipcs? It drives me half insane :) If there are more IPCs in contested areas and less in the core, it is better for gameplay. Here the opposite occurs (just like always) where all the money/production is in the core, and the contested areas are abandoned in favor of the core. Race to the center, again and again and again. Do I need to explain why this always happens? Shouldn’t it be obvious by now? It is because all the money is locked away in the core. Why couldn’t the money be put where it can more easily change hands, instead of secured into Capital territories that are effectively out of reach? Otherwise players just ignore each other, and push stacks to the one capital that matters, as we have seen time after time.

    But again, these are just thoughts. Not trying to be negative :)  I just think it could be better. Especially for a board that is meant to introduce new players.

    Think about the first time you played A&A? What got you excited?
    I expect it might have had something to do with rolling dice! Or perhaps it was the purchase phase? Buying a bunch of cool little plastic units and seeing what you do with them? Not groaning over the fact that you couldn’t afford even a single cool fancy looking unit! A starter board should encourage unit replacement and dice rolling, this board does the opposite, simply as an expedient to make the game shorter.

    I don’t understand the rationale there, since it can still drag for ages on account of the whole no money, only inf thing.
    Anyone else with this experience?

  • Customizer

    Again I’d agree with what you’re saying. I just think that in the hands of an experienced player with multiple editions, you can introduce advanced aspects by essentially turning 1941 into “A&A 101”, and progressing by changing aspects and introducing the more advanced mechanics in stages.

    There are any number of options and HRs that could really help this game much like a tutorial in a computer or console strategy game.

  • I’ve been reading these posts with great interest. I wanted to share the results of my first solitaire game. Hopefully, I can find a couple people at the local game store who want to play this simpler version.

    I played w/ USA at 15 ipc. I just made Hawaii and Alaska worth zero. I figured there was a mistake somewhere, but I hadn’t read the official changes announced by Krieg before I played. But, I did immediately include artillery in this game. It seemed glaringly apparent that Russia, at least, needed that option. It helped, because Germany had to march their artillery from Berlin. I played hundreds of games on GTO and used many of the opening moves for A/A Revised in my solitaire game. Here were the opening moves:

    R1 - Attacked W. Russia w/ 5 inf and the fighter. 1 inf from Kar, 2 from Arch, 2 from Moscow. Russia did pretty good, wiped out the Germans, and ended up w/ 3 inf occupying W. Russia. If Germany had rolled well, I would’ve retreated to Moscow. I then abandoned Caucasus, because there was no way to hold it without losing all of Russia’s tanks and the plane to a German attack. Attacking UKR on R1 just seemed like a disaster waiting to happen. I also moved all 3 inf from Siberia west to help counterattack Cauc, or to go where needed. Letting Japan wipe out those 3 guys on J1 just seemed like a waste.

    G1 - Sunk the USA trans w/ sub. Sunk UK carrier and fighter with 1 fighter, dd, and sub. DD and sub sunk. Sunk UK BB and sub w/ BB, sub, and 1 fighter. BB and plane survived. Amphib’d Egypt w/ 2 inf, tank from N. Africa, 1 fig, 1 bomber. Ended up w/ tank in Egypt. Landed planes in N. Africa. Took Cauc w/ 1 inf. Hit W. Russia w/ 6 inf and 4 tanks. Taking Egypt was huge. Killing that UK tank helped Japan. Holding W. Russia strong kept Russia from retaking Cauc.

    UK1 - Retook Egypt w/ India fighter, bomber from London, 1 inf from Australia, 1 inf from India. DD and sub went with the 2 trans to Egypt. 1 inf from India fell back to Middle East. India was abandoned.

    J1 - Amphib’d Szechwan w/ 3 inf, 1 tank, 4 figs, and bomber. Used BB bombardment, but didn’t know that isn’t part of this game. No losses. Took India w/ 1 inf. Took NW China w/ 2 inf from Manch, since Russia retreated. Took E. Indies w/ 1 inf, trans, and carrier. DD and trans attacked UK fleet off Egypt. Lost both ships. Moved carrier to E. Indies w/ 1 fig. (My mistake. Should have left the trans to its fate.) UK destroyed them on UK2 (Desperate attack, due to situation, UK lost both ships too).

    US1 - Moved fleet to Alaska along w/ 1 inf and 1 tank. Built dd and trans in Atlantic. (Lost DD on G2, but got the sub.)

    The game then ground out. I turtled Moscow. Russia dead zoned W. Russia w/ Germany, which worked well w/ the artillery. But Russia was slowly worn down. At one point, 3 UK figs and 2 USA figs were in Moscow, but had to use US figs in naval battle outside Tokyo on US3, because US sacrificed trans on US2 to take Manchuria w/ inf and tank. Japan wiped out US troops in Manch on J3. USA and Japan wrecked each others fleets on US3, but USA BB survived. It took several turns for UK and US to get troops on the ground in Europe. German airforce stayed in Cauc for several turns, until they had to fly west. Japan’s army slowly got ground down fighting UK in Asia and a USA amphib in Central China, because all money was spent trying to rebuild fleet to sink US BB. Germany took India to stomp out the UK. Eventually, German BB sunk US BB outside Tokyo. Desperate 1 BB on 1 Axis attack that sealed the Allies’ fate. Moscow fell to Germany the same turn from a massive attack on Moscow.

    In the end, I saw that the Axis would win, but it would take a few more turns to build up for Sea Lion. I think the Allies had a decent chance of winning after Japan’s navy was gone, but German BB put an end to that dream. It was fun. I’ll update on game #2, as I incorporate the new setup revisions and give the USA 17 ipcs. The last comment I wish to make is this: artillery, artillery, artillery. Hopefully, the designers will include this in the game. It’s not that complicated to use them.

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