Factory Bid for Allies

  • 2019 2015 '14

    This is a fixed bid, Allies get 1 additional factory to place anywhere they like.

    Optimal locations would seem to be Eastern Canada, South Africa, Brazil, Alaska, Egypt

    The idea here is that pre-placement bids can be overly distorting. Anything above 6 ipcs and you can get inf, artillery, tanks and subs. Anything above 10 and you can place a fighter. 12 and above gets you a bomber. Any of which can swing an early battle to break the boxed set up. 15 gets you a starting factory. But who would ever do it? When you could have a bomber and an inf? or 4 infantry, or 2 tanks, or 2 subs, any of which would give you a better shot on breaking a key early battle with overwhelming odds. A fixed starting factory bid on the other hand, seems less game breaking for early battles, it doesn’t jack up the balance for the unit set up, and it puts another target territory on the board for both sides to ponder and fight over. To me this seems to recommend it over a bid for ground/sea/air units, which are always used to break a round one battle. By stating before hand that Allies get 1 additional factory fixed, but they can place it anywhere, you give interesting production options and variety to the game, without putting the whole game into the opening battles.

    Consider the possibilities…

    Eastern Canada: the safe zone, gives UK an Atlantic naval option and a facility from which to drop ships into sz 1 and sz 10. Its usefulness will probably be exhausted by the time of the end game, but early on it could help the Allies to get something started with a quicker Atlantic crossing.

    South Africa: the classic, a launching pad for tanks to help cover the African continent, support Suez and India. To resupply inf, or build ships, or air to cover the southern Hemisphere.

    Brazil: the drop launch, gives USA another way to push ships across the Atlantic and provides a quick shuck into W. Africa. Its value at 3 provides USA their best production, and relative safety, but Brazil is also landlocked and somewhat out of position. Still it does help to cover the southern hemisphere and the transits into sz 13 or 23.

    Alaska: cover north, gives USA an option on a northern movement for the Pacific fleet to pressure Japan from this direction and provide some assistance to the vulnerable Russian far east.

    Egypt: the zombie, living or dead or undead again, as the factory could potentially switch hands! Provides an early and perhaps decisive Allied advantage in Africa and the med, but also draws the immediate attention of the Axis, since it is right on the doorstep.

    Perhaps there are even strategies for a factory in other (less productive but strategically interesting) territories, like Archangel, Hawaii, Australia, Szechwan, or who knows? But it gives the Allied player something to work with, and the Axis player gets another target and doesn’t have to watch their start get broken in a round 1 bid battle.

    I think any of these could make for an interesting alternative to the standard game, without putting the whole bid just into the first round of combat. As the Axis player, the main draw for this as an alternative bid is that you don’t have to face a distorted first round, and Allies still have to spend money to push units out of the new factory, wherever it ends up. Maybe the factory can be seized? Or if it goes in Canada, or Brazil at least you can still focus on the Eastern Front while the Allies are busy spending money on the other side of the ocean. If it goes in Africa, could be taken by Japan, or just serve as a distraction to the Allies while you focus on Russia. If it goes in Alaska, perhaps the Japanese will step up to the challenge and give Germany some breathing room, while USA spends money in the pac? Either way, it seems that Axis can still win the game, especially if they don’t have to face down a crushing first round bid battle.

    *A factory in Western Russia? Could be interesting, but I suppose that breaks with convention, should clarify for simplicity, a factory ‘anywhere Allies control’ at the start of the game.

  • If I were given that as the Allies, I’m pretty sure I’d place it in Egypt and send a Russian fighter there on R1. With 2 extra units being added to Egypt from round 1 onwards, Germany will be hard pressed to take it. Japan will be able to, but only after a few rounds and if played well, UK will be able to retake it easily.

  • 2019 2015 '14

    I like the way you think Zombie! That sounds like it could be a fun take on a different sort of game too, at least a change from what you see in the typical bids. I can imagine Japan gunning to try to capture an Egypt factory perhaps bypassing India or trying to put heat on both factories both from sz 36. Germany would also be under pressure to deal with it. Could force a fun med game. Maybe even make a southern German carrier workable. I like the Russian fighter movement idea, to try and get that first round build out of it. I think G would have to set up for a round 2 take then, maybe hit Transjordan or stack Libya. A bid factory here, forces G to organize their fighters and bombers across a different front. But it probably also draws off UK and USA who are under more immediate pressure then to put units on Africa. To drop units in Egypt UK will have to put less into either India or Great Britain itself, so perhaps that will have an effect. Though it is a cool feature of Egypt that you can launch fighters from there to W. Russia in one move same as from London. 3 tanks, 1 inf, and a fighter on UK round 1, or 5 tanks, distributes nicely between India and Egypt. Still what I like about this idea as an alternative to just a bid into the Egypt battle is that it seems to offer more variety. Russia could get a tank to transjordan. UK could get a bomber. Could allow for ships in 17 or 34. But that requires pulling back in other places, so Axis still have a decent shot I would think. It plays more into the second round, and purchasing decisions, broader strategy and coordination then just trying to adapt to the outcome of a first round bid battle. I think it would be fun. Edited in above

    The problem with a normal bid at 15 for units, is that you can swing a massive TUV loss in the opening round. Given that much to work with, of course people are going to bid ground units or subs or air since they can overwhelm a given battle, but a fixed 15 bid on production for a factory is different. It is more about purchasing and strategy into future rounds. It seems like a double edged sword, with potential benefits or drawbacks, and at least some cool gameplay, wherever allies end up putting it. What do you think?

  • I think it’s a cool idea, but I think an Egypt factory bid swings the game too much in favor of the Allies. I’d rather see an 8-IPC bid for the Allies personally. The factory bid idea would be nice for one game to see something different, but ultimately I think it helps the Allies so much that you would then need a 3-IPC bid for the Axis or something along those lines.

  • 2019 2015 '14

    Yes, but 8 is rather low. In my experience Axis are still winning handily. I think the question is more, would you rather face Allies at 9, which allows an inf and a sub, or 3 inf, or inf and a tank? Or Allies at 10, which allows a fighter? Or a fixed factory bid? It seems to me if you push Allies under 9 on the bid, you can be reasonably confident of winning. Which is why I think you’d never see a factory bid unless it was fixed, because the effect on gameplay is probably more game breaking in TUV traded if you swing a battle. Egypt again, in like every board since classic, or the new sz 37 situation. The game seems always to be balancing around these two attacks, which puts all the interest into the first round, instead of spreading out over many rounds the way a production bid would seem to. Does that make sense?

    Consider also, that if, as allies, you drop the factory in Egypt, it means putting that Russian fighter out of position on the eastern front for 2 rounds. It also draws the UK/USA focus off Japan and onto Suez, which gives Japan more flexibility to rush India, or pressure Egypt from sz 36. As Axis I would play against an opponent who took an Egypt factory, sooner than I would one who wanted a fighter or a bomber, even though the bid cost of either of those would be lower in straight ipcs than a factory. And who knows, Japan could take it, and then they’d have the factory on the med, which could just as easily swing it back towards Axis. I just think its more interesting, than yet another bid to keep the British egyptian fighter, or to make some slight edge in a fight on Ukraine, or to crack 37. Any one of which could still swing wildly either way regardless, if Axis put up a solid defense. To me the factory seems like it could accomplish the same sort of confidence for the Allied player that those other bids promise, but without breaking the Axis players’ unit set up or attack options in such a decisive way.

    I guess lets just say the Egypt factory is the strongest possible play for Allies. All units in range to Egypt on the first round. Can Axis counter? How likely and how many rounds out, and what other options do Allies give up going that route? If Allies hold Egypt and the med, but it results in an early fall of India to the Japanese, it could be a wash. Of if Germany got lucky and snatched it, with Japan to back things up. What does the endgame look like, and the deep endgame? I think such things have to be explored, before we can say for sure that it gives Allies a decisive advantage. Even if it took things from a 9 ipcs bid on Allies, to a 3 ipc bid on Axis, that 3 ipc is a lot tighter than the current bid. Meaning, if it was only a difference of 3 ipcs that Germany needed to shut down a factory on Egypt. That is an interesting concept to me. If this space is so damned important to the whole balance of the game, maybe a factory is in order for it?

    Well anyway, if anyone gets a chance to try this set up, let us know how it went. Where you put the factory and if it made for a fun game.

  • 2019 2015 '14

    In the latest game, the Alaska factory is again confirmed as pretty entertaining. 🙂

  • 2019 2015 '14

    Or how about this as another possibility. Instead of the Bid, Allies can move 1 factory to a new location.

    For example, Russia could move the Karelia factory to Vologda. UK could move the factory from India to Eastern Canada, or Egypt, or South Africa.

    Might work as well, for producing new strategies without breaking the first round battles.

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