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How to adapt the 1941 gamemap, using units from 1942


  • '14

    This is way I like to play with 2 tiers of complexity

    Tier 1:
    All these Units with their normal cost and abilities

    Inf 3 ipcs
    Artillery 4 ipcs
    Tanks 6 ipcs
    Transport 7 ipcs
    Destroyer 8 ipcs
    Fighter 10 ipcs
    Cruisers 12 ipcs (can bombard)
    Carrier 14 ipcs

    Replace all battleships with 2 cruisers
    Replace all bombers with a fighter and an inf unit
    Replace all subs with destroyers

    Add 3 artillery and a second fighter to Russia.
    Add a US destroyer to sz 11, per the standard suggestion.

    And (this is important!) +5 ipcs every round at collect income for each Nation, as a bonus for holding their Capital. Basically the collect income pile starts with a 5 spot, and the rest of the normal income is added to this.

    This is the way I like to use the board to teach the game. Basically it covers all the major aspects of A&A with the exception of Strategic Bombing, Submarines, and the two hit rule for battleships. I think its important to keep the price structure the same across all games, so here it is the carrier which is the “big ticket” ship, as it should be for the period. The focus is on how to use infantry artillery and tanks effectively, as well as fighters, and the basics of the naval game. I think its fun to teach bombardment, since it is a major part of the other games, and since Strategic Bombing Raids are not covered in this game, at least bombardment gives some novelty.

    The reason to substitute subs for destroyers is simplicity. The sub is a complex unit with its opening fire and interaction with destroyers and other units, like aircraft. Face it, all the sub rules are weird, from the new players perspective, they stand stand out from other naval units. Submarines take the most time to explain, by far, and there is no way of getting around that explanation when subs are used in practically every first round naval battle. I find that it is much easier to simply eliminate them from the roster. The current destroyer behaves in much the same way as a Classic sub, it has the same cost as a classic sub, attacks and defends at 2, basically does everything you need a naval fodder unit to do. The destroyer itself isn’t a complex unit, it only becomes complex through its interaction with subs. Get rid of the subs and they are easy to explain.

    The reason to substitute bombers for fighters is because of the lack of any SBR mechanic for them to participate in. Their ability to move 6 is rather overpowered here as well, but its more because they are so expensive. New players shouldn’t be thinking about bombers yet, they should be focusing on how fighters are used for attack and defense, and on carriers. Its easier to get them focused on fighters, if you remove the distraction of bombers from the roster altogether.

    Artillery is included for reasons outlined in the balance thread, but basically it is to decrease game length and simplify the war, while still teaching a key mechanic to new players.

    So that is the basic game. Once you have played it you can expand the 1941 board.

    Tier 2:
    The next tier of complexity is the following units added to the list above

    AA guns 5 ipcs
    Subs 6 ipcs (with all their rules)
    Bombers 12 ipcs (with SBR)
    Factory 15 ipcs
    Battleship 20 ipcs

    Substitute the ships and bombers back to normal, add an AA gun at each factory territory, with all the rest as outlined above… And (this is important!) give each player +10 ipcs every round added to their total income. Call the +10 whatever you want, a bonus for the capital, but basically it is just a way to introduce some money so players can explore the more complex units/dynamics. The base is the same for everyone, they just add a 10 spot to the pile. This allows for the purchase of battleships, and to deal with SBR, without altering the low production scheme of the board.

    I find that if you do it this way, it is easier to teach new players all the information they will need to successfully transition to 1942. So I thought I would offer it here, in case anyone else likes to use the board this way.


  • 2017 2016

    About subs complexity,
    you can also create a two steps and begin the interaction with destroyers.

    Simply forget about Fighter cannot hit subs without DDs presence.

    Subs with Submerge and First Strike and Cannot hit aircrafts can be more easily handed.

    So the unit interaction will be the same, (presence or absence of DD unit will not have impact) defender can always choose to sink subs casualties if he wish (if his subs are not submerge).

    But new player will still discover that sending planes alone against submarines will do nothing,
    because Subs can still submerge before regular combat instead of firing in the First Strike phase.

    And there is no risk with so few IPCs on board that subs become the main protection for fleet, at least 1 DD will be necessary to protect Cruiser and Carrier.
    The scale is so small compared to 1942 and G40.
    Or if this the case there will be maybe 2 subs for 1 destroyer, that’s not so much…

    You have probably a lot of objections but just think about it.
    The most complex interactions come when you add the Planes need DD to hit subs.

    This way, you can keep Sub unit (as in Classic) and let practice the main 3 capacities of Subs.
    What is changed in the second step is not the Sub unit, it is Fighter and StB which receive a limitation against Subs.
    So the new player keep playing subs as they should. It is another unit which need adjustment.


    I agree on the 1 BB=2 cruisers.
    Still to high cost, but for consistent price it is still a necessary evil.

    The balance unit, in 1941 without battleship, should be: cruiser A4D4M2C12, 1 hit, can bombard @4.

    Or, at a lesser cost (when there is so few IPC I would rather choose this) : A3D3M2C10, 1 hit, can bombard @3.


  • 2017 2016

    @Black_Elk:

    This is way I like to play with 2 tiers of complexity

    Tier 1:
    All these Units with their normal cost and abilities

    Inf 3 ipcs
    Artillery 4 ipcs
    Tanks 6 ipcs
    Transport 7 ipcs
    Destroyer 8 ipcs
    Fighter 10 ipcs
    Cruisers 12 ipcs (can bombard)
    Carrier 14 ipcs

    Replace all battleships with 2 cruisers
    Replace all bombers with a fighter and an inf unit
    Replace all subs with destroyers Add 3 artillery and a second fighter to Russia. Add a US destroyer to sz 11, per the standard suggestion.

    And (this is important!) +5 ipcs every round at collect income for each Nation, as a bonus for holding their Capital. Basically the collect income pile starts with a 5 spot, and the rest of the normal income is added to this.

    This is the way I like to use the board to teach the game. Basically it covers all the major aspects of A&A with the exception of Strategic Bombing, Submarines, and the two hit rule for battleships. I think its important to keep the price structure the same across all games, so here it is the carrier which is the “big ticket” ship, as it should be for the period. The focus is on how to use infantry artillery and tanks effectively, as well as fighters, and the basics of the naval game. I think its fun to teach bombardment, since it is a major part of the other games, and since Strategic Bombing Raids are not covered in this game, at least bombardment gives some novelty.

    The reason to substitute subs for destroyers is simplicity. The sub is a complex unit with its opening fire and interaction with destroyers and other units, like aircraft. Face it, all the sub rules are weird, from the new players perspective, they stand stand out from other naval units. Submarines take the most time to explain, by far, and there is no way of getting around that explanation when subs are used in practically every first round naval battle. I find that it is much easier to simply eliminate them from the roster. The current destroyer behaves in much the same way as a Classic sub, it has the same cost as a classic sub, attacks and defends at 2, basically does everything you need a naval fodder unit to do. The destroyer itself isn’t a complex unit, it only becomes complex through its interaction with subs. Get rid of the subs and they are easy to explain.
    Artillery is included for reasons outlined in the balance thread, but basically it is to decrease game length and simplify the war, while still teaching a key mechanic to new players.

    So that is the basic game. Once you have played it you can expand the 1941 board.

    It is true about DD which can substitute for subs.
    But as you upgrade the Russian army, giving it a more historical value against Germany, letting aside Submarine is something which was of very importance for UK, Germany and even Japan and US (since USA sink more tonnage than Germans U-boat).

    Submarine is a complex unit but should be introduce as soon as possible.
    And there is all the cat and mouse interaction between Subs and Destroyers which add a lot to the naval combat.


  • '14

    I think that is a pretty novel idea Baron, and a somewhat simpler way to introduce submarines as a unit. I agree with you in part, and I was actually reluctant to even suggest the substitution of subs for destroyers, because I know submarines are so iconic and a beloved unit going back to classic. The approach you outline does makes sense, although it kind of violates the "no nerfed units’ concept that I was trying to stress, but if you find it easier to teach subs this way, then I would go for it. So for clarity, you are treating the sub somewhat like an old Classic sub, from the time before the destroyer was even introduced as a unit. I actually rather like that.

    It also highlights a point I should have brought up before…

    If artillery and destroyers were both popularized at the same time (in Revised) then why include one but not the other? From an overall gameplay standpoint the Artillery unit was more significant and interesting than the Destroyer unit (since the naval game is subordinated to the land game, because land = ipcs, whereas navies are just a means of getting land units across all the valueless sea zones). It seems to me, if the main argument for simplifying the roster to such an extreme is the appeal to origins, it would have made sense to leave both units out. But since Destroyers are here, I say there is a very strong case to be made for the inclusion of Artillery as well.

    Just as an aside, if the idea behind 1941 was simply to reinvent the Classic dynamic, I don’t see why you wouldn’t just put  Classic back in print. It would probably have sold equally as well, purely from a nostalgia standpoint. But clearly, the intention wasn’t simply to do Classic all over again, it was to make a game that would be faster and easier to learn than Classic. To that end, more attention should have been payed to the advances made with Revised, among these, the inclusion of Artillery, which was by far the most important.


  • 2017 2016

    @Black_Elk:

    So for clarity, you are treating the sub somewhat like an old Classic sub, from the time before the destroyer was even introduced as a unit. I actually rather like that.

    Actually, it is not a return to Classic Subs.
    I just tried to understand the subs rules evolution from Classic, Pacific, Europe, Revised and AA50. It wasn’t easy.
    In Classic and Revised, Subs can only submerge after the combat round.
    In Pacific, Europe, AA50, they can submerge before, during First Strike phase, and planes need DD to hit Subs.

    My point is keep all the new stuff of Submarine, but forget about the limitation for planes.
    So Submarines can still submerge during First Strike, instead of firing.
    (As usual, a DD can block the submerge.)

    The 3 capabilities of Subs unit will stay as it is in all version 1941, 1942, Global 40: Submerge, First Strike, cannot hit air.


  • 2017 2016

    @Black_Elk:

    I think that is a pretty novel idea Baron, and a somewhat simpler way to introduce submarines as a unit. I agree with you in part, and I was actually reluctant to even suggest the substitution of subs for destroyers, because I know submarines are so iconic and a beloved unit going back to classic. The approach you outline does makes sense, although it kind of violates the "no nerfed units’ concept that I was trying to stress, but if you find it easier to teach subs this way, then I would go for it. So for clarity, you are treating the sub somewhat like an old Classic sub, from the time before the destroyer was even introduced as a unit. I actually rather like that.

    It also highlights a point I should have brought up before…

    If artillery and destroyers were both popularized at the same time (in Revised) then why include one but not the other? From an overall gameplay standpoint the Artillery unit was more significant and interesting than the Destroyer unit (since the naval game is subordinated to the land game, because land = ipcs, whereas navies are just a means of getting land units across all the valueless sea zones). It seems to me, if the main argument for simplifying the roster to such an extreme is the appeal to origins, it would have made sense to leave both units out. But since Destroyers are here, I say there is a very strong case to be made for the inclusion of Artillery as well.
    Just as an aside, if the idea behind 1941 was simply to reinvent the Classic dynamic, I don’t see why you wouldn’t just put  Classic back in print. It would probably have sold equally as well, purely from a nostalgia standpoint. But clearly, the intention wasn’t simply to do Classic all over again, it was to make a game that would be faster and easier to learn than Classic. To that end, more attention should have been payed to the advances made with Revised, among these, the inclusion of Artillery, which was by far the most important.

    You have find another inconsistency.
    Another argument to add to you long list.
    I’m all behind you here.

    Hope Larry will read it and think about your new perspective.
    Clearly more simple as far as I can see.

    But I’m not playing devil’s advocate.
    Maybe someone else would like to…


  • 2017 2016

    As a side note,
    I will probably try something as you suggested in my next 1941.
    So, instead of just adding Art, I will cut StB and play Sub like I said.
    I will also introduce Cruiser at 10 IPCs.
    Of course, I will add DD in US and Art in Russia.
    I’m not sure for Fighter.

    Is it truly needed?


  • '14

    That approach to subs seems simple enough, I can’t see a reason why that shouldn’t work for the new player. Its a little faster to pick up I would think.

    As to the second Russian fighter suggestion, I find it gives them a way to potentially hold Caucasus, W Russia or one of their other territories (besides Moscow) in the opening rounds, and provides more coverage to defend Moscow from the all out German press in the 4th round. You wish to try a few games to see whether you like it or not, but the second Russian can be helpful if the opening round goes poorly for the Russians. If the opening round goes well for them, it offers a bit more challenge for the Axis player, especially if both sides are at more even skill level. Germany has enough tanks to push hard right from the outset, so this additional Russian fighter allows the Allied player a better shot at defending the center into the 5th round. It also gives Russia a chance to set up in a stronger forward position (at greater risk, as always), if the player wishes to try being more aggressive with them in the opening rounds. Remember that adding artillery to the unit roster makes Germany and Japan potentially more effective as well, and Russia cannot afford to expand their air force, so I will just give them a second fighter at the start as way to even things out. You might prefer an open bid, but with the fighter the shake down feels pretty balanced overall to me.


  • 2017 2016

    @Black_Elk:

    That approach to subs seems simple enough, I can’t see a reason why that shouldn’t work for the new player. Its a little faster to pick up I would think.

    Krieghund told me that they play-tested it, probably between Revised and AA50.
    The main drawback was that it allows somehow to make subs unit a kind of cheap fodder for main naval units.
    Subs units can be a substitute for many Destroyers.
    Of course, Subs cannot hit aircraft, but usually there is some warships to pick as casualty while you can discard all subs as casualty (coming from planes).
    You only need to have and preserved 1 destroyer (behind some cheaper subs) to block all enemy’s subs capabilities.

    That’s the main difference when you left aside “Planes need DD to hit submarine”.

    However, at the IPC-low scale of 1941, it will not be a real problem. All fleet will need a DD and, even buying more than 1 subs will not have a big impact because the main objective is getting territories not having the largest fleet in the ocean.

    So, you just introduce all the capacities of Subs and the Special Subs phase.
    Then you introduce the planes limitation with a more complexed games, or a second tier of 1941.


  • Customizer

    Black_Elk

    Are you using the FAQ setup (with your modifications) or the OOB?
    Have you used this setup lately?
    If so have you made any recent changes?
    How balanced is Tier I?

    I agree with so many of your points and would like to use this setup but want to make sure I am using your most recent/balanced version.

    Thank you.


  • '14

    Hi Bob

    I haven’t had a chance yet to play 41 in the new year, but I played quite a few games with some newer players using this set up in 2014, as an alternative to my old method of just starting with Classic or Revised. We used the FAQ as the base, with US at 17 starting cash etc.

    The dd to sz 11, and the Ruskie boost resulted in several fairly even match ups, and the newbs in my group picked up the naval dynamic with cruiser bombardment pretty quickly. I found that I prefer teaching the game with the bombers switched out for fighters inititally, and dd for subs in the first game for similar reasons… but players graduate pretty quickly to a fuller understanding, and once they see the units it can be hard to keep them in the bag.  😄

    To me the most important change on balance is the inclusion of artillery. With Art in play, the 41 game can resolve in a pretty reasonable amount of time, with most players feeling satisfied. Without Art, 41 can grind on for ages, because of the inability to spend the remainder on 1 ipc or 2 ipcs and feels very much like the old Classic game, but somehow more grueling. So that would be my main suggestion, to get the artillery in there. I’ve also found that the bonus +5 ipc to all, can be very helpful in getting newer players to feel a bit more excited during the purchase units phase, and works favorably for balance by sides.

    Most of the more seasoned players I game with go pretty heavy KJF in 41 as Allies, and Japan can very challenging to play under OOB or standard FAQ set up. The initial German drive on Moscow was also becoming problematic, as this would generally decide the game well before anything else even came into focus, either with a quick Moscow crush, or (much less likely) the Russians standing up at the capital and basically hosing any Axis chance at recovery with a brutal dicing. Throwing the 5 ipc spot into the mix seemed to provide a bit more flexibility to make first few rounds less predictable.

    If you get a chance to try the tweaks, let us know how things shake down.
    Best
    Elk


  • Customizer

    Thanks for the detailed response. One further question I forgot to ask. When adding the Tier 1 or Tier 2 $5 and $10 bonuses did you find it necessary to boost the unit production limits at Complexes as most nations can’t produce more than 4 or 5 units per turn? If so, please describe.


  • '14

    I didn’t have an issue, as it seemed to encourage the substitution of higher value units (like tanks, fighters, or ships) in place of infantry. When we jumped it up to 10 bonus ipcs for all, we also introduced the factory as a purchasable unit. There aren’t a whole of places for them to go, but there are at least a few viable locations, like France or Coastal China. With production so limited, it might make sense on occasion to drop a factory in Africa. When we played with the full 1942.2 roster on the 1941 board, Japan as usual, was keen to take advantage of factories, but everyone else just purchased higher value units at existing locations rather than expanding production. The reason we went with this initially, was just to allow for more big ticket items like battleships or more tanks, but I think the map can support an economy at this scale. The Allies get the most bang for the extra bucks, especially Russia, if they can drop 4-5 infantry in early rounds, until G slams into them. But it also gives Axis more options early on. They cap at 8 total starting production for the Axis vs 22 for Allies, can be a little prohibitive, especially considering that the number of starting units and TUV in 41 is basically even. All the Axis really have going for them on this board OOB is a Moscow smack down, but when you drop an extra 25 or 50 ipcs into the pot each round, there are a few more things they can do. I’ve seen a Sea Lion crack off under these rules, and a few games where the IJN was able to actually do a few things, whereas usually OOB Japan just gets slammed from 3 directions and can’t afford to press out much. A factory in East Indies under the second tier can be fun, or in Manchuria, where they can then match W. US on production out of sz 45.

    Fighter camping is pretty major on this board, since its only 3 moves between Berlin and Moscow, 3 moves from Coastal China to Moscow, (for either side this means you can camp at one capital, and then fly out to the other for attacks, with 1 movement left over to land) so especially for newbs, when they weren’t quite sure what to do with the extra 10 spot, the fighter presents itself pretty naturally. Also makes carrier purchases more likely, when you have a couple extra fighters to spare 🙂

    If you want to keep the production locations fixed, but find that the caps are too low, you might try just boosting them +1 unit of production over the ipc value of the territory, or something along those lines, as a simple alternative to purchasable factories.


  • Customizer

    On principle I like keeping the rules consistent with other A&A titles. +$5 or +$10 can easily be viewed as National Objectives (occupy your capital).  Another alternative to boosting production limits would be to adjust the setup to start with additional complexes. I like the idea of an Italian complex a lot since zero production for a major axis player seems wrong. a complex in e Canada also strikes me as neat (and no I’m not Canadian). Japan needs more production but having one outside Japan itself feels wrong. Plus they can easily build one on turn one anyways so it’s likely not a big deal.

    What potential I’ll effects do you foresee by adding a Canadian and Italian complexs (particularly in a tier 2 game)?

    Thanks again for the excellent insight.


  • '14

    I’m with you on the bonus staying pretty simple. There’s enough going on in Axis and Allies attached to the VC and worded as an objective bonus. Kind of primes players for the concept of an NO generally, if they like to move on to other games like AA50 or the 1940 games, so I like that aspect from a teaching perspective.

    Its interesting you mention adding set factories to 1941. After AA50 I became very interested in the idea of just setting up a board with all the factories already in place, and removing the factory as a purchasable unit from that game. 1941 does the job for you in a way, by eliminating the unit from the roster, which makes the game a lot more straightforward. Especially for new players, its just one less thing you have to worry about (where to buy a factory, and how to exploit production etc.) When we first started trying to adapt 1941, we played a number of set factory games.

    First idea was to just give each power 1 additional factory, but set in a place that would make sense for the period, but also be relatively balanced/entertaining.

    We put it up to choice between a few different factory options for each power…

    So for the Russians the question is between Archangel and Karelia?
    Archangel factory has a potential upside for Allies in that it’s one space further from the immediate eastern front, but the downside is that its closer to Moscow if Axis control, and also closer to Japan via Urals. Still contested out of sz 4. Karelia provides some interest in that it gives G another early target, and an early foothold that it can use in sz 5 or sz 4. This draws more attention off Caucasus, but I think ultimately Karelia goes to Axis advantage, since Germany can get the drop on it so quickly. Archangel gets another round.

    For the Germans: Italy seemed the obvious choice on balance and for the history.

    For the British: Egypt, South Africa, or Canada? Its kind of a tough call here too, but the consensus view seemed to be that Egypt was simply too overpowered, and made the med too “do or die.” South Africa also felt a little overpowered, but did have a kind of classic charm to it, reminding me of many games in Classic where the UK would use that strat. On balance though Canada is a lot safer for Allies. It has a less dramatic impact on the opening round, and can be very helpful in rebuilding the royal navy after Germany sweeps it up. UK is under a lot of pressure already with production split up various places. The British are more likely to be torn between purchases if you put it in Canada, which has a kind of novelty.

    For the Japanese: Manchuria. Manchuria is the only candidate really from the history, for what the Japanese had going in Chosen and the resources from Manchukuo. This gives Japan 6 production, on par with the other powers and able to match W.US production into the pacific. Basically Japan is less nerfed if they can hold it. The problem here though is the scripted attack on Manchuria on R1. This is the favored play for KJF already, but putting a factory in Manchuria just puts a big target on it. I’m not sure its necessarily a problem because it kind of reminds one of Zhukov in early days, albeit anachronous hehe. Japan can usually retake the territory on J1, so its not much of a problem and takes the first round production boost out. Just sets off an early pacific fight basically, encouraging Russia to send the fighter to China and try the Japan crush gambit.

    For the Americans: Szechwan, Philippines, or Hawaii?
    I favor Hawaii for the history, and on balance. Philippines is more a gift to Japan. Szechwan in like a built in burma road bonus, but throws off the china balance more dramatically if taken. Hawaii is kind of out of the way, but it returns an American advantage in Pacific production 7 vs 6 Japanese production. Its a target to split Japan off focus on India and Moscow, so I like that aspect.

    Basically you could let each player choose if you want to show them the advantages or overpowering exploits of production in different places. Or teach how cliff hangers can tilt to be all one sides over places like Egypt and Szech and Karelia. One additional factory to each player 3 Allies vs 2 Axis, is fairly straightforward. But then you basically revert it to a fixed production type game. It has the advantage of restricting and focusing everybody equally by the inclusion of new production elements.

    1941 is a fun board to play around with because it’s set up is so fast and relatively simple play time, provided you include Artillery. The artillery unit is essential for this map to be fun 🙂


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