Thank you for the quick response!!
OOB map board (Atlantic to Pacific connections)
If you take both sides of the map board and switch them around, such that North America is joined together, the connections between the Atlantic and Pacific are rather confusing. North America itself also looks quite a bit off. I would suggest for future printing that the map should join at north America such that it’s very easy to see which sz connect to which, when the two parts of the map are lined up at the middle. Does that make sense?
Anyone else join the map like this? I always do it after first buying a new board to see how the south Atlantic and South Pacific are supposed to connect. This map was particularly confusing.
Not to take the designer to task overmuch, but I think the stretch on this board in particular is a little ridiculous. AA50s stretch horizontal was more pleasing to the eye, and involved less of these weird line up issues. Though even AA50s projection was disappointing in other ways, with general pan-Eurasia “blobbing” of territories. The 4 point sz connections that result from the places where the mapboard wraps around itself are weird. All connections should be clear eg. where the Left side of the board (south atlantic) meets the right side of the board (south pacific) and hard to mistake.
Before the map design is finalized and is sent to the printers in China, shouldn’t it be checked first whether the border lines and shape of the continents match up clearly? I think yes
check it… Kind of weird don’t you think?
Furthermore, on the subject of splinting up the map, why make the two map pieces fold?
If the issue is overall box space, it would make more sense to split the map in to 3 or 4 pieces (the way aa50 split it into 3, along the verticals.) This makes way more sense than a folding board. A map split up into separate pieces can be more easily stored in sections, and more easily moved, even with the pieces still on it! A split map is superior to a folding map, for this last reason alone. It is probably also superior to a large sheet map too, or one that has to be rolled and tapped down, or mounted for transport. Why get rid of the 3 split map innovation of AA50? Why it was neglected here is a total mystery.
And here’s another thought. What if you split the map to line up on North America at the center by default? See below…
This would visually reinforce the idea of a Pacific theater of war and a European theater, rather than the race to center Moscow. You wouldn’t have to alter the map wrap concept, just shift the region of the world where the two sides of the board meet up (from north America to Central Asia.) Additionally this would allow for a greater degree of flexibility to design the territory borders in asia since more license can be given to the shape and distance of abstracted territories at the center on the grounds of the map wrapping at these locations.
Does it make sense to anyone else? I think if you did it like this, you wouldn’t have to alter the potential of the map to wrap at the edges, to get the benefit of a more intuitive orientation (conflict in the distinct theaters.) You could create buffer space where you wanted it in Asia and Europe, without the map feeling so distorted and so bloated at the middle. Where everyone races from the periphery. Here the periphery is the middle, and the middle is pushed out to either side.
This is a better way to handle the vast interior spaces of Asia, and the terrain that stretches north from the Himalayas through China, up to Siberia. With a map division like this it would be easier to enforce concepts like the NAP, and just on a basic visual level to play against the race to the center, JTDTM.
Basically, people are more accepting of abstractions at the edges of the map the boundary areas, so you could create greater geographical accuracy in the parts that matter, and have the Eastern Europe and Central Asia warping of boundaries occur at the edges (where they are less noticeable) rather than at the middle of a huge blob of a landmass that grabs all the attention visually and strategically.
What do you guys think?
Here is a very crude draft using an older map I made, don’t focus on the territories (those are just references) but instead on the way the map is split and where the edges fall. All you do is reorient the divisions to the middle of the map, so the current middle becomes the edges. If you carved this into three pieces, you could conceivably put the edges on any side of the map to test the wrap, but make this the default position with N. America at the middle to encourage a Pacific war. Make sense?
check it… Kind of weird don’t you think?
The distortion is even worse on the Global 1940 map. If you go to this thread…
…and click on the picture files titled “5 Connector Panel.jpg” and “6 Europe Left Panel.jpg”, you’ll be able to see the strips of black electrical tape that I used to connect the left-side panel of the Europe 1940 board with a second copy of the right-side panel of the Pacific 1940 board. (The tape isn’t as clear in picture 6 as in picture 5, but it’s still visible if you look closely.) If the two maps were on the same scale, the connector strips would all be horizontal; instead, most are at sharp angles.
Map-splitting is a problem quite literally no matter how we slice it because choosing a view that unifies one area invariably splits up a different area. ï¿½ (One of Arthur C. Clarke’s short stories, which was set on a colonized Mars, raised a similar point when it asked: where do you put the International Date Line on a planet which lacks any oceans into which you can dump the problem?) ï¿½
If we go by the furthest extent of territorial conquests which the Axis achieved in WWII, there are two basic options for dividing the map of the world so that the left and right sides wrap around at a place where the opposing sides didn’t clash on land :
1. The conventional A&A map puts the wrap-around line at about 90 degrees west longitude. ï¿½ It keeps the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and Eurasia whole, at the price of bisecting the Americas. ï¿½
2. The draft “jason clark world map split center” map shown in the post above breaks the world roughly along the line shown in this map…
[Edit: I can’t get the link to work. The map is at the bottom of this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_powers]
…at about 70 degrees east longitude. ï¿½ It keeps the Americas, the Atlantic and the Pacific whole, at the price of bisecting the Indian Ocean and Eurasia.
Given that there’s more potential in the A&A game for land forces to fight their way across the dividing line between Europe and Asia than there is for the Axis forces to launch an amphibious invasion of the Americas, my own preference would be to keep the map board split the way it currently is, with the Americas bisected. ï¿½ Still, I do like the idea of having a whole-picture view of where the Americas (as a unified land area) fit relative to the Atlantic and the Pacific, so the solution I used for my own customized table was to put an auxiliary non-playing Pacific map panel to the left of the main map, with connector lines of electrical tape. ï¿½ I’d have been even happier to put the auxiliary map panel right next to the main map, but unfortunately the scales don’t match.
Man g40 is rough too, just looking at some of those snaps its easy to see the distortion you reference. The tape is a novel idea to clarify connections.
I see why, given the goal of Moscow and the way players have traditionally rushed the center with mass ground, that you would want Eurasia together in the middle. But this strikes me as almost arbitrary. I mean arbitrary in the sense that Japan in 1942 probably stood as much of a chance of attacking California as they did a territory like Archangel or Moscow. But in OOB those distant Russian territories often fall to Japanese tanks. I think this is just rational strategic planning on the part of the Japanese player (race center given the set up), but I suspect it might also be part visual suggestion.
I wonder if, even with the same territory connections, whether players would be as apt to transit across the map wrap if it split Eurasia? I think I favor trying this join edges in North America approach mainly because it hasn’t been done yet. I am curious if simply organizing this way would orient Japan and America more against each other directly, instead of transiting to the center, by running away in opposite directions across the globe, only to meet up again in the Med and around Moscow.
I also think if you split the map there you could perhaps create simple 1:1 territory connections between Europe, South Asia and East Asia, and also between the Indian Ocean to South Pacific. To sneak in a few more buffer territories, without having to distort the shape of the whole landmass or re imagine where boarders are or the relative shape of entire regions. (Just look at how squished and stretched and bizarre a place like Mongolia appears on this map.) Basically with a Eurasia split, there might be a better shot providing a longer and less desirable land route from coastal Japan to the Russian interior. The same thing with carrier based Japanese air shooting to Berlin. Just an idea, but how about designing an A&A game in such a way that Japan can do something other than Sandwich Russia and launch fighters to Europe. Too many iterations of this same dynamic have soured me on even the traditional map split now haha
I’m pretty much willing to try anything at this point. If it can fix the Pacific dynamic on these world maps.
But wherever they pick the split to be, the advantage of a sectional map to a folding map of any sort is clear. I’d way rather have a bunch of sections than a floppy fold. Wherever the breaks end up falling.
“But this strikes me as almost arbitrary. I mean arbitrary in the sense that Japan in 1942 probably stood as much of a chance of attacking California as they did a territory like Archangel or Moscow.”
You know that Japan actually did attack California in 1942 (Bombardment of Ellwood)?!?
A crazy submarine captain lobbing a few shells at a fort along a coastline is a lot different then an amphibious invasion intended to seize and hold territory.
As usual, I agree with just about everything Black Elk is saying. I would shift the dividing line east by a couple degrees of longitude, so that it’s at the southern tip of India instead of closer to India’s western edge, but that’s a minor aesthetic quibble.
One interesting feature made possible by a dividing line that runs through India instead of through the central Pacific is that you could actually add a house rule (if you wanted) prohibiting land units from moving from the eastern map edge to the western map edge (and vice versa) during the combat phase. You can move land units over the border during non-combat if you own territories on both edges of the map, and transports and their cargo can still travel along the coast of India or along the southern Indian Ocean as normal, but you can’t use a supply base in Shanghai to march across Asia and occupy a hostile Tehran.
I think this is historically realistic – I don’t believe any power during WWII had the logistical resources needed to march, say, 100,000 soldiers through a hostile Siberia or a hostile Gobi Desert or a hostile Himalayas or a hostile Bengal jungle. There were just so many hundreds and hundreds of miles of difficult climate and difficult terrain with no paved roads, no rail tracks, no gas stations, no grain silos, no clothing factories…nothing but subsistence farming and caravans and musicians and dancers and priests. You can’t supply a modern army using the resources that were in Central Asia in the 1940s – so why let armies cross Central Asia in a game about World War II?
Strategically, everyone would have to adapt to a game that didn’t include a Japanese tank-death-march-to-Moscow. America would still want to spend some resources in the Pacific to stop Japan from expanding into India and Australia, and Japan would still want to spend some resources on mainland northern Asia in order to soak up income from China and Kamchatka, but you wouldn’t see the ‘black hole’ effect of all resources getting sucked toward Moscow/Stalingrad/Calcutta at the maximum possible speed.
If you’re concerned that taking away the land route to Moscow leaves Japan with too few viable options, you could shift the territory structure near Alaska to make a northeastern Japanese amphibious invasion more favorable for the Japanese (e.g. more economic value in Alaska / British Columbia / Manitoba, harder for the US to defend from San Francisco), and/or open up the permanently neutral territories in South America (Peru, Chile, etc.) so that if Japan takes Australia and then New Zealand, they can keep expanding smoothly eastward until they get to Brazil, and maybe even link up with any remaining Italian navy off the coast of Morocco. I don’t expect you’d see many games where Japan makes it to Manitoba or Argentina, but just having the option(s) would keep things strategically interesting even without the JDMTM.
Maybe JTDTM was necessary to get an Axis win within 6-7 hours.
The game was not built to be plausibly win against USA, maybe UK, but not USA.
Does any optimized play can be anything else than a Russian crush by both Germany and Japan?
So, it would be a completely different game to have a japanese invasion over Pacific and South America. And don’t believe it is viable unless Pacific Islands worth some IPCs and Hawaiian much more. Otherwise, Japan will be short of money without asian mainland economy against USA greater income.
Probably been tested and scrapped after a few inconclusive tries.
Japan toward USA was probably an hopeless war which could make a longer time-consuming (8 to 10 hours) game with Japan defeat as closure. So, my hypothesis is that they shut down the Pacific islands way with zero IPC island.
Hello, Baron Munchhausen. Nice to hear from you!
You raise many interesting points, and I’ll try to respond to two of them. First, can a Southern Pacific strategy work for Japan even without assigning thematically ridiculous IPC values to tiny island chains? I think so. I agree that it would be off-putting to play a game where, e.g., the Solomon Islands plus the Caroline Islands were treated as more economically valuable than France. There are limits to how much you can edit the map without breaking the suspension of disbelief and ruining the theme.
That said, I don’t think the 1942.2 map would take all that much tweaking. On the 1942.2 board, players will occasionally send a transport to take Australia even though it’s not worth much, and there’s little or nothing to use as an encore. If you valued Australia at 4 IPCs, New Zealand at 2 IPCs, the Solomons and Carolines at 1 IPC each, and Hawaii at 2 IPCs, that’s 10 IPCs right there. It’s not hard to find another 8 IPCs in South America: 2 IPCs in Chile/Peru/Bolivia, 2 IPCs in Argentina, 3 IPCs in Brazil, and 1 IPC in Colombia/Venezuela. All together you’ve got 18 IPCs, which I think is very respectable.
You could compare that total to a Western Pacific strategy (India, Persia, Burma, Italian East Africa, Egypt, Transjordan, Kazakh, Yunnan, and Szechuan add up to only 13 IPCs) or to a Northern Asia strategy (Soviet Far East, Buryatia, Sinkiang, etc. all the way west to Archangelsk, Vologda, and Novosibirsk is worth about 13 IPCs). Either strategy plus Moscow is still only 21 IPCs. So the Southern Pacific strategy doesn’t strike me as hopelessly inefficient from an economic point of view.
Second, is a Southern Pacific campaign inherently too slow to be fun? I’ll readily admit that it’s less direct; if you head off toward southern Argentina, you are obviously not heading for the global epicenter of military power. You can’t force a British surrender by crushing Buenos Aires; that’s just not how that works. On the other hand, if the Axis controlled the entire southern hemisphere, with a sphere of influence stretching from Tokyo through Singapore, Basra, Addis Ababa, Capetown, Buenos Aires, and Sydney, isn’t that a kind of win for the Axis? I understand there used to be an “economic win condition” for the Axis where they could win by controlling 100 IPCs or so worth of territory, and although the victory city mechanic has never been well-executed, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be improved to the point where people actually prefer using a victory city win condition.
I think the whole “race to the capital” mechanic is unrealistic and less-than-fun anyway; if you sack one capital without wrecking the empire it rules, the people who live in the capital will just relocate the capital and keep ruling their empire. You’ll get some bragging rights and a few million barrels of oil, but nobody surrenders an intact superpower just because you squeeze into their capital – look at Napoleon in Moscow, or Robert Ross in Washington, or for that matter the British in World War II, who laid down supplies and trained secret army units in Worcester to protect Parliament, the royal family, and the BBC, with plans to continue retreating to Liverpool and then Canada if necessary.
So, yeah, if Japan just blitzes straight for San Francisco, then that’s foolish and the Axis will lose. Similarly, if the designers allow you to drive tanks straight over the Himalayas with no movement penalty, and you pass up that opportunity, then that’s foolish, and you deserve to lose. But if the designers tweak the map so that the trackless Himalayan Mountains and barren Gobi Desert and frozen Siberian tundra are harder to cross than the balmy, oil-rich South Pacific ocean – and if the Axis seize that opportunity to invade South America – then I think you’d get a really interesting game, where the players had to make gut-wrenching choices about what resources to invest in what theaters.