AA50 all Victory Cities with factories (alternate set up)

  • '19 '15 '14

    Additional factories are placed in all territories that house a Victory City:

    Eastern Canada
    France
    Poland
    India
    Australia
    Kwangtung
    Kiangsu
    Philippines
    Hawaii

    The effective adjustments in starting production are Axis +11, Allies +10. (After the first round it is more like Axis +14 once Germany and Japan open.) The idea here is to highlight the importance of VCs, and to restrict additional production, such that only the factories on the board at the start can be used.

    In the actual Anniversary Edition boxed game, there are a total of 23 factory sculpts according to my count. This would allow up to 5 more factories to be placed somewhere to balance if needed.

    The basic outline of this mod is to fix production locations at the start and allow no further Factories to be purchased. So Japan cannot build additional factories in Manchuria or East Indies, but must instead capture factories to grow beyond their initial starting production of 10 ipcs, (Japan itself 8 and Kiangsu 2). Philippines and Kwangtung are in range for J1 (providing them an extra 3 ipcs). Beyond this the major changes on game balance are the factories in France, Poland, India, Australia, and Eastern Canada. Whether these starting VC factories would require additional factories to be added, for over all Axis vs Allies balance is still open for debate. I am interested to hear what you guys think. So far it seems to work reasonably well.

    This is one way I think we can highlight the significance of VCs, and its a fairly straight forward simple set up. Anywhere you have a VC you place a starting factory. I think it is very important that no new production be allowed after the placement of starting factories for this to work, so the question is where (if anywhere) should the extra 5 factory sculpts be placed? Current candidates include Alaska, Brazil, Egypt, South Africa, Archangel, Kazakh or Novosibirsk. Or perhaps Allied targets such as Balkans, North Western Europe, Norway etc. Whether any of these are necessary when using the 18 VC factory set up remains to be proved, but I suspect one or two might be advisable, if the set up proves unbalanced in favor of Axis.

    Once balance is determined this production scheme will be fixed, such that no one can buy new factories after the start of play.

    Under consideration: China returned to full USA control (with no more weird rules.) Starting Chinese units become American. Starting Chinese territories and income, become American. +7 PUs to USA’s starting total. Or alternatively, China remains a separate player nation, but moves first in the turn order, or receives a set bid, or both.

    Not under consideration: map redesigns, alterations to the vanilla unit values or costs, additional complex rules.

    Everything in this mod has to be achievable with the map and materials included in the actual boxed game. So if there are 23 factory sculpts then that is the max (we could have less, but not more.) Starting at a minimum of 18 factories at the low end, 23 at the high end.

    I think this could make for a deeper and more interesting AA50 experience, without departing from the essential character of the mapboard. It would be easy to set up as a standard mod, if people enjoy the idea.

  • Customizer

    This sounds like a good idea to me for a few reasons:
    1 > Makes the victory cities a little more important for protecting/capturing.
    2 > Factories are in already established urban areas (victory cities). That just makes sense.
    3 > No new factories makes the existing ones that much more important.
    4 > While this game is not totally realistic, it seems even more unrealistic when you capture some territory then are able to build a major manufacturing complex on what was previously uninhabited resource land.

    I think you should keep to just having factories in the victory city territories and not put them in those other areas.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Yeah the more I playtest under this set up, the more I think the 18 VCs might be sufficient.  The main reason I favor it, is because it is very clean on a 1:1 ratio VC:Factory. There is no factory on the board that isn’t a VC and vice versa.

    The only issue might be game balance, but I can already see other ways this might be corrected without introducing more production into the game. One idea which I hit upon the other night (and which is very easy to implement) is to allow China to move first in the turn order. Basically in whatever scenario you are playing (41/42) the first nation to move is China, after which point the game follows its normal progression. So for example…

    1941: China, Germany, Russia, Japan, Britain, Italy, USA (back to China)
    1942: China, Japan, Russia, Germany, Britain, Italy, USA (back to China)

    Basically the same as it was in the vanilla OOB game, just shifted by 1 position. This gives the otherwise pointless Chinese a chance to actually do something, instead of just being immediately annihilated! It might help moderate the need for such a large bid too, since Japan would have more to deal with. Or if its still unbalanced then there is always the good old fashioned pre-placement bid, if such is needed.

    But I really do think the game is a lot more interesting with these VC factories. Even the factories at 1 ipc (Honolulu and Hong Kong) are fun! And it just gives the game a bit more character. Consider that the main issue in the popular 1941 start date, is the way in which Japan goes totally monster almost immediately. Without the ability to build factories in Burma, East Indies, and Manchuria for the insane stack pushes the endgame is slightly different. Japan can still push tanks, but it is in a different way now, and India must be contested. By fixing the production onto the VCs, the dynamic is shifted. Not completely of course, Japan can still take the early VC production in Hong Kong and Manila, and they have the starting IC in Shanghai, but there is more for them to do. The mid/late game production in India, if they can grab it, and the factory in Australia and Hawaii. This is a somewhat more intense path than simply dropping factories and continuously Burma pushing across the south towards Caucasus hehe. Australia is a more potent base when Sydney is a factory, it borders 4 sea zones! It can help to cover USA in the Pacific, or at least hold onto a British National Objective for a few more rounds. Or if it goes to Japan then they have a springboard at the center south. Germany with a factory in France and Poland opens up more early European strategies than were previously possible. Whether its balanced or not remains to be determined, but its certainly fun.

    If you get a chance to play a game like this, let us know how it went. I will post the results from the game group as they come in.

    18 VCs 18 Factories, simple!
    Then you can lose up to 5 factory units under the couch, and still have enough to play 🙂

  • '19 '15 '14

    Further thoughts on using the standard China as a separate player nation rules…

    Before resorting to an open pre-placement bid for Allies, first see if the game can be balanced for Allies simply by modifying the situation in China. An adjustment in the turn order. Or a set Chinese bid. Or descending bid for China. Or some combination like that.

    Perhaps up to, all Chinese units in the bag can be placed at the outset! and then allow no Chinese units beyond that maximum? 3 units in each starting territory?

    Bid directly on Chinese inf (descending from the max in the bag). The player willing to go lower on Chinese inf takes allies. Simple

    Would be a more entertaining way to playbalance. How many Chinese inf in the bag? That alone might work in restoring overall Axis vs Allies balance, even before bidding out Russia UK etc.

  • '19 '15 '14

    That sounds about right. So the bid opens at 15, the person who goes lower takes that many Chinese infantry out of the bag and places them on the board 🙂

    I suppose one advantage of this 18 VC factory game, is that you don’t even need the factory unit itself. You could just say the VC produces units up to the printed IPC value, and save the board space for additional units if desired. Though I do admit to a fondness for the plastic factory unit.

    The main interest in the game is the restriction on total production, which forces players (especially Japan and UK) to contest for it. The Eastern Canada factory provides the UK with a much needed Atlantic safezone. Africa is an option, or the North, with eventual designs on France and Poland, or Italy. Germany meanwhile has forward options on both UK itself, and the Mediterranean/Africa out of France. While at the same time the factory in Poland directs the focus in the East. Russia is backed up as usual, but with the extra cover out of India and a more potent China they face less immediate pressure from Japan, and can focus more attention on the defense against Germany. USA has a stronger incentive to defend the South Pacific, Hawaii and especially Australia, or to launch on the Philippines, but America also retains the same essential Atlantic options. Axis remain deadly, but with more theaters activated the battles for each region feel more epic in scope.

  • '19 '15 '14

    I’ve had the chance to play this set up more than a few times, with NOs (with allied bid) and without NOs (without allied bid), and now I have another face to face game planned tomorrow. So far I am pleased with the effects on gameplay and game balance. I enjoy the way France works with the Factory at the Paris VC. My main concern under this alternate set up was that the starting factory in France would prove unbalancing, as of yet I have not found this to be the case, and I actually enjoy the way this territory plays much more with a starting factory. Before, in OOB, many German players would forego a D-Day defense, simply stack for as long as possible, and then make a full withdrawal leaving France completely open. Instead they would focus on the counter attack out of Germany. This created a somewhat silly dynamic, where instead of an Epic D-Day battle, France is just traded continuously with light forces. This whole dynamic changes once France has a starting factory, because the Germans know that if France is taken with a factory already on it, then the British or Americans will instantly gain a foothold in Europe. So instead of leaving France empty, G has a much greater incentive to guard the territory and put up a fight there. The split on Factories between France, Germany, and Poland means they can mobilize more quickly in either direction, but these territories must also be guarded more heavily against Allied amphibious. I favor the way it encourages G to build up a fortress Europa defense, and then wheel east, rather than just ignoring the west and relying on coverage out of G. Also, the France factory finally allows G to build ships in the med, or the Atlantic, both of which have made my games more interesting in those theaters. Also encouraging, I’ve found that the D-Day drop is not impossible or as hard to build up out of Eastern Canada or England as I thought it might be at first. This is because, while G does have the option to stack France, it can’t do so very effectively and push East at the same time, so even threatening an invasion does something to take the pressure off the Russians. The effect I like most from a KGF perspective is the ability to capture France and then drop immediately if held. I think that is the real game changer, it makes the D-Day play feel so much more intense. This combined with the fact that Japan can just buy production in East Indies to completely lock out the Pacific game, makes both theaters a bit more epic. Or at least,  so far it has been fun. 🙂

    I will post again after the results from the game tomorrow

  • '19 '15 '14

    Last game was pretty entertaining, G went for a full battle of the Atlantic endgame. J attempted something a bit unorthodox and got stalled up. Fun stuff all around though. In this version we played China under USA control, no Tech, no NOs, no Allied bid, just for kicks. It went to Axis in the end but not before some amusing gameplay in both theaters. I would recommend it to a friend  😄

    Here’s a quick snap from early on, in case anyone is curious what it looks like with the 18 factory VCs on the physical board. After the tango around East Indies of course haha

    18vcs.jpg

  • '19 '15 '14

    Why Hawaii? And the Pacific factories?

    The more I play the more I enjoy the VC factories in these territories. Lets start with Honolulu… is it worth it for Japan to attack? Yes! Even though the production is only 1 ipc, it is within bombing range of Western. Beyond bombers, there are other ways to take advantage of the single point of production. Hawaii can produce a carrier deck upon which can be landed fighters from Japan, Philippines or Australia. It can build a sub to attack ships in 56, or a surface warship to cover a major fleet movement. Or you can camp fighters, and threaten territories like Alaska, Mexico, or W. Canada while setting up to control the Pacific. Hawaii, Australia and Philippines can be used together to push inf from the center south, while Japan moves center North, for a rapid re-positioning from coastal China and India against the United States. Whether or not this is a worthwhile strategy to pursue is debatable, but at least its possible here if USA is going KGF. For the same reason USA has an incentive to try and hold Hawaii, and Australia, or to reconquer Manilla, rather than ignoring the pacific because if they don’t protect Pearl then Japan can threaten 13 production and SBR against the USA’s 10 in Western.

    This option on USA can give Japan something to do if the Axis get stuck at the center on India, and is more effective here at stalling the Americans than the old Alaska drop to bait a W. US purchase, since, at equal income, Japan can actually contest the VC in San Francisco!

    Shanghai allows Japan a presence on the mainland to defend against counter attacks from British or Russian armor out of India. Even the Hong Kong factory gets into the mix, allowing an extra Japanese tank on the mainland, or ship or fighter into sz 61.

    For all these reasons, the British have a stronger incentive to at least stall the advance on India and Australia and try to hold one or the other factory for as long as possible, but this invariably draws money off Africa and the Atlantic so everything here is a trade off. Every VC becomes important, as it should be, since total production on the board is fixed and these are the only factories available. So far I am pleased. I have tried a lot of different ways of working China. So far my favorites have been, China under direct US control +7 ipcs (with a few extra US infantry distributed in China on the bid) And OOB China rules with China going first in the turn order (with a few extra Chinese infantry on the bid.)

    Basically if you are using NOs, then you bid a bit higher in China for balance. If you play without NOs then the Allies typically need less help, since the National Objectives tend to favor the Axis starting position on income. In either case, balancing around China seems to work pretty well. It prevents overpowered bids from messing up all the opening battles.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Now that I have found an arrangement I like: the 18 VCs are treated as starting factories (the factory unit is eliminated from play to conserve space), with an allied bid in China on balance if desired, we are testing this set up 1941 and 42 for a variable start.

    Here is the rule…

    Variable Start

    Before the first round of the game, roll 1d6 “initiative” to determine which player/nation will start the game:
    1 Germany
    2 Russia
    3 Japan
    4 UK
    5 Italy
    6 USA

    the player nation rolled will start the game, with normal turn order following thereafter

    Player 1 + 5 ipcs
    Player 2 + 10 ipcs
    Player 3 + 15 ipcs
    Player 4 + 20 ipcs
    Player 5 + 25 ipcs
    Player 6 + 30 ipcs

    added to starting income in the first round (only!)

    This is to balance for the potential TUV swing either destroyed or not destroyed, as a result of which player/nation wins the initiative roll.


    Examples

    Standard opening (rolls 1, “Germany first!”) results in the following starting incomes for the 1941 start date:
    Germany 36
    Russia 40
    Japan 32
    UK 63
    Italy 35
    USA 70

    Second opening (rolls 2, Russia first.)
    Russia 35
    Japan 27
    UK 58
    Italy 30
    USA 65
    Germany 61

    Third opening (rolls 3, Japan first. The most challenging so far for G, as it allows UK to move before Germany just like in the second opening, but also provides the largest bonus to Russia)
    Japan 22
    UK 53
    Italy 25
    USA 60
    Germany 56
    Russia 60

    Fourth opening (rolls 4, UK first, intense Pacific, screws Japan)
    UK 48
    Italy 20
    USA 55
    Germany 51
    Russia 55
    Japan 47

    Fifth opening (rolls 5 "Italy first!, intense Atlantic, also screws Japan)
    Italy 15
    USA 50
    Germany 46
    Russia 50
    Japan 42
    UK 73

    Sixth opening (rolls 6, USA first, screws Japan)
    USA 45
    Germany 41
    Russia 45
    Japan 37
    UK 68
    Italy 40

    The interest, in providing a variable start to the game, is to allow for different strategies, which can then emerge in response to the first round adjustments of turn order/opening movement/starting bonus to income. You can see from the above that there are advantages and disadvantages to each starting position. (The reality is that the nation which goes last sets the stage for how the war will develop under that set up, as much as the nation which goes first.) Nations which go later get the larger bonus, but this is on balance evenly distributed across both sides, since the 6 positions are all alternating by side (axis then allies).

    China can be played either under USA control +7, or as a separate nation per the normal rules, whichever you enjoy more.

    Opening balance (beyond china) is anchored on the VCs, as they are the only production locations under this set up. The game itself can be made further variable, or resolved with technology or national objectives (or both) at your discretion. So far the openings I’ve played have been engaging, since it pushes the standard set up in six possible directions from the start, with different potential purchases based on the opening “Start” roll.

    The bonus, provided in the first round only, allows for a number of different purchasing strategies for each power, depending on who initiates the game. I see this variable start rule as another way to balance the set up, without necessarily requiring a pre-placement bid. Axis benefit somewhat from the starting VC factories, but the ascending bonus can help all nations to build up their air and naval forces early on, especially if they manage to roll a prime first round position. USA and UK for example can wage a much more effective Pacific campaign against Japan if they receive the late order bonus, or if the first round start allows them pull units back to defensive positions, or place on their factories before the J1 attack. Alternatively if Axis go last, they have more time to adapt their round 1 purchases in response to allied movements, with more cash to build out their starting forces. In general, I think it just leads to a somewhat more interesting start, and takes the game out of it normal straight jacket, by allowing the “opening roll” and subsequent player decisions in response, to set the stage for the broader game. There are three openings effectively screw Japan, but Japan is the undisputed godzilla on this board, so this might not prove as distorting as it appears at first. The incentive for USA to destroy transports, or hit the carrier decks, but a pacific game more or less automatically into effect. The carriers are much harder to kill, so the TUV traded is likely around 29 in games where this happens, but Japan also receives a bonus to starting income on unit replacement, and already has the favored position on the gameboard strategically. Also under the three start positions where Japan gets screwed, the other Axis powers likewise receive larger bonuses, so it has a built in split theater effect which I like. Basically the first 3 positions favor Allies over Germany, the last 3 positions favor Allies over Japan. Thus Allied bid can be eliminated, with this sort of bonus cash balancing mechanism replacing it as a way to re-balance the game Allies vs Axis. These effects are more pronounced in the 1941 start date than they are in the 1942 start date, which I believe is the ideal start date for this rule. But since 1941 is more popular, I am starting with it, to see which sort of overall gameplay and strategies it develops.


    Here are the numbers for the 1942 start date (with the bonus ascending by 5-10-15-20-25-30)
    This set up I think will prove more suitable for the variable start idea, simply because the income disparity is less pronounced and the variation in unit position attack/defense is slightly less damaging to Japan. Yields the following starting income numbers.

    Roll 1d6 : 1 Japan, 2 Russia, 3 Germany, 4 UK, 5 IT, 6 USA

    First Opening: Japan first
    J 36
    R 34
    G 52
    UK 51
    IT 35
    USA 68

    Second Opening: Russia first
    R 29
    G 47
    UK 46
    IT 30
    USA 63
    J 61

    Third Opening: Germany first
    G 42
    UK 41
    IT 25
    USA 58
    J 56
    R 54

    Fourth Opening: UK first
    UK 36
    IT 20
    USA 53
    J 51
    R 49
    G 67

    Fifth Opening: Italy first
    IT 15
    USA 48
    J 46
    R 44
    G 62
    UK 61

    Sixth Opening: USA first
    USA 43
    J 41
    R 39
    G 57
    UK 56
    IT 40

    I don’t expect that any of these scenarios will necessarily be balanced, this is more for proof of concept. The question is not so much is it perfectly balanced, but is it reasonably balanced enough so at to still be entertaining and provide strategic interest. The advantage I see to using the AA50 board, and esp. the 1942 scenerio which seem most promising, is that we can use all the same conditions that come OOB.

    *Set the board exactly as normal.
    *Chose sides (which player will be Axis, which will be Allies)
    *Roll to determine which nation starts.
    *Add in the ascending bonus cash to starting incomes.
    Then proceed from this starting position as normal for the duration of the game.

    No additional complex rules or adjustments are necessary.
    Tech can be optioned in.
    National Objectives can be optioned in.
    Any house rules you like.

    But the basic set up is OOB. Rather than a bid, you get a variable start and cash bonuses to balance through purchasing. The challenge is in achieving victory for your side based on the start, which nation was rolled into opening position. If it works, or at least if it works “well enough”, then we will have shown that a single Axis and Allies gamemap could conceivably support 6 different starting scenarios, without requiring a bunch of different set up cards.

    The same basic set up, the same basic turn order sequence, but with 6 potential start positions.

    Does anyone else see the merit in something like this?

    It would increase the shelf life of the game considerably. At the highest level of play, players could potentially build towards a dozen different endgames. I think A&A needs a board that can work like this, to have real staying power. If AA50 was reprinted it would lend itself well to the concept, because it is a 6 player board. But any 6 player/nation board could work this way, so long as the turn order was alternating by side. I strongly favor this approach to a collapsed turn order (i.e. all Axis then all Allies), because the standard turn order itself can be made variable, whereas if it is collapsed completely this option is taken out of the game. I would hope instead to see a dozen potential start conditions, rather than just a single start condition, which is only possible if you alternate sides between 6 powers. A 5 man game doesn’t work for this concept. It requires the roll on 1d6 (anything else requires special dice, which seems unlikely).

    Until d12 is introduced to Axis and Allies, the six man map is by far the best shot we’ve got, and the best of those maps in terms of all-around design is AA50. Reprint AA50! or at least model the next long haul board on its 6 player set up alternating turn order. So we can come up with a way to make it variable like this. 🙂

  • '17 '16

    @Black_Elk:

    Additional factories are placed in all territories that house a Victory City:

    Eastern Canada
    France
    Poland
    India
    Australia
    Kwangtung
    Kiangsu
    Philippines
    Hawaii

    The effective adjustments in starting production are Axis +11, Allies +10. (After the first round it is more like Axis +14 once Germany and Japan open.) The idea here is to highlight the importance of VCs, and to restrict additional production, such that only the factories on the board at the start can be used.

    In the actual Anniversary Edition boxed game, there are a total of 23 factory sculpts according to my count. This would allow up to 5 more factories to be placed somewhere to balance if needed.

    The basic outline of this mod is to fix production locations at the start and allow no further Factories to be purchased. So Japan cannot build additional factories in Manchuria or East Indies, but must instead capture factories to grow beyond their initial starting production of 10 ipcs, (Japan itself 8 and Kiangsu 2). Philippines and Kwangtung are in range for J1 (providing them an extra 3 ipcs). Beyond this the major changes on game balance are the factories in France, Poland, India, Australia, and Eastern Canada. Whether these starting VC factories would require additional factories to be added, for over all Axis vs Allies balance is still open for debate. I am interested to hear what you guys think. So far it seems to work reasonably well.

    This is one way I think we can highlight the significance of VCs, and its a fairly straight forward simple set up. Anywhere you have a VC you place a starting factory. I think it is very important that no new production be allowed after the placement of starting factories for this to work, so the question is where (if anywhere) should the extra 5 factory sculpts be placed? Current candidates include Alaska, Brazil, Egypt, South Africa, Archangel, Kazakh or Novosibirsk. Or perhaps Allied targets such as Balkans, North Western Europe, Norway etc. Whether any of these are necessary when using the 18 VC factory set up remains to be proved, but I suspect one or two might be advisable, if the set up proves unbalanced in favor of Axis.

    Once balance is determined this production scheme will be fixed, such that no one can buy new factories after the start of play.

    Under consideration: China returned to full USA control (with no more weird rules.) Starting Chinese units become American. Starting Chinese territories and income, become American. +7 PUs to USA’s starting total. Or alternatively, China remains a separate player nation, but moves first in the turn order, or receives a set bid, or both.

    Not under consideration: map redesigns, alterations to the vanilla unit values or costs, additional complex rules.

    Everything in this mod has to be achievable with the map and materials included in the actual boxed game. So if there are 23 factory sculpts then that is the max (we could have less, but not more.) Starting at a minimum of 18 factories at the low end, 23 at the high end.

    I think this could make for a deeper and more interesting AA50 experience, without departing from the essential character of the mapboard. It would be easy to set up as a standard mod, if people enjoy the idea.

    This concept seems very entertaining.
    I have a few questions before trying to introduce this in my AA50 game, how much time is needed to achieve a victory for one side?
    Does making all VCs with IC increase or reduce the length of the game?
    Do you keep all IC production capacity according to the territory value?

    Did you allow the building of the 5 remaining ICs, anywhere else on the board?

    Did you give some AA gun to few VCs or all?

    Did you play with a 6 IPCs’ Tank or simply OOB 5 IPCs’ Tank?

    Thanks for the answers and these ideas above.

  • Sponsor

    I’ve gotta read more, but at first glance I like it a lot… how would this translate into Global 1940?

  • '17 '16

    @Black_Elk:

    Why Hawaii? And the Pacific factories?

    The more I play the more I enjoy the VC factories in these territories. Lets start with Honolulu… is it worth it for Japan to attack? Yes! Even though the production is only 1 ipc, it is within bombing range of Western. Beyond bombers, there are other ways to take advantage of the single point of production. Hawaii can produce a carrier deck upon which can be landed fighters from Japan, Philippines or Australia. It can build a sub to attack ships in 56, or a surface warship to cover a major fleet movement. Or you can camp fighters, and threaten territories like Alaska, Mexico, or W. Canada while setting up to control the Pacific. Hawaii, Australia and Philippines can be used together to push inf from the center south, while Japan moves center North, for a rapid re-positioning from coastal China and India against the United States. Whether or not this is a worthwhile strategy to pursue is debatable, but at least its possible here if USA is going KGF. For the same reason USA has an incentive to try and hold Hawaii, and Australia, or to reconquer Manilla, rather than ignoring the pacific because if they don’t protect Pearl then Japan can threaten 13 production and SBR against the USA’s 10 in Western.

    This option on USA can give Japan something to do if the Axis get stuck at the center on India, and is more effective here at stalling the Americans than the old Alaska drop to bait a W. US purchase, since, at equal income, Japan can actually contest the VC in San Francisco!

    Shanghai allows Japan a presence on the mainland to defend against counter attacks from British or Russian armor out of India. Even the Hong Kong factory gets into the mix, allowing an extra Japanese tank on the mainland, or ship or fighter into sz 61.

    For all these reasons, the British have a stronger incentive to at least stall the advance on India and Australia and try to hold one or the other factory for as long as possible, but this invariably draws money off Africa and the Atlantic so everything here is a trade off. Every VC becomes important, as it should be, since total production on the board is fixed and these are the only factories available. So far I am pleased. I have tried a lot of different ways of working China. So far my favorites have been, China under direct US control +7 ipcs (with a few extra US infantry distributed in China on the bid) And OOB China rules with China going first in the turn order (with a few extra Chinese infantry on the bid.)

    Basically if you are using NOs, then you bid a bit higher in China for balance. If you play without NOs then the Allies typically need less help, since the National Objectives tend to favor the Axis starting position on income. In either case, balancing around China seems to work pretty well. It prevents overpowered bids from messing up all the opening battles.

    Do you think it could balance things out against Axis, if China play first, with no bid, and also introducing this specific cost structure for Tanks, Subs, Destroyers, Transports and planes able to hit unsubmerged Subs without Destroyer presence, and by making all ICs with in-built AA gun (as 2nd Ed)?

    Here is the basic grounds units cost.
    Infantry Cost 3
    Mechanized Infantry  Cost 4, Too fond of them, to let them go. 😉
    Artillery Cost 4
    Anti-Aircraft Artillery Cost 5, (as 1942.2 and G40.2 OOB)
    Tank A3 D3 M2 Cost 6

    Transport A0 1D1 per TPs group M2 Cost 7, 1 hit value , still taken as last casualty, except for Submarines’ hit which can be allocated to transport before warships, owner’s still decides casualties.

    Submarines A3 D1 M2 Cost 8 Can be hit by any aircraft when unsubmerged.
    Destroyer A2 D2 M2 Cost 8 block all Sub’s Surprise strike, but only able to block on a 1:1 basis Submerge (and for first round only) and Stealth Movement

    Fighter A3 D4 M4 Cost 10
    Tactical Bomber A3-4 D3 M4 Cost 11 Too fond of them, to let them go. 😉
    Strategic Bomber A4 D1 M6 Cost 12

    Cruiser A3 D3 M2 Cost 12
    Carrier A1 D2 M2 Cost 14

    Battleship A4 D4 M2 Cost 20

  • '19 '15 '14

    Glad to see more folks taking an interest in some of these AA50 ideas

    Honestly AA50 remains my favorite board from an HR and modification perspective. The only downside is that the game itself is now out of print and has become a collectors item, but purely from the standpoint of overall balance and adaptability it is definitely my favorite map. And its worth noting that I didn’t always feel that way about AA50. At first I found it demoralizing, and I was frustrated with several aspects of the gameplay, most notably the concept of NOs and the way China was handled, and especially how additional money from NOs seemed necessary in order for the game to play well on balance by sides. I recall grumbling on various AA50 subjects here and on the Larry boards, regarding the production spread and the specific value of certain territories (like zero ipc pacific islands). But on the whole, after playing this map for a few years now, it has become my favorite.

    I really came to the A&A game out of Revised. Sure I was introduced to A&A with Classic, and face to face games with friends from highschool, and later the old Hasbro CD, but it wasn’t until Revised came out that I started to get involved in the online community and thinking about the game more deeply. Living where I did at the time, there just wasn’t anyone to game with ftf, so in my desperation to find a way to actually play the Revised game with other people, I sought out and discovered tripleA. It was just a skeleton of what it has since become, at the time there was a version of Classic available, and finally a version of Revised! And we all played that game to death right?  😄  Later on, after the Revised thing had run its course, and most people had learned how to break the Revised board, with a standard bid established and standard strategies, that’s when we started to think about ways to maybe change the A&A game through house rules. In the TripleA community this was the first real attempt to start pushing the game engine itself, so that it might be able to play other game beyond just Classic and Revised, which were both hardcoded at the time. There were no simple ways to make new maps, or edit values in the xml, no universal ways to redraw things like VCs or various graphics, which at the time were directly drawn onto a gif of the map you played. What followed is I think the period of tripleA at its zenith, when lots of games were made that tried to push new concepts for A&A type games. Among them were ways to get more player nations into the game (Italy specifically, and later China), also new units like the cruiser (a mid range ship) and the half track or mech inf (the weaker blitz unit) at various costs and values. Basically creating space in the game engine to handle other ideas that might be implemented in future A&A games.

    When AA50 came out I saw it as the culmination of a lot of those ideas, seeping back into an official mapboard, which was highly gratifying to see. Everyone was so excited about AA50, and I was really looking forward to it as the next major time sink for me, and excited about the potential for growth of a digital platform for it  😄 But then TripleA got hit with a DMCA takedown notice by Atari for all the official games, and the AA50 game that we’d just spent all that time making and figuring out how to port. And I was depressed about it. And I blamed AA50 I guess for being a let down for me.

    Well anyway, that’s a brief history of where AA50 had been in mind. But around the time Spring 42 came out and the 1940 games I started to look at it again as a template. I believe that the map design is solid, still providing some of the classic shucks territories that to me always seemed the hallmark of expert play in A&A. People who understood how to push infantry units, and shuck their transports, that was always how I distinguished between the really formidable opponents and the more middling strategies. So I really like the map in that it preserves some of those.

    Also the 6 player potential. Finally having a 3 v 3 option, 6 nations to match a 6 sided die. And AA50 remains the only board that has that spread. So far that reason alone, I really like this game. I also think AA50 had the best tech implementation and my players are still fond of the token/save dice concept.  Though I appreciate that its more or less impossible now to expect that people will be able to get ahold of a copy without spending an arm and a leg. So I guess the trick would be how to find ways to adapt these ideas to the two comparable boards that are still in print. 1942 sec edition and Global 1940. Though I admit I worry a bit about global, as it is already becoming so pricey, and the fact that you need both the Pacific box and the Europe box to get it working, makes me fear somewhat for its long term viability. 1942 on the other hand, had a pretty good print run. I’m not sure how many copies of these are in circulation for 1942.2 or the 1940 boards, but hopefully its enough to keep A&A going for a while.

    I have a few questions before trying to introduce this in my AA50 game, how much time is needed to achieve a victory for one side?
    Does making all VCs with IC increase or reduce the length of the game?
    Do you keep all IC production capacity according to the territory value?

    Did you allow the building of the 5 remaining ICs, anywhere else on the board?

    Did you give some AA gun to few VCs or all?

    Did you play with a 6 IPCs’ Tank or simply OOB 5 IPCs’ Tank?

    The rules discussed above didn’t alter the gamelength substantially for me. My group usually played until concession, the games tended to last about the same amount of time as a normal AA50 game. Basically one long day that usually stretches well past midnight, but can usually be resolved in a single session. Like anything, if the dice conspire to prolong things there’s just not much you can do about it (and I’m definitely a dice man.) So you know, how often in the midgame you can trade a ton of TUV in a few key battles, and then sometimes it is not so easy to see which side came out on top. Those games can last a while. But for the most part I think it accelerates the gameplay, or at least the feeling of a faster pace, by giving some clearer targets to gun for. And taking the production consideration out of the purchasing equation.

    Territory production was still tied to the Territory IPC value in all our games. I never attempted to use the 1940 type factory scheme on this map. Though I do remember hearing ideas about a base unit which would allow for the production of a certain number of infantry on a territory of any ipc value, or as a way to move units from production centers to staging centers. But I never actually used it in a game. We just went pretty simple, the number of IPCs = the number of units you can build, with no restrictions on unit type or anything like that.

    Didn’t give any additional AAguns to factory spaces. In the last games I was playing we basically kept the unit set up the same as OOB. I just removed the sculpts and said that the red dot = factory to save space for other units. AA guns were left alone, under the idea that if you wanted the protection for the extra VC factories then you had to buy them. This sometimes gave some opportunities for nice SBR runs, in situations where the players didn’t invest in AA protection.

    Tank cost in all my games was 5 ipcs OOB, although we did toy with the idea of an additional armor tech, to replace Long Range Air. We considered various things like Classic Armor at 5 ipcs a3/d2, and then heavy armor at 6 ipcs a3/d3 but this was limited by sculpts especially for Allies (though I suppose now you could maybe do it if you bought enough start 1941 maps). Or different ideas along those lines with Armor was to make the regular cost 6 ipcs 3/3 and then have the tech be a reduction in cost to 5. But for the most part we just played with them at the OOB cost and values at 5, even if it was overpowered, because everyone loves tanks haha.

    Do you think it could balance things out against Axis, if China play first, with no bid, and also introducing this specific cost structure for Tanks, Subs, Destroyers, Transports and planes able to hit unsubmerged Subs without Destroyer presence, and by making all ICs with in-built AA gun (as 2nd Ed)?

    Here is the basic grounds units cost.
    Infantry Cost 3
    Mechanized Infantry  Cost 4, Too fond of them, to let them go. wink
    Artillery Cost 4
    Anti-Aircraft Artillery Cost 5, (as 1942.2 and G40.2 OOB)
    Tank A3 D3 M2 Cost 6

    Transport A0 1D1 per TPs group M2 Cost 7, 1 hit value , still taken as last casualty, except for Submarines’ hit which can be allocated to transport before warships, owner’s still decides casualties.

    Submarines A3 D1 M2 Cost 8 Can be hit by any aircraft when unsubmerged.
    Destroyer A2 D2 M2 Cost 8 block all Sub’s Surprise strike, but only able to block on a 1:1 basis Submerge (and for first round only) and Stealth Movement

    Fighter A3 D4 M4 Cost 10
    Tactical Bomber A3-4 D3 M4 Cost 11 Too fond of them, to let them go. wink
    Strategic Bomber A4 D1 M6 Cost 12

    Cruiser A3 D3 M2 Cost 12
    Carrier A1 D2 M2 Cost 14

    Battleship A4 D4 M2 Cost 20

    This is actually a very interesting idea. Basically without any modifications to the unit set up (no open bid) a roster at those values might actually balance the board without a need to do much else. The increase in tank cost alone would be a game changer, but also the transport modification and the inclusion of mech.

    Some things to consider…

    For Rocket tech, it might make sense to attach the ability to the factory/VC rather than the AAAgun unit, to prevent abuse if using a 1940 style implementation anti air.

    For the 3 new 1940 units you are introducing… 1 Cruiser, 1 Tactical Bomber, and 1 Mech Infantry

    It might be fun, as a bid alternative, if you let each of the 6 major player/nations place one of these units on the gamemap at the outset, at one of their Factory/VCs or in an adjacent Sea Zone.

    But do it secret ballot style. So basically you write it down on a piece of paper where you want your mech, tacB, and cruiser to go, then all players reveal all at once the locations. This I think would be a fun way to highlight the units and to get players excited about them, while also providing some dynamism to the set up. Fun way to breath some new life into the board  😄

  • '19 '15 '14

    @Young:

    I’ve gotta read more, but at first glance I like it a lot… how would this translate into Global 1940?

    I think this is probably the most expedient approach, taking the ideas kicked around for AA50, but bringing them into the boards that are still in print. For global, the set factory concept is workable. The only kink with the 1:1 VC = factory idea, is that there are starting factories in the 1940 OOB set up, that aren’t also VC territories.
    Variable start can probably work too, but requires some turn pairing of nations in the standard sequence. And I’m not sure which bonus scheme might work best for that.

    China first can work in Global. I’ve tried that one at least so I can say it does stall Japan and give the India IC some breathing room. China is of course much more effective for the duration, since they will have more total units and artillery to work with, better positioning for the Flying Tiger, and a much easier time achieving their NO. The dynamic around Yunnan is stronger for Allies since China can strengthen it before being attacked on J1. There is also a potential hit on Kwangsi. Or you can just try a stack heavy in Yunnan strategy. I’ve also seen a strategy that has the Flying Tiger moving north, based out of Kweichow or Hopei, which makes it a bit more dangerous to Japan on counter attacks. A “China first” turn order can work in isolation as a bid alternative for Global in my view.

    One reason I like this China first approach, as opposed to an open bid for Allies, is that it concentrates the balance tweak where I think it is needed most, on the Pacific side of the game vs Japan! Instead of in the Med vs Italy for example. A stronger China means more for Japan to deal with, but the overall influence on balance by sides is less dramatic (than an open bid for UK say) mainly because of the movement restrictions and the special China rules. This is probably the easiest idea to port into 1940, since it doesn’t change anything other than the standard turn order.

    China, Germany, Russia, Japan, US, UK/Pac, Italy, Anzac, France

    Or if playing with the British Empire Pacific idea, the same China first concept might work, if the normal game there still shows Japan overpowered even with a bolstered UK Pacific power that includes Anzac and W. India. I’d be interested to hear any feedback on that if you get a chance to try it.

  • '17 '16

    Thanks for the detailed reply Black_Elk.

  • '17 '16 '15

    Hi Black Elk

    Here’s Global with China first. Getting ready to give it a test drive. 🙂

    ww2global40_2nd_edition_China.xml
    objectives.properties.txt

  • '19 '15 '14

    Good looking out barney!

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