Playing VC Rules vs World Domination/Concession



  • Hey all,

    I’ve got a great crew of buds with whom I’ve played A&A for years.  We’ve built our own house rules but are still very close to the box rules. Our largest deviation has been our distaste of VC for a win (we haven’t ever played a game that way).

    For 1940 Global, we usually see the Axis get off to a great start and then hit a wall at about round 7 or 8 (US has garnered its forces and has made a presence somehow). More specifically Germany and/or Japan are finishing the last of Russia when America is landing on the shores. We generally have run out of time after all of this and our games conclude on concessions and the like.  For these games I was wondering if there’s a concensus that VC help resolve the state  of the war or if continuing to play it (recording pieces and resuming later ) is better? Any thoughts?



  • I like playing VC’s because if not the game could literally go on forever… it’s a line in the sand.

    I like to know exactly what I need, and what my opponent needs, to win.



  • I know what you’re saying,  and by playing VC you make the US have to decide which theatre it will really focus on to save the war.  I guess the concern is if by playing VC you let form prevail over substance (as in the axis have the VC and will hold it for a turn but not for two)… maybe I’m being to paranoid/analytical



  • If you dont play VC the axis will lose or need a huge bid. The whole reason for the VC’s is to make it so the US cannot put all its effort on 1 theatre.
    Japan cannot stand the US attacking with a fleet of over 200 ipcs round 4 it will be game over round 5 or 6 latest for japan.

    After that US just turns around and pushed germany out of europe. Big deal if russia falls or not germany cannot stand the might of the US.

    You might want to continue the game at some later date and play it out but i would not be the axis in that situation.



  • I really like what Ike said about this.
    You should turn around and to the exact opposite of what you have been doing for years.
    Go for either 8 or 6 VC for an axis win, because if the axis go for a slow buildup, ignoring any VC’s and just go fo an economic advantage during the first 14 turns or so, the game will indeed too easily drag on into the 25+ turn area before -hopefully- a winner can be determined and that’s not even certain. It may cost you 30 to 50 hours of playing, depending on your playspeed.
    Seeing that games that last even only 15+ turns need a lot of careful and balanced (calculated) moving, my experience is that games lasting longer in turns also last disproportionally longer in time.

    To make a long story short:
    if you want a clear winner in a shorter amount of time, agree with each other that the allies will be declared winner if the game lasts beyond a certain point no matter what (say, turn 15 or so, but a ‘line in the sand’ must be drawn).
    This forces the axis into going after a VC-win and will therefore make for a shorter game (still worth 10 to 15 turns of play). It may be arbitrary for this game but it is true to history. In reality, the USA alone could have defeated both Germany and Japan (Germany after Japan) in an indefinite amount of time. But the USA wasn’t alone. There also were the Commonwealth and Russia…

    Given seasoned play on both sides, axis not going for a VC win and just building up their economy will indeed just result in a concession game (I’d call it a draw) unless you are willing to play like 50 turns or so ;-). I think this is THE weak spot of the current VC-rules.



  • @ShadowHAwk:

    If you dont play VC the axis will lose or need a huge bid. The whole reason for the VC’s is to make it so the US cannot put all its effort on 1 theatre.
    Japan cannot stand the US attacking with a fleet of over 200 ipcs round 4 it will be game over round 5 or 6 latest for japan.

    After that US just turns around and pushed germany out of europe. Big deal if russia falls or not germany cannot stand the might of the US.

    You might want to continue the game at some later date and play it out but i would not be the axis in that situation.

    More like Japan will be hurting by turn 7, and their fleet should be gone turn 10-12. Then US goes 100% after Europe. Wouldn’t matter if Germany took Moscow and even all the middle east. Germany couldn’t stand against a US Making 90 a turn and with a HUGE fleet left over after crushing Japans.



  • @ItIsILeClerc:

    I really like what Ike said about this.
    You should turn around and to the exact opposite of what you have been doing for years.
    Go for either 8 or 6 VC for an axis win, because if the axis go for a slow buildup, ignoring any VC’s and just go fo an economic advantage during the first 14 turns or so, the game will indeed too easily drag on into the 25+ turn area before -hopefully- a winner can be determined and that’s not even certain. It may cost you 30 to 50 hours of playing, depending on your playspeed.
    Seeing that games that last even only 15+ turns need a lot of careful and balanced (calculated) moving, my experience is that games lasting longer in turns also last disproportionally longer in time.

    To make a long story short:
    if you want a clear winner in a shorter amount of time, agree with each other that the allies will be declared winner if the game lasts beyond a certain point no matter what (say, turn 15 or so, but a ‘line in the sand’ must be drawn).
    This forces the axis into going after a VC-win and will therefore make for a shorter game (still worth 10 to 15 turns of play). It may be arbitrary for this game but it is true to history. In reality, the USA alone could have defeated both Germany and Japan (Germany after Japan) in an indefinite amount of time. But the USA wasn’t alone. There also were the Commonwealth and Russia…

    Given seasoned play on both sides, axis not going for a VC win and just building up their economy will indeed just result in a concession game (I’d call it a draw) unless you are willing to play like 50 turns or so ;-). I think this is THE weak spot of the current VC-rules.

    I really appreciate everyone’s thoughts and insights.  I’ll be bringing all of the points up and it looks like there is a general consensus that confirmed my initial fear/intuition (given enough time the allies will ultimately prevail/comeback no matter what the axis do). Either way,  this is clearly the most fun we’ve ever had and we won’t be stopping either way (we probably all just enjoy the good fight and 50 rounds wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world! ). Thanks again!


  • 2019 '15 '14

    There is no viable way for Allies to win the game under the Victory Conditions outlined in the Box. The best they can ever do is prevent Axis victories. This means that either way, whether you use the VC conditions, or just play till someone surrenders, you are still playing until concession.

    Only the Axis can make a technical win, in anything approaching a reasonable amount of time. So what you are really dealing with is “Can Axis take 8 VCs in Europe, or 6 VCs in the Pacific?” If the answer to either question is “No”, then that’s usually when Axis throw in the towel. But nothing in the rules forces them to. Just read the Victory conditions for Allies. They’re pretty insane. You have to take all 3 enemy capitals to win, by which point half your players will have fallen asleep in their chairs!
    😄

    In my view the VC system suffers from the fact that there is no in game effect that applies to them. You don’t get awarded any additional IPCs for control of Victory Cities (beyond the normal values of the territories they’re inside), which means that VCs have no independent influence on the gameplay. They don’t work inside the framework of the game, but rather outside of it. In other words, they exist purely as a game resolution mechanism, and not a particularly great one at that, for reasons you noted in your initial post. If you are willing to try House Rules, then I would suggest the following. Give players +1 ipc for control of each Victory city. Even though the amount is small, it is enough to draw attention onto the VCs. Then, once you have everyone’s attention focused on the VCs, they are much easier to use as intended, e.g. as a way to force game conclusion.

    Again though, I think its worth stressing that the VC system, with the sudden death win, is entirely one sided. It only works for Axis. The Victory condition for Allies is pointless, if you’re sticking to the OOB rules, since its requirements are so far outside the realm of reasonable game length. So either way, in G40, you’re still just playing until Axis technical win or the Axis give up (Concession), which is kind of unfortunate from a design standpoint. Would be better if Allies had a similar sudden death VC win to gun for.



  • To play until concession is exactly what they did in the real war, so yeah I would go for this


  • Customizer

    Here is a good example. Last week we played a game which ended in an Axis victory by controlling 8 VCs on the Europe board: Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, Rome, Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad and Cairo. This game took us 7 rounds.
    Now, the US went after Japan with a vengeance. Japan lost all territories outside of Japan itself, it’s navy was totally sunk, their factory was bombed to the max damage and US subs convoy raided all of Japan’s money. The only reason Japan wasn’t totally taken over was because they had a rather large stack of men and the US didn’t have enough transports and land units to invade them, although even with a minimal investment that would have happened in just a few more rounds.
    The US had already started shifting assets to the Atlantic by this time. They had a sizable fleet and took Gibraltar back from Italy. The US was in the process of building a decent invasion force to land somewhere in Europe, but just hadn’t gotten that far quite yet.
    Germany had taken Moscow so Russia was out of the war. Germany was preparing for a Sea Lion attack and already bought some new shiny boats. However, the RAF was fairly strong and like I said, the US was coming in force.
    The main issue was a rather sizable blunder by the UK. They had a factory in Cairo and had defended Egypt from Italy quite well. Italy got frustrated with Cairo and sent troops to take Morocco, Algeria and Gibraltar. With nothing seemingly threatening Egypt, UK depleted their defenses in Egypt going on the offensive in rolling up the territories that Italy had conquered in it’s attempts to encircle Egypt == Syria, Jordan, Alexandria and Iraq. UK failed to realize that 2 Italian transports in SZ 92 that took Morocco, Algeria and Gibraltar, with Gibraltar’s naval base in Italian hands now, could get back to SZ 98 and land troops in Egypt in one move.
    So, that is exactly what Italy did and they finally took Egypt to capture the 8th victory city (Cairo). Then on Germany’s turn, Germany flew 3 fighters down from W Germany to help the Italians protect Cairo. The UK just didn’t have enough units within range to take back Cairo in a single turn and the US was not in range yet so it ended up with an Axis Victory with 8 victory cities.
    Now, if we would have kept on playing, I think the Allies would have won. The US was very strong and it wouldn’t take them long to get much stronger. While the UK made a blunder with Egypt, they were still pretty strong on England. Also, India could start sending stuff west and ANZAC could start sending planes to help harass the Axis.
    Germany had a lot of territory and was pretty strong, but they are also spread out. The battles in Russia took a lot of units and they had to start rebuilding a navy from scratch. The Luftwaffe was strong and would create some headaches for the Allies, but I still think the Allies would have started gaining ground. Eventually, Russia would get liberated and German territory would start shrinking.
    However, this would have greatly extended the game time to something like 20-30 rounds. So while the VC wins seem kind of arbitrary, it’s a good way to play a relatively short game of Global. So you get the fun of the game without dragging it out so long that you get sick of it.


  • 2019 2018 2017

    But your game looks like it wouldn’t have been won by the Axis anyway if the UK would not have made that mistake. So I don’t think it’s representative of a typical situation where the European Axis “convincingly” takes 8 victory cities. If the European Axis takes Cairo in force and not because of a tactical error, then I’m thinking of Russia safely in German hands, Axis presence in the middle east, and enough German income to secure Europe. And somewhat beyond round 7.

    I’m wondering, where did Japan go wrong to find itself virtually knocked out as early as round 7? Because if the US has neutralized Japan the early and can therefore afford to go almost full Atlantic, then the European Axis normally wouldn’t have had enough time to get to 8 VC’s anyway, provided that the UK focuses on holding London and Cairo (which shouldn’t be hard with no Japanese pressure on India and nothing to do for ANZAC).

    (edit because I mixed something up which caused this to make no sense)



  • @Black_Elk:

    They’re pretty insane. You have to take all 3 enemy capitals to win, by which point half your players will have fallen asleep in their chairs!
    😄

    The Allies should only need Berlin or Tokyo to win the game, not Berlin, Tokyo and Rome.


  • '15

    If we’re talking house rules, I saw one set that I thought had real possibilities as far as giving the Allies something to strive for beyond not letting the Axis win.  Why not give them a VC win condition too?  If the Allies have a certain number of VCs (only applies after a certain point - round 5 maybe?), then they win.



  • @Shin:

    If we’re talking house rules, I saw one set that I thought had real possibilities as far as giving the Allies something to strive for beyond not letting the Axis win.  Why not give them a VC win condition too?  If the Allies have a certain number of VCs (only applies after a certain point - round 5 maybe?), then they win.

    Well once it becomes clear that the axis cannot get to their goal it is normaly that they give up. But a house rule that the allies make 2.5* the amount if ipcs as the axis is also a good rule. This means that japan or germany is as good as dead. Or a rule that the axis must have at least 4 VC’s or they lose.


  • '16 '15 '10

    The VCs seem to have 2 purposes.

    1. Prevent KJF and KGF
    2. Encourage more historical-looking play (national objectives serve the same goal).

    It might be fun to play without VCs but as others have suggested….it would be a different game and Axis might need a bid.  The Allies would have a strong structural incentive to either destroy Japan or destroy Germany/Italy in the first 10 turns.  Hence, you wouldn’t get “balanced” play–it would be KJF or KGF akin to how it was in the Revised days.  This is not necessarily bad, just different.  But with the VCs, it’s a global war for the entire game.


  • Customizer

    @Herr:

    But your game looks like it wouldn’t have been won by the Axis anyway if the UK would not have made that mistake. So I don’t think it’s representative of a typical situation where the European Axis “convincingly” takes 8 victory cities. If the European Axis takes Cairo in force and not because of a tactical error, then I’m thinking of Russia safely in German hands, Axis presence in the middle east, and enough German income to secure Europe. And somewhat beyond round 7.

    I’m wondering, where did Japan go wrong to find itself virtually knocked out as early as round 7? Because if the US has neutralized Japan the early and can therefore afford to go almost full Atlantic, then the European Axis normally wouldn’t have had enough time to get to 8 VC’s anyway, provided that the UK focuses on holding London and Cairo (which shouldn’t be hard with no Japanese pressure on India and nothing to do for ANZAC).

    (edit because I mixed something up which caused this to make no sense)

    Yeah, I know it isn’t typical and was due to the UK blunder. My point was that US and UK were still strong enough that if we had played the game out even a few more rounds, the Axis would not have been able to hold onto all 8 VCs. But since the rules say the Axis only have to hold onto the 8 VCs for 1 full round, this was a technical Axis victory. Another two or three more rounds, and the Allies would have been able to retake Cairo or maybe even captured Rome.

    As for Japan, I think they played a good game. The US went 100% after Japan and just overwhelmed them. Perhaps the biggest mistake Japan might have made was trying to keep the US fleet off balance after taking Hawaii. Japan had more than half their fleet in SZ 26. The US built a pretty good fleet in SZ 10 – I think 2 carriers, 2 battleships and a cruiser. A 3rd carrier along with a couple of destroyers were in SZ 1 protecting transports that shipped some men to protect Alaska. Here is where I think Japan might have messed up. They sent their fleet to SZ 10 and wiped out the US fleet there, but took a lot of damage in the process. The problem was the US had a LOT of money to rebuild their fleet, Japan didn’t. After that, Japan could not keep up with US naval builds plus trying to put tanks and mechs in Asia.
    Also, China and India really managed to stunt Japanese expansion in Asia. Plus, ANZAC just kept building fighters and picking off the remaining Japanese warships wherever they got a chance to get at them.



  • @Zhukov44:

    The VCs seem to have 2 purposes.

    1. Prevent KJF and KGF
    2. Encourage more historical-looking play (national objectives serve the same goal).

    It might be fun to play without VCs but as others have suggested….it would be a different game and Axis might need a bid.  The Allies would have a strong structural incentive to either destroy Japan or destroy Germany/Italy in the first 10 turns.  Hence, you wouldn’t get “balanced” play–it would be KJF or KGF akin to how it was in the Revised days.  This is not necessarily bad, just different.  But with the VCs, it’s a global war for the entire game.

    IT is the same as revised. The allies needed a bid if you played for 8 VC’s but the axis needed the bid when you played domination.
    In that game losing 1 capital was lights out for the allies and only 8 VC’s where possible without taking a capital.



  • Don’t know why anyone would play a game in revised to 8 VC’s. This seems impossibly easy for the axis to do.

    How big of a bid do you think the axis would need in a world domination game? maybe a bid that keeps the Italian fleet alive?



  • knp

    Is it really wise to aggressively attack the US against full US spending in the Pacific? You said that this caused the Japs to be 100% eliminated (only owning Japan and no fleet) by turn 7. A J1 Japan with a more conservative approach (avoiding a major confrontation with the US fleet if the US is going full Pac) and just slowly retreats under their air umbrella while taking India and all of China, Japan can survive against 100% US spending until turn 7 or 8 at least (from my experience anyways). At this point they aren’t down to just Japan, they should still own a lot of China and maybe some of Russia) with their fleet either surviving (pushed back to mainland factories or possibly Japan sz), or wrecking havoc in the middle east and Egypt.

    Imo, Japan should never, ever be attacking the US fleet at W. US (unless the US isn’t respecting Japan at all and has nothing in the Pac allowing the Japs to become an absolute monster), but it sounds like this wasn’t the case). This majorly stretches their supply lines, and gets them away from their air power (their biggest strength).

    Bottom line, the Japanese have to mess up badly to be down to only Japan with no fleet (and I’m assuming little to no air force) by turn 7 (if Germany killed Russia, then who the heck was liberating all of China? India should never be that strong that early in the game).

    If US goes 100% Pac or close to it, I have had success (and seen success in other games) when Japan is conservative, forcing the US to continue to spend very heavily against them until at least turn 7-8 (in a J1 that is. If the US spends 100% against the Japs and Japan does a J3 or J4, Japan isn’t gonna last as long as if they do a J1). If Japan can draw at least 80% of the US’s builds until at least turn 8 (which I have seen them do with good play), it’s probably game over for the Allies if Germany is doing it’s job (taking Moscow sometime between G6-G8).



  • @theROCmonster:

    Don’t know why anyone would play a game in revised to 8 VC’s. This seems impossibly easy for the axis to do.

    How big of a bid do you think the axis would need in a world domination game? maybe a bid that keeps the Italian fleet alive?

    Don’t think the axis need a bid for this in 2nd edition.
    IMHO: with the other axis strategies not so much (a VC-hunt from the start), but definately with an economic  domination strategy, the axis are very hard to defeat already! In game turns anyway, because this kind of strategy requires 20+ turns to beat (if at all possible). During the first 10 turns or so, the axis at least equalize in economy and TUV on the board but more likely will leave the allies far behind in both aspects.
    AFAICS, the only way the allies can maintain rough economical parity with the axis is to go KJF and this will cost them Moscow big time, seriously endangering Cairo later on (or London, or both for that matter).

    Because I don’t like the fact that the majority of the axis strategies already require the allies to resort to this ‘KJF thing’, I have never explored this beyond my typical J1DOW response (which indeed already is very Japan heavy).

    I’m not saying that the axis will actually win if they leave the allies behind both in income and TUV on the board, because there is also something like where all that TUV is positioned. Are the allies able to once again stabilize the economical imbalance and if yes, will that be lasting…

    …Anyways, for me personally, about 15 turns of playing A&AG40 is my tolerance-limit for this game. So with this kind of axis play we always end up with calling it a draw unless the majority agrees that the situation is easy enough to predict a winner.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    Its useful to think about Revised, because that is the game where this idea was introduced in the first place.

    In Revised Axis control 6 VCs out of 12 total.
    In G40.2 Axis control 5 VCs out of 19 total.

    In both games the deficiency is that too few VCs are contested early on, and the VC wins are either too fast or too slow, so its all weighted on the Capitals. The thing is, for game resolution, people want something decisive, and usually this comes down to Capitals.

    More VCs on other areas of the map would be cool, in places like Singapore or Vladivostok or Pretoria or Minsk or Antwerp or Tripoli or I don’t know you choose, but basically territories that are easier for both sides to contest.  😄

    I think the total number of VCs controlled should yield a bonus in IPCs, or a penalty in IPCs, because then you could set up victory conditions using VCs that worked in a way similar to a Capital win. I think that’s really what is needed if you want players to take the VCs seriously, over total domination.


  • '16 '15 '10

    @ShadowHAwk:

    @Zhukov44:

    The VCs seem to have 2 purposes.

    1. Prevent KJF and KGF
    2. Encourage more historical-looking play (national objectives serve the same goal).

    It might be fun to play without VCs but as others have suggested….it would be a different game and Axis might need a bid.  The Allies would have a strong structural incentive to either destroy Japan or destroy Germany/Italy in the first 10 turns.  Hence, you wouldn’t get “balanced” play–it would be KJF or KGF akin to how it was in the Revised days.  This is not necessarily bad, just different.  But with the VCs, it’s a global war for the entire game.

    IT is the same as revised. The allies needed a bid if you played for 8 VC’s but the axis needed the bid when you played domination.
    In that game losing 1 capital was lights out for the allies and only 8 VC’s where possible without taking a capital.

    Right.  I usually played to 9VCs, which helped keep the length of the games down.  If you play to 10 VCs, Revised can be intolerably long, absent capitulation.

    I haven’t played very many Global games that went past 10 rounds and I consider that a virtue because if the game takes longer than 10 rounds f2f it would probably require more than 2 full-day gaming sessions to play it out.  That’s not terribly realistic.  Imo it’s a good thing that Global takes about the same amount of time to play as AA50 or Revised.  Of course, Global games can and do go 20+ rounds on occasion but those tend to be very competitive matches.



  • @ItIsILeClerc:

    @theROCmonster:

    Don’t know why anyone would play a game in revised to 8 VC’s. This seems impossibly easy for the axis to do.

    How big of a bid do you think the axis would need in a world domination game? maybe a bid that keeps the Italian fleet alive?

    Don’t think the axis need a bid for this in 2nd edition.
    IMHO: with the other axis strategies not so much (a VC-hunt from the start), but definately with an economic  domination strategy, the axis are very hard to defeat already! In game turns anyway, because this kind of strategy requires 20+ turns to beat (if at all possible). During the first 10 turns or so, the axis at least equalize in economy and TUV on the board but more likely will leave the allies far behind in both aspects.
    AFAICS, the only way the allies can maintain rough economical parity with the axis is to go KJF and this will cost them Moscow big time, seriously endangering Cairo later on (or London, or both for that matter).

    Because I don’t like the fact that the majority of the axis strategies already require the allies to resort to this ‘KJF thing’, I have never explored this beyond my typical J1DOW response (which indeed already is very Japan heavy).

    I’m not saying that the axis will actually win if they leave the allies behind both in income and TUV on the board, because there is also something like where all that TUV is positioned. Are the allies able to once again stabilize the economical imbalance and if yes, will that be lasting…

    …Anyways, for me personally, about 15 turns of playing A&AG40 is my tolerance-limit for this game. So with this kind of axis play we always end up with calling it a draw unless the majority agrees that the situation is easy enough to predict a winner.

    Ya, that is the problem with a really competitive global game. Most of them go over 15 rounds, at least in LL. In a game where VC’s don’t matter it would take forever to win as allies. You are right that the axis will be ahead, or even, after the fall of Moscow if you are going KJF. The thing is once US gets a large enough fleet majority over Japan the TUV swing will be massive. It would be something like 700 in TUV lost with Japan if you completely defend against US. Even with a KJF you should still be able to easily hold Moscow till turn 9. Also in a game where VC’s don’t matter I think it is always best for Japan to attack T3, unless the allies leave it open for a turn 2 attack. This is because Japan needs to kill china and set up in a better position against US. Also US is down 40 IPC’s if you wait till T3.

    It would be interesting to see what would be best for allies. KGF or KJF.

    Going KGF would leave a super Japan, but he is really out of position. Russia would be immensely powerful because he would be able to get Iraq, Italian somali land, Tobruk, and Libya. This would mean Japan would have a hard time taking Russia, and Germany has no chance to do it. US would be a lot weaker because of all the NO’s he looses in the pacific, and he would have to keep at least 10 infantry in western US to keep Japan honest. Britain would be weaker as well because he wouldn’t have India for very long. Anzac becomes a worthless country that is only building infantry to defend.

    Going KJF would leave a super strong Germany that would have a lot of options open to him. Japan would eventually die, but not before doing serious damage. He can still take out India and China and survive till around R10 or so when US’s fleet just becomes too much for him to handle. US would be way more powerful than in a KGF, so when he switched to going against Germany he would have a ton of fleet and would only need to build transports and infantry. He should be making 90+ vs a Germany that is making the same. It would come down to US/UK/Anzac vs. Germany and Italy.

    I would probably lean towards going KGF because it allows you to keep Russia, and even if Japan is making 120 PU’s, he is so out of position it would take him forever to take Russia, and by then Germany should be dead.

    I don’t think the axis would stand a chance in hell if VC’s were taken off the table, but the problem is what would a fair bid be? Because allowing the axis to bid ships would be too powerful, especially with Japan. That is why I think a fair start would be to allow Italy to have their entire fleet merged to start the game.

    What do you guys think?


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