• '17 '16

    @Black_Elk:

    Well specifically your mention of the current defenseless transport having fallen put of alignment other naval units and aircraft for the cost. It is, as you rightly point out a major disadvantage to have infinite transport sunk by a single unit in a single round of combat. Ultimately this favors Axis in 42.2 overall, because Allies have yo buy more of them, and Germany especially can counter with just Air builds alone. In Classic there was a certain threshold beyond which Allies could mass transports and rely on them to defend themselves (albeit at a much lower hit ratio at 1, than other naval units) but it was the fact that the had to be taken as separate casualties expending enemy hits and increasing the number of combat rounds. What is needed is something in between, like what you suggest. I like the roster values you propose, for newer maps or maps that aren’t already set in stone for their units. It would be interesting to see what AI would do with them, if more expensive but Def 1 all autokill, or if taken last, or with other schemes. Probably anything would work better than 0, infinite kills haha

    You clearly point out the issue of Classic transports: a threshold in which it becomes costlier to attack a whole herd of transports being together, the attacking planes at 12 IPCs and 15 IPCs were almost outmatched by such Transport at 8 IPCs. A single Full Carrier amongst them was enough to repel planes.

    Making auto-destroy of 1 transport unit/ attacking combat unit can probably works also.
    It will clearly show how powerful are combat units compared to transport.
    It is still an additional way of treating Transport and it will be almost deterrent than OOB when launching a single Transport unit somewhere. Someone talk about in the Defenseless Transport thread for sure.

    Knowing it will certainly be sink and get a slight chance of taking an enemy with it, is a consolation prize which cannot be enough.

    I’m curious, is it possible to learn by ourselves how works TripleA and how it is possible to stretch the basic units and concepts?
    Or is there any way to create a TripleA feature that can be more easily open to variations from OOB rule sets?


  • I’m not sure I get what you are saying about lowering the cost of navy. I think the sub and DD are fine where they are at. Make the cruiser 11 and the BB 18. That would make them both more realistic of a buy, but it doesn’t mean that you would buy a lot (just like how in the real war there were cruisers and BB’s but way more DD’s).

    The transport being at 8 while only being able to be taken last as a hit is really good, and yes it will make the allied fleets a lot better and more effective at defending, but bombers will still be good to have as axis to force more transports to be defended.

    I love the idea of a 12 sided dice! That would change EVERYTHING. You could then have each country have specific powers. Like Germany could have really powerful tanks, and Russia really cheap crappy infantry.

    On trippleA there is a game called New World Order and it has units in there that can only be made after round 4. I’d love it if the next axis and allies game had that. To where you get a lot more options of units to choose from. I’d pay the extra money the game would cost to have that more plastic.

  • '17 '16

    @theROCmonster:

    I’m not sure I get what you are saying about lowering the cost of navy. I think the sub and DD are fine where they are at. Make the cruiser 11 and the BB 18. That would make them both more realistic of a buy, but it doesn’t mean that you would buy a lot (just like how in the real war there were cruisers and BB’s but way more DD’s).

    The transport being at 8 while only being able to be taken last as a hit is really good, and yes it will make the allied fleets a lot better and more effective at defending, but bombers will still be good to have as axis to force more transports to be defended.

    I love the idea of a 12 sided dice! That would change EVERYTHING. You could then have each country have specific powers. Like Germany could have really powerful tanks, and Russia really cheap crappy infantry.

    On trippleA there is a game called New World Order and it has units in there that can only be made after round 4. I’d love it if the next axis and allies game had that. To where you get a lot more options of units to choose from. I’d pay the extra money the game would cost to have that more plastic.

    Just talking about the relative cost of naval units. The higher you pay, the stronger is the unit. In the OOB roster, and generaly speaking, each naval units is intuitively or CombatCalc evaluated toward maximizing the investment by players. When loosing units, a same evalution is roughly done to lose lesser IPCs units while keeping the costlier and stronger ones, as long as possible.

    The OOB 7 IPCs Taken Last Transport within a fleet put a great deal of unmaximizing casualties.
    If it was 8 IPCs A0 D0 1 hit. In desperate situations (which occurs often since the attacker choose his own time for attack, players will use this Transport as a perfect fodder unit (like the actual AAA unit) to protect is defensive combat numbers. But you cannot because of the taken last rules.
    @DizzKneeLand33:

    For all of you who say that a stack of transports would never be used as defense, you have clearly not played the original game…. If Germany only had say 4 planes left, the U.S. could stack 12 trannies all by themselves and be pretty darn safe.  Run your odds calcs if you don’t believe me…

    Now, to say that in a d6 game system each trannie should defend at a one… well, then that means that a trannie has 1/4 the firepower as a Battleship, and 1/3 the firepower of a cruiser.  lol.

    But, just to please the naysayers… I’ve come up with this extremely cool unit.  Not only can it transport an infantry and another unit, it also not only defends at a two, but also attacks at a two.  And…. it only costs 15 IPC’s…
    Seriously.

    In fact, the Combatcalc showed that such 7 IPC defenseless transport escorted with Destroyers, should cost 12 IPCs if it was able to defend itself like other unit, when taking into account the cost of the same cargo capacity defended by destroyers. See below in quote.
    The main example say, that in “Classic conditions”, when you brought 5 “Destroyers” Def@2 with 8 Transports, your overall defense is exactly the same as 8 Defenseless transports escorted by 10 Destroyers.

    10 DDs & 8 TPs D0, 0 hit, (7 IPCs) vs 5 DDs & 8 Classic TPs D1, 1 hit, 12 IPCs
    A. survives: 50.0% D. survives: 49.5% No one survives: 0.5%

    In OOB conditions, you need to double the number of Destroyers to reach the same defense value for your fleet compared to “Classic time Transport”.

    Said otherwise, changing Classic TPs to Defenseless TPs is not 8 IPCs for 7 IPCs: a 1 IPC reduction. The need to provides warships with TPs is in reality rising the cost of escorting and Transporting units from 8 IPCs to 12 IPCs . A 50% increase in transportation cost in OOB 2nd Edition vs  “all previous A&A50 Edition”.

    To reach a similar overall burden on a new transport being part of combat with A0 D1 without making it effectively at a prohibitive 12 IPCs (for carrying 2 land units), could be to put the Cruiser unit (OOB 12 IPCs) at the same cost as Transport A0 D1 C8, 1 hit.
    So, in a sense, investing in a Transport would become as expensive as buying a A3 D3 C8 combat warships. (In purchase capacity.)
    The loss of this Transport and IPCs values would have had exactly the same impact as loosing a strong combat unit.
    In such cost structure, a Battleship would cost around 13-14 IPCs. And Destroyers around 5-6 IPCs.

    It is purely hypothetical cost.
    If you want to take a look at a real example about what it could become, I created a more acceptable cost structure with such a Transport here:
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=35222.msg1374545#msg1374545

    Hope you begin to see why my intent about reducing naval cost, except for Transport.

    @Baron:

    @toblerone77:

    Baron my HR neutralizes all of the factors of why the TRN was changed to D0 in the first place. The only time where TRNs would be used as sensible fodder is the opening phases of the game. If someone is still buying TRNs as fodder when the DD is vastly superior they would be foolish.

    Math: You don’t need a battle calculator to view the base stats, or calculate that TRNs are really lousy fodder when you can buy a DD for the same price with quadruple overall AD power let alone the escort capability of the DD.

    Balancing: Okay off the bat, the Axis still have huge advantages in almost every edition of A&A. This is an HR; so you could either modify the set-up, actually give the Axis a naval bid, or leave it alone. Frankly It doesn’t bother me all that much that the Axis might have it a bit tougher wiping out the Allied fleet in the first round of play. Even with that said Japan would benefit with my HR.

    I revised an old post in which there was simple miscalculation 80 + 56 = 156!!!, I corrected for 136 IPCs.
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=30618.msg1289233#msg1289233

    I can now determined what is the average cost to change from defenseless to another type of transport defense factor.
    Of course, it is based on the assumption that keeping a fleet with similar cargo and defensive value should have a similar cost.

    Here is the number required to give a similar protection to an OOB defenseless transport compared to Classic transport, still taken last, but each is allowed to roll D1 on every round of the battle (as in Classic).
    I used the AACalc of the forum and put DD (A2) and Carrier (A1) for DD and transport.

    A pretty even combat is:
    10 DDs & 8 TPs D0, 0 hit, (7 IPCs) vs 5 DDs & 8 Classic TPs D1, 1 hit, 12 IPCs
    A. survives: 50.0% D. survives: 49.5% No one survives: 0.5%

    So if even in combat survival and cargo, then it should be the same price on both sides:
    (10DDs8 IPCs) 80 IPCs + (8TPs7 IPCs) 56 IPCs compared to (5DDs8 IPCs) 40 IPCs + (8TPs12 IPCs) 96 IPCs =
    136 IPCs vs 136 IPCs.

    This means that a classic transport A0D1M2, 1 hit and taken last must cost 12 IPCs to not outmatched OOB TP at 7 IPCs.

    Now, keeping the same Classic transport but allowing it to be choose as first casualty, here is the most even fight on Battlecalc I can get for the 136 IPCs fleet:
    10 DDs & 8 TPs D0, 0 hit, (7 IPCs) vs 4 DDs & 8 Classic TPs D1, 1 hit, 13 IPCs
    A. survives: 42.6% D. survives: 56.3 No one survives: 1.2%
    (10DDs8 IPCs) 80 IPCs + (8TPs7 IPCs) 56 IPCs compared to (4DDs8 IPCs) 32 IPCs + (8TPs13 IPCs) 104 IPCs =
    136 IPCs vs 136 IPCs.

    And since there is a 6% above 50%, the balance price of a pure Classic transport should be above 13 IPCs.
    136 IPCs * 106% = 144.2 IPCs- 32 IPCs from 4 DDs= 112.2/8= 14 IPCs / transports.

    So, assuming that we let player choose their own casualties as they wish, so sometimes transports are taken last and sometimes taken first (to keep the better defensive combat value of the whole fleet), then a balanced cost should be an average between 12 IPCs and 14 IPCs, which imply a 13 IPCs per Classic transport A0D1M2, 1 hit.

    So anything with a lower transport cost than 12-13 IPCs is giving some advantage toward Allies lines of shipping ground units from USA and UK.
    The reason is that you will need less escorting warships to protect correctly a given transport (because of is own defense capabilities) than with OOB defenseless transport.

    This escorting warships cost, as an hindrance for waiting to throw transports in harm’s way, must be taken into account, not just the unhistorical fodder capacity of transport.

    About fodder: at the same cost of 8 IPCs compared to DDs, when it is needed to keep the most costlier combat valuable units, Transports and Destroyers will be used as fodder to protect Cruiser, Battleships and some carriers for Fighters.

    But at a high cost of 12-13 IPCs for transports, it would be a hard choice of whether keepings better combat unit (even at lower cost) or loosing big money on transports when come the time to replace lost units.


    However, having a different HR based on Spendo02 idea, with each Transport, 1 hit value, but only rolling 1 dice @1 per round for any number of TPs.
    It gives a lesser balance cost of 10 IPCs when defender choose his own casualties.

    It can even be lowered to 8 IPCs, if such Transport must be chosen last.

    See the last part of this post, if you want to see the calculations.
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=30618.msg1289233#msg1289233

  • '17 '16

    @Black_Elk:

    What is needed is something in between, like what you suggest. I like the roster values you propose, for newer maps or maps that aren’t already set in stone for their units. It would be interesting to see what AI would do with them, if more expensive but Def 1 all autokill, or if taken last, or with other schemes. Probably anything would work better than 0, infinite kills haha

    The only other solution which can be seen as almost simple as giving D1 1 hit to each Transport is to give a single defense roll @1 for any number of Transport but each one still worth 1 hit.
    10 Transports will imply a single dice on defense @1 but probably more than 1 round before loosing all transports.

    This single roll outlined their weak firepower compared to combat units.
    @Baron:

    For my part,
    under taken last condition, I would choose this transport:

    A2) each transport group get a single roll @1/round along with defending warships, but each transport unit can only be taken individually as casualty once all defending warships are destroyed.

    It still keep the 1 hit value.
    Provide a simple continuum for the single defensive roll @1 per round: from the start of the battle to the end.
    It is amongst the lowest defense we can give per round.
    (AA gun receive up to three 1 time roll. A group of TPs can certainly receive 1 each round.)

    Even under this very small defense roll, I wonder if a balance transport unit should cost higher than 8 IPCs within actual OOB G40 and 1942.2 settings.

    Giving 1 hit value provides a more difficult time for attackers to destroy them.
    As said earlier:
    1 Cruiser C12 and 1 such TP C8 at 20 IPCs (get 2 hits) will be much more interesting than a 2 hits BBs for 20 IPCs.

    Rising TP to 9 IPCs, so CA+TP= 21 IPCs and 2 hits will be just above the cost of a 2 hits BB.

    Same thing for 1 DD C8 + 1 TP C9 = 17 IPCs and 2 hits will be just above the cost of a 2 hits CV A0 D2 C16.

    I think it is in these two 2 hits units where is lying the balance problem:
    the basics cost is 8 IPCs/hit for CV and 10 IPCs/hit for BB.

    Just in between avg: 9 IPCs/hit

    So buying Transport as a way of adding hit soaker (in addition to the cargo capacity) stay a weaker fodder because of the taken last rule, would not add too much versatility to a fleet with a consistent price.

    With this other kind of HR for transport, 2 TPs 1D@1max 1 hit C8 = 2 hits for 16 IPCs is more able to take hits than a 20 IPCs BBs (at 40 IPCs, 5 hits vs 4 hits). But, if BB is at 16 IPCs, you can see that for the same number of hits, you get 2 single rolls @1 compared to 2 single roll  @4.

    Do you see, ROC monster, how a Classic TP is still an able defending unit?
    In such situation, on a same IPCs basis of 40 IPCs = 5 TPs D1 gives 5 rolls@1 in the first combat round against 2 BBs which get 2 rolls@4.
    Overall %*: A. survives: 81.3% D. survives: 16.2% No one survives: 2.5%
    http://calc.axisandallies.org/?mustland=0&abortratio=0&saveunits=0&strafeunits=0&aInf=&aArt=&aArm=&aFig=&aBom=&aTra=&aSub=&aDes=&aCru=&aCar=&aBat=2&adBat=&dInf=&dArt=&dArm=&dFig=&dBom=&dTra=5&dSub=&dDes=&dCru=&dCar=&dBat=&ddBat=&ool_att=Bat-Inf-Art-AArt-Arm-Tra-Sub-SSub-Fig-JFig-Des-Cru-Bom-HBom-Car-dBat&ool_def=Bat-Inf-Art-AArt-Arm-Bom-HBom-Tra-Sub-SSub-Des-Cru-Fig-JFig-Car-dBat&battle=Run&rounds=&reps=10000&luck=pure&ruleset=Revised&territory=&round=1&pbem=

    There is still 20% odds that 2 BBs get killed is such battle.
    Making it at 8 IPCs vs 16 IPCs BB =
    2 BBs vs 4 TPs = Overall %*: A. survives: 93.9% D. survives: 5% No one survives: 1.1%
    BBs had 6% of being killed.
    So, lowering BB to 16 IPCs, keeping TPs at 8 IPCs, is the same relative combat value than rising TPs to 10 IPCs and keeping BBs at 20 IPCs.
    In both case, for the same IPCs basis, you get 2 TPs for 1 BB.

    If an 8 IPCs TPs group get only 1 roll @1 per round…
    2 BBs vs 5 TPs=Overall %*:  A. survives: 99.7%  D. survives: 0.2% No one survives: 0.1%

    In this perspective, this kind of TPs is far less dangerous against BBs than the 2 previous ones. Do you agree?
    And I also think it better depicts the historical overpowering capacity of Battleships over Troop Transports.

  • '17 '16

    The more I’m writing to you both, the more I’m convincing myself to change back to such Transport (1 hit, defending 1@1 max per any number of transports present in a defending Fleet) in my new cost structure!
    And, at the same time, discarding the need for a taken last rule.
    Thus, making all the roster a simple “owner choose is own casualties” all the way.
    It will still be simpler. 🙂

    And, maybe that way, it can be an acceptable half way for both partisans from Taken last and “Classic” Transport?


  • Or maybe a house rule that for every two transports you get a dice at 1 rounded up. So if you only have 1 transport it is the same thing as the defenseless transport, and if you have 3 transports you only roll 1 dice at 1, but with 4 transports you roll 2 dice at 1.

  • '17 '16

    It will not be simpler.
    And it only cut in half the defense value.

    The last method make Transport defense factor much weaker.
    And the single roll of 1 dice per round for the entire group is not that complex to manage either.

    The most important thing is to give each transport unit her 1 hit value.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    This would be my ideal for transports. Whether to keep them at 7 ipcs under such a scheme or return them to the original value of 8 ipcs is debatable. Generally it was the ability to stack transports and rely on them to mass defend with the 1s and absorb as fodder by increasing the number of rounds in a given combat that made them overpowered. Also problematic with the old transport was the ability to use them as fodder on attacks, even without an attack value themselves, just as a way of increasing the number.

    The proposed values above don’t open themselves up to the same problems, be retaining the “taken last” as casualties concept introduced in the more recent games. It returns them to a chance on a single hit though, so that no transports can be send to be “defenseless.”

    The only real issue I could think of is the lone fighter vs lone transport. Or narrow battles in the opening round between a single unit vs a single transport (or transport group the way Baron is thinking about it.) This was an old gripe with transports at the previous defense value of 1, where one transport could totally jack up the opening round if it got lucky, but this has much more to do with the first round unit set up OOB than anything else.

    In general I favor most of the ideas you have proposed regarding new unit rosters with adjusted values or costs for balance, but the challenge is always getting players to adopt them. Most people I play with like to stick to the printed materials, because it has that gloss of officiality when it’s drawn right on the mapboard, or the combat strip, or written down in the manual. Even just having to fix the set up cards to reflect the correct Starting incomes for each nation is annoying. So when it comes to a full scale overhaul of the unit roster, I can see why some would be reluctant. That said, just focusing on a single unit, it is sometimes easier to persuade people to come around to your way of thinking. The transport unit is probably the most important in the game after infantry, it’s the most controversial (at least in its current iteration) and its cost and values so key to the Allies and Japan, and their interactions across are so far reaching that changing them is certain to have an impact on balance.

    I think the move from the Revised Transport to the AA50 transport was like a mentally scarring transition for me, and its taken me a very long time to get used to the new transport dynamic. I see the merits of going defensless, but the cost was still prohibitive in my view for games like 42.2 where the money is tighter than AA50. The extra NO money in AA50 made it easier to stomach, but even then NOs were a new concept, and if you tried playing the game without NO money you quickly see the same problem of very expensive transports relative other units.

    I think if you played 42.2 OOB with no bid, but used the transport values like the ones just proposed, perhaps at an increased cost at 8 (going old school) the undeniable advantage would be to UK/USA since they typically by the most transports. But there are also situations where Japan or even Germany late game, might benefit too.

    It would be hard to say how the balance would shake down, but as I suspect Allies would have the most to gain, perhaps that single change (to the transport) would be enough to balance the game by sides.

    Or it might throw the balance in favor of Allies rather than Axis, but probably more narrowly than the current situation.

    Consider that there are several key opening battles where transport defense comes into play.

    US/UK tarting transports in the Altantic vs German Uboats

    UK battleship and transports off the home island.

    German Baltic transport, attacked by RAF.

    The Japanese transport in sz61.

    US transport at Pearl.

    British transports in the south Pacific and Indian Ocean.

    That’s several key transport defense battles for Allies and two key defenses for Axis. Throw the transport defenses likely to arise in the second round and this opening set up favors Allies on transport defense even further. On the whole, it leans Allies at least on the opener, and likely for the duration of play at purchasing. Is it enough to overcome the standard bid at 6-13 ipcs?

    Probably, but it still depends on who is buying the most transports too, since Axis also has purchase options.

    Perhaps it is not necessary to return the cost to 8? But instead keep them at 7 and just adjust the defense value to group and retain the taken last to prevent fodder and test from there.

    I imagine most of this could be done pretty simply in triple, the only question whether you could asign a single group defense value for all units of a given type (without a force multiplier). Also if each transport must be selected as a casualty independently, that will increase the number of combat rounds in naval battles and make the odds on a rolling a 1 more likely. Not sure, though it could be a way to balance the board by sides.

    I think I’d be more likely to get support from my playgroup if it involved a single unit ability tweak (to a unit that is already kind of weird, the transport!) than a full roster adjustment. Though I can see the benefits of the line up you are trying to work on.

    To CrayKirk:

    how are you approaching your Ukraine game with the Russians? I see a lot of variation in what you can do. Some attack with 2 tanks, aiming to take and kill the German fighter. Some attack with 3 hoping to strafe and retreat the armor to safety and leave the german fighter. Some forego the Ukraine attack entirely and focus on stacking W. Russia. Some tank trap in Caucasus leaving it open. Still others like to hit Baltic light and take a gamble on their artillery. I’ve seen the Russian player do all kinds of inventive things with their two Fighters. Like where to land them for different defenses, and different Allied positions. Also there are at least half a dozen ways to transit fighters from the Western Allies to Russia. The question isn’t so  much getting them to Moscow but getting them to Moscow along a route where they will do the most damage along the way. So for example if you want to use the UK fighters to just move immediately to defend weaker W. Russia (if you took heavier casualties say) whereas if W. Russia is well stacked you might want to use them for sub sweeping, in which case you want to land them in Arch. The same goes for fighters coming out the Indian or African theater, or wheeling around to Szechwan fighter. The bomber as well cam go several route either to Caucasus or North. Basically it’s always best to have W. fighters near the center where they can do double duty. At least until you’re setting up on Berlin. Caucasus, West Russia, Arch, Moscow and India are all prime transit spots, but Stalin has to set it up and know beforehand to pull off coordinated movements and not leave them exposed. Fighter transits are the most challenging part of the Allied game master. It’s probably even more critical early on than transport positioning fleets and massing ground, since it’s the air that often opens up fleet movements. Finding the best air transits to mess with your opponents head is like an art.

    For Axis it’s a bit more straight forward, they mass Air usually to attack ships and then position on the center. Japan usually sends fighters West to help cover German advances or home territories, while G tries to build up and position a Luftwaffe strong enough to drop western fleets thay make coordination errors.

    I think the best bet for Allies is to maginify Air purchases. Rather than doing it piecemeal and giving the opponent time to adapt, you drop a bunch of a unit type at once. Like buying 2 or 3 fighters at once, or doubling down on bombers a couple rounds in a row. And then massing the force as an air armada to get the drop on the enemy before they have time to build up adequate defenses. Basically you can use your air forces vs fleets in the same way Axis do, just like G uses mass air to deter Allies moving on Europe too quickly, UK or US fighters based near the center can deter the Japanese from moving the IJN too far too fast towards Africa or the Med. It’s a wedge play really, with goal of getting to the center quickly and then covering it from both sides on land and sea. Of course if you hold the center but give up the rest of the map in the process, it doesn’t do you much good, which is why it’s so important to get each of the Allied nations working in harmony to exploit whatever fighter transit you’re trying to set up, and also know when to break one direction or the other to hammer either Europe or the Pac, once the primary objective of propping up Russia have been achieved. Waiting too long with 10 fighters on Moscow can be problems, since then they’re locked into position. Better if you can bounce them around to India, or Caucasus or Karelia or France, trying to keep them active and projecting force around, at least until it’s absolutely critical to use them on Moscow defense. Just some more thoughts on how to seize the initiative with Allies.

    Have fun man and keep gunning, you’ll take down that AI before too long!

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    Ps. Also the idea of allowing a single fighter to scramble, as mentioned elsewhere, intrigues me. It could be restricted to just factory territories (figuring that the 1942.2 factory encompasses aspects of the Global Airbases.) I like simple rules like that.

    For my friends and I its often a lot more efficient to test basic rules or tweaks on a map at the 1942.2 scale, as opposed to Global where there is just so much going on already. Coming up with simple ways to give the factory unit certain advantages, like a limited Scramble would be cool, since it allows you to introduce the concept to newer players with greater emphasis. To see how it effects the game, and whether or not you actually like the rule. That’s why I keep playing 1942.2 and enjoy it, whatever the OOB balance of the board might be, because I like that the map has the 5 man classic appeal and is relatively simple teaching the game, or for innovating with it.

    I think players are a bit more receptive too to HRs on a map this scale, since the total rules overhead isn’t nearly so complicated as the 1940s maps. There is more space here to focus on whatever specific tweak you’re trying to test or popularize in isolation.

    Other ways to bring variety to the 1942.2 experience would be things like HR income bonuses, bids to all sides, or randomization, or including tech. For this last, my friends and I just use the Global tech trees, but modify them somewhat in the cases when the units don’t quite match up. So for example, Mech infantry tech is replaced by a tech for Tanks and things like that. There are a lot of different ways you could bring the board into different balances, without just going the standard bid route, but I like that the map scale itself is more restricted and focused, at least for the purposes of trying out new stuff. 1942.2 has a simple template you can build from, whereas 1940 kind of suffers from having too many variables in play to really see how any one tweak is altering the situation.

    Anyway, all this just to encourage further discussion, not so much about the various ways the game is unbalanced, but more for all the different potential solutions you could try to get a more satisfying game experience out of the stuff in the box  😄

  • '17 '16

    @Black_Elk:

    This would be my ideal for transports. Whether to keep them at 7 ipcs under such a scheme or return them to the original value of 8 ipcs is debatable. Generally it was the ability to stack transports and rely on them to mass defend with the 1s and absorb as fodder by increasing the number of rounds in a given combat that made them overpowered. Also problematic with the old transport was the ability to use them as fodder on attacks, even without an attack value themselves, just as a way of increasing the number.

    The proposed values above don’t open themselves up to the same problems, be retaining the “taken last” as casualties concept introduced in the more recent games. It returns them to a chance on a single hit though, so that no transports can be send to be “defenseless.”

    The only real issue I could think of is the lone fighter vs lone transport. Or narrow battles in the opening round between a single unit vs a single transport (or transport group the way Baron is thinking about it.) This was an old gripe with transports at the previous defense value of 1, where one transport could totally jack up the opening round if it got lucky, but this has much more to do with the first round unit set up OOB than anything else.

    In general I favor most of the ideas you have proposed regarding new unit rosters with adjusted values or costs for balance, but the challenge is always getting players to adopt them. Most people I play with like to stick to the printed materials, because it has that gloss of officiality when it’s drawn right on the mapboard, or the combat strip, or written down in the manual. Even just having to fix the set up cards to reflect the correct Starting incomes for each nation is annoying. So when it comes to a full scale overhaul of the unit roster, I can see why some would be reluctant. That said, just focusing on a single unit, it is sometimes easier to persuade people to come around to your way of thinking. The transport unit is probably the most important in the game after infantry, it’s the most controversial (at least in its current iteration) and its cost and values so key to the Allies and Japan, and their interactions across are so far reaching that changing them is certain to have an impact on balance.

    I think if you played 42.2 OOB with no bid, but used the transport values like the ones just proposed, perhaps at an increased cost at 8 (going old school) the undeniable advantage would be to UK/USA since they typically by the most transports. But there are also situations where Japan or even Germany late game, might benefit too.

    It would be hard to say how the balance would shake down, but as I suspect Allies would have the most to gain, perhaps that single change (to the transport) would be enough to balance the game by sides.

    Or it might throw the balance in favor of Allies rather than Axis, but probably more narrowly than the current situation.

    Consider that there are several key opening battles where transport defense comes into play.

    US/UK tarting transports in the Atlantic vs German Uboats

    UK battleship and transports off the home island.

    German Baltic transport, attacked by RAF.

    The Japanese transport in sz61.

    US transport at Pearl.

    British transports in the south Pacific and Indian Ocean.

    Perhaps it is not necessary to return the cost to 8? But instead keep them at 7 and just adjust the defense value to group and retain the taken last to prevent fodder and test from there.

    I imagine most of this could be done pretty simply in triple, the only question whether you could asign a single group defense value for all units of a given type (without a force multiplier). Also if each transport must be selected as a casualty independently, that will increase the number of combat rounds in naval battles and make the odds on a rolling a 1 more likely. Not sure, though it could be a way to balance the board by sides.

    I think I’d be more likely to get support from my playgroup if it involved a single unit ability tweak (to a unit that is already kind of weird, the transport!) than a full roster adjustment. Though I can see the benefits of the line up you are trying to work on.

    Hi,
    I think there is no such a thing like “US transport at Pearl”.

    I play-tested Transport A0 1D@1/group, 1 hit Cost 8 IPCs, taken last.

    It allows to kick out defenseless and bring some unpredictable results in combat with Transport.
    It works and is not a very hard game changer toward Allies, such as a Classic transport A0 D1 C8, taken last (play-tested too) can be.
    Germany have an harder time dealing with this Classic taken last than with the previous above.

    As you said, the first one Transport whether at 7 or 8 IPCs is easier to implement with other players and didn’t affect the overall strategy.
    Of course, it helps a little more Allies but at the start, it makes things a little riskier with Baltic and Chinese Sea Transports.
    It increase the satisfaction without perceptibly changing the balance: dices and strategy are more relevant.
    So, as an isolated HR, it solve most issues of Defenseless transport without radically changing the game.

    The way of playing with them will not change, only that the trannys destruction festival is no more and you have some additional rounds of fire before saying goodbye to them.
    Even the Classic taken last would require some tactical adjustment (and even strategical for the witty player), because a massive number of “1” can be dangerous.
    A single additionnal roll @1 with other combat units can’t change radically the units interactions.
    This is many people want from an HR I believe.
    And for this principle of minimum change, I would simply add: keep it at 7 IPCs.
    No one will be bother when looking at charts and other players help.

    Usually, when something can affect opening, I tend to make some simulations on the BattleCalc to see if an additional unit can somehow recover the initial Battlecalc odds. For instance, with Classic taken last, I added a German sub in the Atlantic (because US and UK gets 2 transports each able to defend @1 and providing an additional 4 hits).
    With Transport A0 1D@1/group, 1 hit Cost 8 IPCs, taken last, I didn’t change the initial set-up.
    I wasn’t as good with AACalc at that time.

    If anyone wish to test some battle, you have to know that AACalc 1942 config can gives a 1 hit value to attacking or defending transport, it needs only to change the casualty order of transport before Carrier (and all others unit should be place before them both).
    I always put X defending transports on the attacker side and replace 1 TP with 1 Carrier A1 D2.
    (You can also do it on the defender side, using 1 sub but you must be certain that there is many destroyers on the other side to prevent surprise strike.)
    X Transports + 1 Carrier vs whatever units you want.
    It simulates any group of transports rolling a single defense @1 and loosing 1 transport per enemy’s hit.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    Not sure where I pulled pearl, must have been thinking of AA50 the Japanese air hit against sz56 since I was playing that the other day too  😄 But in any case, there are a few more key transport defenses for Allies in 42.2 over Axis, so it feels like it would lean towards Allied balance, which is a good thing. Probably just more satisfying overall, whatever the effects on the opening. Return them their hit value at 1 (per group as suggested) and taken last, just seems more interesting. It combines the old Classic lucky shot, but doesn’t give up the fodder problem, but makes the unit more potent for the price.

    Agreed keep it at 7 ipcs
    Lucky 7

    I’m going to play this way in my next face to face game for sure! Will test it out next Thursday see if the gang enjoys.

    Also, if you really want to keep it from changing the opening, you could also make it a force multiplier thing, where only two transports together “A Group” get this defensive boost +1. Two or more transports together would no longer become defenseless. But the not cumulative just the 1 hit for the entire group, whatever its total number, as long as there are at least two transports in the group. This could all be interpreted as a “combined arms” type bonus, where the transport gets boosted by other transports such that the whole group gets to fire together at a 1, whereas single transports would behave OOB. Or you could just apply it universally to all transports whether single or in a group together.

    What it is interesting here is that there would be a natural incentive to “fan out” your transports to try to get multiple bonuses on defense instead of just keeping one transports stack, it might be better to split them into smaller groups to get more bang out of them on defense. Things like this might encourage more island hopping, or branching out naval game instead of just a ship stack fest in a few zones. I think these changes could be popular if it feels right.

    So 1 lone transport still defends at zero.

    2 transports defend at 1,
    3 transports still defend at 1
    4 transports still defend at 1, but…

    If you broke them into 2 groups in two separate sea zones then you’d get double the defense value! Two chances to hit at a 1. This as a way to encourage fanning out over stacking together in the naval game on transport defense.

    See where I am going with it? 🙂
    might be cool.

    If handled that way, as a combined arms type thing, then the only opening battle affected would be the German sub hit on the US Atlantic transports. But that battle is a little busted anyway, and some even bid a destroyer there believing it is critical. Short of a destroyer added in, the group transport bonus, would give a slight disincentive for German Uboats to hit, they might go after the Canadian transports instead just to avoid the risk of that extra 1 haha

  • '17 '16

    @Black_Elk:

    Not sure where I pulled pearl, must have been thinking of AA50 the Japanese air hit against sz56 since I was playing that the other day too  😄 But in any case, there are a few more key transport defenses for Allies in 42.2 over Axis, so it feels like it would lean towards Allied balance, which is a good thing. Probably just more satisfying overall, whatever the effects on the opening. Return them their hit value at 1 (per group as suggested) and taken last, just seems more interesting. It combines the old Classic lucky shot, but doesn’t give up the fodder problem, but makes the unit more potent for the price.

    Agreed keep it at 7 ipcs
    Lucky 7

    I’m going to play this way in my next face to face game for sure! Will test it out next Thursday see if the gang enjoys.

    Also, if you really want to keep it from changing the opening, you could also make it a force multiplier thing, where only two transports together “A Group” get this defensive boost +1. Two or more transports together would no longer become defenseless. But the not cumulative just the 1 hit for the entire group, whatever its total number, as long as there are at least two transports in the group. This could all be interpreted as a “combined arms” type bonus, where the transport gets boosted by other transports such that the whole group gets to fire together at a 1, whereas single transports would behave OOB. Or you could just apply it universally to all transports whether single or in a group together.

    What it is interesting here is that there would be a natural incentive to “fan out” your transports to try to get multiple bonuses on defense instead of just keeping one transports stack, it might be better to split them into smaller groups to get more bang out of them on defense. Things like this might encourage more island hopping, or branching out naval game instead of just a ship stack fest in a few zones. I think these changes could be popular if it feels right.

    So 1 lone transport still defends at zero.

    2 transports defend at 1,
    3 transports still defend at 1
    4 transports still defend at 1, but…

    If you broke them into 2 groups in two separate sea zones then you’d get double the defense value! Two chances to hit at a 1. This as a way to encourage fanning out over stacking together in the naval game on transport defense.

    See where I am going with it? 🙂
    might be cool.

    If handled that way, as a combined arms type thing, then the only opening battle affected would be the German sub hit on the US Atlantic transports. But that battle is a little busted anyway, and some even bid a destroyer there believing it is critical. Short of a destroyer added in, the group transport bonus, would give a slight disincentive for German Uboats to hit, they might go after the Canadian transports instead just to avoid the risk of that extra 1 haha

    Original idea.
    Should be posted in the Defenseless Transport thread, to keep together all options on this topic.
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=30618.msg1294069#msg1294069

    It make things a little more complex, and especially at the end of a naval battle with taken last:
    Let’s suppose 3 Tps, this group still get @1 roll,
    Loosing 1 TP, still keeps @1 roll,
    but loosing 2 TPs, then it becomes an auto-kill for the last one…
    Or unless it can keep the @1 roll on next round? But why?
    Because it was part of an already engaged combat?

    You help me realized that splitting up transport increase the number of defense roll.
    However, when together TPs are easier to defend with warships.

    Your idea, at least can be seen in an historical way as a kind of Convoy defense group, a lot of ( 2 units) transports kept together can somehow be better defended compare to lone transport.
    Ask US Admiral Ernest J. King opinion…
    See the beginning of this Documentary showing Convoys weren’t King’s cup of tea.
    Convoy: War For The Atlantic: Brink Of Defeat 2/4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ3RcKYPuFQ

  • '17 '16 '15 '14

    Thanks for the info and I grabbed the save games for TripleA.  The only problem is that I can’t use any of the things that I’ve seen.  😉  I just don’t really have a plan of attack, it’s a little like how I learned how to play chess: wait for an opening and then put the other player on the defensive.  I’ve done the Ukraine attack and it has always gone BADLY.  It either does almost no damage on the first roll and then gets hammered on the reply or it takes out Ukraine and leaves the tanks open to counter attack.

    I’ve never really been able to get the large number of infantry for Russia that I saw in the 10 round game nor have I been able to put any pressure on Germany before Russia falls.  At that point, if  the Allies can’t take Germany fairly quickly, it would seem the IPC balance is pretty well in favor of the Axis.

    I hadn’t really watched the Hard AI however after watching your replay of KJF, it pretty much abandons the navy and leave the carriers bare.  I can see how the path finding for the navy and fighters would be fairly difficult and weeding out the obvious (to us humans) moves not to make becomes an interesting logic problem.

    I’m beginning to think that there is more to the game than I thought, my friend has told me that he can play the Axis and buy tanks each turn and overrun Russia pretty quickly.  With fighter help from Britain, bombing raids from America and landing chunks of infantry in Africa by America, I’m pretty sure that plan will fail.  Against the AI, it’s not the tanks that worry me as Russia, it’s the large stacks of infantry/artillery that are protecting them that is the biggest danger.

  • '17 '16

    @craykirk:

    Thanks for the info and I grabbed the save games for TripleA.  The only problem is that I can’t use any of the things that I’ve seen.  😉  I just don’t really have a plan of attack, it’s a little like how I learned how to play chess: wait for an opening and then put the other player on the defensive.  I’ve done the Ukraine attack and it has always gone BADLY.  It either does almost no damage on the first roll and then gets hammered on the reply or it takes out Ukraine and leaves the tanks open to counter attack.

    I’ve never really been able to get the large number of infantry for Russia that I saw in the 10 round game nor have I been able to put any pressure on Germany before Russia falls.  At that point, if  the Allies can’t take Germany fairly quickly, it would seem the IPC balance is pretty well in favor of the Axis.

    I hadn’t really watched the Hard AI however after watching your replay of KJF, it pretty much abandons the navy and leave the carriers bare.  I can see how the path finding for the navy and fighters would be fairly difficult and weeding out the obvious (to us humans) moves not to make becomes an interesting logic problem.

    I’m beginning to think that there is more to the game than I thought, my friend has told me that he can play the Axis and buy tanks each turn and overrun Russia pretty quickly.  With fighter help from Britain, bombing raids from America and landing chunks of infantry in Africa by America, I’m pretty sure that plan will fail. Against the AI, it’s not the tanks that worry me as Russia, it’s the large stacks of infantry/artillery that are protecting them that is the biggest danger.

    We played a game to try this all-Tanks buy and Germany was pretty depleted of ground units but Tanks were able to attack Moscow with too much hoping on the first combat cycle luck.

    With almost no Inf or Art to use as fodder, Tanks get destroyed too fast. At 1 Russian 3 IPCs Inf for 1 German 6 IPCs Tank, it becomes a very good exchange rate for the Russian player.

    In addition, we introduced some mechanized artillery moving at 2 and defending at 3 (paired to a Tank) for 5 IPCs.
    Even this cheaper defense at 3 wasn’t enough to help Germany wins over Russia.

    German’s player need to be patient and to built up a lot of Infantry and Artillery units during first game rounds, then Tanks can back them up, once Infantries gets at the gate of Stalingrad and Moscow.

    This strategy work only in Spring 1942 (1942 1st edition) because Tank cost 5 IPCs and have the same combat value: Attack 3 Defense 3 Move 2.
    This was too unbalancing in favor of Axis, so 1942.2 Tank cost change for 6 IPCs.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    Hmm perhaps it is not necessary under this scheme to have casualties assigned individually but 1 hit point for the entire group? This goes back to an infinite kill scheme for practical purposes, but the chance to hit at a 1 and the ability to split the advantage over multiple groups/sz might make the unit overpowered if it’s allowed to also prolong the combat phase (by taking hits individually.) What do you think? It kind of retains aspects of both Classic and the new system. Players would be encouraged to move transports in pairs to max defense, moving 4 ground at a go if possible. Might encourage more expeditionary style gameplay, with more mini groups, as opposed to the mass and stack across the water. Could be good for the cat and mouse.

    In this case the transports get to fire back provided they can survive into the next round of combat, but once a successful hit is assigned to them (last) the entire group is destroyed. What do you think? For 7 ipcs that’s still a decent improvement, and removes the confusion of counting transport casualties individually.

  • '17 '16

    @Black_Elk:

    Hmm perhaps it is not necessary under this scheme to have casualties assigned individually but 1 hit point for the entire group? This goes back to an infinite kill scheme for practical purposes, but the chance to hit at a 1 and the ability to split the advantage over multiple groups/sz might make the unit overpowered if it’s allowed to also prolong the combat phase (by taking hits individually.) What do you think? It kind of retains aspects of both Classic and the new system. Players would be encouraged to move transports in pairs to max defense, moving 4 ground at a go if possible. Might encourage more expeditionary style gameplay, with more mini groups, as opposed to the mass and stack across the water. Could be good for the cat and mouse.

    In this case the transports get to fire back provided they can survive into the next round of combat, but once a successful hit is assigned to them (last) the entire group is destroyed. What do you think? For 7 ipcs that’s still a decent improvement, and removes the confusion of counting transport casualties individually.

    For play test, I say try what seems to you more unbalancing amongst the options. I’m pretty sure that after you will see that is not. (As I tried it a few times, you can believe me: there nothing to be afraid of.)
    You can even apply the rule at the beginning of second turn to keep the initial combat as OOB, if you think your players are that so competitive and prone to stick to their pre-determinate first round set-up scenario.
    (Simply say that, now, corvettes and destroyer escorts has been delivered in sufficient numbers to military troop transport.)

    The combat calc, tell that a taken last 1 hit, 1def@1 per group, could cost around 8 IPCs and be similar to the cost of escorting with DD defenseless at 7 IPCs.
    Stay at 7 IPCs and gives 1 hit per transport.
    In fact, the number of round to finish off a bunch of transports is not so a great factor (it rarely goes beyond 3 rounds of slaughter when a substantial attacking force was involved), it is more about how many attacking units you lose. Except for the start-up round, a single Transport will probably be attacked by more than 1 units.

    In addition, it will reveal how better are subs surprise strike against a lonely transport (something completely disappeared with auto-kill), so a lonely TP cannot retaliate while against anything else, you must accept the defense roll @1.

    I don’t like this artificial limit created by the rules which can affect strategic moves.
    And it is a stretch beyond usual A&A game mechanics, which can receive more cold shoulders.

    The last idea is too near OOB and much like a consolation price.
    I rather prefer your other idea on pairing transports, if I have a choice.

    For my part, I still prefer 1 hit per Transport, +1 def@1 per round for the entire group in a SZ.
    The ability to split the advantage of the single def@1 over multiple groups/sz will not make it overpowered.
    And sometimes, their is no alternative SZ and you have to be in a unique SZ.
    And after all, sometimes their is always a risk, that is a part of the game so Goliath can be beaten in some occasions.

  • '17 '16

    @Black_Elk:

    In this case the transports get to fire back provided they can survive into the next round of combat, but once a successful hit is assigned to them (last) the entire group is destroyed. What do you think? For 7 ipcs that’s still a decent improvement, and removes the confusion of counting transport casualties individually.

    There is no confusion on that point in OOB game. Transports which are part of an attacking or defending group are counted as 1 hit, it happens when there is an overkill of escorting attacking or defending units. At the end of this combat round, all hits in excess of the number of combat units must be allocated 1 by 1 to transport. After, the next round, attacking transports retreat while the remnants of defending transports are slaughtered.

  • '17 '16 '15 '14

    As long as you are discussing hit points, etc.  One thing that has bothered me with the subs can’t hit air rule is that tanks and infantry really have no chance at a bomber and do bombers really have a 4/6 chance of destroying the one unit, a fighter, which was made to counter them?  Bombers hit ground units, subs hit water units…  Why the difference?  If infantry are a fodder unit, then truly make them that.  Make their offensive/defensive capabilities equal at a 1 and if you want them a 2, you buy artillery on offense and bunkers on defense.

    The transport rule is one that really changed the game because without it, the Axis air force gets wiped out at a huge loss and Germany has a hard time replacing the fighters.  If a sub with a deck gun and torpedoes defends at 1, then how does a transport with no real armament have any defensive ability?  I understand that a transport represents a group of transports and support units however if you use this same line of thought, then a sub isn’t just a sub as it would also have support units.

    The game would then turn into a real confusing one and the only way to win would be to get a Royal Fizzbin!


  • Black Elk the main problem with your transport revision comes in when you have a lot of transports in a zone with a supporting fleet. What happens when all the sea is dead and there are say 2 bombers left attacking 10 transports? There is a HUGE variable of luck here. The 2 bombers might get all the transports or only a couple depending entirely on luck. That is fine for those of you that like a lot of luck in your games, but for players like me that like the “chess” component of the game this destroys it. How do you Calc large naval battles with a lot of transports then? It becomes impossible.

    The reason I made the comment on possibly changing the transport rule to “for every two transports you have in a sector you get 1 dice at 1 on defense” is so that it 1. doesn’t change the OOB attacks, except off east coast, and 2. it makes the transports defense over 50% less effective than a standard at 1 dice for each transport that classic had. Also I would keep the “must be taken as last” in the text of the transport. This would make possible attacks on fleets worth it even if it was a 50/50 chance you win the battle because of the cost of units you are killing with carriers/cruisers/bb’s/fighters being taken before the cheaper transport unit.

    My change in transports would greatly change the defense of the large sectors of transports that you have when going KGF. No longer will you have 10 transports that do nothing in the battle and are HUGE liabilities. They would now be liabilities that you’d have to protect, but they would also contribute to the fight in some way.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    Hmmm yeah its true. And you know it’s the infinite autokill that seems to somehow grate on me. It was so hard to get used to post AA50. I think I will try it with individual casualties to see how it holds up. Sure it will make the bomber a bit less potent, but I think the gang would probably still go for it.

    We had been playing a lot of 1940, but even after several games, people were still feeling the rules overhead with it and wanted something more fast paced next time. I think the 5 man just has a certain charm that’s tough to beat in a multi. Definitely going to try the transport ideas proposed in this thread next time.


  • Hi folks.

    I initially thought the game was unbalanced in favour of the Axis.
    No longer.

    I experimented a lot with Russia turn 1.
    An A/C has proved to be an inspired purchase.
    Aggressive defence is a killer to the Axis.

    Germany can get too hung up on Africa.
    Germany has great potential to attack UK, whilst still bringing tremendous pressure to the fore on Russia
    Experimenting with unorthodox purchases changed the game dramatically.

    The UK acquires a navy much quicker than I feel it has a right to!

    Japan has many vulnerabilities.
    BUT  my being at odds with conventional purchasing has proven to be a boon to exciting gaming, much to the chagrin of orthodox players.

    The USA starts the game in way too strong a position. (IMHO)

    Experimentation has been vital for my gaming friends and myself, so as we could grow the game.
    We currently have a 50/50 win/loss ratio.

    Our ‘unorthodoxy’ has become the new orthodoxy and enriched the game immensely.

    Has anyone else had a similar gaming revelation?

    PS; we prefer the board game to the computer.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    Well, if the players in your group are doing a lot of unconventional purchasing, then its not surprising you might be seeing different balance results. Whether it holds up against players outside your group is another issue though.

    Often times, by doing a wild purchase, you can throw your opponent off, since the people in your group might not be immediately sure of the best counter buys. Trying to do a purchase consistently against many different opponents is the challenge. On the points mentioned above, UK navy acquisition, Japanese vulnerability, and US starting strength, I tend to come away with opposite feeling and experience.  It takes UK a while to acquire a navy (especially if USA isn’t backing them up), or if they are not saving their purchase over multiple rounds, and still be able to defend India, and so they more often expand the RAF instead. Japan is very hard to move against early on, especially absent a bid or some lucky rolls. And USA is usually under-powered rather than over-powered in terms of their starting position.

    When you say the AC is “an inspired purchase” to which Nation are you referring? And how are you using it?

    Its cool that your group is having a balanced experience on the board, close games are always more satisfying, but it could have more to do with the way everyone is reacting to an “unorthodox play” than the play itself. Basically when the opponent buys something weird, the usual reaction is to aggressively pursue whatever weakness is opened up by it. Might not be immediately apparent how best to do it, but there is usually a way to punish the player for straying from the inf push mechanic. Would have to hear more examples from the game’s opening round to say.

    In a casual dice game I would play OOB without a bid, against a new opponent or if I felt confident that my experience would trump their own on this map. But against a more seasoned opponent of equal skill and equally familiar with the map, then given the choice, I would definitely choose Axis. They have the initiative and stronger starting position on this board, with the best chance to exploit the opening set up. Sure anything can happen in a dice roll, but all things being equal, I see the Axis dominate with more regularity.

    I have had the experience before of thinking a board was one way, or one dimensional, and then seeing a move or coordinated strategy that really opened it up and changed how I play. I remember the first time I saw a really solid KJF game in Revised, which I didn’t think was possible until I saw how some of the Air could be used. And again in Global, where I thought it definitely favored one side or the other a few times, until I started to see more clearly the play patterns at work with different buys.

    For 1942.2 though, I think Axis can stack easily, and usually the only way to break them is to take a risk somewhere in the opening, or with SBR over time (which is inherently risky), and absent those things, I think conservative Axis play (center crush) will usually yield Axis wins on this map. Allied bids are pretty distorting though, I’ll admit. It could easily go the other way in a bid game.

    There are a some key scripted battles in round 1, that can produce a lot of variation on balance, based on how many hits the defender can dole out before being annihilated. W. Russia is the big one, but also the early naval and destroyer/transport defense battles. Its entirely possible to win big as either side, if the dice swing in one of these, but if they return average results, then I think Axis still come out ahead.

  • '17 '16 '15 '14

    Something I never really thought of…  If Russia were to turtle and buy a carrier and destroyer, land both fighters on the carrier and then on round 2 move it to British sea zone to protect the carrier that Britain bought…  It would set Russia back a turn however would it allow the Allies to get a navy one turn sooner?  Can Germany simply destroy it?  Does this move really have a chance of working?

    Are those pieces simply in the set to take up space?  Why would they be included if they were never to be used?  I’ve always been concerned with keeping Russia alive as long as possible; what if Russia simply spends it’s income to ensure their allies have a better chance of survival and can invade faster?


  • Hi Black_Elk.

    You make valid points.

    It’s not so much that the purchases are wild. A lot of time and thinking has gone into the purchases.
    How can these seemingly odd purchases provide long term benefits/strategies, without being detrimental to the game?
    The strategies are based around a notion that most players open with stock standard set plays.
    The A/C  for Russia turn 1 works.
    Now a German player must devise a way to counter it, and it is not as simple as it seems.

    Another option gamed successfully are two Russian bombers as a turn one purchase.
    It was done initially as a joke: then came the necessity of having to make it work.
    Russia didn’t fall.
    It’s the scripted scenarios that I try to avoid. Some times however, they do need to be done.

    I do not know what bidding is.

    Your point about the dice is correct.

    I’ve played AA Mark 1 through to this A & A 2nd edition for fifteen years. Love it.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    Well I wouldn’t pretend to have a crystal ball for every possible opening, but I tell you what I’d do as Germany, if I saw the Russians build a carrier, or a bomber (let alone two of them!)…

    I would buy 8 artillery pieces and 3 infantry on G1, push everything East against Moscow. Then I’d buy at least 5 armor in the second round, and another 5 armor in the third round. By this point I am in Ukraine, holding it firmly with Japanese fighter support. And since Russia lacks the requisite fodder to make viable counter attacks there is not a whole lot they can do about it but withdraw in the face of superior German numbers. As Japan I would bypass India entirely and push everything along the Szech route, flying all available fighters to reinforce the German position on the Eastern front, while I aim to stack Kazakh with my Japanese ground. By the 6th round Germany is in a very strong position to stack W. Russia, while Japan stacks Kazakh simultaneously, forcing you out of Caucasus to defend Moscow. Or maybe I nab Caucasus even earlier, since it will be that much harder to defend, especially if Russian fighters are locked on a carrier deck somewhere. If you try to pull out of India to defend Caucasus with British units, then I’d just swing south take India, and do the same thing a round later with 3 more Japanese tanks arriving each round thereafter, from the factory I snapped up. I don’t think it would make a difference how many fighters you fly in from the West, or what sort of fleet actions you set up with Allies, because by the time the Western Allies are in position to do anything meaningful with their bolstered navies, the center will collapse to Axis. Now clearly, if I am gunning this hard for Moscow, the Allies will catch more relief on the other fronts, but the other fronts won’t matter at that point. Since Axis only need to build with a Moscow focus for three consecutive rounds to set up their Moscow hit under these conditions, after that they can build pretty much whatever they want. Solid infantry for Germany, solid naval for Japan, because the units they already have in motion will be enough to take the center.

    With a Ruskie carrier you’re talking 3 total ground hitpoints for your first round Russian purchase (the carrier can’t fire in the critical Moscow battle so that hitpoint doesn’t count.) That’s 3 hitpoints for Russia in the first round, to Germany’s 11. With that kind of spread you don’t even really need the Japanese to set up for a one/two punch, since the first punch by Germany will almost certainly get the job done. I suppose one could say that at least the carrier deck or the bombers might survive into the deep endgame, and help give the 2 surviving western Allies a somewhat stronger position (relatively speaking) at the start, but this would almost certainly come at the cost of Moscow. Without the center to distract the Axis after the sixth or seventh round, Axis can then turn their attention to whatever theater is weakest. All you have to do is throw everything forward with Germany, and keep the IJN alive (with a Fabian a strategy, not risking it in combats), then once the center is on lock, you’ve basically flipped the Allied situation on its head.

    The only problem I can see with this, would be if the German player tries to adapt in a way that had them buying something other than just a ton of artillery and infantry in the first round, slow steady ground to push forward on Moscow and totally overtake it. Where problems enter into it, is if the German player loses their cool, and buys a bunch of armor in the first round, or buys a bunch of subs, or bombers of their own, or whatever. Then of course the advantage is skewed, because if you follow the opponents obscure purchase plan with one of your own, then you’ve basically allowed Allies a free round of purchasing with no major consequences.

    This is an important point worth stressing, because there are really only two ways you can react to a magnified build from your opponent that work…  Either you use it as an opportunity to make a wild magnified purchase of your own, or you try exploit the weakness (opened up by the fact that the opponent didn’t buy something more standard) and instead play conservative on purchases, but very aggressive in your attacks.

    If you go with the former plan, you are often playing catch up, at least until you catch a break.

    If you go with latter plan, then speed is everything, because if you don’t react immediately, you will not be able to leverage anything out of your opponent’s goof.

    As for the bid. I mention it just for completeness. I’m really not a huge fan myself (of preplacement bids anyway) but it is fairly ubiquitous now, so any discussion of game balance is sure to include talk of bids.Basically bidding in A&A is process whereby the underdog side (on whatever board) is awarded a certain number of extra IPCs at the outset, in order to balance the game. So for Classic and Revised, this bid typically went to Axis (which they usually used to help Germany in Africa or the Eastern Front, or to help Japan afford an additional transport.) On the more recent boards, the bid usually goes to Allies now, which was kind of a major change post AA50. Its one of the older House Rules for Axis and Allies, which many have adopted since it gives an expedient way modify the starting balance balance, based on the relative experience of opponents.

    Basically how it works, one side opens and says something like. “I will play Allies for 15 ipcs.” Then the other guy says, “well I will play them for 14” and so on.  Then the first guy says “OK I’ll go down to 6 ipcs, because I really want to be USA tonight.” And the other guy says “You’re insane if you think you can beat me with just 6 ipcs on the bid! Go ahead you can have Allies!” At this point the guy who won the bid takes his 6 ipcs, spends them on a extra submarine or an extra tank or a pair of infantry, and totally crushes in an opening battle somewhere.  😄 People have different rules about where the bids can go. Most people say they have to be grouped with units already on the board, and limited to one unit per territory or sz. It’s not a perfect system by any stretch, but its been in place for a while with many people. There is a certain pride in being willing to forego a bid, but that’s usually when the skill level is asymmetrical. When its gets really heated in competition, most people will play with a bid, then switch sides awarding that same amount and go 2 out of 3 to determine the ultimate victor.

    Now all that said, I think I would enjoy playing a game of the sort you mention. Not because I think I would crush 😄
    But rather, because I agree with you, that its just a lot more fun when players branch out and try different things. As an opponent, and especially if playing with someone in a less cut-throat game, I would probably react to magnified purchases, by making some magnified builds of my own, as opposed to just gunning on the ground (which is what I would do if we were playing for keeps, inf push). This mainly because I think the game is just more enjoyable that way, when you push things out a round and both sides build in a less orthodox here or there. Its one of the cool reasons to play with newer people, because they might not necessarily know that “best move” or “winning play”, and they might do something divergent that leads to a more dynamic and interesting kind of game overall. Running off the script is generally fun for me too, but when I do that, I admit that we’re no longer talking about the Balance of the set up objectively. We’re talking more about player personality, or the balance between individual opponents and their play styles.

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