Alternate bidding scheme

  • Truth be told, I have no problem with the game if the Axis (by allied bidding or otherwise) could not do anything in Africa at all. It’s just history, could not have been otherwise and the axis still have a good shot at victory in A&A.
    In real life, the Italians faced too much problems in the med (apart from their lack of morale because the average Italian was an unwilling ally to Adolf): the RN cut off supply (very important in a real war) so the Italians in Africa had to do it without. Even if all the Italians in Africa would have been Germans, the axis would not have stood a chance there because of the RN in the med cutting their supplies every day.
    The RN is too weak in A&A and too easily wiped from the globe completely. It is kinda sad because the RN was the one thing the UK could rely on during the early months of the war -apart from ‘the few’ that so many owed so much to ;-). But in A&A-terms, the latter is just a stroke of luck with the dice.

    The argument that a German inability to kill the RN at start would result in an invasion of Europe too early (which looses the game for the axis) is easily neutralized by giving Germany additional land units to start with. Germany can choose what to do with them -use them in Russia and face the hammering of these early invasions or they can leave troops in Europe (like they historically did) to ward off an invasion for a while. The latter should be the obvious choice, as winning Moscow does not make up for loosing Western Germany (and everything west of it) -something that is true even in A&A.

    But since A&A is what it is and strengthening/positioning the RN to a point where Germany can’t kill it G1 is too much of a game-changer (let alone the playtesting required for this and for more German land troops added), we’ll have to deal with (Alternate) bidding schemes either for units or for additional income that satisfy both sides.

  • 2022 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator


    Truth be told, I have no problem with the game if the Axis (by allied bidding or otherwise) could not do anything in Africa at all. It’s just history, could not have been otherwise and the axis still have a good shot at victory in A&A.

    Well, that’s comforting, I’m in a team game right now where my Italy got punched in the mouth so hard in the first round, after I1 I had ZERO ground units in Africa and pretty much no fleet at all.  And yes, I’m sure I’ll be fine, and yes of course I’m staring at an enemy complex in Egypt early in the game AGAIN (I pretty much always do, regardless of side, like I said  :lol:)

  • '14 Customizer



    Truth be told, I have no problem with the game if the Axis (by allied bidding or otherwise) could not do anything in Africa at all. It’s just history, could not have been otherwise and the axis still have a good shot at victory in A&A.

    Well, that’s comforting, I’m in a team game right now where my Italy got punched in the mouth so hard in the first round, after I1 I had ZERO ground units in Africa and pretty much no fleet at all.  And yes, I’m sure I’ll be fine, and yes of course I’m staring at an enemy complex in Egypt early in the game AGAIN (I pretty much always do, regardless of side, like I said  :lol:)


  • 2022 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator

    Awesome, my friendly opponent is all over it  :lol:

  • Poor Gamer, I feel your pain ;-).

    I have (hopefully had?) similar problems but somewhere else on the map: the UK ships off Nova Scotia.
    I almost always seem to loose that battle no matter what side I play and if I play Germany, no matter if I send 1 or 2 subs (couldn’t get myself to send in more subs).

  • 2022 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator

    Yugoslavia G1 has been my bugaboo - no matter which side I’m on  🙂
    Not every single game, but close to it  😛

  • 2022 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator

    That is the best post I’ve read in a long time.  Thanks for the contribution, Hawk

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    I agree with you as well,ShadowHAwk.

    An enlarged version could have been more effectiv in terms of more strategic planning in games.
    Whoever controlls Med first, basically has it!
    He who survives with the larger Fleet gets the upper Hand.

  • @ShadowHAwk:

    just cut every SZ in 2 and the game suddenly becomes a lot more realistic and interesting to play.

    Yes cut the seazones, and Germany will be in Moscow before USA had time to land in Africa.

    A better solution would be to cut the aircraft range. Lets say Bombers now combat move 4 spaces only, and fighters combat move 2 spaces. Of course there must be a non combat move with larger range for planes that did not participate in combat. But now we are way off topic

    …or we could cut the seazones, let the planes keep their range, but let ships move 4 spaces

    USA need to reach the other side in one turn, or it will be a boring game

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Sea movement needs to be further. I have thought that since 1987. Make one side buy the blocking DDs or else face the wrath of the long distance attacking fleet.

    Fts and Bombers are ok with 4 and 6 range. Adding the bonus tilts it too much and makes for  endless possibilities(some of them silly, as pointed out). Combined with their lower cost, Air units are an indispensable and overpowered tool. Naval Bases are a great idea, but it think Air ones were thrown in for balance. But it does not work, except for scrambling.
    I also hate how a land based  Ft can land on a Carrier. I would like to see that stopped. Only specialist planes being allowed to do so, then  obviously costing more.

  • I think it is from less to nothing we can do with the map. You can houserule planes landing on carriers, but I doubt it will be a success.

    So I choose to endorse the opening post, and welcome the US bid.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    I was 6 in 1987, but I can see the argument for expanded distance from an evasion perspective.

    However, having played on custom maps that attempt to achieve this, I can tell you that they are often painfully boring if you do nothing but increase the number of sea zone tiles between land masses. The earliest iterations of Big World 1942 (a custom game for tripleA by Wandering Head, that I helped with in early stages) showed this problem in action.

    He believed as you do, that the ocean distances of the OOB games were ridiculous. His solution there was to basically double the number of tiles in the Atlantic and even more in the Pacific, while preserving the same movement at 2.

    He also did not like the cartoonish geography of the OOB maps, the solution there was to use mercator. I had gripes with the OOB geography as well, though I think Mercator is unworkable for a game like this because Europe is too small. This is what lead me to making that Domination map projection, that tried to strike a compromise between the two. In TripleA that map projection was used for v3 AA50, just to give an idea, even there Europe was almost too small, though there was less overall map scrolling in tripleA which was the aim.

    In both cases on land and at sea, the extra distance was problematic for pacing, which is why half tracks and cruisers were given a movement of 3, in one of the intermediate versions, just to provide some more interest. Even then though, the pace dragged a lot. USA in particular was very slow.

    I’m not sure what the best solution is. Perhaps more distance would be workable with considerably more starting units and a much higher starting income per nation?

    Anyway back to the main subject of this thread, a recuring problem with USA is that they don’t have enough total cash to play a split theater game.

    If on the other hand you do give them enough starting income to do this, smart players will still just throw it all in one direction because of the way US starting production is distributed. In most games this is around 12 production Atlantic and 10 production Pacific. In Global this is even higher.

    One solution, from a map redesign standpoint, would be to significantly drop the cap on the coastal factories and push the additional production to the interior of North America. But a map redesign doesn’t do you any good when you’re working with an existing game.

    Perhaps another approach would be to provide a separate USA bonus for each theater, with the caveat that this money can only be used for naval units and must be spent in the specific  theater. For example +10 to USA Atlantic and +10 to USA Pacific.

    Or perhaps you could alternate the bonus +20 to Pacific on the odd rounds, +20 to Atlantic on the even rounds.

    Another approach would be to simply split the income for USA between the Pacific and Europe boards, as suggested by Commander Jennifer and others, basically mirroring the split UK economy.

    I’m not hugely fond of either approach since they introduce a lot more complexity, but absent some sort of placement restriction by theater, players will always throw everything one direction, because it’s more effective.

    Given the choice, I think a bonus restricted by theater would be easier to work with for an HR.

  • 2022 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator

    Increase USA income a bunch, and just require some build rule - you don’t have to split economies like UK.

    For example, you can’t build more than double the value of units on one coast as the other.  Just an example.
    Or, rather than a turn by turn rule, could do a cumulative total of unit value, so that you could possibly build 100% on one coast or the other for a couple of turns when you want to.  Example: USA has built 100 TUV on West Coast and 75 on East Coast so far during the game.  USA could build 100% on East Coast until TUV reaches 200 on East Coast.
    Just brainstorming here folks

    If a person put more thought into it, I’m confident you could find a way to make the USA split theaters and have more money and make the game better.

    Another thought is to limit the # of boats that can sail through the Panama canal in a turn.

  • So, to shift the topic back towards the topic, and away from Egypt…

    It seems that:

    1. Russia’s historical economy is accurately modeled in 1940 2nd Edition, so doesn’t need a boost.
    2. Germany’s economy is not so accurately modeled, and might need the NO for Leningrad removed.
    3. The US economy was clearly the strongest among the allies all throughout the war, increased throughout the war, and this is not accurately modeled in 1940 2nd Edition.

    I am in favor of an exponential increase in US income, starting from Turn 1, rather than entering the war, so Japan still has a reason to do a DoW on their first turn. I think somewhere between 1-4 IPCS per turn per turn should do it. Then by Turn 16 (by some reasoning ~1944) the US could have as many as 64 extra IPCS per turn, which about doubles the US starting income while at war, consistent with the historical GDP increase.

    In total, this would force the Axis to win quickly before the US totally dwarfed them in income, and would open up a possible KGF if the NO for Lenin grad was removed.

    This seems to be the most historically correct fix. What are your opinions on it gamewise?

  • Increasing the income by 1-4 IPC’s per turn is not “exponential.” Exponential would be if you, say, increased it by 10% each turn (rounded down), so it would go from 70 (at war, minus Philippines)->77->84->92->101->111->122, etc.

    Also, why is it a problem if the US can put everything on one side? It wouldn’t be the most ahistorical thing in the game…

  • 2022 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator

    Very true that there are many horribly ahistorical things in the game Calvin

    Also very good idea amanntai.  You should go ahead and house rule that and ask your opponents to play that way.
    And I think the increase should be 4 per turn.  🙂 Don’t mess with 1-3 is my advice

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    For me it’s not so much a historical thing as it is a gameplay thing. Going back to Classic and with each successive A&A game, the single theater focus for USA predominates. The split theater build strategy is too expensive and too slow to be effective in competitive play. USA always picks a theater, will spend as little as possible in the other theater, just enough to prevent a loss there, and drive over many rounds in chosen direction to kill that nation first. The game is basically balanced with this understanding in mind, that Axis should be strong enough to at least face down a 100% thrust by USA in either direction, so the total USA income is accordingly nerfed to ensure that that those one dimensional strats aren’t too overpowered. But if you had some way to give more total income to USA on a bonus and then force the split, I think the gameplay would probably be more satisfying overall, with action in both theaters for the duration.

    Its interesting to me that such a solution was employed for the UK in Global, but not to USA, which would probably have benefited more from such a scheme. The problem as I understand it, was that a single UK economy was deemed too overpowered, so this was split into 2 economies. A single USA economy that was large enough to fight an effective dual theater war would probably be overpowered too, in exactly the same way.

    I wonder how the game might look if all nations had to maintain separate income by theater?
    For example if Russia had to spend their potential 8 ipcs from the Pacific side of the board in the Pacific. Just give them a minor factory in Evenki or something. USA has to spend their 17 on the Pacific side etc. Then give those nations an NO boost, in each theater, to bring the overall balance in line. The rules could be universal, such that if an Axis power moved into a different theater then any income taken over has to be spent on that side of the map. This might encourage minor factory buys under those less likely conditions, when Japanese units are in Africa etc. Clearly the Allies would be at a disadvantage under such a scheme, so it would make sense for them to get an income boost. But it might be fun, even if it requires a bit more tracking.  Just like the UK, the restriction needn’t apply to movement (e.g. no need for separate units) just enforce it on purchase/income collection/placement.

    The idea of the ascending bonus for Allies seems cool.

    I think its easier to balance using income rather than starting units, whatever the approach.

  • I think Larry Harris, the designer, actually tried to force the US player to split his spending by making a NO for France and another for the Philippines. But it can be argued that a 5 IPC NO is far from enough, considered that when US is in France and the Philippines, the game is close to an Axis surrender anyway, making this extra money redundant.

    To stay on topic, why not let the players make a bid of USA NOs ?

    USA get a NO if the allies control Morocco ?, and others for each of Normandy, South France and France, making a possible total of 20 extra dollars in Europe ?

    And why only get money from the Philippines, why not a NO for allied control of Szechwan and Yunnan too ?

    Or allied control plus one US land unit for all US NOs to work ?

  • Come to think about it, many of the current NOs are silly. How can Germany collect more money from a burned down and bombed to ruins Leningrad, than the original owner is able to in peace time ? I just don’t get it. IMHO the best NO is the trade NO, like when Germany get iron ore from Sweden, now that is how it works in the real world.

    I suggest to skip the silly US NO of Mid West and Cuba, and give US a trade NO for important international trading spots and their adjacent convoy centers.

    In both peace and war, US get a NO for the following

    Normandy + the convoy in seazone 105
    Oil rich Persia + seazone 80
    Neutral Turkey + sz 99

    Kiangsu + sz 19
    Phil + sz 35
    Queensland + sz 54 and suddenly the battle of Solomon becomes urgent.

    Now this are just suggestions, but you get the idea. If Germany fail to capture Normandy in Turn 1, then US keep on receive NO money from it until Germany succeeds. USA get NO money from Normandy as long as it is controlled by either France or an allied power, and the convoy center in 105 is clear of enemy subs and ships

  • 2022 '19 '17 '15


    Come to think about it, many of the current NOs are silly. How can Germany collect more money from a burned down and bombed to ruins Leningrad, than the original owner is able to in peace time ? I just don’t get it. IMHO the best NO is the trade NO, like when Germany get iron ore from Sweden, now that is how it works in the real world.

    Guys. Lets not dig to deep on historical accuracy… e.g. by 1944 2,7 million Russians were forced to work for or in Germany… may be the NOs in question are not about Oil or Steel…  :oops:

    may be just leave it at that…

    Also… a thought about having more accuracy… morale is big point for fighting forces… may be somehow reflected by the dice here in A&A, but also holding a major city gives a boost to morale (reflected by 5 IPC NO).

    There are HUGE limitations by trying to put that to a board game, and simplifications are needed for sure. So that would be my conclusion: stop seeing the NOs as true “material or money”, a lot can go into that. Morale and forces work just being two examples.

    If these NOs are balanced or not on the other hand is a completely different topic and should not be mixed with historical accuracy imho.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    I’m curious, what are the frequent bids on each game players test right now for additional U.S. income?

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    I think there are 4 games going on and we are all working on about 10 bid.
    I have lost awfully in my game and found not having a Bid in the Med, quite distressing.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    Reworked NOs have been attempted already, and discussed in numerous house rule threads. Talk too much about NOs and the thread usually gets pushed into that section, so probably best to keep all this framed as a simple bid alternative. Even though bidding is technically a house rule as well, for whatever reason discussions about bids are more acceptable in the official game sections.

    In order for a bid to be a bid, it has to provide a mechanism for determining who plays which side. So for original poster, that means players are bidding here for additional USA income (where that amount is variable). The novelty in this case is that the income bonus would be repeating or ascending in some way. The simplest would probably be a repeating set value. For example “I will play USA for + X per round” then if you want it to be ascending, I would just add an additional IPC value on top of the base value X.

    perhaps X + Y in extra IPCs at collect income, where Y equals the number of the current game round?

  • I believe split VC conditions for each theater (8 in Europe, 6 in Pacific) is already quite a strong motivation for US to pay attention to both theaters. Maybe US players don’t get as much short term reward by splitting its resources to both theaters  as they get by focusing on a chosen theater. But dedicated focus to a single theater even though bringing fast progress in the chosen theater will most likely lead to lost war in the other theater.

    In my current test game with US+9 (, I tried KJF. I dedicated almost all US income to Pacific and was able to capture Tokyo in US9 but I will likely lose the game pretty soon :(. Even at +9 to US, KJF is not really overpowered and probably not optimal at all. Also I believe Japan could have prevented fall of Tokyo, just somehow under-defended it, well they don’t need it to win the game.

    I am currently playing three test games with extra US income and I believe we have not observed any strange artifacts felt by the additional US income, so overall I like it. In 2 of the games, it is first time for me to face the dark sky strategy (Germany having 27 bombers in 9th turn), and I don’t enjoy playing against that strategy much, it feels so unrealistic and misused. It feels that Germany is overpowered by massing bombers in such an extreme way.

    As for the balance of US economy bid, in all of my games, +10 seems a bit low, especially if Italy does not get “tarantoed” then Italy is also having about +10 bonus compared to what it is normally used to have with a pre-placement bid in MED. I will try +15 to +20 range next I think. I will start a google sheet soon, where we can summarize results and experience from all played test games.

  • This is a bit off topic, but actually I find current victory conditions to reasonably well motivate allied players to historically plausible actions. What I find a bit unrealistic is the incentive of Axis powers to abandon its starting theater in the end game and focus fully to the other theater to help achieve Axis victory there. Like Japan, sending all its fleet and airforce to MED once Moscow falls to help in the battle for Egypt or defense of Rome. Maybe a house rule not allowing Axis power units to cross into the other theater could fix that*****. Japan even did not declare war on Soviet Union historically, so I guess such a simple house rule could make for a good model of the political situation of the time… also supply lines (not modeled at all by A&A) would become prohibitively expensive by going all the way to the other half of the world.

    ***** hmm is not that simple, there would a problem with India’s army retreating into West India and not being attackable by Japan, or same with soviet units waiting on china’s border.

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