Alternate bidding scheme


  • Dear Global’40 players, I would like to ask you for an opinion on alternate bidding scheme for Global '40 game.

    Instead of bidding for extra setup armies, players would bid for additional income to the US for each turn, Effectively increasing IPC value of EUS territory. Do you see how this kind of bid would worsen any aspects of the game? Thanks for feedback.

    Here is my reasoning behind this scheme, as opposed to quite standard bidding scheme used in the league:

    It seems to me that Axis have quite an edge in a game of two experienced players. With current bidding scheme with bids typically in 16+ range, Axis still win way too many games. If one considers only games among players of tier 1 or better, the score is 33:18 in the Axis favor. So it looks that current level of bids are still low. I’ve always wondered how couple extra setup units could influence the winning odds significantly. The answer to this question is that it is possible if the extra units are placed in special spots involved in Turn 1 battles that dramatically change outcome odds of those battles. This however, in my opinion, is changing the game in an undesired way. Let me explain.

    It is quite standard to put the Allied bid into UK Mediterranean, crippling Italy severely in Turn 1 (by Taranto and/or Tobruk attack) thus pretty much closing Africa/ME theater prematurely. Besides if played by multiple players, there is no much fun for Italians for rest of the game.

    After Italy is crippled in T1, Russia and UK typically have enough resources to resist Germany for several turns without any significant US support. This possibly allows US to focus fully on Pacific for several turns and switching to Atlantic only after Japan is put under control.

    Also economically, Global’40 seems not to model WWII quite right, as in a couple of turns Axis typically reach comparable income as Allies, so there is no economical pressure on Axis to push for a fast military progress, often even opposite is the true: in the end game Axis use the advantage of stronger economy to slowly outproduce Allies. It is not an exception that both Japan and Germany make more that US, so it feels quite weird for US to attempt any serious offensive against either of the two. Historically Allied economy was significantly stronger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_production_during_World_War_II , GDP of Allies about double of that of Axis). With proposed bidding system US would get extra economical bonus, so would help to feel more historical. So I believe bidding for extra Allied economy shall be more thematic than bidding for extra allied military.

    Some players have been complaining about KJF being the dominant Allied strategy. I believe with Italy surviving UK1, US is forced to enter at least partially European theater early otherwise Axis can get relatively easy control of Egypt and/or ME and lot of national objective cash. So I believe US would effectively have less IPC available against Japan than it can have now after Italy is crippled by the bid.

    Others have been discussing about too powerful ‘Dark Skies’ strategy, with extra money for US, they can get needed help for building strong enough Atlantic fleet…

    Japan will have little more incentive to wait with war declaration which I think is good, these days Japan players are not worried much about US entering war early, often even DOW on J1.

    Here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1TRZcA7zK3-B31ipA9cOzaiLnwiCrJlY7aWlvFMSo4J4/edit?usp=sharing is a google sheet summarizing all played test games. Please let me know if you would like to add a game.

    Again, thanks in advance for any feedback.


  • Historically Accurate? Check.
    Simple? Check.
    Balanced? I’ll have to see…

    It sounds good, if it’s balanced, this could be the new bidding scheme I’ll use in my home games.


  • I would be very curious about a fair bid for the US in such a scheme.  My rough estimate is ~ 6 IPC value bonus… other thoughts?

  • Customizer

    This does seem to make more sense than an opening bid of extra military units at the beginning of the game. It’s like you mentioned, those units can affect the outcome of opening battles, perhaps even change Axis strategy some, but they are unlikely to affect the final outcome.
    However, if the US were to get an income boost, that would affect every round of the game that the US is in the war. I guess it would be up to the US player as to how he/she used that extra money that would end up determining the outcome of the game.

  • '17 '16

    @nerquen:

    Also economically, Global’40 seems not to model WWII quite right, as in a couple of turns Axis typically reach comparable income as Allies, so there is no economical pressure on Axis to push for a fast military progress, often even opposite is the true: in the end game Axis use the advantage of stronger economy to slowly outproduce Allies. It is not an exception that both Japan and Germany make more that US, so it feels quite weird for US to attempt any serious offensive against either of the two. Historically Allied economy was significantly stronger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_production_during_World_War_II , GDP of Allies about double of that of Axis). With proposed bidding system US would get extra economical bonus, so would help to feel more historical. So I believe bidding for extra Allied economy shall be more thematic than bidding for extra allied military.

    Why not giving 1 IPC for each Zero IPC territories to all Powers?

    There is much more 0 IPC Allied Territories, (Russia has 4 such 0 IPC) this will give them a big boost which can makes for a more favorable Allies economic advantage for the first rounds. Axis will need to be more aggressive to reach out these territories.

    Russia has 4, 0 IPC TTs.
    USA has 7, 0 IPC TTs.
    UK has 8, 0 IPC TTs on Europe map.
    UK has 4, 0 IPC TTs on Pacific map.
    ANZAC has 3, 0 IPC TTs.
    France has 1, 0 IPC TT on Europe map.
    France has 1, 0 IPC TT on Pacific map.
    SUM: 28 IPCs
    Russia could get 6 IPCs from Mongolia (if no more neutral).
    Persian, Crete and Eire territories can also provides additional IPCs to Allies.

    Italy has 4, 0 IPC TTs.
    Germany has none.
    Japan has 5, 0 IPC TTs.
    SUM: 9 IPCs

  • '17 '16 '15

    Sounds pretty good nerquen. I guess you just need to decide how much dough the US should get. It’s kinda a bummer watching Italy get blown away on the 1st turn (unless UK rolls bad).

    I’ve been doing something similar to what Baron suggested and it seems to work well. I found it a little too powerful so I scaled it back some, although I have a few other home rules that I use that slows Germany up a bit. But if you just give them all a buck there are no extra rules. It gives everybody at the start, except Germany, a few extra bucks to play with. That way it’s not just the US getting all the dough.

    Still if you just give the US the extra dough it’s not really changing anything else.  Either way it seems better than the current system, which as you pointed out tends to shut Italy down early.


  • @Baron:

    @nerquen:

    Also economically, Global’40 seems not to model WWII quite right, as in a couple of turns Axis typically reach comparable income as Allies, so there is no economical pressure on Axis to push for a fast military progress, often even opposite is the true: in the end game Axis use the advantage of stronger economy to slowly outproduce Allies. It is not an exception that both Japan and Germany make more that US, so it feels quite weird for US to attempt any serious offensive against either of the two. Historically Allied economy was significantly stronger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_production_during_World_War_II , GDP of Allies about double of that of Axis). With proposed bidding system US would get extra economical bonus, so would help to feel more historical. So I believe bidding for extra Allied economy shall be more thematic than bidding for extra allied military.

    Why not giving 1 IPC for each Zero IPC territories to all Powers?

    There is much more 0 IPC Allied Territories, (Russia has 4 such 0 IPC) this will give them a big boost which can makes for a more favorable Allies economic advantage for the first rounds. Axis will need to be more aggressive to reach out these territories.

    Russia has 4, 0 IPC TTs.
    USA has 7, 0 IPC TTs.
    UK has 7, 0 IPC TTs. (on Europe map)
    UK has 4, 0 IPC TTs (on PAC map)
    ANZAC has 3, 0 IPC TTs.
    SUM: 25 IPCs
    Russia could get 6 IPCs from Mongolia (if no more neutral).
    Persian, Crete and Eire territories can also provides additional IPCs to Allies.

    Italy has 4, 0 IPC TTs.
    Germany has none.
    Japan has 5, 0 IPC TTs.
    SUM: 9 IPCs

    Don’t forget France!

    Hmmm… this seems like a nice idea. Actually makes taking some of those 0 territories worth it. Normally there’s no reason for anyone to go into Sicily, but if Sicily is giving the Italians money…

    I wonder what would happen if you raised the value of every territory by 1? It would open up more IC opportunities… Probably make Russia ridiculously powerful though.


  • @Baron:

    Why not giving 1 IPC for each Zero IPC territories to all Powers?

    There is much more 0 IPC Allied Territories, (Russia has 4 such 0 IPC) this will give them a big boost which can makes for a more favorable Allies economic advantage for the first rounds. Axis will need to be more aggressive to reach out these territories.

    Russia has 4, 0 IPC TTs.
    USA has 7, 0 IPC TTs.
    UK has 8, 0 IPC TTs on Europe map.
    UK has 4, 0 IPC TTs on Pacific map.
    ANZAC has 3, 0 IPC TTs.
    France has 1, 0 IPC TT on Europe map.
    France has 1, 0 IPC TT on Pacific map.
    SUM: 28 IPCs
    Russia could get 6 IPCs from Mongolia (if no more neutral).
    Persian, Crete and Eire territories can also provides additional IPCs to Allies.

    Italy has 4, 0 IPC TTs.
    Germany has none.
    Japan has 5, 0 IPC TTs.
    SUM: 9 IPCs

    This might made it historically accurate, but I would be worried that it might have quite an impact on many aspects of the game, would for example Sea Lion be feasible at all with +8 IPC to UK Europe income?  I would rather try little changes first and see how the game changes rather than attempt changing many things at once that could easily swing the balance all the way to Allies.

    The original Global game had NO for US as +30, currently it is in principle +20. The original version is believed to be heavily favoring Allies, but I believe that was mainly due to the 14 VC victory condition for Axis. So I believe boosting US income in the range of additional 10 IPC per turn is likely not breaking anything significantly. Also I think the design of the game is that strong Axis powers try to bully weak allied powers before their the big brother enters in to save them. Boosting economy of the weak allied powers might really alter this dynamics in undesired ways. It is already possible to hold Moscow for quite some while, making it painful for Axis to take it, boosting Russia and UK and Anzac might make it just too hard for Axis to succeed.

    @amanntai:

    Balanced? I’ll have to see…

    Well I believe that there shall exist an IPC boost for US at which the odds are close to 50:50. It sounds unprobable to me that if you boost US by let say 10 IPC/round tha balance is still 70:30 in the favor of Axis and if you would increase that by additional IPC to 11 IPC/per round suddenly it would be like 30:70. I believe the balance shall change smoothly with this kind of bidding.

    @amanntai:

    I would be very curious about a fair bid for the US in such a scheme.  My rough estimate is ~ 6 IPC value bonus… other thoughts?

    What actually is the value at which the game becomes balanced is hard to guess, but I would guess it would be in the range of ~ 10 IPC  or even more (making US income what it used to be in the 1st edition). But this would really have to be determined by trial and error of many games. Current bidding scheme is used for couple years now and still it is not clear at which bid the game is balanced (at least for the top players).

    @knp7765:

    However, if the US were to get an income boost, that would affect every round of the game that the US is in the war.

    Just to be clear, I was thinking to reward the IPC boost to the US every turn, even if not at war. Really you can think about it as increasing the IPC value of Eastern US territory. The reason why I would not wanted to award it only after US enters the war is that it could then have quite an impact on Japan’s DOW decisions. If suddenly US being at war would boost the US economy by more than the current 20 IPC, Japan would have more incentives to DOW later, possibly making J3 or J4 DOW the only feasible solutions for Japan. I would still like to see all different DOW times for Japan as possible strategies for them.

  • 2022 '19 '17 '15

    The benefit of nerquens proposal is, that it could scale with player experience - similar to current unit bidding, but without the effects on the early battles. The zero territory mod of baron sounds very interesting as well, but is not really addressing the issues at hand. May be both modifications could work combined eventually, but I would rather see the current discussion focus on US income bids in competition to current unit bidding to decide who is playing axis.

    I would like to remind us that the chances for the Turn 1 battles were the only ones that Larry Harris and Krieg(s)hund could predict and influence with some certainty… all after was left with increasing uncertainty, so I always felt uncomfortable when messing with starting units, since they both took great pain to include the community / player experience into their 2nd Edition, which you find rarely among board game creators.

    But to proceed with that US income proposal:
    Current bids are in the range of (roughly) around 18 IPCs. Some give more, some less. Without that a good axis player can make good ground by the time US can really enter the war (and start threaten Europe / Japan), so a US income bid should somehow reflect that.

    e.g. Turn 5/6:
    Italy could fight with UK for dominance in africa, Japan would probably have DEI, Calcutta and also china minimized to a small force, while Germany surrounds Moscow and has both Peters-burg and Leningrad. By that time US should be able to
    a) defend Hawaii / Sydney and threaten Japan directly
    b) be able to harass Italy via Gibraltar and also get some of Germany’s attention away from Moscow to defend the homeland.

    The thing is: we can talk about that for quite some time, or we could start playtesting it. 🙂

    E.g. the proposed +10 US income for US according to nerquens last post. Could be a good place to start as any. by turn 5 it would mean 50 more IPCs for US. (also starting IPCs of US would be +10, since its not an NO change but a territory value). I have to say… 50 IPCs doesnt sound that much… would be a loaded Carrier with a DD and SUB as support … doesnt sound THAT influential… but could be enough to help US entering the War with force.

    What you think about that? Is someone (the more the better) willing to make some games to test that theory? May be even start with +15 or more (to narrow down fast to the proper value decision)?

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

    I am a strong believer in a richer US, when at war. I think 5 is the minimum, but would not discount 10. Historically, it makes sense. (But I would also remove 4 Japanese Air.)


  • I like the idea a lot.
    I think historically the USA alone had as much ‘income’ as all axis powers combined.
    Ofc that would be too much for a game like A&A, but an increase by bid looks promising. There is 1 downside however:
    As hinted on, the USA will already get a massive economy bonus if they go (K)JF first few turns. They can reach all the way into >90IPCs per turn if they take over the Pacific. After that, they spend ~20IPCs in the Pacific to maintain their superior positions and the bulk of their income goes to Europe from then on. That’s about 74IPCs for Europe, plus 30-40 from UK and what’s left of the Russian income (I think Russians can have ~25 per turn left, reduced by German raids).

    So with JF the allied economy against Germany + Italy already looks like ~120IPCs versus ~100IPCs (assuming Moscow can survive). Add too much of a bonus to this and the allied position gets too strong.
    Unless… I am too optimistic about what economy boost a (K)JF brings for the USA. Don’t have much experience yet with this allied strategy, but I do know that GF gets the allies nowhere but in a bad economic position if Germany is patient and protective. If Germany rushes for Moscow anyway, yeah, that can bring the allies victory. But Germany doesn’t rush nowadays ;-).

    And that is indeed my long standing complaint: GF gets the allies nowhere, JF gets them a massive economy boost (if I’m correct), making JF (even add a ‘K’ to this if you want) basically the no-brainer option to go…

    Talking history, why not add a ‘scorced earth’ tactic for Russia… Once at war, Russia can:
    ‘Move’ a minor IC to another area. They can do this only once per game per IC. This also turns the territory the IC originated from, into a value 1 territory, while it increases the economic value of the territory the IC is placed in (most likely anywhere in the Urals) by 1. The IC must move during the purchase phase, must move through Russian territories only and cannot produce units during the placement phase of that turn.

    This makes fighting for Moscow more pressing for Germany, as this is now the only factory they can take over. Untill they have it, they must rely on their (very long) supply lines back to Germany itself, or buy factories themselves. This should make the fight on the eastfront much harder, and, for the haters of it, the DS strategy weaker because Germany cannot so quickly add additional land units into Russia anymore and Russia has the option to resume production in the rear, rather than from its ruined factory in Moscow. Unless Germany wants to base bombers in the east, which decreases their flexibility.

    To boil it down, I think a +6 economy boost for the USA is about maximum, maybe less if anything like a scorched earth for Russia is also tried. But then again, if both players feel comfortable with a higher bid, why not?

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    This is a good idea nerquen.

    An alternative would be to give USA the Shipyards and/or War Bonds tech at the start of the game.  This might accomplish the same thing but avoid bidding (e.g. if you are drawing sides).

    In triplea games, adding these techs requires just 1 edit at the start of the game so its easy to do.

  • 2022 '19 '17 '15

    @wittmann: I would keep it simple and change one variable at the time… else we will get lost in changes to starting units on the board. Since if you remove that, you have to remove this and then remove… that could get out of hand.

    Like I said: the starting positions of the board is the work of some great game designers who had lengthy discussions with the community (with us) to realize it as it is.
    And the issue at hand is if the well established bidding process (solely developed by the community) of starting IPCs/Units could be replaced by something “better” (may be!) - at least that is the question here.

    @ItIsILeClerc: I could be mistaken, but I think you have a “standard bidding” scenario in mind when talking about JF vs. GF. If no UK units are placed to Meds or Afrika, then Italy has a MUCH stronger position, since Taranto (UK1 in SZ97) can be avoided or at least made very costly by placing German fighters to Rome. This would then really be a tough decision by UK.

    Either way: UK would have a weaker position in meds, and thus allowing Italy to increase pressure and become economically equal to UK. Then US should really have think hard if it can allow to let Europe go and focus on Japan. But that would have to be tested, I say.

    @Variance and others: Please lets not talk alternatives.  😐 These are all valid ideas but the thread-starter has something different in mind.

    So i kindly ask all of you: please focus on the bidding issue and not hijack the thread by bringing in alternatives.  8-)

    Its a free forum and all, so of course everyone is free to say his piece, but if we proceed that way then this thread will end in fruitless discussions…  😢

    So please keep it simple and let nothing distract us.

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

    Only read original post, to be clear -

    I think this is a good idea


  • @variance:

    This is a good idea nerquen.

    An alternative would be to give USA the Shipyards and/or War Bonds tech at the start of the game.  This might accomplish the same thing but avoid bidding (e.g. if you are drawing sides).

    In triplea games, adding these techs requires just 1 edit at the start of the game so its easy to do.

    Giving War Bonds at the start is basically like a 5 IPC bid with this system. Easier to do, but harder to adjust, since you can’t really “bid” with it. Same with the Shipyards. What if giving War Bonds is not enough, but Shipyards is too much? Then you can’t do anything.

    Unless 5 IPCs turns out to be the balancing bid, I think we should leave the techs out of it.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    On general principle, I have to support this idea!  😄

    I have never really liked the open bid for pre-placement units, and much prefer a bid to income, whatever form it takes, since the latter option doesn’t bust the opening battles.

  • '17 '16 '15

    Has anyone tried this yet?

  • 2022 '19 '17 '15

    Well I guess even if two players show up and say: “we tested it and loved it” will not help here… its what people say to every of their house rules.

    It would require a wide test base … to see if it is really better than the unit bidding… which is a major game changer for axis openers in my opinion.

    But anyways… we would need many players to volunteer for such test games… the more the better.

    Sooo… would anybody be up for a US Income bidding game?


  • @Elrood:

    Sooo… would anybody be up for a US Income bidding game?

    I am, see here: http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=34751.msg1398301#msg1398301

  • 2022 '19 '17 '15

    Taken from another thread:

    @ItIsILeClerc:

    About blaming bidding for the possibility to ‘KJF’ (with or without the ‘K’)… Correct me if I am wrong but I think without bidding, the UK will either loose both Egypt and India (which means game over for the allies), or if they realize this, weaken India even further because they bring over troops and particularly aircraft from india to save Egypt. Which hurts, but is not game over.

    Thats the one of the points for that proposal. For sure, no extra units for UK will srsly put a lot of pressure on them.

    The Theory is: if no extra UK Units and if G1 opens to threaten Sea Lion, then Meds have to (and should be) given up for protecting London.
    Then Italy will grow wild and probably get egypt and possibly ME as well.
    At that point the increased Income of US comes in and they should HAVE to invest something into Europe to prevent a loss there.

    That is tactical decision making. It should not be clear that both London and Africa can be saved by standard builds/moves. Imho…

    If Germany goes full Barbarossa (e.g. G1 Built 10 Inf or 7 ari… yadda yadda yadda), then UK can punish Italy as it prefers, even without Taranto it can give Italy a hard time, putting troops and an early IC to egypt.
    Germany should be able to march through russia and then Egypt becomes the final battle for them.
    Again, US should be able to intervene by then, either threatening Rome/Germany or fortifying Egypt.

    At leasts the theory. You know… options for Axis. an italy not necessarily reduced to dust in UK1 and some intelligent US play apart from JKF.  🙂


  • @Elrood:

    (…)
    The Theory is: if no extra UK Units and if G1 opens to threaten Sea Lion, then Meds have to (and should be) given up for protecting London.
    Then Italy will grow wild and probably get egypt and possibly ME as well.
    At that point the increased Income of US comes in and they should HAVE to invest something into Europe to prevent a loss there.

    That is tactical decision making. It should not be clear that both London and Africa can be saved by standard builds/moves. Imho… (…)

    Have you considered the approach Nippon also pointed out?
    The USA does have options early in Europe without loosing in the Pacific. Those options are limited, yes, but you can calculate what forces the USA needs to punish Germany for taking London, considering the Germans already will have problems with Russia after that. IIRC, this means it is OK for the UK to loose London (and therefore, turn the Italian navy into dust anyway) as long as they make Germany pay enough for taking London. Building 9INF, of 6INF in London UK1 and 1FTR should do that.

    In one of my previous posts I elaborated on how much IPCs the USA can spend in Europe early without loosing in the Pacific. Loosing India is not the same as loosing the Pacific war, ofc. Japan will be monstrous, but so will Germany be if the allies go (K)JF.

  • 2022 '19 '17 '15

    Well I haven’t done the math, but lets say you go for Sea Lion, then Japan should probably wait for DOW J3, but probably depends on some other factors as well. Also J2 is possible, seeing what US placed into Atlantic in US1

    How badly can Sea Lion go, if properly executed?
    Turn 1: 2 German TTs, Kills cruiser in SZ 91, convoy SZ 109,
    Turn 2: Bombard London, as much as 7 more TTs (probably less are needed), also take Scotland with 6 Inf.
    Turn 3: Sea Lion

    I think just buying troops is not enough for London to discourage Sea Lion here. And they would even have to get an extra Fighter from UK for taranto, which will weaken it even more.

    If US puts their mind to it, sure, they can liberate London, but would have to play it rather safe in Pacific meanwhile. But certainly would need to be tested.  🙂


  • Yes to testing!
    Another SL game with a defensive pacific mind from the USA ;-). I won’t be playing anytime soon, but surely follow such a game.


  • I have to agree that Sea Lion can not be prevented by the UK.  I am of the notion that Sea Lion is not one of the best strategies for Germany.  Dark Skies seems quite unstoppable at the moment.  I haven’t found a way to defeat it yet and nobody else seems to have found a good plan, even with a ~20 PU bid.  I would think that a fighter in Scotland, an artillery in Alexandria, and a sub in SZ 98 will put a significant hindrance into the German SL plans, especially if the dice are unfriendly.  :roll:

  • '15 '14

    I have to say I find the idea to bid for US income quite good. Very reasonable post and argumentation. Good job, nerqueen. I would consider to test this.

    @Arthur:

    Dark Skies seems quite unstoppable at the moment.  I haven’t found a way to defeat it yet and nobody else seems to have found a good plan, even with a ~20 PU bid.  I would think that a fighter in Scotland, an artillery in Alexandria, and a sub in SZ 98 will put a significant hindrance into the German SL plans, especially if the dice are unfriendly.  :roll:

    I do not sign that. I think bombers are a valid strategy but they are not necessarily better than a brutal and perfectly executed Barbarossa (which I personally fear way more as Allies). Furthermore there are no TierE players yet complaining that bombers are imbalanced.

    I simply think the high winning percentage a) correlates with the fact that Axis are strong in general and b) that playing bombers makes the game more complex and that specifically less experienced or mediocre players simply do not know how to react appropriately (yet).

    The most important thing is: The counter strategy is not created on the flip chart but by playing each move precisely. Many people say “I did this and that and bombers still beat me” but in the end the execution was just poorly. Successful play always depend on execution and details.

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