Alternate bidding scheme

  • 2022 '19 '17 '15

    One little thing I might add to the discussion whether OOB is balanced or not… Its not about the OOB setup or rules… its about TripleA.

    please allow me just a little excursion…

    I recognize that many players here have much more experience than I have, so in my most humble statement of opinion I have to say:

    • A&A was designed to be a board game and for those who have played it, know that it is really much harder to grasp the actual positions of strong and weak points on the board or make complex attack moves involving different powers
    • TripleA is a computer supported game and gets rid of many problems / effort you have with the board game version and also helps by giving better overview and to reset the game just before making the actual combat or similar (HUGE bonus to test different moves to see if you miss sth)
      and now:
    • the… Battle calculator… had SUCH a strong influence on the game that it leads to the problems we face on the forum
      Why is that. medium to big battles can be easily predicted by the use of the calculator and it is not necessary to send too much forces into a territory / SZ which one would like to take - but that would happen on the board “just to be safe”
      A few troops more or less have a surprisingly high impact on probabilities of such battles, so its really hard to say by just looking at the number of units.

    So you say: “BC can be used by both factions… so whats the point?”
    Well yes, but Axis are much more favored, since they start the game in striking position and a good start where you just send enough troops to kill the spread out allies troops and then putting just enough troops to a location to secure it increases their momentum a lot.

    So what I am trying to say is: If you say G40 is broken, then point to TripleA, not the game itself. Sure that insight doesn’t help the current discussion, since we here play mainly TripleA anyways (I guess), and the only solution for me would be not to use BC, but that’s a little unrealistic I have to admit.  🙂

    I just wanted to state this, so that no one is to think the developers did a bad job. Actually I have seen a game were community had so much influence on how it would look like in the end (the alpha phase between 1st and 2nd Edition)

    just my 2 cents…  🙂


  • good points ItIsILeClerc, yeah +constant per turn for US might not be enough neither to model WWII economies properly, nor to achieve balance at any reasonable bonus to US . As you say military production of Allies was growing a lot historically, where in A&A it is rather diminishing (except for US bonus for entering war) But let see what we will learn from initial tests. In my 3 current games turn 3 has not been past yet and so far additional 10 IPC/turn is not really felt, especially if Axis DOW fast (J1, G2)… it takes couple turns for US to bring the new units into position and so the difference cannot be really felt before turn 5-6. By that time Calcutta is likely gone and Russia forced to turtle in Moscow… the question is what difference additional US resources can make in mid to late game… but it looks that at least it shall motivate Axis to act fast before US can make a difference

    If the test games fail to produce satisfactory experience, considering growing US economy might be a way to go… it will naturally force Axis to be cautious about time as eventually Allies would be an economical monster that could not be  possibly defeated. Probably better than having a hard coded turn limit.

    As per VC conditions they indeed change so much. I believe the major factor allowing pure focus in Europe in 1st edition was requirement of 14 VC globally for Axis to win. Allies playing only on Europe were able to stop Germany from Moscow, Cairo and London, slowly killing Germany and Italy. And Japan would have to take all Pacific including SF to still get victory for Axis. Any change to VC condition is likely going to change the balance dramatically again. Gargantua’s suggested 7 VC in Pacific or 9 in Europe sounds reasonable, but I would not be surprised if there emerge an extreme Allied strategy that would swing the balance all the way to Allies.

  • '19 '15 '14

    @Elrood:

    So what I am trying to say is: If you say G40 is broken, then point to TripleA, not the game itself. Sure that insight doesn’t help the current discussion, since we here play mainly TripleA anyways (I guess), and the only solution for me would be not to use BC, but that’s a little unrealistic I have to admit.  🙂

    I just wanted to state this, so that no one is to think the developers did a bad job.

    I disagree. You can’t put this on tripleA.
    😄

    TripleA doesn’t change the rules of the game or alter the starting balance of forces in any way. What it does do is to remove the normal barriers to entry and allows people to play more matches against competent human opponents than would otherwise be possible. It accelerates the pace at which play testing occurs.

    You’d have to go back to the days before the Internet and the Hasbro CD in the 90s, if you really wanted to see what A&A used to look like. The way it is now, a dozen skilled players can play more games in a month, than were probably played during the entire design process.

    When the play testing is done face to face it takes way way longer. Back in the day, this required annual tournaments, just to get enough people in the same room who knew what they were doing, to get any kind of reasonable data set on play balance. Think about how much longer it takes, to learn the game and then to organize matches between players of comparable skill face to face.

    From a design standpoint, a digital platform makes it much harder to develop a game where player inexperience, the general complexity of the ruleset, and the labor intensive requirements of the board set up, can be used as an easy way to prolong shelf life. I would submit that without the computer, there would probably be no way to determine the real game balance in Global at this point, within like 5 years of its release, just between yourself and a few players in your living room.

    What tripleA has done for games since Revised, is just like what the Hasbro CD did for Classic, allow players to compete at a much higher level, inernationally, and clock many more games than would ever have been possible face to face.

    I support digit gameplay as the best way to playtest the OOB A&A games. If we’re really serious about designing a “forever” game, that is balanced by sides and lasting,  its “alpha” development phase should be conducted digitally first, since you can isolate balance issues or distorted play patterns much more quickly.

    Battle Calculators have been around for a while, at least since email was invented, and since people began playing against each other in PBEM games. The calc in tripleA makes it a lot easier and faster to use in live play. Basically any player can now use the advantage that before might only  have been available to a mathematics whiz on the fly, but it’s still up to you how to use it. I don’t generally calculate battles during a live game, since I like to live dangerously, but for those who do, it’s just one more way to heighten the level of gameplay.

    What I like about tripleA is that it helps to develop a concensus at the level of international gameplay, among skilled A&A players who might not otherwise get a chance to play each other.  I think it helps to facilitate a lot of these discussions that we find interesting on the forums.

    Absent a digital game platform and saved games, most of the evidence for A&A playbalance is anecdotal, and its a lot harder to have these rich conversations about it, since the experiences and analyses of the game can be so divergent in different gaming groups when it’s just face to face after action reports.

    I do appreciate the feeling that Elrood articulates though. It’s hard to design a boardgame that can keep pace in the digital era. But I’d rather use the machine to make a better game, since I think its possible to do that and still create games that are true to the spirit and still fun to play face to face over the long haul. I also don’t see a whole lot of great alternatives. King Ludd lost his crown a while ago.
    😉

    2 cents banked

    Ps. Just for the record, I also think the developers did a good job. That said, it’s in the nature of the A&A game that there is always room for improvement as time goes on. And I think a digital platform can really help with that, since it allows us to play more games, track the development of the gameplay, and share ideas about it with greater ease and more detail.


  • Actually, TripleA does change the rules (just look at the list of known bugs, some OOB rules are ignored).

    But while I agree that the Battle Calculator makes a difference, I don’t think it unbalances the game. I think it just makes it almost impossible for players to make mistakes, and thus makes the unbalance more evident. For two new players, it doesn’t matter which side they play, either can win. This is because the Axis player will most likely make many rookie mistakes, allowing the Allied player a chance to win. But if both players are experienced and use a Calculator to figure out everything beforehand, they can use optimal strategies to win… favoring the Axis because the OOB game favors the Axis if played optimally.

  • '17 '16 '15

    TripleA doesn’t enforce all the rules but the only one off the top of my head that it changes is selecting AA casualties during SBR’s. Instead of having each facility target their attackers individually they are all grouped together. This allows Tac’s to take any bmbr hits. I know there are others but this seems like the main one to me.  It is up to the players to know the rules same as a board game.

    The B Calc comes into play during forum and to a lesser extent live games. If you calc every battle in a live game people probably won’t want to play because you take so long. By forum you have hours, days and sometimes weeks to prep your moves. You can run it through local mode as much as you want before sending your optimal move. Nothing wrong with that. It has a different “feel” then a live game. I always feel a little more pressured playing “live” than by forum. Though I don’t play much of either.

    I agree with Black Elk. Larry and the Gang made an awesome game. TripleA allows you to number crunch many possibilities that otherwise wouldn’t happen. I don’t agree that TripleA has “broken” Global 40 though. 🙂

  • '19 '15 '14

    Given the complexity and nuance of the global ruleset, it’s a small wonder that tripleA is even able to “enforce” as much it does. I remember the first time I glanced at the 1st edition manual for Europe 1940 thinking to myself “there’s no way we’re going to get the engine to do all this stuff!” And feeling pretty demoralized by it. Thankfully Veq and Bung didn’t throw in the towel on that, and now the engine is able to handle pretty much the whole beast. (Bearing in mind where we started, how everything was hard coded to run classic, and nothing beyond, it was no small feat of accomplishment bringing the engine to its current state.) But just to the point about “known bugs” TripleA does provide a ready solution with two critical features:  the “edit mode” and the “free roll.”

    Both are available in the game tab. Between those two features it is possible to provide a work-around for basically all those known bugs that I’m aware of. Sure, its not as perfect or elegant as one might wish, but if you know the rules (as you’d be expected to when playing on the physical board), tripleA can simulate the boardgame more or less exactly.
    😉

    I know at times I can be a somewhat strident partisan and apologist for tripleA, since I’ve sunk a lot of time into it, and still think it’s the best simulator currently available for A&A, but I take amanntai’s point. If you assume that tripleA will do all the work for you, it’s possible you might encounter a glitch or two when comparing with the rules as presented in the OOB manual.

    On the other hand, those same edit mode and free roll features can come in very handy for other purposes as well, if for example, you want to house rule a bid bonus to USA’s income!
    😄

    You can do this with just a few clicks in tripleA, and the game will track everything that happened in the game history! It would be hard to overstate the value of the edit mode and the game history here. Just consider how many paragraphs and pages of text notes it would take to give a full after action report of an FtF game, and compare this to a save game where all the information from every move in every round is recorded for easy viewing.

    So my suggestion, taking it back to the main subject of this thread, would be to play some games with this USA bid concept in tripleA. Using the edit mode it is pretty simple to implement, and then we can see, with hard data, the effect it has on the balance by sides.
    :evil:

  • 2022 '19 '17 '15

    I am considering your statements elk and I think you might have a point there. May be my attempt to demonize the BC was a bit over the top, but I think we understand each other after all.

    I totally respect TripleA and see what it did for the game and the community. Without it no more games would be possible for me. My first Global 1940 games took like 4 to 6 sessions - each about 3 to 4 hours after work. Luckily for me I have some hobby-room in my flat just for me.  😄  … we had 3 of those games alltogether… so not that much
    And it was so hard to get the people for it… since not everybody of my local friends shared my enthusiasm about it.

    But anyways … that board gaming took a lot of time and effort away of my spare freetime - while tripleA just diminishes my work-time (office) - so even better :evil:

    Sorry for my little rant above and I am happy you “caught” it the way you did with your arguments.  🙂

    @Black_Elk:

    So my suggestion, taking it back to the main subject of this thread, would be to play some games with this USA bid concept in tripleA. Using the edit mode it is pretty simple to implement, and then we can see, with hard data, the effect it has on the balance by sides.
    😄

    yes back to topic please. We are doing that. Right now 4 games are running in the 9-10 range of US income bids. If more players would participate, would be even better!

  • '19 '15 '14

    Always! and I love the rants  😄
    We are on the same page for sure.

    The 1940 2nd edition game is a beautiful thing, nearly perfect, but it still needs something reasonable to level the sides. I think the USA economic boost could be a fun approach.

    @ItIsILeClerc:

    I am also starting to think that with A&AG40, balance is an illusion. Once axis players have fully grasped the ins and outs of the economic game, it’s either the allies (like in the first edition) or the axis (second edition) that will be ‘overpowered’.

    On a sidenote, it is the split 8/6VC rule that is making the axis currently overpowered, while the simple 14VC rule (1st edition) did that for the allies. Maybe the answer to balancing the game indeed lies more in the VC rules than adjusting economies… A simple 13VC win for the axis, perhaps?[…]

    Anyway, back to the USA bidding scheme.
    I was thinking if players bid for extra USA income, they could bid a number between 1-6. The player with the lowest bid has the most faith in the allies and therefore plays allies.

    I like both ideas


  • I really like the gentleman’s approach here :-).
    Unlike some people who would call other ideas ‘idiotic’, ‘weak’, or discard them as ‘inexperienced’ right away.

    Really, really curious about how this project will play out… I’m following.
    Sadly I can’t play myself, as I have to carefully dose my time spent on A&A and I’ve already played for 5 weeks in a row quite recently.

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

    I think giving the US a NO bonus is necessary, but I also think it needs to go hand in hand with another modification. Either a deduction in Japan’s Air (let’s start with one Ft and one Tac) or a permanent 5 NO for Russia too. I fear that without a bid the Med can too easily become a safe haven for the Euro Axis. The Med is too easily a bread basket for them and makes the European defence harder.
    But then I would remove all of Japan’s NOs. (There is  enough income there, without the DEI bonus and a bonus for holding India or Sydney.)I would also like to see Germany lose half of its easily attainable ones (Leningrad, Cairo and Volgograd). Actually, once Moscow has fallen does it really need another 5 income?
    I suppose I am not normal though.


  • @wittmann:

    (…) I suppose I am not normal though.

    At least you seem to be a nice guy and that’s far more important than being 'normal’  :-D.

  • 2022 '19 '17 '15

    @wittmann:

    I think giving the US a NO bonus is necessary, but I also think it needs to go hand in hand with another modification. Either a deduction in Japan’s Air (let’s start with one Ft and one Tac) or a permanent 5 NO for Russia too. I fear that without a bid the Med can too easily become a safe haven for the Euro Axis. The Med is too easily a bread basket for them and makes the European defence harder.
    But then I would remove all of Japan’s NOs. (There is  enough income there, without the DEI bonus and a bonus for holding India or Sydney.)I would also like to see Germany lose half of its easily attainable ones (Leningrad, Cairo and Volgograd). Actually, once Moscow has fallen does it really need another 5 income?
    I suppose I am not normal though.

    Well, thats a very delicate topic. There is this dogma in economics: “ceteris paribus”, meaning if you want test something by by changing an equation, then just change one value at a time and leave all else untouched. Else you will get a lot of distortions and unforeseeable consequences and in the end you learned nothing out of it.

    So in our case (I know you kind of refer to our current game) we should may be increase the additional US income to above +10. May be +15 or more. But we should not judge after just one game. A&A is not only won by economics as we all know.

    Changes or removing NOs… whoo. I find that of course arguable, but should be done separately…  😐

  • 2022 '19 '17 '15

    @ItIsILeClerc:

    I really like the gentleman’s approach here :-).
    Unlike some people who would call other ideas ‘idiotic’, ‘weak’, or discard them as ‘inexperienced’ right away.

    Its probably due to the fact that A&A players are much more likely to be well matured old school gamers, instead of the youngsters at Dota or Counterstrike.  :lol:
    But thats just my theory… hehe.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Balance values need to be put in the center of the board and not the outlier.  5 IPC’s in Russia, is worth 15 IPC’s in USA.

    To reduce the risk of wildly increasing balancing efforts, the lesser value should be used, and should be of primary importance.

    Put the money in Russia.

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    @Gargantua:

    Balance values need to be put in the center of the board and not the outlier.  5 IPC’s in Russia, is worth 15 IPC’s in USA.

    To reduce the risk of wildly increasing balancing efforts, the lesser value should be used, and should be of primary importance.

    Put the money in Russia.

    Begin rant.

    One thing I really don’t like about axis & allies is how it always exaggerates the American contribution to defeating Nazi Germany.  It is true that they beat Japan fair and square, but their contribution to beating Hitler was minimal compared to what the Russian people endured.

    Now I know someone will say “we gave them lend lease supplies blah blah” which is true, but to put things into perspective, please consider the number 3000.  That number is about how many Americans died at Pearl Harbour, D-Day and Sept 11.  Those events were tragedies, but compare that to the 3000-4000 Russians who died every day in the siege of Leningrad alone, which went on for some 900 days (total Soviet casualties around 3.4 million, plus 600 thousand axis casualties).  And that was just one battle.

    So I agree with Gargantua that for gameplay reasons, as well as for historical accuracy reasons you need to bump up Russia not America.  It makes the game more phoney baloney if you bump USA even more than it already is.  If anything the USA should be toned down in the game.

    Rant complete.


  • @variance:

    @Gargantua:

    Balance values need to be put in the center of the board and not the outlier.  5 IPC’s in Russia, is worth 15 IPC’s in USA.

    To reduce the risk of wildly increasing balancing efforts, the lesser value should be used, and should be of primary importance.

    Put the money in Russia.

    Begin rant.

    One thing I really don’t like about axis & allies is how it always exaggerates the American contribution to defeating Nazi Germany.  It is true that they beat Japan fair and square, but their contribution to beating Hitler was minimal compared to what the Russian people endured.

    Now I know someone will say “we gave them lend lease supplies blah blah” which is true, but to put things into perspective, please consider the number 3000.  That number is about how many Americans died at Pearl Harbour, D-Day and Sept 11.  Those events were tragedies, but compare that to the 3000-4000 Russians who died every day in the siege of Leningrad alone, which went on for some 900 days (total Soviet casualties around 3.4 million, plus 600 thousand axis casualties).  And that was just one battle.

    So I agree with Gargantua that for gameplay reasons, as well as for historical accuracy reasons you need to bump up Russia not America.  It makes the game more phoney baloney if you bump USA even more than it already is.  If anything the USA should be toned down in the game.

    Rant complete.

    But historically, the US, and not Russia, was the economic power of the Allies. The US was virtually untouched by war, and increased in production capacity. Russia was ravaged by war, and lost production capacity.

    Stalin practically begged the Western Allies to open up a second front in Europe. If the US had not come in to North Africa and Italy, the Axis might have yet been victorious in Africa and Russia.

    The final blow was dealt by the US in its invasion of continental Europe and push into Germany. This is not to ignore the contributions of UK and Canadian forces in the invasion, but the invasion would not have been possible without US support.

    And of course, the US provided most of the troops and ships that halted Japan and turned the war in the Pacific around.

    I think the US actually plays a smaller role in A&A than it did in real life.

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    @amanntai:

    The final blow was dealt by the US in its invasion of continental Europe and push into Germany.

    Bagration.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6UkVl3ZFuI&list=ELlzBS5WrPu4s&index=10

    EDIT:
    What Germany faced in June 1944:
    Allied troops on D-day: 156,000
    Soviet troops in Operation Bagration: 2.4 million


  • The Russians produced more tanks then the Americans (and certainly better tanks); twice as many artillery pieces, and twice as many soldiers as the US. Russian aircraft production exceeded Germany throughout the war (and Germany’s went UP every year through 1945). An extra income bid for the Russians makes far more sense than for the US.

    Eliminate the pre-game unit bid for the Allies (effectively the UK) this allows the Russians get the income Bid each turn. With no extra units for the UK, Italy can make a fight for the Med and assist the Germans in Russia. The Eastern front is now a battle of uncertain outcome every game, and if Germany knocks out Russia, the extra income for the Allies is gone! (It never goes away for the US).

    The original post is the right idea; it’s just for the wrong country. I gotta go along with Vance and Garg on this, and I think it makes for a better game all around.

    Kim

  • '17 '16 '15

    A Russian bid sounds good. Maybe even better than a US one. Maybe you should have both. Is a US cash bid  better than a unit placement bid? It’s cool some people are testing it to find out.

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

    I too think it should be both. America’s is historical, Russia’s practical. I do also believe the Axis need to lose some NOs. Leningrad and the DEI would be a start.

    I don’t know about the others who are trying this, but I am struggling to make America’s 10 bonus count. The UK can’t control the Med, without my usual bid, with all the advantages that gives the Axis. Actually, I think I have done a poor job.


  • I like the idea of an USA Bid NO.

    The guy with the lowest US Bid plays the allies, or at least the US.

    I figure this US Bid NO must be received from turn 1, even if US is not at war, because if it should be a war NO, it wont make any difference before the end game.
    And I agree with Elrood, we must playtest the US Bid NO alone, before we start messing with Russian or German NO*s

    But one issue we can all agree on, is that a bid NO that gives a cash disbursement is way better than to mess with the set up pieces.

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    @Narvik:

    But one issue we can all agree on, is that a bid NO that gives a cash disbursement is way better than to mess with the set up pieces.

    I would agree with that.


  • As far as a bonus (bid)income for the USA: it is not that strange of a thought. The USA alone, easily produced more than all the axis combined. Though their factories were geared for naval and aircraft production, while the Russians produced much more land forces.

    Something similar is true for bid income for Russia!
    The Russian production capacity never fell far behind that of Germany, even though they were pushed back all the way to the eastbanks of the Wolga. If history is our guide in restoring some economic balance, Russia being reduced to an economic non-factor while Germany makes 60-90 IPCs per turn is just not it.

    Giving bonus income to Russia would be as valid as giving it to the USA I’d think 8-).

  • 2022 '19 '17 '15

    Well… may be we should make a step back from trying to catch all historic references and limitations.
    After all we all know the good guys lost in WW2…. Just kidding of course  :mrgreen:

    Axis lost the War, but A&A should be a balanced game, not a way to play out again what happened back then to a 100%.

    On a technical level: we should not try to focus on what each power was capable of at the end of WW2. Sure…

    • Russians tanks and men were crazily outnumbering Germans, but that was also due to the fact that stupid “prestige” battles were fought for the cities with fancy names instead of going after the proper targets
    • Japan attacked US, but didn’t accomplish all what they aimed for (e.g. destroying the oil depots, dockyards and carriers), so pacific fleet was able to easily compensate for the losses in due time

    Isn’t a goal of that game to give us coffee table generals the possibility to avoid these mistakes so that it wont happen that e.g. Russia is able to outproduce Germany eventually?

    In my first games on 1940 1st Edition, when Germany made some wrong moves on the Russian front line and invested IPCs in worthless goals, it easily came to that disaster, and suddenly I felt like sitting in the Führerbunker in Berlin wondering what Allied Power would capture it first…

    And back to our current discussion: I think A&A is STRONGLY designed on the fact that Moscow can only go down or at least be minimized to Moscow for a final all deciding battle, while Germany needs to distribute its resources for that goal while maintaining western Europe under its rule.

    US should be hard to play, decide how and when it can intervene and they should be the last chance for an allies victory. If Russia has a real chance to win against Germany… then what is US good for? They easily can crush Japan right now with the infamous KJF strategy.

    Has anyone tried this proposed increase of Russian income or sth similar?


  • After all we all know the good guys lost in WW2…. Just kidding of course :mrgreen:

    I bet you are German, Elrood?
    Don’t worry, it won’t be held against you :-D.

    I have used a ~12-bid to add all Russian Units, once. And it didn’t make much of a difference against a G4J4 used against me that time. If used in the Med it certainly would have been of better use… Don’t know what it could have done against a different axis strategy, though.

    Whoever is interested in knowing what would have happened if certain historical mistakes would not have been made: A&A is not the right game for that. It is certainly a fun game, but with more similarities to chess than with WWII, I’m afraid.

    Moscow is definately the kick-dog of this game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCARDozMEU
    Aren’t the developers Americans? If so, this is probably by design :P.
    But seriously. I think you are right about Russia being designed to go down economically. I don’t like it, but if Russia could hold their own against Germany, it would certainly be moot to play the game (USA would kill Japan, while UK + Russia sandwich Germany). Though it could be a little harder for the axis to reduce Russia to an economic non-factor.

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