Alternate Victory Cities and Tournament Rules for 1942.2
Black_Elk recently suggested a new list of victory cities, and CWO_Marc pointed out on another thread that changing victory cities is much easier than changing the map, because you can show victory cities with tokens that can be picked up and put down.
So, here’s my attempt at a list of victory cities:
You can use this victory cities in a one-off game, with a Minor Victory achieved at 14 VCs, and a Major Victory achieved at 16 VCs.
Alternatively, the tournament rules are as follows:
FIXED BID – the Allies start with a fixed bid of 1 inf in Italian East Africa, 1 art in South Africa, 1 art in Eastern Australia, 1 art in Buryatia, and 1 IC and 1 AAA gun in Szechuan. The Axis start with a fixed bid of 1 inf in Algeria. If one player has played the Axis more times during this tournament than her opponent, that player will play the Allies. Otherwise, flip a coin to determine who will play the Allies.
LIMITED TIME – during each nation’s turn, the active player has 15 minutes (20 minutes on the first turn of the game) to complete all actions, including purchasing, combat, noncombat, and deployment. If the active player takes longer than that, he or she is fined 1 IPC for each minute she goes over (the money is returned to the bank). Defenders must select their casualties during each round of combat within 30 seconds after the hits are announced, or else the attacker will get the right to select casualties.
LIMITED ROUNDS – play continues for exactly 8 rounds, or until either player controls 16 or more VCs at the end of the American turn, whichever comes first.
OPTIONAL LOW LUCK – the attacker may choose, before rolling dice, whether to use regular luck or low luck for a given battle. You cannot switch methods between rounds of the same battle.
SCORING – at the end of the eighth round, whoever has the most victory cities scores points as follows:
11 VCs – 1 point
12 VCs – 2 points
13 VCs – 3 points
14 VCs – 5 points
15 VCs – 6 points
16 VCs or more – 10 points
The defeated player loses the same number of points, going into negative points if necessary. If a player forfeits a game by failing to participate, the game is scored as a 3-point win for the player who won by default and as a 3-point loss for the player who lost by default. A player who defaults twice in the same tournament is eliminated and removed from the tournament.
- PAIRINGS – at the end of each game, players who have most nearly the same point total are matched up with each other, starting at the bottom and continuing up to the top. If there are an odd number of players left in the tournament, the player with the highest point total gets a bye, and is awarded 3 points for the round without having to play a game. If more than two players have the same point total, then if possible pair them so that a coin flip is not needed to determine who will play the Allies.
The thing which has always bothered me in a general sense about the whole VC concept is that, while VCs provide tangible game objectives for which to aim, they don’t necessarily reflect the actual strategic importance of the control of particular cities to the overall outcome of WWII. A useful question to ask when considering giving a city the status of a VC would be: would the capture of this city have realistically ended the war (or at least severely disrupted the enemy’s war effort)? A quick look at some of the cities depicted in Global 1940 shows that the answer isn’t always yes. Leningrad was besieged for about 900 days, and the Germans managed to capture about 90% of Stalingrad, but the Soviet Union – far from collapsing – ended up winning the war. The Allies didn’t have to capture Rome to get Italy to surrender, nor did they even have to land on the Japanese main islands to get Japan to surrender. Berlin held out almost until the very end of WWII in Europe, and had to be captured at great cost, but by that point most of Germany had already been overrun from both directions by Allied troops, with the Wehrmacht practically fighting back-to-back down the middle of the country. So the capture of cities – even of capitals – doesn’t always correlate well with the win or loss of a war.
Note, incidentally, that although Global 1940 does to some extent acknowledge that some cities are more important than others by distinguishing between square-dot capitals and round-dot general VCs, it gives the Axis only has square-dot capitals whereas it gives the Allied nations have round-dot VCs in addition to square-dot capitals. This asymmetrical arrangement in effect creates different winning conditions for the two sides, which is a debatable concept because it implies that capturing non-capital cities is unimportant for the Allies but important for the Axis.
So my concern, I guess, is that these questionable aspects of the whole VC system only get compounded when even more VCs get added to the game. To give just one example: I don’t have a copy of the 1942.2 map in front of me right now, but isn’t Yakut somewhere in the middle of Siberia? Did it contain any major cities at all in 1942, let alone cities on the same level of strategic importance as Moscow?
Just to that last point about Yakut, probably Novosibirsk would be the big one in the east. Though you could make a case for Irkutsk along the rail transit, which would probably be in Yakut (given how the map is squished and abstracted). Both, of course, are nowhere near as vital as Moscow. Still, at least it would be another contested territory.
I tend to agree with Marc that the VC win is a bit silly, but this has been the stated way to win OOB since Revised came out. Even with all its flaws this seems to be the system we’re stuck with, as no alternative (beyond simple concession) has presented itself.
If VCs are the way we’re going to determine which side prevails, then I think more would be helpful. I like the suggestions proposed above.
Different options for determining how these VC’s are used seems like it might be fun. On a points system or with other options outlined by Arg. I just think we need something more than the OOB arrangement, since in my experience VCs are just ignored. Right now they might as well not even be on the map, since everyone I game with plays to unconditional surrender ie capital capture rules.
I agree the victory city rule has it’s flaws but i would think any major power captial would qualify. If they were still fighting the Italians surely would have surrendered if Rome was captured. The only major power’s that kept fighting after they lost their captials were France and China. France wasn’t all that impactful and China was kind of a different deal with their size and primitiveness. I wouldn’t count Poland or some of the smaller countries that were conquered, their forces being as small as they were.
Stalingrad wasn’t essential. They could have corked the river south of there. However it sounded as if Turkey was real close to joining the axis if it fell. That would have corked off the Caucasus for sure along with 86ing the persian lend lease route.
Leningrad tied down a lot of axis forces along with it’s psychological value.
Russia very well may have continued to fight after the fall of Moscow and almost surely if Leningrad and probably Stalingrad fell. If you’re playing with victory cities I’d think you’d want to include them though.
Good points, Barney. I didn’t know about the Stalingrad/Turkey connection; that’s interesting.
CWO_Marc, I admit that I chose Yakut/Irkutsk for its mechanical properties, rather than for maximum theme. Capturing Yakut, by itself, wouldn’t have any chance of causing a Soviet surrender. Why do I want to make it a victory city, then? Because I prefer to think of victory cities less in terms of “what would I have to capture to make my enemy surrender?” and more in terms of “what would I have to capture to convincingly demonstrate to an unbiased observer that I’m currently winning this war?” If the Japanese can capture Yakutsk, then that means they’ve penetrated beyond the coastline and are holding turf in the Soviet interior – which should surely be part of what it means for the Axis to be winning the war.
Out of the box, the Axis get zero credit (toward victory) for capturing the Soviet Far East, Buryatia, Yakutsk, Evenki, Archangel, Vologda, Novosibirsk, and Kazakhstan – the “victory meter” gives the exact same reading regardless of whether the Japanese are 3,000 miles from Moscow or 50 miles from Moscow. That’s not right – Siberia wasn’t the most valuable patch of terrain in the world, but part of what made the USSR mighty was that it was able to draw on vast reserves of manpower, food, and industry stretching out across millions of square miles of settled terrain. If the Japanese managed to take that away from Russia, then it would have been a very different war, and that should be reflected in the victory city list. You could argue for putting the VC in Evenki or even in Vladivostok if you prefer a theme-ier game, but there needs to be a VC somewhere in Soviet Asia.
Most of the rest of my VCs I’m willing to stand behind in terms of theme. Some cities, like Warsaw and Singapore, were of more psychological or administrative importance than industrial importance, but that’s why those territories get victory cities and not 4-IPC incomes – the point is to try to measure who is winning as accurately and fairly as we can, given the crude and imperfect tools at our disposal.
Hi Argo. Sorry, I meant to tell you good work in the earlier post. Always like to see variations of the game.
Here’s the book that talks about the Turkey connection.“Stalingrad How the Red Army Triumphed” by Michael K Jones. I read it a couple years ago and found it to be excellent. It is a Russian viewpoint that seems to be quite frank.
On 2nd thought I think it was Mansteins “Lost Victories” that talked about the Turkey connection. Which may need to be taken with a grain of salt or two as his was pretty selfserving. I want to say the stalingrd book did too but I’m not 100% certain.
One idea which I floated on the Larry boards back when Revised came out, was not to include any Capital cities as VCs at all.
My gripe with the VC idea when it was first introduced was mainly because Los Angeles and Washington DC were impossible to contest, yet they still counted towards the Allied totals. Also, because of the cash-capture dynamic, Capital territories were already natural targets, so reinforcing their value with an additional VC designation just seemed redundant. In Revised you basically needed a Capital regardless to Win under the OOB VC scheme, so there was really no point to pay attention to the VC rules. Everyone just dropped them, playing to concession like Classic.
Trying to imagine alternative systems, people have also suggested using Victory Territories rather than Cities, to keep the concept more abstract and malleable.
Since the desire behind having VCs seems to be an alternative game resolution mechanism (outside of the traditional concession) I think it makes sense to have them in contested regions of the map. My preference would a system that awarded a tangible in-game effect/bonus for control of these VC/VT territories. Otherwise I think they will always end up being subordinated to the capital capture and will never really take off.
What I like about the inclusion of new VCs, is that they give us a way encourage certain play patterns that otherwise might seem pointless. Such as Russia fighting for control of their far east, or USA/Japan on the islands, or Axis with more territories to defend.
I like all the proposals suggested as candidates, they each have merit. I don’t mind Yakutsk as a VC. The region is fairly huge, and mineral rich, and sported a bunch of forced labor camps. Its farther afield than say Vladivostok, which makes it a little trickier for Japan to snatch. It’s not impossible for the USA to support out of Alaska by Air, and it’s not right up against Moscow, which would be the case with Novosibirsk. I think it’s workable.
Algiers and Cairo are fun because they give both sides a reason to fight in north Africa, instead of Axis just abandoning it in a drive to the center, as soon as Allies commit anything to Africa. Under the scheme above it would have be worth 1/7th of the VCs, which makes it a bit more relevant strategically, long term, instead of just for the smash and grab on income when the opportunity presents itself (the way things are OOB.)
21 is a pretty nice spread, better than 13 at any rate.
Victory territories. I like It : )
Instead of units you just bid " Victory Territories". Would be another Fun way to do it.
One solution might be to apply to VCs a concept that has already been introduced in the OOB rules for industrial complexes: major and minor ones. Global 1940 already distinguishes between square-dot and round-dot cities, though as I’ve mentioned it does so in an asymmetrical way, so the “major VC / minor VC” concept already exists to some extent – so perhaps the thing to do would be to expand it to cover both the Axis and the Allies (rather than just one side) , and possibly to stretch it to three or even more categories of VCs rather than two.
This concept could be based on the distinction between a capital (a centre of political power which isn’t necessarily a large city) and a metropolis (a very large city which is centre of economic power). Some countries have a city which is both the nation’s capital and the nation’s metropolis, whereas in other countries the capital and the metropolis are separate cities. Paris and London, for example, are cities which fill both roles in France and the UK; in the US and Canada, by contrast, the capital cities (Washington DC and Ottawa) are distinct from the metropolis cities (New York City and Toronto). A country can even have several metropolis-caliber cities (for example, Los Angeles, Chicago, Montreal and Vancouver could be added to the US / Canada example I just gave), whereas it will only have one national capital…though it can have regional capitals at the state / province / territory level (for example Albany in New York state and Quebec City in the province of Quebec).
So, if we apply these city types to A&A, we have several potential calibers of VCs:
- A city which is both a national capital and a national metropolis
- A city which is a national capital but not a national metropolis
- A city which is a national metropolis but not a national capital
- A city which is both a regional capital and a regional metropolis
- A city which is a regional capital but not a regional metropolis
- A city which is a regional metropolis but not a regional capital
Six categories is probably too much to be practical (and there might even be additional combinations beyond the six I’ve listed), but the general idea is to show that the concept that “not all cities are created equal” (and thus don’t have the same point value when captured) could offer a way to expand the OOB VC system while still keeping things realistic. For example, capturing a single city which is both a national capital and a national metropolis should obviously count as a major accomplishment, for which a player would earn a lot of victory points…but similarly, capturing several lesser objectives (such as several regional-level VCs) would also be a sign that – as Argothair put it – a player is making substantial progress towards winning the war.
Incidentally, having multiple calibers of VCs would help resolve one issue that’s come up in this discussion: the concept of “victory territories”. The concept came up in the context of a debate over whether certain territories (like Yakut) genuinely had VC-caliber cities in them, and the “VT” concept was proposed to get around this problem by looking at the economic value of an entire territory. It’s a clever idea, but in a sense it scrambles the cards because the “value of an entire territory” concept already exists on the game map in the form of territory IPC values. It’s also problematic because it raises the question of why a territory that has an IPC value of (let’s say) 2 but which does not have a dotted city should be considered any differently than a territory that has and IPC value of 2 but which does have a dotted city. So it might be a better solution to keep overall territory values a separate concept serving a separate function (generating income for the player who holds a territory) from the concept of VCs (which generate victory points that are, in effect, abstract “politio-economic” points rather than actual cash income).
Well, there’s something in what you say. If we’re willing to re-write the rules and not just the setup conditions, then it might make sense to have minor VCs (1 VP each) and major VCs (2 VPs each). If we go there, I would actually propose eliminating the concept of capitals. I’ve never liked them; I think the “lose all your production ability and all your cash” penalty is way too harsh as a matter of both theme and mechanics. Factoring in Black_Elk’s point that VCs need to have an in-game effect (other than triggering victory) so that people will remember to keep track of them, what if the rule were that capturing a minor VC lets you loot 3 IPC from your opponent’s treasury, and capturing a major VC lets you loot 10 IPC from your opponent’s treasury? This would make control of a VC have an impact beyond just straightforwardly counting up income; in psychological terms, you want the loss of the VC to hurt, so that it triggers loss aversion.
Applying this rule to the map, you might get a list something like this:
Axis Major (10 VP):
Axis Minor (7 VP):
Allied Major (10 VP):
Allied Minor (8 VP):
You’d wind up with a total of 35 VP, with initial totals of 17 Axis - 18 Allies. You could say that a Minor Victory is 21 VP, a Major Victory is 25 VP, and a Crushing Victory is 30 VP.
I’m not sure how I feel about that ruleset – it seems a little fiddly to me. There’s something about counting up victory points that feels more like a Eurogame to me than a wargame. Still, it might play better than the OOB rules – more flexibility, more historical accuracy, easier to remember the rules, and no permanent alterations to the map. I’d certainly be willing to give it a try if I had a willing opponent.
If doing Major and Minor VCs with a different point scale I’d definitely suggest an IPC bonus, as a pay off for all that extra tracking. A pysical representation of VCs on the game board would be helpful. Any small plastic marker would do.
For my HR games I use red factory units for Axis and blue for Allies. Just using pieces from another game.
Perhaps something like that could be used for VCs, one color for minor one for major, or something like that.
The looting concept is interesting, this would make light trading a lot more dangerous. The Germans for example would have an incentive to hold France rather than trade it. Right now in 1942.2 there is no loot mechanic, beyond capital capture (since SBR is repair, and there is no sub raiding.) Allowing a loot for the VCs would definitely encouraging tracking them more carefully.
I never use the “capture the capital” mechanic - an artefact of the original design.
Instead, a nation is defeated if it loses its last production centre. These are defined as tts starting with factories, though the factory (i.e. industrial capacity) is removed when captured (the occupier gaining IPCs in loot).
No new factories, and no use of captured factories.
If a production centre is “liberated” it can be used to place infantry units only, you do not get to rebuild the factory. So, if France loses Paris, but is it subsequently liberated, France is back in the game but can place only new infantry units.
when it is defeated, a nation is permanently out of the game; suppose Paris is liberated by the USA, then America can place infantry units in Paris up to the IPC value, though these will be American pieces. (The French army in 1944/5 was equipped with all American and British uniforms and kit).
Some minor PCS, such as Chungking & Nanking, would have no factory to begin with. Â
It makes sense for these PC tts to double as Victory Cities, though the aim is more to eliminate enemy powers by capturing their last PC.
I always have Chelyabinsk as the 4th (Siberian) USSR PC/VC.
Flashman, can you be a little more specific about what you mean by “a nation is defeated?” Does that mean all of the nation’s pieces are immediately removed from the map when it loses its last production center? If not, are there any practical consequences to being “defeated” other than not being able to produce new units? And by “nation,” do you have in mind something like “France,” or more like “the Allies?”
If you treat production centers as victory cities, then how many victory cities do you think each side should have to control in order to win? Would you have any victory cities that are not also production centers?
Finally, would you agree that banning the creation of new factories takes some of the variety and surprise out of the game? Off the top of my head, it seems like Japan is more or less required to try to conquer India (since Japan can no longer build a factory in Manchuria or Kazakh), and the USA is more or less required to try to conquer Italy or Tokyo (since the USA can no longer build a factory in France, NW Europe, or Norway). I would also be sad to lose the option of having the UK build a factory in South Africa, having the USA build a factory in Sinkiang, having the UK (or Germans!) build a factory in Egypt, having Japan build a factory in Alaska, and having the USA build a factory in Borneo or the Philippines. No one of these options is really part of ‘orthodox’ play, but collectively they spice the game up quite a bit, and often players will adjust their moves to make sure that these builds don’t become optimal. For example, the US might leave a significant garrison, including a tank and a fighter, in Western USA / Western Canada to guard against a Japanese Alaskan factory, but if Japan can’t build in Alaska, then the USA can make do with a much smaller, cheaper, more passive defense of the homeland.