i’d go with Anniversary. It also has two start dates, so two different games in one.
Is Artillery Worth It?
Ive been recently playing a&a 1942 SE and have wondered if artillery are really worth buying. They are spread out quite plentifully during the initial setup but don’t seem to be a choice of any players to buy. Yes they seem to help out with allowing better hits for infantry on the offensive and provide some alibi wounds on the defense, but besides that at 4 points a pop why not just buy an infantry? They could be a diamond in the rough unit for all i know but im curious to see how you guys use and think about them. Thanks!
I certainly agree with you that the game starts you off with more artillery than you really need – I prefer an infantry : artillery ratio of 3:1, or as high as 5:1 if I’m mixing in some tanks and planes. The game starts you off with something closer to 3:2. I don’t really understand the strategy of an ‘artillery blitz’ for Germany, where Germany buys a big stack of artillery on its first turn and starts pushing it toward Russia. Germany’s offensive is overpowered and expensive anyway; Germany mostly needs infantry on the first turn.
That said, mixing one or two artillery in a stack goes a long way toward making it a credible threat. A stack of 7 inf, costing 21 IPC, has only 7 pips of offensive punch. A stack of 4 inf, 2 art, costing 20 IPC, has 10 pips of offensive punch – significantly stronger offense for a little less cost.
I almost always buy one artillery each for the stack of British infantry in India, for the stack of German infantry in Berlin (they can use one more), for the stack of Russian infantry in Moscow, and for the first stack of infantry shipping east out of Washington. As Japan, I’m more likely to buy a mix of infantry and tanks, with no artillery, since there are zero (!) tanks on mainland Asia at the start of the game, and I really want to be able to blitz through China and/or Siberia if my opponents abandon the field.
calvinhobbesliker last edited by
Actually, if you have a lot of infantry already, artillery are a cheap way to increase your offensive power. For 4 IPC’s, you not only get 2 pips for the artillery itself, but you also get an extra pip for the infantry it’s paired with, giving it about the same offensive power as a tank (tanks are slightly better because of the skew, but cost 2 more IPC’s). You do lose a little defense, but since often the best defense is a good offense, artillery are often a very attractive buy.
Artillery is probably my favorite unit to be introduced since Classic, and I think it is definitely worth purchasing.
I’ve been a fan since it was added to the standard roster back in Revised, more as a novelty than anything else, but it’s importance in 1942.2 is much greater than in Revised or AA50, because Tanks are now 6 ipcs instead of 5, and so armor can’t be used as effectively for a crush attack unit since they’re so damned expensive.
For me the optimal ratio of Artillery to Infantry depends entirely on what sort of attack strategy I’m trying to adopt. If the goal is to trade territory at advantage in small engagements then artillery is not really the best unit for the job. For that type of strategy you really need infantry and aircraft, with just a few artillery units here and there to help you ice the really important territory trades. I suppose this would be like the 3:1 or higher type ratio, where you’re basically planning to use a smaller number of artillery units in numerous attacks throughout the course of play. With that type of build pattern, artillery is usually just an excuse to spend a remainder of 1 ipc after the rest of the purchase is already determined. When you’re left with that rogue ipc that just doesn’t neatly divide into the infantry spam. If going that route I’ll buy 1 or maybe 2 a round, and just use them when the opportunity presents itself.
The time when having a greater number of artillery to infantry ratio becomes significant for me, is in the large engagements of the endgame. The sort of battles where hits for the attacker in the first round of combat are truly critical. Basically we’re talking Moscow, or Berlin, or the German crack-back after the Allies attempt a landing in Europe, the genuinely huge scale battles, where a decisive triumph is possible, but only if the opening salvo makes a large enough dent in the enemy’s fodder… and in those types of battles, the optimal artillery:infantry ratio is actually much closer to 2:1 or even 1:1. Because the odds on total Victory or utter Defeat in those situations hinge disproportionately on the first and second round of combat, on being able to exploit every possible possible pip that you can from your infantry units before they die as fodder. In the battle for a capital, with a do or die mentality, the replacement cost of artillery risked on subsequent defense doesn’t matter, and so its replacement cost isn’t really a consideration. All that matters under those conditions is whether you can win the single engagement vs an opponent with roughly equal numbers. That’s the thing to keep in mind when you’re buying artillery, thinking Big with your buy and well in advance hehe. That’s for the artillery crush though, when most of the artillery is working in concert with most of the infantry, in one giant stack.
When evaluating whether or not to commit artillery in a small engagement, I like to think about whether control of the territory is strategically important for unit movement in the current round (whether you need it in order to block a blitz, or provide a landing place for ally aircraft), or if the goal is just to ensure that enemy units in that territory are destroyed. Then I might send artillery along with the infantry and the air. If, on the other hand, the territory is just being traded to maintain income, or to kill enemy units for an equal cost in units sacrificed, then infantry alone with aircraft is ideal and its often better to just hold the art in reserve. This is mainly because, if the TUV of the enemy units you’re destroying + the income you stand to gain from the winning the combat is lower than the cost of the units you’re putting at risk, then you’re essentially trading at a loss. This might work for a round or two, if you’re throwing your artillery into the fray, but its hard to maintain. Often the territories where this type of trading occurs aren’t worth much more than 1 or 2 ipcs, so the replacement cost of the TUV you’re putting at risk is frequently much more than you can get back on income. I think this can be tricky in the game, when you’re presented with several smaller battles, those seemingly inconsequential battles that you want to win “just because” hehe, because of course our instinct is to maintain forward momentum and use the artillery advantage right away just to hedge things, but this can end up immediately losing you the advantage when the defender counter attacks your art with cheaper inf (in combination with their air.)
The original idea behind including the artillery unit in A&A was as a way to break the infantry push, but its hard to use them for this purpose unless they’re all stacked together and facing down a target worthy of the firepower. Otherwise you’re better off taking the cheaper hitpoints that infantry provide.
3 artillery or 4 infantry?
6 artillery or 8 infantry?
9 artillery or 12 infantry?
Its a hard call.
What you gain in attack power by going artillery vs what you’d gain in hit points from infantry, makes it difficult to justify buying the former over the latter, unless you’re really setting up for a large stack exchange.
When to push artillery with G is always tough to puzzle out. If you want it on Moscow in time to make a difference at the center it might be better to buy sooner rather than later, since the set up on the Russian capital is 4 moves out from Berlin. And that’s taking the fastest route out of Baltic States to Arch. Going center or south with your artillery is 5 moves from Moscow! But this is balanced against the question, how much do you really need to build in Berlin vs what you could potentially build out of Karelia or Caucasus if captured? For example, you can activate a pretty large stack of infantry rather quickly if you’re buying say 4 artillery pieces a round right on the Russian doorstep, as opposed to marching the units all the way from Germany where they might be more vulnerable to attack en route. It is better to have the infantry in place and purchase the artillery onsite, or better to have the artillery on site and purchase infantry? The first option seems the stronger play, since you can squeeze more hitpoints out of Germany early on than you can later in Caucasus. And anyway, you’ll probably have more money as time goes on, so its easier to spend 16 ipcs to fill those 4 production slots on the front. But 4 a round just never feels like enough haha. So I think you gotta go at least a little bit big with the artillery in the early rounds, to get over the hump.
I think all the other Nations have a strong reason to purchase artillery throughout the course of the game. For Russia to have any kind of real offensive capacity early on they’re nice to have on hand. UK and USA are both more potent when they’re transports are stacked with some artillery in the mix as opposed to just the double inf load. And Japan likewise can make pretty good use of the extra punch against India or the center, if they push artillery for a couple rounds in a row.
I think more than anything, playing the 1941 starter board persuaded me of how much I like having artillery around. When the unit suddenly disappears from the roster and your left with the old Classic infantry push, I start to have those nightmares about the deuce again. You know, the one where you roll a 2 on attack and dud, and then the enemy rolls a 2 on defense and screws you! Classic A&A without artillery trains you to live in terror of 2’s as the attacker haha.
Artillery are the most cost effective attacking unit.
Each artillery purchase not only brings 2 attack points of its own, it also adds 1 attack point to an infantry piece.
So that’s 3/4 attack value per ipc invested, so long as you have enough infantry. By contrast infantry are 1/3, tanks 3/6, fighters 3/10 and bombers 4/12. That’s a big advantage.
Even if no infantry in the attack, artillery attack value per ipc is 2/4, compared to tanks 3/6, fighters 3/10 and bombers 4/12. That’s equal with tanks in terms of cost per attack point.
Even in defence artillery are 2/4, compared to infantry at 2/3, tanks 3/6, fighters 4/10 and bombers 1/12. That puts them second and equal with tanks again.
Of course they lack the movement value of all the units that rank lower, except infantry (in attack). But an attack stack that has infantry will gain enormously from also having artillery.
Black Elk pretty much nails it.
It’s counter-intuitive, but artillery is most effective defensively in attempting to deadzone adjacent territories. The offensive player will prefer to mass infantry to build defense stats for a stack that can move adjacent to the defensive player.
This is all assuming that both players recognize and respond to deadzones.
Thanks for the replys! Yeah, now I can see why artillary are very good units to add to large amount of infantry or even about 3-5 infantry to get a huge bonus with 1 or 2 artillary. I’ve played one game since I posted this thread and I was russia. I threw 2 or 3 artillary in here and there every second turn to help with pushing into average defended german territories (about 2-5 infantry with 3-5 tanks), when I could afford it, with mass infantry and it did help quite a bit. We were going for a KGF in a 5 man game which didn’t end because of the time and it was pretty close all across the board. Definitely something to consider buffing your offensive units. Thanks again! :lol:
@Panther or Wittmann,
I believe this should be in Player help.
Nothing too specific related to 1942.2
@Panther or Wittmann,
I believe this should be in Player help.
Nothing too specific related to 1942.2
Agreed and moved. Thanks for your help!