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France totally useless


  • '14

    Ps. If you want to do France first, then a restricted opening would be best. Like Russia in some versions of classic. No combat on the first turn, just purchase, non combat and placement. Then you don’t have the issue of France running attacks, but they can still do defensive positioning.

    It might be advisable to do this with any nation, if you want to do a restart of the turn order sequence. So it doesn’t mess up the combat balance of the opener as much.
    😄

    I started a thread in the HR section for anyone who’s interested in exploring the idea. I don’t want to derail the OOB thread overmuch, but the position of the French in the vanilla OOB game is just kind of sad. Maybe an HR where they go first could replace the current high bids to Allies?



  • Don’t forget, the French fighter in London can be sent to help defend Moscow. Also, the French destroyer off Madagascar can be sent East or West to help. If the Madagascar destroyer is sent to Europe, it can be combined with the French fighter in London.



  • @Black_Elk:

    Ps. If you want to do France first, then a restricted opening would be best. Like Russia in some versions of classic. No combat on the first turn, just purchase, non combat and placement. Then you don’t have the issue of France running attacks, but they can still do defensive positioning.

    It might be advisable to do this with any nation, if you want to do a restart of the turn order sequence. So it doesn’t mess up the combat balance of the opener as much.
    😄

    I started a thread in the HR section for anyone who’s interested in exploring the idea. I don’t want to derail the OOB thread overmuch, but the position of the French in the vanilla OOB game is just kind of sad. Maybe an HR where they go first could replace the current high bids to Allies?

    Even if france can only do non combat moves germany is really screwed. 19 ipc means 6 more inf on france, add that to the 2 inf  + 2 art you get from combining and the fighter, that stack might well impossible to crack for germany. And you can block the german battleship from helping attacking the UK navy.

    Letting france go first will break the game considerably, on the europe board Germany will need a pretty big bid to compensate for the extra defence france and the UK navy have.


  • '14

    Yeah its a bind. Although honestly it might be kind of fun to return the board to an Axis bid instead of an Allied one.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Any rule changes to France have to take into account the range of bids for G40, which is what, in the neighborhood of 15-30 IPCs for the Allies?

    As Shadowhawk points out, 19 IPCs is a minimum estimate for the value of letting France play before Germany – not only does France get to drop new units onto the board, they also get to consolidate their existing units and block some of the early German attacks. I don’t think consolidating the 2 inf, 2 art is worth a full 14 IPCs, because if you stack everything in Paris, then you help Italy by letting it waltz into Marseilles. Call it a 10 IPC boost. Blocking the German attacks might be worth another 12 IPCs by forcing the Germans to bring in and sacrifice an extra plane. So the total value of France going first is something along the lines of 36 IPCs. Those 36 IPCs will be placed suboptimally compared to an Allied bid that can go where-ever the Allies want, e.g., Egypt, New Guinea, etc. So overall I’m not seeing that the value to the Allies is radically high. The Axis might need a bid in the range of 5 - 10 IPCs, or they might not. If you wanted to, instead of giving the Axis a bid, you could nerf Paris a bit by removing 2 starting infantry. The point, after all, is less to turn France into a powerhouse than to give France some flexibility and a chance to make at least some decisions before they get obliterated!


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @ShadowHAwk:

    Letting france go first will break the game considerably

    Good point because it touches on a basic dilemma.  Redesigning parts of G40 (or any other A&A game) would be easy if nobody minded ending up with a completely different game; the tricky part is trying to redesign one part of it while still ending up with a game that still works more or less the same way.  That’s difficult to achieve because the game, like any system, consists of multiple components that interact with each other rather than existing in isolation – so changes to one component can have all sorts of unwanted ripple effects.

    One way of approaching the problem might be this.  Experienced players have put a lot of work into analyzing G40 and working out things like standard playbooks and sound fundamental strategies.  They’ve also analyzed what the probable effects on the game would be if such-and-such an element were changed by a house rule.  And they’ve also speculated (an example being my own post of a few days ago on the “Why 1940?” question) about what some of Larry’s reasons might have been for handling such-and-such an element of the game in the way that he did.  In a sense, what all this work amounts to is taking the finished product and trying to work backwards from it to figure out the game’s “source code”, meaning in this case the underlying design architecture of the whole game.  In principle, a detailed comprehension of this underlying architecture might help with house rule discussions.  The normal end-user approach to looking at a particular OOB rule is from the perspective of what it says, how it works and what effects it produces.  The “source code” approach to looking at the same rule would be from the perspective of why it was put in the rulebook in the first place, what it’s intended to accomplish, why it was chosen over the possible alternatives, what fundamental assumptions it embodies and how it’s meant to interact with the other elements of the game.  (Unfortunately, one kind of conclusion that might emerge from this approach would be to discover that Rule X was designed in a certain way because there’s no other way to make it work without wrecking the whole game.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case with a lot of the game’s elements.)


  • '14

    I can’t say exactly what the design process looked like initially. How all these discrete “source code” elements came together in the first place, or how a given rule or set up change was proposed, but I can guess.

    If you look at how the Alpha process was handled, or if you look at how most original tripleA games are developed, its usually, 1 or 2 lead designers who set up the basic skeleton of a game (establishing the initial conditions and the core set up), followed by a bunch of people who come along afterwards and proceed to break that set up in beta, highlighting whatever gross imbalances might be present.

    Then you have a long process of revision, fleshing the skeleton out, where seemingly minor tweaks or minor rules are introduced, in an attempt to keep things on track. A unit here, an objective there, a rules restriction or two, basically to prevent the whole train from derailing (ie. one side always wins), all the while trying to preserve the basic flavor of the original design.

    Once the thing goes to print, or an official addendum is released to finalize things, this revision process usually halts. Some players with a lot of patience, or an interest in game design, might continue exploring House Rules or set up changes, but most players will just default to “the standard bid” process.

    It’s hard to jump start things again, once people are used to the “official” game and the “standard” bids.

    I still think turn order tweaks are probably the most interesting way to change the game. Allowing any one of the minor Allies to move before G, might be fun. China first, Anzac first, France first etc. Sure France can screw Germany with some blocks, and by making Paris do or die, but I get the impression that the designers might not have realized just how strong Axis could open.

    It always takes time before those opening playbooks are developed and fine tuned. To expect that the designers would have predicted all of those possibilities in advance, or tested all the contingencies to make sure that the opening balance fit with their exact vision, seems rather fanciful.

    I’ve seen how set-up changes are proposed to the official game. Usually this takes the form of a list, with territories and units, and then calls for feedback based on the new set up. But I don’t think its tested at anything near the speed, or with the number of games played in beta that we do here once the game is actually out. So far as I know, the boardgame is still tested the old fashioned way, not using a digital version for beta before it goes to print (which would be my clear preference, and something I’ve argued for more than a few times.) So its hard to imagine, how all this stuff could be evaluated in practice games by the designers. I imagine that, after a certain point in developent, its more like “ok lets just call it finished and see where things go” type process.

    Global is an interesting case, because there was a lot of opportunity for community feedback during the Alpha process between 1st and 2nd edition. Though not everything that was resolved in Alpha made the cut when the time to put out second edition arrived. Still you could make the case that the game is basically perfect at this point, and so any minor change has to be considered very carefully. Frankly, I find ideas like a France opener way more interesting than, “lets remove more Japanese planes again” or things of that sort. Since it changes the starting conditions up. You need a new playbook. Which makes the game entertaining again for people who like exploring that aspect of the game.

    I just wish there were more randomized elements at the outset, to make the overall balance less predictable in general, so people would get less hung up on round 1 rolls, and instead just try to play the hand they get dealt and enjoy it. It’s maybe too far gone at this point, but I still wish the game opened with a roll, you know something that sets the rest of the set up in motion. Something that would make it virtually impossible to plan for all possible outcomes, and thus make it way harder to exploit/break the opener. Maybe France doesn’t always make an impact, but if it could happen at least sometimes. Or if Russia didn’t always get nerfed, but maybe sometimes they get a boost. Or I guess you could just play the OOB game. Use all those Russian and French sculpts for birthday cake decorations or something. Because they’ll never get bought in the actual game. They’re a total tease! hehehe
    😄



  • Late reply… have been out of this forum for a while.

    But… I won a game last summer with the French African and French UK + French FTR help.

    This is how it went …

    US3  - 2 US TR to Morocco picked up the 3 French Inf  &  an Empty US TR accompanied it

    US4 - Empty US TR picked up 2 Frenchies in UK…  (Also US 4 took W. Germany , without French)

    UK4 - Built big fleet in Liverpool ( W. UK Side)… and had total of 2 FTRs and 1 Tac Bomber, did not augment US in W. Germany…per plan…(Denmark was Axis … and empty)…

    Italy 4 - Took W. Germany back… with 2 Inf remaining

    France 4!! - Took Denmark with 2 Inf (1 TR)… and Took W.Germany with 1 Inf remaining  ( 2 Inf + FTR against 2 Italians)… This was the big gamble…!

    Germany 5 - Took back W. Germany…

    US5 - Hit Germany with everything - Kamikaze of US planes, to create space for UK planes next wave… Empty US CVs go and park next to Germany…

    UK5!!! - Takes Germany… All planes from London airbase can land on US CVs…

    Germany resigns



  • @CWO:

    @ShadowHAwk:

    Letting france go first will break the game considerably

    Good point because it touches on a basic dilemma.  Redesigning parts of G40 (or any other A&A game) would be easy if nobody minded ending up with a completely different game; the tricky part is trying to redesign one part of it while still ending up with a game that still works more or less the same way.  That’s difficult to achieve because the game, like any system, consists of multiple components that interact with each other rather than existing in isolation – so changes to one component can have all sorts of unwanted ripple effects.

    One way of approaching the problem might be this.  Experienced players have put a lot of work into analyzing G40 and working out things like standard playbooks and sound fundamental strategies.  They’ve also analyzed what the probable effects on the game would be if such-and-such an element were changed by a house rule.  And they’ve also speculated (an example being my own post of a few days ago on the “Why 1940?” question) about what some of Larry’s reasons might have been for handling such-and-such an element of the game in the way that he did.  In a sense, what all this work amounts to is taking the finished product and trying to work backwards from it to figure out the game’s “source code”, meaning in this case the underlying design architecture of the whole game.  In principle, a detailed comprehension of this underlying architecture might help with house rule discussions.  The normal end-user approach to looking at a particular OOB rule is from the perspective of what it says, how it works and what effects it produces.  The “source code” approach to looking at the same rule would be from the perspective of why it was put in the rulebook in the first place, what it’s intended to accomplish, why it was chosen over the possible alternatives, what fundamental assumptions it embodies and how it’s meant to interact with the other elements of the game.  (Unfortunately, one kind of conclusion that might emerge from this approach would be to discover that Rule X was designed in a certain way because there’s no other way to make it work without wrecking the whole game.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case with a lot of the game’s elements.)

    I would not call adding 11 units with a total combat value of 24 to 1 zone suboptimal. It is far better then adding 1 unit a zone.
    Sure you dont get to screw over Italy for free with the UK, but you get to screw over Germany completely.
    Who would not want a 10 inf + 1 fighter bid on france?? That is worth more then the 40 ipcs that you spend.
    You dont even have to block the german Battleship in this scenario because 2 destroyer + 1 BB + 2 fighters is plenty to defend the british fleet as germany cannot spare any air to attack it if they want any hope of taking france.

    So you get the whole UK fleet alive round 1 as well. Well you might have an issue with the taranto thing that might be mutual annihilation. Ill take that trade any time.


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