Simultaneous Play in Opposite Theaters?

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Has anyone tried to deliberately arrange the turn order and the player assignments so that two players can always be taking their turns simultaneously?

    I’m imagining that every turn would have four major phases:

    1. Allied players move and battle in the Atlantic while Axis players move and battle in the Pacific
    2. Allied players collect income from and deploy reinforcements to Atlantic territories while Axis players collect income from and deploy reinforcements to Pacific territories
    3. Axis players move and battle in the Atlantic while Allied players move and battle in the Pacific
    4. Axis players collect income from and deploy reinforcements to Atlantic territories while Allied players collect income from and deploy reinforcements to Pacific territories.

    This means that at the start of “the turn”, the British player could direct troops from London to invade Norway while at the exact same time, the Japanese player could direct troops from Manchuria to invade central China. Later in the turn, the German player could direct troops from Libya to invade Egypt while the American player could direct troops from Hawaii to invade the Philippines.

    It’s not quite fully simultaneous play, but it should run almost twice as fast as a standard game.

    Each nation would have a unified economy, but you would only collect and spend about half your income at a time. For example, in the first half of the turn, the British player would collect income from Canada, the UK, and British Africa, and would be able to spend any cash it had to put troops in its factories located in those regions. Any cash not spent would just stay in the (single) British treasury. Later, in the second half of the turn, the British player would collect income from the British Mideast, India, and ANZAC, and would be able to spend any cash it has to put troops in its factories located in those regions. Any cash not spent would just stay in the (single) British treasury. This would allow the British player to shift some income from east to west or vice versa, but (a) this is realistic, because it actually happened during the war, (b) it incurs a noticeable delay, since if you try to spend European income in the Pacific, you will have to wait until your Pacific enemies get another chance to attack you before those troops actually show up on the board, and © it is limited by the unit caps on minor factories; you probably can’t spend a whole board’s worth of income in Pacific-only factories if you intend on building a significant amount of infantry and artillery.

    You could use a similar system for other players, e.g., Russia could collect and spend income from Moscow through points west on the European turn, and then collect and spend income in the Urals, Siberia, and Vladivostok on the Pacific turn. America is already split pretty obviously between the two maps. France, Germany, Italy, China, and Japan can each be treated as belonging to a single side of the map only – even if Germany somehow acquires a territory on the Pacific side of the board, it could just continue to be activated on the German turn.

    Proposed Player Assignments:

    2 Players
    Player 1: Germany, Italy, Japan
    Player 2: UK, USA, France, USSR, China

    3 Players
    Player 1: Germany, Italy, Japan
    Player 2: UK, USA
    Player 3: France, USSR, China

    4 Players
    Player 1: Germany, Italy, Japan
    Player 2: UK
    Player 3: USA, China
    Player 4: France, USSR

    5 Players
    Player 1: Germany, Pacific Japan (Tokyo and all islands)
    Player 2: Italy, Mainland Japan (Manchuria, Thailand, etc.)
    Player 3: UK
    Player 4: USA, China
    Player 5: France, USSR

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Interesting idea; this would certainly be a very different game dynamic.  I’m wondering, though, if it would actually be faster than a conventional game.  If each side in a 2-player game plays half the map twice per round, doesn’t that work out to the same number of turns as each side playing the entire map once per round? And in the games with more than 2 players, wouldn’t the UK and the US (and possibly the USSR) be the only nations whose map actions would be split?  Everybody else’s territory is pretty much restricted to one side of the map or the other.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    You’re absolutely right that there would be the same number of turns, or even more turns, depending on how you look at things – there’s no reason to expect that a simultaneous game would end on turn 4 instead of on turn 8.

    I do expect that there would be a decrease in hours per game, simply because you are using all the brainpower at the table more efficiently. In the standard game, only one player is allowed to touch the pieces at a time. The other players are encouraged to think ahead about, e.g., what kinds of purchases they want to make, but it’s often difficult or impossible to plan out your moves in any great detail – your moves might depend on what happens in another player’s combat, or you just might be the kind of person who needs to physically move the pieces around to figure out what you want to do.

    In the simultaneous variant, a minimum of two humans would be allowed to touch the pieces at any given time, and they’re likely to have all the information they need to conduct their turns without having to wait on other player’s combat results, because the Japanese turn shouldn’t affect the French turn very much, and vice versa. Potentially, you could get up to four humans touching the board at the same time, e.g., one player moving USA Europe, one player moving UK Europe, one player moving France, and one player moving Japan.

    That probably won’t speed things up fourfold, but it’s got to be a lot faster than just having one player touch the pieces at a time.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Okay, I understand better – thanks.  I think the very interesting core element of your concept is basically this: because some G40 player powers are more or less restricted to one or the other side of the map, and because it wastes time for play on the whole map to be held up by a player who’s really just playing on half the map, it would speed things up to have different players play the two halves of the board simultaneously  The adjustment I’d suggest would be to have such simultaneously play only in the cases of the nations which are (usually) limited to one side of the map.  In geographic terms alone (leaving the Russo-Japanese Non-Aggression Pact out of the picture, and outliers like French Indochina), the map distribution actually falls into three neat groups:

    The Europe map group:
    1. Germany
    7. Italy
    9. France

    The Pacific map group:
    3. Japan
    5. China
    8. ANZAC

    The Global map group:
    2. Soviet Union
    4. United States
    6. United Kingdom

    Because the Europe map group powers don’t get in the way of the Pacific map group powers, then pairs of them could be played simultaneously, resulting in a net gain of play time since the number of turns wouldn’t increase in their case.  Nor would the number increase in the case of the USSR, the UK and the US because they’d continue to play their turns all-at-once.  You could even alternate between the paired nations and the global nations in the turn order, since you’d have three pairs and three singles.

    The big change from the OOB rules, of course, is that the turn order of the individual powers would end up being quite different – but as has been discussed elsewhere, this could be used to address game balance issues.

    Here’s just one of the many possibilities of how (to borrow a phrase the Axis powers liked to use) “the new order” might look like:

    1. Germany (Europe) + Japan (Pacific)
    2. Soviet Union (Global)
    3. Italy (Europe) + China (Pacific)
    4. United States (Global)
    5. France (Europe) + ANZAC (Pacific)
    6. United Kingdom (Global)

  • '19 '15 '14

    I’ve seen attempts at collapsing the turn order so that all players move at the same time, like this… http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=35590.0

    I’ve tried randomized turn orders before, alternating Axis and Allies turns, running the sequence backwards and things like that, but it always kept with the idea of 1 nation moving at a time, with the strict separation of phases. I was particularly interested in ways that turn order could be used to make the game more engaging in AA50. Stuff like this…
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=33813.0
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=33665.msg1296230#msg1296230

    But I’m not sure I’ve seen a turn order that actually splits the board by theater for the purposes of the sequence (allowing different players to move at once, because the’re on opposite ends of the map), while still preserving the same essential concept of a “Turn Order” for everyone. You know, instead of doing away with turns altogether like a same-time concept.

    I would think that for it to work you’d have to ensure that there could never be an un-resolvable conflict between two nations trying to run through their turn at the same time. Where one side can’t determine their income or combat movement options until they know where the other guy goes (because of some turn order advantage for one side or the other). This can get complicated at the center of the map, since everyone likes to converge there. Or, if there was some conflict, that you have a mechanism to determine who actually goes when, in those cases where it actually ends up mattering (probably around the center.) Even France and Japan could wind up next to each other, after enough turns have elapsed, if they both gun towards the middle of the board hehe.

    In general I think G40 is not a particularly great game for Multi-Player. Everything about its design just seems to favor 2 hardcore players. Extremely patient, and extremely dedicated players, going at it head to head for like a whole weekend. A 3 player game and team games 2v2 are pretty rough on this board.

    It would be cool if we could find more ways to open things up for the Multi-player experience.

    I like Marc’s breakdown there, with the the 3 groups. Europe, Pacific, Global. Something like that seem’s like it’d have promise.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Black_Elk:

    I would think that for it to work you’d have to ensure that there could never be an un-resolvable conflict between two nations trying to run through their turn at the same time.

    Another thing to figure out would be: how do you resolve combat if one of the three “global” power players gets attacked simultaneously by a Europe power on one board and a Pacific power on the other board?

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @CWO:

    Another thing to figure out would be: how do you resolve combat if one of the three “global” power players gets attacked simultaneously by a Europe power on one board and a Pacific power on the other board?Â

    I’ve just thought of a partial answwer to my own question: in most cases, the double-attack situation wouldn’t come up because the three “global” powers are all Allied nations.  They wouldn’t be attacked by group 5 because France and ANZAC are both Allied nations.  They could be attacked by group 3, but only its Italian half – which limits the threat to just half the board.  The potential for a double-attack situation would therefore only exist in the case of group 1, Germany + Japan.  This doesn’t eliminate the problem, but it reduces it in size.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    And here’s an alternative that eliminates entirely the double-attack possibilities against the three “global” powers by dividing the three Axis powers between the three Europe / Pacific pairings:

    1. Germany (Europe) + China (Pacific)
    2. Soviet Union (Global)
    3. France (Europe) + Japan (Pacific)
    4. United States (Global)
    5. Italy (Europe) + ANZAC (Pacific)
    6. United Kingdom (Global)

    One curious side-effect (compared with the previous version of this chart) is that China and France both move up by two places while Japan and Italy both move down by two places.  People who think the Axis powers have too much of an OOB advantage might like that change.

  • '19 '15 '14

    I’m still trying to visualize the ultimate goal. In practical terms, I gather that what you want is a turn order that can be supported in a 2v2 game? I think you’d need to be very strict about enforcing the separation of phases. If you’re running two combat phases at the same time, you really need to be sure of where all the movements are before running combats or collecting income etc. I’m all for redesigning the turn order.

    I think its the best way to change the game substantially (so that it becomes like a new game) without altering a ton of other stuff about it. You can even keep the same set up and general game architecture.

    If you are willing to alter the turn order, then it becomes a new game, with a whole new set of round 1 moves.

    I also think this is the easiest way to randomize an Axis and Allies game, but it can be hard to persuade people to try it.

    Here is a fun example, if you want to see what its like… Take any OOB Axis and Allies board game, and reverse the standard Turn order sequence. Immediately, its an entirely different game! It has the same official Axis and Allies feel (since you’re not changing anything else about the game), but just with a totally different opener.

    Similarly, you can take any OOB A&A game, keep the same sequence of Nations, but pick a different Nation to start with. Totally new opener, with completely different strategies.

    Sure, most of these are unbalanced, but often so is the OOB game, so it really doesn’t seem all that weird, you just adapt to the new starting conditions and play from there. I’ve suggested this before, especially with AA50 (which I loved because it had 6 major nations, 1d6 roll to see who started hehe.) But you could do it really on any A&A board. Its just to say that I think there is a lot of room to adapt the game, if you’re willing to create a new turn order sequence.

    I find that keeping the same sequence as the OOB games can be helpful if you want to start from a new position, because its easier for people to remember “who goes next?” But you can also change the sequence itself.Any time you do this on the physical board, I always suggest you create a row of roundels somewhere off to the side, one for each nation in the sequence, left to right from start to finish. This is to track the new turn order sequence and make it easier to follow.
    😉

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I look forward to hearing Argothair’s answer to your question about the intended purpose of his proposal, but for whatever it’s worth my impression is that he wanted to speed up the game by taking advantage of the G40 map’s Europe / Pacific geographic split to eliminate the time wastage that’s caused when the action on the whole board gets held up by the turn of a player power which, for all practical purposes, operates on only one side of the board.  By having the six half-board powers take their turns simultaneously, this would speed up the game by compressing their six originally separate turns into three paired turns.  These paired turns would not “get in the way of each other” if each pair consists of one Europe power and one Pacific power playing simultaneously.  And as I suggested in my earlier post, there’s at least one way (and probably more) to set up the pairings so that each pairing only contains one Axis power, thus eliminating the potential problem that a player who controls one of the three “global” powers with significant territorial holdings on both sides of the map (the USSR, the US and the UK, all of them Allied powers) might be attacked simultaneously in both theatres, which would complicate the combat-resolution process because he’d have to fight two enemy players at once.

    Your question about 2-versus-2 scenarios raises a good point: the model I’ve outlined above makes the assumption that there are enough people playing to make a split-board mechanism work.  My guess is that 4 people would be the minimum: the player playing the Europe-side power, the player playing the Pacific-side power, plus one Allied opponent and one Axis opponent take care of combat resolution on behalf of whichever nation get attacked by the Europe-side power and the Pacific-side power at any particular moment.  But while 4 would probably be enough, 6 would probably be easier because it would distribute the workload.  On the other hand, the higher workload of the 4-person option might be seen as an advantage in that it would keep people busier and reduce the boredom of waiting for one’s turn to arrive.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    As an exercise, I’ve placed the OOB turn order table alongside the second version of the proposed split-board turn order table (the one which avoids the possibility of double attacks) to see how much the split-board order deviates from the original one.  The results surprised me: the pattern that emerged was that the degree to which a player power changes position from one table to the other is inversely proportional to its importance.  The five major powers basically don’t change position at all.  The two weakest powers, China and France, are the ones whose positions change most dramatically.  The two mid-level powers, Italy and ANZAC, undergo an intermediate change of position.  Here are the details, with comments afterwards:

    Out-of-the-box play order Split-board simultaneous-play order

    1. Germany A. Germany (Europe) + China (Pacific)

    2. Soviet Union B. Soviet Union (Global)

    3. Japan C. France (Europe) + Japan (Pacific)

    4. United States D. United States (Global)

    5. China E. Italy (Europe) + ANZAC (Pacific)

    6. United Kingdom F. United Kingdom (Global)

    7. Italy

    8. ANZAC

    9. France

    • The OOB turn order of the five major powers (Germany, the Soviet Union, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom) remains the same (1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, 4 = D and 6 = F).

    • As in the OOB turn order, there is a secondary-power turn in between the US turn and the UK turn (5 = E).  This turn, however, does not involve the same power as in the OOB rules: instead of being used by China, the turn is used jointly by Italy and ANZAC.

    • The Allied major powers (the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom) continue to have a turn all to themselves.  The Axis major powers (Germany and Japan) now each share a split-board turn with a minor Allied power (China and France).  The mid-level Axis power (Italy) and the mid-level Allied power (ANZAC) now share a turn.

    • China moves from being alone in the 5th-out-of-9 position to sharing with Germany the 1st-out-of-6 position.  Essentially, it moves from the middle of the old table to the top of the new one.

    • Italy moves from being alone in the 7th-out-of-9 position to sharing with ANZAC the 5th-out-of-6 position.  Essentially, it occupies an equivalent position in both tables: near but not completely at the bottom.

    • ANZAC moves from being alone in the 8th-out-of-9 position to sharing with Italy the 5th-out-of-6 position.  Essentially, it occupies an equivalent position in both tables: near but not completely at the bottom.

    • France moves from being alone in the 9th-out-of-9 position to sharing with Japan the 3rd-out-of-6 position.  Essentially, it moves from the bottom of the old table to the middle of the new one.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    I look forward to hearing Argothair’s answer to your question about the intended purpose of his proposal, but for whatever it’s worth my impression is that he wanted to speed up the game by taking advantage of the G40 map’s Europe / Pacific geographic split to eliminate the time wastage that’s caused when the action on the whole board gets held up by the turn of a player power which, for all practical purposes, operates on only one side of the board.

    On the other hand, the higher workload of the 4-person option might be seen as an advantage in that it would keep people busier and reduce the boredom of waiting for one’s turn to arrive.

    Couldn’t have put it better myself – my main two goals here are to save time, and help keep players occupied.

  • Referenced by  G Grinchveld 

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