Reimagined 1942.2 Setup Charts

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Hello again,

    I’ve finished my first draft of some nice setup charts for a new variant on the 1942.2 map. All of the starting territories are the same, the income from each territory is the same, and almost all of the rules are the same – but I’ve tried to radically re-imagine the starting units and starting factories so as to shatter the opening book and get some fresh strategies into the mix, while still being reasonably true to history.

    The Bazooka

    There are two big rules changes. One is that AAA guns are dumped in favor of a unit I’m calling the “bazooka.” Bazookas represent rockets, katushyas, grenade launchers, flak guns, anti-tank guns, and all of the various defensive weapons used in WW2. They cost 5 IPCs, have an attack of 1, a defense of 3, and a move of 1. They are a regular combat unit and as such move during the combat phase. Their special ability is that the attacker chooses casualties for any hits inflicted by a bazooka.

    For example, suppose Germany sends 2 infantry, 1 bazooka, 1 tank, and 1 fighter to attack a Russian force of 3 infantry and 1 bazooka. Germany rolls [1, 3] on the infantry, [2] on the bazooka, [3] on the tank, and [5] on the fighter, for a total of 2 normal offensive hits. Russia rolls [1, 2, 6] on the infantry and [2] on the bazooka, for a total of 2 normal defensive hits and 1 bazooka defensive hit.

    Russia chooses her own casualties, and chooses to lose 2 infantry. Russia also gets to choose one of the German casualties because of the bazooka hit – if Russia is just trying to destroy the most valuable piece, he might choose the German fighter, and if Russia is trying to minimize the surviving German ground troops to make trading easier, Russia might choose the German tank. Suppose Russia chooses the tank. Germany then gets to choose its own normal casualties, and chooses to lose 2 infantry.

    After casualties, the Germans have 1 bazooka and 1 fighter vs. the Russian 1 bazooka, so the Germans will probably decide to retreat – they had slightly below-average luck and need to cut their losses.

    Reduced Capital Looting

    The other big rule change is that capturing a capital no longer utterly destroys a nation’s economy. Instead, when you capture a capital, you get to loot half of the opponent’s treasury, rounded up. That’s the only effect. For example, if the Russians have 13 IPCs, and the Germans sack Moscow, the Germans will steal 7 IPCs from the Russian treasury, leaving the Russians with only 6 IPCs. The Russians can still continue to collect income from other territories and build units at other factories, assuming they own any (or can afford to build a new one).

    This should be plenty of incentive for players to aim for capitals – you’re capturing a factory, capturing a victory city, capturing a territory with a very high IPC income, and you get to steal a large amount of cash from your opponent. If, despite all those disadvantages, your opponent still recovers and beats you, then your attack on the capital must have been a cheap shot that didn’t represent genuinely overwhelming force.

    Notes on the New Setup – Factories

    The new setup has many more factories than previous versions, including several factories in 1-IPC territories. Before you shout out that this is ahistorical and that these regions weren’t as industrialized as [your favorite territory], keep in mind that the industrial centers primarily represent places where the combatants were able to mobilize, organize, equip, or rally their troops. French West Africa certainly had less industry than Holland in 1942, but the Dutch weren’t putting new troops into the field at that time, and the Free French were cranking out new infantry divisions.

    Also, setting history to one side, I think it can be a lot of fun to have some 1-IPC factories – it gives the players a chance to reinforce their armies a bit either on the way to a destination or from the rear, keeping variety and surprise in the game. If you see the exact troop makeup that’s coming to challenge your grip on Africa or Indonesia when it’s still 3 turns away, that takes some of the fun out of the game. Having factories in odd areas helps restore some of that fun.

    Notes on the New Setup – Fleets

    I’ve tried to setup the fleets so that large fleets are not within striking distance of each other on turn 1, for a few reasons. First of all, the OOB setup all but requires the players to spend most of turn 1 smashing each other’s fleets – if you delay by even one turn, your opponents will get a chance to consolidate their fleets and move them out of range of your air force. This slows down the opening turn by quite a bit, and forces new players, who often have a poor understanding of the naval/air combat rules, to start with some of the largest, most complicated battles right off the bat. There is often an optimum strategy or two for sinking enemy fleets that anyone who has played a few games will be aware of but that new players will not know. This makes it needlessly harder for new players to compete.

    Second, the OOB setup usually leads to one power having more or less undisputed control of an ocean. After turn 1, the Germans will control the Baltic / North Sea region, and the Japanese will control the western and central Pacific. After turn 2, the Americans will control the Atlantic, and the Mediterranean will be a no-man’s-land where no ships are left above water. You really need some extraordinary, suboptimal builds to put a dent in that control any time before turn 4 at the earliest, if you can do it at all. On this setup, with the fleets spaced further apart, there’s some exciting tension where the players don’t know for sure who’s going to wind up with regional naval supremacy.

    Third, giving players later in the turn order a big fleet that’s just going to get smashed before their first turn is an exercise in frustration. If you’re not going to get a chance to play with it, there’s no reason to waste time setting it up on the board.

    Finally, with the fleets spaced further apart, players have the option of retreating from a region, and trying to link up with some other fleet or go chase some other enemy – you’re not required to use any particular ships to do battle in any particular region if you don’t want to, so in the long run you have more interesting choices.
    Argo’s Russian Setup.pdf
    Argo’s German Setup.pdf

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

  • '19 '15 '14

    Here is a playable version of your set up charts for TripleA, using the v5 map…

    It was achieved using the edit mode. I was interested in your charts, so I figured I’d just model the set up and make a save so I could test it.

    TripleA can’t handle the bazooka concept currently, because that unit type would have to be created and added to the game. But honestly, even if they were just normal AAguns I think it would probably still work. The bazooka unit sounds interesting, certainly more interesting than the AA gun, but for now you could leave that as an “Optional” unit substitution, so your set up concept can be played using tripleA.

    This save below should help you to gather feedback, because its easier to see how it all looks together. I went by your charts for everything. I think its all there. If you change your charts you can always just edit those in. Hope it helps

    I really like the 1 ipc factories! A particular favorite of mine. Nice work man

    Argothair 1942.2 mod.tsvg

  • '19 '15 '14

    Ps. To enforce the capital capture rules outlined above, players can edit the ipc values for each nation after the turn concludes. Similarly, for a nation to produce units after their capital has fallen, you need to edit those units into place. But this should be relatively easy for most tripleA users.

    Or you can just play the setup using the standard rules, and see how it holds up. The new production locations, the way the starting units are distributed, and the extra aa guns should produce a pretty interesting match up.

    pps. In the set up chart for UK, India is written in Bold (like other Factory locations) so I left that Factory in place. Not sure if it’s supposed to be included or not, but its easy enough to edit. I noticed that the Japanese fleet is pretty far east in sz 42 (not sure if that was the plan, since sz 42 is in range of both American pacific fleets), but I went by the chart number. Also I didn’t see a listing for W. Russia and Belo in the Germany chart so I left those empty.

    3ps. I took a few laps against the HardAI Axis just to see what they’d do. AI Germany made the decision to sink the UK Atlantic fleet, and AI Japan went after the US Pacific fleet. General stomping delivered against both by Russia hehe. Clearly the AI makes silly decisions, but it does give an impression.

    Elk vs AI Argothair 1942.2 mod round 5 UK.tsvg

  • '19 '15 '14

    Ok switched sides and went 5 rounds vs AI Allies. This was more challenging, but fun as Axis. AI of course does silly things, but I definitely like the way the production for Russia is handling.

    First impression is that the board is probably Allied advantage, but that’s fine. You can always rebalance it later with an infantry unit here or there on the bid if desired.

    I think the game might benefit from a 1 ipc factory in Hawaii, as a draw for Japan. I like the way the factories in Archangel, Kazakh and Yakut handle, and the Sinkiang and Malaya factories feel fun.

    That Japanese fleet in 42 still feels a bit far out there, but it was able to return home after a few rounds. Hard AI doesn’t press nearly as hard as a human would, but again it gives the flavor. I dig it

    Elk vs AI Allies Argothair 1942.2 mod round 5 G.tsvg

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10


    while still being reasonably true to history.

    The Bazooka

    There are two big rules changes. One is that AAA guns are dumped in favor of a unit I’m calling the “bazooka.” Bazookas represent rockets, katushyas, grenade launchers, flak guns, anti-tank guns, and all of the various defensive weapons used in WW2. They cost 5 IPCs, have an attack of 1, a defense of 3, and a move of 1. They are a regular combat unit and as such move during the combat phase. Their special ability is that the attacker chooses casualties for any hits inflicted by a bazooka.

    Maybe I’m the only person who’s bothered by this sort of thing (in which case feel free to disregard the following comment) but there are some major terminology and weapon-performance modeling problems with this idea: it melds together a whole range of weapons which had vastly different capabilities and which served vastly different purposes.  “Bazooka” was the name of an American man-portable anti-tank rocket launcher, very-short-range, one-man weapon using a shaped-charge warhead.  It doesn’t refer to anything else.  The German equivalents of this weapon were called the Panzerfaust and the Panzerschreck.  Katyushas were Soviet truck-mounted multiple-launch rocket systems; they were crew-operated, intermediate-range area-bombardment offensive weapons for use against enemy land positions; their role resembled that of howitzers.  “Flak” guns (actually a German term, the abbreviation of Flugzeug Abwehr Kanone if I recall correctly), or more generally “anti-aircraft guns”, refers to a whole range of light, medium and heavy high-elevation guns designed to shoot upward at enemy aircraft.  Anti-tank guns were high-velocity direct-fire guns used to shoot horizontally at enemy armoured vehicles.  (The German 88mm gun had good performance as both an A-T gun and as an AAA gun, but A-T guns and AAA guns require diffent sighting mechanisms and different elevation and deflection controls, which is why the 88 was, as I recall, produced with different mountings to optimize it in those two roles.)  And the phrase “all of the various defensive weapons used in WW2” opens things up even further, since just about any offensive weapon can be used in a defensive role, depending on the context.

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    And the phrase “all of the various defensive weapons used in WW2” opens things up even further, since just about any offensive weapon can be used in a defensive role, depending on the context.

    Maybe my language was a little sloppy in that part of the description. You know much more than I do about the armaments – consider “bazooka” shorthand for bazookas, katyushas, flugzeugs, and anti-tank guns. The common theme is that you’ve got moderately priced, medium-tech weapons that are primarily designed to blow up larger, more sophisticated, more expensive vehicles.

    I grant you that’s still quite a broad category, but I don’t think it’s much worse than lumping together every kind of tank or lumping together every kind of fighter used during the course of the whole war by every side. A bazooka and a katyusha aren’t that much more different from each other than a Japanese Zero wooden long-range carrier-launched biplane fighter is from a Gloster Meteor metal jet short-range interception fighter.

  • '19 '15 '14

    I like the idea to create a new unit class that behaves in a unique way, and the AAgun does seem to be pretty good to denote it (since they’re rarely purchased). But of course, creating a new unit class does create some barriers to entry and diminishes the ease of adoption.

    Basically the Bazooka concept as described (whatever you end up calling the unit, for me that’s not as important) will require an update to the battleboard, and the unit cost/abilities lists of the maps/book. Its one more thing that players have to learn, in addition to the new set up, so in that respect it will be harder to gather testers than if you just stick with the regular unit roster. Sure it’s a different balance then, but at least everyone has the info memorized already.

    I think the easiest approach for a mod to adopt is to keep everything else the same, and just a offer reprint of the unit set up cards for each nation.

    Those are typically separate materials anyway, and even the OOB cards have misprints (for the starting IPC value of UK and Germany) and printing out a few new cards is pretty easy. Placing starting units for a new set up takes about the same amount of time as it does to set the OOB game. So that’s pretty easy too.

    I like a lot of the concepts here, especially the 1 ipc factory, which I think could be a major benefit to the play patterns on the board. But the Bazooka concept might overshadow them.

    Perhaps test the Bazooka concept first in the OOB game to see how if it gathers interest? But I kind of like this set up, with the placements, even if they’re just normal AAguns. You can always use a bid, or further tweaks to rebalanced the situation (sans bazooka concept, if that’s needed.) I like pretty much all the other ideas. Though I’d still pull for a Pearl Factory hehe

    Again man, nice concepts

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