Are Allies doomed from the outset on G40 map?

  • '15

    @Marshmallow:

    You guys are smoking crack! A 20 bid for the Allies? How could the Allies possibly lose with a 20 bid? A couple of extra infantry for China (buh-bye J1 progress!), a sub for the Med (Hello 100% Taranto win!), and a couple of units for Russia (so much for any hope of a G6 attack on Moscow succeeding!)

    My thoughts exactly.  I’m not sure what the exact restrictions are (I think I’ve read only one unit per space and it has to be somewhere that already has at least one unit) but I don’t see how this doesn’t stack the game in the Allies favor.

    Like you said: a sub in the Med is a back breaker for Italy.  Hell, sub in the Med, fighter on Egypt and you can Taranto without touching any planes from London, with 4 IPC left to add a unit in Yunan.

    How about another BB in the Channel?  Would Germany still be able to take out 110 and 111?  How about a DD in 111 and a fighter on Scotland?  Again, would Germany have the resources to take out both SZ’s?  If not, they’re in a lot of trouble right off the bat.

    An additional inf in every Chinese territory?  Two more fighters for Russia?  If you’re playing a Japan player who prefers JDOW1 you could easily shut that down with additional units in key spots.

    There are at least another dozen examples like this.  I just don’t see it gentlemen


  • I agree with Young Grasshopper.

    I think the developers overdid their balance effort (from ‘allies unbeatable’ in edition 1 to ‘axis nearly unbeatable’ edition 2) and we need an official correction. I have (personally) no fun in playing house rules that I know no1 else plays. Or, for that matter, only a handfull of people.

    I remember I had a much better time with the allies when the axis in our group felt a certain time-pressure and acted accordingly. Nowadays, with the axis treating time as their ally (isn’t THAT weird???), the allied job is just too difficult.
    I think it is the 8/6 VC indeed, but whatever the culprit is, the axis fear factor (time) needs to be introduced again. This is the least a WW2 game needs to offer. I mean, the very name of the game (WW2) implies a minimum of historical ‘correctness’ but even if only very very hard to find, if it’s a WW2 game there has to be at least 1 historical factor that is correct: time should not be the ally of the axis!

    If reinstating the 14VC again makes this happen, than so be it but if this means the axis cannot win anymore (most likely), tone this down to 13VC or 12VC or whatever number will work. 8/6 clearly does not do it for most.

    @Nippon-Koku:
    I am looking forward to your allied essay :-). I know you advocate a (limited) Atlantic focus and it is currently also (still) my only hope for the allies. Yet I reckon the allies still need an extremely well calculated and balanced force in the Atlantic with extremely well co-operated production from the UK and USA. 1 ship built by the wrong ally, or simply just 1 too many or 1 too few, can mean the difference between failure and victory for the allies. I know this approach very well and I don’t get this balance right every time only because of the wide variety of strategies and the flexibility the axis have at their disposal. Let alone the limited time the allies have to do it and the fact that the dice can still kill the allied well-balanced fleet. Now imagine the UK and the USA are 2 different players…

    Maybe a full KJF or P80E20 approach can also work but I have not enough experience with that. And since I don’t want to be forced into a Pacific-first line of thought, I don’t think I will anytime soon.
    I know for sure though that I have no faith at all in a full KGF and only a very small amount of faith in a limited Pacific focus (only a few turns of 100% USA spending here). Played it a few times, only to see how incredible easy things become for Germany, while Japan cannot be reduced below 50-60IPCs per turn, even if they make a few mistakes…


  • The Pripet Marshes thing is a huge benefit for Germany - Russia can only defend north or south of it, and because it has so little mobility it must choose and choose first. Germany can then easily advance to whichever side that Russia deprioritizes. The marshes then serve to protect the German advance from being flanked or cut off. It forces Russia’s defensive force to move behind the line instead of holding the line, since it can’t consolidate a counter/strafe stack in any of the the 2nd line of territories off the front without abandoning the other side.

    Try playing without it, you will see it has an immense impact on the Russian defensive position, and as a consequence, also on the speed of Axis advance against it.

    It just seemed weird to me that there are only three impassible areas on the board - the Sahara, the Himalayas, and… the Pripet Marshes? Why the Pripet Marshes vs. any other inhospitable place? Clearly it was placed there not for realism but to produce this very effect on the Russian defensive position.

  • '15

    The marshes played roles in history at the start of “modern” warfare. I mean, there’s this right here: wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinsk_Marshes

    Are there other potential places that would have affected mobility? Yes. Are they anywhere on the board that would consistently affect the game and are not already included? No. The marshes being there in a major theater of every single time the game is played makes sense.

    Were they included there to only weaken the Russian position? I don’t think so.

    Elk, You never responded to my “wat?” about the comment on convoying.


  • I feel the allies have the advantage, which I’m OK with since we did win the real war after-all. I hardly understand where all this Pro-Axis fervor is coming from. You’re worried the Axis will do these “winning strategies”? Then counter them! Screw with your opponents’ plan! Knowledge of your enemies’ intended moves is one of the greatest advantages a commander can ask for.

    This is a very abrasive and callous thought, but to be extraordinarily blunt: If you keep losing, maybe you aren’t as good as you think you are?
    Try thinking outside the box. Do something different!

    For example:
    Don’t send the 18 Far East Russians to the west. Coalesce a turn in Buryatia, then move back to Amur and start moving south. Send in a fighter and tac bomber from the west for offensive power - it’s not like the Japanese are going to spend time or money on getting AAA to the mainland.
    If you’re lucky, your opponent might think you’re doing the typical retreat to the west you usually do, and will be ill-prepared for discover 20 troops at his doorstep. You can send the planes east turn 2 instead of turn 1 and have the t1 Buryatia infantry move into Yakut S.S.R. if you want to commit to the bluff.
    Or, don’t bluff, and send the planes east t1. Then your capable Japan player notices he’s going to have more pressure than he’s used to, and have to plan for it. But then guess what: the advantage is on you, because there’s nothing forcing you to attack. Either you handicap the Japanese by forcing them to use men and resources to defend (making them lose momentum), or you exploit a critical weakness, or you end up killing a bunch of troops on your terms. All work out to your advantage.

    While we’re talking about Russia, have them fight like they have some balls! Buy artillery (more!). There’s power in being able to threaten a counterattack even if you never execute. Or, seize weakness when you see it and make that counterattack! Maybe dance around and avoid a fight, or maybe if given the opportunity… can your stack of troops get to Berlin before Germany’s can get to Moscow? Heck, spare a mech and a tank to help out China. Exploit China’s instant mobilization ability. Go on the offensive.

    Everyone talks about how Russia always falls. Well, it is outgunned by Germany, but the difference between Russia in 1940 and other A&A games is that the Soviet Union isn’t a punching bag! Unless of course all you do is sit there and take it.

    Everyone knows America is the key to Allied victory, right?
    So… what the heck are you guys doing?
    Go for Rome! Be different!
    If Britain did its job, Italy is making less than 20 IPCs a turn. And according to your Axis playbook, it’s busy doing can-openers against Russia. It simply can’t defend against the United States.

    In the Pacific, in the wise words of someone around here, have the U.S. “pee aircraft carriers” and land ANZAC planes on them. Let the Brits and Anzac recapture the money islands, just clear the way for them. Buy subs, convoy disrupt the crap out of Japan. Defend what you need to defend and make expansion costly.

    There are all sorts of tricks the Allies have at their disposal. I could go on, but each game is different because ultimately, the Allies still play in response to whatever the Axis decide. But here’s the key: that’s fine. Mess with their plan by threatening them enough so that they need to respond to you - and if they don’t? Exploit and win.


  • I never claimed to be all that great on this map (though I was a top-25 online player back in the Classic days, so I’m not a newbie either). That’s why I came seeking help unwinding this problem of standard Axis openings for which there seems to be no good counter.

    I’m going to try some of the ideas put forth here and see if I can work out some combination of them that can be effective for Allies in countering those Axis strategies. Maybe enough incremental improvements in the way I play the response will be enough to equalize - I’m probably now a better player for having posted this thread and gotten the feedback from it, thanks to all.


  • @EnoughSaid:

    I feel the allies have the advantage, which I’m OK with since we did win the real war after-all. I hardly understand where all this Pro-Axis fervor is coming from. You’re worried the Axis will do these “winning strategies”? Then counter them! Screw with your opponents’ plan! Knowledge of your enemies’ intended moves is one of the greatest advantages a commander can ask for.

    This is a very abrasive and callous thought, but to be extraordinarily blunt: If you keep losing, maybe you aren’t as good as you think you are?
    Try thinking outside the box. Do something different!

    Its easy to write this sort of thing, but in practice, it is a different story. The received wisdom that G40 is pro-Axis bias is not simply a bunch of players making excuses for themselves. The overwhelming majority of upper-level League Game end in Axis victories, even with robust starting bids. That should tell you something. Your assertion that “allies have the advantage” suggests either you are trolling or simply haven’t played enough to know any better. Either way, your post is misleading.

    Are Allies doomed from the outset on G40 map? Between equally matched players, the answer is “Yes.”


  • I second regular kid. I’m just starting to learn Global and it’s clear that allies should receive a bid. To be clear though, I have played over 500 games, many at the highest levels in Revised, NWO, etc.

    patterns I notice in high level play:

    • Germany can consistently pressure Russia back to Moscow by turn 7
    • Japan normal pattern is to force china to the edges and UK out of india.
    • UK needs a bid to neutralize Italy. Otherwise axis can consistently achieve income parity
    • Games seem to be short and end within 15 rounds. This is refreshing considering that high level NWO games last ~25 rounds and revised can easily last 40.

    I’m always puzzled when people make the suggestion of playing better as the solution for strengthening the weaker side. The purpose of the bid is to an even game among players at the same skill level. Such posts are often followed by bad play suggestion (e.g. keeping russia in Bury, when the territory structure so dramatically favors Japan.


  • I think that in G40 the axis do have an advantage now. It trails back to the Alpha project, first the Japanese where scaled back some (mostly air and positioning), but the Germans got a boost in air plus more ground units (now 11 inf in Germany). So then it was London was too weak so more AA guns……but now we know that it wasn’t enough, the allies need some more help, or the axis need to be scaled back.

    I’m not a fan of an out right bid, because as others have said 20 IPCs worth of units placed at the start can be too disruptive. It’s like the allies have an out of control house rule IMO. I agree that there should be a standardized tweak to the set-up, but bitching about it isn’t going to make a difference IMO. We need to get an official tweak, and someone should start a thread over at Larry’s site to see if you can get him to bite, I nominate Young Grasshopper :-D

  • '22 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Ha, I am a little amused that there has been a negative reaction to the allied 20+ bid.  Go the league and see how many games the Allies have lost with that much.


  • @Karl7:

    Ha, I am a little amused that there has been a negative reaction to the allied 20+ bid.  Go the league and see how many games the Allies have lost with that much.

    I’m not saying that the allies don’t need a boost in units, maybe they do and it should be in the 20 IPC range, but as your post suggests more isn’t always better, and individuals can screw it up LOL. Just throwing IPCs at the wall doesn’t seem like the right answer.

    Like I said, I think that a 20 IPC bid is too much like an allied house rule, and that is what turns people off IMO (myself included). It isn’t standardized, and most people like to play with the same rules set which would include the starting set-up. That plus each little theater was set-up to have a certain balance (maybe favoring one side or the other), but having the ability to just toss units into the mix on a whim messes with that way too much at the start IMO.

    Like I said players placing 20 IPCs worth of units at set-up with a bid, or players removing/swapping units on an unofficial level are all basically house rules. I would like to explore those things though if we could get something that was standardized, IDK maybe endorsed by say Larry? His site has had the crickets chirping for what the last year probably longer? Maybe he wants a challenge LOL.

    I know that Larry is a big fan of less is better, so maybe it’s something more simple like moving around some allied units on the board to put the allies in a better position from the onset, or keeping certain assets out of harms way in the first turn?  Maybe part of it could be swapping out some allied units that could have an effect on both Pac and/or Europe. I have always thought that those 18 Russian inf was a joke. If you swapped out 4 inf (12 IPCs) for an art and 2 mech (also 12 IPCs) in the Sakha stack Russia would have some more options IMO. They could possibly threaten Japan in the right situation by flying a plane out there, or the six inf that normally make it back + 2 mech could make a big difference on the Moscow attack (w/allied air support). Keep in mind that Russia had the Siberian Rail, so a couple mech could be a small representation of that.

    Anyway just my 2 cents WB


  • But it takes a different kind of player to be good with the allies then it takes to be good with the axis. So even 2 equaly skilled players might both win against eachother with axis all the time not because the game is unbalanced but just because they are just not as good with the allies as with the axis.

    ShadowHawk put down my thoughts much more politically than I did.  :-)

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    @ItIsILeClerc:

    I remember I had a much better time with the allies when the axis in our group felt a certain time-pressure and acted accordingly. Nowadays, with the axis treating time as their ally (isn’t THAT weird???), the allied job is just too difficult.

    The 20 IPC bid could easily be incorporated into a per turn bonus for the Americans…

    War Bond Campaign
    The United States receives IPCs per collect income phase equal to what game round it is, even when not at war.

    Therefore the United States will reach 21 IPCs by round 6, and it’s all gravy after that. Besides, the Japanese get Kamikaze units implemented, but there is nothing to represent the economical dominance of the “awakened giant”?


  • In my gaming group, we play with a house rule: The only national objective used is USA getting the extra 30 IPC’s. I think it makes the game more realistic. The axis win about 30% of the time in our group.


  • @Young:

    @ItIsILeClerc:

    I remember I had a much better time with the allies when the axis in our group felt a certain time-pressure and acted accordingly. Nowadays, with the axis treating time as their ally (isn’t THAT weird???), the allied job is just too difficult.

    The 20 IPC bid could easily be incorporated into a per turn bonus for the Americans…

    War Bond Campaign
    The United States receives IPCs per collect income phase equal to what game round it is, even when not at war.

    Therefore the United States will reach 21 IPCs by round 6, and it’s all gravy after that. Besides, the Japanese get Kamikaze units implemented, but there is nothing to represent the economical dominance of the “awakened giant”?

    Does the US start with 15 base or something? I’m not seeing how it gets 21 IPC’s in round 6 in your house rule…

  • '17 '16

    US1
    US2
    US3
    US4
    US5
    US6
    1+2+3+4+5+6= 21 IPCs

    FWIW, I really like this time ticking bomb against Axis, YG.
    Is it enoug though?
    If not, makes +10 IPCs US and Japan at peace NO reciprocal.


  • As Wild Bill pointed out, the starting bid necessary to “balance” the game (20 PUs or more, according to many experienced players) is so large that it effectively stifles early game development. For example, the bid is often used in the Med/North Africa to kill Italy in its cradle, transforming those areas into stagnant zones, rather than the dynamic theaters of war they were intended to be. Does this make the game more balanced? Maybe. But it also makes gameplay less dynamic and more mono-dimensional. The net result is to reduce the game’s strategic depth.

    As an alternative to this double-digit bid, a “Balance Mod” conceived of by Adam514, myself, and several other players, and playtested extensively, uses National Objectives as way to generate  income for allies in the later stages of the game (when they need it most). The NOs balance the game while also enriching its strategic and historical dimensions. It works. Its awesome. It has also developed a reasonably large following.

    The revisions are as follows (attached is playable saved game with the NOs built in):

    Global 1940 Second Edition - Balanced Mod

    Revision Credits: Adam514, aznz, dss85, Gencre, regularkid

    **REVISIONS    **

    Revised Air Raid Rules: Fighters attack and defend at 2. Strategic and tactical bombers attack at 1.

    **Additional National Objectives  **

    UK

    • 3 PUs for UK Europe if Allies control at least 2 of: Sicily, Sardinia, Greece (“Southern Europe Beach Head”).

    • 3 PUs for UK Europe if Malta, Crete, and Cyprus are Allied or pro-Allied controlled (“Control of Mediterranean Shipping Lanes”).

    • 3 PUs for UK Europe if there are no enemy submarines in the Atlantic, excluding szs 112 and 125-127 (“Control of Atlantic Shipping Lanes”).

    • 3 PUs for UK Pacific when at war with the Japanese if: (1) British control West India and Egypt; and (2) there are no enemy submarines in the western half of the Indian Ocean (sz71,…,sz81) (“Control of Indian Ocean Shipping Lanes”).

    USA

    • 5 PUs if Allies control at least 2 of: Normandy Bordeaux, Holland Belgium, Southern France, and USA has at least one land unit in any of these territories (“Western Europe Beach Head”).

    • 5 PUs if Allies control Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, and USA has at least one land unit in any of these territories (“North Africa Beach Head”).

    • 5 PUs if USA is at war and controls Midway, Wake Island, Guam (“Pacific Airbases”).

    • 5 PUs if USA is at war and Allies control Marshall Islands, Caroline Islands, Paulau Island, Marianas (“Vital Forward Bases”).

    Revised National Objectives

    Russia

    • 3 PUs for each originally German, Italian, or Pro-Axis neutral territory that Russia controls in mainland Europe (“Spread of Communism”).

    • 2 PUs for each of the following Lend-Lease lanes that is open if Russia is at war with European Axis and no allied units are present in any originally Russian territories: (Persia, sz 80), (Amur, sz 5), (Archangel, sz 125); An additional 1 PU per open Lend-Lease lane if Japan has declared war on Russia (“Lend Lease”).

    G40BalanceVariantv4.tsvg

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    @Baron:

    US1
    US2
    US3
    US4
    US5
    US6
    1+2+3+4+5+6= 21 IPCs

    FWIW, I really like this time ticking bomb against Axis, YG.
    Is it enoug though?
    If not, makes +10 IPCs US and Japan at peace NO reciprocal.

    If the +10 IPC at peace NO was reciprocal, I wouldn’t implement the War Bond Campaign until America is at war, which would probably make more sense anyways. Also, if you do that for the US, it should probably be done for Russia as well in regards to the 5 IPC at peace NO for Germany.


  • The ultimate test of balance is whether the best Allied players can go toe-to-toe with the best Axis players.

    If they can’t, then the game is not balanced, regardless of any other factor. People have playtested and analyzed this game thoroughly enough to try everything worth trying.

    If they can, then the question is: what are the best Allied players doing that the rest aren’t?

    Take as an example, those Russian inf in the east. What to do with them and why? Bring them home always for Moscow defense? Use them offensively when focusing on Japan? If used offensively, do you bring in tanks and/or planes to support them? Is a bomber buy appropriate in that case? Should there be an extra inf or three pushed into Chinese territories south of Mongolia to trigger the war pact if Japan attacks them? Are there a set of Chinese/UKpac/ANZAC/US moves and buys that are necessary to make this kind of initiative successful? Are these good moves against certain Axis openings and bad ones against others? If so, which ones? Etc.

    Feels like whole-map coordinated allied strategies are missing, even though there is a lot of point-level advice out there.

  • '22 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    The one thing I did once in a game to balance it long term was to give USA +5 increasing +5 every turn.  So 5 R1, 10 R2, 15 R3 etc so by turn 8 USA is 90ish, putting real pressure on the Axis to win.

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