Are Allies doomed from the outset on G40 map?

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    @regularkid:

    Wait, you mean we’re not controlling real world events with our moves?! Gay

    **Out of respect for our gay members on this site, please do not use that word in a derogatory manner.

    Thank you.**


  • @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”?

    Yeah, I like this kind of time-pressure on the axis a lot.

    As a historical correct comparison of the production capacity of the Allies compared to that of the Axis:

    1940        1941      1942      1943        1944          1945
    Allies      40            60          123      150          180            190
    Axis        35            50          70        80            70            60

    And the above allied production increase was NOT because they took a lot of IPC-rich territories, but because they  allocated more and more of their production capacity to the war instead of ‘bread and games’. A flexibility the axis did not have as much (their economy already was streched to the limit)!
    These ratios were almost set in stone. Not much any axis plans could have done about it. Except perhaps a successfull Sea Lion but even without London the allies would still have a 1945 production of 145 (IPCs if you want to call it that) versus that axis 60…


  • Well, if we’re gonna play by history the axis powers are doomed. The only reason the Germans held out so long is because they had a superior way of fighting (tactics: Auftragstaktik, operational: improvisation/Blitzkrieg, but that advantage wore off during the war…).

    In strategic terms the axis powers never coordinated their war efforts. Germany took on Russia, and Japan the US. Hitler was stupid enough to declare war on the US after Pearl Harbor, and Japan had a bad experience fighting the Russians (a certain general Zhukov defeated the Japanese in the 1930’s).

    So perhaps the Germans need a bonus to in A&A… 😉

    But I really would like the powers to be more balanced, and I don’t think giving the US a extra 5 IPC a turn is adding to the fun of the game. Which is personal of course. Better give them an extra bonus in my opinion, or change the set-up.

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    @ItIsILeClerc:

    @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”?

    Yeah, I like this kind of time-pressure on the axis a lot.

    As a historical correct comparison of the production capacity of the Allies compared to that of the Axis:

    � � � � � � � � � � � � � 1940� � � � � � � � 1941� � � � � � � 1942� � � � � � 1943� � � � � � � � 1944� � � � � � � � � � 1945
    Allies� � � � � � � 40� � � � � � � � � � � � 60� � � � � � � � � � � 123� � � � � � 150� � � � � � � � � � 180� � � � � � � � � � � � 190
    Axis� � � � � � � � � 35� � � � � � � � � � � � 50� � � � � � � � � � � 70� � � � � � � � � 80� � � � � � � � � � � � 70� � � � � � � � � � � � � 60

    And the above allied production increase was NOT because they took a lot of IPC-rich territories, but because they� � allocated more and more of their production capacity to the war instead of ‘bread and games’. A flexibility the axis did not have as much (their economy already was streched to the limit)!
    These ratios were almost set in stone. Not much any axis plans could have done about it. Except perhaps a successfull Sea Lion but even without London the allies would still have a 1945 production of 145 (IPCs if you want to call it that) versus that axis 60…

    problem is, nobody is gonna play it… you can take a simple rule like The United States receives IPCs per collect income phase equal to what game round it is, but it won’t ever replace the bid system until Larry endorses it. I’ve read tons of great house rule ideas over the years for balancing G40 way better than the bid system, and they all got buried in the house rule forum. Now the G40 discussion forum is getting over run with house rule talk because there’s nothing for experienced players left to discuss other than the balance issue. If Larry or Kevin introduced or endorsed a simple modification that gives the Allies a boost, the bidding and setup alterations would end, but it’s the only way it ends.


  • Yeah, that’s what I am hoping for: at least a sophisticated reaction from the developers, saying that we (especially the league gamers) are all wrong. Nobody knows how to play the allies ;-). OR… they fix the rules and/or endorse or acknowledge some of the houserules indeed.

    @Tolstoj:
    You are absolutely right! I am perfectly fine with a WW2 game designed to be balanced. This means 1:1 that I’m OK with the allies not having as much production capacity and have less military forces as they historically did and the axis have even more military forces than they historically did, but I have problems with a WW2 game where all this is the case and time is also the axis friend… I am struggling with my love for A&A for that very last reason.

    I am disappointed by the fact that the community had to come up with a bidsystem to give the allies a boost, and all we hear is that this bid system is not officially acknowledged. I can agree if the devs don’t like the bid-system, but then give us an official alternative, please. It is much needed!

  • '16 '15 '10

    Honestly I prefer an unbalanced game with a bid to a balanced one (that is, if it were possible to have a perfectly balanced game).  The bid introduces diversity and surprise into the game.  And it provides a fair way to choose sides.

    Moreover bidding can hardly be described as an artificial process for A&A given that bidding has been used to balance the game and award sides since the Classic map came out.

    The fact that Global requires a high bid for Allies actually makes Global even more interesting imho.


  • A&A board members, new and veteran alike,

    Im sure by now a few of you feel like this thread is kicking a dead horse.  Coming from someone who is relatively new to the game and the boards (just about a year), some of these thread ideas are new to me.  I appreciate all of them.  I know that the veterans feel that the game is slanted towards the Axis.  Me personally, in my relatively small sample size, I have never won or seen the axis win.  That doesn’t mean I’m right or wrong, all it means is that’s my perspective.  I love to hear everyone’s perspective.

    This board and it’s members have been SOOO helpful to me!  It’s a great community.  When I see the arguments, it bums me out a bit.  We can be better.  I know it.

  • 2021 2020 '18 '17

    There is a difference between balance and symmetry.  This version of Axis and Allies is intended to be two very different forces against one another, with diverse choices and unequal assets.    Chess is a fully balanced and symmetrical game (its fair balanced because white gets +1 more move and black gets +1 more piece of information and its symmetrical because you get to have the exact same assets.)

    This type of “opposing forces” has become more and more popular.  G42 is a great example of a more balanced and symmetrical set up than G40.  Xwing starfighter has completely imbalanced sides with dissimilar assets, as do many 21century TTWGs

    However, there is a point that we find that asymmetrical and imbalanced forces imply a kind of bias or advantage.  This is very hard to argue in absolute terms since player skill, luck, and plain errors can bias the outcome of any survey of wins/v/losses.

    I am not fully convinced that the game is biased towards one side or the other, over the complete game (14-16 turns).  95% of games are ended by time or patience running out and one side capitulating, this should be a tremendous sign that we are not really assessing the games objective bias or balance but rather telegraphing our opinions and unsupported conclusions onto it.

    The more effective analysis is that a combination of luck and strong play will reduce the game to a specific contest (eg one battle for Moscow or pacific naval dominance), a contest that will be won by small decisions leading up to it.    All of the other side stuff (battle for Africa etc.) is essentially meaningless and distracting.  I am not convinced by my experience that these culminating battles are entirely in the favor of one side or another, but rather that by the time we reach the crucial point we are all too clouded by exhaustion and small considerations to recognize that the outcome is largely dependent on luck and the culmination of small decisions over time.

    I do agree in general that the Axis have a much clearer, cleaner path to victory and that they are more adaptable and flexible.  But this does not necessarily translate into an overwhelming material advantage at the crucial point in every game, which makes me believe that the bid (while a good flexible solution) is not necessary and is a bigger bias than it intends to address.

    I am open minded, and given the varying skill levels of all players and the chance for a mistake, I would rather play with diverse players or random team assignments (as a way of addressing a putative advantage), and accept that the fun is in winning (or trying to win) with a “losing” side.

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

    I haven’t been following this thread in detail since it began, nor have I contributed any posts to it before now, but here are a few thoughts for whatever they’re worth. I think that many of the issues that have been discussed here (and in many other threads) basically come down to various pairs of competing interests: some related to the game itself and some related to the player community.

    In terms of the game itself, it’s possible to list many pairs of competing interests: things like realism versus playability, detail versus simplicity, and so forth.  The issue of balance that’s been discussed here is one such example.  I don’t know what Larry’s thinking has been on this issue over the years, but it’s possible that the question of competing interests which he had to resolve was the following one: should A&A be viewed primarily as a military simulation which accurately depicts the situation that existed in WWII, or should it be viewed primarily as a military-themed board game?

    The impression I have is that Larry opted for the board-game concept rather than the military simulation concept.  That option, however, has the following implication: most board games give (or are assumed to give) a roughly equal chance of victory to all the players. WWII, however, was a historical conflict fought between highly asymmetrical military forces on a highly asymmetrical “board”, i.e. the surface of the world.  So the design choice then becomes: should A&A give a roughly equal chance of victory to all the players (which would imply distorting historical accuracy)?  Or should it try to be historically accurate (which would imply giving an unequal chance of victory to the Axis and Allied sides, which would mean that the players on one side would always be facing a frustrating built-in disadvantage)?

    My guess is that Larry has traditionally tried to “have it both ways” by choosing as the starting point for most of his global-scale games the moment of WWII when the two sides were the closest to being balanced: the middle of 1942.  It’s a good choice from that perspective because it’s the point at which the initial Axis drive had more or less run out of steam, but the Allies were not yet strong enough to drive the Axis back.  So it’s arguably the point in WWII where the two sides were realistically “balanced”.  The problem, however, is that this rationale stops working when the starting date of the game is changed from mid-1942 to mid-1940, as is the case in Global 1940.  So this placed Larry back at square one on the fundamental question of accuracy versus balance.

    Historically, June 1940 presents an interesting problem in terms of “balance.”  On the one hand, it can be argued that June 1940 is part of the first third of the war, which was the period when the Axis was racking up its early successes, and therefore that it’s appropriate for the Axis to have an advantage at this time.  On the other hand, it should be noted that the first third of WWII was not a period of unalloyed Axis success.  When Germany was scoring its big wins in 1939 and 1940, Japan was seriously bogged down in China.  Conversely, when Japan was running rampant in South East Asia and the Pacific in late 1941 and early 1942, Germany had run into serious trouble in the Soviet Union.  Italy, meanwhile, see-sawed back and forth across North Africa during much of this time.  Moreover – and this is something which the A&A game system does not model well – both Germany and Japan failed to use effectively the resources of the territories they captured and of their own domestic resources.  By contrast, the UK, the USSR and the US (as each country entered the war) very quickly learned to mobilize their manpower and their industries to the full…though of course the USSR and US components of this factor hadn’t yet come into play in June 1940.  And as I’ve argued in various other threads, I feel that Germany and Japan had unachievable strategic aims and at best ultimately could hope for nothing better than a stalemate.

    So my feeling is that Larry, when designing the 1940 game, gave a secondary priority to accuracy and tried instead to give the Axis a better chance of victory than it had historically, with the aim of producing a balanced game whose probable winners and losers would not be predetermined by the actual events of WWII.  As some forum members have pointed out, however, Larry may in fact have overcompensated and produced a game which not only isn’t balanced but is actually balanced in the wrong direction from the point of view of historical accuracy.  So instead of “having it both ways” (being accurate and being balanced), he may instead have created a “worst of both worlds” game which fulfils neither objective.

    As for the question of how to fix the 1940 game, we’re dealing here too with a case of competing interests.  There’s no shortage of proposed solutions; in fact, the range of options that’s been proposed is so vast that it’s become unmanageable.  A few solutions, like the bid system, have gained a degree of general acceptance, but most of  these proposed solutions haven’t been used beyond a few individuals or groups because they 're unofficial personal systems.

    As some people have said, the only solutions that would have any convincing force would be the ones that ultimately come from Larry himself…and Larry, at the moment, doesn’t seem to be producing any new A&A games, nor even really any revised rule systems for existing ones.  Which leaves us to fall back on fan-developed house rules.  And the problem with house rules is, here again, a case of competing interests: it takes a minimum of two people to play A&A, but there’s no guarantee that any house rule designer will ever find anyone other than himself who’s satisfied with (and who’ll agree to play under) the rules he’s created.

    There’s an old saying that “anything known to more than one person cannot be deemed a secret,” and the problem with house rules can be expressed similarly: any house rule read by more than one person is going to generate differences of opinion.  Other than any official rules that Larry might issue – and it doesn’t look as if he’ll be issuing any in the near future – I don’t see much prospect of the community ever reaching any kind of broad and definitive agreement on how Global 1940 (or any other  A&A game) can be fixed.  The most realistic solution is probably for local gaming groups to settle on their own customized solutions, since getting half a dozen people who know each other personally to agree to something is easier than achieving the same thing with a much larger and much more diverse forum community.

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    I have never won or seen the axis win.

    Just wait, you will.

    Someone somewhere in this topic did a breakdown that shows that what “seems” to be the Allied material advantage is highly illusionary.  A lot of it is in infantry, bases and sucked up by the fact the allies have to transport large amounts of stuff.  Plus much of the Axis firepower is in airplanes, giving them a huge advantage.

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    @CWO:

    I haven’t been following this thread in detail since it began, nor have I contributed any posts to it before now, but here are a few thoughts for whatever they’re worth. I think that many of the issues that have been discussed here (and in many other threads) basically come down to various pairs of competing interests: some related to the game itself and some related to the player community.

    In terms of the game itself, it’s possible to list many pairs of competing interests: things like realism versus playability, detail versus simplicity, and so forth.  The issue of balance that’s been discussed here is one such example.  I don’t know what Larry’s thinking has been on this issue over the years, but it’s possible that the question of competing interests which he had to resolve was the following one: should A&A be viewed primarily as a military simulation which accurately depicts the situation that existed in WWII, or should it be viewed primarily as a military-themed board game?Â

    The impression I have is that Larry opted for the board-game concept rather than the military simulation concept.  That option, however, has the following implication: most board games give (or are assumed to give) a roughly equal chance of victory to all the players. WWII, however, was a historical conflict fought between highly asymmetrical military forces on a highly asymmetrical “board”, i.e. the surface of the world.  So the design choice then becomes: should A&A give a roughly equal chance of victory to all the players (which would imply distorting historical accuracy)?  Or should it try to be historically accurate (which would imply giving an unequal chance of victory to the Axis and Allied sides, which would mean that the players on one side would always be facing a frustrating built-in disadvantage)?

    My guess is that Larry has traditionally tried to “have it both ways” by choosing as the starting point for most of his global-scale games the moment of WWII when the two sides were the closest to being balanced: the middle of 1942.  It’s a good choice from that perspective because it’s the point at which the initial Axis drive had more or less run out of steam, but the Allies were not yet strong enough to drive the Axis back.  So it’s arguably the point in WWII where the two sides were realistically “balanced”.  The problem, however, is that this rationale stops working when the starting date of the game is changed from mid-1942 to mid-1940, as is the case in Global 1940.  So this placed Larry back at square one on the fundamental question of accuracy versus balance.

    Historically, June 1940 presents an interesting problem in terms of "balance."  On the one hand, it can be argued that June 1940 is part of the first third of the war, which was the period when the Axis was racking up its early successes, and therefore that it’s appropriate for the Axis to have an advantage at this time.  On the other hand, it should be noted that the first third of WWII was not a period of unalloyed Axis success.  When Germany was scoring its big wins in 1939 and 1940, Japan was seriously bogged down in China.  Conversely, when Japan was running rampant in South East Asia and the Pacific in late 1941 and early 1942, Germany had run into serious trouble in the Soviet Union.  Italy, meanwhile, see-sawed back and forth across North Africa during much of this time.  Moreover – and this is something which the A&A game system does not model well – both Germany and Japan failed to use effectively the resources of the territories they captured and of their own domestic resources.  By contrast, the UK, the USSR and the US (as each country entered the war) very quickly learned to mobilize their manpower and their industries to the full…though of course the USSR and US components of this factor hadn’t yet come into play in June 1940.  And as I’ve argued in various other threads, I feel that Germany and Japan had unachievable strategic aims and at best ultimately could hope for nothing better than a stalemate.

    So my feeling is that Larry, when designing the 1940 game, gave a secondary priority to accuracy and tried instead to give the Axis a better chance of victory than it had historically, with the aim of producing a balanced game whose probable winners and losers would not be predetermined by the actual events of WWII.   As some forum members have pointed out, however, Larry may in fact have overcompensated and produced a game which not only isn’t balanced but is actually balanced in the wrong direction from the point of view of historical accuracy.  So instead of “having it both ways” (being accurate and being balanced), he may instead have created a “worst of both worlds” game which fulfils neither objective.

    As for the question of how to fix the 1940 game, we’re dealing here too with a case of competing interests.  There’s no shortage of proposed solutions; in fact, the range of options that’s been proposed is so vast that it’s become unmanageable.  A few solutions, like the bid system, have gained a degree of general acceptance, but most of  these proposed solutions haven’t been used beyond a few individuals or groups because they 're unofficial personal systems.Â

    As some people have said, the only solutions that would have any convincing force would be the ones that ultimately come from Larry himself…and Larry, at the moment, doesn’t seem to be producing any new A&A games, nor even really any revised rule systems for existing ones.  Which leaves us to fall back on fan-developed house rules.  And the problem with house rules is, here again, a case of competing interests: it takes a minimum of two people to play A&A, but there’s no guarantee that any house rule designer will ever find anyone other than himself who’s satisfied with (and who’ll agree to play under) the rules he’s created.Â

    There’s an old saying that “anything known to more than one person cannot be deemed a secret,” and the problem with house rules can be expressed similarly: any house rule read by more than one person is going to generate differences of opinion.  Other than any official rules that Larry might issue – and it doesn’t look as if he’ll be issuing any in the near future – I don’t see much prospect of the community ever reaching any kind of broad and definitive agreement on how Global 1940 (or any other  A&A game) can be fixed.  The most realistic solution is probably for local gaming groups to settle on their own customized solutions, since getting half a dozen people who know each other personally to agree to something is easier than achieving the same thing with a much larger and much more diverse forum community.

    Exellent post as always CWO Marc, maybe if we all agree on one solution… we could take it to Larry and ask for his aproval.

    HHHHAAAAAA!!! LMFAO.


  • Great post CWO Marc


  • First should come a playable game; historical accuracy should take a back seat.

    If your first goal is accurate history, then a history book is better than a wargame for that. The ultimate test of success or failure in game design is: is the game an enjoyable experience that is worth spending discretionary time on?

    For me, for a wargame, one element that is required to make it enjoyable is challenge. To that end, I pretty much can’t play Axis on this map because it’s not challenging to have straightforward, unimaginative play that could be replaced by a computer program be the best way to win. If I win as Allies, I know I’ve beat the odds and that struggle to do so is enjoyable. Winning as Axis would be meh, that’s what’s supposed to happen.


  • It should be a playable game, because politics are all in Real life that are not in the game.

    The US was already at war before germany declared on it, but only at a limited scale.
    Most likely the US would not openly declare war if not attacked, without pearl harbour japan would most likely run free.

    In a game if you have the options japan would just destroy india and philipnes ASAP and never attack the US, germany would never declare war on the US either.

    It is simplified for gameplay and to make it somewhat balanced.


  • Really well put, Marc. I think you described the “competing interests” just about as well as anybody could, and you took a–shall i say–“balanced” approach to the question. (heh!)

    But I gotta disagree with you on one point: While an “official” blessing from Larry would certainly help, it is hardly a prerequisite for community-wide acceptance/adoption of a mod. In the realm of online gaming, for example, it is not unusual for user-created mods to gain traction, sometimes eclipsing even the popularity of the OOB version (DarthMod for the Total War series and DOTA for World of Warcraft III come immediately to mind).

    I use the term “mod,” not “house rules” advisedly, since I do think it is more likely you will find “first adopters” of experimental rule sets in the online gaming community (online games are much lower investment than FTF; you can get through an ‘experimental’ game much faster). All it takes is for a dedicated fan to put his proposed changes in a neat XML package that can easily be picked up and played by others. Maybe it goes nowhere, or maybe it snowballs into something that is widely enjoyed and recognized by the community as an improvement on the original. Happens with other games all the time. No reason why it can’t happen with ours. And there does seem to be a general consensus that modding of some kind is needed, at this point, to keep the game fresh and address the game’s exposed shortcomings.


  • @SubmersedElk:

    First should come a playable game; historical accuracy should take a back seat.

    If your first goal is accurate history, then a history book is better than a wargame for that.

    These are actually not true. There are some boardgames that are way better at historical accuracy than books. One of those is the Europa serries. There they actually have every division and brigade in WW2 set up correctly, fairly decently rated and it is actually playable (takes months to play the eastern front tho). They where so succsessful in their design and their combatsystem that military intelligence wanted to know if they had stolen military secrets or just done a thourough analysis of WW2. They where the ones that figured out that you need a 3:1 ratio of strength to have a good chance of a successful attack.

    Playing these games gives you a much deeper understanding of why the germans lost and how it happend. These types of games is actually what the generals use when constructing the plans that are implemented in war. Japanse used these games before midway, and figured out that they would loose, and by how much. Then some general decided to change the rules of the game so that the japanese would win, then they attacked, and lost.

    It is actually not that difficult to make axis and allies playable, but with more realistic production. Example: USA now produce for 120, and ssur produce for 60. Victory condition: If the axis holds at least 2 VC by the end of round 13, they win, otherwise the allies win.

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

    @Kreuzfeld:

    Japanse used these games before midway, and figured out that they would loose, and by how much. Then some general decided to change the rules of the game so that the japanese would win, then they attacked, and lost.

    The specifics of this incident were that, in a Midway tabletop simulation, a Japanese officer who was playing the American side carried out a B-17 bomber attack against the Japanese carrier force, rolled dice as prescribed, and got a result indicating that (as I recall) two Japanese carriers had been sunk.  The umpire, Rear Admiral Ugaki, overruled the dice roll on the grounds that the results were unrealistic and changed the outcome to (I think) just one damaged carrier.  After the war, surviving officers like Genda criticized Ugaki for his “high-handed conduct” in this wargame.  Technically, though, Ugaki was right, at the Battle of Midway itself proved: the Midway-based B-17s that attacked the Japanese fleet failed to score any (or at least any signfificant) hits.  The real problem with that particular Japanese wargame was that it failed to take into account some much more fundamental flaws of the plan for the entire Midway operation (which are too long to get into here).  The Japanese can also justifiably be criticized for their habit of reintroducing into subsequent wargames major ships that had been declared sunk in previous ones, which in my opinion illustrates the WWII Japanese high command’s tendency to focus on tactics at the expense of giving insufficient attention to larger strategic considerations.

    Ugaki’s dice adjustment, by the way, illustrates nicely a fundamental difference between professional and recreational wargaming.  Professional wargames are used either to test plans and concepts, or as training and educational exercises.  As a result, the game director often has the authority to modify or control game events.  Balance and fairness aren’t the primary consideration in such games; the focus is on learning useful things.  The game director, for example, might confront one of the players with an extreme situation which might be unrealistic, but whose purpose is to put the player – say, a junior officer – in a position where he has to handle a major battlefield crisis, to see how deals with the situation.


  • Following up on this one… after getting pasted by several very skilled Axis players, I’ve been giving larger and larger bids to opponents and playing Axis more to get a feel of what’s going on on the other side. I’m now up to giving 15 bids, and still not having much difficulty at all winning with the Axis side.

    What’s crazy is that I’m not following any of the optimal openers at all (although I’ve been gleaning a lot of tidbits of wisdom from this site for sure). I have a really old-school approach where my primary attack plan is to squeeze Russia from both sides, just like in Classic.

    I’m guessing that some more experienced Allies players could mop the floor with me still, but this is what I’m doing:

    G1 I’m now buying a carrier only, saving the rest. This essentially forces UK to build against Sealion their first turn, so they don’t get the jump on me by building a factory in Egypt. Other than that I’m super conservative with Germany, doing the 110/111 attacks, using the spare sub to make the coin flip attack on the DD/trans off the Canadian coast, taking France and Yugoslavia, absorbing Finland and Bulgarian axis-neutrals. Sending one plane to Tobruk and a tac to Rome is working out well so far so that’s also become part of the standard plan.

    With Japan, the first turn is always is basically dedicated to preparing to stack Yunnan and staging for an assault on Malaya/Phillipines with as many transports as I can get in range. J2 seems like the best time to declare war, it’s the earliest I can have all my ships in good position to follow through to DEI effectively, and it seems to put Allies players off balance when they don’t see the J1 and I get lots of free transport and destroyer kills in the bargain. Having 4 loadable transports on the Phillipines and a couple more off FIC at the start of J3 provides a huge range of options. Enough of my fleet goes to Phillipines in J2 to make sure US can’t do anything in SZ6, and I usually build a carrier that round as well if US has built Pac, leaving me with two fleets: a defensive fleet in Phi with 3 carriers, and an expeditionary fleet off Malaya with 2 carriers and whatever bombarding capital ships I can spare. Sets me up perfectly to sweep the DEI in J3 while providing a threat against Burma to keep UK Pac land forces at home. If Russia goes full retreat I consider attacking them early and letting them have their Mongolian allies (which aren’t of much help to Russia without the 18 inf to provide some punch/resistance).

    China is always target #1 on land, that “build anywhere” ability is a super power and the only thing other than a SZ6 attack that I really fear playing Japan. I feel that if I take them out early I have enough land units without needing to reinforce, but if I wait then it becomes a production grind and that’s not good for Japan because their land production even with IC builds is meh at best. If I do that then I can focus J3+ builds against whatever buildup the US puts in play, or if they don’t then more loaded transports get produced.

    With Italy I declare on USSR in I2 and use them to lead the way so the German stack can have air cover if needed. The one time someone actually didn’t do Taranto on me I found the BB wasn’t as effective as reputed, I might consider not doing that attack anymore as UK. Germany follows with its own wardec on G3, with G2 and G3 having been land builds, and so the march begins.

    I end up just wearing down Russia back to its capital where at negligible production it’s no threat at all, same for UK Pac. The actual killing blow is no rush, seems that I can do that anytime in both cases - so what I end up doing is building to exploit whatever weaknesses the Allied strategy offers. By the time the Allies have an Atlantic counter ready I’m already spamming western Europe with cheap inf and an occasional artillery unit.

    I’m sure that more experienced Allies players can crush this kind of ad-hoc adjustable strategy but it’s working so far and it’s not all that terribly difficult to play - much much easier than the finely-tuned calculations needed on the Allied side. I’ll probably try giving bids of 20 or even more and seeing if this remains the case.

    The game has a totally different character depending on which side I’m playing. Axis I can be freewheeling, and adjust on the fly, never needing to plan more than a turn in advance. When playing Allies I feel like I need to know what the board is going to look like in 3 more rounds while I’m deciding builds.

    Sorry about the stream-of-consciousness post here, just thought I’d get some of these things out there to see what more experienced players have to say, how they would attack this as Allies, and if there are any glaring errors that need to be fixed to improve my play.


  • @Tolstoj:

    No, I think the main problem is that the Axis don’t have to do anything, but wait, to win after R4. Because they have more income…

    No they dont, most axis will ignore afrika which will ensure that before you get past russia you are never going to be on equal footing.

    Only time i saw axis actualy make more money is if the allies either lose afrika or lose india and the money island and russia. Just dont make that happen just annoy japan and make sure you get afrika and then help defend caucasus against germany. That with a nice combined fleet in the atlantic since UK will be in the 40s they can easy help with a carrier or a fighter here and there and it is just a mather of time before the axis lose. Allies make more money they trade evenly in the end the axis will be ground down.


  • Over the past couple of weeks I’ve developed an Axis strategy I’m calling “J2I2”. It’s probably not original but it works for me and I’ve not seen anyone play it quite this way. My last two games I played against very strong players, one on the standard G40 map and once with the “Vichy France Balance mod”.

    It’s a super conservative strategy with very little risk on the Axis side and it’s apparently impossible to stop on the standard map even with a healthy bid, and it even works with the balance mod. Very tolerant of mistakes on the Axis side, and Allies only need to miscalculate once and it’s game over.

    As per the name, the Pac war starts on J2 and the European war starts on I2. Germany gets in the game on G3. I’ll write up a separate post about it but these experiences plus my experience as Allies with low luck settings convince me that the standard setup doesn’t let the Allies win against even a moderately skilled Axis player who follows the strategy.

    Now that I have enough experience to judge, I’m afraid I have to agree, the standard G40 game is broken.


  • Elk, it was a fluke I tells yuh! I demand a rematch.


  • I’m happy to give you a rematch. Keep in mind that I actually read the rest of the game notes today and figured out why the US was making 120 income a turn, and am not going to permit that for a second go-around!


  • haha. i was wondering about that.

    look forward to it!

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    The game is backward.  The axis do not need to win a race against time like in the real war.  Instead time is on the axis side. The flaw at the heart of it is that Germany can lay a terrible siege on Russia and collect big fat oil money at the same time.  Meanwhile Japan keeps USA from doing anything about it.  I’ve seen it over and over again and its just no fun. A $20 bid is a good start but it doesn’t get to the heart of the problem; just a bandaid.  Here is what I suggest as a REAL fix for this game.

    **RED ARMY IS THE STRONGEST **At the end of Russia’s turn they roll 1 dice for every 10 Russian units in Moscow (count any and all units of the Soviet Red Army).  Collect the total as an NO.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsGQzNSwOhk****


  • Grasshopper, I’m afraid Larry’s interest in doing anything further with this game has passed and that any play balance will have to come from the community.

    That said, the bid is long accepted as the most agreed upon means, however to put some new life into that system for more strategic variability, how about inverse bidding? The bid is instead of ADDING units equal to the bid for the Allies, but is instead for that amount in units belonging to the Axis that will be REMOVED from the set up!

    How much are you willing to give up as the Axis knowing that your opponent will be REMOVING that amount of units of yours of Their Choice?

    A 20 point bid is now possibly 2 less Axis fighters, or a capital ship, or a couple tanks and a transport, the options are endless. The Axis may have to totally alter the Standard Opening’s and rethink their first turn attacks.

    If the Axis advantage is material, then TAKING AWAY some of that advantage just might be much more effective than Allied bid additions, as well as taking away some of that early initiative with well calculated attacks.

    What does Japan do with 4 less Infantry and 2 less Artillery do in China? How effective is Germany with 2 less Fighters to take on the UK navy? Italy could suffer a major disaster in Africa!

    Think of the possibilities and then rethink what the bid might be. The options could really dictate some major strategic thought on both sides.

    Kim

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