Adding 1942 units to 1941
I know the point of 1941… it’s a stripped-down, bare-bones, fast, learning game for the Axis and Allies franchise.
I also know they went ‘cheap’ on what’s included in the box, trying to make the shelf price as low as they could go… to get that low price point, they were reusing sculpts (like Japanese Tigers… did it really save them $$$ making Japanese tanks Tigers instead of Type-95s?), and of course the woefully inadequate number of units (8 infantry, 5 tanks and 4 fighters per nation?)… and those cheap cardboard stacking chips… zomg!
The other major difference is of course the fewer number of units over 1942 (and of course 1940)… I’m sure (beyond cost cutting), is to not overcomplicate the game and make it easier to learn… but this is where I kinda scratch my head a bit on the “cutting out the complicated rules, and leaving in units with easier to learn rules”… well the inclusion of subs and the “still confuses 1940 players” factor kicks in! lolz. Here’s where I’m at…
Does adding something like Cruisers overcomplicate 1941??? I certainly don’t think so… they’re really little more than a 3/3 version of the 2/2 destroyer (minus sub rules). I’d like to add them, I don’t see how they would complicate the game any further.
I’m also thinking about adding Artillery… now I know they have that little addition to the rules of combined arms for infantry, but I certainly don’t think its any more complicated than the myriad of sub rules already present in 1941… if you can figure out sub rules, certainly you can handle combined arms rules?
Finally… how to add them without messing with the balance of the game or complexity? I think the easiest way is add them by not adding them. Don’t put them in the setup, do the traditional 1941 setup and just add them as an option anyone can buy on the purchase list (1942SE does have the same prices as 1941, right?).
Does that sound simple enough? Would it mess with the complexity, balance or speed of play of 1941? I don’t see the harm in adding them… especially the cruiser if nothing else… just trying to offer a little more flexibility without bogging the game down any (I know 1942 also adds AAA, but I don’t really see that as added game value in 1941).
Adding artillery is fairly simple, and something I’d definitely recommend, from a game resolution and over all enjoyment standpoint. Artillery is also immensely important for every A&A game to come out since 2004, so if you hope to graduate your players from 1941 to 42 or Global, I think it makes a lot of sense to introduce this unit as soon as possible.
For players who are familiar with Classic, the artillery unit was how the designers responded to the infantry wall issues that dominated that game. Don’s essays on the “Infantry push mechanic” explain in detail what most players of Classic came to understand intuitively, that the player who pushes infantry consistently will create more effective “deadzones” and will invariably prevail over the player who fails to do so. This resulted in rather long, and somewhat boring grindfests. Since Revised artillery has helped to mitigate somewhat the influence of the infantry push. Of course it hasn’t been done away with entirely, but at least the attacker has a way to catch up when the defender just stacks infantry to the ceiling all day haha.
I think the best way to introduce them in 1941 is to give the Russians some artillery units at Moscow. This can be done in lieu of a bid, to help balance the game back from overwhelming Axis advantage to something a bit closer to 50/50.
3 additional Artillery units can do a lot to help the Russians even the odds, and make the W. Russia opener viable. For everyone else, I would just leave them as a purchase option, and not include any to start.
The other units like aaaguns cruisers or factories (or bombers and battleships with their full abilities and normal costs) are a bit more challenging to add. I haven’t yet found a way to include them to my satisfaction without redisigning the starting conditions of the map in pretty substantial ways.
Most of my thoughts and initial impressions of 1941 I laid out in this thread, some of which might be of interest…
The two main things I do to make 1941 playable with new people are, first to include artillery, and then to provide some kind of repeating income bonus for all nations. I think the map plays well when everyone gets a consistent bonus every round, for example +1 ipc per round. Or +2, or +3 ipcs per round for each nation, whatever your preference, at collect income for control of the home Victory City. This brings down the overall replacement cost of the starting units for everyone, which is particularly helpful for new players, who won’t yet understand how to manage narrow TUV trades, and who might not realize how easy it is to throw away the whole game with one ill considered battle at the very beginning of the match. Basically it gives the new players a way to make more purchasing experiments, or purchasing mistakes that they can learn from, without getting to demoralized. Another way to do it is to track the income bonus to the round in an ascending fashion, so round one = 1 ipc, round two = 2 ipcs, five = 5 ipcs and so on. This increases the ultimate game length, but it also gives an incentive to press the attack earlier rather than later. A nice feature of an ascending bonus for the new player, especially in a multiplayer game, is that it gives the underdog a reason (and a means) to fight on during the endgame. If they can but keep their nation alive into later rounds, then they can still have an impact and serve almost like a hour glass. Anyhow, I’ve found things like this can really open up the experience for 41, and show the new players how a basic game can be expanded with different rules, by adding in a new unit type etc.
Jorkoni last edited by
Nice tips guys!!!
Can’t wait to try them out
I tried a SS5-DD6-TP8-CA9-CV12-BB15 increment cost for warships.
It allows more units at sea.
My planes were cheaper too (and different in combat values) Fg6 TcB8 StB10
Inf, Art and AAA were added too.
Here is the link with a word document to the modified set-up and units.
I Hope these players aids could help.