Can we balance this one?


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    We came up with a house rule that AA guns could be used as anti-ship weapons instead of AA guns on a per turn basis.

    It sounded great in reality - especially when considering that the Marines on Wake Atoll (Island) used their damaged AA gun in precisely this manner.  However, it quickly got ridiculous.

    For instance, in one game we had an AA in Fin/Nor, Ger, E. Euro, Sweeden and W. Euro firing on a small amphibious assault hitting Germany.  We quickly changed it so that AA guns could only fire on ships actually INVADING that country or sailing past that country.  But this still left Fin/Nor, Sweeden and W. Euro.

    However, if we got rid of the sailing past then it wouldn’t have been as beneficial to Japan to load islands with AA guns.

    We tried making Transports immune when conducting amphibious assaults, but that meant building subs to take hits for BBs or leaving trannies unprotected against air assaults when island hopping.

    Also, we ran into the problem of the British fleet.  Technically the english channel is contested.  We kinda drew an imaginary line, if the fleet was north of it then it was safe, but if it moved south (free move action) to invade France it got fired upon.

    Anyone else have any ideas?


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Anyone else have any ideas?

    Get rid of AA guns entirely consider:

    1. The units in this game are “army level” formations which is 3-5 corps… so logically having this piece means their were gigantic formations of these guns as a “primary” anti-air weapon. In reality these only shot down 10% of planes and as a military expenditure should not cost 5 bucks. I use of a d6 is incorrect because it gives too much odds for killing what amounts to thousands of planes. SO the game is saying your German bomber comprising of the entire Bomber force of 2,500 bombers had just got wiped out in one turn (6 months or real time) by some stupid gun that can barely justify its cost, but in some fairy tale fantasy it found its way into this game and costs the same as one panzer army. Yikes! NO other game does this and why should axis and allies?

    The better plan is to use the piece as below. This new unit can be tweeked into becoming either as i present it …or as a anti- tank gun a special “Rail Gun” or a rocket piece (e.g. Katyuska and V-2 rocket battery… even a Neberwerfer battery.

    Heavy Artillery:
    Heavy artillery cost 6 IP each. Heavy artillery attack at 4 and defend at 2.They have a special alternate form of attack. From any adjacent territory they can instead of normal combat fire one free shot into an enemy occupied territory and not be subject to return fire.

    To solve the problem of anti-air can be solved by incorporating the duties with the artillery piece. I have playtested these both so dont worry it works!

    Artillery Guns Anti-Air Defense
    An Artillery gun may fire once at each air unit leaving the air space of its territory during attacking air unit movement and Returning Air Movement. Also, if a territory is attacked (including strategic bombing), a defending Artillery unit has one first shot attack at each air unit (hits are incurred on a roll of 1 on a D10). Losses are removed immediately, before the air units’ fire back. Note: that if 3 planes fly over and you have only 2 artillery… then you get only 2 shots. EACH ARTILLERY FIRES ONCE AT ONE PLANE… NOT EACH PLANE.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I forgot to add that heavy artilery should have another special ability… If placed on a coastal territory and an invasion takes place, it should get a free preemtive roll against attacking units (they dont shoot back) before the landing units attack but after the naval units fire for shore shots. This would be realistic as it would give the defenders something in return because they really have the advantage with interior lines , while the attackers seem to have more advantage in the game. You may also consider adding the same value to artillery, except that as a result of combat studies ( plugging various types of units in a dice server so understand value relationships) i feel that artillery are very underrated as a buy and giving them this additional value for 4 bucks is a bit excesseve. A last idea that i have been floating is to give for example the uk player a “fortification” in gibrater and adding Malta as a territory on the board. IN this case any ship that passes these spaces get a shot at 4 preemtively. This last idea works very well in axis and allies europe BTW.



  • @Imperious:

    Heavy Artillery:
    Heavy artillery cost 6 IP each. Heavy artillery attack at 4 and defend at 2.They have a special alternate form of attack. From any adjacent territory they can instead of normal combat fire one free shot into an enemy occupied territory and not be subject to return fire.

    Why pay 15 for a bomber if you are going to have THIS?

    Heavy Artillery should only defend on a 1 (try pointing a Paris Gun or a Rail Gun at infantry that is 200 yeards away and closing).  Their only defensive value is in screwing up reinforcements to the front/attack supply lines and the gun crews would have sidearms and rifles.

    Also, heavy artillery of this magnitude is extremely cumbersome and should only be able to be moved in the NON-combat phase for use on an adjacent territory the next round (essentially removing it from regular combat role).

    NOW you have a piece that would have a value of 6-8.  The initial write up it is damn near a land battleship and should cost 18-20


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    [Why pay 15 for a bomber if you are going to have THIS?

    Heavy Artillery should only defend on a 1 (try pointing a Paris Gun or a Rail Gun at infantry that is 200 yeards away and closing).  Their only defensive value is in screwing up reinforcements to the front/attack supply lines and the gun crews would have sidearms and rifles.

    Also, heavy artillery of this magnitude is extremely cumbersome and should only be able to be moved in the NON-combat phase for use on an adjacent territory the next round (essentially removing it from regular combat role).

    NOW you have a piece that would have a value of 6-8.  The initial write up it is damn near a land battleship and should cost 18-20](http://Why)

    Rationale:

    1. they only move 1 space, while bombers move 6
    2. they cannot attack naval units or air units
    3. a tank has a 3/3 value and moves 2 spaces and costs 5… so you can apply your reasoning to that as well but you know it works just great. This unit costs 6 and has a defense of 2 so in the final analysis they both have value, while the bomber now also is of more value because it wont get shot down as much it has a 1 in 10 chance of going down (instead of 1 in 6).
    4. the price is not a fixed point… it can be easilly raised, but in playtesting it works. but if you want then change price to 7-8  IPC range.


  • As a “technology” item, OK, they work.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Ok but aa guns suck they got to go. they should not be killing planes at a 1 in 6 clip.



  • @Imperious:

    Ok but aa guns suck they got to go. they should not be killing planes at a 1 in 6 clip.

    Easy fix…
    Remove the restriction on number of guns per territory, and then let them fire ONLY once per gun rather than per plane.  They should also fire each time over flown, not just in combat.

    Should get you to about a 1 in 10 without having to introduce polyhedron dice into the game (not everyone is a former D&D player who has d4, d6, d8, d10, d12 and d20 laying around 🙂 )


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Easy fix…
    Remove the restriction on number of guns per territory, and then let them fire ONLY once per gun rather than per plane.  They should also fire each time over flown, not just in combat.

    I did exactly that.  check it out each artillery fires once at a plane . and the old aa gun can be an extra peice (heavy artillery) the d10 thing is a good fix because 1 out of 6 sucks


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Ok, a little late on my replies to this suggestion, I understand, but I was in Georgia, so please give me a break, okay?

    I’m not that big of a fan of the entire artillery piece.  Now, we have an idea on the 10% mark, say, for every 10 planes that attack the AA gun automatically hits one (or if you are lucky like me, you have D10 on hand from Fortress America and can say a 0 on a D10 is a hit (0 kinda looking like a bull’s eye, if you use your imagination.)

    And if you extrapolate that to amphibious assaults (which you can do in lieu of anti-aircraft) you can use the same methodology.

    Also, if you say that a fleet can only be shot at by one artillery piece, period, that might balance out situations like Europe.  It still rewards Japan for building AA guns (which we said didn’t need to be transported by ship, you could build on site, to make the game faster) but it doesn’t OVER protect Germany by allowing 4d6 (or a 48.38% chance on average of surviving the attack (83.4% per shot chance that a target will survive the shot, or 0.8340.8340.834*0.834 odds on 4 D6 that a target will survive)).

    You can agree (assuming I did my stats right) that those kind of odds are INSANELY too high!  You could easily decimate any fleet invading.  Then again, it does force the allies to land assault Germany like they did in history.

    Ideas?


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Well first off i invite you to join our group of designers who are working hard to produce a historical based ruleset for Revised complete with a redrawn map X2 the size! new player aids… new rules in some cases to repair as we see some glowing ahistorical problems in revised. Also, additonal units may be offered as well.

    AS far as your idea… i will study it. It is more than welcome…

    Also, if you say that a fleet can only be shot at by one artillery piece, period

    I am not sure what this refers too… Under a proposed system for Invasions we are considering:

    Attacking BB, CA and possibly DD getting preemtive shore shots ( 4 infantry landed for each shore shot)
    Defending artillery preemtive attacks going against invading land forces ( infantry)
    Attacking infantry and planes getting normal combat rolls
    all remaining defending pieces rolling for defense

    On the second round and latter rounds  its:
    All attacking pieces ( including now armor units)
    All defending pieces

    Attacker can retreat after the second round except any landed armor is "converted’ to infantry to represent soldiers escaping with the shirt on their backs back to mommy. All other units can retreat normally onto the landing barges. No ships like in OOB can be hit or take any allocations.

    lastly, under this system the retreating side can take a round of “parting shot” fire because we allow attacker or defender can now retreat after any round. Some can be left to obsorb hits and defend, but if the attacker rolls well additional hits go against the retreating defender/attacker.

    OK i think by rereading your original port… what your getting at is some “guns of Navarone” thing with using the utility of the AA gun piece as a new coastal gun emplacement ala “atlantic wall” … to help fight off invasions as well as double duty as AA guns again hitting on a zero result.

    This could be made to work allowing the AA gun to become more abstracted as a multi purpose defense gun. The AA gun does not belong in a entry level strategic based wargame… Its too specific IMO you simply do not find its utility found in more complicated games like “Third Reich” by avalon hill… what is it doing in our game? i dont know… but your idea is valid.



  • In the version we use in my group,  Arty Works differently (we think the avalon hill arty rules blow goat cheese)

    We leave AA guns alone as a game balance issue…

    But on the issue of guns defending an AA we allow arty to fire back at the boats involved in an amphibious assault.

    Also note,  Arty  is a 1/2 unit (with first strike) when paired with an infantry (otherwise they are 0/1 no first strike).  So they only attack the incoming boats at 1.  This allows Germany and Japan to build up coastal defences.

    As for Islands stopping boats from going by…the ocean is too large for even the biggest guns to do that when stationary. You might catch an unwitting boat who didn’t know you were there once,  but in the end there are hundreds of miles of ocean to cruise in.



  • In AARHE we plan to make the AA piece represent infrastructure defence.

    This is much needed as the game do not model any of that (defences). Amphibious assault against German fortifications (eg. Western Europe) should be a very different story to a casual landing on one of the Pacific islands, or Africa.

    Infrastructure defence would consist of coastal batteries, anti-air guns, etc.

    As for balancing in this case, a modest study of historic specifications leading to a a good model would avoid any strange/funny situations.


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