Turn one attacks that must not fail


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    I’ve been pondering the turn one attacks that absolutely cannot fail – i.e., if these attacks fail you should concede and start a new game. This is my list so far:

    1. G1 Paris attack – yes, you can let Italy mop up, but it changes the whole dynamic of the game. Germany has lost a lot of resources and is deprive the Paris income. At best you now have to give Italy a large role in the attack on Russia which gives you a severe disadvantage because you now have to use an Italian sacrificial attack to soften up Moscow and then two-punch with Germany, and at worse you’ve lost the game.
    2. G1 sea zone 110 attack – in this case, absolute success means destroying the fleet with no aircraft lost. If you leave ships alive or lose multiple aircraft, it changes the whole dynamic of the game. Is it worth a restart though? Probably not unless you lost three or more aircraft and left ships alive.
    3. J1 attack on Yunnan – if your J1 attack on Yunnan fails, is it a total catastrophe? My opinion is yes. This rises to the level of “Japan will never be able to win” in my opinion.
    4. C1 attack on Yunnan – if you lose this attack, India will fail on J3 with absolute certainty barring insanely fluky die rolls (by “insanely fluky” I mean “you get 12 antiaircraft hits when Japan goes in and Japan misses its entire first round of attacks”). Losing this attack is an utter disaster for the Allies.
    5. UK1 sea zone 96 battle – this is so bad that when my opponents fail I ask them if they want to continue the game. The whole dynamic in the Med changes. The UK really cannot hold Egypt and secure the Middle East if this attack fails.

    (I specifically did not include Taranto because it is, in my opinion, a poor play – after a successful Taranto, the UK fleet in sea zone 97 is a sitting duck for the Luftwaffe that conveniently has little else to do on G2, and will be annihilated with minimal losses to the Luftwaffe.)

    Your thoughts on these? What have I missed?

    Marsh



  • Hey MOW, cool topic… I’m curious to know how you play the Med as the UK turn 1.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Assuming Germany does not reinforce Tobruk with two fighters, I think killing Tobruk is probably the UK’s best bet. You still have to deploy blockers to save Egypt this way, but it’s acceptable for the gain IMO.

    If Germany does reinforce Tobruk with two fighters, then in my opinion the best bet is deploying blockers, building the IC in Egypt, and retreating non-blocking fleet (the carrier) to the Red Sea while pulling destroyer, cruiser, fighter, and tactical bomber from India (http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=38162.msg1557370#msg1557370). After UK moves back into the Med on UK2 (which cannot be prevented because you deployed UK blockers on UK1 and yeah, the blockers die but it’s irrelevant) you drop a naval build in sea zone 98 and on UK3 the Italian fleet is dead unless it runs away. (Meinherr will probably try to bring his Ram-rod strategy into this discussion as a counter to the Egypt factory, but again his numbers just don’t add up. Yes, he can absolutely capture the factory on I2 but then he is stuck defending Egypt and the UK can still screw over the Italian navy on UK2 with a naval build before Italy can capture Egypt and close the Med.)

    Losing the UK navy in the Med on G2 is a pretty bad blow to the UK in my opinion. Doing Taranto is throwing away the UK navy in the Med.

    EDIT: If you do attack Tobruk, I still think you have to build the IC in Egypt (or plan to retreat and then recapture). You have depleted your ground forces in Egypt and need to rebuild them. Deploying the blockers buys you a turn, but you must quickly replenish your ground forces and your fleet is still vulnerable to the Luftwaffe. Of course, in this case you would not do this if Germany was setting up for a strafe of Egypt – Meinherr would be right at that point that the Egypt factory is vulnerable and Germany would not have to sacrifice the Luftwaffe to win said factory for Italy.

    Marsh


  • 2017 '16 Customizer

    Personally, I find your defeatist attitude interesting. I’ve had just about every battle you list go south but did not “throw in the towel” as you seem to think is the only option. In my mind, that’s the excitement and challenge of this game. Sure the dynamics change, but that simply means so must the game plan. Combat is fluid and generals must adapt to the outcome of every battle. If it goes as expected or planned…outstanding. But if it doesn’t, we must come up with an alternative plan or action to offset or regain the loss. I have indeed recovered from losing most of G’s aircraft on the opening turn w/ GB ships still standing. To say “If I lose X amount of aircraft or GB has ships left means the game cannot be won” is, in my mind, short sighted. To me that simply adds to the adrenaline level and excitement of the game. Even if your prophecy proves true, I must at least try to continue the game because there’s always the chance my opponents plans will go south too. Anyway…interesting question. I just never like to throw in the towel so quickly. I love to play it out. Even if I’m on the losing side. I always learn something from every game.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Well, if your opponent messes up or his luck goes sideways too, the game could easily be salvagable. On the other hand, with average results and no major errors on your opponent’s part, do you really think you can recover from these failures?

    I would actually continue after everything but failing Paris, but all of them change the character of the game drastically. Given equal play and equal luck thereafter, I would be less expectful of winning following all the failed attacks. I might still pull out a Europe victory if the J1 attack fails, and I might still be able to kill Germany after India falls, but it becomes a lot harder…

    Marsh



  • There is an increasing tendency for the UK to scramble all of the planes to SZ110 and SZ111.  With bad dice rolling the Germany could lose a large fraction of the airforce.  If nothing goes wrong for the Allies during the first turn, I usually surrender on G2.  It becomes impossible to drive back Russia and survive the Allied invasion against a skilled opponent after that massive setback.


  • 2018 '16

    I am in concurrence about the defeatist attitude. I think you should try to play it out. This game takes on average about 45 minutes to setup. The dice will “dice you”. Suck it up and see if you can get out of the pickle. The only true test of your skill is when you are backed into a wall. Why not let your opponent relish in the short lived victory? I’ve come back from what appeared to be certain doom on about 5 occasions. These are the games that are always remembered and talked about for years to come. “You remember that one time when I came back…”
    I’ve assaulted Moscow 3 times in a game before finally breaking through. Couldn’t attack the Chinese with Japan (House rule) twice in a game. My USA got blasted in the Pacific by the Japanese fleet. Lost London and kept playing anyway for 5 more hours. It’s often more fun to see just how good you really are than worry about a win loss record. I use an unknown quote to end my tirade on quitting early.
    “No good captain worth his salt only ever sailed calm seas.”


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    And besides, Germany and Japan in WWII kept fighting past the point where they had any reasonable hope of achieving victory, then past the point where they had any reasonable hope of even managing to scrape together some sort of stalemate, and even past the point where it was clear that certain defeat was only months away.  By May 1945, for example, the western and eastern fronts had each moved so far towards each other that the Wehrmacht troops on each front were almost fighting back-to-back down the middle of Germany.  More sensible German political leaders would have taken the hint a lot sooner and promptly thrown in the towel (as Italy did in 1943), but at the time Germany didn’t exactly have a sensible leader.  And in any case, wars on the scale of WWI and WWII doesn’t get resolved in the old-fashioned way of giving up before too much damage is done, conceding a few colonies to the enemy and calling it a day.  Total warfare makes such demands on nations, and inflicts so much damage on them, that its objective tend to become total too: unconditional surrender of the enemy.  And unconditional surrender is something that a country’s rulers are very reluctant to agree to (in part because it will mean the end of their regime), so the natural tendency is to want to keep fighting until the bitter end.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    If you consider any given battle to be “game-breaking”, then you are taking excessive risks and using the ability to concede the game and start over as a justification for those risks.  Simply make more conservative attacks.  It is an assumption we make that Germany can attack 3 sea fleets, take paris (and even attack Russia) all on turn 1.  That isn’t conservative, but its always possible.  Same with the Tobruk/Taranto complex…

    I don’t know of any T1 or T2 battle where I just throw up my hands if the luck goes completely against me.    If Japan loses all of its ground troops in the Yunnan battle, then well, it can make up for that with the FIC factory within 1 turn (if it took and secured it).  I also don’t always counterattack there.  Sometimes, its better for china to run like hell.

    You’re right, India will fall.  It always falls.  That’s not about luck or even Allied choices (barring bringing all your air there) its more about how the game plays out.  As a result, I have undercomitted to building the front line transports before and only shown up on J3 with not enough to win…so I have to wait until J4.  I cant simply roll the dice and hope to get lucky, then quit because I didn’t wait until J4 or preplan better.

    Maddog is dead on;  I want my opponent to have to take risks and thereby lose.  Usually making a certain, risky choice buys you 1 turn.  You can do a battle on G4 with luck, or build up more and on G5 take it for certain.



  • Well certain things can go horribly wrong even if you have 90% odds. And playing those odds is pretty conservative.
    If germany only attacks 110-110 and paris those 3 attacks are pretty stable.

    IF you then paris and 1 of the fleet combats because you dont hit and they hit 100% well you are kinda going to lose. Nothing to do with bad skill you got diced.

    Thats why i preferr low luck, i know it aint perfect and that it does not leave any random in there but i just hate those situations where you attack with 3 planes and all 3 get shot down.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    I have played 108 games of Global and those scenarios happen very rarely.  People focus way too much on the opener and the first 4 turns of the game because for most people, that is all they play.  The deeper game lies closer to T8, and luck isn’t the deciding factor on where you are at when you get there.

    Its a game of skill.  If luck mattered, you undercomitted, planned badly, or shouldn’t have made that attack.  At some point, you have to go to the dice but in our final game, we only had 2 climatic battles at all the whole rest of the game is a stalemate.

    My opponents often have to suck up losing battles and awful odds too, I hardly jump for glee, because I know its going to happen to me at some point.  But there is a huge difference between “attritional”, general luck (getting infantry causalties) and being lucky when it matters (rolling average in a 60 piece battle when your opponent has a slight odds disadvantage).

    I don’t understand low luck.  It isn’t AxA to me.  Luck doesn’t distort outcomes it confirms them.

    The first one is ok.  The second one is game winning.


  • 2017 '16 Customizer

    @Marshmallow:

    Well, if your opponent messes up or his luck goes sideways too, the game could easily be salvagable. On the other hand, with average results and no major errors on your opponent’s part, do you really think you can recover from these failures?

    As I said in my first post…of course I think I can recover. I have before. “No guts -no glory” Right?  😉



  • From your examples, France is really the only attack I can see that both must be done and that I would consider game ending under most circumstances.

    From that alone we can say that some portion of games are going to be lost on dice alone. It’s just the nature of probability.

    That said, most people who think they lose to dice simply don’t understand dice. Yes, you lost a battle you “should have won”, since you had a 90% chance of winning, and it cost you the game. But if you fight a half dozen critical battles at 90% that will cost you the game if lost in a particular game, you’re going to lose half the time outright.

    I generally think people who go into France light are insane for this reason - sure, you’ve still got 90% chance of winning but that means you’re going to lose 1 in 10 of your games on the first battle. That’s insane. But most people don’t consider that a “real” loss, despite the fact balancing minimizing your risk vs reward of spreading yourself out is literally the entire point of the game.

    But this is also why I don’t think the other battles are strictly game enders if they go poorly. When the board is against you you simply up your tolerance for risk. A 10% chance of winning a Hail Mary that will decide the game now is entirely preferable to losing with certainty in a few more turns.  A 90% chance of in a game deciding battle is entirely too low if everything is going your way.



  • Well TBH battles are not always the same and not all are critical or game ending.

    But especialy fleet battles 1 roll of the dice can really cost you the game, attacking with 90% odds of winning does not guarantee a win but mutual annihilation would be nearly guaranteed as worst case. If you really screw those battles up big time you can lose the game in 1 single roll.

    For instance ( not really game ending yet but T1 ) attacking 110  with BB 2 subs 3 tacts 3 fights, hitting only once, and UK scrambles and hits a total of 6 times. You just lost 5 units for no result yet and you will have a hard time. Not game ending but will screw germany over.

    Or worst, doing france and he hits 90% of the units ( including AA)  and you only hit like 3 times. These attacks should be in the 95% odds ranges, you could expect for the fleet mutual annihilation at worst but UK surviving completely intact there.
    You should win france but now you win with only 1 tank left or even lose the battle and italy cannot take it unless you press on after that first round of attack.

    Losing to dice isnt losing a 90% odds it is losing a 90% odds battle with the worst possible outcome. Everybody claiming that you can always recover from any luck consider the situation your opponent will hit 90% of his dice the first round of the game you will not hit more then 20% can you still recover once that has happened?


  • 2020 2018 2017

    I have played many games in my life, and many times, I’m the one with the advantage.  I’m the oldest of my friendset and the owner of almost all the games.  I’m the GM or rules-explainer.  My opponents then have to fight uphill against me for 3-4 more hours, fruitlessly, sometimes for YEARS.

    It seems really unfair then that when I take a knock, or bad luck, or a “worst” outcome, that I would just give up, ever.

    I’ve had the advantage so many times, I’ve just realized that its much more fun and more fair for me to play out a losing game.  Winning is fun, but it would hypocritical not to let other people enjoy the advantage that experience usually offered me first.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    If one of these attacks goes badly, there are undoubtedly consequences. The consequences are typically very bad unless due to bad luck your opponent is not able to capitalize on it. That’s “fog of war” type stuff – the dice represent that. Low luck players don’t want any uncertainty, which IMO is not realistic.

    Can you win after one of these attacks fails? With equal levels of play and no more surprises, it will be extremely difficult – you really need some kind of equalizer to have a decent hope of winning following failure in one of these battles. The dice are your realistic hope for that equalizer. It is possible to win however – as someone said, upping your risk tolerance helps equalize.

    Can it be fun to still play if you don’t win? Absolutely.

    Can you learn things from continuing in these situations? Absolutely. Every game teaches us something, and we learn more from unusual situations than the usual ones.

    Many folks find that they want a serious challenge on both sides of the board or the game is not rewarding. Frankly I find it more rewarding if I win because I played better and not because the dice just hosed my opponent’s properly-planned major attacks. I would rather the dice play a major factor late in the game as opposed to early. Chalk it up to personal preference.

    Marsh



  • @Marshmallow:

    Low luck players don’t want any uncertainty, which IMO is not realistic.

    Well im one of those LL players and i dont mind the uncertainty, but i dont want the extremes.
    I would love to have a system that is more random the Low-Luck currently is but that guarantees that your dicerolles are in the 50% part of the bellcurve.

    For example you attack with 6 inf, sure you can hit 0-1-2 times but not 5 or 6 times. Sure 2 tanks dont have to hit exactly 1 time but 10 tanks should hit at least 3 times up to  7 times.
    It is still random you cannot calculate the results but you dont get extremes. But i guess you need a PC to do the math and do the dicerolling for you.
    Especialy when you have attacks that go against 60+ units just staying in the average would be great. Now you can play a verry good game for 10 hours and just mess up 1 diceroll ( invasion or russia, fleet battle in the pac ) and you lost the game.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    C1 on Yunnan & UK1 on SZ96 - Yes. In both cases, particularly the first too much damage is done.
    J1 on Yunnan - no. Not at all. Not a little bit. What are you smoking?
    G1 on SZ110? Without bringing in the BB, if the UK scrambles you would expect to lose 3+ planes. Strange comment.
    G1 Paris? Perhaps. I’m not so sure about this one. If you take out 1inf 1art 1arm it becomes about 97%. Perhaps if you lost that you would be looking a bit poorly.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    RE sea zone 110, if you bring the BB and two subs and still lose three planes, Germany is hosed IMO.

    Re J1 Yunnan attack, if this fails you are not taking India by land. It’s a major setback. Game loser? Only if you were planning to take India to win.

    G1 Paris you can win the battle but the attack can still be considered to have failed if the French defense got into your tanks. Good luck taking Moscow quickly if that happens.

    Marsh


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @ShadowHAwk:

    Well im one of those LL players and i dont mind the uncertainty, but i dont want the extremes.
    I would love to have a system that is more random the Low-Luck currently is but that guarantees that your dicerolles are in the 50% part of the bellcurve.

    I’m there with you on that desire, but frankly that also is not realistic. Weird stuff happens in combat, and those extreme results on the dice account for that possibility. It is odd how in every game we see at least one result that is 1% or less likely.

    Marsh


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @Marshmallow:

    Re J1 Yunnan attack, if this fails you are not taking India by land. It’s a major setback. Game loser? Only if you were planning to take India to win.

    I will not lose a plane to take the territory and suffer no real ill effects if that happens, other than not getting to kill a couple more Chinese J2/C1. What is the problem you are talking about? If you do lose planes and still withdraw?



  • My issue with LL is that it changes the game balance in ways I don’t completely understand, particularly for small, air supported battles.

    For example: there are 3 infantry are in a province. I know I can send just 2 units and sufficient aircraft to land 3 hits, always be successful and always take the province. Depending how important both winning and taking the province was, without low luck I might have to send 3 or 4 units. This will be especially problematic in amphibious assaults, because knowing I only need to send one transport can make a huge difference.

    I think this will further tilt the game into Axis hands. Germany and Japan both have large starting air forces, take part in many small battles, and guaranteed outcomes will free up Japanese transports for other tasks. Maybe it’d even out elsewhere, but I’m just not sure what all the ripple effects will be.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @simon33:

    I will not lose a plane to take the territory and suffer no real ill effects if that happens, other than not getting to kill a couple more Chinese J2/C1. What is the problem you are talking about? If you do lose planes and still withdraw?

    Yeah, losing the plane would be a bad call. But if China gets four hits on defense, you lose four ground units and do not take the territory.

    You can still take India, but you have to do it by sea, and chances are you will not be getting any overland units to help. That means that India will be biting hard into your air force to take it.

    China holding Yunnan is a bad beat for Japan.

    Marsh


  • 2020 2018 2017

    If you build the MiC in FiC, or Malaya, or the naval base on Yunnan, more reserves can be brought up by J3, easily.

    Its just another way of saying that if China gets 20th% lucky and gets 6 extra dollars C1 rather than dying by J4, Japan quits because the road wasn’t standard level easy.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    I agree with you that it’s not the end of Japan’s game if the Yunnan attack fails. However, I still maintain that it delays you from taking India by a turn if UK Pacific and China are run properly. Losing that turn is very costly for Japan.

    That being the case, Japan may be planning to not capture India until late in the game for some reason, so you may just not care…

    Marsh


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