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Balance the game - a tax raise for US citizens?



  • We - as many other players - have made the experience that the Axis tend to win most of the games if they play it straight. Thus, we would like to improve the Allied side.

    But we do not believe in bids and units positioned at the beginning. As mentioned in other threads, that changes the game completely, if, for example, the UK fleet or even France survive. That’s not what we intend.

    So we thought about giving the US player more money. It would create once again the feeling for the Axis that they have to hurry, because if they do not, they will be crushed by the American player. On the other hand, it does not change the initial setting. Has anyone any experience with that?

    We thought about ten IPCs per turn from the beginning (by increasing the value of Eastern United States, for example), or twenty IPCs per turn through achievements (by adding the achievement "be alive and earn 20 extra when at war). What do you think?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    I think it is a good idea; I would suggest 10, while at war.
    I would also give the Russians a 5 Bonus for being at war.



  • This is what we have done to balance our games…

    New & Modified National Objectives

    Germany (in addition to all original NOs)
    -5 IPCs if an Axis power controls London

    Soviet Union (in addition to all original NOs)
    -5 IPCs if there are no Axis warships in sea zone #125, and the Allies control Archangel as well as London (Part 1 of 2 which replaces National Prestige).
    -5 IPCs if there are no Allied units on any original Russian territories (Part 2 of 2 which replaces National Prestige).

    Japan (in addition to all original NOs)
    -5 IPCs if Japan controls all original Chinese territories

    United States (in addition to all original NOs)
    -5 IPCs if the United States are at war with the Axis powers

    UK Europe (in addition to all original NOs)
    -5 IPCs if there are no German or Italian submarines on the board.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    I like those NOs. Not too complicated. OOB for SBR rules?



  • This National Objectives issue is all insane, in case you ask me, and was something the designers come up with to spice the 50 Anniversary ed, because they wanted to script the game into the historical correct pattern. If Germany attack Leningrad, they get awarded because that is what they did in the real war. If USA attack Spain, they get punished because that did not happen in the real war. Get it ?

    Think about it, how rational is it that the original owner of Leningrad only get 2 IPC income, but an alien attacker that bomb the city, kill the population and burn the land, he will get not only the inherent 2 IPC, but also an additional 5 extra bonus, to a total of 7 IPC from a scorched and now ruined territory ?? How derogatory is not that ? I could maybe agree if it was a one time plunder bonus, like when you plunder a capital, but this NO pays out every turn, like it was some magic chest that filled up every night, so you can come and plunder it again next morning, for infinity.

    Lets look at the numbers in the book The Economics of WWII, bu Mark Harrison. France had a Gross domestic production of 199 billion dollars in 1939. In 1940 the French GDP had sunk to 82 billion dollars. Yes, that happens when you ruin a country. But the lost French GDP did not add to Germanys GDP, because Germany only went from 384 to 387 in the same time, so to conquer France was not the same as winning in the Lottery. Germany experienced the same problems after capturing Polands GDP of 76 billion dollars, Baltic States 12, occupied USSR territories worth 134 billion dollars, ahh the table on page 8 list like 15 countries Germany plundered, for a total of more than 300 billion dollars, but Germany only increased its GDP from 384 before the war to a max of 412 in 1942, when Germany was at its peak of power. So obviously its a lot of money that just vanish into the void when you conquer another country, bomb the factories, kill the population and burn the land.

    But in our A&A game, its kind of opposite, you get rewarded by a NO income that is totally out of any balance no matter what you compare it with. So, to make it short, just ditch the possibility to get extra income from a captured territory. IMHO the NO should represent income from international trade, agreements, shipping and stuff that dont have a printed IPC income on the map. Lets keep the Iron ore trade with Sweden and the Trade agreement with Russia, that is exactly whtat NO should be about.

    I think the NO list should be like this.

    Germany
    5 IPC from Sweden, Iron ore trade
    5 IPC from Russia when not at war with each other, trade agreement and alliance
    5 IPC for Middle East and Caucasus oil, if Germany capture this territories

    USSR if attacked by Germany
    5 IPC Lend Lease if sz 124 and Archangelsk is controlled by allies
    5 IPC Lend Lease if Persia and Caucasus is controlled by allies
    5 IPC Lend Lease if Far East and that seazone north of Japan, dont have the map in front of me, is controlled by allies

    UK
    5 IPC for shipping benefints and international trade if all Atlantic Ocean seazones are free from Axis subs and warships.
    5 IPC for shipping lanes if all Mediterranean seazones are free from Axis subs and warships

    Same with the others, this is how NOs should work, you get the picture

    Now, USA is different, it was the only country that got mass production. The GDP of USA went from 800 billion dollars in 1938 to 1500 billions in 1945, and no other country experienced anything like that, the other Great Powers either stayed at the same point, or went down, only USA gained in GDP, and that was because of mass production. Also, USA raised its military outlays from 1 per cent of national income in 1939, to 42 per cent in 1945, and US Industry was just starting to get fueled when the war end.

    To model the US mass production in this game, I suggest USA get 5 IPC extra income for each Turn, even if not at war. This NO should be in addition to the OOB NO that is triggered when in war.

    To sum it up
    USA
    Turn 1 income + 5 IPC
    Turn 2, income + 10 IPC
    Turn 3, income + 15 IPC
    etc etc
    when at war, income + mass production NO + the OOB NO + income from captured territories

    of course it need some playtesting to get balanced, but IMHO this is how the NO should work,



  • @Narvik:

    This National Objectives issue is all insane, in case you ask me, and was something the designers come up with to spice the 50 Anniversary ed, because they wanted to script the game into the historical correct pattern. If Germany attack Leningrad, they get awarded because that is what they did in the real war. If USA attack Spain, they get punished because that did not happen in the real war. Get it ?

    Think about it, how rational is it that the original owner of Leningrad only get 2 IPC income, but an alien attacker that bomb the city, kill the population and burn the land, he will get not only the inherent 2 IPC, but also an additional 5 extra bonus, to a total of 7 IPC from a scorched and now ruined territory ?? How derogatory is not that ? I could maybe agree if it was a one time plunder bonus, like when you plunder a capital, but this NO pays out every turn, like it was some magic chest that filled up every night, so you can come and plunder it again next morning, for infinity.

    Lets look at the numbers in the book The Economics of WWII, bu Mark Harrison. France had a Gross domestic production of 199 billion dollars in 1939. In 1940 the French GDP had sunk to 82 billion dollars. Yes, that happens when you ruin a country. But the lost French GDP did not add to Germanys GDP, because Germany only went from 384 to 387 in the same time, so to conquer France was not the same as winning in the Lottery. Germany experienced the same problems after capturing Polands GDP of 76 billion dollars, Baltic States 12, occupied USSR territories worth 134 billion dollars, ahh the table on page 8 list like 15 countries Germany plundered, for a total of more than 300 billion dollars, but Germany only increased its GDP from 384 before the war to a max of 412 in 1942, when Germany was at its peak of power. So obviously its a lot of money that just vanish into the void when you conquer another country, bomb the factories, kill the population and burn the land.

    But in our A&A game, its kind of opposite, you get rewarded by a NO income that is totally out of any balance no matter what you compare it with. So, to make it short, just ditch the possibility to get extra income from a captured territory. IMHO the NO should represent income from international trade, agreements, shipping and stuff that dont have a printed IPC income on the map. Lets keep the Iron ore trade with Sweden and the Trade agreement with Russia, that is exactly whtat NO should be about.

    I think the NO list should be like this.

    Germany
    5 IPC from Sweden, Iron ore trade
    5 IPC from Russia when not at war with each other, trade agreement and alliance
    5 IPC for Middle East and Caucasus oil, if Germany capture this territories

    USSR if attacked by Germany
    5 IPC Lend Lease if sz 124 and Archangelsk is controlled by allies
    5 IPC Lend Lease if Persia and Caucasus is controlled by allies
    5 IPC Lend Lease if Far East and that seazone north of Japan, dont have the map in front of me, is controlled by allies

    UK
    5 IPC for shipping benefints and international trade if all Atlantic Ocean seazones are free from Axis subs and warships.
    5 IPC for shipping lanes if all Mediterranean seazones are free from Axis subs and warships

    Same with the others, this is how NOs should work, you get the picture

    Now, USA is different, it was the only country that got mass production. The GDP of USA went from 800 billion dollars in 1938 to 1500 billions in 1945, and no other country experienced anything like that, the other Great Powers either stayed at the same point, or went down, only USA gained in GDP, and that was because of mass production. Also, USA raised its military outlays from 1 per cent of national income in 1939, to 42 per cent in 1945, and US Industry was just starting to get fueled when the war end.

    To model the US mass production in this game, I suggest USA get 5 IPC extra income for each Turn, even if not at war. This NO should be in addition to the OOB NO that is triggered when in war.

    To sum it up
    USA
    Turn 1 income + 5 IPC
    Turn 2, income + 10 IPC
    Turn 3, income + 15 IPC
    etc etc
    when at war, income + mass production NO + the OOB NO

    of course it need some playtesting to get balanced, but IMHO this is how the NO should work,

    National objectives are not only quantifiable by production, and this game isnt a simulation either.
    France volunteers provided a few divisions to the german army invading russia, in a war your soldiers are also a resource you have to count it really takes 18 years for someone to become 18 you cannot speed that up. Factories you can build more from soldiers its kinda hard. Propaganda and progress does a lot for your total pool of people, if london would have fallen not only would the divisions stationed to defend there be available on the russian front also the resistance would be less and there would be more french volunteers as well as UK volunteers to add to the ranks of the german army.
    Taking leningrad would have made the port available for resupply of the area saving loads of troops and fuel supplying a large part of the northern army, this also coulds towards what you can do. It would also be a morale blow and there would be more russian volunteers in the german army and more defectors in russia.
    Area income is just something to make the game playable and fun, realisticaly Japan did not get much out of interior china, Afrika does not really supply that much raw supplies or has that high a GPD. And the unindustrialized parts of russia would be nearly worthless for about a year untill the crops would have grown. And then a few firebombs would take that away easy.

    NO’s help the side that is winning to win harder and make the game less of the regular push for moscow that revised was.

    The game was balanced with those NO’s in mind taking them away will really screw over the germans and italians.
    If you dont like them you dont play with them ofcourse but you have to balance accordingly.



  • @ShadowHAwk:

    NO’s help the side that is winning to win harder and make the game less of the regular push for moscow that revised was.

    The game was balanced with those NO’s in mind taking them away will really screw over the germans and italians.
    If you dont like them you dont play with them ofcourse but you have to balance accordingly.

    mr. Hawk, I am not able to argue against you, I just want to point out that mr Shaniana, the dude who startet this thread, claim that the game is not balanced because the Axis keep winning all the time. Now, I believe that the game designer spent years to make this game perfectly balanced. The only problem is that it takes longer time to learn to play the Allies in an effective way, while the Axis is simple to play. Do mind that most people that play this game are casual players, not experts that spend years to in depth studies of Allied strategies.

    With that in mind, I suggest that the US NO system could be part of the bidding system. A poor Allied player could get a higher US no bonus, like 10 or 15 IPC extra each turn, or it could be successive, like I suggested in my former post, like US get 5 IPC more every turn, and we imagine that models the mass production or War Bonds or something, just to have a name on it. Of course it could be any given number, depending on how poor or skilled the players are. I dont believe there are any A&A playgroup in this world so big that it can gather 8 players at the same level and with the skills that is obviously required to play Global 40 balanced OOB, so it is pretty obvious that bidding should be part of the game mechanic. IMHO of course.

    Yes, it is correct that the NOs are designed to make a faster game, the designer wrote that himself in his own webpage years ago when he designed the game, and yet I dont endorse it, because some of the NOs are borderline lame, IMHO. My point is, why use space to wrote a rule that give Russia a one time 10 IPC NO if they capture Berlin, at that point the game is over anyway and they will never use that money. Only in rare cases against die hard players will the Axis keep on to the bitter end, normal people give up and leave the table when Berlin is taken. My point being, that kind of NOs are redundant.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    @Narvik:

    Think about it, how rational is it that the original owner of Leningrad only get 2 IPC income, but an alien attacker that bomb the city, kill the population and burn the land, he will get not only the inherent 2 IPC, but also an additional 5 extra bonus, to a total of 7 IPC from a scorched and now ruined territory ?? How derogatory is not that ? I could maybe agree if it was a one time plunder bonus, like when you plunder a capital, but this NO pays out every turn, like it was some magic chest that filled up every night, so you can come and plunder it again next morning, for infinity.

    This is a good point that you raise. So the NOs for Leningrad and Moscow should go to USSR if at war rather than Germany. Not so sure about Stalingrad though; perhaps just remove that NO. Totally comfortable with the Caucasus and Middle East NOs though. Also comfortable with the DEI NO for Japan. If you use the same logic you should get rid of the Japanese NOs for Calcutta, Hawaii and Sydney. Not sure I like that change.

    That would actually help Allies a fair bit and also keep peace between Germany and USSR for longer on the average. Would more peace make the game better? I’m not sure that it would. It would increase the number of Sea Lions though - perhaps that would be good.



  • @simon33:

    If you use the same logic you should get rid of the Japanese NOs for Calcutta, Hawaii and Sydney. Not sure I like that change.

    That would actually help Allies a fair bit and also keep peace between Germany and USSR for longer on the average. Would more peace make the game better? I’m not sure that it would. It would increase the number of Sea Lions though - perhaps that would be good.

    Yes and no. It would be crazy if Japan can squeeze 5 more IPC out of a rocky island than the original owner can. But, if we change the words in the rule, and say that anyone who control Hawaii island and the adjacent seazone 26 with its convoy zone, will get a 5 IPC bonus, representing international trade with South America or something. Do the same with Sydney and seazone 62, and now I can endorse it, man. Now it makes sense to me.

    About your other topic, the possibility of longer time of peace between Germany and its partner in crime, Russia, who knows man ? The current OOB NOs sure reward aggressive play, since Germanys choice between a 5 IPC peace NO dont catch up with the 15 + wartime NOs. But, the OOB NOs also make it a scripted game, but not a historical correct scripted game, since in the real war Germany first had to try a Sea Lion before it would attack Russia. Now, since the designer obviously want a lot of action, and not a sit and wait game, he trough in a lot of NOs to speed up the pace. And that is why we can see everything that happened from 1939 to 1941 in the first Turn of any A&A game. But if you ask me, I think its too many NOs in play, it should be max 3 to each nation, and they should represent something abstract like international trade, shipping, oil etc that is not already printed on the map. Actually there are no need for NOs, you only need Victory Cities to win. If Germany want to win the game, it should attack Russia because of the VCs there, not some derogatory NOs.

    IMHO, NOs only have a meaning in this game if they are a part of some bidding system.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    I agree about there being too many NOs for some nations - except America. They actually did radically increase their production when at war so it’s historically accurate.

    Some nations get more than a third of their income from NOs like Italy and ANZAC - I think that’s going too far.



  • @Narvik:

    @simon33:

    If you use the same logic you should get rid of the Japanese NOs for Calcutta, Hawaii and Sydney. Not sure I like that change.

    That would actually help Allies a fair bit and also keep peace between Germany and USSR for longer on the average. Would more peace make the game better? I’m not sure that it would. It would increase the number of Sea Lions though - perhaps that would be good.

    Yes and no. It would be crazy if Japan can squeeze 5 more IPC out of a rocky island than the original owner can. But, if we change the words in the rule, and say that anyone who control Hawaii island and the adjacent seazone 26 with its convoy zone, will get a 5 IPC bonus, representing international trade with South America or something. Do the same with Sydney and seazone 62, and now I can endorse it, man. Now it makes sense to me.

    The only justification I can see for these sort for national objectives is if they solve som economic problem for the nation taking them. In that way, the italian NOs make sense.  If we look away from the actual units and imagine ships smaller operations, it is easy to imagine why japan would get a huge economic boost from indonesia and hawaii, while italy would get a good boost from taking gibraltar, malta and egypt. When it comes the mediterrainian and hawaii, it is all about taking subbases used for convoy raiding.  Italys major production problem during the war was convoys.  Japans need for indonesia and germanys need for middle east and caucasus is all about oil. Their economy where short on oil, the allied economy wasn’t.  I think the NOs that are about making ones own economy more efficient makes a lot of sense.



  • Unfortunately, the topic has slightly changed. For those still interested: We tried a game last weekend, giving the US player an extra National Objective worth 15 IPCs that only triggered after declaring war on the Axis. The US player went very heavy on Japan (as did UK) and more or less crushed him by the time Germany took Moscow with heavy casualties. The Axis then surrendered, which rarely happened. I have to admit it was late at night, though. So: win for the Allies that usually tend to lose our games. Might have been look, of course. We plan to try again, maybe only ten IPC.

    Oh, we play world domination, no victory cities.


  • 2017 2016

    @Narvik:

    @simon33:

    If you use the same logic you should get rid of the Japanese NOs for Calcutta, Hawaii and Sydney. Not sure I like that change.

    That would actually help Allies a fair bit and also keep peace between Germany and USSR for longer on the average. Would more peace make the game better? I’m not sure that it would. It would increase the number of Sea Lions though - perhaps that would be good.

    Yes and no. It would be crazy if Japan can squeeze 5 more IPC out of a rocky island than the original owner can. But, if we change the words in the rule, and say that anyone who control Hawaii island and the adjacent seazone 26 with its convoy zone, will get a 5 IPC bonus, representing international trade with South America or something. Do the same with Sydney and seazone 62, and now I can endorse it, man. Now it makes sense to me.

    About your other topic, the possibility of longer time of peace between Germany and its partner in crime, Russia, who knows man ? The current OOB NOs sure reward aggressive play, since Germanys choice between a 5 IPC peace NO dont catch up with the 15 + wartime NOs. But, the OOB NOs also make it a scripted game, but not a historical correct scripted game, since in the real war Germany first had to try a Sea Lion before it would attack Russia. Now, since the designer obviously want a lot of action, and not a sit and wait game, he trough in a lot of NOs to speed up the pace. And that is why we can see everything that happened from 1939 to 1941 in the first Turn of any A&A game. But if you ask me, I think its too many NOs in play, it should be max 3 to each nation, and they should represent something abstract like international trade, shipping, oil etc that is not already printed on the map. Actually there are no need for NOs, you only need Victory Cities to win. If Germany want to win the game, it should attack Russia because of the VCs there, not some derogatory NOs.

    IMHO, NOs only have a meaning in this game if they are a part of some bidding system.

    Increasing the peace time economy with russia (10 IPCs for both) while giving the wartime Leningrad +5 bonus NO to Russia, can give a better balance toward allies while giving more incentive to attack UK early and Leningrad later, to block the new russian income.


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