Concerns and Balance Problems with 42.2

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    A0 noncombat turn (no purchase), Russian bomber in Moscow, German destroyer in Baltic, Japanese factory in New Guinea, British artillery in India, British factory in Eastern Australia?

    You lose the China campaign and the Siberia campaign and the Norway campaign, but that also means you have fewer deviations and variations to test. You should still get interesting campaigns in the South Pacific and North Africa.

  • '19 '15 '14

    For the A0 + bomber idea, to the question about max options for Axis with the minimum number of pieces, I think factories have to be considered.

    I start to wonder how many factory markers come in the box haha. I’ve probably misplaced a few and tend to use my plastic pieces from previous boards rather than the punch outs.
    But let’s just say we’ve got like a dozen beyond the OOB set up. Here are some ideas… Thinking about factories purely as targets/anchors for fighting…

    Norway? It was suggested earlier, with some solid points. The only downside I see is that it might be a bit hard to hold without a naval investment, and so Axis might not see it as a boon so much as an Achilles heel. But I like the target aspect.

    France? It seems a bit hard to justify factories elsewhere around the globe while ignoring France. This would be a significant change, since it makes light trading for income here less likely. Germany would have a strong incentive to hold it, as would the Allies. It’s hard to say what the effect would be in terms of SBR. It would give the Allies another target for bombing campaigns, but the downside there is that Germany has another place to spawn units. The potential of a France factory for the battle of the Atlantic (and also for the Med/Africa) would be considerable.
    Probably the most dramatic single alteration one could make, just using production.

    Northwestern Europe? This would be less potent than France, but it’s right next door and so could give a nod to the Fortress Europa angle. It borders three sea zones (for battle of Atlantic options),  and is in range of Canada and Archangel. Could serve as a target territory for Allied invasions, but perhaps a bit less dramatic on the swing. It strikes me as somewhat of a compromise between France and Norway.

    I think any of those would alter the German game sufficiently to create some cool new dynamics. But I wouldn’t use more than one.

    Alternatively extra destroyers could also be fun, though the gameplay potential there is a bit more one dimensional than a factory. (No chance the Allies could use it against you at some point.) Still would be fun to have a Kreigsmarine for a change.

    On the Pacific side things seem more delicate. With a zero turn their naval defense is more complicated. I think a Philippines factory would provide the most gameplay interest. It’s right in the middle of everything (giving Japan some manuveravility), but also presents a nice target for the Allies.

    Part of me thinks a US factory in Alaska could be fun. It’s an ill advised purchase, but as a starting unit it might open up the North Pacific. Gives the Japanese a target that might make a sneak on North America more attractive. Alternatively would give the USN some flexibility if they wanted to go North instead of South. Though I suppose with an A0 turn the US doesn’t need it, and would be pretty deadly on US2 if you wanted the zero turn to include a purchase phase. Just A0 non com at this point?

    I wonder which is more interesting for A0, only a non com move? or only a purchase phase?

    Most of the other starting factory locations that seem interesting to me are 1 ipc locations. Like Malaya, New Guinea etc. Or for the Allies places like E. Australia, New Zealand, W. Canada, Hawaii, Soviet Far East, or in China.

    I don’t think E. Canada factory is necessary with an A0 turn. That suggestion was geared more towards the standard sequence with Russia opening.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Questions for everyone. 🙂

    Black Elk, what is the reasoning behind an East Canada factory? How is it supposed to work? Wouldn’t a French factory encourage more light trading, because neither side could afford to let the other take and hold the factory?

    Baron, what is the Caroline Islands transport supposed to attack? On what turn(s)? As a one-shot attack, or as a shuck-shuck? What’s to stop that transport from going to Burma on J1 to setup a J2 capture of India?

    Taamvan, if we left the rest of the map alone (OOB), what Russian units would you put in Eastern Europe so that the Russians would be able to keep the Germans out of Karelia, West Russia, and the Caucasus for three full turns even without Allied help?

  • '17 '16

    @Argothair:

    Questions for everyone. 🙂

    Black Elk, what is the reasoning behind an East Canada factory? How is it supposed to work? Wouldn’t a French factory encourage more light trading, because neither side could afford to let the other take and hold the factory?

    Baron, what is the Caroline Islands transport supposed to attack? On what turn(s)? As a one-shot attack, or as a shuck-shuck? What’s to stop that transport from going to Burma on J1 to setup a J2 capture of India?

    Taamvan, if we left the rest of the map alone (OOB), what Russian units would you put in Eastern Europe so that the Russians would be able to keep the Germans out of Karelia, West Russia, and the Caucasus for three full turns even without Allied help?

    Nothing can prevent this maneuver. But hope for more elsewhere.

    IDK if India with additionnal Art and purchase can overcome that reinforcement, I hope so.

    TP in Carolines (with Carrier, 1 Fg, 1 Cruiser) is to provides some immediate incentive to move forward toward East (Hawaii), South (Australia) or South East (New Zealand), instead. With more IPCs to grasp and keep more than a single turn (unlike Burma).
    Assuming that US and UK will react to such aggression.

    An IC on France or Northwestern Europe if trade too lightly can escape to the German attacker, then UK or US can easily reinforce this TTy in addition from what coming from TPs.

    A France IC taken and hold by US would mean an incredible amount of units right near Germany or Italy and probably shorten the game once achieved.  Compared to OOB, which need numerous UK, US TPs to achieve a constant flow of units.

    Northwestern Europe is still an interesting place to put an IC, giving 3 SZs access for build placement.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    I think a starting factory in NW Europe would be very thematic – it represents the increased ability of the Allies to supply their European armies with food, amno, fuel, etc. based on control of the only intact deepwater harbors in the region, and it represents increased Axis piwer projection toward the Atlantic based on control of the Dutch shipyards.

    I’m not on love with the starting French factory, partly because it is fun when playing the Allies to try to hold France long enough to build your own factory there. If the Allies can build, hold, and use a French factory without losing London or San Francisco, that is usually as good a place as any to call the game and accept Germany’s unconditional surrender.

  • '19 '15 '14

    @Argothair:

    I think a starting factory in NW Europe would be very thematic – it represents the increased ability of the Allies to supply their European armies with food, amno, fuel, etc. based on control of the only intact deepwater harbors in the region, and it represents increased Axis power projection toward the Atlantic based on control of the Dutch shipyards.

    Agreed, Northwestern is probably ideal. 2 production points is enough to open up some interesting  possibilities for either side without being too insane.
    😄

    My thought with France is that the Germans would stack it so deep that D-Day becomes do or die for both sides. This might tilt the balance away from the Eastern front towards the Fatherland (which could be cool), but my concern is that it would just be too simple for Germany to lock down.  Probably makes a naval build too simple, allowing them to crush Egypt or Caucasus, or even go after UK.

    Northwestern on the other hand, still allows for a German fleet link up in sz 8, but doesn’t provide the same kind of transport spam potential. If G wants to go crazy on the water they could still try nutso moves like a double carrier buy, but at least there is a production cap. Alternatively they could drop a couple uboats in the water to try and strangle UK a bit, but again with less overkill potential. The SBR effect is a lot less dramatic, since raids on a 2 IPC territory are not optimal, but at the same time it doesn’t make things too easy on Berlin (they have 2 more production points elsewhere if the capital is bombed out, but these are at least one turn out of position from the eastern front.) I think it’s a nice trade off. Still useful for D-Day, but not the be all end all that a France factory would represent. Germany should have fun with it.

  • '17 '16

    @Argothair:

    I think a starting factory in NW Europe would be very thematic – it represents the increased ability of the Allies to supply their European armies with food, amno, fuel, etc. based on control of the only intact deepwater harbors in the region, and it represents increased Axis piwer projection toward the Atlantic based on control of the Dutch shipyards.
    I’m not on love with the starting French factory, partly because it is fun when playing the Allies to try to hold France long enough to build your own factory there. If the Allies can build, hold, and use a French factory without losing London or San Francisco, that is usually as good a place as any to call the game and accept Germany’s unconditional surrender.

    Totally agree.  🙂

    I also find that Szechwan IC is better to provide an historical thematic: US supporting China, beyond Himalaya.
    So, adding an AAA improve the anti-air capacity of Chennault’s Flying Tigers, somehow.
    This IC would be within grasp of japanese’s Kwantung and Yunnan’s (coastal TTy) armys, once conquered by Japan.
    Such IC would be double edges. Once conquered, it will help a bit Japan to reinforce his depleted ground army.

    But adding such IC, and we know that China was not a dead horse as it seems in OOB 1942.2, is this an incentive to commit Japan into a centre rush?

    Also, Soviet Far East IC seems to me an interesting target for Japan to slowly built an army to make a centre crush.

    So, even if historical maybe it is not a good idea to add some strategic target on the road toward Moscow. IDK.
    I believe IC creates a sense of urgency to hastely conquer these entry points.

    With AAA in Szechwan, what about 2 more US Infantry in Sinkiang instead ? This would provide like a 3 turns investment from a US IC.

    To the contrary, adding an ICs both in Hawaii and Alaska, which imply to not built any Eastern Canada IC, IMO, so Japan can hope to fight in North America.
    Can better be an incentive to fight eastward. But what can be of some help to UK to build a fleet? One Fighter?

    At this point of exchange, I see these opening options, if no US R0:
    Soviets: +1 bomber Moscow
    Germans: +1 Factory Western Europe +1 Destroyer Baltic Sea (SZ 5)
    British: +1 Factory Eastern Australia, +1 Artillery India + 1 Fg in UK?
    Japanese: +1 Factory New Guinea, +1 Artillery in Carolines Island + 1 Transport in Carolines SZ
    Americans: +1 Factory in Hawaii: Honolulu VC+ 1 IC Alaska +1 AAA gun Szechuan, +1 DD in Panama Canal + 2 Inf Sinkiang?
    I prefer to increase PTO naval actions as much as possible. That’s why many IC outside center can bring something more.

    Japanese IC in New Guinea is a game input for Rabaul Base in New Britain.
    Any unit built there can be considered as a ‘Tokyo Express’ to make pressure on surrounding Islands.
    This IC can also be an incentive to act to properly protect against UK and US.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    For anyone who’s still reading this thread, (100+ posts! Woo!) let me say a few words about how I think we can avoid having every game wind up turning into a rush to the center.

    Any change, anywhere on the board, can theoretically be part of a center rush. Add 4 Russian infantry to the Caucasus? Wow, the Axis had better charge at the Caucasus even harder than before, or else the Russian center will grow strong enough to be unbeatable. Remove 4 Russian units from the Caucasus? Wow, the Axis had better charge at the Caucasus even harder than before, because it’s such an obviously juicy opportunity. Add factories to 7 of the territories in or near the Pacific Ocean? Wow, Japan should just ignore the Pacific and focus on crushing Moscow – there’s no way they can capture all 7 factories with just their one starting transport. Delete every starting unit in the entire Pacific Ocean? Better head to Moscow; the Pacific’s an empty waste of time.

    So the trick is not to make a change that could never help a center rush – the trick is to make a series of changes which, taken together, allow players who are interested in other strategies to pursue those strategies without incurring a disadvantage.

    In the Pacific, I suggested adding starting factories to Sinkiang, the Soviet Far East, and Eastern Australia to complement the OOB starting factory in India, because the Allies can afford to pump units into all four of those factories if they wish, and if they do so, then Japan cannot afford to capture or even seriously attack all four of those factories. They also collectively “plug up” all of the routes to Moscow – if the Allies defend Siberia, China, and India, then Japan can’t reach Moscow at all, so Japan can’t be part of a center crush. Because Russia only needs to build 1 unit a turn, and that unit will be mostly paid for by retained Siberian income, participating in this kind of “anti-Japanese alliance” will not unduly weaken Russia. Similarly, this strategy will still leave the US & UK with some cash to assist Russia in the west. Instead of the Axis converging on Egypt / Trans-Jordan / Persia / Caucasus with robotic regularity, Japan will have to make an intelligent choice. Will Japan make a big push in China? A big push in Siberia? Or a big push in India? Depending on where Japan concentrates its forces (or where Japan gets lucky and makes a breakthrough), you will see different middlegame positions. A stack of 8 Japanese tanks in Yakut looks different from 6 Japanese tanks in Sinkiang, which looks different from 2 Japanese tanks in India. Meanwhile, Japan will also have to choose whether to use its naval budget to fight for the New Guinea factory, the Sydney factory, both, or neither. If Japan chooses to fight for at least one of these factories, then there’s a Japanese campaign that has nothing to do with the center. If Japan chooses to abandon both factories, then the US+UK can use them to threaten the Japanese homeland and money islands, forcing Japan to divert some of its attention away from the center as early as turn 3.

    Of course, the Allies could choose to ignore all of these fascinating new opportunities, and just send all the Pacific boats through the Panama Canal to the Atlantic Ocean, evacuate everyone in Siberia back to Moscow, evacuate everyone in China back to Moscow, build 3 infantry a turn to turtle in India, and focus entirely on building a fighter wall to protect India and West Russia while slowly marching infantry east from Morocco through Egypt to Persia. But aside from being boring, that’s a dumb move on the Allies’ part, because then the Axis wind up with a bunch of free extra factories. 9 times out of 10, an Allied player who does that will just wind up losing a lot of territory and then losing Moscow shortly thereafter.

    Similarly, in the Atlantic, I suggested putting a factory in Norway. This is a really drastic change that the Allies can choose to use to pull German forces far away from the center. If the Germans fight for the factory, they’re now heading northwest from Berlin, i.e., directly away from the center. If the Germans abandon the factory, then the US or UK can claim it and put immediate pressure on Paris and Berlin, which will (again) force the Germans to pull forces away from the center. The Germans could stubbornly ignore all of that and reason to themselves “I’d better crush Moscow quickly because now with an Allied factory in Norway, I have limited time before Berlin falls.” But the point is that this imaginary stubborn German player is putting himself at a disadvantage. It is not wise to abandon the Norway factory, evacuate France of defenders, and blitz straight for Moscow. 9 times out of 10, a German player who tries that will just wind up losing France and then losing Berlin.

    A factory in NW Europe might work almost as well for this purpose as the factory in Norway, because it does give the Axis access to two new sea zones, one of which is in range of Eastern Canada. However, because the factory is on the European mainland, I think it devalues the Baltic navy to the point where Germany is ill-advised to build any boats – instead, Germany will prefer to fill its mainland factories with infantry and artillery.

    Similarly, a factory in Hawaii and/or Alaska might work almost as well as the factory in China, because it does help accelerate an American attack on the money islands, and it does provide valuable targets for Japan if Japan wants to try to intensely harass San Francisco. However, these factories do not literally block a drive to Moscow in the same way that a factory in Sinkiang would. You can’t get to Moscow through China without going through Sinkiang. You can get to Moscow through China without capturing a factory in Hawaii. I also think that harassing San Francisco is a “niche” strategy – there are games when it makes sense, but without major changes to the map, Japan will never be able to steal San Francisco from an alert player unless the game is already long past over. Given that San Francisco is destined to hang on, it usually makes more sense for Japan to try to conquer Moscow (thereby winning) than to merely feint at conquering San Francisco (thereby diverting some US income for defense, but not winning unless that income happens to be absolutely crucial on the European front).

    I am sure there are many options and ideas that will help pull the action away from the center (Egypt / Jordan / Persia / India / Caucasus / West Russia) and toward the various peripheries (Canada / Australia / Alaska / South Africa / Norway / Soviet Far East). As we think about them together, let’s try to stay guardedly optimistic about the possibility of avoiding the center crush. It’s challenging, but it’s definitely possible.

  • '17 '16

    Interesting and well developped ideas.

    Still, I wonder about any Factory in mainland Asia, such as USSR Far East, Sinkiang or Szechuan, how much this is more an incentive for Japan to rush on it rather than being repelled by it.

    For comparison, if we put instead three Infantry (or 2 Infs and 1 AAA) units (which would simulate a three turns built for free), how this would not do a similar disgruntling effect with less opportunity to reinforce once conquered, assuming it is a waste of resources over 1 IPC TTy.

    On PTO, New Guinea IC works like a magnet for US and UK to not let this grow because it allows attack on Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, while once conquered allows, mostly from US POV, a much nearer entry point to attack money islands and totally disrupt Japan economy. On the opposite, Japan is toasted if it happens but a single entry point, giving 1:1 vs Australia does not provide enough room to win an offensive war which usually requires near 3:2 ratio, at least. This IC seems poisoned gift for Japan. There is not a lot of IPCs around (3-4, even 5 if we consider Burma, at the same distance than New Zealand) but may drag a lot of units to patch this weakness.

    If Japan chooses to abandon both factories, then the US+UK can use them to threaten the Japanese homeland and money islands, forcing Japan to divert some of its attention away from the center as early as turn 3.

    Once about this subject, why cannot put 2 Factories in Australia to press Japan of doing something about it?
    That way, it will bring back somehow the old possibilities for Allies to built 2 units from this land zone.
    Clearly, UK will be hard press to find IPCs to supply all his Empire ICs (UK (8 ), India (3), WAustralia (1), EAustralia (1))

    @Argothair:

    A factory in NW Europe might work almost as well for this purpose as the factory in Norway, because it does give the Axis access to two new sea zones, one of which is in range of Eastern Canada. However, because the factory is on the European mainland, I think it devalues the Baltic navy to the point where Germany is ill-advised to build any boats – instead, Germany will prefer to fill its mainland factories with infantry and artillery.

    I still prefer the historical theme which bring an NW Europe IC. For one part, the three SZs from which any U-boats built can appear on board. And, such IC is a direct target for SBR to forbid such unit placement, at a distance which UK or US can bring escorting Fgs!

    Norway is far less interesting from this POV. Allies bombing (on a BB at port) and Trondheim Subs pens were far less known.

  • '19 '15 '14

    It’s hard for me to imagine any production spread or starting unit adjustment that both avoids the center crush while simultaneously maintaining a way for Axis to win (at least in a game played till concession.) I think at best, you can hope to slightly alter how that crush develops or how long it takes to pull off. Basically whether both Axis powers are gunning full force at the same time, or if one of them has to break off to manage a defense, while the other tries to get the job done.

    I suppose you could build the balance around London as a main target rather than Moscow, but that really doesn’t fit with the timeline here in 42. Japan unfortunately just has no targets for the win on the Pacific side that do as much for their team as knocking Russia out of the fight. I think there were some missed opportunities when the production spread was initially created on the Pacific side, esp. around Australia/New Zealand/Hawaii/Alaska. But even doubling the value of those tiles, doesn’t address the capital capture benefit gained when you sack Moscow. Global had a better approach, but also missed the boat in the PTO in my view, by not making the Australian capital a more critical campaign target, and because of the rules for building new production. The ability to have factories on any tile with an ipc value, is probably the one thing 1942.2 has on G40 (well that and the more manageable scale/playtime.)

    If you want to dial back the center crush as the main Axis strategy, I don’t know what can be done other than a rules change. A number of these have been proposed in the past, but with little traction.

    My approach would be to introduce a cash looting rule that governs all VCs, and not just capitals. An example of this would be a flat rate bonus/penalty every time a VC changes hands. For example 10 ipcs (or up to this max) are removed from the owners purse and returned to the bank when one of their VCs is captured. 10 ipcs are then awarded to the new owner from the bank. This would significantly reduce the likelihood that players just casually trade VCs back and forth, which is why you go with a dual penalty/bonus.

    You could do the same thing at 20 ipcs for Capitals, if you wanted to distinguish these from the normal VCs. Not only would this spread the money around, making all VCs more significant relative to the Capitals, but it would also provide a mechanic that uses the game’s built-in economic drivers to support the stated victory conditions, while still allowing players to play until concession if desired.

    But again this goes well beyond a starting unit adjustment. It would be a core change to the game.
    Something like this would be fairly simple to implement in face to face play, but would require editing in tripleA to pull off. That is an impediment in my view, because too much editing can be onerous. ( A one time edit at the start of the game, is different than a recurring edit that requires turn by turn tracking on the part of the players.)

    This is important because I just don’t think you can properly play test a balance mod in a reasonable amount of time using anecdotal evidence from face to face games alone. While face to face play is superior in pretty much every way, it just takes much longer to return a balance consensus. We need to rack up games, like hundreds of games, at a high level of play, to make realistic balance assessments, whatever the rules. Were it not for hundreds of tripleA games played, we’d probably still be debating the balance of Revised right now, to say nothing of Global, or 1942.2. Whether it’s a good thing or not for the shelf life of the boxed games, it’s clearly more expedient to use the digital tools when it comes to gathering balance evidence. That said, I think it’s unwise to create a digital mod that cannot be easily replicated in face to face play or vice versa. A good mod needs to service both styles of play without being overly burdensome to implement.

    I think this is where many mods or serious HR redesigns tend to fall short. In tripleA you can easily make changes that are much more difficult to include with the physical map/materials (changing territory values, redrawing borders, altering basic unit stats, or national objective values etc). Similarly you can do things with the physical game that are simply impractical right now in tripleA. Using playing cards for example, or 12 sided dice, special unit abilities, or special one time events.

    To be successful the mod has to work within the realistic limitations of both the physical game and its digital counterpart. Otherwise you’re cutting off one half of the player base to service the other, with the chances of widespread adoption and consistent feedback diminished as a result.

    This is the main reason why I think we should try to work with only existing mechanics, sticking to the simple stuff, using unit adjustments that are purely additive and only require a one time inclusion at the start, because it’s just much easier to edit.

    Not to ramble overmuch, but one reasonable possibility that works fairly well in both tripleA and face to face, is to adjust the starting cash of each nation. I wonder how receptive people are to this?

    For example…
    Russia +X ipcs
    UK +Y ipcs
    USA +Z ipcs

    Or similarly, for some Axis variety…
    Germany +A ipcs
    Japan +B ipcs

    I mean as a compliment to the proposed starting unit changes, (not as an alternative to the starting unit changes). This would allow the players some freedom to develop their first round purchase based on a desired strategy, while still allowing us to force some trends, that might not otherwise come under consideration OOB or with a traditional bid, by just including those units in the default set up.

    This would give us a way to manage any unforseen balance disparity using starting cash alone, without having to lock down everything purely in starting units. The cash might make additional starting factories more viable, or the opening round more variable, based on the initial purchases. But it’s main use is to provide a way to balance by sides, after the fact, once the core unit adjustments are determined and testing begins. Basically instead of revisiting the unit set up every time a balance concern is raised, you go first to the starting cash instead.

    There are already two misprints on the set up cards for starting cash anyway, so I don’t think it’s too terribly unreasonable to just come up with whatever new values are needed to make the game work. Starting cash could easily be much higher than the starting production/income of owned territories, if that’s what’s required to produce a more enjoyable game.

  • 2021 '20 '18 '17

    G42 is kind of nice because you start with very little, as if every G40 battle has already been fought and attrition is complete.  Then, you rebuild your armies from there and play 7 turns where what you build is as important as what your opener was.

    It is maybe an example in 42.2 where instead of any canned setups or historical accuracy, what we really want is a kind of 4X Axis and Allies where you build up the empire, facilities, possessions and armies you want through the course of the game.  One part of that is more flexible placement (as your factories idea), another example would be YG’s VC system of that you are winning some kind of “points” for hitting various milestones/combos/victories rather than a flat “do you possess XYZ”.  Plenty of cool ideas, but many depart from AxA’s core.

    I think there is a kind of tension because the designers and players know the game is so long (even though in some ways it seems simpler than a ‘modern’ wargame), that they are trying to put in plenty of fights and takes at the beginning, that lead to a more canned playout.  G40 contemplates, but does not realize (except with the US) this prospect of having a kind of “building up” phase (akin to U0) of a couple of hours followed by some truly climatic battles.  Again, all this does occur;  but it happens according to a seemingly very static plan (eg. build up and get to Moscow).

    I’m sure it happens with your group too, but once we have a consensus on who has won, we still play out the big stack battles that no-one would commit to during the running game.  What kind of game would it be if you simply build up a bunch of arms-race stacks only to see them defeat your enemy in a kind of Cold War “I beat you by stacking up the actual battle is a foregone conclusion”.  The Cold War is exactly the kind of war that makes for an awful wargame;  no open combat, constant building up, the resolution is that your enemies economy collapses not because you bombed out his factories but because he ran out of toilet paper…


  • Hi guys,

    I’m digging the conversation.  We have a newer group that plays 1942.2, and we use Black Elk’s Red Bomber mod.  Most of the games have ended with concession of the Allies, or a draw due to time (if the Axis makes some major errors).  Others think its balanced, but I think that’s only because we’re fairly new (compared to the experts on here) and make dumb decisions - as we get more experience, I expect the gap to grow.

    One minor thought I have is increasing the value of India to 4 (or maybe 5?) IPCs, with no other modifications (maybe keep the red bomber).  This would give UK some more money to play with, but not nearly as altering to the first round as a massive bid (e.g. 25 IPCs, where a lot of pivotal battles become one-sided).  India at 4/5 IPCs would make it easier to defend from Japan, and more of a nuisance if Japan tries to skip India and pressure Moscow directly, and would also be a more tempting target.  Maybe allows for the UK to be more active in a naval capacity in the Pacific, or makes a KJF more palatable for the US player.  I know it is altering the board, but it’s a fairly minor change that I think could be accommodated pretty easily (both in face to face and Triple A coding).  Just a thought I had.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    You are all giving me a lot to think about!

    The 5-IPC India idea is interesting, because with more build slots, the UK has a real chance to push back in the Pacific – you could imagine the UK ignoring the London factory and just dropping something like 2 inf, 1 art, 1 sub, 1 ftr directly into India. Another option would be to build something like 3 inf, 1 art, 1 tnk and use the extra 2 land units to counter-attack Egypt. My concern with having a bigger India is that the UK would lose the option to concede or even risk India, even as late as round 4-5. If Japan captures a 5-IPC Indan factory on round 5, isn’t the game effectively over? With 3 build slots in India vs. 4 in the Caucasus, sometimes the Russians can hang on for a while. When the Japanese can just dump 5 tanks a turn in range of Caucasus with no need for transport or fighter reinforcement, though, taking down Moscow gets super-easy. So instead of India being a high priority for Allies defense that can occasionally be sacrificed as part of a gambit or KGF focus, now India is an absolute must-hold territory for the Allies.

    I agree that NW Europe factory is more thematic than a Norway factory, but I personally would be willing to trade off some theme in the choice of factory site in order to gain the thematic bonus of having a German navy that sometimes survives round 2. I do not think you will get the German navy to survive past turn 2 with a Dutch factory. In 95%+ games, the Allies will control the two new sea zones connected to NW Europe, and the third zone (Baltic) is a duplicate; the Baltic is already connected to the factory in Berlin. All that said, I’d much rather have a Dutch factory than no extra factory.

    I think the problem with giving players a bonus of 2 inf + AAA gun in peripheral territories (instead of a factory) is that most players will immediately start marching their extra units to the center. The beautiful thing about factories is that they’re an immobile target. It’s not enough to give players the means to defend their periphery; you also have to give them a motive. By definition ition, the periphery is full of 1-IPC territories that are distant from any capital, so most players won’t be interested in fighting over them. Adding factories to some of those territories helps to make them worth fighting over. Another way to make those territories worth fighting over is by radically increasing their IPC value, radically changing the capital/looting rules, or adding national objectives. I suspect those changed would be harder to sell to intermediate level players than just adding starting units, but I’m certainly willing to be corrected!

    And to Black Elk’s latest point, I absolutely agree that whatever changes you make to the starting setup, if you don’t change the victory conditions, then sooner or later the Axis have to be able to make a plausible assault on the center if you want the Axis to have any chance of winning. That’s almost true by definition; unless you add victory cities in places like Capetown, Sydney, and Anchorage, then the Axis have to take cities like Calcutta, Moscow, and Leningrad to win. It’s also true as a matter of good game design: the point isn’t to abolish the center rush; the point is to give players other options that lead to a richer, more nuanced, more complicated set of strategies. Instead of “throw everything that moves toward the Caucasus,” the Axis could have a strategy of “destroy Allied shipping and then meet up in Archangel,” or “distract America in the South Pacific long enough for Germany to seize Africa, and then use the African revenue to drive on the Caucasus,” or “disrupt the American attack on Japan with a German attack on Eastern Canada and then use the extra time that buys for Japan to conquer India and open up a cheap second front against Moscow via Kazakh.” Eventually most games will still feature a showdown in the center, but that showdown shouldn’t be the only plot point in the narrative, that showdown shouldn’t occur before turn 4, and that showdown shouldn’t happen in literally every single game.

  • '17 '16

    @Russiangoat:

    Hi guys,

    I’m digging the conversation.� We have a newer group that plays 1942.2, and we use Black Elk’s Red Bomber mod.� Most of the games have ended with concession of the Allies, or a draw due to time (if the Axis makes some major errors).� Others think its balanced, but I think that’s only because we’re fairly new (compared to the experts on here) and make dumb decisions - as we get more experience, I expect the gap to grow.

    One minor thought I have is increasing the value of India to 4 (or maybe 5?) IPCs, with no other modifications (maybe keep the red bomber).� This would give UK some more money to play with, but not nearly as altering to the first round as a massive bid (e.g. 25 IPCs, where a lot of pivotal battles become one-sided).� India at 4/5 IPCs would make it easier to defend from Japan, and more of a nuisance if Japan tries to skip India and pressure Moscow directly, and would also be a more tempting target.� Maybe allows for the UK to be more active in a naval capacity in the Pacific, or makes a KJF more palatable for the US player.� I know it is altering the board, but it’s a fairly minor change that I think could be accommodated pretty easily (both in face to face and Triple A coding).� Just a thought I had.

    You are opening different Pandora’s box.
    It probably will not change the global dynamic but increasing the number of Infantry or other ground units, for instance 5 Infantry to 5 tanks (15 to 30 IPCs), provides India much more unit to deal against Japan.

    Of course, it would left around from 0 to 15 IPCs to deal with Germany but it increase much more the defensive ground units available in the center.
    Since, UK in Great Britain built up can wait later while India need it in the beginning rounds, IMO, there is a fine balance to not cross.
    Beyond, it will becomes virtually an impassable road for Japan.

    Nonetheless, IDK if Triple A can easily deal with higher values and corresponding production increase cap.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    It’s a trivial change to the map file – I think it only takes 60 seconds-- but then people have to download a new map file; I don’t think you could do it with just a saved game.

  • '17 '16

    For example…
    Russia +X ipcs
    UK +Y ipcs
    USA +Z ipcs

    Or similarly, for some Axis variety…
    Germany +A ipcs
    Japan +B ipcs

    Ok Just for talking, what would happen if all territories worth 1 additional IPCs hypothesis?
    Russia (24) gets +11 IPCs = 35 IPCs
    Germany (41) gets +16 IPCs = 57 IPCs
    UK gets (31) +21 IPCs = 52 IPCs
    Japan (30) gets +16 IPCs = 46 IPCs
    USA (42) gets +16 IPCs = 58 IPCs


    Allies: (97) +48 IPCs = 145 IPCs
    Axis: (71) +32 IPCs = 103 IPCs

    Allies-Axis: (97-71= +26 IPCs) 145-103 = +42 IPCs
    42 IPCs - 26 IPCs = +16 IPCs increase for Allies compared to Axis
    Allies/Axis: (97/71 = 1.37) 145/103 = 1.41

    No zero pts TTs.
    All initial ICs gets a +1 production capacity.
    Karelia (3)
    Caucasus (5)
    Russia (9)

    UK (9)
    India (4)

    WUSA (11)
    EUSA (13)

    Germany (11)
    Italy (4)
    Japan (9)


    And, if we had a few Factories, (new values):
    NW Europe (3)
    Soviet Far East (2)
    Szechuan (2)
    Hawaii (2)
    Eastern Australia (2)
    New Guinea (2)

    @Black Elk,
    Did you ever play with these changes of IPCs values with your old idea of Bonus Income Phase?

  • '19 '15 '14

    Sorry took me a second to locate the thread.

    My attempts to play with the +1 value to all tiles involved a recurring bonus each turn. Did you mean just using that idea to determine starting cash, not regular income? Hard to say what the effect on balance would be, but I do like universal rules of the form “all X get +Y” whether it’s focused on income, or production, or just to determine the starting cash.

    I think you can take the move over here as a sign that whatever we’ve been discussing these past few pages has veered a bit too far off the official course.
    🙂

    It’s the nature of the beast I suppose. Discussing balance issues is fine for the main section. Discussing balance solutions that go beyond the traditional bid, not so much.

    To summarize, if you want a balanced game for the Allies, you may be looking at a bid well into the +20s range. If you don’t want a bid that high, you can use House Rules or modifications like some of the stuff suggested above, but you may have a harder time persuading others to go along with it.

  • '17 '16

    @Black_Elk:

    Sorry took me a second to locate the thread.

    My attempts to play with the +1 value to all tiles involved a recurring bonus each turn. Did you mean just using that idea to determine starting cash, not regular income? Hard to say what the effect on balance would be, but I do like universal rules of the form “all X get +Y” whether it’s focused on income, or production, or just to determine the starting cash.

    I think you can take the move over here as a sign that whatever we’ve been discussing these past few pages has veered a bit too far off the official course.
    🙂

    It’s the nature of the beast I suppose. Discussing balance issues is fine for the main section. Discussing balance solutions that go beyond the traditional bid, not so much.

    To summarize, if you want a balanced game for the Allies, you may be looking at a bid well into the +20s range. If you don’t want a bid that high, you can use House Rules or modifications like some of the stuff suggested above, but you may have a harder time persuading others to go along with it.

    My intent was about a bonus income each round. That way, more TTys you owned, the more you get. I remembered you suggested something  like that. This bonus is not totally Allies oriented, but it could have diversified the options, especially in Pacific Islands.
    I believe it was possible to change all TTy values in TripleA and it would be easy to remember on a tabletop game without changing numbers on map itself.
    Was just asking, exploring possibilities.

    About moving in HRs forum, if we somehow find some workable guidelines, it would be easy to start a new thread in 1942.2 focusing on a few substitutes to bid which does not change basic rules but hopefully bring more balance.


  • Changing the IPC value’s in triplea would be easy, as Argothair said. I don’t know if this map is best played with just a bid of 20+. Much like Global, this map is pretty busted by design, and as such, needs drastic changes to make it more fun/playable. I love the new IC in India, over the original 1942, but everything else seems off.  US is way too weak and to far from the fight to be enough help fast enough. Africa getting an extra territory really throws off US’s shuck because of the extra turn it takes to walk across Africa. Trying to have a shuck from UK to support Russia is nearly impossible because it takes two turns to go from UK to Arch, if you can even safely land there. The biggest issue is just where the hell does the US land it’s forces to get the most bang for the buck? The answer is there isn’t one… Maybe if US started off making 50 he could come in with some punch to save the allies, but as it stands the US is too damn weak for a bid to help with that glaring issue. That is why I really like the US restricted idea.

    Ever since revised the maps have been getting more and more “weird” for the allies because of how weak fleets are. IMO fleets should be something to be feared, and not just something that works as a super expensive/inefficient, compared to plane counter, transport guardian. If only there was a new transport unit that was 10 IPC’s with 1 defense and could carry 3 inf or 2 inf 1 art/tank. That would help out the allies so much. As it stands with transports things aren’t going to get better for the allies on any of these boards, nor will a bid solve various problems that they have.

    I don’t mean to hijack the thread. I’m just frustrated with the shape of 1942 second edition and global because of the super weak transport :(.

  • '17 '16

    One old idea I suggested to better compensate for some 1942.2/AA50 players wanting to have Classic Transport A0 D1 M2 C8, 1 hit:
    Makes the sweet 5 IPCs spot in cost structure for defenseless transport: A0 D0 M2 C5, taken as last casualty.

    Another idea mostly develop with BlackElk: TP A0 D0-1 M2 C7, 1 hit, taken as last casualty, get +1 if paired 1:1 with another TP.

    IDK if this TP can finally make possible a Sea Lion in 1942.2

    Would be amazing if USA0 restricted combined with 5 IPCs TP make the case even between Axis vs Allies.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    I don’t think you’re hijacking at all, ROCmonster. Figuring out why the map is unbalanced and why bids aren’t quite fixing the problem is very much part of the point of this thread.

    I also prefer to keep this thread on the 1942.2 forum rather than the House Rules forum, for three reasons. First, we’re in the middle of a productive discussion, and if we move the thread, then we’re likely to lose some participants. Second, this thread is more about how to fix the core problems in the 1942.2 map than it is about how to add on some funky new optional features. Third, the House Rules forum tends to attract a bunch of commenters who either don’t know or don’t care that we’re not talking about Global 1940, and they sometimes hijack the thread. Of course, people who mostly play Global 40 and who want to contribute their insights/analogies about how their Global 40 experience can help improve the 1942.2 map are totally welcome here, but I do get tired of having to constantly remind people what game I’m talking about!

    Black_Elk, if you’ve had enough of this thread for now (I thought I sensed some weariness in your last post), then by all means, take a break! You’ve made some amazing contributions, and I don’t think anyone could fairly demand any more of you.

    The +1 to IPC value of all territories idea is intriguing, and I would be happy to try it sometime in a face-to-face game to see how it plays out, but that really creates so many changes to the game that I am not bold enough to venture any strong predictions about how it would play out. Africa and Siberia would become somewhat more important, the Pacific island-hopping game would become slightly more rewarding, and factories in Egypt, Alaska, French Indochina, and Norway start looking somewhat more attractive, since they can now pump out 3 units per turn. Japan will no longer need to build a second factory in most games; if they put, e.g., one factory in French Indochina, then they have 12 build slots for their 46 starting income. I can’t tell if the +1 IPC/territory thing would actually help move the battle toward the periphery, although it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s likely to make the center crush worse. I’m a little skeptical of having quite so much cash in the game – it would lead people to buy more units, which typically makes them slow down and think about each turn for a longer period of time. I prefer 1942.2 games that run 4 to 8 hours; I like that they aren’t typically an all-day-and-all-evening kind of marathon affair.

    I would agree that the USA is sort of painfully and arbitrarily far from the front lines in the 1942.2 OOB map, especially in the Atlantic. I don’t understand why the USA is not allowed to shuck from Eastern US to London. It doesn’t make sense thematically, because that trip took 1 week by boat during WW2, and it doesn’t seem to add anything to the gameplay – on the contrary, it leaves the USA sitting around and helplessly passive for the first few turns of a game that’s supposed to start in 1942, i.e., after the USA already joined the war. That said, the practical solution for OOB gamers is to put your fleet in Eastern Canada, which, after a one-turn delay, lets you shuck directly to Norway, France, NW Europe, Morocco, or French West Africa. Maybe the map designer was a Quebecois patriot?

    The A0 D0.5 M2 C7 transport might be the answer to the USA’s shucking problems, although personally I think the problem is more that the USA is just so bloody far away from the action than that the USA can’t afford to buy defensive warships. I am not super-concerned about giving Germany a chance to pull off Sea Lion unless UK spends 3+ turns without getting around to rebuilding the Atlantic navy, because the game starts in 1942, two full years after Germany tried and failed to clear a path to invade England. I think the OOB game setup is supposed to represent the world where Germany gave up on its offensive surface naval ambitions and focused on land/air/submarine power. If somebody wants to propose a 1940 setup for the 1942.2 map and pieces on the House Rules thread, that might be fun.


  • What is a .5 defense transport? What does that mean exactly? Would that mean if you have 6 transports defending you would roll 3 dice @1 and after all the surface ships are killed the transports automatically die or something?

    The only way I found this map remotely balanced was playing full LL on AA, battles, and bombing raids. This opened up the US to build bombers early on and bomb Germany with 6 bombers hitting Berlin and 1 hitting Italy. US would consistently build a bomber a turn, after it had 7 bombers total, and the rest transports/fleet/ground. The bombers served a multi purpose being able to bomb or attack a land target with US’s fleet/ground, and when Japans fleet eventually made it’s way to Africa they had to worry about being hit with 7 bombers plus 4 fighters. With a 7 bid for allies, playing against myself, the games felt very even. With dice the bombing strat is way to risky because of the times that you loose 2 or 3 bombers on a run would be game over for allies.

  • '17 '16

    @theROCmonster:

    What is a .5 defense transport? What does that mean exactly? Would that mean if you have 6 transports defending you would roll 3 dice @1 and after all the surface ships are killed the transports automatically die or something?

    The only way I found this map remotely balanced was playing full LL on AA, battles, and bombing raids. This opened up the US to build bombers early on and bomb Germany with 6 bombers hitting Berlin and 1 hitting Italy. US would consistently build a bomber a turn, after it had 7 bombers total, and the rest transports/fleet/ground. The bombers served a multi purpose being able to bomb or attack a land target with US’s fleet/ground, and when Japans fleet eventually made it’s way to Africa they had to worry about being hit with 7 bombers plus 4 fighters. With a 7 bid for allies, playing against myself, the games felt very even. With dice the bombing strat is way to risky because of the times that you loose 2 or 3 bombers on a run would be game over for allies.

    Probably something to do with this TP idea first express by me then refined by Black Elk, in Der Kuentsler Defenseless Transport thread:

    @Baron:

    One old idea I suggested to better compensate for some 1942.2/AA50 players wanting to have Classic Transport A0 D1 M2 C8, 1 hit:
    Makes the sweet 5 IPCs spot in cost structure for defenseless transport: A0 D0 M2 C5, taken as last casualty.

    Another idea mostly develop with Black Elk’s help: TP A0 D0-1 M2 C7, 1 hit, taken as last casualty, get +1 if paired 1:1 with another TP.

    IDK if this TP can finally make possible a Sea Lion in 1942.2

    Would be amazing if USA0 restricted combined with 5 IPCs TP make the case even between Axis vs Allies.

    Each pair of Transports would roll @1 each combat round, and when there is only TP, then each TP worth 1 hit. And, if you lose one TP of the last pair then, next round there is no defense roll and 1 TP is auto-killed.

    @ROCmonster
    Do you mean that Japan goes into Africa before conquering India?
    Or just land units into Egypt passing UK’s India?

  • '19 '15 '14

    I’m not weary  😄

    I wouldn’t sweat the move, since the people who frequent the HR section are more likely to actually try some of these ideas, or be familiar with variations that have been proposed in the past, to make valuable contributions. Though threads of this sort do tend to follow a similar trajectory, so I feel a bit for Taamvan, who started this one, since I think it has gone quite a bit beyond the conversation he was looking for initially.

    It’s tough for balance discussions, because “bidding” is a house rule too, but it has the support of the tournament community which lends it a more official status than other alternatives.

    At one point the Russian restricted opening in Classic, also had a somewhat more official status as a balance option, since it was widely adopted at the time. But I think it may be less familiar to players who have come on board since Revised. The suggestion for the American zero turn might be acceptable to some, as providing a similar sort balancing alternative, but it’s hard to say.

    I think adjustments to the starting cash alone, might be another reasonable alternative to the pre-placement bid, with some grounding going back to the original Classic game.

    Discussions of stuff along those lines might have a place in the official section. Other more dramatic proposals, such as a specific redesign of the starting unit set up or new income collection ideas, are more appropriate to this section.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Ps. Just to theROC’s last point, I do wonder how much the reluctance of many players to SBR (probably based on their experience with previous boards) might factor into the overall balance assesment.

    Part of me thinks that this map was really designed with the expectation that the Allies would engage in constant bombing vs Germany. In most previous editions strat bombing was considered optional and risky, and generally unwise, so it’s not surprising if Allied players are reluctant to build their whole strategy around bombing. Facing down German AAAguns round after round, put’s a lot of pressure on the UK/US.

    The problem here is that the UK is pretty hard pressed to make bomber purchases, while simultaneously filling the India IC with ground, providing fighter support to Russia, and hopefully building transports of their own at some point.

    The US faces similar challenges, torn between building carriers, transports, and ground, often without much left over to make the requisite bomber purchases.

    I suggested before that Russia could really use a bomber, but I think it would be hard to justify using it for strategic bombing with any regularity, because it’s just too valuable and impossible to replace. My reason for suggesting it has more to do with allowing Russia to trade territory, and for Soviet gameplay interest over the long haul.

    I agree with the assesment that it takes at least a half dozen American bombers to have a meaningful impact in a strat bombing campaign vs G (that’s two full purchases dedicated almost exclusively to bombers). With a replacement bomber at the ready each round after that. But if you lose more than one bomber per run to AAA fire, it’s really hard to maintain this strategy, and to keep justifying the bomber attrition.

    Perhaps the Americans should have a second starting bomber?

    • 1 Bomber to Moscow
    • 1 Bomber to W. US

    The Russian bomber provides more dynamism on the Eastern Front and gives the Soviets a stronger opener. The American bomber allows for a stronger run on Berlin in the second round. Then go from there?

    I appreciate that this isn’t exactly the most thrilling way for the American player to kick things off, but if it’s just handed to you, it wouldn’t sting quite as hard when the W. US bomber gets shot down.

    Building a game on the assumption that the Allies will bomb Germany every round is kind of rough. Conservative players tend to disdain this sort of play since it leaves so much up in the air, making it harder to plan in advance. On the other hand, it was a huge part of the Allied war effort, so trying to design a balance set up that avoids it entirely (or suggests it as purely optional), seems equally problematic.

    I guess one point I’m making here, is that when we talk about the Allied “balance” among experts, I think there is an implicit assumption that “experts don’t bomb in A&A” but save their bombers for combat. So if the German economy was designed with constant strat bombing in mind, that’s a real hurdle to overcome. Take two Allied players who ignore the received wisdom of previous editions, and bomb on the regular. If one player gets solid runs with no losses vs Berlin in the midgame, while the other gets shot down time after time, they’re going to return two rather different appraisals of the game’s overall balance.

    I think perhaps the best solution, is one that I’m generally reluctant to propose from an ease of use standpoint… Change the cost and abilities of the strategic bomber, so that it’s only viable use in the game is for the bombing of factories exclusively.

    Honestly, only the designers could popularize such a key change to the roster, and it would likely require a new edition. I don’t know how practical it is as a fix for 1942.2. People would surely grumble if we took away the bomber as the game’s most effective combat unit. I’m not sure anyone other than Larry could make it happen. This would be a change on par with defenseless transports, or factory damage/repair, ie. a major break with previous editions. Though I think it would probably improve the core game, if ever we had a 3rd edition to this map or global.

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