Research and Development for Global 1940

  • 2018 2017 '16

    Yes this is yet another thread on R&D. I read many of the other threads but decided not to post in any of those because my ideas for R&D are much different than the others that I read about. I’ve been thinking about this topic ever since I got back into A&A and I’ve finally come up with a method of implementing R&D that I think works very well.

    Many of us spend countless hours dreaming up and refining house rules and sharing them in this section of the forum because of our desire to improve the game. The sad fact is that there are a couple of pages in the back of the official rule book that contain many of the types of weapons and technologies that we strive to create but most of us never use them because of the nonsensical method that is used to implement them. So lousy is this method that they are actually considered optional rules when if done properly this would be one of the best and most interesting parts of the game of A&A.

    Two of the members on the forum here, Young Grasshopper and Siredblood, have put forth rules regarding R&D that inspired me to create my own rules. YG in his card deck issues an R&D die roll for achieving a victory point. I thought that was such a great idea because it rewards a player for earning the right to possess a weapon/technology. Siredblood created R&D tokens and put forth an idea of sharing tech between allies. I put these 2 ideas together along with Siredblood’s tokens and added my own ideas to create a new method of implementing R&D. Here’s how it works;

    You need 3 things to invent a weapon/technology.
    1. National Objective Token
    2. Research Token
    3. 5 IPC

    National Objective Token:
    The purpose of this facet of development is to signify that a nation has the wherewithal to even attempt to develop a weapon. If a nation isn’t meeting it’s own expectations and holding it’s own in the war then how could it possibly be able to somehow develop a weapon or technology? Rather than make up my own rules on what each nation needs to do to prove their worthiness I thought it would be appropriate to refer to the official rules of A&A to determine this. So when a nation achieves a national objective they will receive a N.O. token along with the extra money that they normally get. Regardless of how many national objectives a nation achieves in a game round they will only receive one token per turn. Also, they cannot hold more than 2 tokens at a time so they will have to wait until they spend one on developing before they can acquire another one.

    Research Token:
    I place 10 Research Tokens on the map before the game begins. 7 of those tokens are placed in a spot where each of the nations has the inside track to acquire it (France and China are excluded). The remaining 3 tokens are placed in territories where they are up for grabs or at the very least harder to acquire. All of the tokens are up for grabs beginning on turn 1. The tokens are picked up either by infantry, mechanized infantry, elite infantry(if you’re using them), or strategic bomber and delivered to the nation’s capital. The UK must take their token(s) to London. The normal rules of movement by these units must be respected.

    5 IPC
    Once a nation has the National Objective Token and the Research Token has made it to their capital, on the R&D phase at the beginning of their turn they will spend these along with 5 IPC’s to get a die roll for a weapon/technology. The 5 IPC’s represents the cost of developing and the retooling of factories to produce the weapon/technology.

    The nation’s player will roll the die and after that they will choose the chart from which to pick a weapon/technology. This is very important because I just don’t believe that any nation would be foolish enough to invent something that they can’t possibly use. Regardless of what number you roll or what nation rolls that number, there is a weapon that they can use if they are allowed to choose between the 2 charts after their roll.

    Sharing weapons/technology:
    Nations can share their technological improvements in the same manner that they took their research tokens to their capital. Using Siredblood’s R&D tokens, you transfer by infantry or strategic bomber the token from your capital to your ally’s capital. The token can be intercepted by your enemy at any time so you have to be careful of course. Once the token reaches the other capital the technology still has to be developed in the same manner with a national objective token and 5 IPC’s because all you are transferring is the research to your ally.

    Stealing weapons/technology:
    When you capture a capital you don’t automatically acquire the technology that nation possesses. You still have to transfer the R&D token back to your own capital and develop the technology in the same manner. If after taking those tokens back to your capital that nation happens to get liberated, then they will still have the weapons that they previously developed (they didn’t forget how to build long range aircraft). The nation that stole the technology will also possess those weapons too.

    I have made a video that I will provide a link for. If this interests you and you would like to see where I placed those 10 Research Tokens click on the link and watch the video. It’s really quite simple and I demonstrate how it all works.

  • 2019 '15 '14

    I really do like the idea of a tech system that is well implemented in A&A.

    I think tech has a bad rap because the systems in Classic and Revised were pretty broken. Heavy Bombers and long range air in particular, have long been problematic, even necessitating special tournament rules. I think for that reason many people just gave up on tech, as too unbalancing for serious play.

    But I swear,  every time I play with a new person, they are always intrigued by the possibility of technology. So it seems a bit of a shame.

    So far the only game that had a tech implementation I actually enjoyed was AA50. Sure it had some of the pitfalls of the earlier system (nothing makes you want to rip up the tech chart like Russian super subs or American radar haha) but the system still had a lot to recommend it. Introducing the idea of separate breakthrough charts and tokens/rolls that could be saved.

    I think the OOB tech system in G40 was kind of a step backwards, because it ditched the saved roll in favor of an all or nothing expenditure. I think a system like that, favors the last gasp… like only used when a player is ready to give up anyway (which they almost always do if the roll fails.)

    I like a system that builds over time, with incremental investments. I like the idea above of including some actual gameplay into the development challenge, so that it goes beyond just the odds on a single roll.

    I think complexity has to be measured against the resulting gameplay interest. If the gameplay enjoyment benefit is high, then players are more accepting of complex rules. Though I still think there is an upper limit on what people will tolerate in an already pretty rules intensive game. I guess I would just try to keep that in mind when considering the system as a whole.

    I like the idea of objectives playing some kind of role in tech acquisition. I’m not sure how my playgroup would react to a “capture the flag” type token that gets carried around the game board. I know I had difficulty when I tried to take a similar approach with oil as a “moving/capture-and-return” resource. My players were receptive at first, but then got bogged down by it in the end. I only got one game out of that rule, before people asked to set it aside in favor of the more simplistic ipc. I don’t know if they’d feel the same way about a tech token as a piece on the game map. It’s possible they might take exception to the idea, but maybe they’d like it.

    I think allowing players to make a more focused choice on what tech to develop is cool. Something tells me that there are some techs which would never be pursued, as some techs are just way more useful than others. I’ve often felt that some techs should be harder to develop than others. Not sure if there might be room for some kind scale for higher/lower relative cost in your system, for techs that are more/less desirable. But that might be an idea too.

    Nice video!

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    Well going after tech tokens may be a good idea. How much will it take away other piece moves in game ? Depends on where the tokens are placed ?

    I have tech in game and its like the 50 stuff and a few changes to lower some of the stronger ones.
    My group loves the way we get tech in are game. For what its worth I\ll post it.

    Each country can buy as many tech research tokens as they want. Cost is 5 icp’s.

    Have to roll a D6 die per token and any 6 gets you the tech roll for tech tree.
    No break thru the tokens carry over to the next turn. If there is a break thru on 1 or more 6’s you only get to roll 1 die for tech. You lose all research tokens to. Simple stuff,

    Also in game I have 10 good and 10 bad event cards per country that gets to draw 1 card per turn at the beginning of there turn. In my game there is only 10 turns. So you are not going to see all the cards.
    In event cards there are per country,  get 1 free tech roll,  get 2 free research token and 1 spy steals research papers and that one country gets any one of the enemy’s tech that they have. Enemy has no tech then spy steals nothing.

    So maybe General you could put some thing like this in your cards ? Just a thought.

  • 2018 2017 '16

    Thanks for your replies. I failed to mention that I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to play with R&D when you are playing with new players regardless of what system you are going to implement. New players need to learn the basics of the game before they are exposed to any sort of advanced rules. The players that read these forums would be able to pick this system up quite easily because it really isn’t too difficult to understand when you try it out.

    SS, yes it does take away from some of the other piece moves in the game but as far as I’m concerned that is a benefit not a burden. As I read these forums I see people arguing all the time over the same piece moves because the game starts the same way every time. Threads on bids are very popular because now there is really something new to talk about-how to start the game differently that OOB. With these mission-based R&D quests there is a whole new level of strategy and piece moves to consider. Like I said at the beginning of the video though, if a person is content with playing the same game every single time then this is not a rule for them to consider.

    I’m looking forward in the future to taking a closer look at the 12 techs that are OOB to see what kinds of improvements can be made there. For now I was content to find a system to get the back pages of the rule book into the game on a realistic basis. Finally.

  • The nation’s player will roll the die and after that they will choose the chart from which to pick a weapon/technology. This is very important because I just don’t believe that any nation would be foolish enough to invent something that they can’t possibly use. Regardless of what number you roll or what nation rolls that number, there is a weapon that they can use if they are allowed to choose between the 2 charts after their roll.

    General out of your ideas this is the one I think is best.  However, the only problem I see is (and it is a 1/6 in chance) if the US rolls a 4.  If they roll a 4, they are forced to pick between radar which is horrific for them, or Increased Factory Production…. Which might only benefit them once in an entire game, if ever.  I don’t know what a solution would be, but I know if I were US and rolled a 4, I would feel cheated!

  • 2018 '16

    We utilize a system in which you buy all the rolls (breakthrough roll) and you get a 6 you’re good. Roll again (discovery roll) and see what you get. You miss the breakthrough roll too bad.

    You can get as many techs as you roll 6’s on the breakthrough. We have our own technology charts. It stays random so you might get something you can’t currently make use of but we’ve found it eventually comes to fruition at one point or another. If you roll a discovery roll and hit something you already have you just roll again.

    The only other stipulation is that if you aren’t at war yet, you can’t develop technology. Our system is, however, country specific and some countries can get stuff that others can’t such as atom bomb (Germany and US only). If anyone wants a copy of ours for ideas feel free to PM me.

  • 2018 2017 '16

    Thanks seanbc it’s always good to have lots of ideas.

    Tirano my goal with this rule was to enable R&D to take place in the game in a realistic and meaningful way. Having accomplished that I’m now looking at the techs themselves to see if any improvements can be made. Your observations that the “4” slot on the dice is the first that should be addressed. It isn’t just US that can’t use either of them, ANZAC has no need for them either. I was never a big fan of the increased factory production for any of the nations although it is a marginal improvement for Japan and UK.

    In my American Minorities at War HR I changed one of the tokens that came from the HBG chart. It was the “Women at Work” token that stated that America’s factory production in continental US increased by one as well. It was because of this and a few other token abilities that didn’t make much sense for the G40 game that I made up my own chart. I changed that particular token to say that the cost of planes was decreased by 1 IPC. That worked well and the whole HR turned out to be a great one because I took a lot of time to delve into each token ability and make it work.

    Given that planes are already well represented on the R&D chart it doesn’t make a lot of sense to make the planes cheaper but I do think that staying along the lines of improving the factory production would be good. All the combat units are represented in some way on the chart except Tanks. I think replacing the increased factory production rule with tanks @ a cost of 5 would be helpful to most of the nations and finally represent that unit on the chart without breaking the game by making the Tank too powerful by changing any of it’s other values. That still does very little for ANZAC and only a slight improvement for US so they need a better choice for the 4 slot on the dice.

    I like the idea of Radar and I want to keep that as is. I would like to add to it though. You would think that if a nation had radar ability it would use it to protect their navy as well because they are vulnerable to aircraft. There is always a lot of discussion in the HR forum about the lack of ability vs cost of a Cruiser so why not add the AA ability to a Cruiser? I’m not a proponent of making sweeping changes to the combat units as a whole like other people are but as a technological improvement by way of the R&D avenue where it a special ability I can support. When you think about it, Radar back then didn’t help guns to target the planes it just gave an early warning that they were coming and from which direction. So instead of giving the Cruiser an AA shot at the incoming planes I suggest making all opposing planes roll @ -1 for the first round of combat to simulate their lack of a surprise attack. The Cruiser would act like a Destroyer in that the mere presence of one in a sea zone either on attack or defence would bring the opposing planes to a -1 in the first round of combat (they would of course communicate to the other ships in their armada that there are incoming planes). After the first round all planes would attack and defend at their normal values. I know that some would like that ability extended to Battleships but I would like to distinguish Cruisers in some way in the game and make them unique like a Destroyer is. That would give the US and ANZAC a viable choice at the 4 slot on the R&D die. It would make it a tough choice for Japan as they could also use cruisers with AA ability but is that better than cheap tanks?

    Using my method of R&D should yield about 7-10 different technologies per game so there are going to be some 4’s rolled, might as well give the nations some better option.

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    For Radar I use AA guns get a +1 on there D shot form original territories only. You may know this and don’t like it.
    For industrial production tech I use like cost 1 less for buy for D6  1-2  planes  3-4 ground  5-6 naval. What ever u roll for a D6 that is the only buy u get for whole game.

  • 2018 '16

    Tirano check your inbox. Sent to you.

  • Some very excellent ideas here, thanks General for pointing me to this section!

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