• '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    Stalinist Xenophobia: “Until Moscow is captured, US/UK/ Chinese units cannot move onto/through USSR land territory.”

    We have been using this rule which is found in various house rule sets here. This past game it began to look silly, however.

    The Axis were losing overall elsewhere, except they had managed to take every single Russian territory but Moscow. They knew if Moscow fell that Stalinist Xenophobia would be over and the Allies could then move into Russia and attack them, so the Axis just stayed in Russia where they could not be attacked, sometimes just one Japanese inf. next to a whole stack of Allied troops. Moscow was kept weak enough so no counterattack could be done by the remaining Russians.

    It seems like this rule is nonsensical in this case. What do those of you who advocate this rule do to address this?

  • '18 '17 '16

    I would change it to be a certain portion of Russian territories instead of Moscow. I do something similar with my partisan rule in regards to China. When more than 9 of the 12 Chinese territories are taken they get a partisan since they don’t have a capital. The amount of territories would depend on which version you are playing.

  • '19 '15 '14

    I was thinking recently about a similar rule, though a bit more broadly worded…

    Japanese units cannot co-locate in European Axis starting territories.

    European Axis units cannot co-locate in Japanese starting territories.

    Western Allies units cannot co-locate in Soviet starting territories.

    Soviet units cannot co-locate in Western Allies starting territories.

    I tried to draft this HR in a way that might work for both G40 and 1942.2

    Prevents gamey fighter movement across the globe by the main culprits (think Japanese fighters in Europe, or Allied fighters in Russia), but still allows friendly armies to converge in conquered enemy territory.

    In G40 terms, this still allows Italy and Germany or USA/UK/Anzac to coordinate in starting territories. It also allows the Allies to coordinate in China, or Axis to coordinate in captured Russian or British territories. But prevents some problematic issues, like Soviets mech/tanks in British Africa/India, or British mech/tanks in Russia.

    In 1942.2 terms it’s pretty straight forward. Depending on whether you want to consider US supported Chinese starting territories as strictly “Western” or not, you could still allow the Soviets to enter those spaces, but it would prevent American units from entering Russian starting spaces. So basically only allowing the movement in one direction. Soviets can enter China, but Americans can’t leave China to enter Russia.

    Does that make sense?

    Clearly this would create balance issues for the Center, but those could be addressed in other ways.

    I think it would really help to prevent the most annoying historical distortions. Like Western units stacking up in Karelia or Caucasus and running the Eastern Front. Or Japanese units launching into Europe. It would make it harder for Japan to use their air power to defend Germany or hit Atlantic fleets or UK on SBR. In G40 it would prevent German can openers with bombers in the Pacific etc.

    You might still see some issues, like Japanese air in Karelia or Caucasus after those territories are captures by the European Axis, but it wouldn’t be as ridiculous as Japan landing fighters in Ukraine or Western Russia to cover a German advance. Similarly you might see Western Units and Soviets together in a territory like Baltic States, but at least the Anglo/Americans would have to land there with transports instead of pushing across Scandinavia. I think on the whole it would work pretty well, and might do the trick for the most problematic situations. Technically in 1942.2 West Russia is not a Soviet starting territory, so in balance terms the West could still land fighters here. But it would be a lot harder for them to get ground forces onto the space, without violating the restriction.

    It might create some problems with liberation, though in that case you could perhaps revise the wording something like…

    *For this HR, the units cannot “end their turn” in the starting territories mentioned, if the territory in question was under friendly control at the beginning of their turn.

    This would allow players to liberate an enemy occupied territory for their teammate, but they must immediately leave the following turn, in order not to violate the rule. If units are somehow trapped after liberation and cannot leave legally the following turn, then they are simply removed (similar to a fighter with no landing place), so the penalty for violation of the HR is built in.

    Any interest? It captures the spirit of the Stalinist xenophobia rule for Allies, but extends the idea to address an equally annoying issue on the Axis side.

    ps. I put it in the HR master list sticky, with a revised wording that tries to address some of the liberation stuff I brought up there at the end. What do you think?

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=39283.msg1637245#msg1637245

    Basically in the situation you described, where the Axis have Moscow encircled, this wording would still allow the Western Allies to liberate Soviet territories, but they cannot end their turn in a Soviet starting territory that was “under friendly control at the start of their turn.” This means they’d have to still operate on the periphery for Liberation, because if they move too far inland they risk being trapped in violation of the rule the following turn (units removed.) This means they either need a way to withdraw immediately, or need an attack route “out” to liberate another enemy occupied territory, but they can’t just stack and stack.

    Sure it’s not 100% air tight, but it’s a lot better than OOB. Addresses the main problem, but still provides some flexibility for liberation and unit convergence in select instances. The map doesn’t really work if you make these rules too strict, but if you word it in terms of “ending the turn” in a starting territory still under friendly control, then you can get around the main issue you mentioned in the top post. Thoughts?

  • '19 '15 '14

    This is how I worded it…

    Team Coordination Rules:
    Unit co-location restrictions

    For G40 and 1942.2

    Rule: Basic formulation = (Nation’s) units cannot end their turn in (Teammate’s) “starting” territories, if those territories were still under friendly control at the start of the turn.*

    The following restrictions are in effect, until the relevant capital is conquered. After the capital falls, team coordination rules for starting territories of the vanquished Nation no longer apply.

    Japanese units cannot end their turn in European Axis starting territories.

    European Axis units cannot end their turn in Japanese starting territories.

    Western Allies units cannot end their turn in Soviet starting territories.

    Soviet Units cannot end their turn in Western Allies starting territories. **

    *If the territory in question was under enemy control at the start of the turn, then it may be liberated by a teammate, but the liberator must leave the following turn or be in violation of the rule. If the units are unable to leave a liberated territory on the following turn they will be automatically removed.

    **1942.2 Option: US supported starting Chinese territories are not considered “Western” for the rule as stated above. Soviet units may end their turn in Chinese territories, but American units (including those in China) still cannot end their turn in starting Russian territories. So the movement across the border of Western China is one way, from Russia to US supported China, but not the other way around.

    Purpose: To prevent gamey and ahistorical unit movements by teammates. For example, by the US/British in Soviet starting territories, by the Soviets in British starting territories, by the Japanese in European Axis starting Territories etc. Restricts aircraft transits in particular, to prevent the worst abuses.

    This would be an example of a complex, nation/region specific rule, that I generally dislike. I would reserve stuff like this for only the most problematic cases, but I think this problem qualifies.

    German/Japanese coordination in each other’s starting territories is both ahistorical and causes issues with overall balance.

    Western/Soviet coordination in each other’s starting territories, is likewise ahistorical and causes issues with overall balance.

    Both of these are baked-in to the OOB game. The relative economies and production spreads are designed with these gamey movements in mind. It’s a big part of the reason that A&A games don’t really look sufficiently like WW2. It’s the reason why the Axis center crush exists in the first place, and also why the Allies tend to go all one direction KGF or KJF in A&A.

    If any problem warrants a complex rule, it’s this!

    In G40 there are whole host of complex rules none of which solve this problem. The one rule that does try to address the specific situation with Russia is far too weak, and was my top contender for Worst NO in the game.

    If we want to get serious, we need a rule that does all the things at once, which is what I tried to draft above.

    If, for historical/gameplay reasons…

    We don’t want Western Units in Moscow…
    We don’t want Japanese Units in Berlin…
    We don’t want Soviet Units in Cairo or Calcutta…
    We don’t want German Units on Japanese Pacific islands…

    Then maybe this Xenophobia rule is the best way to go?

    But this is a massive game changer. It almost certainly recommends a balance corrective.

    Ps. I used xenophobia above for convenience, though the term doesn’t really capture the sense on the Axis side. Perhaps something less charged and more generic like “Team Coordination Rules”?
    I think I’ll edit.

  • '17 '16

    I don’t want to derail this thread so I put a few posts into Redesign thread.
    It is not strictly related.
    But Japanese strongly invested into PTO would make, at least, each Axis player not trying to help the other because everyone is KGF or KJF.

    Follow the link below:

    @Baron:

    If we want that Japan fight toward USA instead of Center Crush, it needs some kind of incentive as SS stated:
    @SS:

    What I mean is like you said have some islands worth more or all so it would be worth fighting for these islands due to the increased value of territories. Midway 3 icp’s, Solomans island 3 icp’s for samples and then have it where certain land territories are worth more where there is back and forth fighting. Like some land territories between Germany and Russia increased values.

  • '19 '15 '14

    I generally dislike complex rules, and hard rules restrictions, but I just don’t know that there is any economic incentive or bonus that is powerful enough to overcome the advantage of team coordination.

    At least if you limit the restriction to starting territories under friendly control at the beginning of the players own turn, it gives some flexibility.

    I think the OOB game works the way it does because Larry wanted the Anglo-Americans to coordinate closely the way they did historically. But for all other nations allowing co-location in starting territories is totally out of sync with the way the war was actually fought.

    I honestly think this is the one situation where I would readily accept a Nation/Region specific ruleset, which I usually really dislike.

    Global already has so many rules, and none of them accomplish what this single formula would. And it basically works the same way for 1942.2

    The problem with the NAP, (while I agree it could work as a preliminary deterrent) is that it doesn’t prevent Japan from flying aircraft to bolster the German position in Europe.

    The problem with an Objective Bonus for having no Western Units in Russia, is that it has to be crazy high to be worth it. And as soon as the Allies calculate that they can get more out of stacking Western Units in Russia than Russia alone can earn on the bonus, they will simply ignore the NO.

    There are few instances of strict rules in the OOB game that have to be observed to force a certain political situation. But this is one that would present a much more historically satisfying play pattern. The wording is a bit complex, but not as complex as for example the China rules, or the Dutch rules, or any of the DoW rules in G40.

    I guess I just keep asking myself, what do we get from retaining the OOB co-location rules? Do they ever give us anything but ahistorical weirdness? And is the gameplay really any more interesting as a result of them? With teams double or triple stacking single territories on defense, staging D-Day in Baltic States and other such nonsense hahah. I means it’s pretty ridiculous.
    😄

    What do the history buffs think? Is it worth designing the rules for the whole game (and all nations) just to accomodate the Anglo-American situation? Or Italy-Germany in G40? Wouldn’t it be simpler to give those nations the special exception here by allowing them to coordinate, rather than forcing it on Russia and Japan too?

    Doing team coordination the same way for all nations, is really the core of the problem in my view. All the gamey ahistorical problems that people often complain about seem to stem from it.

  • '19 '15 '14

    ps. I feel like I am using the term “gamey” as a pejorative lately hehe. Let me unpack that a little. It’s not that I think being an abstract gamplay feature is in anyway a bad thing by itself, this is a game after all, its just that I want A&A to be more “gameful” than gamey, if that makes sense. I want the gameplay to be both entertaining and reinforce the history, but still with the possibility of divergence within some kind of reasonable alternate/imagined history that makes sense for WW2.

    Right now its like the game only gives one kind of alternate history, the alternate history where Japan and Germany try to crush Moscow in tandem at the center, and the Allies do whatever it takes to stop this inevitability. I’m not saying the war might not have looked like a Center Crush game, had Japan truly made Russia their overriding objective. Hell maybe WW2 would have played out a lot like a center crush game, if Japan decided to send their whole airforce and navy to help Germany win the war in Europe and the Med. Or dedicated all their armies to just messing with Russia first and foremost. I’m not opposed to allowing for this sort of game. But I just wish it wasn’t the only game in town.

    I think the Stalinist Xenophobia rule could never go far enough by itself, because its only one half of the problem. The other half is the Axis player doing basically doing the same sort of thing. The Stalinist Xenophobia rule is also too strict. It doesn’t accommodate situations that are likely to arise in the endgame, regarding liberation. It doesn’t provide for the need that clearly exists, to still allow some potential areas of convergence at the center of the board to maintain some level of balance and entertainment. We need something more.

    I tried to suggest what I think might be a workable method.

    In this scheme there are two types of Nation. Those that can coordinate in starting territories, and those that can’t.

    1942.2: the Anglo-Americans would be the only nations that can coordinate in starting territories.
    G40: Ango-Americans+Anzac could coordinate in starting territories on the Allied side, and Italy-Germany would be able to do so on the Axis side.

    All other nations can only coordinate with teammates in captured Enemy territory. At least until capitals start falling.

    This style of gameplay might recommend, a different approach to liberation in the post-capital collapse situation. I have suggested an idea for that in the HR master list thread (on the third page.) Basically states that when a capital is liberated, starting territories under friendly control don’t automatically revert to the original owner, but must first be claimed by a ground unit. This would prevent a situation where coordinating Allies, operating in a fallen teammates land, would not suddenly be trapped in violation of the “no co-location/coordination” restriction.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    If, for historical/gameplay reasons…
    We don’t want Western Units in Moscow…
    We don’t want Japanese Units in Berlin…
    We don’t want Soviet Units in Cairo or Calcutta…
    We don’t want German Units on Japanese Pacific islands…
    Then maybe this Xenophobia rule is the best way to go?
    But this is a massive game changer. It almost certainly recommends a balance corrective.
    Ps. I used xenophobia above for convenience, though the term doesn’t really capture the sense on the Axis side. Perhaps something less charged and more generic like “Team Coordination Rules”?
    […]
    What do the history buffs think? Is it worth designing the rules for the whole game (and all nations) just to accommodate the Anglo-American situation? Or Italy-Germany in G40? Wouldn’t it be simpler to give those nations the special exception here by allowing them to coordinate, rather than forcing it on Russia and Japan too? <<

    I can’t address the game-changer aspects of the question, but here are some thoughts about the points raised by Black Elk.  Let’s look at why, historically, the four “We don’t” points didn’t happen in WWII:

    We don’t want Western Units in Moscow…
    We don’t want Soviet Units in Cairo or Calcutta…

    This didn’t happen for multiple reasons.  First, there’s the fact that when WWII was in full swing there were very few physical routes – and no convenient ones – that allowed the Anglo-Americans and the Soviets to reach each other.  The valid point is often made that the European Axis powers and Japan fought virtually separate wars because they were physically cut off from each other by an intervening block of enemy nations – but it’s not often pointed out that the same was (mostly) true for the Anglo-American block and the Soviets.  This basic fact tends to get lost in A&A, partly because of map board oversimplifications and distortions (which we can’t do anything about, short of redesigning the map) and partly because the rules disregard this basic fact (a problem which can be corrected via house rules).

    Second, there’s the fact that the Anglo-Americans on their side and the Soviets on their side during the 1941-1942 period were either getting clobbered by the Axis or were barely holding their own, so neither group had much (if anything) to spare to help their partners.  Third, there’s the fact that the Anglo-Americans and the Soviets were very much allies of convenience who both greatly disliked the imperatives of sheer survival which were forcing them to work together.  Churchill had been a vocal anti-Communist for decades; when Nazi Germany invaded the USSR in 1941, and Churchill went on the BBC to proclaim an alliance with Stalin’s Soviet Union, he justified his action on the grounds that “if Hitler invaded hell, I’d form a wartime alliance with the devil” (or words to that effect).  Roosevelt was (and still is) regarded by US conservatives as being at best a socialist and at worst a communist, but going by trade policy alone – remember that Roosevelt came from a very wealthy family who understood the business world – he was arguably a conservative rather than a liberal: he was pro-trade, which is why he loathed British imperialism and protectionism (and loathed Churchill for being in favour of those things).  US propaganda during WWII had to expend a lot of effort to explain to John Q. Public why Uncle Sam was fighting alongside the godless Communists; see Frank Capra’s “The Battle of Russia” for an example of how this was done.  Stalin, for his part, distrusted pretty much everyone in his own inner circle, and was doubly or triply distrustful of foreign powers like the US and the UK.  So all in all it was a very strained working relationship on both sides.

    We don’t want Japanese Units in Berlin…

    Don’t get me started on that one.  I’ve already railed at great length in various other threads about the fact that a) it would have been geographically impossible for a Japanese army to march across thousands of miles of Siberian wilderness to reach Berlin, and b) Japan was up to its neck in China, and barely had enough troops to spare to go to war against the US and the UK, and c) Japan got thrashed by the Russians in the Mongolian/Manchurian border wars of the late 30s and early 40s – which is one reason why (to bring up point d) Japan and the USSR had a non-aggression pact for most of WWII.

    We don’t want German Units on Japanese Pacific islands…

    The Pacific Ocean was on the other side of the world from Germany, which had neither the motives nor the means to go help Japan – particularly given that German was a land power, not a naval power.  The only believable way for Germany to have helped Japan was for Germany to have tried to conquer the Middle East (which would have given Germany a lot of valuable oil) and then to have continued eastward into India, in the form of a land campaign.  Short of a land campaign, the only German-Japanese joint operations that would have been theoretically possible would have been naval ones…and Germany simply didn’t have the naval capacity to operate in the Pacific on any significant scale.  Heck, Germany barely had the naval capacity to operate in the Atlantic on any significant scale.  Japan, as a major naval power, theoretically was better positioned to help Germany on the Europe side of the war, but this would have been impractical for several reasons, notably because it would have wasted huge amounts of a resource which was vital to Japan: oil.  At best, realistically, Germany and Japan could have teamed up to control India and the Indian Ocean, provided that Germany had made a major play for the Middle East around 1941 (possibly as an alternative to Barbarossa).

    Note also that Germany and Japan had little in common in terms of their war aims, other than the fact that they were fighting the same enemies.  Germany and Japan and Italy were all authoritarian regimes, but politically they were different in many respects, and their leaders distrusted each other for various reasons.  In the same way that it was a stretch for the capitalist US, the imperialist and protectionist UK and the communist USSR to work together, it was a stretch for anything other than a minimal working relationship to be established between a militarist Japan dedicated to the liberation of Asia from European colonialism and a Nazi Germany dedicated to the subjugation (or worse) of non-Aryans.  (The fact that Germany had been an ally of Japan’s enemy China, or that Germany had signed the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Japan’s enemy Russia, didn’t help either.)

    So: I think there are plenty of reasons why it would be credible to adjust the rules (perhaps just by simple “Power X cannot do Y” restrictions) to reflect these historical dynamics.  These dynamics mostly had nothing to do with Stalinist xenophobia.  Mostly, they were a basic matter of geography and politics: which country was located where on the planet relative to other countries, and which enemy powers were physically in the way between two allied powers.  And in view of that context, all the major powers on both sides basically (and sensibly) applied what’s been called the infantryman’s rule: “Look to your own front”.  Perhaps that’s the phrase that could be used to summarize the proposed rule adjustments.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    To follow up on my previous post, I’ve prepared the map I’ve attached below.  It shows how the Allied powers (the Anglo-American block, the Soviet Union and China) were isolated from each other by a combination of war fronts, political barriers (chiefly related to neutrality or non-aggression pacts) and physical barriers (challenging access by land or sea), and how the European Axis powers (Germany and Italy) were similarly isolated from Japan.  For simplicity, most neutrals have been ignored.  The lines show roughy – very roughly – the territory controlled by Germany, Italy, Japan and their allies and co-belligerents at the height of Axis expansion.

    Global 1940.2 Block Isolation.jpg

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Stalinist Xenophobia: “Until Moscow is captured, US/UK/ Chinese units cannot move onto/through USSR land territory.”

    We have been using this rule which is found in various house rule sets here. This past game it began to look silly, however.

    The Axis were losing overall elsewhere, except they had managed to take every single Russian territory but Moscow. They knew if Moscow fell that Stalinist Xenophobia would be over and the Allies could then move into Russia and attack them, so the Axis just stayed in Russia where they could not be attacked, sometimes just one Japanese inf. next to a whole stack of Allied troops. Moscow was kept weak enough so no counterattack could be done by the remaining Russians.

    It seems like this rule is nonsensical in this case. What do those of you who advocate this rule do to address this?

    In my opinion of possible conclusions if the Soviets had fallen, the Allies would have done the same thing they did in 1919 when the Imperialist Russians collapsed and invaded in order to save an ally, in some cases take land and settle old border disputes ( China), to readdress the growing menace of the Axis by then bordering nations that would fear “they are next”. Basically, Stalin would have allowed none of them in Russia unless he was dead. Obviously, the OOB rules have no provision for an “encirclement” game scenario. And also it is quite obvious that people can glitch the rules and produce that scenario as you have described. The next problem becomes those games where things are flipped: Japan has nearly won the game, while Germany is left with her capital and “bunkering”. This scenario was quite common in the old Milton Bradley game and i have won many games with this position as the Axis ( i was Japan).

    Bottom line is if you want a realistic outcome for a nation in this position needs to have a ‘saving roll’ for capitulation, representing collapse of national morale.

    For example, have them roll D6 on first roll 6 = surrender, next turn 5-6, then 4-6, etc eventually they have to surrender.

    Alternatively, if they go under a specific % of IPC a saving roll occurs.

    Or you can just see how it plays out elsewhere on the map or await your fate.

    I have been away from working on house rules for far too long and plan on working on some new ideas…

  • '19 '15 '14

    I’ve seen the same situation arise in every single edition of the game, from Classic to the boards still currently in print.

    The OOB rules encourage it in two ways, first by allowing team coordination for everyone in all territories, as if everyone was operating the way the Anglo-Americans did, and second because of the way the capital capture and liberation rules are written.

    The first all but forces players into multi-nation stacks in the territories that are most convenient for convergence. Even after a number of map redesigns, the situation remains what it was in Classic. The obvious areas of convergence are still the Eastern Front for the Allies (the push through Karelia/Northern Russia, where you try to prop up Moscow while simultaneously gaining the line on Berlin), and Caucasus for the Axis (with the hammer and anvil on Moscow.)
    The center remains a giant magnet for all players, the one place everyone is trying to get to as quickly as possible.

    The second means that once the game devolves into the familiar center crush or KGF squeeze, all the liberation weirdness occurs, what IL just referred to as “glitching.”

    Some sort of capitulation rule might help with the latter, but it really doesn’t do a whole lot about the former. And I’m not sure how satisfying it would be for the player who is still hanging on by their fingernails, doing the best they can to manage the game according to the situation that the rules encourage, to suddenly be forced into concession.

    It is bizarre to think of the situation described in the original post, where the Axis would rather leave Moscow alive and encircled, rather than take it and risk seeing a bunch of soviet starting territories liberated for income/production by the West. This is not unlike a similar situation in the OOB game, where the Allies opt not to liberate Moscow from the Axis, for fear of losing the income/production they’ve gained in the post-capital collapse situation. None of it makes much sense.

    Just looking at Marc’s thumbnail map, and explanations above, it’s not hard to find reasons why the game shouldn’t look like this from an historical perspective. From a gameplay perspective I’d argue much the same, since every board has just been a rehash of this same dynamic, we might as well hop in the time machine back to the 80s. If we want something different, I think this requires a pretty ambitious overhaul.

    One problem is that the OOB game suggests a very particular kind of abstraction, namely that lend lease to Russia is somehow represented by actual combat units. The Russian economy can’t function without a ton of Western TUV to prop it up. So basically players have to imagine that all those American and British inf/tanks/fighters in Soviet Territories are somehow Russian, even though the turn order and gameplay clearly suggests a separation of forces. It’s equally bizarre when UK looks to the Eastern Front as a way to maintain income parity with Germany, and overcome all their loses to Japan elsewhere across the globe.

    I think you do basically three things to fix this…

    1. Restrict the territories where team convergence can occur.
    2. Use income bonuses where necessary to offset the above change on balance.
    3. Provide a new liberation dynamic that isn’t so dependent on who controls a Capital after it falls, for determining who gets to control all the other associated starting territories originally attached to possession of that capital.

    The third thing is extremely important, because the OOB liberation rules are a huge factor in shaping the current OOB endgame. They are the reason why Allies can sacrifice Moscow to pursue a magnified play vs the Axis (usually KGF), secure in the knowledge that after Moscow goes down, all the other formerly Soviet territories are opened up to the West. As IL noted Japan can basically do the same with Europe under KGF conditions, after Berlin falls, if they are in the ascendance.

    I don’t think it’s a problem that can be fixed with a single silver bullet HR. It needs at least a couple HRs working together, or the endgame is still likely to unravel in similarly weird patterns, as players try to game out the loopholes.

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    What needs to happen is we should somehow actually make the guy who is playing Russia not want the Allies in his territories, (instead of imagining it is Stalin) and not forced to keep them kept out by an outside rule.

    Stalin was thinking long term - what the world would look like after the war. He distrusted the capitalist countries and wanted communism to be as widespread as possible at war’s end. But surely there would have been a point where Stalin would have thought “OK, if I don’t invite the Allies in here to help, we cannot survive.”

    That point should be decided by the guy running Russia - but it would only work if final victory conditions were changed to somehow reflect the postwar situation.

  • '19 '15 '14

    I just have a hard time imagining what that would look like. What can we give the Russians that would be enough to keep the West out? I mean even if it was a huge objective bonus like 20-30 ipcs, my concern is that the Russians would just use it for a couple rounds to buy aircraft or spam hitpoints, but then as soon as the West was in a position to send more hitpoints and defense power than the Russians can purchase solo, they’d just give it up in favor of stacking the center with UK/US units like they always do.

    I think it would probably end up much the same in every game, as soon as the Axis start really bring the heat, the other two players on the team would start pressuring the Russian player to step in line, and get with program or risk losing the game for everyone.

    As you correctly point out, there is no consideration in A&A for the post war balance of power. The Western Allies don’t gain anything by allowing the Russians to bleed it out for a few more years, before making their entry. It’s all zero sum in the end, either Axis win or Allies win, and under those conditions, it would be kind of ridiculous for the Soviet player to refuse assistance.

    In G40 and AA50 the Soviet Objective bonus for no western units in their territories was a joke. Nobody is going to play solo as the Soviets for a bonus of 5 or 10 ipcs. The bonus would have to be comparable to what they might otherwise receive from the West. In a typical game of 1942.2 that’s like 20 ipcs a round just from UK fighters alone. To say nothing of the massive tank walls or infantry stacks, that tend to end up in Russia after the 5th round. Usually by the time you enter the midgame, the Allies have spent more than half of their total purchasing power just to prop up the Russians. Easily over 100 ipcs in TUV in most games.

    Granted, if the TUV went to Russia directly, then they could do more with it on offense, but you’d still need a really high number per turn to match what the West usually sends over.

    I don’t know, even if it succeeded in the main aim of keeping the West out of Russia, it still doesn’t do anything to keep Japan out of Europe which I still see as equally problematic.

    This is one instance where I would use an outside rule. And I almost never suggest such things. But I just think it would be more straightforward.

    The G40 game already has production restrictions for certain territories based on starting ownership, and movement restrictions based on the political situation.  I’m not a big fan of those rules in isolation, (since I think they hamstring the gameplay, without really producing the desired historical flavor for all the complexity they involve), but at least it wouldn’t be unprecedented if we went with something similar for team coordination restrictions.

  • '19 '15 '14

    OK about to digress on the NAP.
    😄

    I’d take it to another thread, but everyone is already here and its kind of related. Trying to put myself back into an AA50 1941-2 mindset, since it was my favorite map and had the simplest concept/wording for the “no western units” objective bonus +5 if Soviets control Archangel and no allied forces in Soviet controlled territories. Might this have worked if the bonus was way higher? In my view +10 would still be way too low, to accomplish the desired aim.  So +15? for like 5 additional inf a round? Maybe, then they would be at least matching the European Axis on the hitpoint spam. I still worry that it would be too low to last beyond the opening couple rounds. +20? for a pair of fighters a round? This is getting a lot closer. Its not quite enough to match what the West could bring on a given turn, once they have their logistics set up, but for the Soviets that income could translate into Red attack power, whereas when it comes from the West it’s locked moreorless on defense, or for more limited can opening. 20 ipcs to Russia for Red units on offense, might even out to be worth what 30-40 ipcs in Western Units allows on defense. It’s likely enough to match the European Axis full press on an even footing, and perhaps the Allies will choose to let Russia go it alone, so long as the European Axis are the only ones coming at them. But eventually Japan arrives (and this eventuality is really just a few rounds out in most games) and then you have to deal not only with more attack power coming at you, but also the turn order advantage. Russia still needs more to manage, so this is where the NAP comes in.

    AA50 was still a total war start, like 1942.2 and all of the boards before/since with the exception of the more recent 1940 ones, so any kind of NAP would basically be an outside rule. In G40 you have some more flexibility with the DoW and Mongolia stuff, but usually the NAP is maintained either as a bonus to both sides (Japan/Russia both get something to preserve the NAP), or as penalty to Japan to violate the NAP (Russia gets something, but Japan is penalized). I was thinking just now, what if the NAP was much broader in scope?

    What if, instead of giving a bonus to Russia when Japan violates the NAP, you give the bonus to the other Allies?

    Sure +10 per round to Russia alone might be all too easy to ignore, but +10 to each of the other Allies? That might actually be enough to persuade the Japanese that invading Russia will be bad for business all around. I haven’t really heard a NAP proposed this way before, so just wanted to float it. Something like…

    If Japanese units end their turn in a Soviet starting territory, then the NAP is violated with Japan as the aggressor. The Allies receive the following bonus every turn thereafter, so long as the Russian capital still stands:
    +10 ipcs to Britain
    +10 ipcs to America

    Would this be enough to preserve the NAP on Japan’s end? I think it might. Japan may not be so worried about what the Russians can do, but if it went to the British and Americans as well, that might be a major cause for concern. That’s 20 more TUV that the West could bring against the European Axis, or Japan itself. So here it’s not really the situation with Russia that holds Japan in check, but the other 2 Allies on the team. I’m not sure how exactly you might want to explain or justify the recurring bonus, for me it is just a pure gameplay type disincentive to break the NAP. Maybe like a big morale boost, that the other Allies now have another dog in the fight against their mutual Japanese enemy. I’m sure you could come up with a way to word it that fits with other objectives. I like the Income and Progress Credit idea for IPCs hehe, keep it abstract and flexible.Then on the Russian side of the NAP, you do the same sort of thing…

    If Soviet units end their turn in a Japanese starting territory, then the NAP is violated with Russia as the aggressor.
    The Axis receive the following bonus every turn thereafter, so long as the Japanese capital still stands:
    +10 Germany

    Its a rather different approach than what has been tried before. Usually the bonus/penalty to the potential belligerents is focused on Russia/Japan rather than on their teammates.
    Thoughts? Maybe something like this could work together with a Xenophobia rule, to actually give Russia enough to go it alone?

    Also this sort of NAP might encourage the liberation of Moscow in the endgame, because the West would get their NAP bonus so long as Moscow is under Russian control. They’d have an economic incentive to recover the Capital for the Soviets in Exile hehe. Similarly, the way it’s worded, there would be a disincentive for Japan to prop up the German offensive vs Russia, since ending their turn in a Soviet starting territory  (even one under German control) would be a violation, and result in a bonus to the West.

    On the Allied side, a full press KJF, with Russia as the aggressor and violator of the NAP, would give something to G. So in either situation, the aggressor would be setting off a race against the clock. It’s a more all-in approach. Either side can break the NAP, but as soon as they do it flips the hourglass, and they have to go into crunch time mode to take the Capital, before the other members of the opponent’s team rack up an insurmountable income/TUV advantage.

    Probably the NAP would still be violated eventually, but this would likely push that out several rounds. It might get you more adventures in the deep endgame, with a better balance and more historical flair.

    If you wanted to be really strict, you could extend the NAP to include fly overs of starting territories as a violation. This would put more limits on Japanese aircraft, especially in a game like 1942.2 where a third of Russia is already under German control. Would at least make it more challenging for Japan to get defensive fighters to a place like Ukraine or W. Russia without breaking the NAP.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Black_Elk:

    The third thing is extremely important, because the OOB liberation rules are a huge factor in shaping the current OOB endgame. They are the reason why Allies can sacrifice Moscow to pursue a magnified play vs the Axis (usually KGF), secure in the knowledge that after Moscow goes down, all the other formerly Soviet territories are opened up to the West. As IL noted Japan can basically do the same with Europe under KGF conditions, after Berlin falls, if they are in the ascendance.

    I don’t think it’s a problem that can be fixed with a single silver bullet HR. It needs at least a couple HRs working together, or the endgame is still likely to unravel in similarly weird patterns, as players try to game out the loopholes.

    Maybe one way to work on this problem would be as follows.

    First: as a starting point (and just as a starting point, not as an end point), wipe the slate clean of any production exceptions, any national liberation rules, any victory conditions, any capture-the-national-treasury rules, any the rules that relate to having to control your own capital in order to collect income or build factories or whatever, all income-related bonuses and income-related national advantages and national objectives, and work instead from the principle that a player’s income depends only on what territories he holds at the Collect Income phase.  Nothing more, nothing less.  A territory containing a capital would still have the IPC value that’s printed on the map, but the IPCs would be tied only to the territory itself, not to the capital.  This would (again, as a starting point for a game redesign) have the advantage of simplicity and uniformity, and it would help to untangle all the factors that have gotten mixed into the income equation.

    Second: from this baseline assumption, decide exactly what role capitals ought to play in the game in relation to things like victory conditions, but NOT in relation to income or production.  From a non-income point of view, what would a capital represent (political symbolism? administrative control?) and how would it be translated into game terms?  What incentives would players have to hold their own capital and/or to capture the enemy’s capital?  What factors would make it non-critical for players to hold their own capital and/or to capture the enemy’s capital?

    Third: having sorted out the basics of how income ideally ought to work and the basics of what capitals ideally ought to do, then –and only then – start to consider one-by-one possible modifications that relate to things like national objectives and so forth.  I’m not saying those things are undesirable; what I’m saying is that from a design point of view it’s sometimes easier to break down a complex system into its component parts, take a hard look at all of them, then reassemble it piece by piece, starting with the most basic and most solid ones first, then deciding on a case-by-case basis what you want to do with the other pieces (keep them, modify them or discard them).

  • '17 '16

    Based on a WCO Marc cartesian Tabula Rasa,
    Capital conquered only scenario, it seems hard to imagine not giving any reward, knowing how it is costly.
    Usually Germany would only get pyrrhic victories over Moscow or London.
    IPCs or PUs are need to buy units and replaced lost ones.
    And Japanese Center Crush would be the same with or without a prize in IPCs at Moscow.

    Unless Victory conditions are stated totally differently.
    This example is not very conclusive, but gives an idea how this can be different:

    Like: Each Axis Capital have a sworn enemy City and must conquered one each.
    Germany must choose between London or Moscow
    Italy must choose between India (Cairo is along the path) or Moscow
    Japan must choose between San Francisco or India+Sydney (the other becomes capitol-in-exile).

    If any Axis power get hold of any one sworn enemy’s City, it gets another income turns and play immediately.

    The game ends if Axis surrender or three cities are conquered.


  • Stalin even allowed German submarines to use Soviet bases prior Barbarossa, I think he would have no issue with Western units operating in Easern Front at all.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Well being that you got that from me…

    US/UK/ Chinese units cannot move onto/through USSR land territory until the Soviets are reduced under X IPC’s, or until X,Y,and Z are under Axis Control


  • What would be purpose of this rule other than encouraging even more of Moscow tank blitz? Just because Western units didn’t fight on Russian territories doesn’t mean they couldn’t. Even there were serious discussions to send British units to Caucasus during Case Blue.

    Even Finland as officially non-Axis country allowed German units to operate in its territories.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Because Finland was a signatory of the Anti-Comintern pact , and The Soviets had been at war with them prior and wanted Germany’s protection, and third because Finland is Finland and Stalin is Stalin.

Suggested Topics

  • 4
  • 1
  • 9
  • 84
  • 6
  • 2
  • 15
  • 5
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

60
Online

15.1k
Users

36.0k
Topics

1.5m
Posts