Request for Review of New Unit Ideas (d10)


  • '16

    Hi, all. As you know, I am working on a modification of the basic Axis & Allies game concept not unlike HBG’s Global 1936.

    I would be very grateful if folks on this board would take a gander at the proposed unit selection, stats, and abilities. I welcome feedback on balance. I know that some of you are quite good at determining whether or not particular units are worth the cost versus others, so I welcome that kind of in-depth analysis in particular.

    The game that I envision is not for commercial development and is intended to be played by a particular group of people on a 4’x10’ map. For reference, the distance between the American Atlantic coast and the western coast of Ireland is 5 sea zones.

    The base die is a d10.

    Land combat proceeds up to 3 rounds before a stalemate results and units remain in place until the following turn.

    Naval combat must be preceded by a Naval Combat Search, during which fleets attempt to locate one another using a modified die roll. It is theoretically possible for one fleet to pass through or by another in the same Sea Zone. Aircraft dramatically increase the probability of detecting enemy fleets.

    The GoogleDocs link is HERE.

    Cheers!


  • 2017 '16

    Hi Trenacker,
    are you aware of this Frostion’s Iron War D10 system similar to A&A combat mechanics?

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=36518.msg1651832#msg1651832


  • '16

    I’ve downloaded the module for TripleA, but have not yet had a chance to play.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    OK, Trenacker, here’s a first pass at a review of your units.

    THE GOOD: Your unit selection is interesting and manageable. I am a big fan of the way you’ve split up the infantry, it’s fun to play around with some older units like zeppelins and cavalry, and I think the torpedo bomber is a sorely needed addition to the standard unit mix for any heavyweight A&A game. Scout planes and recon vans are also pretty neat if you can get their mechanics adjusted properly.

    THE BAD: Regular Infantry and Regular Artillery look pretty underpowered compared to some of the new variants you’ve introduced. A matched pair of infantry and artillery cost $7, attack at 5 pips, and defend at 3 pips. That performance gets worse if you have excess infantry or excess artillery; it’s usually hard to pair them up perfectly under combat conditions. It’s a little hard to evaluate the effect of the artillery’s “first strike” ability, but assuming the enemy has a reasonable supply of cannon fodder, the first strike should take out about 2.5 pips of defensive strength per successful attack; since the artillery only hits 2/10 times, you have to multiply 2.5 pips * (20%) = 0.5 pips removed from the opposing stack. Some of the combos I show below look like an advantage that’s much more important than 0.5 pips.

    Infantry and artillery have the following stats:
    (*) Infantry and Artillery – cost $7, attack at 5 pips with minor first strike, defend at 3 pips.

    Instead of buying infantry and artillery, I could buy:
    () Light Infantry and Light Armor – cost $7, attack at 6 pips, defend at 4 pips.
    (
    ) Light Infantry and Heavy Artillery – cost $7, attack at 6 pips w/ major first strike, defend at 3 pips.
    () Three Cavalry Units – cost $6, attack at 6 pips or 9 pips against a smaller stack, defend at 3 pips.
    (
    ) One Armor Unit – cost $6, attack at 5 pips, defend at 4 pips, blitz.

    Zooming out from the details, it’s very important to think about what your cheapest units are and how they perform either alone, when paired with a heavy hitter, or in large groups. Hit points are very important – getting a chance to buy an extra unit, even a relatively weak unit, is huge.

    Check out the performance of 15 light infantry ($30) vs. 10 regular infantry ($30):
    () 15 Light infantry – attack at 30 pips, defend at 15 pips, 15 hit points
    (
    ) 10 Regular infantry – attack at 20 pips, defend at 20 pips, 10 hit points

    When the light infantry are attacking, they have a major advantage – they score 3 hits per round vs. only 2 hits per round from the regular infantry on defense, and they have lots more hits to absorb, so they will crush the regular infantry. That may be intentional; perhaps you want light infantry to be good at attacking.

    But even when the light infantry are defending, they defend almost as well as the regular infantry can attack, and they have lots more hits to absorb. After one round of combat, the light infantry will have taken an average of 2.0 hits and dealt out an average of 1.5 hits. That leaves 8.5 regular infantry attacking 13 light infantry. The 8.5 regular infantry get 17 pips = 1.7 hits; the 13 light infantry get 13 pips = 1.3 hits. That leaves 7.2 regular infantry fighting 11.2 light infantry. Next round of combat, the regular infantry deal 1.4 hits, and the light infantry deal 1.1 hits. That leaves 6.1 regular infantry and 9.8 light infantry. After one more round of combat, you have 5.1 regular infantry and 8.6 light infantry.

    You can kind of see where this battle is going – the regular infantry are not actually wearing down the light infantry at a rate that exceeds the 1.5 to 1 advantage that the light infantry have coming in because of their cheaper cost. At worst, it’s even odds, even when the regular infantry are attacking the light infantry. If it’s the other way around, then the regular infantry are screwed. So why ever build  regular infantry?

    It’s up to you how to fix this, but I think ultimately you are going to have to either increase the base cost of regular infantry to $4 (giving you more room in the chart for some discounted $3 units), or increase the performance of regular infantry to 3*/10 offense and 3*/10 defense (giving you more room in the chart for weaker $2 units that only hit on 1*/10 offense or 1*/10 defense).

    THE UGLY: With five sea zones between Boston and Ireland and a maximum ship movement of 2, I don’t think you’re going to get any interesting action across the Atlantic, Pacific, or Indian Oceans. You don’t spell out in your spreadsheet how supply works, or how naval bases work, but even if a naval base can increase movement by +1, that’s still way too slow. Buying transport planes for $7 (which can presumably move one infantry across six spaces) is going to be much, much better than buying troop transport ships for $7 (which can move two infantry across two spaces).

    Suppose you have naval bases in both Boston and Greenland, and suppose the game runs for 12 turns before there’s a clear winner. If you travel by sea, you can deliver troops from Boston to London on turn 3, return to Boston on turn 5, make a second delivery to London on turn 7, return to Boston on turn 9, and make a third delivery to London on turn 9. That’s all you get – three deliveries of two infantry each, for six total infantry delivered to London.

    If you use troop transports instead, you can deliver your first load on turn 2, return to Boston on turn 3, deliver a second load on turn 4, return to Boston on turn 5, deliver a third load on turn 6, return to Boston on turn 6, deliver a fourth load on turn 7, return to Boston on turn 8, deliver a fifth load on turn 9, return to Boston on turn 10, and deliver a sixth load on turn 11.

    So on the shortest important route, with naval bases and no air bases, the air transports equal the performance of the naval transports. If you have a longer route (to Paris, Oslo, Rome…God forbid you want to reach Archangel or Guadalcanal) or if you’re missing a naval base anywhere along the route, then the naval transports get much worse very quickly.

    You might have a similar problem with your Strategic Bombers, depending on how hard it is to get the technology prerequisite. $16 for 8 pips of offense delivered at a speed of 7 sounds like it could be way more effective than paying $13 to get 4 pips of defense (2 infantry plus a transport) delivered at a speed of 2.

    I did not see a cost for your Marine Infantry. Can those be purchased? For how much? Even at $2, they look a bit underpowered…at their best, during an amphibious assault, the marines are A2/D1/M1 units, which is worse than what cavalry get all the time (A2 / D1 / M2), plus the marines don’t get the cavalry’s charge or blitz abilities. Are you limiting amphibious assaults to only marines, and requiring everyone else to grab a beachhead first? Is there anyway to get a beachhead other than with marines?

    Finally, I don’t understand why the Cargo Transport costs the same as the Troop Transport if the Cargo Transport can carry any 2 land units plus provide a bit of extra naval defense, but the Troop Transport can only carry 2 infantry and has no defense. Doesn’t that make the Cargo Transport strictly better?

    I’d encourage you to keep working at this; I do think there is the core of an interesting system in these units. Keep pecking away at the diamond until it shines!



  • What about a d8 system, just 2 more sides is still a lot of range to work with… not to mention that I like the way d8s, d12s, and d20s roll and land, d10s roll and land a lot like a football.


  • 2017 '16

    With D10 system, it is easier to calculate all the odds because we are accustomed to decimal system and percentage.


  • '16

    I really appreciate all the feedback. Special thanks to Argothair for that detailed analysis!

    I’m inclined toward a d10 base for two reasons. First, as Baron points out, players can easily calculate their odds. Second, it still offers an appreciable chance to hit for units at 1 or 2. I am worried that a d12 base would make A1 or A2 units all but worthless and cause the game to grind to a halt.

    Argothair, how about the following?

    1. Eliminate the ability of Light Infantry to be supported. If that isn’t enough, scale their attack back to 1.

    2. Increase the attack value of Marines by 1. They are not the only units able to make amphibious assaults, but they don’t suffer penalties for doing so.

    3. Increase the cost of transport planes by 2. Perhaps shorten their range?

    4. The cargo transport should cost more than the troop transport. That was an error on my part.

    I plan to introduce a supply system that limits the number of moves that a player can make in a turn. The supply points will be prorated based on the strength of a power’s economy. Building supply columns and fleet trains can increase the supply pool, but they can be captured.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    That all sounds good to me! I would rather see transport ships get faster than see transport planes get more expensive, but you do you.

    One note on the supply trains: it might be useful to have them support a movement to or from their current location without the expenditure of “national” supply, rather than just straight up add supply points. Otherwise I will have my American supply boats in the Caribbean support my extended fleet operations in the Leyte Gulf, out by the Phillippines. Good luck capturing my supply boats!


  • '16

    That is indeed how I intended supply columns and fleet trains to work – locally.

    Transport ships were historically slow, so I need to keep them at 1 or 2 speed.



  • If you really consider to give a defense value to a Tranny, then we are back to the classic A&A issues. There will be no reason to buy surface warships. I only need to buy a stack of Trannies, and all the one eyes they roll will sink all the attacking battleships, for a cost of some cheap Trannies. This is the reason that A&A Trannies have no defense today. And even worse, if Trannies got a defense value, you can use them as cheap fodder. There are no excuse for a unit with combat value to be taken last as casualty. A game changer


  • 2017

    1. ARTILLERY - I think regular artillery and self-propelled artillery should attack at the same die level. The increased cost for self-propelled artillery should only be a direct reflection of the 1 extra movement point.

    From a realism perspective, the guns are normally the same caliber. Only when you get to the category of “Heavy Artillery” are they required to be pulled and are rarely motorized.

    think if you say you had two types of artillery, regular OOB, and self-propelled, you could add an extra 1 IPC purchase cost. I thought about doing this for Axis and Allies Global 1940 2nd edition. It would fill the empty 5 IPC slot. Just like mech, I’d say that self-propelled artillery could blitz when paired with a tank.

    2. TOO MANY CATEGORIES: I think 3 categories of artillery is a lot. You only have 2 categories of armor. 5 categories of infantry is not worth it. How about normal infantry and marines but with a paratrooper rule. That’s plenty? I suggest only 2 categories of infantry, artillery, and armor (if you so desire to add that extra layer of complexity). Otherwise, I think the board would get too busy with 3 different types of each. Global 40 is already very busy on the board as it is.

    3. PLANE TYPES: What is the difference between a “Pursuit” and a Fighter? Is it really necessary to differentiate and add another category? I thought the normal 3 categories were plenty (fig, tac, bomb). At the same time, I always thought perhaps another plane type, transport, could make for some interesting roles like dropping paratroopers or transporting infantry to a forward location. So, I do like how you listed Transport Plane as another plane type.


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

    @Ichabod:

    3. PLANE TYPES: What is the difference between a “Pursuit” and a Fighter? Is it really necessary to differentiate and add another category?

    In terms of the real-world evolution of combat aircraft, I think that “pursuit ship” is just an older American term for what would be called a fighter today.  It’s the reason for the “P” prefix of WWII-era US planes like the P-40 Warhawk or the P-38 Lightning.  USAF fighters today have “F” prefixes, as in the case of the F-15 Eagle.


  • '16

    @Narvik:

    If you really consider to give a defense value to a Tranny, then we are back to the classic A&A issues. There will be no reason to buy surface warships. I only need to buy a stack of Trannies, and all the one eyes they roll will sink all the attacking battleships, for a cost of some cheap Trannies. This is the reason that A&A Trannies have no defense today. And even worse, if Trannies got a defense value, you can use them as cheap fodder. There are no excuse for a unit with combat value to be taken last as casualty. A game changer

    That’s a terrific observation. I think, on that basis, they can be reduced to 0. I certainly don’t want roving wolfpacks of transports.

    @Ichabod:

    1. ARTILLERY - I think regular artillery and self-propelled artillery should attack at the same die level. The increased cost for self-propelled artillery should only be a direct reflection of the 1 extra movement point.

    From a realism perspective, the guns are normally the same caliber. Only when you get to the category of “Heavy Artillery” are they required to be pulled and are rarely motorized.

    think if you say you had two types of artillery, regular OOB, and self-propelled, you could add an extra 1 IPC purchase cost. I thought about doing this for Axis and Allies Global 1940 2nd edition. It would fill the empty 5 IPC slot. Just like mech, I’d say that self-propelled artillery could blitz when paired with a tank.

    You won me over with the argument on caliber. I had originally looked at it with the perspective that a more mobile gun was necessarily more effective tactically as well as strategically, but I think they can be put on par. Gives folks more reason to buy Heavy Artillery.

    I am also happy for SPG to be allowed to blitz with armor.

    2. TOO MANY CATEGORIES: I think 3 categories of artillery is a lot. You only have 2 categories of armor. 5 categories of infantry is not worth it. How about normal infantry and marines but with a paratrooper rule. That’s plenty? I suggest only 2 categories of infantry, artillery, and armor (if you so desire to add that extra layer of complexity). Otherwise, I think the board would get too busy with 3 different types of each. Global 40 is already very busy on the board as it is.

    Variety is a basic objective of mine.

    3. PLANE TYPES: What is the difference between a “Pursuit” and a Fighter? Is it really necessary to differentiate and add another category? I thought the normal 3 categories were plenty (fig, tac, bomb). At the same time, I always thought perhaps another plane type, transport, could make for some interesting roles like dropping paratroopers or transporting infantry to a forward location. So, I do like how you listed Transport Plane as another plane type.

    Minor nations start with Pursuit Planes. Major nations start with Fighters.


  • '16

    The map is still in flux. I misjudged how much work would need to go into developing something of high quality.

    While we have a draft prepared on MSPaint, I’m not sure how to determine what resolution is appropriate for printing. The immediate next step will be to figure that out, then print on very cheap paper and play some games as a proof-of-concept for both the rules and territory placement.

    The MSPaint draft, when compared to a .gif of the Global War map, is significantly smaller in size. Does anybody have any ideas about how to proceed?

    Another option, and one I’d like to implement, is just to buy a very large fold-out map of the world and draw borders and sea zones by hand. I am totally open to that, but I’ve been unable to find such a map.


  • 2017

    @Trenacker:

    2. TOO MANY CATEGORIES: I think 3 categories of artillery is a lot. You only have 2 categories of armor. 5 categories of infantry is not worth it. How about normal infantry and marines but with a paratrooper rule. That’s plenty? I suggest only 2 categories of infantry, artillery, and armor (if you so desire to add that extra layer of complexity). Otherwise, I think the board would get too busy with 3 different types of each. Global 40 is already very busy on the board as it is.

    Variety is a basic objective of mine.

    Ok Cool. I understand that and really like your intent. We all play G40 BECAUSE it’s more complex than Classic or Revised. It’s your mod and if you ever finish it and the opportunity were to arise, I’d be happy to try this with you. The alternate scenario you setup during our Nashville meetup was interesting.

    SMALL BOARD: The reason I was saying that 2 types of infantry, 2 types of artillery, 2 types of infantry, 2 types of armor, 3 types of planes (OOB) plus “maybe” a transport plane would be plenty is mainly due to the room on the board. The board is already very busy as it is. I think adding 1 extra type adds a SIGNIFICANT extra layer of complexity and would meet your intent. Also, at a certain point in time, players would learn which pieces were the best buy and then a lot of the variety of types might not even be purchased. But the board would still be cluttered in areas with 4 different types of planes…ect. It’s like German players mostly buying Strategic Bombers even though for 1 IPC cheaper they could get a Tac. Bomber or the US and Japan never buying cruisers.

    Strategic Perspective Argument: Lastly, keep in mind that Axis and Allies is a game played at the Strategic Level of War, (sometimes in G40 you could argue that battles are played out at the Operational Level of War). But its not at the tactical level at all which is why I think more than 1 extra variety of stuff is not needed. To differentiate between minors and majors, you could replace out some of the standard stuff with more advanced stuff. Example, replace 1 or 2 of the artillery in Western Germany with SPG. Then if those units survive, they could start marching towards Russia. Likewise, replace 1 or 2 of the Russian pieces with SPG so they have more mobile units. All minors would not get SPGs and any of their tanks or initial purchases would have to be the lower levels for rounds 1-2.



  • One of the reasons why I also hope AnA moves to a ten sided die is because of 1: math is easier 2: it will allow units to have better odds. I never liked the idea of infantry only attacking at 1, it makes it appear on a 6 die that infantry is garbage.


  • '16

    I may have mentioned it previously, but I will be bringing my new unit rules, plus the new setup, along with the HBG Global War and Global War 1936 maps, to NashCon next week.

    Ichabod, you are correct that even Axis & Allies Global 1940 2e is at the Strategic or Operational level of warfare, depending on where one looks. You get things like army groups and fleets in some territories, but independent commands below the division level in others (e.g., Hong Kong at game start).

    I have decided to accept board clutter as the cost of adding so many new things. I am working on a much larger 4’x10’ map to partially offset this.

    From the strategic perspective, you are correct that the new unit rules are an awkward mix of operational- and tactical-level factors for a game that, overall, tries to be strategic. Again, since the objective is to play with more little plastic pieces, I’ve accepted the risk.

    Neat idea about minors receiving weaker or less mobile pieces to reflect older equipment and lower standards of training.



  • People will complain unfortunately if Minor nations had out dated equipment, which they did. In fact even some of the major powers had out dated equipment. USSR for example had only two WWI era battleships at the start of WWII.


  • '16

    So long as nobody has to play those nations, complaints are at a minimum. 🙂



  • Lets be honest, if you’re playing USSR or a minor nation, all you are really doing is stalling the Axis powers.


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