[AA50 & AA42.2] Fixed Cost Techs + Tech Expansion


  • 2018 Customizer

    This is a work in progress, but I’m putting it out here for ideas and feedback if anyone is interested in geeking out on something like this.

    This is an expanded list of techs with fixed costs (no more die rolls) that would simply come into effect immediately (unless otherwise specified) for the cost shown. Some of these have a cost of 5 IPCs, with the intention of simply enabling what are essentially house rules/new units (Mechanized Infantry, Cheaper Naval units, rudimentary dogfight rules, etc.) while allowing players with no interest/need for them to ‘opt out’ and save the 5 IPCs. I’ll be using this list for my next solo game and will be making adjustments.

    Note: The ‘Turkish Pact’ tech is designed for games where the Turkish Straits begin the game closed (via house rule), but also works for games where the straits start open as per OOB rules (in which case, upon the development of ‘Turkish Pact’ they would cease to be a special case of “Always Open” straits and revert to the normal OOB straits rules (closed to units unfriendly to the controller of Turkey).

    Fixed_cost_Tech_v2.xls


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Interesting ideas. You provide an entertaining and thoughtful mix of special abilities. My main concern is just wondering how you plan to keep track of all of the various “modifier” chips. We already use chips under the pieces to show how many units are in a territory, so adding additional chips (of many different varieties) could easily get confusing. Is that 2 marines, or 3 paratroopers, or was it 4 infantry plus 1 heavy tank? If somebody knocks over a stack, it could be really hard to put the stack back together again from memory.

    Another question I have is why some of your abilities are priced in terms of $5 up front plus $1 or $2 per unit you want to upgrade, whereas other abilities are priced as a large up-front cost of $10 plus $1 more for each unit you have. Right, like sometimes you give the user the choice of whether to upgrade, and sometimes you’re charging a variable fee upfront that essentially forces all units to be upgraded. The latter ability seems vulnerable to abuse, because I can research, e.g., Super Subs first, and then build as many subs as I like for no extra cost. The former ability seems a bit finicky, like I have to make all these little decisions about whether to pay $1 to upgrade each individual unit. I’d prefer a flat fee like $15 or $20 that doesn’t have anything to do with the number of units. Another option is to say you can have up to 3 upgraded units of each type (up to 2? up to 5?), at no extra charge, and after that the rest are normal. E.g. for $5 I can build 3 heavy tanks; the rest of my tanks are normal.

    It’s hard to tell without playtesting, but I think you are probably charging too much for targeted strikes. Like, I’m almost never going to give up 3 submarine hits to generate 1 hit on a specific target. What am I going to aim for, your carrier? To prevent your planes from landing? You could just take the planes as casualties; it’s not going to be notably more expensive than, e.g., suffering 3 hits on destroyers. I guess if I’m attacking your mixed fleet of BBs and CVs with nothing but subs, then the targeted hits could be useful, but then I’m throwing away my fancy upgraded equipment just to get in one spite shot. Doesn’t seem that attractive. Similarly, if I have a trio of bombers that hit on 4 or less, I’m not excited about downgrading that to 2 or less just to target my shot. Killing 2 infantry is roughly as good as killing 1 tank.


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

    @vodot:

    This is a work in progress, but I’m putting it out here for ideas and feedback if anyone is interested in geeking out on something like this.

    This is an expanded list of techs with fixed costs (no more die rolls) that would simply come into effect immediately (unless otherwise specified) for the cost shown. Some of these have a cost of 5 IPCs, with the intention of simply enabling what are essentially house rules/new units (Mechanized Infantry, Cheaper Naval units, rudimentary dogfight rules, etc.) while allowing players with no interest/need for them to ‘opt out’ and save the 5 IPCs. I’ll be using this list for my next solo game and will be making adjustments.

    Note: The ‘Turkish Pact’ tech is designed for games where the Turkish Straits begin the game closed (via house rule), but also works for games where the straits start open as per OOB rules (in which case, upon the development of ‘Turkish Pact’ they would cease to be a special case of “Always Open” straits and revert to the normal OOB straits rules (closed to units unfriendly to the controller of Turkey).

    Nice ideas but your going away from KISS

    As for the tech if you want it you can buy it with rolling 4 D6s and add up the 4 dice. Or try with having a 2 D6. 3 D6 4 D6 per tree level. Or just pay 10 icps + 2 D6 rolls. Play around with it.


  • 2017

    Nicely done, we may tryout the buy technology.

    This is similar to the way we play our HBG1936 game. We bought  tokens/chips of a yellow colour to denote any upgaded/heavy units under the pieces. They interlock with oob chips, Blue marine, etc.  Better to experiment with these instead of buying new sculpts you may not use, and rather simple/cost effective to implement. Available at HBG or some boardgame stores, mini poker chips by Kaplow games.

    The cost of new type of units at +1 or +2 makes sense. Heavy tanks are using more material and the option to buy regular tanks instead is nice to have. This slightly nerfs the technology.  Since you spend more, you buy less units.

    I like buying the breakthrough, but some won’t.
    Have you considered allowing the option to roll for tech or buy it? Some players love the idea of rolling for everything and when frustrated will buy tech. later.

    For the political situation.
    Example: If both sides pay for Turkey’s interest? How do you decide a 50/50 die roll, Bidding war, Something else?

    Recommend looking at HBG1936 rules and expansions, they include variations for most of your ideas. This may give you some other angles to look at your technology changes or methods to implement them. They are not perfect but different and play tested.


  • 2018 Customizer

    @SS:

    Nice ideas but your going away from KISS

    I will 100% cop to that, SS.  I try to keep the rules descriptions themselves as KISS-y as possible while behing cohesive… but KISS overall is not really my aim with these. There is definitely room for a far simpler set of flat fee technologies- it would be funny if that is what I ended up with after starting with all this complexity. 😛

    @SS:

    As for the tech if you want it you can buy it with rolling 4 D6s and add up the 4 dice. Or try with having a 2 D6. 3 D6 4 D6 per tree level. Or just pay 10 icps + 2 D6 rolls. Play around with it.

    I love this idea! I had this thought a week ago, and I totally forgot about it until reading your comment!


  • 2018 Customizer

    @Argothair:

    Interesting ideas.

    I thought that you would be one of the aforementioned "people who would want to geek out on something like this 🙂

    @Argothair:

    You provide an entertaining and thoughtful mix of special abilities. My main concern is just wondering how you plan to keep track of all of the various “modifier” chips. We already use chips under the pieces to show how many units are in a territory, so adding additional chips (of many different varieties) could easily get confusing. Is that 2 marines, or 3 paratroopers, or was it 4 infantry plus 1 heavy tank? If somebody knocks over a stack, it could be really hard to put the stack back together again from memory.

    Yes, true. Of course there are those with the actual units to represent these pieces, solving one problem; I personally have sharpies (GASP!) for that 🙂 hopefully as I continue to play these out I’ll know more about how to contain these sorts of issues.

    @Argothair:

    Another question I have is why some of your abilities are priced in terms of $5 up front plus $1 or $2 per unit you want to upgrade, whereas other abilities are priced as a large up-front cost of $10 plus $1 more for each unit you have. Right, like sometimes you give the user the choice of whether to upgrade, and sometimes you’re charging a variable fee upfront that essentially forces all units to be upgraded. The latter ability seems vulnerable to abuse, because I can research, e.g., Super Subs first, and then build as many subs as I like for no extra cost. The former ability seems a bit finicky, like I have to make all these little decisions about whether to pay $1 to upgrade each individual unit. I’d prefer a flat fee like $15 or $20 that doesn’t have anything to do with the number of units. Another option is to say you can have up to 3 upgraded units of each type (up to 2? up to 5?), at no extra charge, and after that the rest are normal. E.g. for $5 I can build 3 heavy tanks; the rest of my tanks are normal.

    These are valuable thoughts. I had originally conceived this as 100% flat fees; the ‘per-unit’ surcharges evolved as a balancer, and then evolved again in balance of the choice vs. auto upgrade issue- and now here we are with the “build NO subs until they’re super subs” exploit.

    Raising the ‘flat fee’ component of all of the auto-global-upgrade techs might fix this… or the whole ‘per-unit’ kicker cost idea might be a bridge too far in terms of bang-for-finnickyness.

    @Argothair:

    It’s hard to tell without playtesting, but I think you are probably charging too much for targeted strikes. Like, I’m almost never going to give up 3 submarine hits to generate 1 hit on a specific target. What am I going to aim for, your carrier? To prevent your planes from landing? You could just take the planes as casualties; it’s not going to be notably more expensive than, e.g., suffering 3 hits on destroyers. I guess if I’m attacking your mixed fleet of BBs and CVs with nothing but subs, then the targeted hits could be useful, but then I’m throwing away my fancy upgraded equipment just to get in one spite shot. Doesn’t seem that attractive. Similarly, if I have a trio of bombers that hit on 4 or less, I’m not excited about downgrading that to 2 or less just to target my shot. Killing 2 infantry is roughly as good as killing 1 tank.

    This could definitely be true. I love the targeted strike idea, need to spend some more time testing things out. Not sure I can get it to work in A&A, given that nothing else in the whole system is designed for it.  In my dreams, we get a complete “All units target other units individually”  system with armor/defensive modifiers adjusting attacking dierolls, but that entails not tweaking but overhauling the cost structure, dice, setup, build restrictions, etc.


  • 2018 Customizer

    @Rank:

    Nicely done, we may tryout the buy technology.

    This is similar to the way we play our HBG1936 game. We bought  tokens/chips of a yellow colour to denote any upgaded/heavy units under the pieces. They interlock with oob chips, Blue marine, etc.  Better to experiment with these instead of buying new sculpts you may not use, and rather simple/cost effective to implement. Available at HBG or some boardgame stores, mini poker chips by Kaplow games.

    Hey, thanks! yeah, chips that interlock with (and sit atop) any QTY chip stacks are what I use. I just use sharpies on some of the excess gray chips I have lying around, but colors would, of course, be awesome. 🙂

    @Rank:

    For the political situation.
    Example: If both sides pay for Turkey’s interest? How do you decide a 50/50 die roll, Bidding war, Something else?

    Turkish Pact is first come, first serve. Probably need to clarify that.  Other players can always just invade Turkey later to take control of the straits, but only the active player can ‘buy’ the technology.

    But an Auction… what a fantastic idea! I could really see that working as well in some form, if perhaps not as a “Technology” like this.

    @Rank:

    Recommend looking at HBG1936 rules and expansions, they include variations for most of your ideas. This may give you some other angles to look at your technology changes or methods to implement them. They are not perfect but different and play tested.

    I will totally do that.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Can you do this as a PDF and not excel?

    Just a nice sheet with larger font and some graphics


  • 2018 Customizer

    @vodot:

    @Argothair:

    Another question I have is why some of your abilities are priced in terms of $5 up front plus $1 or $2 per unit you want to upgrade, whereas other abilities are priced as a large up-front cost of $10 plus $1 more for each unit you have. Right, like sometimes you give the user the choice of whether to upgrade, and sometimes you’re charging a variable fee upfront that essentially forces all units to be upgraded. The latter ability seems vulnerable to abuse, because I can research, e.g., Super Subs first, and then build as many subs as I like for no extra cost. The former ability seems a bit finicky, like I have to make all these little decisions about whether to pay $1 to upgrade each individual unit. I’d prefer a flat fee like $15 or $20 that doesn’t have anything to do with the number of units. Another option is to say you can have up to 3 upgraded units of each type (up to 2? up to 5?), at no extra charge, and after that the rest are normal. E.g. for $5 I can build 3 heavy tanks; the rest of my tanks are normal.

    These are valuable thoughts. I had originally conceived this as 100% flat fees; the ‘per-unit’ surcharges evolved as a balancer, and then evolved again in balance of the choice vs. auto upgrade issue- and now here we are with the “build NO subs until they’re super subs” exploit.

    Raising the ‘flat fee’ component of all of the auto-global-upgrade techs might fix this… or the whole ‘per-unit’ kicker cost idea might be a bridge too far in terms of bang-for-finnickyness.

    Revisiting this kicker or ‘instant/mandatory field upgrade’ idea, I have two responses: I think they’re actually fine as-is… but I have an idea to nerf them further if necessary.

    First, after some reflection, I think the “+$X/unit” mandatory field upgrade kickers are fine as-is. If a player tries to maximally exploit this by deferring a big mass-purchase (of, say, Super Subs) until the round he develops the Tech, he’s still not placing those units until the end of his turn- and on top of that he’s placing less of the massed units simply through the loss of the IPCs invested in the Tech itself. What would be unfair/un-gamey would be instantly upgrading a big chunk of subs (for free) that are already afield (afloat? asubmerged? :)). I think that’s what we would want to avoid, or at least require the outlay of at least some cash to do that, which is what this rule hopefully creates.

    To really kill it dead, if you’re not convinced, how about this variant: Early Prototypes:
    Purchased Units of a type that was newly upgraded via tech this turn are considered ‘Prototypes.’ To purchase prototype units, you must pay their cost plus any associated ‘field upgrade costs’ as if the units had been present on the board at the start of the turn when the tech was developed. Purchases of this unit on subsequent turns do not incur these costs.

    So if you develop Super Subs with the intention of suddenly deploying a bunch of them immediately without having to pay the kicker, you’re going to eat extra IPCs per sub, due to the nascent nature of the technology.

    For the reasons in the first paragraph above, I think this is unnecessary and perhaps even un-fun… but it should thoroughly kill any chance of this rule being exploited.


  • 2018 Customizer

    @Imperious:

    Can you do this as a PDF and not excel?

    Just a nice sheet with larger font and some graphics

    Working on it, IL.  It won’t be any prettier than the xls, but I can definitely get a 2-sided PDF going 🙂


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Well, I think your comment about “unfun” gets at the heart of the matter. Every new rule has to balance simplicity, fairness, excitement, and accuracy. An otherwise exciting rule that’s too complex to easily remember or that’s too fiddly to easily apply is probably not going to enhance the average player’s experience.

    Keeping in mind that your new ruleset functions by adding several new unit types (and mechanics) to the game without removing much from the game, you may already be at or near the limit of how much complexity you can include in a house rule and still have it be fun. My advice would be to ruthlessly streamline your pricing scheme so as to minimize any further complexity, even if that means losing a bit of accuracy or excitement.

    In other words, pick one pricing system and stick with it. A flat fee, or a flat fee plus a per unit premium, or a flat fee plus a one-time conversion fee…and apply that scheme for every single one of your technologies on every turn of the game.

    That’s just my two cents. Ultimately, it’s your rule!


  • 2018 Customizer

    @Argothair:

    In other words, pick one pricing system and stick with it. A flat fee, or a flat fee plus a per unit premium, or a flat fee plus a one-time conversion fee…and apply that scheme for every single one of your technologies on every turn of the game.

    I think the game engine is what makes this so challenging- you’re shackled to this clunky half-simulation, half-game engine that is so setup/history reliant that it resists any tweaks that aren’t either extremely simple/specific. To add ‘medium-weight’ ideas you really are adding entire mechanics that the engine simply doesn’t have.

    I really appreciate your editorial voice- CUT, CUT, CUT! 🙂 I think it would be fun to come up with a painfully streamlined version of these. Hm.


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

    It would seem that you would have more tech in the game going this route. I’m kinda with Argothair. I like it where you can buy a tech token for 5 icp. Can save for next round with no break thru. Plus I have events cards that each country turns over 1 card per turn. In those card decks are 2 get a free tech token card, get 1 free tech and spy steals an enemy tech. If you have 4 tech tokens and roll 4 6s you only get 1 tech. Rest of tokens discarded. This keeps the tech under control plus some techs don’t do you any good to a certain point. The most techs Ive had in a game is 11. Half didn’t do no good but thats the chance you take. Plus you have a chance of getting 3 free more techs plus a free one. This makes the game some what different every time plus with the 2 added NAs each country rolls for at begining of game is sweet.

    You can see my game results and charts in the House Rules Thread at top of page under Death Heads Global 40 2nd edition.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    And the 2 sided PDF is where?


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

    Who does your question pertain too and for what pdf ? vodot ?


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @vodot said in [AA50 & AA42.2] Fixed Cost Techs + Tech Expansion:

    @Imperious:

    Can you do this as a PDF and not excel?
    Just a nice sheet with larger font and some graphics

    Working on it, IL.  It won’t be any prettier than the xls, but I can definitely get a 2-sided PDF going



  • @vodot said in [AA50 & AA42.2] Fixed Cost Techs + Tech Expansion:

    This is a work in progress, but I’m putting it out here for ideas and feedback if anyone is interested in geeking out on something like this.

    This is an expanded list of techs with fixed costs (no more die rolls) that would simply come into effect immediately (unless otherwise specified) for the cost shown. Some of these have a cost of 5 IPCs, with the intention of simply enabling what are essentially house rules/new units (Mechanized Infantry, Cheaper Naval units, rudimentary dogfight rules, etc.) while allowing players with no interest/need for them to ‘opt out’ and save the 5 IPCs. I’ll be using this list for my next solo game and will be making adjustments.

    Note: The ‘Turkish Pact’ tech is designed for games where the Turkish Straits begin the game closed (via house rule), but also works for games where the straits start open as per OOB rules (in which case, upon the development of ‘Turkish Pact’ they would cease to be a special case of “Always Open” straits and revert to the normal OOB straits rules (closed to units unfriendly to the controller of Turkey).

    Fixed_cost_Tech_v2.xls

    SIR, THIS IS PURE GOLD! 🙂


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