Addressing Global 1940 game balance issues through additional national objective


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    I have actually been wondering if the game imbalance could be resolved by adding two new national objectives:

    1. For the United Kingdom (Atlantic): 5 IPCs if the Allies control all of North Africa, from Egypt through Morocco, with at least one US or UK unit in originally French territories.
    2. For the United States (Pacific): 5 IPCs if the Allies control the Solomon Islands. (This might be expanded to also include control of the Caroline Islands – still pondering that one…)

    This puts the Axis and the Allies into direct conflict over a national objective in each theatre:

    1. In the European/Atlantic theatre, Germany now has a reason to support Italy’s efforts in Africa, which should eliminate some pressure on Russia.
    2. In the Pacific theatre, the US and Japan both need control of the Solomon Islands to achieve an objective. Right now, Japan rarely if ever seeks that objective, but if the same territory also became important to the Allies it would provide a potential boost to Allied income and provide Japan with an incentive to deprive the US of that income.

    I’m eager to hear your thoughts on this idea.

    Marsh



  • @Marshmallow:

    I have actually been wondering if the game imbalance could be resolved by adding two new national objectives:

    1. For the United Kingdom (Atlantic): 5 IPCs if the Allies control all of North Africa, from Egypt through Morocco, with at least one US or UK unit in originally French territories.
    2. For the United States (Pacific): 5 IPCs if the Allies control the Solomon Islands. (This might be expanded to also include control of the Caroline Islands – still pondering that one…)

    This puts the Axis and the Allies into direct conflict over a national objective in each theatre:

    1. In the European/Atlantic theatre, Germany now has a reason to support Italy’s efforts in Africa, which should eliminate some pressure on Russia.
    2. In the Pacific theatre, the US and Japan both need control of the Solomon Islands to achieve an objective. Right now, Japan rarely if ever seeks that objective, but if the same territory also became important to the Allies it would provide a potential boost to Allied income and provide Japan with an incentive to deprive the US of that income.

    I’m eager to hear your thoughts on this idea.

    Marsh

    I like objective 1, just have 2 questions:

    Would the western Allies have to have a unit in EACH of Morocco/Algeria/Tunisia or just one of them?

    Would it matter if the USA/UK controls any of French North Africa rather than France herself?

    I can’t say I like objective 2 because it forces japan to go rather out of position to take it and hold it. I feel like ANZAC could also put a bunch of troops there and make it much harder for Japan. I think Carolines might be better, as it forces America to actually take land instead of having it presented to them on a silver platter like all their other objectives (minus France and Philippines).

    Also do you think this would still require a bid?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    #1 The US or UK would have to have a ground unit in each of the French territories north of the Sahara.

    #2 Historically, Japan considered the Solomons strategically important and so did the US. It’s only in the current game incarnation that Japan does not value it. Alternately, we could remove Japan’s NO for controlling the Dutch East Indies – does controlling 15 IPCs worth of territory really need a reward? However, I actually like the direct conflict bit. Oh, #2 should also say “While the US is at war…”

    My intent would be to replace the bid completely.

    Marsh



  • @Marshmallow:

    #1 The US or UK would have to have a ground unit in each of the French territories north of the Sahara.

    Ok that makes sense, and I assume who controls them (France vs Britain/USA) wouldn’t matter, right?

    @Marshmallow:

    #2 Historically, Japan considered the Solomons strategically important and so did the US. It’s only in the current game incarnation that Japan does not value it. Alternately, we could remove Japan’s NO for controlling the Dutch East Indies – does controlling 15 IPCs worth of territory really need a reward? However, I actually like the direct conflict bit. Oh, #2 should also say “While the US is at war…”

    I understand the historical aspect of it but I just don’t see how it’s feasible for Japan to get and hold the Solomons from a strategy/board geometry perspective. Japan doesn’t value it in this game because it’s not worth it; they already generally do fine income-wise without that objective. You’re at least 2 turns away from your reinforcements (the only important Japanese territory in range is the Philippines which can’t have a factory to provide direct reinforcement) if you send a chunk of your fleet down there. If it’s a large chunk, America will head around you provided their fleet is big enough to withstand whatever you left behind plus your air force (which is now not killing China and India). If it’s a small chunk, you’re sending it to its grave – America can easily destroy it.  I think it’s an interesting and historically accurate idea but it wouldn’t really change the Pacific fleet battle in any meaningful way



  • @Marshmallow:

    #2 Historically, Japan considered the Solomons strategically important and so did the US.

    If you look at the map the Solomon Islands is the most important SZ in the south. It splits ANZAC and the USA in half.

    Japan only has 2 NO’s when at war. 5 IPC for the money islands and 5 IPC for the outer island defense.

    The problem with the outer defense NO is it requires Japan to take to many islands, which by themselves have no value, thus the vast majority of the time the Japan player just ignores that NO.

    I would propose then to change up the outer defense NO by saying all Japan needs is Guam, Wake and Solomons for the 5 IPC.

    I would double down on the Japan NO and say if they hold Guam, Wake and Solomons they get 10 IPC instead of 5.

    It makes Japan focus on the south, it makes the USA and ANZAC concerned about holding the south. Plus taking the Solomons it breaks ANZAC NO.



  • Its already been done. Is called Balance Mod. Below are the additional objectives that address or touch upon what you’re discussing:

    Japan

    • 5 PUs if Axis controls Dutch New Guinea, New Guinea, New Britain and Solomon Islands. (This modifies Japan’s “Strategic Perimeter” objective).

    USA

    • 5 PUs if USA is at war and Allies control Marshall Islands, Caroline Islands, Paulau Island, Marianas.
      5 PUs if Allies control at least 2 of: Normandy Bordeaux, Holland Belgium, Southern France, and USA has at least one land unit in any of these territories.
      5 PUs if Allies control Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, and USA has at least one land unit in any of these territories.

    ANZAC

    • 3 PUs if ANZAC is at war with the Japanese and Dutch New Guinea, New Guinea, New Britain and Solomon Islands are controlled by the Allies (other than the Dutch). (This modifies ANZAC’s “Strategic Islands” objective).
      3 PUs if ANZAC is at war with the Japanese and Solomon Islands, Gilbert Islands, Fiji, and Samoa are Allied controlled.
      3 PUs if ANZAC is at war with the Japanese, controls all of its original territories, and Malaya is Allied controlled. (This modifies ANZAC’s “Control Original And Malaya” objective).

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Sorry RK, that’s not the same thing.

    I’m talking about fixing the imbalance only with NOs. If you want to strip BM down to just that, we can compare.



  • Marsh, Balance Mod does address the balance through NOs. The other gameplay enhancements (marines, vichy france, doing away without multiple plunders of the same capital’s PUs) are just that enhancements to the gameplay that are not addressed to balance per se. You could easily play Balance Mod with just the NOs and enjoy an extremely balanced experience.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    And how about the China insurgents? Do those not slow down Japan?

    How about the addition of a new unit? And how about the presence of that unit making the ship carrying it immune to kamikaze attacks?

    Sorry, that’s way beyond addressing imbalances through NO alone.



  • they do slow down japan, but were added for historical interest mostly. in light of stats that show balance mod gives Allies a slight advantage, you could play the game without the insurgents rule and have a very balanced experience (maybe more balanced than balance mod itself. ha). the presence of marines does not make ships immune to kamikazes. again, considerations other than balance motivated the addition of marines (namely, fun!).


  • 2019 2017 '16

    I think removing the insurgents would radically adjust the balance of the game in Balance Mod.

    There are also many more changes for balance than what Marsh is suggesting. I cannot see Marsh’s changes balancing the game.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Agree; I cannot see Marshmallow’s changes balancing the game. The requirement to leave a US/UK ground unit in each of three French North African territories means that you are “paying” at least 9 IPCs to collect the 5 IPC bonus. You are not going to be in a position to collect that bonus until at least turn 5, even in a game where you put heavy early pressure on Italy. It’s really not that hard for Italy to hold Tunisia in the opening. So if you collect the bonus on turns 5 and 6, now you are breaking even on your 9 IPC investment…and then you’ll profit on turn 7. You can use the profit to build American infantry in the United States on turn 8, which will then reach the European mainland on turn 10, and have a chance of reaching Berlin on turn 14 – way too slow to impact most games. Most games are decided before round 14. In short, the Atlantic NO is too little, too late, with aid going to the wrong player to make a big difference.

    The Pacific NO is either a freebie for the USA if it’s limited to the Solomon Islands (really not hard for the USA or ANZAC to trade the Solomon Islands each turn), or a “win more” for the USA if it’s extended to require the Caroline Islands (really not that hard for the Japanese navy to deadzone the Caroline Islands so that it’s not cost-effective for the USA to send transports there).

    So really the practical impact of your new NOs is to give the USA 5 more IPCs every turn while the USA is at war. That’s fine, but not really relevant in many types of games. If the Allies go all-in against Germany while Japan is allowed to run wild, then, sure, having a few extra bucks for the USA could be the difference between American forces taking Berlin in time to win vs. taking Berlin one turn after the Japanese get their 6th victory city. But in any other type of game – if you’ve got balanced theaters, or an attempt to defend the Middle East / Moscow, or a Sea Lion, or really any pattern other than just “Allies ignore Japan”, you’re not going to see the 5 IPCs per turn for the USA snowball into anything decisive. The game will be decided by German-Russian battles near Moscow and by British-Italian battles near Egypt and by Japanese-Chinese battles near Yunnan long before those extra American IPCs have a chance to make a difference.


  • TripleA

    There is mod3… it is fairly balanced…



  • @regularkid:

    Marsh, Balance Mod does address the balance through NOs. The other gameplay enhancements (marines, vichy france, doing away without multiple plunders of the same capital’s PUs) are just that enhancements to the gameplay that are not addressed to balance per se. You could easily play Balance Mod with just the NOs and enjoy an extremely balanced experience.

    I dont see marines as enhancements but as a weird unit that basicaly has no realistic real world equivalent in the game.
    Tell the current US marines that they can pick 100 men and that they need to attack 10000 entrenched soldiers and they will tell you it wont happen.

    And london should be a NO for germany, sea-lion was a major target and it would give germany an incentive to try it.



  • “And london should be a NO for germany”

    Balance Mod gives +5 for German occupation of London.

    As for Marines, have had the argument a million times. But people seem to enjoy playing with them and there is ample historical justification for them.

    Take, for example, the Battle of Madagascar. From Wikipedia:

    “With the French [Vichy] defence highly effective, the deadlock was broken when the old destroyer HMS Anthony dashed straight past the harbour defences of Antisarane and landed fifty Royal Marines amidst the Vichy rear area.[11] The marines created “disturbance in the town out of all proportion to their numbers” taking the French artillery command post along with its barracks and the naval depot. At the same time the troops of the 17th Infantry Brigade had broken through the defences and were soon marching in the town. The Vichy defence was broken and Antisarane surrendered that evening[.]”



  • Just yesterday I read a chapter on Madagascar in Chruchill’s series, The Second World War: The Hinge of Fate.

    I don’t know if you can credit this victory to the effectiveness of marines.  Chruchill considered the operation a great success because of excellent planning and execution.  Using a far superior force against a weak colony composed of Vichy, African natives, and even Frenchmen who disliked Vichy was almost a sure win from the start.

    Yes, marines are effective, but they are basically regular troops extensively trained for certain situations.

    Any well-trained handful of men could have done the same job given the same circumstances.

    I do not want to discredits the marines, but there is no reason why they should be counted separate or special compared to other infantry divisions.


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