# Balancing Bids… using Time as a part of the Bid

• Salutations,

Applies to Live Board Games… (i do not play triple A) . That is unless TripleA programming is changed…(not personally aware).

Have read a lot about what an Optimal Bid is… and it seems to keep going in one direction… up.  This sometimes removes the joy from the game… especially for Italy smiles

Secondly, it is very convenient for everyone playing a live Board game… that the game ends in a single day of play…

My thought process is - Why not give a lower than normal bid to Allies… and factor in Time as a handicap.

ie: So, in a timed game… (preferably using Chess Clocks)… the time for Both sides can be changed so that they will have the luxury of planning their moves… while the other side has to plan faster. Chess clocks can be paused during Combat rolling… just like Timers.

For example… lets say, two teams play, starting at 9.50AM… and wind up at 10PM… with 4 breaks in between ( 1 hour , 20 minutes) …  Half hour for lunch, Half hour for Dinner… and 2x  5 minute breaks - 1 timeout per team.
So essentially 11 hours of actual playtime… 5.5 hours each side as baseline
So average of 9-10 turns of play

When the clock runs out… the game stops and game is called.

Now for the nub of the issue… Time.
The clock can be set so that Axis have just 4.5 hours and Allies have 6.5 hours  or any other combination as they decide on the Bid.

Hypothetical Bids can be :

1. Axis ( - \$ 10  AND  - 2 hours)… Allies obviously + \$10  AND  + 2 Hours
2. Axis (- \$18 AND  - 1hour) … Allies obviously + \$18 and + 1 Hour
3. Axis (- \$ 6 and - 2.5 hours)  … Allies obviously + \$6 and  + 2.5 hours
etc

Hence the with Option 1, the Allies will play (5.5+2   7.5  hours and with \$10 to place before game begins.   Axis will have only (5.5-2  3.5  hours to play with.

With less time, Axis team do not have ample time to strategize or fail to see some traps of their opponents… OR… opt  for riskier openings…

Wanted to see what others think of this…

• Mein Herr

• I like the way you’re thinking about the problem, MeinHerr. One thing to keep in mind is that pausing the timers for combat results in a pretty significant and often unpredictable addition to the clocks. Any one combat will be over pretty quickly, but hundreds of combats add up to an hour, maybe even two hours of playtime. Also, there are some tricky questions to resolve: do you pause for setting up the battleboard? For decisions about whether to scramble? For decisions about which casualties to take? What happens if after you’ve set the battle board up, the attacker changes his mind and wants to bring a different set of pieces to the battle?

Also, what will you do if players arrive late or need to take an emergency timeout because of, e.g., family issues, medical issues, etc.? The problem I’ve had when trying to incorporate strict time controls into an A&A game is that you really want the entire day of play for a typical game, like from 10 am to 10 pm – but many players aren’t actually able to reliably arrive by 10 am, and many players aren’t willing to stay at the game site later than 10 pm, and so even a small delay can throw the whole thing wildly off-course. Cuts just about anywhere feel painful – you wouldn’t want fewer breaks, you wouldn’t want fewer rounds, you wouldn’t want less time per round…so it’s hard to know where to make compromises.

That said, if you try this, please let us know how it goes! I’m always curious to find out about what other people are doing with clocks and A&A.

• Thanks for the thoughtful questions -Argothair.

Since this is probably the first time this has been considered, there will be some kinks to be ironed out.

This is not for Newbies and Rookies.
If you have a player spending 15 minutes and doing basic math to figure out the buy … not for him.

It’s meant for experienced players that know the flow of the game and can make solid decisions in a timely manner.

Also, we assume players show up on time… otherwise you adjust the time accordingly.

It is a handicapping System… so… if the player knows he will take a longer time… play Allies.

Ultimately, it’s the Axis game to lose.
The onus is on them to bid correctly to try to win…
It need not be all the 6 or 8 VCs…  but usually by end of Turn 7… early Turn 8…one can see the direction of the game.

Problem is that most games are not getting to Round 8

Also… yeah… the Emergencies etc will come.
Then pause the clock if you plan to resume.

If the player wants to reset the Battleboard, that is on his time.

Once ALL combats have been declared… then the Clock STOPS … till all the Combats are resolved.
And as you know… once Combat phase starts… you cannot add or remove new units.

The moment Combats are done… the Clock Re-Starts immediately.

Your suggestion of 100 combats taking 1-2 hours is correct.

That is taken into account.

So to take a common example of how it can be played…
Everyone gets there at 9am. Sets up board… about 30-40 mins

Start 9:40 am

Pause for lunch at 1:10pm

So far 3.5 hours gone by… usually 2.5 turns done.

Resume 1:40 pm… Break for 5 mins about 4:40pm (3 more hours played)… Usually 2 more rounds done… (4.5 turns done)

Resume 4:45pm to 6:45 pm … 2 more hours of play… 1.5 turns additionally done… so 6 Turns done
Break for dinner… 30 mins
Restart 7:15 pm… till 8:45 pm … 1 more Turn done … 7 Turns
5 min break…
Resume 8:50 … till 10 pm… 1 more Turn done … 8 Turns

Play time will be 3.5+3+2+1.5+1 = 11 hours

Let’s say for practical purposes… it’s 10 hours
And we do 7 turns… get into 8 … usually 4/5 times you will be able to see who is winning.

Lastly… given 11 hours of Play Clock time that is divided up…
the Axis with less time will have to play faster from the get go to get a solid win.
They have the incentive to literally be Clock-Nazis smiles

As per my previous topic… Colored Dice will help in speeding up Combat…

Combination of both these precepts -Colored Dice and Time Handicap in Bidding process… experienced players will find it more fun…
than say after 5 Turns… nothing conclusive achieved… say… it’s 9:30 pm… gotta go… nice game…

Thank you for wasting a whole day for nothing…

• We used chess clocks in our AA50 tourney here in the Bay Area.  They worked reasonably well.  We just gave each side a set amount of time to complete each round, no pauses for combat rolls.  So round 1 each side got 40 mins total, then round 2 it was 30 mins, then all other rounds were 20 mins.  Each side also got a couple extensions they could burn as needed.

What made it work was its simplicity I think.  Once you completed your turn, you just hit the clock, turning it over to the next player.  I think turing the clocks off during combat etc would be too many clicks and people would forget or screw it up.

Of course G40 is much bigger than AA50 so you’d need to bump up the time allotments.

Not sure using time as a bid would work.  IMO I think time is more precious to the Allies than the Axis as the Allies need to coordinate and usually have more team members.  So if I were the Axis, I’d gladly exchange my “time” to reduce the bid.

Also, even bids as high as 30 for the allies are not decisive.  As the Axis, I’ve given 24 to the allies and solidly beat them, including capturing Cairo w/Italy.  Using the bid to kick Italy in the teeth isn’t a guarantee to save London or the middle east.

But interesting idea.

• Time clocks should only be used in tourneys for shorter games do to time restrictions per game.
Also if your group agrees to use them. But for a bid. Naw.
Why not just start with a bid of 30 icps for Allies pieces and put in setup for start of every game.
As you get better in group then add more pieces to setup.
Ive heard once you get really really good a bid of 100 icps for Allies is max.

• Based on our experience yesterday using a chess clock for the first time, the only way to use time as part of the bid is to reduce the amount of time available to the Axis compared to the Allies significantly.

(On a separate unrelated note, forcing everyone to use the same die colors for the same numbers will NOT speed up play despite Meinherr’s repeated unsubstantiated assertions to the contrary.)

Marsh

• @Marshmallow:

Based on our experience yesterday using a chess clock for the first time, the only way to use time as part of the bid is to reduce the amount of time available to the Axis compared to the Allies significantly.

(On a separate unrelated note, forcing everyone to use the same die colors for the same numbers will NOT speed up play despite Meinherr’s repeated unsubstantiated assertions to the contrary.)

Marsh

Yeah, just not sure reducing the Axis’s “time” is going to really affect their play enough to allow for lower bids.  I could be wrong.

As for the recent colored combat dice thing, yeah, we used that recently in a game it was more confusing and chewed up time trying count the exact right number of specific colored dice etc.  I guess handling such dice would improve with experience, but honestly I like to see what rolled, including the misses.  Nothing like yelling out “Boxcars!” when your opponent rolls double 6’s and then watch the tears well up.

• As I said, the only way to use time as a bid would be to give the Axis significantly less time than the Allies – basically, so little that they were guaranteed to make mistakes. The less time they have, the bigger the mistakes. For example, giving Germany six minutes while giving the UK 12. When you have to finish your entire turn, including die rolls, in six minutes you WILL make mistakes. The standard openers would still work, but once the game devolved out of fixed positions the Axis advantage would be eroded by the cumulative mistakes.

This also cries out for a “per round” limit per side, rather than a “per game” limit. We’re presently looking at a time limit per side for the entire game. It might be doable with that approach, but you would then be looking at something like 3 hours for the Axis as opposed to 6 for the Allies. Again, you’re inevitably going to make mistakes when you must hurry.

Marsh

• 6 mins!!

Wow, that isn’t a lot of time.  But realistically the German player should’ve been planing his move long before his turn while all the others moved.  So maybe it wouldn’t be to bad.

Yet, do you really want to play a game where one side is forced to make errors?

Also, if you really want to get rid of the bid, just play the balanced mod.  It’s pretty good.

• I was merely suggesting how time could be used as an equalizer instead of a bid. Having less time is not forcing people to make errors; it’s just creating a situation in which most people will inevitably make errors. (If you can play perfectly in a very short alloted time, more power to you!)

(I don’t play balanced mod because, to be frank, it isn’t A&A and it isn’t balanced. End of that side discussion for me!)

• I have done the limited time experiment and it wasn’t that fun, IMHO.  If you play a game for six hours and then make a stupid mistake because the clock is ticking, you feel like you wasted the entire day.  A simple mistake like leaving a capitol undefended is an instant game-ender.  Whoohoo… no thanks!  I do find that it helps the Allies significantly if you totally ban battlecalcs in face-to-face matches.  This also speeds up the matches, and leads to exciting yolo moments when Germany decides to gamble on a Moscow attack around G6-G8.

• Yep, agreed. What would be best is a standard set up that is balanced, which uses Axis and Allies rules (no, balanced mode does not count).

• ABH - Very few games are perfectly played. Perfectly played games generally go on for a long time. Triple A is better for those games.
Live Board games if played with unlimited time per move… buy … Combat etc…  ends up with about 5 Turns played in s single 12 -13 hour game day.
Iam sure you have played with players who take excruciatingly long time for a buy.
Worst case scenario is when all decisions are made by Committee approval.
You avoid the mistakes, sure … but you have just had a premature ejaculation of a game.

Better put the onus on Axis to get things going… fast…and they do one of three things:
A) Play well… force Allies to also play fast… and played accurately… you will have a clear result by Turn 7 or 8
B) Play well… for Allies to make mistakes … Axis win
C) Make mistakes… Allies pounce on it… Allies win

As I said… this is not for slow players… and for players who want to triple analyze every step of every move.

This is more like speed chess… version… of AA Global in a Day game.

Not for everyone.

• I agree MeinHett. Not for most. Youll get in an extra turn if setup is done before guys show up.

• @Marshmallow:

Yep, agreed. What would be best is a standard set up that is balanced, which uses Axis and Allies rules (no, balanced mode does not count).

Just out of curiosity, why are you so against the balanced mod?  I think its fine, but also I’m not a booster for it. I can go either way re: regular with bid or BM.

BM does even out the inherent Axis advantage.  It doesn’t change any of the basic rules.  It mostly just modifies the NOs and then the Chinese guerrillas.

I’d be interested to know what flaws you think it has and why its not A&A in your view.

• I’ll PM you with a reply. No point in airing it again.

• @SS:

I agree MeinHett. Not for most. Youll get in an extra turn if setup is done before guys show up.

No.
Everyone shows up on time…. everyone helps in set up.
No extra turns.
No unrealistic 100 IPC bids… ( i mean seriously?!.. unless you are kidding…)

If that is the level of play and players you are encountering…  i feel for you Bro.

• @SS:

I agree MeinHett. Not for most. Youll get in an extra turn if setup is done before guys show up.

No.
Everyone shows up on time…. everyone helps in set up.
No extra turns.
No unrealistic 100 IPC bids… ( i mean seriously?!.. unless you are kidding…)

If that is the level of play and players you are encountering…  i feel for you Bro.

Im not kidding. You or somebody said it takes 40 mins to setup game at 9 00 am and start at 9 40 thats 40 min of play lost.

I heard Gar gives players 100 bid. Depends on level.

• @Marshmallow:

Based on our experience yesterday using a chess clock for the first time, the only way to use time as part of the bid is to reduce the amount of time available to the Axis compared to the Allies significantly.

(On a separate unrelated note, forcing everyone to use the same die colors for the same numbers will NOT speed up play despite Meinherr’s repeated unsubstantiated assertions to the contrary.)

Marsh

Yeah, just not sure reducing the Axis’s “time” is going to really affect their play enough to allow for lower bids.  I could be wrong.

As for the recent colored combat dice thing, yeah, we used that recently in a game it was more confusing and chewed up time trying count the exact right number of specific colored dice etc.  I guess handling such dice would improve with experience, but honestly I like to see what rolled, including the misses.  Nothing like yelling out “Boxcars!” when your opponent rolls double 6’s and then watch the tears well up.

“Combat” dice are different from using  Agreed upon color code that applies to both sides.

Agreed upon Color code, simple means you use different colors for 1s,2s,3s,4s.  Roll them all at once…
Common sense tells you that in over the 100+ combats… this will be faster. And it is.
Some people want a research paper done on it to “prove” that…  i say just try it and you will see.

Problem is that once Human Beings are used to doing things a certain way… they are loathe to change it … unless they see a pitfall in continuing … or … other ways are more advantageous…

Hence… once there are time limits… and … you are forced to play faster… then the advantages of using multicolored dice will become self-apparent.

:evil: :evil: :evil:

• Marsh, Herr, you guys are in Seattle area, right?  You should rally to Vancouver BC to take on Gargantua and his crew.  Call it: “Battle for the West Coast!”

Test some of these ideas

:lol:

• We do Portland vs Seattle every year. No reason we can’t also do Vancouver vs Seattle each year…

• It is in the works. Gargantua and me are on it…

• @Marshmallow:

We do Portland vs Seattle every year. No reason we can’t also do Vancouver vs Seattle each year…

My family has a house in Vancouver. We’ll be up there in late August.  Big basement, plenty of room for war games.  Garg and I may put something together.  Will let you know if you something comes together.

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