Does Game Length Affect Chances of Victory?


  • 2019 2018

    As has been stated often, the Axis’ key to victory is to be aggressive early, especially before the US gets involved. A previous poll asked about which side usually wins, and as I recall, the Axis wins at least 60 percent of the time. What I’m wondering is whether the Allies’ win percentage goes up in longer games or do the Axis hold steady around 60 percent, regardless of game length?


  • 2018 2017

    The key question is when does Moscow fall.  If its before Turn 8, the Allies often concede.  If its after Turn 8, then unless Tokyo is about to fall, or the allies are somehow tearing Germany apart, then the Axis still stand a pretty good chance of being able to turn south and take egypt (which is usually the 8th victory city on that board).  The Allies may be able to hold off German victory by taking Rome, Paris or Leningrad but once the Germans no longer have Russia to worry about, they can take these back and fortify them.  They get so much money (5 x $5 bonuses for owning all of Asia) and have so many factories that the UK can’t stop them from driving through the Middle East, and things only get worse.    Russia and China are pretty much destroyed at this point in the game, and the middle of the board becomes an easily defended rear zone.

    The Allied victory condition is pretty much impossible to attain (no capital but Rome has fallen in our +100 live G40 games) and Russia is too weak to hold out against a dedicated Axis for longer than 6-8 turns in most games.  In contrast, the Axis VC  can be attained on either board;  there are quite a few games where the Allies have to engage in some risky attacks and moves in order to save one board from VC, only to have the Axis shift their focus to a VC on the other board, requiring you shift again in response (ala whack a mole).  I argue these reasons are why you see such a high percentage of Axis victories–the Allies typically only win when the Axis see that they cannot attain the VC on either board, often because Moscow has not fallen yet and they still need +1 or more cities after that to win the long game.


  • 2019 2018

    I agree with everything you’re saying, taamvan. I guess the next question is: Is a bid system the only way to level the playing field, or can the Russian bear’s claws be sharpened through the use of house rules (i.e., weather, the Trans-Siberian railway, etc.)?



  • A longer game might suggest the Allies are winning, but could just be a super patient Axis player.  If you’re aggressive early and can level off the ipc disparity before the U.S. gets too powerful, there can be some serious cat and mouse moves, especially in the Pacific, as fleets maneuver for position and try to force the other player into a mistake.

    For example, Japan can force the U.S. to park at Hawaii for quite a while if they simply buy carriers and fill them with existing planes.  If the U.S. player gets impatient and hits the Caroline Islands instead of, say heading down to ANZAC, they might end up in range of all of Japan’s fleet and planes.

    But if the U.S. can keep whittling down Japan’s transports until they can’t retake the Money Islands… or can take over SZ6 to start convoying… and on and on.


  • 2018 2017

    Mr. Martian;

    Sure there are plenty of ways to do this.  You could make russia stronger but direct how this preset bid is allocated, or you could rule in some special rules to accomplish the same goal (see siredbloods lend lease or BM rules).  You could modify the VC and go for tokens or total Victory cities across both maps, or like sired’s mod, make a big list of goals and the Axis win if they check off some predetermined number of them by X turn (see events page for sired’s mod).

    There are two challenges; 1) how do you gain consensus among your home group regarding changes 2) what is the most fun and balanced way to implement the changes in order to keep the game vital and interesting?    Possibly a 3rd consideration is how easy are your changes to implement without confusing players or causing constant revisions/corrections.

    I personally think that key among these changes should be

    1. the elimination of taranto as a pat open (we divide the adriatic into two SZ to accomplish this) without eliminating it as an option
    2. a blanket increase in Russias staying power but not at the expense of Japan in lieu of a bid that goes to the UKvItaly (the UK seems correctly balanced to me or very close)
    3. a decrease in the Axis territory bonuses from 5 to 4 or 3 to avert a mid game flop in the money

    I think if you go further and add alot of new rules like Sired does, that its really an all new game and balance would have to be reevaluated
    BM doesnt go as far, but many people dont think BM is that much more balanced than OOB, and BM air interception, while very fun, reduces Strat bombing as an option
    YGs VC mod doesnt change rules only VCs, it changes the playout of the game but not exactly its balance.

    We have tried to add a more comprehensive suite of mods for our KC group, but at this point going to tailor them back to the 3 mentioned above or try sired’s mod.

    Over all, the game is mature enough that I think most people are ready for some changes.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    I don’t think it’s true that people think BM is as unbalanced as OOB! Look at the bids offered, they’re much smaller.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    From my experience playing the game on the forum hundreds of time, the longer the game usually indicates Axis likely victory.

    Usually, the Axis is able to expand first 5-6 turns, hold their gains against allied counters next 7-12 turns, and then the Axis gain the money edge and the allies slowly realize they’ve lost, next 13-16 turns.


  • 2017

    @Karl7:

    From my experience playing the game on the forum hundreds of time, the longer the game usually indicates Axis likely victory.

    Usually, the Axis is able to expand first 5-6 turns, hold their gains against allied counters next 7-12 turns, and then the Axis gain the money edge and the allies slowly realize they’ve lost, next 13-16 turns.

    Are you referring to Global 40 or BM3?

    (Obviously, this forum discussion is for G40…in G40 games, I think longer games often favor the Allies, but in BM3 games, due to the NO advantages, I think longer games favor the Axis).


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    @Ichabod:

    @Karl7:

    From my experience playing the game on the forum hundreds of time, the longer the game usually indicates Axis likely victory.

    Usually, the Axis is able to expand first 5-6 turns, hold their gains against allied counters next 7-12 turns, and then the Axis gain the money edge and the allies slowly realize they’ve lost, next 13-16 turns.

    Are you referring to Global 40 or BM3?

    (Obviously, this forum discussion is for G40…in G40 games, I think longer games often favor the Allies, but in BM3 games, due to the NO advantages, I think longer games favor the Axis).

    I think the dynamic is true for both OBB or BM.



  • Among others …  it depends on 3 main factors:

    1. Bid… and Bid placement

    2. Extent of risk Germany and Japan are willing to take in their initial attacks.
      Big risks if successful, give amazingly huge rewards!
      Classic examples: J1- Carolines DD against Sydney DD+TR
      G1 - 1/2Mech+Tank+ FTR  against 2 Inf in S.France… in addition to 1 UBoat attacks on Gib CRU, Canada Fleet…
        Barely enough to leave 1-2 Inf in Yugo alive for Romania slide…

    3. Scramble or not decision of London.

    Hence “order” of battles are important!!!

    If some, especially the important battles go Badly for Axis…
    Ex: Paris holds, UK BB and FTRs survive SZ110… Yunnan holds…
    Axis may as well as concede, call it over and restart a new game.

    The Stinker, is that if all these attacks succeed… the Allies (after Failed Taranto/Tobruk) may as well as throw in the towel.

    So… it could be a really short game either way…

    Hence… important to remember that if you’ve decided you want to play a decent game… that is well fought and are there for the fun… try not to go in with 50-50 odd battles… in beginning of game… esp as Axis…
    Unless game is so important… Bid so huge… that you really have no choice…

    -Mein Herr


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    @Karl7:

    @Ichabod:

    @Karl7:

    From my experience playing the game on the forum hundreds of time, the longer the game usually indicates Axis likely victory.

    Usually, the Axis is able to expand first 5-6 turns, hold their gains against allied counters next 7-12 turns, and then the Axis gain the money edge and the allies slowly realize they’ve lost, next 13-16 turns.

    Are you referring to Global 40 or BM3?

    (Obviously, this forum discussion is for G40…in G40 games, I think longer games often favor the Allies, but in BM3 games, due to the NO advantages, I think longer games favor the Axis).

    I think the dynamic is true for both OBB or BM.

    Let me elaborate on my thinking here:

    Long games tend to result from two dynamics: 1. that the Axis have been soundly checked by the Allies but the Allies can’t crack the Axis defenses or 2. the Axis are expanding towards a money advantage while not necessarily having decisively defeated the Allies.

    Generally in the former scenario any self-aware Axis player will see the writing on the wall and throw in the towel before too long, say turn 10, while in the latter scenario can drag on toward 20 rounds because it takes a while to narrow the money gap and have any Axis money advantage seen on the battlefield.



  • @taamvan:

    Isnt that also because once japan falls or germany is under serious strain and japan cannot win easy the axis will give up ?
    If you stop de axis from winning and get more income as the allies its only a mather of time, if you have enough time even japan can be invaded 20ish BB and landing 20 inf every turn will wear down every stack regardless of size.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    I seen Japan fall and the game still be in the balance, i.e. Cairo in play as last Axis VC.



  • @Karl7:

    I seen Japan fall and the game still be in the balance, i.e. Cairo in play as last Axis VC.

    The point was that once the allies are winning no axis player will wait till the end.

    Once japan falls and moscow is still in play, then good luck as axis winning.
    Once allies can contain 1 side the axis either need to have a win soon or just give up.
    The allied victory condition is doable, its not that hard to take the 3 capitals it just takes a long time, once japan is out of the water and germany is losing ground in russia you can play for a few turns but it is inevitable.


  • 2019 2018

    @ShadowHAwk:

    @Karl7:

    I seen Japan fall and the game still be in the balance, i.e. Cairo in play as last Axis VC.

    The point was that once the allies are winning no axis player will wait till the end.

    Once japan falls and moscow is still in play, then good luck as axis winning.
    Once allies can contain 1 side the axis either need to have a win soon or just give up.
    The allied victory condition is doable, its not that hard to take the 3 capitals it just takes a long time, once japan is out of the water and germany is losing ground in russia you can play for a few turns but it is inevitable.

    The way to obtain an allied victory (especially on Japan) is by slowly stripping it of IPC’s. If Japan only has it’s own island, it can’t build many defences and a successful invasion will eventually happen. As this will take a long time and you can see it coming from miles away, any Axis player will have conceded long before than.

    For me the imbalance is in the fact that the Axis can do some weird late game moves to achieve a victory, even though the odds are completely against them (e.g. Japan suicides on Hawaii to grab the last VC while the entire economy collapses due to ANZAC and the US liberating the money islands, china resurfacing etc.). So the Axis are able to hold the VCs just that one round and win even though in the next round they would be wiped out and the Allies would get the victory at that point.
    The trouble for me is that the Axis have this option while the Allies can only win by doing the slow grind off grabbing and holding territories.

    So taking all this into account I’ve been wondering if there is a way to counterbalance this by giving the Allies a second option to win and that is an economic victory. I’d have to do the math to see what a viable amount would be, but my feel is that in this way you can give the allies the chance to win by themselves in stead of winning because the axis gave up.
    Condition that gets added to the axis win is that they will have to win by grabbing the VCs and at the same time the allies haven’t won the economic battle


  • 2019 2017 2016

    The problem of an economic victory condition is how do you have a meaningful one that isn’t present on the initial setup?


  • 2018 2017

    activate it after a stated turn



  • @simon33:

    The problem of an economic victory condition is how do you have a meaningful one that isn’t present on the initial setup?

    Simple solution: Don’t play with people who won’t give up when the ultimate outcome of the game has been determined.  If you are going to need another 3-6 hours of your life to convince them that the position is hopeless, I recommend giving them the victory and finding a better opponent to play with next time.



  • The Triplea java-based game has an option for “Honorable Victory” here either side wins if it has attained a certain amount of VC’s by end of a round. The Default I believe is 14. The games I’ve played against the (so-called) “Hard-AI” have all been won on this rule. The Axis have clearly lost at this point and I don’t have to go the extra hours necessary to achieve the OOB Victory Conditions. I’d suggest this added rule as it doesn’t change any of the other gameplay.


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