Axis win condition strategies always the same?


  • We’ve only played one game so far, and afterwards we analyzed how the game played out, and we are a little concerned that the only way this game can play out is for the Axis to attempt to take Moscow, and if they don’t the Allies just win by either capturing an Axis capital, or more easily, by influencing the board to claim an easy Zombie Apocalypse victory.

    I know it’s early, and we may be wrong, but has anyone else had similar observations? We felt the Axis has very little chance (or no chance) of a Sea Lion victory (taking London) and zero chance at taking Washington (USA capital), resulting in going after the obvious 3rd target option, Moscow. I guess it comes down to if Germany has any chance of taking London, because the Axis certainly have zero chance of taking Washington. This is assuming the Allies do not make some catastrophic mistake like leaving the UK empty (or low on land units) while a striking German transport is in range, or some similar mistake that even an average player would never make.

    Maybe the game revolves around the fall of Moscow and this IS the entire game and only winning option for Axis, and is how the game is always going to play out? Maybe this isn’t so bad?

    We also had some concerns about USSR being able to defend Moscow against the dreaded German SOD (Stack of Doom). This is how our game played out, but the USSR player also didn’t have a lot of zombies backing up their cause, which I believe is a big defensive strategy in this game? Using zombies to help defend USSR?


  • Note this is an entry level game.  Deeper strategies should arise in A&A&Z: 1942.


  • Sea Lion is more favorable than ever before because the Kreigsmarine can destroy UK’s home fleet, it takes two turns for the US to reach London, you can wall zombies against USSR, and you can produce 7 units against UK’s 4. But sacking Moscow is ideal. Germany goes for the kill, Japan takes over USSR east territories.


  • @zooooma:

    Note this is an entry level game.� Deeper strategies should arise in A&A&Z: 1942.

    I’ve always felt “entry level” is a poor excuse for poor scenario design.  Other board games of similar or less complexity to A&A (IE: many of the scenarios of memoir 44, catan, etc.) aren’t locked into an optimal strategy that seems counter-intuitive to history/reality/“fun”.  I had hope for zombies being a shorter to play version of 1942 but with near equal depth.  It comes close to that with smaller setup but still with a variety of units, but fails in the victory conditions.  Getting IRL games with friends is difficult more due to the time commitment then the complexity.

    I understand sacrificing historical accuracy for fun’s sake, but JTDM/KGF are neither historical nor fun.
    A player looks at Japan and picks them to play generally because they want to have a tense fight with air and navy in the pacific.  It’s disappointing when that’s a far less ideal strategy then optimizing a slog through Siberia.

    There are a number of slight changes that could have been added to provide much better balance and opportunities for little added complexity. (If we can have an entire page’s worth of text throughout the rulebook dedicated to the intricacies of subs, can victory conditions be paragraph?)

    Some suggestions:
    Victory cities similar to 1942 SE, with emphasis that Japan can get enough non-russian cities to win as long as german keeps it’s important bits intact.
    Dont want to bring VCs in full? Axis wins if India, Australia and Hawaii are captured and held for a turn.(The triangle of pacific influence for Japan.)

    While yes, you can always “add a houserule”, games tend to get judged poorly when they require “fixing” from the players.

    With Larry not involved I’m not sure we will see a revisions like previous games but I can hope some kind of tournament rules are released that get good support form the community.

    /rant


  • The problem is that Zombies is NOT an entry game, it IS a reboot to bring life to an IP that has a fanatical fan base.


  • In this case, A&A&Z, I would classify it as “entry level” because of the map used.

    Fewer territories and less income make for fewer option than a 1942 or anniversary game.

    If it is a reboot, then it is of classic. 😄


  • @Striker:

    Other board games of similar or less complexity to A&A (IE: many of the scenarios of memoir 44, catan, etc.) aren’t locked into an optimal strategy…

    Other board games with more strategic options typically involve a lot more random and chaotic elements.  A&A is more predictable, and as such optimal strategies are bound to arise.  A&A players are apparently okay with this, as many of us feel A&A is a cut above.

    That said, A&A&Z looks like it offers a more tempting Sea Lion than any other edition.  It also should often end with an economic victory (zombie apocalypse), and it does have a strong random/chaotic mechanic that should make strategic play more “touch-and-go”.  You should be very happy with this game.


  • @Caesar:

    The problem is that Zombies is NOT an entry game, it IS a reboot to bring life to an IP that has a fanatical fan base.

    How is this a reboot when it is an expansion to 1942.2?

    A&A&Z has 2 marketing goals:

    • To sell s new toy for enfranchised players

    • To entice new/millennial gamers with sexy, pop culture

    The first group (I expect) will gravitate to the 1942.2 expansion for a deeper game.

    The new board will be enjoyed by vets for the fact that it is a new.  But this is an entry level game.

    • Fewer areas?  Check.

    • Reduced economy?  Check.

    • Fewer unit types?  Check.

    • Simplified rules/mechanics?  Check.

    The base A&A&Z game resembles 1941 more than 1942.2/AA50/G1940.

    1941 was clearly meant as an introductory game, but to the uninitiated it is just another A&A title.  Zombies will lure a lot more new players.  AH/Hasbro know this, and have designed the game accordingly.


  • @zooooma:

    @Caesar:

    The problem is that Zombies is NOT an entry game, it IS a reboot to bring life to an IP that has a fanatical fan base.

    How is this a reboot when it is an expansion to 1942.2?

    A&A&Z has 2 marketing goals:

    • To sell s new toy for enfranchised players

    • To entice new/millennial gamers with sexy, pop culture

    The first group (I expect) will gravitate to the 1942.2 expansion for a deeper game.

    The new board will be enjoyed by vets for the fact that it is a new.  But this is an entry level game.

    • Fewer areas?  Check.

    • Reduced economy?  Check.

    • Fewer unit types?  Check.

    • Simplified rules/mechanics?  Check.

    The base A&A&Z game resembles 1941 more than 1942.2/AA50/G1940.

    1941 was clearly meant as an introductory game, but to the uninitiated it is just another A&A title.  Zombies will lure a lot more new players.  AH/Hasbro know this, and have designed the game accordingly.

    You’re going to argue what we’re told at Wizard….


  • @Caesar:

    You’re going to argue what we’re told at Wizard….

    I’m not aware that WotC have denied this being an entry level game.  Where did they say that?

    But as a former MTG player, I can assure you that WotC do not publicise design decisions out of a desire to inform us!  It’s all just PR.  I don’t trust anything they say.

    Facts speak for themselves, and A&A&Z is significantly simplified compared to any other title (besides 1941).  What does that tell you?


  • Reduced setup and territories yes, but I’d say the rules themselves are probably as equal to or more complex than 1942.2.  You lose the simplest naval unit in the game(cruisers), d6 based income loss with strategic bombing, aa guns and buyable ICs(though there are now recruitment centers in the game).  The addition of zombies I’d say easily outweighs the loss of a few niche rules/units.  Oh, and technology returns to AAZ.

    There is a larger variety of events going on in a typical AAZ game round, but not necessarily larger quantity of things.  I think this a good thing in terms of game design.

    And regardless of whether or not it’s considered purely an introduction game that doesn’t excuse lazy victory conditions/making the pacific an afterthought.  Its so out of tune with the rest of the rest of the game.

    Even 1941 saw better than to make Moscow an instant win button. Even D-day had “hold multiple objectives to win”.


  • Obviously the Zombies add rules.  The question is, what have they added those rules to?  And the answer is a simplified version of A&A.

    Why do you think SBRs, new ICs, AAAs, etc were not included?

    1. Because WotC thought this would improve the game for seasoned players?
      Or,
    2. because they wanted a more newb friendly product?

    You can believe what you want, but I’m going with 2).

    As for the complaint that the Pacific theatre is downplayed, that sounds like almost every A&A game I’ve ever played.  It’s almost always KGF.  If you don’t like that, I (again) recommend using your Zombies as a 1942.2 expansion.  The base game was clearly not intended for those of us who want a deeper experience.  I’m surprised anybody here is even playing it, other than to get a feel for the new mechanics.


  • @zooooma:

    Obviously the Zombies add rules.  The question is, what have they added those rules to?  And the answer is a simplified version of A&A.

    You keep saying simplified, but i just explained its at least as much, and debatedly more, rules complexity to it than 1942.2.  Zombies,research,recruitment centers > cruisers,buildable ICs, AA.
    Don’t mistake quicker to play(due to less units) for simplicity. Otherwise we can start calling 4 hour sessions of classic risk comparable to axis and allies.

    Why do you think SBRs, new ICs, AAAs, etc were not included?

    1. Because WotC thought this would improve the game for seasoned players?
      Or,
    2. because they wanted a more newb friendly product?

    possibly 3): They didn’t want to make a game more complex than 1942.2 and were trying to keep the overall experience broadly similar in rules complexity.

    As for the complaint that the Pacific theatre is downplayed, that sounds like almost every A&A game I’ve ever played. It’s almost always KGF.  If you don’t like that, I (again) recommend using your Zombies as a 1942.2 expansion.  The base game was clearly not intended for those of us who want a deeper experience.  I’m surprised anybody here is even playing it, other than to get a feel for the new mechanics.

    “accept it or walk away” is a terrible attitude.  Again, there is little reason better victory conditions couldn’t have been made to satisfy more experienced players without taking away from beginners.  You can convince yourself that it was only meant for newbies and that somehow excuses it for silly victory conditions.  I will believe that i had multiple audiences(looking for an alternate experience, or important for my play group,audience looking for slightly quicker experiences)

    It is hard to bring IRL friends together for a 5+ hour 1942.2 game due to time free time being limited and heavily competed for for as an adult(Adding zombies to 1942.2 would make it even longer so it is not a good option).  3-4 hour sessions for a AAZ session may seem like only a slight difference, but it does get below what seems to be some sort of line. There’s been interest in my social circle here to play some AAZ over other variants, particularly after they ask “How long is this one” and I say it is a hour or so quicker than 1942.2.  Maybe in larger cities it’s easy easiar to find clubs with people interested in dedicating more time, but in smaller cities like mine in Sydney(nova scotia, not the Australian one!:P) you have to work with your social circle and what time they have available.


  • Pacific Theater is always downplayed because players have no reason to target islands in the Pacific beyond obvious targets with money value hence why I see tons of players adding house rules to island captures in G40.


  • Has anyone tried a sea lion strategy? I dismissed it as impossible but others have suggested it’s doable. I may run through that scenario in a Solo game pretty soon but I was hoping someone has already attempted it.


  • Zombies makes it much easier for Sea Lion, it’s not a cake walk, but more doable. Because of the position of UK ships against Germany and because Germany goes before UK, Germany can effectively destroy UK’s navy. It also takes US two turns to reach London while Germany can do it in one and UK only produces 4 units against Germany’s 7 with 5 of that being on Germany itself. If Germany is able to wall zombies against USSR, it makes Germany using Sea Lion more doable.

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