Balanced Mod [Anniversary 41]


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    If anyone doesn’t want to read the entire game update thread, or if you want to skip my gaming buddy’s blatant pro-Allied propaganda, here’s the summary:

    We played the first game out for five rounds, with axis_roll putting heavy Axis reinforcements into the Med via an early factory in France. As Britain, I built a factory in South Africa that didn’t quite pull its weight, and a US Pacific fleet that held the Japanese at bay but was not able to actually push them off of the core of their economy. axis_roll did a good job of shutting down Britain and Russia’s NOs, and Russia was so poor that even though German initially went south, Russia didn’t have the units to hold off the eventual German thrust, so we called the game when Russia’s position started to collapse. Germany also benefited from re-directing surplus African troops to Stalingrad via the open Dardanelles. The USA was earning slightly more than usual from the new NOs, but not nearly enough to compensate for Russia falling apart.

    For the second game, to give Russia a bit more cash, we adjusted the Russian NOs to kick in on turn 2, and we switched sides. We are in the middle of round 6, and in my opinion, the game is still very much alive and kicking – fighting is hot in the Pacific, around India, and in eastern Europe. The Allies hold Scandinavia and are rapidly hoovering up Africa, but the Germans have western Europe locked down with big infantry garrisons – so the question is whether Moscow, Cairo, or the US Pacific fleet crack before the Germans and Italians run out of income after inevitably losing Africa.

    We’re still struggling a bit to find ways to properly incentivize Pacific play – just giving the Allies money for holding territory in the Pacific doesn’t help much if holding the Pacific is impossible, so we’re not really seeing factories in India or China or Siberia or anything wild like that. There are too many d*** 1-IPC territories in the Allied Pacific sphere of influence, and too many starting Japanese transports and fighters to crush any initial pockets of resistance. It may be that just editing the NOs, by itself, isn’t enough to enable a truly competitive Kill-Japan-First strategy. Still, this game has seen a fairly convincing two-front war – the Pacific theater may be secondary, but it’s been a real front with meaningful losses and gains on both sides.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    Yes the Pacific always seems to be the problem.👥
    Have you thought about making the islands in the Pacific more of a 3 Island Group No ?
    Does Australia have any ships ?
    Try giving UK Pacific more ships ?
    Does UK make enough money to buy ships in Australia or India ?



  • @SS-GEN There are many ways to try and balance the game, as you have suggested. Argothair was trying to do so with his minimalist approach of only altering the National Objectives.

    The new NOs are close, but not enough to help in India/South Pacific theater. India’s vulnerability in AA50 is way overstated, as well as Japans ability to help fight in Africa (even the med too!). I don’t know if just National Objective changes can ‘fix’ these issues.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    @axis_roll said in Balanced Mod [Anniversary 41]:

    @SS-GEN There are many ways to try and balance the game, as you have suggested. Argothair was trying to do so with his minimalist approach of only altering the National Objectives.

    The new NOs are close, but not enough to help in India/South Pacific theater. India’s vulnerability in AA50 is way overstated, as well as Japans ability to help fight in Africa (even the med too!). I don’t know if just National Objective changes can ‘fix’ these issues.

    If the NOs aren’t enough then ya setup change maybe ? But wasn’t Arg plan to change setup. I’m just saying for me its always comes down to Japan and slowing them down.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    Then its take away some pieces from japan and maybe add that allies Factory that was discussed. Later
    Looking forward to what you guys come up with. Good Luck

    G40 SS OUT!


  • 2018 Customizer

    @axis_roll said in Balanced Mod [Anniversary 41]:

    @SS-GEN There are many ways to try and balance the game, as you have suggested. Argothair was trying to do so with his minimalist approach of only altering the National Objectives.

    The new NOs are close, but not enough to help in India/South Pacific theater. India’s vulnerability in AA50 is way overstated, as well as Japans ability to help fight in Africa (even the med too!). I don’t know if just National Objective changes can ‘fix’ these issues.

    @axis_roll, usually ‘overstated’ would mean “it’s not as bad as people say it is”- but in your case it seems like you mean more like “It’s worse than it should be”. India is too vulnerable; Japan is too able to fight in Africa/Med, etc… You guys are playing with just the NO adjustments and no bid, right?



  • @vodot
    overstate
    verb (used with object), o·ver·stat·ed, o·ver·stat·ing.
    to state too strongly; exaggerate:

    India was never as near as susceptible to Japanese conquest in the real war as it is in AA50. So when I say that AA50 “overstates India’s vulnerability”, I mean that the game makes India far too easy to take by the Japanese.



  • @vodot You guys are playing with just the NO adjustments and no bid, right?

    Correct, No tech, dice average, and Argothairs latest National Objectives (which contains a small chinese mod)


  • 2018 Customizer

    @axis_roll said in Balanced Mod [Anniversary 41]:

    @vodot
    overstate
    verb (used with object), o·ver·stat·ed, o·ver·stat·ing.
    to state too strongly; exaggerate:

    India was never as near as susceptible to Japanese conquest in the real war as it is in AA50. So when I say that AA50 “overstates India’s vulnerability”, I mean that the game makes India far too easy to take by the Japanese.

    Right, makes sense- I knew what you meant, especially given all of the preceding discussion; I think when I first read that sentence I mentally inserted the words “Reports of” in front of the words “India’s vulnerability…” which really would invert the meaning. I think. Apologies for any unintentional grammatical fascism 🙂

    Related to legitimizing the PTO, and this is a very old thought, but what about splitting the US economy ala G40 UK?

    When I used to have 7 people over to play revised we would add Italy for the 6th player (using pact of steel rules + setup from triplea), but for the 7th player we would split the US economy at CUS (which counted for both sides), then add +10IPCs to each half. Players could still go all in on KGF or KJF, if they wanted, but naval forces and/or ground units would then have to be produced in their respective IC centers and moved manually to the other side of the board. This is a little bit arbitrary, but it almost always resulted in a real PTO for the US and led to some fun times and climactic fights over the islands.

    I can’t speak to precise balance (except to say that I could win as either side without a bid, but that is hardly an accomplishment when you are teaching a game) and the whole thing is going to be shaded by the relative strengths and weaknesses of the POS setup, one of which was (IIRC) a stronger UK in Europe and in the PTO in particular.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @vodot Very interesting; that could be a useful part of the toolkit. It’s somewhat trivial to build fighters in Eastern US and fly them into the Western US sea zone, or vice versa, or to build tanks in Western US and drive them into East Canada – so it would be very rare that you’d actually choose to build boats in one sea zone and then sail them through the Panama Canal.

    I think +20 IPCs per turn for the US would be disruptive; that sounds like way too large of a bid. My friends usually play with a one-time bid of less than 20 IPCs, so if that money came in every single turn, it would be a problem.

    From my point of view, the problem is less that the USA wants to build 100% in the Atlantic, and more that there are no Allied “rally points” west of San Francisco. You can stack up in Hawaii, Alaska, or Australia if you really want to, but it’s honestly not that big of a problem if Japan takes them, and you don’t want to put a factory in any of those places as the Allies. It feels like the natural front lines for the Japanese empire are near Persia, Australia, Yakut, Chinghai, Alaska, and Hawaii – which means that the forward staging ground for a Kill-Japan-First campaign is either Cairo, South Africa, or San Francisco, none of which are particularly thematic. I’d like to see the Allies staging in Guadalcanal, or Midway, or the Soviet Far East, or Burma. That rarely happens in an OOB game. I think the new NOs have gotten us part of the way toward that goal – it’s more reasonable to go to Guadalcanal or New Guinea now. The tournament Victory City rules we used in Marin County (21 Victory Cities, win immediately if you hold 13 VCs, win after round 8 if you hold 10+ VCs) also help out with those staging grounds – if you’re counting victory cities, that gives you much more reason to hold onto Sydney and Honolulu. I still feel like we’re not quite there yet, though. I would personally like to see even more use of forward staging grounds in Kill Japan First campaigns.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    What if you added National Advantages without changing setup ? But do as you said by putting a minor factory in Persia.
    I have in my game NA Island Bases for US and Japan. IF either side gets it you place an Airbase at every island that side controls at start of game. If enemy captures island they get the Airbase to use. Now I don’t know if there’s airbases in this game. I guess I should look at rules before I reply any more. Been so long since I have.
    As I mentioned before I also have NO 3 Island Groups worth 5 icps. Setup right and they work. This makes Japan have to come out with naval fleets to protect there NO island group or counter US NO Island groups. Otherwise US can get More money in pacific. Other wise back to the setup thought and add more US navy to Pacific.
    Just my 2 cents.


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    @Argothair Just so you know, I “edited” your post to add a topic thumbnail. Unfortunately, the only toolsmods have right now to add meta-data, like tags and thumbnails, is a direct edit of the first post. 😕



  • I’ve been theory crafting setup changes in the pacific 41 setup to give Japan more to deal with, I’ll share it add to the ideas here.

    Additional allied units: One chinese infantry to the 3 empty territories+move fighter to sikang. British Battleship in SZ 37(Japan has to sink Prince of whales/task force Z! Might reduce this to a cruiser though). India and Australia start with ICs.

    Combine this with my version of NO changes(I try to keep NOs to two per nation for ease of play). The ones in the pacific theater are:
    US
    Pacific Holdings: +5 if allies control 2 of: Midway, wake island, Philippines.
    Japan
    +5 Ipcs for
    Central Pacific Islands – 5 IPCS for controlling 2+ of Caroline islands, Iwo Jima, Wake Island
    Co-Prosperity Sphere – 5 IPCs if Axis control 1 of India, Australia, Hawaii
    UK:
    ANZAC – 5 IPCs if Allies control Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.



  • @Argothair said in Balanced Mod [Anniversary 41]:

    Third draft based on feedback from everyone and playtests with @axis_roll – thank you for commenting!

    • Operation Torch – 3 IPCs if USA has land units in both Morocco and Libya

    Need to update this USA NO still



  • @Argothair Any update(s) on these rules? Have you play tested them any further or switched to a different new shiny object to keep your attention? ☺ ☺

    You know I mean that in a good way, as you like your novelty over the “same-old, same-old”


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Thanks for checking in, but nothing new to report on this particular set of house rules. 🙂

    I spent the spring studying data science, and much of the summer went to coping with roommate drama. I’m now comfortably ensconced in my own studio, which is refreshing, but it doesn’t really have the space to host Axis & Allies games (table’s way too small) and my schedule has mostly conflicted with the games that other people have been hosting. Karl S has been working pretty hard on some home remodeling, Karl S has been looking after his second newborn, James has been looking after his first newborn…the usual excuses. I’m still studying data science. I played a few games of Global (joined the ladder for about six months and did OK) and a few games of New World Order on TripleA. I’ve been working a little bit on my 1939 Middleweight Map, which is in the Customizations forum, and a little bit on Tiny Battles of World War 2, which might actually get published someday, and I’ve been playing some of the Battlefront: Strategic Command video games, which have that classic hex-and-counter setup from the 1970s grognard style of wargame, but on a PC. I’ll be playing WW2 Deluxe for the first time this weekend with Mike Kelley, which looks promising, but I can already see some of the potential flaws.

    I am always happy to play A&A 50 with my house rules, but I’m not sure the locals are as into it; they mostly like Sired Blood’s Global rules, and I think we’re going to try Larry Harris’s new War Room soon.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Update: finally got a live playtest in, with @Corpo24 and Angel taking the Axis against me and Quincy with the Allies. It was a very tense and exciting game – Germany took Egypt on G1 without a single casualty, but lost 2 fighters against Task Force G in the Western Med and failed to sink the Canadian DD + transport. Britain abandoned both India and Africa, used its navy to capture and hold Scandinavia early (saving Leningrad for the Russians), and built a factory in Australia, which was reinforced by the retreating Indians and some American soldiers and planes. Italy got rich off of national objectives and built a large navy, including a fully loaded carrier, and then shucked 2 loaded transports per turn to the Ukraine, where Germany’s main stack of 15 tanks was threatening both Stalingrad and Moscow.

    Meanwhile, in the Pacific, Japan sent a fully loaded carrier with no escort ships down to Queensland as part of an effort to sink the remaining British Pacific boats (I won’t dignify a few stray transports and destroyers with the name of “Pacific Fleet.”) America seized the opportunity to blow it up and establish carrier parity (2 each), and the American and Japanese Pacific fleets mostly played footsie for the rest of the game, with Japan finally wiping Britain out of the East Indies on about J5, and America taking Iwo Jima on US6. Japan slowly expanded on all fronts, making it as far as Yakut in Siberia, cutting China down to one territory, and trading Persia with Russia. Japan also landed a squad in Rhodesia to help the German tank factory in Egypt make sure that the British didn’t get any funny ideas about a factory in South Africa.

    Things looked grim for the Allies during turn 6 – the British were trading France with Germany, but were unable to fill their fifth transport (no extra factory in the west and no money to buy one); America was trading Morocco with Italy each turn and looked unlikely to penetrate further than Libya for a long time. Meanwhile, Japan’s slow, steady progress was becoming a real threat – Japan was about ready to break China and break the still-holding-but-slowly-retreating Siberian Guards, which could have created a decisive income swing. Allies were up about 10 IPCs as of turn 6, but that could have disappeared or even been reversed by turn 8 if things continued according to schedule.

    Fortunately for the Allies, the back-and-forth trading in France left the Axis stack in Ukraine exposed to a Russian counter-attack. Russia attacked with 75% odds to win, and rolled better-than-expected, taking back the Ukraine with 3 artillery, 6 tanks, and 1 fighter remaining. At the same time, lightly supported Russian infantry rolled out of Leningrad to take the Baltics and Belorussia, rolling the Germans back in the northeast. The Germans and Italians had no forces available to counter the advancing Russian front – they could not both hold eastern Europe and keep trading France, so the Axis surrendered.

    One fun gambit that we didn’t get to see the result of was the American bomber attack on the Italian fleet – the Americans built 3 extra bombers in the Eastern US and stacked land forces in Libya with the idea of holding it for a turn using British fighters that were no longer needed to defend Russia. The US bombers (including a couple that flew from Australia to Stalingrad to join the party) would fly 5 spaces to the central Med, and then land in Libya – which would then be permanently secured, because the Italian navy would no longer have the transports to help the Germans take it out. That attack could have gone quite badly for the Americans; the extra turn of setup meant that the Italians got a chance to build, so they could have dropped another 3 destroyers or something in the sea zone, and they might have won that battle, with disastrous results for the Western Allies – but we’ll never know, because Axis morale collapsed in the wake of the Russian victory in Third Battle of Kharkov.

    Everybody had a good time, and we don’t feel that any changes are needed to the national objectives – they seemed to give everyone a fair chance to win and to choose their own style. There was a little grumbling about how German got ganged up on, but what do you expect when Egypt, Burma, Pearl Harbor, and the San Diego navy all fall turn 1 without a single Axis casualty, and the Luftwaffe bites the dust on turn 1 without a single Allied transport getting wet? I blame the dice, rather than the NOs, for that particular strategic decision.

    IMG_20191222_103909.jpg


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    IMG_20191222_103956.jpg


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Here’s our income chart, if anyone’s enough of a nerd to care about that much detail. Allies had 127 - 115 IPC advantage at end of round 3, and 121 - 108 IPC advantage at end of round 5. In the pictures above, blue chips are 3, and red chips are 5.

    IMG_20191222_140639.jpg


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    Ha you finally got C24 away from his 49ers !
    Nice game report.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    I am excited to announce the 1941 Anniversary Balanced Mod is now available as a TripleA map!

    I’m still working on the automatic download, but for now, if you’re tech-savvy, you can put the objectives.properties file in world_war_ii_v3-master/map, and put the WW2v3-1941balmod file in world_war_ii_v3-master/map/games, and it should work for you. You will need to manually change the file type of the ‘objectives’ file from “objectives.txt” to “objectives.properties” because TripleA cannot handle the “.properties” file type. It is OK to replace the old objectives.properties file; I have preserved all of its old info for you. You will probably need to unzip the relevant folder (which is in C:/users/[your name]/TripleA/downloadedMaps/) in order to add the files.

    WW2v3-1941balmod.xml
    objectives.txt


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    OK, we are live in TripleA! You can download Anniversary Balanced Mod normally, just like any other TripleA map. It’ll be near the bottom of the list of “Good” quality maps. I wrote an Objectives tracker for the mod that will help you keep track of which objectives you’re meeting. If anyone wants to play a game of it with me online, just let me know! 🙂

    a2e09f55-1e33-4b32-9cfd-8faaccb0ca40-image.png


  • 2017 '16

    @Argothair
    Hi Argo,
    I really like all these Allies NOs with “…no Axis warship in xyz SZ.”

    It is a way to simulate U-boats impact on Allies trade and merchants ships war goods delivery.

    All Ukraine was wheat basket.
    Any way to add Eastern Ukraine into the NO mix?

    I hope your Triple A playtest is going according to plan.

    Just a 2 cents idea:

    GERMANY

    • Scandinavian Iron – 5 IPCs if Axis control 2+ of: Norway, Finland, and NW Europe
    • Eurasian Wheat – 5 IPCs if Axis control 3+ of: Karelia, Ukraine, EASTERN UKRAINE or BELORUSSIA
    • Archangel-Astrakhan Line – 5 IPCs if Axis control ALL 3 of: Archangel, CAUCASUS, and Kazakh

    Second one is easier, third is tougher to get.

    Might be also:

    • Archangel-Astrakhan Line – 5 IPCs if Axis control 3+ of: Archangel, BELORUSSIA, CAUCASUS, and Kazakh

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Yeah, the Astrakhan-Archangel Line NO is a bit weird in that it’s very difficult to achieve without taking Moscow itself, and if you already have Moscow, do you really care about another 5 IPCs? This isn’t Global, where the Allies can easily fight on after losing Moscow. I could imagine a “Eurasian Wheat” objective that gave you 5 IPCs for 2+ of Karelia, Belorussia, and Ukraine, and then an A-A Line objective that gave you 5 IPCs for 2+ of Archangel, Caucasus, and Kazakh. Another option is to interpret the AA line a bit more literally, and say that you need to hold all 4 of Archangel, Belorussia, Eastern Ukraine, and Caucasus.

    It’s tricky to get 3 objectives that are ( a ) based on a similar format, so they’re easy to memorize, ( b ) more or less historically plausible, ( c ) not overlapping too much with each other, and ( d ) giving the player interesting strategic objectives that are different from what any player would do anyway without the NOs. In other words, I see little point in telling Germany that they want to hold France. Of course they want France; it’s right next to 2 Axis capitals and worth a ton of IPCs. You don’t need to further incentivize that with an NO. So, do I really want to tell players to try to hold all the territories next to Moscow? Of course they want to do that; that’s how you bottle the Russians up and cut them off from Lend-Lease.

    If it helps you any, imagine the Eastern Ukrainian wheat goes to feed the factory workers in Kharkov and Rostov, so there’s not as much of a surplus in that territory.

    I’m interested in alternatives to the “Soft Underbelly” NO for Britain; that’s probably the NO that I’m least happy with. The British were historically very interested in attacking southern Europe via the Med, but there are just not many territories on this map that fit the bill! You could expand the NO to include Romania, I guess, but I feel like the British are more likely to reach Romania via Persia, by land, then they are to actually launch an amphibious assault there.


  • 2017 '16

    @Argothair

    Maybe I feel it wrong because both 2nd and 3rd objectives are not clearly historical nor tactically working objectives.
    During war, there was 3 Army groups with different and sometimes competitive aims.

    To illustrate my point (trying to keep the 2+),

    GERMANY

    • Scandinavian Iron – 5 IPCs if Axis control 2+ of: Norway, Finland, and NW Europe
    • Eurasian Wheat – 5 IPCs if Axis control 2+ of: EASTERN UKRAINE, BELORUSSIA, CAUCASUS
    • Northern shortcut of Seaports – 5 IPCs if Axis control 2+ of: Karelia, Archangel, Belorussia
    • Archangel-Astrakhan Line – 5 IPCs if Axis control 2+ of: Archangel, Eastern Ukraine and Kazakh

    That way, USSR might have different ways to shut these NOs, mainly through control of Belorussia or Eastern Ukraine.

    I feel it worth a try to add Bulgaria/Romania to Softbelly. Ploesti oilfield were vital for Third Reich War effort.


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