[1942 2nd Ed.] Suggestions/discussion for modding the turn format in face to face (3+players) to decrease downtime.

  • The group I get games with enjoys pulling out A&A occasionally, but the biggest downside mentioned about A&A is significant downtime between turns in a multiplayer(3+) face to face game.

    I’ve been experimenting with creating a ruleset to have each side go all at once(so two turns per round) to decrease this (details below), though I am curious if other players have experimented with adjustments as well.

    What did you try, and how well did it work? Was it based on all teammates going at once, or all players going?

  • My WIP: All members of an alliance move simutaneously.
    (If I should have split the thread between here and mods, apologies. I was going to wait till I finalized something)

    Goals:Each side goes as a single turn to reduce downtime/playtime and try to make as minimal adjustments as possible to keep balance intact.

    -how it works:
    (1) First turn of game goes as normal for Russia through Japan.
    (Too much of the flow and balance depends on first turn openings to change this I think)

    (2)After Japan, America does not get an individual turn. Instead, at the start of round 2 all allies move in a single turn followed by the axis.

    Multinational combat behaves as before(not cooperative attacks, resolve one at a time according to old turn order)

    Challenges of (2):
    2a) Consequences of turn order. Russia still gets its 2nd turn before germany(good) and US is not getting 2 turns before the axis(good). However…
    Britain. Britain is the challenge. Effectively getting two turns in the atlantic before Germany gets it’s 2nd is problematic. A 3rd change will be needed with (3)…
    2b)Loss of can-opening. A niche competitive tactic for the most part in 1942. Minor nerf(?) to allies but I can live with that.

    (3) Adjusting britain, the most finicky bit.
    Best I can think here is:
    -Britain’s turn one: Britain is only active on the pacific side of board. They can only move/fight/build units there. Britain’s starting money on turn 1 is (some number between 9-15)* IPCs.

    *Britain needs to maintain the ability to reinforce India turn 1 if it wants, without effectively getting a bunch of extra income compared to base game to overwhelm germany. What exact number to use is up for debate

    Change (3) Seems very arbitrary but is best I can think of for maintaining the balance/flow of the game.

    Anything critical missing? Thoughts?

  • 2018 Customizer

    @Striker Given the breadth of effect this change would have, I think you should do your best to tweak it and rebalance, then just launch it with you game group and do a write up here. Announce it ahead of time as a ‘test run’ and that you’ll be taking notes/accepting advice, which might help people emotionally when a huge unforseen exploit (like the inevitable Berlin Can-opener) leads to their destruction.

    You might consider adding a “reaction move” phase.

  • 2020 2018 2017

    If I have to run an entire team, I have no downtime. In global playing 3 powers, I’m active pretty much nonstop for 10 hours. In tournaments, you won’t see any downtime at all–some players like Steve play in the Classic and 42.2 tournaments AT THE SAME TIME, BACK TO BACK!

    Its only when you have multiple players that this is an issue, and some of it comes down to needing to change player behavior slightly in order to add efficiency.

    Starting imm. after I place my team’s reinforcements, I lay out new pieces to reflect what I think I’d likely buy the next turn. This may change completely based on new information, but there is never a time when i’m sitting chatting or on my phone when I could be considering my buys and combats for the next round (and beyond). I also recite everything I bought, with the math, so as to avoid mistakes.

    When its not my turn, I’m cleaning up, chipping up, reviewing my own actions and those of the other players in order to make sure nothing was skipped or done incorrectly.

    Rolling takes alot of time and logistics. The players who are rolling are focused on getting dice and manipulating them; the other players should be 1) counting casualties 2) reciting what’s being rolled to all so that there are no mistakes being made 3) helping clean off the casualties/rechipping on behalf of the other players. In other words, acting like a croupier.

    If you are talking about editing entire parts of the game, we just discussed over in the AAZ section how the designers have already moved the “purchase, place” steps to the end. Some players have suggested its just as easy to put the collect income piece in that sequence as well, replacing 3 steps with 1. The method you suggest of simultaneous turns tends to create alot of confusion when its time to do the moves where the players on the same team act in tandem–the first moving player gets to decide where his attacks are best used, the second always mops up what remains to be done. The rules that govern the second player will be different (landing airplanes, moving through straits).

    It may just be me personally, but I’m rarely bored playing AxA, any version. This is because I’m always actively involved in the game (logistics of set/up, clean up, narrating the turns of other players, reviewing their actions, also getting food/beer/bathroom). After 25 years of gaming experience, I believe that there is always something to do that can move the game forward–such as arriving early to set up even if the other players cant, watching a tutorial/research before hand if i dont know an answer, providing food, etc.

    In brief, I don’t think modding the conduct or rules of the game is the low hanging fruit here. The most time is wasted while players think they are waiting on someone else, not considering what can be done to move the game forward, and being distracted/distracting. Someone constant needs to “proctor” the game–saying “Is it my turn? Who’s turn is it? Where are we at?”, which is why I like to narrate most of the action myself.

    You may regard my approach as neurotic, but I run (lead) quite a few game clubs (euro, pathfinder, magic, star wars x wing, axis and allies, wargaming) and these rules essentially apply to all of them–I’m taking the reigns + an active role to ensure everyone has a good time.

  • I took another look at the house rules I’m considering, and hopefully will get a chance to test it out over the coming Christmas holidays. This mod is definitely intended for games with 4+ active players so that multiple people can be “active” at once and encourage a quicker, less downtime game.

    If you only have 2 players, then of course use the the standard turn order.

    My 2nd pass of writing it up has resulted with this. Rules/changes in bold, with discussion following.

    -Start of game, the “one weird turn”: Russia and Britain take one simultaneous turn. Russia acts as normal. Britain only starts with 12 IPCs and can only move pieces from or into territories east of and including Persia. UK can only buy/place units on the pacific side of the board during this turn

    -After this turn finishes, the turn order becomes: All axis powers followed by all allied powers

    -The above change allows simultaneous turns while preserving the general flow of each theater and keeps the usual critical opening strikes intact.

    Consequences and clarifications: A couple situations will pop up due to the changes.

    1)Multinational attacks:
    Still not allowed, instead if more than one nation attack a single territory, battles will be resolved one attacker at a time.

    IE: If Russia, Britan and US all combat move to a single axis territory, the attacks happen one at a time. Russians fight untill they win/lose/retreat, followed by UK, followed by US. The allied player 2nd/3rd in line may decide to immediately retreat before dice are rolled if they don’t like the results of the previous players attack.

    1. Can opening: No longer possible. Losing this “trick” is an acceptable loss IMO.(Personal taste: It’s very “gamey”)

    2. Loss of landing planes/strait use. IE: US cant land planes on territory UK just conquered. In practicality, this is a minor nerf to allied KGF play.(landing planes in west europe. If there is an example of strait use that happens in a “typical” game I’m unaware). Is this a big enough deal to warrant additional changes? We will see. Easiest solution for balancing may be modifying the British “bid” introduced for first turn pacific spending.

    Anything I missed?

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