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Axis and Allies Classic 10 part series on YouTube

  • I wouldn’t necessarily describe that as “my” version of G1 since with G1 I typically kill off the North Sea fleet, but I’m also assuming a bid to Germany. I was just assessing the hypothetical of playing by your rules with starting Germany in which I’d agree that there’s not enough material to cover all your bases.

    From your J1 video I actually feel like I got the insight into my own bidding patterns: I usually put bid a couple infantry into Manchuria, but then I always end up doing the Pearl Harbor attack because with those extra infantry, the entire Japanese navy is more or less useless on the first round, so I might as well use it to clear the American fleet even though there’s little reward to it. But maybe if I wasn’t bothering to bid anything to Japan then I would have more need of the fleet and therefore can skip Pearl Harbor.

    For USA, you mention having up to 10 transports with the US. This is way, way too much unless Germany is already conquered and therefore the game essentially almost over. The cheapest load of units 10 transports can fill up with is 10 tanks, which costs 50 IPCs, which you could never sustain unless you had an income around that level. So unless you are considering two transports in your supply chains that’s a bunch of wasted transports. If you are using two levels of transports, then you’re not correctly shucking: you really should only need one per tank/2 inf to transport your troops to either Europe or Africa.

  • I hate bids and won’t comment much on that.

    To clarify, 10 transports is to increase reach, not to shuck. I regret not mentioning that in the video.

  • @Avin said in Axis and Allies Classic 10 part series on YouTube:

    For the UK video, that does seem like an interesting play but I generally feel like it’s too slow for not enough benefit. In fact even Don’s recommendations are too slow, as it feels like it’s a wasted turn. I always go for building up my UK fleet on turn 1. If somehow my battleship survives in the North sea and it looks feasible, then buying transports should shore that up. If not, then building a carrier and transports on turn 1 should still be sufficient to dissuade the Germany air force from sinking them again. I can’t recall why Don thinks waiting the turn is a good idea - if it’s because he prefers to keep the US fighters to counterattack Pearl Harbor, then I’d say that that’s a bad tradeoff, since the US really doesn’t have any need to do that counterattack; being able to immediately start funneling troops into Europe is well worth giving Japan more freedom in my opinion.

    “Don’s Essays” do not recommend a US counterattack. Britain definitely has options. I recommend the strat in the video because in my experience (which I hate to say but it was the deciding factor in presenting a strategy on B1) a two industry build is the most frustrating to fight as the axis and creates the highest probability of a “failure to launch” for Japan/Germany.

  • @AcesWild5049 said in Axis and Allies Classic 10 part series on YouTube:

    I hate bids and won’t comment much on that.

    Oh, interesting, I didn’t realize. You say you won’t comment on that, but I am very curious why that is. But perhaps that’s addressed in your final video which I haven’t watched yet.

    Regarding your penultimate video, however, I have to say that I thought you were better than that. I respect you and I have gained insights from your videos even though I disagree with you on a number of points. Yes, I agree with you that Don is unreasonably arrogant and his opinions are flawed, but why should you stoop to the same level in dismissing his essays as you do? You have to recognize that he wrote them around 20 years ago, and both the internet culture in gaming communities as well as the broader grasp of Axis and Allies strategy at the time were very different from where they are now. Don may or may not have been the first to write about some of the things he did; I don’t know actually. But I do recognize him as being the first so widely spread to describe such concepts as the general infantry push mechanics, the Shuck-shuck, the value of strafing, and so on. A lot of what Don says you “must” do is definitely obsolete, but the ideas behind them show a valuable progression from what was out there in terms of strategy advice before.

    You are right to call Don out on the arrogance of his claims and the outdatedness of the strategy, but not any more so than you would be for calling out a 19th century writer discussing Napoleonic strategy on their casual racism and obsolete tactical analysis. As I think I mentioned in this thread early on I recently started playing Axis and Allies with my kids, and I saw no reason to give them Don’s essays to read because I could give strategic advice directly as we were playing, but if I had, the disclaimer I would give would be more along the lines of, “These are some really old essays on Axis and Allies strategy, but there are some good ideas there that you can still learn from even though you should take all Don’s claims with a grain of salt on what you ‘have’ to do. Most people today have come up with a lot of improved strategy that goes beyond it, but this is a good starting point for you if you want to see how strategy has developed over time.”

  • @Avin

    i read the above waiting to hear what you didn’t like about…what I’m assuming is video 9 and must have missed it.

    What didnt you like about video 9?

  • @AcesWild5049

    That you are mirroring what you are criticizing: in dismissing Don’s essays because of their flaws and his arrogant tone, you are doing the same thing to him that you accuse him of doing. It makes you sound like you are just getting into a pissing match with someone who isn’t even around anymore to rebut you, and thereby diminishes the otherwise sound reasoning you’ve shown.

  • @Avin
    I’ve gone out of my way in the strategic videos and in video 9 itself making statements precisely to the contrary.

    In video 9 I clearly state, “You’re better off playing your own style, playing against different people and not closing yourself off to other ideas” or words to that affect. So again, I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about.

    Whatever good comes from those essays can be found out by the players themselves after playing 10-20 games even by players who are starting from 0 experience. I don’t contest that he was the first to put names to so many basic strategies such as shucking and dead zones but that’s not what the point of his essays are nor is it the topic of rebuttal.

    If I seem frustrated with his essays, well yes of course, I am. You said it best, its not necessary to have your kids read it. I just take it a step further. Its not necessary for anyone to read it.

  • In video 9 I clearly state, “You’re better off playing your own style, playing against different people and not closing yourself off to other ideas” or words to that affect. So again, I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about.

    This is a perfect example of why I think the condemnation is hypocritical. You are saying that Don’s essays closes people off to other ideas - but in so doing, you are implicitly closing people who take your recommendation off to Don’s ideas and the positive contributions he made to Axis and Allies strategy historically, even if some things are outdated now. The message that comes across is that you are being just as clear cut as 20-years-ago-Don in your own way, just with a different perspective.

    Whatever good comes from those essays can be found out by the players themselves after playing 10-20 games even by players who are starting from 0 experience.

    This is certainly not the case; many thousands of people who had been playing Axis and Allies in local playgroups in the 80s and 90s never discovered for themselves some of the ideas on Don’s essays. Even on these forums there’s a reply in the pinned thread that links to Don’s essays from someone in 2014 who seems to have learned a lot.

  • Also, I’m not going to argue the point further; I was just trying to point out that until video 9 your disagreement with Don was mostly in rebutting points that you disagreed with, but that video 9 makes you seem a lot more petty, and I was trying to give you the outsider perspective that I feel like it diminishes the rest of your more reasonable criticism. If you don’t see the need to change that then so be it.

  • @Avin
    Me pointing out that his comments are egotistical and braggadocio implicates me in the same?

    I just dont follow you.

    This has become very bizarre to me and I agree we can just disagree here on whatever it is we disagree about.

    If you’ve convinced me of anything it’s that I should update the YouTube video 9 with the disclaimer that “this is an opinion piece”.

  • I should point out to anyone else who has read this far, I believe text is the worst form of discussion.

    I’m convinced whatever meat there is in this argument could be hashed our in less than 3 min if the conversation was had face to face.

  • 2016 2015 '14

    @AcesWild5049 said in Axis and Allies Classic 10 part series on YouTube:

    I hate bids and won’t comment much on that.

    I’m not sure about the hating of the bids. Without a bid, the original game of Axis and Allies is pointless other than playing for novelty sake.

    The balance issue was settled through about 100,000+ games in two clubs in the late 90’s to early 00’s. This was via CD in 3rd edition. As for 2nd edition, players have been playing via mail and then email since a few years after the game came out iirc. 3rd edition balance is 17-20 and 2nd edition is 20-24 for bids. 5 games may not show this, but thousands and thousands do. I mean, if USA can run full pacific and have no issues (I’m clearly winning the last game we were playing that you conceded) then you can see that a bid is needed for Axis.

    Again, if you aren’t interested in the game being balanced then no biggie, just not sure what the point is of playing such an imbalanced game.

  • This is a perfect example of why I made the videos and the direction I intend to go next with videos in the future.

    If indeed it is imbalanced, I intend to explain categorically why it’s imbalanced and attempt to make this more obvious on the forums and on YouTube (including releasing the stats I’m currently recording, for what they’re worth). For those of us who weren’t old enough in the 80’s and 90’s to have your experience with those 100,000+ games, there should be something more substantial and thorough than hearsay. At this point, this is the niche I am attempting to fill weather you think it needs filling or not. I was somebody who was trying to find something substantial on the claim and the best I could find were those silly essays…so perhaps there are more like me?

    I don’t like bids because they can too easily create a completely ahistorical situation on the gameboard before the game has begun. I like how Larry Harris attempted to add optional rules as opposed to simply adding units to one side. That being said, I’d prefer an updated setup and if indeed the Classic does need a facelift, I wouldn’t be opposed to creating one and offering some kind of PDF to the community.

    As a side note, our games and my first game with Avin have convinced me to consistently use RR. But I wont change my mind on anything by playing only one game.

  • 2016 2015 '14

    It wasn’t hearsay tho. I was an officer in one of those clubs. There was even war club (forgot about that one). For PBEM there was IAAPA and AAMC to name only two clubs (those were 2nd edition, and I believe existed well before the CD came out – had their own dice servers).

    I believe that war club, spring1942, and BOP each had over 1000 unique members through the years, but I can’t remember the exact numbers (that was 20 years ago now).

    I have all of the General of the Army essays still on an old computer. But of course with no bid none of those would make any sense…

    RR has a bid as well.

    We all played those games consistently until the wee hours of the morning. We have moved on, but it’s not hearsay. I know that the spring message boards used to be around on an archive. Just start googling things and they will pop up.

    The online games gave us the opportunity to show what live play could not do as easily – give us a very large statistical sample very quickly. But the lack of unique people posting on this thread I think shows you that we have all moved on to more balanced versions of the game.

  • DAAK, the place I played in the mid-2000s, does have some public statistics you can see that clearly prove the point:


    Unfortunately it does not record the average bid amounts, but I can attest that the vast majority of these games did in fact have a bid for Axis, as every game I played in had one, usually over 20 IPCs worth: typically in the range of 21-24.

    Even with that, there was only a 47% total win rate for Axis over 6000+ games. This is much more cogent data than any single player can collect.

    I like the game with the bid but if you are determined to prevent players from changing the starting setup, then I agree, you just need to move to one of the newer versions of Axis and Allies that are theoretically more balanced. I have yet to pick up and learn any of the newer ones but I am interested in doing so at some point. If you’re interested in playing a learning game of G40 (which seems to be the most popular current iteration) with me after our current Classic matches are over I’d definitely be up for that.

  • 2016 2015 '14

    DAAK, I forgot that one and it’s probably one of the oldest…

    A nice bridge game to G40 is the anniversary edition. It’s not as overwhelming and games don’t take as long. I mean, G40 is awesome in and of itself, but it’s also a lot to take on all at once.

    I think I need to pull out the anniversary edition again and take another look.

    There was that 1942 edition as well, but I never played it. And, of course, AA Revised was considered “4th edition” iirc.

  • I’m not opposed to changing the setup, just not with a bid. As I stated earlier…

    “That being said, I’d prefer an updated setup and if indeed the Classic does need a facelift, I wouldn’t be opposed to creating one and offering some kind of PDF to the community.”

    Gotta go for now but will check out your DAAK stats as soon as I am able.

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