Bonus starting ipcs or other edits?
One thing that would definitely be cool for 42.2 online is a way to set the board for any condition via an editor, like with territory ownership, units, cash on hand and such. Any ideas if A&A online will offer something like that for customizations?
Or prior to launching the game to provide additional starting cash if desired, either for the AI controlled nations in solo play, or as a way to balance by sides or by player ability in pvp. Its a pretty simple way to solve most needs that might arise. Starting cash can also substitute for a bid, depending on whether the game will allow for stuff like pre-placement of units in traditional bid, or other ways to adjust the set up at the outset. I think starting money is the easiest though if all else fails. Unless the starting unit set up is significantly tweaked from the box, there will probably still be a desire for some way to bid on sides for something extra, even if its just more cash for the regular purchase phase.
Curious to hear more about the nuts and bolts of the game set up options.
@Black_Elk For full feedback, please go into detail as to why you (and many folks here) believe 1942.2 needs a bid or other modifications during setup. Please also consider if the current OOL/asynchronous rules (as described on the AAO FAQ) change your opinion or strengthens it.
I’m reserving my opinions (including the beaming positive ones ) until the thing is released in Early Access.
IMO the change in OOL does nothing to prevent the main sources of imbalance in 42SE, namely:
Germany’s starting forces are too powerful and will overwhelm the Soviets every time.
The Soviet IC in Karelia is more of a curse than a blessing, as Germany will always seize it G1 and gain access to a free IC two territories away from Moscow, and adjacent to the main Soviet stack (West Russia). The most the Allies can do to oppose this is SBR the factory, but 4 IPC/turn is a small price to pay for the huge benefit that having an IC deep in Soviet territory provides.
The UK IC in India is in a similar position, as UK is forced to spend 9-18 IPC a turn stacking land units there to deter Japan from seizing the territory. UK is forced into this position, because the moment Japan seizes the IC, they will be able to pump out 3 Tanks/turn from it. India is two territories away from Caucasus, a vital territory on the board, and Russia cannot possibly survive the pressure of a Japanese push on Caucasus AND the Germans stacking Karelia.
EDIT: Forgot the point of my rambling about the UK India IC. My point is that, because UK has to spend 1/3 - 1/2 of its income guarding India, its ability to send assistance to the USSR via re-assembling the Royal Navy is extremely impeded. This is especially troubling when you take into consideration the relative ease at which Germany destroys the Royal Navy on G1. It could take as many as 4-5 rounds for UK/US to just get into a position where they can start applying pressure to the periphery of the ETO (North Africa/Scandinavia), let alone actually do anything close to real damage. By G5 Germany will already have the Russians either dead or helplessly holed up in Moscow.
The only thing the OOL change impacts is naval battles (which is why I did not list the overwhelming power of the IJN as a problem) and fringe cases where Fighters/Bombers were left guarding key positions (France, West Russia, etc.)
tl;dr the key issues with 42SE’s setup arise from the land situation on the Russian Front, and land battles are generally unaffected by the OOL changes.
Well the benefit of providing a general editor for customizing goes beyond allowing for a bid, and also includes things like giving players a way to address mistakes that might be made in a casual game on the fly. One very common example would be neglecting to make a non-com move and then requesting the opponent to edit before their next turn, like for AA guns. I can still imagine that coming up in casual asynchronous play quite often, ideally where the gamesave is then flagged as ‘edited’ so everyone knows what happened. But more signicantly, giving players a way to get under the hood as it were and to adapt the board for any condition, provides a back door for things like house rules or other tweaks to address stuff such as game balance or disparities in player ability.
Usually there is a grace period of a year or so after a new board comes out where balance by sides is an open question. But invariably, after its been around for a bit, the board will be determined Axis advantage or Allied advantage with players bidding on the side perceived to be at a disadvantage out the box, or using other methods to balance the play. The bid range for vanilla 1942.2 was up into the 20s for Allies. For the tournament update 1942.3 (the one with the bomber in Ukraine) the bid is narrowed to under 10 for Allies, but still seen as Axis advantage by many people without adjustment. Since this one has been around for some time, the balance question is basically closed already, with players looking for different ways to breathe new life into it now. The rules changes/asynchronous thing might reopen the standard bid range, but I think its unlikely to alter the need for a bid, or at least some alternative standardized method for addressing balance. I actually think there are a lot of ways you can accomplish that via HRs, but pre-placement bidding has been the most popular method traditionally, so I’m guessing its absence would be pretty marked if that was the case.
I think an all cash bid for purchase could work if they don’t want to go the pre-placement unit route. The bids would go higher, but you’d have fewer round 1 battle breakers that way. It might be interesting going back to the cash for regular purchase phase bid, like from the early days of classic, since its less familiar now and would encourage people to rethink the 1942 opener somewhat. But yeah, anything is better than nothing here, since many would find the boxed game unplayable among players of equal skill, without something to even it out.
From what I read in the FAQ I think the carrier stuff is probably the most significant for balance since it nerfs one of the common Allied fighter transits. No camping fighters on friendly carrier decks mainly effects the Allied game here, so its possible the bid for Allies might even go up on account of that.
Another nice feature of an editor is that it allows people a way to port a live face to face game into a digital game. For example, you start a game at home with some buddies on the physical board and want to continue later online. If you have a way to digitally edit units/ipcs/territory ownership on the map etc to set the board for any condition, then this also becomes possible.
Basically the question is whether we will have a toolset to accompany the game that can accomplish stuff of that sort, or if it will be like hardcoded to only accomodate the boxed materials/playstyle? I think the former would give the game greater longevity and would be useful in trying to replicate the table top experience.
Also keep in mind that order of loss is value of units. This means that defenders lose their fighters before carriers. This makes it very difficult for the Allies in the Atlantic. Depending on the situation, it can be slightly more troublesome for the Allies in the Pacific than it is for Japan or it can be about equally troublesome.
One thing that might balance slightly in favor of the Allies, initially, is that defending subs never submerge. However, this really only affects the Japanese sub that we usually use to attack SZ 53. The German subs still have free reign in the Atlantic to destroy many navies before they are annihilated.
Yeah the order of loss thing is potentially pretty signicant, probably on sea more than land in normal combat but also on land for larger stacks. If the attacker can still airblitz as normal, but defender has to do things like take hits on their bombers last, then that is huge for the capital trade. Similarly if the defender has friendly units in a territory but must spread out casualties based on cost rather than turn order advantage that’s also pretty major. I can see a situation where the rules tweaks lead to a rather different playpattern, but the production spread, economy and map set up all favor Axis pretty heavily here.
Just so they don’t have to read between the lines, I guess what I’m suggesting is that a scenerio editor could solve a lot of potential issues down the line, and probably garner a lot of enthusiasm from players who like to include tournament rules or house rules and such, with whatever tools might be available.
For land battles, it has actually made me a little less lazy about protecting my bombers. Either I just give up the bomber or I’m certain to defend it with plenty of infantry.
Hehe I can imagine a fun variant where each nation gets an extra bomber. Or you could probably create a pretty entertaining variant just doing simple things with starting factories. Like maybe moving the Karelia factory to Vologda, or doing stuff with a starting factories in 1 ipc locations for each player nation? Being able to edit in a unit adjustment is one of the things that I think would be a cool.
A&Aonline might also help to establish conventions for variant styles of play, kind of like the beachhead named scenerios of classic.
Maybe one that gives an advantage to Russia, another to UK or USA, or other ways to keep it rolling down the road, outside the box.
JuliusBorisovBeamdog last edited by
Thanks for all the suggestions, and keep them coming. There are really insightful posts in this thread.
Another thing regarding balance, unless you have three turns off really bad rolls, Japan can take India on turn 3 and there’s not much UK and US can do about it. Scenario was in a tournament, using LHTR setup, a bid of 11 or 12 to Allies, and sunk or severely damaged the fleet in SZ 37. I was even warned almost exactly how it would go down and I still couldn’t stop it.
It’s hard to stop roughly 12 ground units, 2-3 fighters, 4 bombers, and a battleship bombardment. (I think those numbers are about right, might be more).