Does the Game need cost changes for naval units?

  • Customizer

    This poll is not about if cost changes have to be made for better historical accuracy, but for better game balance!

    Navy builds are hadly cheap and are not in line with the pricing scheme of the game overall. The cost for naval units are simply prohibitive. What should undrelie the game design are that the defender can always build up the defense faster than the attacker can build up the offense, IPC-for-IPC.Here is what an article from Avalon Hill says: http://www.avalonhill.com/default.asp?x=articles/strat/aa20020724

    However, an attacker that builds submarines will beat the best naval defense, a fully loaded aircraft carrier, on a IPC-for-IPC basis. Even if an attacker use landbased fighters to attack any formation of naval units (including carrier based figthers), the attacker need to spend less IPCs than the defender.

    Any suggestions how to solve the problem?


  • To my thinking…

    Tampering with Naval unit costs poses a grave risk of creating game imbalance.  Any decrease in naval pricing adds further advantage to the Allies due to increasing the number of units from UK and USA reaching Europe, and increases the speed with which they will arive.

    Germany is NOT a naval power, and never will be.  Even is Naval costs were radically reduced, Germany still has to fend off Russia first, and faces TWO Allied naval powers, both of which would also be building navy more cheaply.  Germany only loses if naval power is made cheaper.

    Japan IS a naval power, but they lack the income capability, even mid to late game, to accomplish a cross-pacific threat to the US.  And again, if navy is made cheaper so that Japan can feasibly create a cross pacific threat, the US receives the same benefit of cheaper naval units to more easilly block the Japan advance.

    ONLY the Allies need spend significant income on Navy in the game.  Thus decreasing naval prices is a massive Allied advantage.

  • Customizer

    @ncscswitch:

    To my thinking…

    …ONLY the Allies need spend significant income on Navy in the game.  Thus decreasing naval prices is a massive Allied advantage.

    I believe the naval units have be to in line with the pricing scheme of the game overall, even if any changes will favor the Allies.  Then one need to allow the game to swing by giving the Axis a better position to start the game in. Don’t you agree!?


  • Then you are talking a lot of new Axis planes… to allow the Axis to sink that cheaper Allied navy…

    And that means that Russia is toast early in the game.

  • Customizer

    @ncscswitch:

    Then you are talking a lot of new Axis planes… to allow the Axis to sink that cheaper Allied navy…

    And that means that Russia is toast early in the game.

    Who said anything about planes! I do advocate the implementation of a rule for air supremacy advantage, to make figthers a beter buy! However I would give the Axis more subs or other naval units instead of more planes, since otherwise Russia will be toasted earlier in the game. Just like you said!


  • So Germany gets an early balance in the game with additional naval units to balance the increased ability of the UK and USA to build navy.  Fine.

    But in 5 turns, those starting units are gone and the US and UK are building lots of cheap navy.  Germany can;t risk her AF to keep sinking it… that is often not cost effective with regular price units, and becomes a “never attempt” with cheap navy.

    So… with cheaper naval units, even with additional German navy to start, the Axis have to win in 5 turns or so, otherwise Germany is trashed as the large cheap Allied navies begin offloading more units than previously possible to Europe and Africa.

    Axis motto then has to be “Blitzkreig or die!” and the Axis are reduced to the their ONLY viable strategy being the “fastest possible strike on Moscow regardless of the odds, or lose”


  • Disagree for reasons already stated in your other thread.

    In essence, making naval units cheaper vastly favors the Allies.  Particulars -

    “However, an attacker that builds submarines will beat the best naval defense, a fully loaded aircraft carrier, on a IPC-for-IPC basis.”

    Incorrect.  You make no allowance for fodder units.  You’re simply allowing four subs per loaded aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean, which should never happen unless the carrier controller is either incredibly inexperienced, or just used that carrier to do something really nasty (like giving fighters range to hit a vital target like an enemy capital).

    You also make no account for the fact that submarines cannot hit air units.  A fighter and carrier combo will almost certainly have carried out fighter attack runs on unescorted subs.

    “Even if an attacker use landbased fighters to attack any formation of naval units (including carrier based figthers), the attacker need to spend less IPCs than the defender”

    Also incorrect.  The fact that the key naval powers have battleships in the beginning of the game makes a big difference.  A battleship can soak up a free hit, making any attack prohibitive.

    You also have not taken into account the fact that if a landbased attacker simply has a lot of fighters, the attacking navy will be filled with cheap transports.  This means two things; the attacker that spent so much on fighters is going to be hard pressed because of lack of numbers, and any attack on the navy will suffer because cheap transports will be destroyed first.

    “Any suggestions how to solve the problem?”

    Play some games.  Perhaps your understanding of ‘the problem’ will change.

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    I’m still new at this but I have to agree with Mr. Switch and Mr. Brush. Chaeper navy is certainly to the Allies advantage. The US could put boats in the Pacific fast enough to divert Japan’s resources from the mainland or fast enough to take Westrn Europe without the UK softening it up. The UK could build boats and infantry to fill them speeding their foothold in either Karelia or Western Europe. Where Germany still has to buy ground forces at the same rate as with the more expensive navy. Thus the get to Moscow first is brought even more to the fore. The game is very balanced to me. Cheaper navy means different a starting position, IPC total, et al.

    I’ve been reading these boards and I get a sense that for the most part everyone has their “favorite” unit and would like changes to the game to make their “favorite” the coolest. Or to make units more in line with the perception they have of them from too much History Channel and not enough time in the library.

    I include myself as one of those with favorites who doesn’t get to the library enough.   :oops:

  • Customizer

    @newpaintbrush:

    Disagree for reasons already stated in your other thread…bla.bla.bla…
    You make no allowance for fodder units.Â

    Well, cannon fodder cost at least as much as a sub. Do I need to say more??? I know that subs may not attack or defend against air, so those subs need protection. Right! But even if one buy other naval units the sub is more bang for the bucks compared to any kind of defensive buy! I say it is thanks to the inability to hit air, that subs are no game brakers. However I do say that the price for a FTR is not in line with price of naval units (CA, BB, DD etc). An attack by land based FTR only always have the odds to win by far over any kind of formation of ships and carrierbased FTRs. That also includes BBs that can soak up hits. If you cannot get it, you need to learn basic math. Ok that is a fact!


  • But you are ONLY thinking of the naval battles.

    Those are largely irrelevant to the game.

    The purpose of Navy is to get US and UK land forces to Europe.

    An average game has 2-4 medium to large naval battles, and a score of large land battles.  Another half dozen small naval battles AT MOST, but another 50 small land battles.

    By making navy cheap, you destroy the only chance Germany has.  They are already dependent on Japan to win the game for the Axis, now you are going to have the US and UK pour more units into Europe and Africa even FASTER and CHEAPER?

    Cheap navy may be the single most unbalancing thing I have heard of in house rules discussions (except maybe that one thread with Germany STARTING with LRA), and certainly takes game balance and throws it out the window.

    Go ahead, cut naval prices by 25%.  And give Germany an extra 3 subs to start.  I’ll play you as many times as you want, so long as I get the Allies…  Berlin will be falling on Turn 7 on average with the Allies landing forces 25% faster…

  • Customizer

    @ncscswitch:

    But you are ONLY thinking of the naval battles.

    Those are largely irrelevant to the game.Â

    The purpose of Navy is to get US and UK land forces to Europe.

    You are so naive! My question was not about who it favors, but if the cost are in line with the pricing scheme of the game overall. I say the cost for navy is not in line with air, the units that conects navy with land. No doubt about it.

    You are talking about another problem, how to make navy more important and at the same time dont favor the Allies. There are many ways to solve such a problem. One thing would be to implement connvoy raid rule for subs, then navy would become even more important for all. Still I agree that cheaper navy favors the Allies, just like air tansports would. But an air supremacy rule for FTRs would favor Axis. There is always one or another way one can compensate to get a balanced game. One can raise the price for transports and that is the true issue of yours! Lets say a transport will cost 10-12 IPCs, were as BBs, CAs and DDs are cheaper than today. There is not an easy way of find out a price for those transports. Lets say a transport represents a bigger formation of escort destroyers and transports, than a transport might have a 2 in defense or a in-built submarine interruption ability (or maybe not). I say it is not necessary that a navy that is cheaper over all need to speed up the game. It is about thinking outside the box! However I agrree about that it is important to balance any changes in a way that the Axis powers dont start too deep in a hole and quickly loose ground. Never the less a cheaper navy over all, does not necessary put the Axis in such a position as you say. It all depends on the changes one make for the game.


  • I guess I like the box…  I just see a cascade of issues arising from changing those prices, with each solution requiring ANOTHER solution… and then fine tuning and play testing thorugh a few scores of games to make sure that it works.

    Naval prices may or may not be in line with the price of other units… BUT, they ARE in line with the overall game.

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    I like the rules in the box. Mr. Anderrson you seem to be suggesting a simulation far more detailed than the one Axis and Allies was created to be. I think too that the prices are in line and balanced with the other prices in the game. Also if rules were changed to allow defense to build up faster than the attack (which your own math shows not to be the case) wouldn’t we just be spending the afternoon not losing instead of trying to win?

  • Customizer

    @frimmel:

    I like the rules in the box. Mr. Anderrson you seem to be suggesting a simulation far more detailed than the one Axis and Allies was created to be. I think too that the prices are in line and balanced with the other prices in the game. Also if rules were changed to allow defense to build up faster than the attack (which your own math shows not to be the case) wouldn’t we just be spending the afternoon not losing instead of trying to win?

    No, no, no my friend! I sugest a game that should be easier to play and with fewer rules and units as well, but it is not the issue here. Ones again, the Q is if one thinks that the price for naval units in line with the pricing scheme of the game overall. And you have clearly made your opinion on that. But tell me then, do you play with a bid for the Allies?

    Secondly the backbone in the design of the game was to make it easier to build up defense faster then attack. For a land based battle this is surely the case, a stack of just INF is the best way to spend your money (if just considering one battle were mobility is not an issue)! This should also be the case for navy, I think! I dont say navy should be more important, just that I found it too expensive in comparation with air units that in turn seems to expensive in comparation with land. That is the reason why we see many more land based battles than naval battles.


  • No, you see land battles because that is where the money is…

    If SZ3 were worth income, instead of simply being a drain on income to try to build ships to control it, then folks would be more inclined to build navy.

    But since ocean territory is worthless, except in so far as using it to move land units through on their way somewhere else…

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    We do not play with a bid for Allies. We have not yet found it to be necessary. While we (me and my primary opponent) are not novices we are still finding our legs with the revised game. We are not convinced that anyone’s victory (even for both sides) has been due to anything other than bad decisions or the way the dice fall.
    I have noticed for my own part a constant wish for more navy when I am the Allies and gratitude they don’t have it when the Axis which leads me to think as stated and noted that the game is appropriately balanced.


  • I’ll have to agree with switch that a change in naval costs, will look a bit to good for the Allied economy.
    It might straighten things a bit out with a few more ships, especially subs for the germans but I think It would need more changes than that to straighten it out.

    But I would velcome any changes that could lead to a bit more naval play in the game, and I’ll be glad to test and review the changes  in a game if you have any ideas on how to make the more balanced, while doing the changes.

    With all this being said, I maybe should point out that I think the game is balanced with a bid of 4-6 (50% placement).

    -Daniel Malus


  • This discussion seems be about Axis navies in general, however it is clear the real request is for an Augmentation to the Germany Navy.  So far there has been no dialogue regarding the Japanese Navy and their inferior setup, so I must assume this is limited to the German Navy and their lack of ability to deal with the Allied offensive.

    This game is not about a fair fight between the German Navy and the Allies.  The game is elsewhere.  The German Navy is designed to introduce a variable that may (or may not) cause the Allies to start their offensive in an orthodox or unorthodox manner.

    A counter argument could be, “The British in Africa are screwed and deserve a change to fight…just like in Australia!”

    Consider the German Navy for what it is, a randomly cast die that has the potential to down a fighter or two, or a few Naval Vessals depending on how the Allies decide deal with them.

    Changing the price of shipping is not going to solve the problem, you will only find 5 Battleships off your doorstep with a lone transport dropping 1 Infantry per turn.

    Start dealing with the Allies pounding on your door and I promise you will become a better player.

  • Customizer

    I say the game is balanced as it is, but it can be better. Why having units nobody buys or at least are not worth buying???

    Buy a fully loaded AC for defense and maybe a DD if your enemies got protected (from air) subs. If your enemy goes for navy then complement with just subs! Never buy a BB or a DD (with the exception I just mentioned).


  • You must have missed a few of the games in the Games threads…

    I recall one recently with 5 UK BB’s, 4 of them purchsed during the game.  I recall Germany in the same game buying subs…
    I recall a game I played a few months ago with an entire US flotilla… multiple BB’s, AC’s, FIGs, DSTs and SUBs that was marauding around Japan’s likewise steroided fleet.

    But the simple fact is that the game, for both the Axis and the Allies, comes down to Europe, specifically control of Berlin and Moscow.  Moscow is landlocked, and Germany is generally to heavilly defended for direct assault.  That leaves Navies with their roll of ferrying troops from UK and US to threaten Germany and to reinforce Russia.

    NAVAL BATTLES DO NOT AND WILL NEVER WIN A GAME WHERE VICTORY IS DETERMINED BY CONTROL OF LAND TERRITORIES!  The exception being once Japan’s protective fleet is toast and the US can attack Japan directly (which generally occurs long after Germany has fallen)

    And making Navy cheaper only helps the Allies, unless you want to give Germany the equivalent of Japan’s starting navy…  Even then, it will only take 3-4 rounds for the Allies to kill THAT fleet, and then Germany and Berlin is TOAST due to cheaper Allied transports.

    Go ahead, play test it a few times.  You will quickly see what I mean.


  • I think it’s fine the way it is.


  • Wow,

    I really think the only thing that is off with the game as far as navies are concerned is the Japanese fleet, I mean really only two transports to start the game, and I can’t remember the last time I got to start my turn as japan with more than one.  While I hate to agree with switch, The little fleet germany gets to start with is more than enough… Adding one extra piece is too much, and if it wasn’t people would let the axis go for a bid of 8… and the German player would add a transport / sub to the fleet depending what they wanted to do to the British or Russian player ( I personally like the extra trans in the med… The Caucasus falls fast…)

    Secondly, dropping the price of any naval units would eventually bode well for the allies… but could be horrible for Britain on turn two assuming germany just felt froggy on turn one, and decided to load up with tons of transports and subs and then link the med and Baltic fleets on ohhh pick any coast of Britain … then the game is a two turn waste of time … I mean It takes longer to set up the board.

    and as far as units no one ever buys… well that just isn’t true, I love buying destroyers to procect my british fleet one a turn for a bit while america covers me with carriers… then industrial tech combined bombardment… Its just fun, but again its never won the game for me… just ticked off the germans mighty fierce.

  • Customizer

    @ncscswitch:

    You must have missed a few of the games in the Games threads…

    **NAVAL BATTLES DO NOT AND WILL NEVER WIN A GAME WHERE VICTORY IS DETERMINED BY CONTROL OF LAND TERRITORIES!**  …

    Go ahead, play test it a few times.  You will quickly see what I mean.

    Well, I agree and do understand your point. But it is sad that control of sea is not worth anything when history shows a different story. What if one included a rule for convoy raids! Try my rule for convoy raid in 2-3 games and then tell me if you think the game becomes more interesting. I just want you to try this rule to see what I mean. Navy will be more important, but with the twist of Axis favor!!! Then you will be more open for the discussion of cheaper navy!

    Convoy Raids

    The U.K, U.S. and Japanese players are susceptible to supply line interdiction. This rule imply that enemy submarines may conduct an economic attack against the supply lines (sea zones) adjacent to any of these nations industrial complex to “sink” IPCs. On the U.K, U.S. and Japanese players collect income phase, the player must subtract 2 IPCs to the bank for each enemy submarine within 1 sea zone of an industrial complex contolled by respective nation. For each enemy submarine within 2 sea zones of an industrial complex, the player must subtract 1 IPC. Any submarine that became submerged during the subjected players turn’s conduct combat phase, does not cause any economic loss. Multiple submarines may affect a single industrial complex, but the maximum combined loss can be no more than the territory’s (containting the industrial complex) income value. An individual submarine may only affect one industrial complex during each turn, but can affect multiple industrial complexes each round (i.e. one industrial complex per player).

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