• Anyone know if the devs are going to do anything about it? Total noob here been playing a few weeks is all, but when trying ranked games, I get Allies 90% of the time because I always choose ‘no preference’. I’m sure you all know why that happens!

    Ger is loaded and super safe. Even with horrific rolls early it can overcome, and the Pacific pathing maze (and lack of ability to work in tandem with Carriers and transports) means Japan can all but ignore US/UK after destroying the UK sacrificial lambs at sea and get to the serious business of boots (or treads) on the ground’

    Is this ever going to be addressed does anyone know?


  • @snoil I find the game favoring Allies. If the Allies target Germany, Germany is in a lot of trouble. I also get Allies mostly when I choose ‘No Preference’.

    I think at the lower levels the game favors Axis, and at the higher levels it favors Allies. To play Allies well you have to have the different countries work together, which requires a lot of coordination.


  • Allies are definitely more difficult to coordinate in the early game. I’ve played enough to confidently say that the sides are very close to balanced at the highest competitive levels, such that there’s disagreement on what side if favored still. At lower levels of play, it’s definitely true that one side can win more.

    General allies tips to start on a strong path:
    attack WRUS with 12 units, Ukraine with 9 units
    UK round 1 buy of 3 inf, 1 destroyer, 1 carrier is well balanced
    US round 1 buy of 1 carrier, 2 transports, 2 inf, 2 art is well balanced


  • Hi guys, won’t give up the ghost but still almost always allies when joining no pref, and still losing except to players making crazy bad mistakes. Have read many strat posts last few days, we’ll see how it goes on Wood level.


  • A key principle to getting at least up to gold level is seeing what your opponent can do in response to a move you make. For example, say you are Germany and are considering putting a lot of units into West Russia. Look at how many Russia can attack you with if you do that. Count everything in range.

    A lot of lower-level players will just attack something because that particular battle is favorable to them, not noticing what your opponent can do in response on their turn.

    Also, a common mistake they make is building way too many attacking units and not enough fodder units. You want almost all of your losses to be cheap infantry. Use your infantry to kill their tanks and you’re going to win. I play so many opponents that try to just rush at Russia thinking that will work.

    If you can get sound tactics you’ll get to at least high silver and probably gold.


  • Are you playing ranked with Larry Harris Rules? I suggest playing more and getting stronger before making blanket statements about the balance of the game. I have a 90% or higher win rate as both axis and allies, repeated across multiple seasons. I’m about equally happy to play axis as well as allies with regard to win likelihood.


  • @marineiguana Yes well you’re definitely better at the game than I by far, and obviously understand the pathings and such way better than me. 90% in both means you’ve got it down. But after reading on some other parts of the forum, if it’s so balanced, why do GenCon games have a bid system for the allies to get extra help? I’ll admit, maybe as a noob I just do better having a load of troops and relative safety early on as I prefer inf/art in great big gobs over fancy schmancy battleships/tanks/bombers etc. At sea I even prefer subs due to cheapness. Easier to make impactful stacks, at least so far.

    Anyway, genuine thanks to everyone, will keep stabbing at it diligently!


  • @ericb Very helpful, thanks to you and all who posted here, actually got another Axis win!


  • @snoil said in Game Imbalance massively obvious:

    @marineiguana if it’s so balanced, why do GenCon games have a bid system for the allies to get extra help?

    The online version differs quite a bit from the board game, even with the Gencon setup. Differences such as no friendly AC and transport usage, having to assign casualties after each round of like-valued dice instead of the whole attacking round, not having variable defence profiles for a given combat phase, different time constraints, etc, all make it a bit harder to compare the 2 games.
    The numbers don’t lie though. At high gold/plat level, there’s little to no difference in win rate between allies and axis, but at lower levels, it seems axis is winning more. I believe it has changed over the last few seasons too, where top players are figuring out better and better ways to play the allies, leading to many of them to believe that they are currently favoured at high level.

    Cheers


  • @snoil said in Game Imbalance massively obvious:

    @marineiguana Yes well you’re definitely better at the game than I by far, and obviously understand the pathings and such way better than me. 90% in both means you’ve got it down. But after reading on some other parts of the forum, if it’s so balanced, why do GenCon games have a bid system for the allies to get extra help? I’ll admit, maybe as a noob I just do better having a load of troops and relative safety early on as I prefer inf/art in great big gobs over fancy schmancy battleships/tanks/bombers etc. At sea I even prefer subs due to cheapness. Easier to make impactful stacks, at least so far.

    Anyway, genuine thanks to everyone, will keep stabbing at it diligently!

    Your confusion is very understandable.

    There is the original board game setup (OOB, out of box). This version blatantly favors Axis. If I played against myself, I would win as axis at least 98% of the time.

    The Gencon tournaments attempt to balance this by bidding. People are bidding for the privilege of playing Axis and compensating the Allies player with an amount of income that the Allies player can use to immediately place units on the board. For example, a bid of 7 could be used to place 1 artillery in Karelia and 1 infantry in Caucasus Russia. Typical bids are 18 or more. A second big difference of tournaments is the time limit only allows for about 5-8 rounds of play. It’s more like a sprint to reach victory cities because of this time limit.

    The Larry Harris game version is a set of adjustments that Larry suggested to balance the OOB map better. It notably makes changes to the Germany bomber placement and sz7 units. This version is well balanced, and we’re still deciding which side is favored with ideal play on both sides. The online 1942 ranked version uses this version as a default. In casual play, you can choose either this version or the OOB standard version.


  • @nosho said in Game Imbalance massively obvious:

    The numbers don’t lie though. At high gold/plat level, there’s little to no difference in win rate between allies and axis, but at lower levels, it seems axis is winning more.

    Take the same supposed data and apply this reasoning. Axis being favored is mathematical fact, but is offset by a glut of bad players that use Axis incompetently. New players are attracted to Axis because they’re simpler. Impatient players are attracted to Axis because they can finish a game early. Etc.

    When a player of some skill queues, they are more likely to face one of those bad players, which they likely defeat.

    To answer the OP, I’m quite sure the devs aren’t going to do anything about it.

    @snoil said in Game Imbalance massively obvious:

    Hi guys, won’t give up the ghost but still almost always allies when joining no pref, and still losing except to players making crazy bad mistakes. Have read many strat posts last few days, we’ll see how it goes on Wood level.

    @snoil said in Game Imbalance massively obvious:

    I’ll admit, maybe as a noob I just do better having a load of troops and relative safety early on as I prefer inf/art in great big gobs over fancy schmancy battleships/tanks/bombers etc. At sea I even prefer subs due to cheapness. Easier to make impactful stacks, at least so far.

    Even if your play isn’t brilliant, sticking to inf/art ought to see you out of wood league at least. There’s something else going on; get a decent player to do commentary on some of your live games.


  • @aardvarkpepper Hi Aardvark and thanks! I did notice something in a recent Axis game I won, which was like looking in a mirror and seeing my own mistakes. Floating those starting spendy boats around as USA and making Japan spend has a little use, but doing so with only 1 transport, in retrospect is not a great idea. At all. They still get wins on land while I tote 2 units around maybe nicking an island or two. I’m pretty sure I won’t be doing this anymore!


  • @snoil If playing a KGF, bring everything to the Atlantic. If going KJF, bring everything to the Pacific. I play a KGF probably 95% of the time.

    In most KGF games as the US, all you need to build is 1 carrier US1. Other than that, it’s all transports and land units. Sometimes you mix in a plane, but that’s a luxury buy. If Axis is investing heavily in air and naval units then more US navy is definitely needed. The priority is always taking and occupying land. Owning land is what gives you income to build more units. Water is worthless.

    So, since land is the priority, then land units are the priority. Land units are the most efficient on land. Ships are the most efficient on water. Planes are less efficient but more flexible on land or water.

    So you want to be building as many land units as possible. The large majority of these are going to be infantry because they are cheap so you can buy more of them. As the US, you have a logistics problem getting those land units somewhere useful, so you need transports. To move your transports you need surface ships like carriers with fighters, destroyers, cruisers, battleships to protect them.

    Pound for pound destroyers are the best unit for protecting transports. Carriers with fighters are good too because the fighters can attack on land. Cruisers are alright, but over-priced. Battleships are situational and not ideal for an Atlantic fleet. Where I use a battleship is when I’m facing multiple fleets.

    For example, as Japan if you are facing a UK fleet and a US fleet, then a battleship is pretty good because it gets a free repair, but for the most part they are just too expensive.

    With the US you want to be up to around 7 or 8 transports by the end of round 2. After that reasonable people disagree on how many transports to have. I usually get up to 11 or 12. If the US doesn’t have France it’s 11. If they do, it’s 12. If I’m doing a Med shuck I might get up to 14. Some people keep it at 8 and build bombers.


  • @ericb Good stuff, Eric! Thanks. Never really considered going that high in transports but sure makes sense explained like that.

    And also to one and all-thanks for all the tips, it’s appreciated!


  • Another KGF tip…

    Use those starting AA guns in the US. They’re just sitting there doing nothing. Use them. Maybe you had the UK take France and the UK has a few units left in France. Have the US go drop another 10 in France behind them, and make one of those units an AA gun.

    A warning though: Check to see if Germany can re-take France. If they can take it, how many units will they likely have left in France after the battle? If it’s low enough that the Allies can re-take it the next turn, then by all means throw everything in. It’s just a large trade. You’re exchanging UK and US units for German units and that wears Germany down. If Germany has enough where they can take it and then stack it so it can’t be retaken then be cautious and just drop a minimal number in.

    For NW Europe, this is likely just 1 transport. For France, it’s more because it’s a 6 IPC value territory in the situation of a strafe. Sometimes Germany will have a lot that they can bring at France, but if they bring everything then it leaves them too weak elsewhere. For example, if they bring 25 infantry and some tanks to France to take it hard, then that would leave them too weak in Germany.

    In that situation bring 3 transports to France to leave about 4 or 5 there. It’s too few for them to do a strafe because they don’t want to lose the income from France. It’s too many for a light trade, so you’re still getting your goal of a heavier trade.

    You have to read the situation in Europe though. Sometimes it may even be worth it to have a negative net trade with Germany if it’s early game and Germany is pushing at Russia hard. It will divert units away from the eastern front.


  • @ericb Ive been wasting them, thanks! I was leaving them in place. Used this on a game I just won and I likely got 3 fighter kills I would not have otherwise in cluding (critically!) 2 early ones,

    Salute Sir!


  • Oh and sorry to necropost but thought I would also add that yes, my initial observation came from playing custom games more than the adjusted ranked games. Fun fact, I notice a lot of custom games are the imbalanced version where the game creator is GER and JPN! LOL Anyhow, I still do better as Axis even with the tweaks but it’s close enough where I’d be happy to say I do stand corrected.


  • @snoil said in Game Imbalance massively obvious:

    Fun fact, I notice a lot of custom games are the imbalanced version where the game creator is GER and JPN! LOL

    No shame in knowing your limits.


  • @marineiguana attack Ukrainian territory not a good idea .you can lose that battle still and you risk heavy losses WR.then Germany can walk right through.you should think more about giving yourself at least a chance with every game of winning .


  • @ericb you say Germany is in a lot of trouble if allies target her .that’s a funny joke .first of all Germany targets the allies first round except Russia which should be on the defensive anyway unless you think russia can just walk on into Berlin .just look at the facts Germany starts at the gates of Moscow ,real good way of targeting Germany.so Germany can all but sink the allied week indefensible navy because that’s realistic to ww2 ,British Navy is nothing but tug boats .apparently.then good luck rebuilding the navy having to abandon the pacific to Japan ,leaving you wide open for a victory city loss.


  • @panzer666

    Rebuilding the navy and attacking Germany while giving Japan the pacific is actually the main way the game is being played at a top level.
    A VC snipe is indeed the main axis threat early game, but is avoidable as long as allies properly defends india round 3 and hits fast with US and UK in europe.
    If you lose ukraine its disastrous, but when it works(80% of the time) its too strong to not do it.

    Pulling historical accuracy in these WW2 games is kinda moot, since for the axis players to have a shot the game cant be historically accurate. US would have more IPC than J and G combined, R would have more IPCs than germany etc.

    For a video example of an allied opener you can check out this video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVvXfL0vnMU


  • @panzer666 said in Game Imbalance massively obvious:

    @marineiguana attack Ukrainian territory not a good idea .you can lose that battle still and you risk heavy losses WR.then Germany can walk right through.you should think more about giving yourself at least a chance with every game of winning .

    That reads like attacking Ukraine doesn’t have a chance of winning.

    @panzer666 said in Game Imbalance massively obvious:

    @ericb you say Germany is in a lot of trouble if allies target her .that’s a funny joke .first of all Germany targets the allies first round except Russia which should be on the defensive anyway unless you think russia can just walk on into Berlin .just look at the facts Germany starts at the gates of Moscow ,real good way of targeting Germany.so Germany can all but sink the allied week indefensible navy because that’s realistic to ww2 ,British Navy is nothing but tug boats .apparently.then good luck rebuilding the navy having to abandon the pacific to Japan ,leaving you wide open for a victory city loss.

    As I see it you’d need aberrant dice, bad play on both sides, very particular Allied risk aversion preferences, and even then what’s stated and implied above still doesn’t quite happen with competent players.

    Extended discussion of the point would derail the thread. Could start another thread though.


  • Thanks to moderators for certain recent action.

    I mentioned earlier going into detail would derail the thread, but reading through this thread can give incorrect impressions. So some comments (though brief) are appropriate.

    1. Even if imbalance only applies to new players before they get used to certain strategy and tactics, it’s still an issue.

    2. I believe there is mathematical imbalance favoring the Axis, not limited to new players. Roughly, the argument:

    A. If either side has a fairly “safe” move that offers good chance of advantage, that action should be taken.

    B. The Axis have a higher chance of such occurring than the Allies (after player action, dice outcomes, and contingencies). Particular conditions include Germany’s counter to USSR1’s West Russia capture, contrasted to Germany’s failing the UK battleship fight / UK destroyer at Mediterranean fights. For both Axis cases the chance of failure is lower, and Axis ability to recover from bad dice is higher, compared to the Allied position.

    Readers should understand B is not an argument that should be undertaken lightly. I make an especial point, as on several past instances some readers would take some parts of what I’d write, and try to twist the argument to support their diametrically opposite positions. But the proof is not in some grandiose “concept” or whatever flim-flam trickery. The proof is in pages and pages of reasoning, mathematics, explanations of contingencies &c, and if you don’t have that, you will fall on your face.

    I think posters in search of an absolute truth won’t have a problem with falling on their face sometimes. But for posters that just want to prop up bad arguments with “impressive sounding” phrases, best not.

    ==

    There are a few points that ought be brought up regarding panzer666’s posts.

    First, the question of versions. EricB’s second post referenced ranking, which uses the LHTR setup. Snoil’s eighth post referenced his initially referencing the OOB setup and later using the LHTR setup. MarineIguana/BostonNWO’s second post questioned whether LHTR was being used - and for all posters and posts, I think generally the thought was that the LHTR was being used, for 1942 Online in particular.

    Then panzer666 posts, and you see where he talks about 12 to West Russia / 9 to Ukraine being soft. (Reference MarineIguana/BostonNWO’s first post / panzer666’s first post).

    Panzer666 is right about that in the OOB setup because OOB Germany’s bomber won’t be destroyed at Ukraine, so Germany has a better counter to West Russia. It’s only in LHTR that USSR1 12 WRussia / 9 Ukr becomes more viable.

    (But as I read it, everyone else, including myself, was referencing the LHTR setup by that point. Well, these things are easily missed).

    Second, though

    @panzer666 said in Game Imbalance massively obvious:

    @ericb you say Germany is in a lot of trouble if allies target her .that’s a funny joke

    Doubling down on advice without knowing the version under discussion (at least, that’s how I read the situation), plus calling something a “funny joke” on top of that, plus being wrong on the actual points why something is supposedly a “funny joke”.

    Wrong on the actual points? Well, I think so.

    @panzer666 said in Game Imbalance massively obvious:

    @ericb you say Germany is in a lot of trouble if allies target her .that’s a funny joke .first of all Germany targets the allies first round except Russia which should be on the defensive anyway unless you think russia can just walk on into Berlin .just look at the facts Germany starts at the gates of Moscow ,real good way of targeting Germany.so Germany can all but sink the allied week indefensible navy because that’s realistic to ww2 ,British Navy is nothing but tug boats .apparently.then good luck rebuilding the navy having to abandon the pacific to Japan ,leaving you wide open for a victory city loss.

    Let’s assume it is OOB setup (which again I’ll point out isn’t how I see any other participating poster in this thread commenting.)

    First, about victory cities. Axis control Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Philippine Islands, Kwangtung. Allies control Eastern US, Western US, Hawaiian Islands, United Kingdom, India, Russia, and Karelia.

    The assertion is Axis win on victory cities, but that’s not really the focus in games between skilled players. Chess games are not won by the actual capture of an opponent’s king, but by material, by position, by pressure. Similarly, victory cities are a pressure condition skilled players work with and around. A game may end with Axis victory city condition, but with competent players it’s far less about raw power and some forced scripted inevitable victory, and far more about pressure and best chances.

    Practically, the Axis need three out of four of the usually-contested territories of Karelia, India, Hawaiian Islands, and Russia to win. Capturing East US, West US, or United Kingdom is not possible with normal dice with reasonably skilled players. I trust I need not go into detail.

    The obvious response is the Axis can capture Karelia, India, and Hawaiian Islands, so “the Axis get a victory city win”. But by the time that happens the Allied player should be able to contest Kwangtung, Philippines, Karelia, France, and/or Italy. I do not say the Allies can always contest one of those victory cities, what with dice and player actions - but understand the definition of a competent Allied player is one with a plan with some reasonable expectation of preventing loss by victory city.

    Second, about the Allied navy. “Germany can all but sink the allied week indefensible navy because that’s realistic to ww2 ,British Navy is nothing but tug boats .apparently.then good luck rebuilding the navy having to abandon the pacific to Japan ,leaving you wide open for a victory city loss.”

    There’s a lot to unpack there, but none of it is necessarily correct. There’s just a bit too much “magical thinking”.

    “good luck rebuilding the navy”? On the contrary. Even if Germany positions its air west, there are reasonable scenarios that have UK opening with a fleet buy - which you can reasonably say Germany may be able to sink. But if Germany does expend its air on UK targets, that means less that can hit at the Allies in land territories in Europe. To be clear, even if German air has decent odds on a favorable-odds battle against a UK navy, that can still be a strategic mistake. The Axis still need to break the combined Allied stack on land, and if Germany is losing fighters in other battles - you see.

    Then too, there’s the question of US1 navy build into US2 air build into US3 noncombat movement and air unifying off UK after a UK3 fleet drop. The Allies don’t want to do things that slowly if it can be helped, but even so it’s moderately quick and there’s almost nothing the Axis can do to stop it, short of measures that end up costing the Axis so much that the investment is questionable.

    Finally (for the second point regarding Allied navy anyways), there’s the question of what, precisely, you’re recommending. What, precisely, you think the Allied naval situation is and should be. You dismissively say the Allied navy is blown up, but is it really? If the two US transports off East US survive, for example, they can make a drop to French West Africa, then both UK and US have counterplay against German income in Africa. If that covers Africa, what of Asia? Well, what would you recommend, that the Allies try to fight Japan in the Indian and Pacific Oceans? I’ve written quite a lot elsewhere about how I don’t think that works well at all. So if you’re going to say the Allies go Atlantic, and if the Allies can go Atlantic, and if the Allies have reasonable chances elsewhere, then perhaps the Allied position isn’t that bad.

    Unless you’re saying Germany destroyed everything in the Atlantic, which with OOB setup it has some reasonable chances at. But destroying everything requires some extraordinary luck, even in OOB. If you disagree, go ahead and post the OOB Germany1 turn moves and probability distributions that demonstrates otherwise.

    The third point is claiming Russia should be on the “defensive”. Actually USSR needs to produce some offensive units to prevent Germany from early gains. I’m not saying USSR should go bombers, but pure infantry isn’t great for USSR either.

    If you want to recast that in the context that you’re talking about West Russia being broken, remember. As I read it most others in the thread are assuming LHTR setup, which means far weaker Germany in Atlantic, plus Germany’s bomber almost certainly being destroyed. It’s still quite possible that West Russia gets broken, but it’s not near as likely as in OOB, nor is the position nearly as bad even if it does happen.

    The fourth point is the general pessimism and dismissiveness of panzer666’s view of the Allies. If someone’s a bit vague, or even pessimistic, fair enough. But an argument consisting of saying UK is reduced to “tugboats” and Allies “abandon” the Pacific and claiming the Axis win by VC, well, some of that can happen, but what of Allied pressure at Karelia? What if Allies open up early trading at France/Italy? These possibilities are not considered, and even dismissed as a “joke”. There’s good points in what panzer666 writes, especially if you’re thinking about the OOB, but even for OOB, it’s a bit much.

    Suppose it’s KGF. Why don’t the Allies develop pressure at Karelia? Obviously the Allies do that; once the Allies can shuttle stacks of cost-effective ground units to reinforce Russia then if the Allies haven’t fought any severely losing stack battles the Allies have real chances (even if down on economy). Besides that, as I wrote, the Allies must have a plan that prevents loss by victory city. It is accepted Axis will have a strong hold on Karelia, will capture India, and Hawaiian Islands. By the time that happens, Allies must contest another victory city. That’s just how it is.

    But what if the Allies don’t develop pressure at Karelia? But as I wrote, a competent Allied player will play to prevent VC loss. So the only reason Karelia doesn’t open up is if Allies managed to open up trading at France/Italy instead.

    So no matter how you slice it, you see the Allies are preventing loss by victory city condition - provided Russia doesn’t fall. (I’m not getting into KJF/antiKJF here as I’m just illustrating general points).

    But you want to say that Karelia, India, and Hawaiian Islands all fall before that happens? How, exactly? Karelia, sure, but if you send towards Hawaiian Islands early then you’re not pushing to Asia or India early. If you push India early you’re not pushing Hawaiian Islands early. There’s going to be a delay one way or another if the Allies player is competent.

    As usual I’m not trying to establish any sort of comprehensive argument. At the open, I usually start by saying look at least at the few things I’m pointing out, think about how things really happen, think about the validity of the counterargument.

    If there’s still disagreement that’s fine, but at least there should be a framework of logical argument, of points that can be proved or disproved. When an argument is based on a logical framework, there can be progression in the discussion.

Suggested Topics

I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

24
Online

16.2k
Users

37.9k
Topics

1.6m
Posts