• Hello everyone.

    I am in the process of making minor tweaks to AA1914 and I wondered if anone tried something similar so far.

    We’re looking to correct one major flaw of the game and another minor one. The major one is the fact that the Cental Powers’ fleets get destroyed and the seas are left totally open to the Entente by round 3 max. This is not at all accurate with real events, since U-Boats managed to deal tremendous damage in the Atlantic Ocean and in the North and Mediterranean seas. So we were thinking to change that.

    I was also looking at ways to use ground units a bit more strategically instead of massive slugfests that inevitably grind down the Axis Powers every game.

    So here’s what I thought about :

    1. Adjust ship costs : 6/9/12 IPCs for ships is just way too much money for the Central Powers to invest in without losing their land momentum. Also, it’s not that accurate in terms of costs when comparing giant armies of men. So I would drastically change the costs of Subs, Cruisers and Battleships to 3, 5 and 9, respectively. Transports would cost 4. This makes the change fair because both sides benefit and it allows the Central Powers to at least mount a semi-effective fleet for proper harassment.
    2. Submarine rules : Attacking submarines could decide which target they are attacking in order to inflict strategic losses by siking key ships like the transports. Each enemy Cruiser would negate one Sub’s ability to choose (I pick Cruisers to not have to add more units into the game). The attacker could negate the defense bonus of one Cruiser for every surface ship he sends on the attack. Gameplay wise, if the Allies feel their transports are constantly threatened, they would have to spend more money into the sea before actually commiting to large land battles. Disproportionate allocation of naval resources was a great benefit of the U-Boats.
    3. Restricted and Unrestricted Sub Warfare : From the outset of the game, Restricted Warfare would make it so that every Sub that is on a sea tile that is adjacent to the islands of Great Britain or Ireland would reduce the British IPC count by 1. When Unrestricted Warfare is declared, add areas 2, 7 and 8 which will now also count. The USA loses 1 IPC per Sub in those three areas. This makes it a LOT more dangerous and will force the Entente to chase submarines relentlessly.
    4. Defensive Dive : When submarines are attacked, they can roll a die to try and die before their enemy can attack them. On 4 or less, they succeed and cannot be attacked. On a miss, the enemy has 1 round to hit before they submerge as per the rules. The roll decreases for every surface ship the attacker brings in excess of Sub count (For example, if there are 2 Subs and 3 surface ships, the dive die is reduced to 3). This represents the actual difficulty of sinking submarines.
    5. Aircraft Combat : Aircraft battles now last only for one turn. Whoever has more plans than the enemy has Air Superiority, whereby half his artillery is promoted. If the enemy has no more planes, then he has Air Supremacy and all artillery are promoted. Plane battles in this game are problematic because once one side gains the upper hand, it’s impossible to challenge the air since it’s a fight to the death. Comebacks should be possible, and only downing the whole of the enemy’s air force should give a large advantage. This should theoretically help the Axis a bit more, but not much. It also protects some of the investment in airplanes.
    6. Artillery Neutralization : On the attack, artillery can choose to suppress defenders instead of killing them. On a successful suppression roll, 2 units (1 Art, 1 Inf, or 2 Inf if there are no more guns) are suppressed and cannot roll for defense. This could allow large armies to fight each other through attrition, and allow the attacker to take better kill ratios with tanks in smaller battles to avoid the giant clash we always fear.

    I think this goes some way into dealing with a few issues we’ve encountered with the game. I still think it’s the best A&A by a mile, but this might make it that much better.

    FYI, we play with 2 house rules currently : Subs/Cruisers/BBs cost 5/7/12 respectively, and we have Trucks (5 IPCs) that can carry 2 land units or 1 tank across 2 areas (no blitz). Trucks have been typically better for Central Powers but it’s not game breaking and the Entente can make great use of them as well.

    So let me know what you think, if you foresee issues, and how you would tweak such rules.

    Thank you !

  • 2022

    @arreghas

    Interesting-in my game the Central Powers went crazy with naval units but even with some bad luck, they were eventually able to gain control of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, isolating the US. Germany was pushed very far back, but some Allied mistakes enabled Germany to recover and push the Allies all the way back though France. Russia surrendered, and Austria Hungary went crazy eating up Italy, starting an invasion of North Africa, pushing into the south of France and being the main force on the Eastern Front. The British, after losing their navy, started pouring units into India, defeating the Ottomans, but not quickly enough when the game ended prematurely (the board got all messed up). You have some interesting ideas, which I will comment later. My game was not actually on a real board (the game is so expensive, but a real one should be arriving soon), but a piece of paper with the map printed on it with mostly World War 2 units and a few World War 1 units bought online used. Also, your post have say Central Powers instead of Axis.

    Adjusting Ship Costs: I think this is an interesting idea, although it might not be historically accurate. This requires more pieces though, which the game is lacking and it’s very hard to find and get them online.

    Submarine Rules: This probably means destroyers should be added instead of cruisers getting the special abilities you have described, but there are no pieces. This is not historically accurate, so I’m not a fan of this.

    Restricted And Unrestricted Submarine Warfare: I like this idea, so I don’t have much comment. You should also introduce this system for the Mediterranean, probably for countries such as Italy, France, and Britain.

    Defensive Dive: Good idea, but maybe the dice roll should only go down based on the amount of destroyers in the battle, but again, they don’t exist. Although this idea still works best with destroyers instead of any surface ship, another good idea is that for every surface ship there is, one submarine can’t roll the dice on a one to one basis.

    Aircraft Combat: Whilst your ideas are interesting, I don’t think it is impossible to challenge the air, unless your opponent invests twice as much in aircraft as you do, and if the opponent can also maintain strong land armies, the game is probably already lost.

    Artillery Neutralization: I have absouloutely not problems with this whatsoever! It’s accurate, fun, and intresting.

    Overall, all these ideas will make the game very fun. Your truck idea is also quite interesting. I wonder what pieces you use? Thank you!

    There was a long topic several years ago talking about many potential changes to the game:

    https://www.axisandallies.org/forums/topic/29748/1914-rules-rework?_=1634421199118


  • @superbattleshipyamato123

    Hello. Thanks for the reply !

    I’m surprised to hear about your game and the Central Powers winning the sea. I’ll have to think about it.

    Regarding your answers, here’s a few items for thought :

    1. Adjusting ship costs : From the little information I found online, arming one division of men was the approximate cost of building a medium cruiser. Submarines were 5-6x cheaper and battleships 6-8x more expensive. It’s going to be hard to have an accurate depiction of this without changing the rules a lot. That being said, I think the costs should be closer to something that makes sense around the cruiser level and adjust a bit for the rest. True that unit tokens are scarce in the game, which is why I bought extras from Historical BoardGaming.

    2. Submarine Rules : I agree that Destroyers should be the logical unit. The problem is the challenge of fitting a new unit in the game that doesn’t displace another entirely, which is why I thought of the Cruiser to keep it simple. It’s a personal choice, so I respect that you disagree on it. It makes me cringe a bit too.

    3. Sub Warfare : You are quite right about the Mediterranean. It was a very active territory for submarine commanders. Thank you !

    4. Defensive Dive : See #2 basically. Your idea of not being able to roll is interesting as well !

    5. Aircraft Combat : Well from our games, usually the main army ends up with 3-4 Fighters and then one clash occurs and if it goes poorly, nobody ever challenges the air. Last game was a 5v4 and ended in a 4-0 lead for the French. We couldn’t afford to put that much money into planes again without stalling our ground advantage. In real combat you wouldn’t keep sending out your planes until they died if things turned bad.

    6. Artillery : Great ! Thank you !

    Here is the truck print I use : https://www.shapeways.com/product/RK9QJAH6V/wwi-truck-x12?optionId=128058468&li=shops
    They paint well and blend well with the other units.

    Thanks for the link !

    Happy gaming !

  • 2022

    @arreghas

    Thank you for responding!

    In regards to your comments:

    Adjusting Ship Costs: You’re probably right, but each piece in Axis And Allies never equals one division-in Global 1940, Germany probably had over a hundred divisions, and yet there is nowhere near that many infantry and tank units represented on the board at the start. I have a feeling that one tank equals one division, and one infantry equals one corps. Likewise, Germany had over a hundred divisions at the in 1914, which the game doesn’t represent. Each corps had two divisions, so an infantry unit probably represents a corps. So you should think about how you should tackle this problem.

    I’m surprised you were able to get extra pieces from Historical Board Gaming-everything from 1914 is almost always out of stock, especially the German ones (I really want the Ottoman ones, though, because that is the only power that doesn’t have World War 2 pieces corresponding to the colour of the country, but those are always out of stock). Still, a few months ago I found a lot of transports for several countries including Germany, and some naval units. Land and air units are the hardest to find, and I could only find ones for the US.

    Submarine Rules: Cruisers are more simple, so maybe we can think of them as cruisers and destroyers together (the lack of any destroyer units is puzzling, as there were many destroyers in 1914).

    Restricted And Unrestricted Submarine Warfare: Great that you agree!

    Defensive Dive: I’m happy that you find my idea interesting!

    Aircraft Combat: Despite what you said, I think your current rule doesn’t solve this. Perhaps a better rule would be that the side in an air battle that has less aircraft can retreat, which ends the air battle and hand either air superiority (half of the opponent’s artillery is upgraded) or air supremacy (all of the artillery is upgraded)-it’s your choice.

    I have nothing to say about Artillery Neutralisation.

    Interesting truck pieces! For some reason, I have a feeling I’ve seen those from another topic.

    As for my game, whilst the Central Powers won the sea, Germany would capitulated before that happened had the Allies not made many mistakes. So I think your assessment is accurate, although the Central Powers in my game got some bad luck in naval battles, which contributed to investing even more in ships-due to naval superiority, Germany was able to invade Scotland. Still, even without the bad luck, the Allies could have taken Berlin without making the mistakes they did.

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