Choice of NAs in AARe - your thoughts please



  • I’ve played half a dozen Enhanced rules games and obviously the national advantages set up the nature of the game. Assuming you are not trying to make things difficult  for yourself to freshen everything up the following seem to be the best choices, but I’d be interested to know if there are any glaring omissions

    No brainers

    Japan- Banzai
    Russia- Siberian Conscripts
    UK- Commonwealth
    US Reinforced Carriers

    Barely brainers
    US- Pacific troops

    Perfectly acceptable
    Germany- 88s, Wolfpack, Afrika Korps, Divebombers (Germany seems to have the most viable alternatives)
    Japan- Tech advantage, Yamamoto, Kaiten, Kamikaze, Tokyo express(?)

    Pointless given better and more flexible alternatives
    All the rest

    (ps 1 I think Panzerblitz may allow clever manouvres but I haven’t yet worked them out)

    (ps 2 given a good opponent, investing in INF, while not necessarily optimal, must be close to optimal since, from a game theoretic point it is a strategy that is very difficult to exploit, right?)

    Trusty



  • the AARe team intended to the NA to counter each other
    this is apparent in the NA deployment system

    so whether its “no brainer” or “pointless” depends on what your enemy chooses

    I see Tokyo Express being quite often
    Wolf Pack was often a disaster in the game I watched (Allies react a little and NA not so useful for the rest of the game, feeling the NA is just better elsewhere)


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Wolf Packs seem to be decent, actually.  Early on you do economic damage twice over, once to their banks, the other in getting them to put destroyers out.

    Later you get a cheap submarine to stop a 40 destroyer bombardment on Germany by England each round.


    I’ve found the most powerful NAs are:

    Russia: Russian Railway (Allows you to race across the board to defend both Caucasus and Karelia giving your allies time to get to you)
    Germany: Panzer Blitz (Allows you to use your tanks like fighters freeing up your fighters for other engagements.)
    England: England is pretty reactive, I go with either Royal Air Force or Royal Navy depending on what Germany is doing.
    Japan: Banzai, hands down.  The second is dependent on the allies moves, but the first is almost always Banzai.
    USA:  I actually like Tech Investment.  Cheap techs that I can share with my allies faster.



  • Tekky has it correct:  Most NA’s can be directly / indirectly countered with another NA.
    Some counters are better/more obvious than others, like Royal Navy to counter wolf packs.

    I personally think that the Tech advantage for Japan is kinda of a waste of an NA.  I can get tech on my own if needed.  I’d rather get two NAs.

    A lot depends on your gaming style / game plan.  It’s interesting to see how opinions greatly vary amongst players, which proves how different each Enhanced game can be (which is why I love it)!

    –---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I actually think Panzer blitz is one of the best German NA’s whereas Trusty Sapper has yet to explore it’s advantages fully.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I’d like to see Tech Advantage replaced with a Japanese version of Tech Investment myself.  Make it worth something in the long run as an advantage instead of a short term boost for tech.



  • I was going to go into a long and detailed post that rambled on for far too long, but instead I’ll just rank them.

    Russia
    Russian Winter: zero
    Russian Railway: ****
    T-34s: ***
    Lend-Lease: *****
    Mobile Industry: **
    Siberian Conscripts: *

    UK
    Colonial Garrison: zero
    Commonwealth: *
    Radar: ****
    Royal Navy: **
    Royal Air Force: ***
    Lend Lease: *****

    US
    Mechanized Infantry: ***
    Pacific Divisions: *
    Marines: zero
    Naval Industry: *****
    Reinforced Carriers: **
    Tech Investment: ****

    Germany
    Atlantic Wall: *
    German 88s: zero
    Panzerblitz: ****
    Afrika Korps: **
    Wolfpacks: ***
    Luftwaffe DB: *****

    Japan
    Banzai Infantry: *****
    Tokyo Express: *
    Yamato BBs: ****
    Tech Advantage: zero
    Kaiten Subs: **
    Kamikazes: ***



  • @Aretaku:

    I was going to go into a long and detailed post that rambled on for far too long, but instead I’ll just rank them.

    Russia
    Russian Winter: zero
    Siberian Conscripts: *

    UK
    Colonial Garrison: zero
    Commonwealth: *

    US
    Pacific Divisions: *

    Germany
    Atlantic Wall: *

    Interesting.

    I have read posts from other players saying Siberian Constripts was a no-brainer for Russia or Atlantic Wall was the bomb for Germany.

    I also think it’s funny how you rated Colonial Garrison so low or Pac divisions on the bottom.  I know you listed them from worse to best, but some may argue with your rankings (I will not, it’s really influenced greatly by personal preference).

    I do know the creator of this rules set (Cousin_Joe) was a huge fan of Russian Winter, and you ranked it last 🙂


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Siberian Conscripts can be fun.

    You get +6 infantry if Japan attacks and a free one every round.  That’s +3 IPC a round right there!

    Marines are good against Atlantic Wall or for a Kill Japan First game (very doable in AARe in my opinion, even more so then in AAR).  But I agree, America has way better NAs to chose from then Marines in most games.

    Atlantic Wall is da Bomb!  Free infantry a round, infantry/artillery defend at 3 or less in the first round and, if you couple it with German 88’s, you can be relatively sure that the British and Americans are going to stay the heck away from any Sea Zone bordering W. Europe!  (50/50 shots on Allied Carriers and Transports?  <drool>)


    Basically, any NA that gives you a free infantry every round in a decent spot on the board, is going to be good.</drool>



  • @axis_roll:

    Interesting.

    I have read posts from other players saying Siberian Constripts was a no-brainer for Russia or Atlantic Wall was the bomb for Germany.

    I also think it’s funny how you rated Colonial Garrison so low or Pac divisions on the bottom.  I know you listed them from worse to best, but some may argue with your rankings (I will not, it’s really influenced greatly by personal preference).

    I do know the creator of this rules set (Cousin_Joe) was a huge fan of Russian Winter, and you ranked it last

    I find that while Siberian Conscripts is nice, selecting it draws Japans wrath. Unless coupled with the Russian Railroad, it is too easy for Japan to simply take those three territories from you and thus deny you your selected advantage. Those TWO whopping extra men gained during the broken treaty are a speed-bump, not a wall.

    Atlantic Wall basically forces you to fight for WEU, something which it is not always in Germany’s best interest, given the British tendency to build large bombardment fleets. The ability to fire at ships offshore is nice, but the chance to do so is a rare occurence, as is actually hitting the target (at least with my dice!  :x :lol:)

    Pac Divisions is the second best man-per-turn advantage after Commonwealth, but I think the US does far more for the Allies with Tech-Advantage or Naval Industry, so I’ve never bothered to select it. Perhaps in combination with an IC in CHI/SINK it would be worthwhile.

    I find that Colonial Garrison is, more often than not, simply the gift of an IC to Japan. In my current FTF game, Britain selected it, placed it in India, and also moved a good deal of Russian units there along with built/transported Brit units to try and defend it. I still took it from him in Rd 3. Even an Australia or SA placement is vulnerable to an early Japanese push.

    I can certainly see situations where Russian Winter would be mighty handy, but I simply have yet to see it utilized in a game-breaking manner. It’s a nice Round 1 advantage, but then the Allies have limited NA options.



  • @Aretaku:

    I can certainly see situations where Russian Winter would be mighty handy, but I simply have yet to see it utilized in a game-breaking manner. It’s a nice Round 1 advantage, but then the Allies have limited NA options.

    Round 1?

    Russian Winter is best when it’s played later in the game, to buy 1 or more likely 2 rounds of delay(because of the ability to turn the inf into attacking units) at a key time the allies need it the most.  It’s the trump card!

    Atlantic wall has it’s pros and cons.  HAving to fight for WEU is a con, but is that a such a bad thing for Germany?  Keeping the $6 cash out of the allies hands might be worth it.



  • @axis_roll:

    @Aretaku:

    I can certainly see situations where Russian Winter would be mighty handy, but I simply have yet to see it utilized in a game-breaking manner. It’s a nice Round 1 advantage, but then the Allies have limited NA options.

    Round 1?

    Russian Winter is best when it’s played later in the game, to buy 1 or more likely 2 rounds of delay(because of the ability to turn the inf into attacking units) at a key time the allies need it the most.  It’s the trump card!

    Atlantic wall has it’s pros and cons.  HAving to fight for WEU is a con, but is that a such a bad thing for Germany?  Keeping the $6 cash out of the allies hands might be worth it.

    I’ve had an opponent who used Russian Winter on Round 1 coupled with an aggressive Russian opener (WRUS, UKR, BELO)…bought him a couple extra kills on defense, and stalled the Germans on the Eastern Front long enough to let Britain do it’s thing. The Germans were never a threat to Russia in that game.

    As for Atlantic Wall, if the Brits kill even 3 Inf per turn with bombardment, it’s not even worth it economically, much less tactically or strategically. Far better to trade WEU with the Allies as long as possible with Luftwaffe or Panzer support…it sucks giving them $6 per turn, but it’s better than the alternative.



  • @Aretaku:

    As for Atlantic Wall, if the Brits kill even 3 Inf per turn with bombardment, it’s not even worth it economically, much less tactically or strategically. Far better to trade WEU with the Allies as long as possible with Luftwaffe or Panzer support…it sucks giving them $6 per turn, but it’s better than the alternative.

    That’s a serious investment in offshores for UK, and if they did that offshore thing, those DDs/transports would be susceptible to the 88’s (art) at a 2 to sink an $8/$10 ship.

    Every NA has a trade off.  As Jen pointed out, it is very hard to knock an NA that yields +$3 a turn (free inf) for a country a turn for the entire game.

    I think you might have overlooked this in your analysis of Atlantic wall (+3 inf, no +6 for UK….upfront cost of UK navy to even conduct cost-effective offshores).

    Again, personal preference is the main driving force behind ranking these NAs.  And there is nothing wrong with your ranking list.  Only through actual game play can you learn all the nuances of the interplay of NAs (for you as well as against you).


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Atlantic wall also works in trading W. Europe.  Remember, the rule is that you get the infantry if you OWN W. Europe, not if you started your round with it.  That’s an extra defender if you trade W. Europe too.

    As for two infantry not being much of a threat to Japan, I have to say, if you are getting them every round and America’s putting pressure on Japan navally, they’re going to be hard pressed to get Buryatia, especially if you couple Siberian Conscripts with Lend Lease and put an American fighter or two in Buryatia to convert for extra defensive power.

    You can easily have 10 infantry, 2 fighters in Buryatia on Russia round 4.  Can Japan take it out?  Sure.  But at what opportunity cost, what unit cost and what chance of failure?



  • @axis_roll:

    @Aretaku:

    As for Atlantic Wall, if the Brits kill even 3 Inf per turn with bombardment, it’s not even worth it economically, much less tactically or strategically. Far better to trade WEU with the Allies as long as possible with Luftwaffe or Panzer support…it sucks giving them $6 per turn, but it’s better than the alternative.

    That’s a serious investment in offshores for UK, and if they did that offshore thing, those DDs/transports would be susceptible to the 88’s (art) at a 2 to sink an $8/$10 ship.

    Every NA has a trade off.  As Jen pointed out, it is very hard to knock an NA that yields +$3 a turn (free inf) for a country a turn for the entire game.

    I think you might have overlooked this in your analysis of Atlantic wall (+3 inf, no +6 for UK….upfront cost of UK navy to even conduct cost-effective offshores).

    Again, personal preference is the main driving force behind ranking these NAs.  And there is nothing wrong with your ranking list.  Only through actual game play can you learn all the nuances of the interplay of NAs (for you as well as against you).

    Didn’t think you were criticizing my rankings, I just like arguing differences of opinion.  🙂

    I don’t find it too difficult to get a good bombardment fleet going with Britain. Lend-Lease or Royal Navy can help defray the cost, and US Tech Advantage and/or Radar can make the tech cheaper, as well as greatly enhancing your fleet’s anti-air capabilities.

    Atlantic Wall will certainly aid Germany in holding WEU for longer than one would without it, but I don’t go into France with any more than 1 Inf plus the bombardment until I am certain that I can take it and reenforce with American and/or Russian units. I ferry the rest to Norway via SZ6. If an Artillery shot hits a ship, I’m usually not too concerned. I make sure I have more than I need before I commit to moving within range of the Luftwaffe.

    It buys Germany a round or two where UK is not collecting off of WEU, but I simply feel that NAs like Luftwaffe or Panzerblitz are far more useful in the long-term for Germany to select for it’s NAs, especially in that they make trading WEU with UK more feasible for a longer period of time with less need for infantry, with luck denying UK the ability to destroy large numbers of units via bombardment.

    @Cmdr:

    Atlantic wall also works in trading W. Europe.  Remember, the rule is that you get the infantry if you OWN W. Europe, not if you started your round with it.  That’s an extra defender if you trade W. Europe too.

    As for two infantry not being much of a threat to Japan, I have to say, if you are getting them every round and America’s putting pressure on Japan navally, they’re going to be hard pressed to get Buryatia, especially if you couple Siberian Conscripts with Lend Lease and put an American fighter or two in Buryatia to convert for extra defensive power.

    You can easily have 10 infantry, 2 fighters in Buryatia on Russia round 4.  Can Japan take it out?  Sure.  But at what opportunity cost, what unit cost and what chance of failure?

    I usually hit Bury on Rd 2, Siberian Conscripts or no, depending on how Pearl and it’s potential counter went. That way I have all my air-force and (hopefully) both my BBs in position to hit it and reduce the benefit of the men gained from me breaking the non-agression pact. Russia will most likely only have those three territorys for 3 or 4 rounds unless he starts giving ground to Germany.

    Now in an all out KJF, things change quite a bit, but if I am Russia, unless ICs are going up in IND and SINK, I’m not one to bother with Conscripts.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    In round two you’ll have to bring enough firepower to take out 6 starting infantry, 2 conscripts, 1 American Fighter and 6 treaty violation infantry.

    That’s a total of 14 Infantry, 1 Fighter.  That’s a really strong defense for round 2, not much chance of winning that.

    And, since I usually go heavy Pacific with America in AARe games, the odds of holding it are almost nil.  With the American fleet up in SZ 63 and troops up in Canada to pull on, you will have to worry about America liberating it and Russia putting a conscript there again.



  • @Aretaku:

    I don’t find it too difficult to get a good bombardment fleet going with Britain. Lend-Lease or Royal Navy can help defray the cost, and US Tech Advantage and/or Radar can make the tech cheaper, as well as greatly enhancing your fleet’s anti-air capabilities.

    ah yes
    AARe NA discussion would not be complete without mentioning the uber destroyer strat and its evolving variants
    UK takes Royal Navy, US takes Naval Industry

    what is it again? 18 destroyers by turn 4?


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    But all you have to do is make W. Europe a dead zone.

    If the combined fleet invades SZ 5, you put a 7 IPC Wolf Pack Submarine in SZ 5 and negate all British off shore bombardments.  Believe me, 7 IPC for a submarine (or 8 if you don’t take wolf packs) is far cheaper then the damage you can get from 9 destroyers and a battleship if you let them bombard you!



  • Interesting!

    It’s worth hearing that the NA developments were designed to exploit each other, so I’ll proceed on the basis that they all have a time and place. Perhaps this constitutes a stealth advantage to the Axis since they can delay two choices while the allies can delay only one…

    ta

    Trusty


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Unfortunately, if you limit it to 4 per side, many won’t be used.  It’s a real shame because almost all of them are really good for one thing or the other.

    Kamikazees seem to never be used, probably because it’s just not worth 18 IPC to sink a reinforced carrier that cost America 16 IPC, especially when it’s a crap shoot if both planes hit.  I’d love to see it raised to Kamis hit on a 5 or less or automatically (which would be best, IMHO.)  failing that, a free kami attack in any japanese sea zone (defined by sea zones that are contained entirely by orange territories + sz 60)

    T-34s also don’t seem to be popular, probably because by the time Russia’s on the defense, Russian Winter is better and because most of Russia’s tanks are already dead.


  • 2007 AAR League

    In the games I’ve played so far, Convoy Raiding has been an important component.

    I like Wolfpacks for the Germans and Kaiten Torpedoes for Japan.  Both let you purchase subs for 7IPC (never actually conducted a Kaiten attack) and give you free subs when declared.

    For UK I like Royal Navy and Radar. With Royal Navy you can get 4DD on UK1, with Radar and Combined Arms UK has a powerful Navy against Germany.

    For US I like Reinforced Carriers and Tech Investment.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Yea, Convoy Raiding Damage is huge!  It may seem like only 8 IPC here or there, but it adds up over time and those submarines have to be targeted with 10 IPC destroyers (which have to be built, moved into position, SURVIVE THE ENEMY, and then attack!)

    And CRD (Convoy Raiding Damage) is in addition to any Strategic Bombing Runs you may attempt!  (That means E. USA can, technically, sustain 36 IPC in damage.  12 from CRD, 12 from Japanese Bombing Runs and 12 more from German Bombing Runs.)


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