Play balance in AA50 / Bids



  • @Imperious:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_production_during_World_War_II#GDP_-_Gross_domestic_product

    Timerovers numbers are way off. Total allied ratio of economic military might was about a consistent 2:1

    Germany at 412 USA at 1094 in 1941  so for every German IPC ( lets use 30) multiply 2.65 to get American values= 79 IPC and NOT 124

    Hmm… so if they set Germany at 30, US at 79, what would UK/Japan/USSR be set to?


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    you just make a ratio based on the values. it cant take too long to figure out.

    and BTW the totals do not include conquests. you will have to buy the book or find one of my earlier posts where i typed everything out a few years back on this site.



  • @Imperious:

    If I were WOTC, I would have brought 5 copies, basically shut down the revised mega, and let everyone play the new game. Massive feedback with new and experienced gamers all at once, and all costing you nothing.

    Bravo to this!

    If i was there i would be likely yelling at the WOTC freeks using perfect ‘Gordon Ramsey style’ vocabulary. I would have demanded answers and given them the riot act of being such idiots…and probably got tossed out of the convention.

    IL

    Let me know when and where the next convention you are going to is.  I want to bring a big tub of popcorn and a folding chair and watch.  :evil:

    LT



  • Imperious Leader, kindly cite your sources.  Also, you are citing 1941 data, which means that the US is severely undervalued at the start of the game, thereby biasing it towards the Axis.  My 124 is based on US production in late 1943/early 1944.  The US economy was still mobilizing in 1941, and to be more historically accurate, should be increasing steadily in military production throughout the game.

    Variant, my data reflects all of the German conquests.  The British data does not reflect production in Canada, Australia, or India, especially Canada which was producing a fair number of ASW escorts by 1943.  Britain was producing 4-engine heavy bombers when Germany had basicallty stopped producing any bombers, and Britain was adding to its surface fleet, ASW forces, and amphibious forces throught the war.  How many surface ships did Germany complete after 1941?  How many 4-engine bombers did Germany build after 1941?  How large an amphibious force did Germany build after 1941?  For part of its production, the UK was dependent upon US steel imports.  I fail to see why that is a factor in your complaints.  By 1943, the US was building merchant ships faster than the U-boats could have sunk them, even it the U-boats had not been defeated in May of 1943.

    Based on the US Strategic Bombing Survey, Pacific Division, analysis of the Japanese wartime economy,  the Japanese economy was about one-tenth that of the United States.  In Kogun, written by a Japanese Army IGHQ staff oficer, “Just before the commencement of the Pacific War [i.e. December, 1941], Japan had developed a productivie capacity which enabled her to manufacture about 3,500 military aircraft and 1,200 tanks per year.”

    Based on what has been said elsewhere, Japanese production is nearly half that of the US.
    How much more bias in favor of the Axis do you want?



  • @squirecam:

    If I were WOTC, I would have brought 5 copies, basically shut down the revised mega, and let everyone play the new game. Massive feedback with new and experienced gamers all at once, and all costing you nothing.

    Exactly!

    And I was just certain they would have play tested this one to the max after what happened last time. With Revised the fanbase rewrote the rulebook right after the release. And I just read in a different thread here where Larry said everything was locked in on the Anniversary Ed. by April 08. Crap.

    Well of course they do playtest “internally” and, I don’t know what it is that makes the difference but the internal playtesting never seems to bear out quite the same results as what the advanced players here and elsewhere can come up with. It probably comes down to the fact that we try everything.

    So no paid playtest group is ever going to be able to touch the amount of time and variability that a forum board or tournament following is able to offer. It’s a shame WOC didn’t approach it that way. 5 sets going full bore at GenCon would have provided such valuable insight and feedback.

    Hmm… bomber damage on IC’s seems extremely strong and subs and destroyers seem extremely cheap. Too cheap? Too strong? Too this? Not enough that? Well with or without our feedback we the fanbase will soon know. It’s kinda like 2004 all over again. ~ZP



  • timerover51, this is a strategy game, not a history book. The only bias in game design is when one side is more powerful than the other.

    Plus, IPC and IPC cost is abstract and covers many aspects including technology, production cost, etc. A British Mark IV tank doesn’t cost the same to produce as a German Tiger II nor does it have the same performance.



  • @variant:

    timerover51, this is a strategy game, not a history book. The only bias in game design is when one side is more powerful than the other.

    Plus, IPC and IPC cost is abstract and covers many aspects including technology, production cost, etc. A British Mark IV tank doesn’t cost the same to produce as a German Tiger II nor does it have the same performance.

    Excellent idea. Make the German tanks cost more to produce.  And eliminate Japanese tank production completely, because they basically stopped building tanks in any large number shortly after the war started.  And if we factor in technology, then every Fletcher-class destroyer would be rated an antiair cruiser, as the British did when one of their older cruisers was given what was essentially a Fletcher’s armament and fire control system.  You might want to look up HMS Delhi.  As for technology, production costs, and production rates, I have quite a bit of official data on that.  I am not sure that you would like it.

    As for game bias, the IPC production given the Axis clearly bias the game in the Axis favor.  That was done to make the game marketable, not historically accurate.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Yes and make the German tanks more effective as well to represent doctrine, leadership, and tactical enhancements over her enemies.

    Make the Soviet infantry defend at 1

    Make UK tanks attack and defend at 2 and also cost more

    allow US infantry to move 2 spaces

    and American transports cost 6 IPC



  • Don’t forget to change German arty to represent Dora :evil:



  • Germany’s and Japan’s fighters should attack at 4 (and maybe defend at 5) to represent the Mitsubishi A6M Zero and Focke-Wulf Fw 190.



  • @variant:

    Germany’s and Japan’s fighters should attack at 4 (and maybe defend at 5) to represent the Mitsubishi A6M Zero and Focke-Wulf Fw 190.

    Yup, all these historical adjustments to different units of different nationalities are precisely why A&A is a strategy game, not a history book (unless you use house rules to make it so, which you can).  The number of units, IPCs, etc., are all abstractions to present a WWII scenario in a fun, playable format.



  • @variant:

    Germany’s and Japan’s fighters should attack at 4 (and maybe defend at 5) to represent the Mitsubishi A6M Zero and Focke-Wulf Fw 190.

    Given the poor armament of the Japanese Zero, two 7.7mm machine guns and two slow-firing 20mm cannon, attacking at 2 might be more accurate.  As for the Focke-Wulf, with an armament of two 13mm machine guns, two 30mm and two 20mm cannon, plus in some variants, four 20mm cannon in underwing pods, they did shoot down Allied bombers on 17% of their passes, US Strategic Bombing Survey figures, but were also quite unmanueverable and needed the cover of the ME-109s to protect them against fighter escorts.  However, that is more suited to a tactical game like Guadalcanal than a strategic game.

    American Battleships and Aircraft Carriers should defend against air attack at 5 if you wish to be more accurate historically.  Allied destroyers should after two or three turns in a game attack submarines on a 4 to reflect the use of the Hedgehog and Squid ahead-thrown ASW weapons.  Allied patrol bombers should be able to attack submarines without a destroyer being present to reflect the development and use of sonobouys and air-dropped homing torpedoes and Magnetic Anomaly Detectors.  Japanese ships should defend at 1 against air attack given their very poor antiaircraft performance and batteries.  Aside from the Kaga and Akagi, carriers should defend against surface attack at 2, more like one of the A&A50 destroyers.  Then there is the use of incendiary bombs, roughly 5 times more effective than HE bombs against burnable targets, like Japan.  You have massive improvement in air to ground weaponry with the use of rockets, napalm, phosphorus bombs, massive machine gun batteries and airborne cannon on the B-25 Mitchell, and the use of parafrag and parademo bombs.  The Germans and the US both developed and used radio-controlled bombs against pinpoint targets.

    There are all sorts of things that you could add to the game.  Just depends on how far that you want to go.  Not sure about the US transports for 6 IPC though.  One IPC, one million man hours buys you 5 Liberty or Victory ships, so 8 IPC would buy you 40.  Given that the US basically built enough merchant ships in WW2 to totally replace all losses, as a rough guess, need to look this up for more accurate data, say 6000 ships, that would equate to about 1200 IPC, 8 X 150.  Assuming the US gets 45 IPC average, that would be close to 30 turns of nothing but transports being built.  Since the US did build a lot of other equipment, might be easier just to give the US and automatic build of two transports per turn like in Xeno’s Pacific at War game.  Actually, you would need to give the US 4 transports per turn to reflect the East and the West Coast.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Well Japanese fighters from her 2 carriers should be at 4 against warships to reflect the trained superiority of her pilots performing torpedo runs, but if she loses original carriers based planes, future fighters are lower value. You can use planes from Milton Bradley edition to represent this asset.

    Also Japanese warships could get a +1 for the first few turns to represent better night fighting


  • 2007 AAR League

    This discussion went totally out of hand 😞
    Please refrain from posting longwinding texts concerning what transpired in the actual war. That goes for all of you  🙂
    This is a discussion thread concerning BIDS in the GAME AA50, please!

    I think this post by Variant  was constructive at least.

    @variant:

    The Axis is gimped.

    Japan will not be able to help Germany on Russia’s front.
    Italy is entirely too weak and is nothing but a weak link in the Axis.
    Italy splits up Germany’s IPCs.
    Italy’s splits up Germany’s original forces, especially naval.
    Italy only has a lousy 10 IPCs.
    Italy has no transport and will be unable to ship anything to Africa to fix their IPC deficient status for at least a turn.
    Italy’s IPC deficient status railroads them into an immediate expansion for IPCs.

    We won’t know just how much Axis is hurting until we see Germany’s and Japan’s starting IPCs.

    Also , IL had some thoughts on bidding , before the thread went OT :

    @Imperious:

    yes and considering the Germans or Japanese play first in either scenario it stands to reason that the setup could not withstand any additional pieces because it was configured based on axis going first and if they had like a extra plane it could make a huge difference on play balance down the road. And i don’t think the allies need any help.

    Id like to make a further prediction that these bonus IPC for national conquest idea can alternately be exchanged for victory points and a number of victory points assign to win the game can be ‘purchased’ with these or any IPC not spent…sort of like how they treated the Japaneses in AAP ( every 10 IPC that turn gained one VP).

    As for myself, I think the bid system in AA50 will look exactly like in Revised. You bid a number of starting Units/IPCs before G1.
    IL think that the changed Play Order (in which Axis goes first) would make bidding units for the Axis impossible. I can’t really see that, since no Axis territory borders Moscow any more. So if Axis gets a number of Infs or Ftrs before G1, they can’t really do much harm with that?

    I think the bid levels will be slightly higher than in Revised (12-15 ipcs maybe), and the units will be used to place in LIB (just like in Revised) and secure EGY on Axis1. I’m leaning on thinking the bid units should go to Italy rather than Germany - since LIB is an Italian territory AFAIK, and not German.

    Any thoughts on that?

    …and please DON’T post "it’s ahistorical to add up 4-5 ITA Inf in LIB prior to play, because yada-yada.
    You are welcome to (and I expect you to  😄 )  thrash my thoughts, but do so from a Game Perspective, not a Historical Perspective  🙂


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Ok purely on game balance i feel the bid is too antiquated . I would rather make things more special to and not “lay the cards on the table” before the game starts.

    Examples:

    1. Give the axis 1 free researcher to start.

    2)adjust the bonus that one axis nation receives to 10 IPC from 5 IPC ( this would depend on a larger imbalance). This would also make the allies wonder who is getting the extra till its too late to counter effectively. The allies would have to try to counter all bonus opportunities for the axis player. I think this adds something.

    1. another option is reintroduce NA’s (under house rules) I will be doing that as everybody can figure.

    2. allowing Germany to control the Italian units in Libya ONLY would make sence and not really introduce radical changes, The Africa Korps controlled Italian troops under Rommel followed by Kesselring. Im speaking about 1941 scenario specifically or you can just say: Germany control X amount IPC of Italian troops at any given time.

    3. another option is to bring in economic victory conditions and bid from the established medium. So if its 85 total Axis IPC, you bid you can do it in 87, followed by the other side saying 89 etc…

    some of these are HISTORICAL and thats not a bad thing as long as its reasonable.



  • Since Perry quoted this post, let us go back and look at it more closely.

    @variant:

    The Axis is gimped.

    Japan will not be able to help Germany on Russia’s front.
    Italy is entirely too weak and is nothing but a weak link in the Axis.
    Italy splits up Germany’s IPCs.
    Italy’s splits up Germany’s original forces, especially naval.
    Italy only has a lousy 10 IPCs.
    Italy has no transport and will be unable to ship anything to Africa to fix their IPC deficient status for at least a turn.
    Italy’s IPC deficient status railroads them into an immediate expansion for IPCs.

    We won’t know just how much Axis is hurting until we see Germany’s and Japan’s starting IPCs.

    Do the designers hate the Axis or what?

    Having spent a lot of time looking at what might be set up boards on Boardgamegeek, specifically this one, http://boardgamegeek.com/image/362552?size=original, Italy has one transport to go with the Battleship and two cruisers in the Med, so moving two units per turn to Africa is not a problem.  As for splitting up Germany’s naval forces, the forces in the Med were Italian in origin, not German, and with Italy now as a player, revert to Italian control.

    Just curious, how many of those of you who play Axis really plan on having an italian player?  With no Italian player, Germany is going to control those units, and IPCs. If there is no Italian player, aside from having a work a bit harder coordinating attacks in North Africa, I am not sure how I see that this hurts the Axis that much.  With no Italian player, basically all Italy will be is a slightly more powerful version of China, controlled by Germany.

    We know that National Advantages are going to give IPC to each player, and it looks like there will be more IPC going to the Axis than the Allies, which to some degree takes care of your bidding IPC.  That, of course, requires much more complete information on the game.

    German loss of IPC to Italy:  Given that we will soon have Italian units to use, I have been looking at adding Italy to A&A Europe, expanding that in a similar way to what I have done with A&A Pacific.  In that addition, Germany will loose 8 IPC to Italy and its territories.  I make up the loss fairly easily from elsewhere, and keep Germany at its 40 starting IPC in the Europe game.  Without seeing the board clearly, it is hard to determine where to make up the losses to Italy from, but Bulgaria-Romania (Romanian oil and the Ploesti refineries) and  Czechoslovakia-Hungary are two obvious areas for boosting slightly.  I get Italy up to 15/16 depending on how many sea zones are controlled.

    Considering my attitude toward the Axis, if I find it not hard to get German IPCs back up, I find it hard to believe that some of the forum is not going to come up with IPC boosts to get Germany back to 40.  However, I have also boosted the Allies in the Europe game by the same proportion, so as to keep IPC balanced.

    As for Japan not helping Germany, that simply makes the game a bit more historical.  Aside from the Japanese Army having no desire to tackle Russia after having the Japanese 23rd Infantry Division mangled at Nomanhan/Khalkin-Gol in 1939, Siberia and further east did not have the resources that the Japanese needed so very badly.  One resource in particular being oil, which was available in the Dutch East Indies and Borneo.  The need for resources to assist in finishing up the “China Incident” was the driving force in Japan’s decision for war, not any concept of helping Germany.  Taking advantage of German success, yes, actually thinking about helping Germany, no.  It looks like the game is simply reflecting that.  If that bothers the Axis players, I am certain that you will come up with something to deal with the issue.  However, it will have to be a house rule, and not part of the Out of Box rules.  Most players are going to use the OOB rules.

    As for the designers at Wizards/AH that made the final rules decisions, they may have decided that making sure the Allies have a good chance at winning is good marketing.  Given that the primary market is going to be in the US, I would tend to agree with that decision.  I know that I have no problems with it.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Great - now this discussion is on track again  🙂
    I can’t understand why you feel that “the bid is too antiquated”. What bid are you talking about? The “Place units before Gamestart”-type of bid? Would it be antiquated on some perceived historical ground or what? Just curious.

    Otherwise I’ll answer  each of your suggestions in turn:

    1) Give the axis 1 free researcher to start.
    Do you think League & Tournament play will be played using Tech? Under 2ndED and AAR, all League, Club, Tourneys that I know of , have been no-tech.

    For social/friendly games, sure, but other than that, I think this suggestions would be ruled out

    2)adjust the bonus that one axis nation receives to 10 IPC from 5 IPC ( this would depend on a larger imbalance). This would also make the allies wonder who is getting the extra till its too late to counter effectively. The allies would have to try to counter all bonus opportunities for the axis player. I think this adds something.

    This, I think was the best option around…Yes, I can see this happen…
    A bit hard to see how the bid process would look like though…

    Player1: “I’ll take the Axis, if all Axis Victory National Bonuses are increased from 5 to 10”
    Player1: “I’ll take the Axis, if all Axis Victory National Bonuses are increased from 5 to 9”
    …and so forth…

    Or how do you envision the bid process around this really?

    3) another option is reintroduce NA’s (under house rules) I will be doing that as everybody can figure.

    Same with NA’s , as with Tech, really. Can’t see it happen in Tourneys/Club play

    4) allowing Germany to control the Italian units in Libya ONLY would make sence and not really introduce radical changes, The Africa Korps controlled Italian troops under Rommel followed by Kesselring. Im speaking about 1941 scenario specifically or you can just say: Germany control X amount IPC of Italian troops at any given time.

    This breaks some basic principles in the game , I think (a nation controlling another nations units). Therefore I can’t see this become generally accepted , really

    5) another option is to bring in economic victory conditions and bid from the established medium. So if its 85 total Axis IPC, you bid you can do it in 87, followed by the other side saying 89 etc…

    The economic victory conditons stinks IMHO  🙂
    It always felt like a rather half-assed way to win a grand game of Axis & Allies… The game is about claiming capitals dammit  🙂



  • I am looking at the National Bonus Objective as a way for balancing the game.

    First possibility is that they are a built in balancing feature. If Axis players feel that they need more IPCs they may focus more on the bonuses.

    Furhtermore there is another idea that is spinning in my mind. Bidding National Bonus (BNB)!

    Using National bonuses for balacing allowing only a certain number of them in play. I should be possible to start the bidding phase considering the game without any bonuses, and then each player bid a single bonus or a set of bonus. Supposing that the game has “linked” bonuses (otherwise palyer may link them in some way) each time a player announces he would use an Axis bonus objective the corresponding Allied bonus objective is also available. Bonuses are evaluated baing on the IPC value. Maybe a difficulty factor may be introduced.
    Not sure about this but is an idea I am wondering about. What do you guy think of it?

    Edit: maybe the bidding should be better done resigning the bonus objective?


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I think Bidding is less important in A50 because the axis go first (for the most part) and adding more units will compound the kill zone for axis players and violate the balance.

    Its one thing to give a side thats playing second, AND has less to work with extra pieces to support against all those peeps running simulations on all sorts of allied attacks against helpless targets…

    But its another thing to give the side with much greater positional advantage in AA50 extra pieces AND the ability to move first ( again for the most part).

    Id like to see something more creative to give the weaker side a boost, but perhaps a hidden or undisclosed boost.

    Heres another Idea:

    The axis player starts off with X IPC.

    Each turn the axis team gets one IPC to add to this fund

    If at any point in the game the axis player draws on the fund, he must withdraw all of it and he no longer gets any more funds.

    The funds can be split up in any way players choose and the pieces placed immediately on the map at any time. Your turn or other player.

    Now thats out of the box idea.

    Example:

    Axis bid 2 IPC…they keep the fund going till turn 7…so they have 9 IPC “in the bank”

    they decide to place one German, Italian, and Japanese Infantry in various locations prior to start of movement.

    So the decision is to have a small “rainy day fund” that comes as a little surprise or to support a mistake you made in the game like leaving a bomber alone to be attacked.

    Hows that idea?



  • I think the national objectives will be easier for the axis to get in the first couple rounds and not so easy to get for the allies. Getting this extra income earlier than the allies will essentially be the axis bid. The game at the end of round 2 will be up for grabs.

    Even though I haven’t seen all the objectives the ones that give 10 ipc bonuses seem too much(time will tell). If there’s one area of the game that could be changed with house rules it’s the reward. We could reduce the bonuses by half so the game is not completely tilted if you get your objectives but more like a big nudge in the right direction. Or maybe they are fine as is 😄



  • Thats a really good idea IL it also could represents things that are normally abtracted in A&A



  • I am beginning to wonder if the Heavy Bomber rule that has some people bent so out of shape is in there to compensate for the large boost that attaining National Objectives gives the Axis.  As a guess, it is going to be easier for the Axis to attain their objectives, and more productive to them than for the Allies to attain their objectives, which do not appear to give them anywhere the same boost.


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