Game balance



  • I’m not so familiar with other AA variants than Classic and Revised, so I leave those out in this discussion, and also Classic is the original, Revised is a much better version of the classic AA game, so AA50 will be a much better game than Revised, probably. Other versions are kind of different games with different philosophy implemented in the premises of those who designed the other AA variants.

    Classic needed about 20-25 (or even more) ipc’s to axis in a pre-placed bid to balance the game, Revised needs about 7-9 ipc, depending on wheather grouping the bids are allowed. How high bid will axis need in AA50 to balance the two sides??  :? :roll:
    Remember that without the preplace rules the AAR bids would probably be about 15-20 ipc’s  😄

    Personally, I hope for 3 ipc (or less) this time, but I’m almost willing to bet money to state the claim that AA50 will not be balanced enough.
    Accaptable balance is imo less than 3 ipc, so this would mean that one side can buy more units rnd 1, but with only 1 or 2 ipc (hypothetically) there will be no pre-placed bids in AA50.
    Balance is only one factor though, but it’s an important issue to get right when AA50 is launched.

    How many of you really think that there will be no need for bids in AA50???


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

    I think something more clever needs to be done to balance games. I prefer something that has more dynamic in choice because giving the side that moves first even more pieces can really bug out the games setup. I prefer a secret bonus of assigning extra IPC to getting one of those bonus territory groups, or something else, than straight extra toys to overkill with.



  • I think that with the IPC bonuses, the game should be more balanced. The Axis bonuses are more easily obtained than the Allied bonuses.



  • There will be bids.  No game like this is perfectly balanced.  Especially given the track record…

    Classic:  Large Axis bid, 15-22 IPC
    Revised:  Axis bid, 7-9 IPC
    D-Day:  Allied bid, unsure typical bid
    Europe:  Allied bid, ~10 IPC (?)
    Pacific:  Allied bid, at least 12 IPC, alternative starting placement, require more Japanese victory points (I believe 2 more, plus all these other changes, is considered perfect balance for this game)
    Bulge, Guadalcanal:  Relatively balanced, I don’t think there is significant bidding

    Since this game adds so many new things, I can’t imagine balance, especially in both scenarios, being close to perfect.  I predict about 9 IPC to play as Axis in both scenarios.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    In about 6 months from the time it first hits the shelves, it will start to become clear what the ‘winning’ strategies for either side are.

    A few months after that (once the game is picked up by the PBEM and TripleA crowds) we should get a better sense of how deadly the best strats really are. Game brakers will need to be addressed first, then all the expirimental strats teased out.

    After a year we should know approximately what sort of bid is needed.

    I think its pretty unniversaly agreed upon now, that Revised requires a bid of 8 or 9 pre-placement in order for the Axis to have a real chance. I think most conservative players favor the North Africa bid, because nothing sucks harder than losing in Egypt. Bids on the Eastern Front are not uncommon, or for an extra Axis transport, but Africa is still the most popular by far. I think that’s what its going to come down to here as well…

    Which battle in the first round is the most critical for the Axis, and will a bid be needed to ensure that the battle goes as it should?
    Seems to be how the bidding process has worked in previous versions.



  • @Subotai:

    I’m not so familiar with other AA variants than Classic and Revised, so I leave those out in this discussion, and also Classic is the original, Revised is a much better version of the classic AA game, so AA50 will be a much better game than Revised, probably. Other versions are kind of different games with different philosophy implemented in the premises of those who designed the other AA variants.

    Classic needed about 20-25 (or even more) ipc’s to axis in a pre-placed bid to balance the game, Revised needs about 7-9 ipc, depending on wheather grouping the bids are allowed. How high bid will axis need in AA50 to balance the two sides??   :? :roll:
    Remember that without the preplace rules the AAR bids would probably be about 15-20 ipc’s  😄

    Personally, I hope for 3 ipc (or less) this time, but I’m almost willing to bet money to state the claim that AA50 will not be balanced enough.
    Accaptable balance is imo less than 3 ipc, so this would mean that one side can buy more units rnd 1, but with only 1 or 2 ipc (hypothetically) there will be no pre-placed bids in AA50.
    Balance is only one factor though, but it’s an important issue to get right when AA50 is launched.

    How many of you really think that there will be no need for bids in AA50???

    Until we physically have the game in our hands for a little while, it will be very hard to say, especially if you have a true multiplayer game with 3 Axis players, with Italy independent of Germany.  I suspect that there will be a difference for the Axis between having one, two, or three players.  As for balancing the game, I think that I will adapt the Random Event Cards that I have worked up for A&A Pacific, Europe, and am working on for Classic and Revised to try for balance if that is really needed.



  • I for one wish that the game is fairly unbalanced! This game should run in favor of the Allies, as per history. The strategic and tactical difficulties the Axis must work against are the challenges that I relish whenever playing either Germany or Japan (and now Italy!).  Unfortunately, it seems that the Axis nations have relatively high incomes when compared to the Allies, which could lead to this game running as more of a prolonged war of attrition rather than having the Axis nations ‘race against the clock,’ before the Allied war machine gets into gear. Also, the extra comparative income could possibly make the game rather forgiving to an Axis player who makes a few purchasing or tactical mistakes- a privilege that has traditionally been held by the Allies, most notably the USA, who should in my opinion, have an income somewhere in the range of 80-100… but that is entirely beside the point.

    In any case, I probably shouldn’t be griping about this game- it probably rocks hard. I can’t wait until October.

    Any Axis win is one too many!



  • We should play with OOB rules about 6 months or until we see some thing is utterly unbalanced. No bids until then. Then will know if the game is balanced for PBM game.



  • Some time ago we played a friendly game of A&A revised.

    I told them Japan allways becomes large. Since I (the most experienced) player played japan, UK and USA decided to put all preasure on japan. One thing I can say from that experience is that the game IS a lot more fun for all parties if the game is played as it should, UK and USA fighting both in europe and the pacific.  I hope the new version forces you to fight that way, but I fear you can still ignore Japan.



  • Not that I’m a great gamer, but “game BALANCE” is nothing more than making the start of the game as equal as possible.  Chess is a perfectly balanced game.

    The more “historical” a game is, the less balanced it should be, for one, the map of the world is not a collection of perfect black and white squares devided equally between everyone that lives on earth and the geology adds tons more issues as far as resources are concerned and every nation is deferent…human…yes…but different.

    So if this is a “historical game” (I’m pretty sure it is)  :oops: it should be “unbalanced”. I don’t see how there could not be a need for a bid in some way shape or form to balance the game, but, as its been stated several times already, until the game is in our hot little hands, this is all guess work.  We will have to wait and see.

    I for one cant wait to see!



  • A&a is very histroical and true

    @Admiral:

    Also, the extra comparative income could possibly make the game rather forgiving to an Axis player who makes a few purchasing or tactical mistakes- a privilege that has traditionally been held by the Allies, most notably the USA, who should in my opinion, have an income somewhere in the range of 80-100… but that is entirely beside the point.

    In any case, I probably shouldn’t be griping about this game- it probably rocks hard. I can’t wait until October.

    Any Axis win is one too many!

    BUT 80-100 ok listen hard u.s.a should b weaker income then germany i think that the only reason why its so high for u.s.a. usa gam omg no way lol

    but besides that ur to far off usa should keep the same income and in (a&ae usa starts with crap for a reason)
    So i think it might need bids dependign on the player also i think for the axis side aa little forgiving is ok expecially for italy

    my qoute “Evil always wins thats why the Allies won ww2” somethign Hitler would say



  • If Historical requirements were needed, I would say that America’s income should start low, but they get a bonus for every round that passes.  That would simulate that the Axis must either crush Russia and the pacific fast, or let America bail the allies out.  But I’m fine with how it is.

    I agree that revised is MUCH more fun when the Allies attack the Pacific.  Enhanced forces Pacific fighting, which is cool.  I usually exchange bidding for Pacific involvement… instead of getting an Axis bid, the Allies must pay attention to the Pacific (implement some house rule if need be, like, if Japan’s income raises above 40 IPC, that counts as a victory, or something… just to keep it fun).  It’s usually more fun that way IMO.  Fortunately in most friendly face to face games, the Allies go island hopping just because we are playing to have fun, and ending the game with a 70+ IPC Japan squaring off against a 60 IPC America and 50 IPC Britain, with all of Europe and Russia conquered, is very long and boring.  If the Allies go for the southeast Pacific, it is worth 12 IPC (including Okinawa), that is enough to get Japan’s attention typically.



  • @Rakeman:

    If Historical requirements were needed, I would say that America’s income should start low, but they get a bonus for every round that passes.  That would simulate that the Axis must either crush Russia and the pacific fast, or let America bail the allies out.  But I’m fine with how it is.

    Yeah, that is kind of what I was getting at with an ‘80-100 IPC America,’ Rakeman. Starting them off with something low (like 20-30), then increasing by a given amount for a given number of turns. It would still give the  Axis a chance, but at the same time, grounding the game in reality somewhat. The United States massively out-produced everyone on the planet during WWII. I just wish A&A would reflect that a bit more.  😞



  • @Admiral:

    @Rakeman:

    If Historical requirements were needed, I would say that America’s income should start low, but they get a bonus for every round that passes.  That would simulate that the Axis must either crush Russia and the pacific fast, or let America bail the allies out.  But I’m fine with how it is.

    Yeah, that is kind of what I was getting at with an ‘80-100 IPC America,’ Rakeman. Starting them off with something low (like 20-30), then increasing by a given amount for a given number of turns. It would still give the  Axis a chance, but at the same time, grounding the game in reality somewhat. The United States massively out-produced everyone on the planet during WWII. I just wish A&A would reflect that a bit more.  😞

    In 1941, a 20 IPC America wouldn’t be too bad.  Make an allied objective “Gain +10 IPC for every round that has passed (Max = 60)”. This would start at 0, so first turn income would be 20, then 30, then …… then 80.   Or +15, I don’t know.  A problem with this, however, is that it would devalue the mainland territories permanently in IPC.  Perhaps the following:

    America has 40 IPC income (close to revised).  The bonus is restated, “Gain +10 IPC for every round that has passed (Max = 60).  You start the game with -20 income from this bonus.”

    America’s strength, after all, was the economy (times have changed I guess…  :|)


  • '10

    I dont like bids. They are not necessary.

    I liked they way Larry designed and balanced the A&a games. …and I played my first MB boardgame Axis & Allies 18 years ago.

    I’m shure he did a great job on A&A50.

    I already preordered the game.



  • @marechallannes:

    I dont like bids. They are not necessary.

    If you always play allies then bids are not necessary if you like to win and if the opponent is okay with losing.
    Or the opposite, if you play axis and prefer losing most of your games then it’s perfectly ok of course. Most people play for fun, even if I think it’s more fun when I’m winning.


  • '10

    I prefer a “good game”.

    I dont need to win every time.

    Not with a boardgame that lasts 6 - 7 hours….

    It is correct that the axis have a disadvantage. Stronger players like the axis.

    If you are playing with low-luck-rules in tournaments and use everytime the same strategy - the you need bids.



  • @marechallannes:

    I prefer a “good game”.

    I dont need to win every time.

    Not with a boardgame that lasts 6 - 7 hours….

    It is correct that the axis have a disadvantage. Stronger players like the axis.

    If you are playing with low-luck-rules in tournaments and use everytime the same strategy - the you need bids.

    I will agree, my friends and I just put the better players on Axis.  Plus, we make sure to use new strategies, so that we catch the other people off guard.  It is a game after all.

    I do use bids in online play and if the weaker player really wants to try Axis, or if we are holding a little grudge match  😄



  • Bid has nothing to do with LL or ADS. I play to win every game i play, but I think it’s difficult to win more than I lose, so I prefer to use same strats that are used by the best players usually, and so I always use KGF, but every game is different even with KGF.
    Chess has 32 pieces on the board, AAR has about 200 units….every single game is different!

    Some people think that LL or ADS favors either the axis or the allies, this is BS! Bid level for most players is around 8-9 ipc regardless of ADS or LL.


  • '10

    by the way…

    Is there a difference between the starting income and the contries IPC values in the 41 scenario?
    (like XENOS world at war)

    I can’t believe that UK starts with 43 IPCs!

    From the fact sheet:
    _Order of play:

    • Germany, Russia, Japan, UK, Italy, US in '41.

    The IPC values for -41 scenario should be:
    Germany 31  (+ 5 IPC bonus controlled at-start)
    Soviet Union 30 (+ 5 IPC bonus controlled at-start)
    Japan 17 (+5 IPC bonus controlled at-start)
    UK 43
    Italy 10 (+5 IPC bonus controlled at-start)
    US/China 40 (+ 5 IPC bonus controlled at-start), China produces 1 free inf for each two Chinese territories controlled at the start of US turn.

    IPC balance (bonuses included, 2 inf worth of China inf):
    Axis: 73, Allies: 129._



  • if i was germany id send forces to afrika and crush gbs ipcs jsut to cream em.

    also i was doing something about saying destroy ipcs b4 taking territory



  • I agree completely that underdog games can be fun but I believe that at least for tourney play a balancing act is necessary.

    If flat IPC bonuses are boring there are alternatives…

    You can make existing national objectives easier or more rewarding for the underdog team.

    You can also create new ones that give the game even more historic flavor.  One that I used for classic A&A is that Japan got 1 IPC for each unit it had within 2 territories of West United states (including forces aboard transports).

    You can also give the underdogs a free tech, or free tech rolls.

    You can also enact restrictions, for instance: Russia cannot attack Japan until Japan attacks them first.



  • House Rules!

    They always add flare like what you were saying attack on russia only formidable until japan attacks them which would be really historical and maybe making territories like “midway” worth an ipc for the axis and not for the allies love house rules like that


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