How to re-balance the -41 Scenario (team effort!)


  • @HolKann:

    How about inventing some nice Allied counter strategies to the KRF (kill Russia first) ? They haven’t been all tried yet, have they? So no, I’m not convinced the Axis got a '41 auto win…

    If the USA is active in the Pacific then THAT IS a counter to KRF. Japan cannot ignore USA. Getting the USA active in Pacific should be the game designers main goal. They tried but they failed and this time it’s worse than ever.

  • Moderator

    I still think it is too early to tell.

    It is going to come down to the play of Japan.
    If Japan is routinely ignored by the US while Russia is almost always getting killed by a G/I/J 1-2-3 then that would tell me that the US can’t ignore Japan and thus you are forced to have at least some Pacific action.  But if the US can ignore Japan while Germany still falls way before Moscow then we could have the same old same old.

    I do think, in this case (US ignore Japan), that Capital trades may become a possibility, G and I for Russia, it which case if there was no US Pac presence I think Japan (with Cauc and Mos) may be able to either take Wus or Liberate either Rome or Berlin meaning Capital trade is good for the Axis (if Japan is left alone).  Again, this would all eventually lead to the Allied players realizing you just can’t afford to leave Japan alone b/c even if Europe falls they can continue to fight on quite well earning 75-95 ipcs.  But we simply need more games to be played to determine how big of a threat Japan can be when left alone.

    The problem, and IMO there is no way around this, is the game is a land based game.  You need land units to take Capitals, period.  Germany and Russia are essentially the only countries where you don’t have to every worry about buying a ship.  So a country earning 30 (all land units) equals a country earning say 40-45 (where you need to buy not only trns but ships to protect the trns).
    Thus Germany and Russia are going to dictate the game pace.  If they both come out guns blazing it really leaves their Allies no choice but to come to their aid, this requires UK/US to shuck to Europe and Japan to press Moscow from the East.

    Now in AA50, due to the increased distance form Japan to Moscow, it may turn out that to better aid Germany you don’t need to spend the 6-7 turns to get to Moscow, you can spend the 2-3 turns and trade Ala/Hi and directly threaten the US.  In turn this could force the US to come up with some type of Pac strat, but we just need more time to see how games really play out.


  • My 2 cents worth on re-balancing.

    I’ve played AA50 several times and agree with many comments that the Axis (Japanese) are way over powered.  Godzilla rules.  (As a background, I have been playing AA since the 1981 Nova Edition).  The main problem I see is that the Japanese navy starts way oversized in relation to the USN, which at the start of the war was larger than the IJN (except in fleet carriers, where the Japanese had 6 and the US  5, plus the training of pilots and the zero for the first year in the war).  Remember that Japanese naval ascendancy during the war lasted less than 6 months.

    Also, the US should be the Arsenal of Democracy and be the industrial giant of the war, not the Japanese.

    Minor issue with the weakness of the British RN versus the Italian/ German fleets.  What’s missing is the RN fleet based in Alexandria.  The automatic capture of Egypt by the Germans and Italians in the summer of 1941 shouldn’t be.  It should be possible but not easy.

    Suggested changes:

    1.  US  Sea Zone 44  Add 1 cruiser and 1 fighter
              Sea Zone 56    Add 1 cruiser
              Start with improved shipyards (even if not using technology)
              Start with War Bonds (even if not using technology)

    consider adding 1-3 Chinese infantry to the empty Chinese territories

    The IJN will still have a strong initial advantage, especially where they had it in the naval air arm.  The USN will at least have the opportunity to build a force to challenge the IJN.  As it stands now, why bother.  Hopefully this will allow a “global” war and encourage a strong US presence int he Pacific.

    2.  UK    Sea Zone 15  Add 1 Battleship and 1 DD.

    This will prevent the pretty much automatic capture of Egypt on turn 1.  The idea that the Germans could amphibiously assault Egypt in the summer of 41 is absurd.  The Italians will have to fight for it and won’t have shore bombardment on the first turn.

    3.  USSR  Russia add 1 Fighter.  The Red Airforce was significantly larger than the German Luftwaffe and even after losing much of their planes in the initial assault, they were numerically significant.

    4.  Germany.  Start with Increased Factory Production (even if not using technology).

    That’s it.

    Personnally I don’t see any issue with NO’s as they all seem pretty realistic to what those countries had as war time objectives.  I think they are a very nice touch to the game.


  • I think with those changes the Allies win easily. The US would dominate the Pacific and the Japanese probably wouldn’t really start getting active in Asia until trn 5, and thats if they can even get active in Asia.


  • 1-3 inf in empty chinese territories is not enough. China need to be a full power with a new setup able of resist J1 and India needs a IC and maybe a couple of units OR China full power and delete 2 jap trannies. That would balance the stuff.


  • I’m not convinced there’s a need to rebalance anything.

    If so, the only change I’d make is to put a fighter on India.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    If I were limited to one change, it would be to give Russia 1 fighter.  I mean common, they start the game with only ONE offensive piece on the board??  WTF is that?


  • @Cmdr:

    If I were limited to one change, it would be to give Russia 1 fighter.

    i agree 100%. their airforce may have sucked in the first half of the war, but Russia still had one


  • @Cmdr:

    If I were limited to one change, it would be to give Russia 1 fighter.  I mean common, they start the game with only ONE offensive piece on the board??  WTF is that?

    So I take it you do not think artillery is an offensive piece?
    The sub can be considered offensive too


  • After some thought the game actually is balanced. In AAR it was an allied advantage. In AA50 they have balanced the game (50-50 win) by making Japan stronger to counter the KGF strategy.

    The real question should be how do we make this a “GLOBAL WAR” and keep it balanced?

    A fighter in Russia does not make it a global war.

    I still stand by changing the NOs.


  • I honestly think about the only change that NEEDS to be done is move the Chinese fighter off the front lines.

    With NO’s Russia can quickly buy up the offensive pieces it lacks. The UK has plenty of money on the first turn if they want to buy an IC. I think if played correctly the US can challenge Japan and contribute in Europe. However as far as the Allies go China is basically free IPCs to Japan. they have a very limited means of resistance and for all purposes no means of attack. Never mind they cannot enter the territory that the Chinese Army actually contributed to liberating in the actual war.


  • @Flying:

    After some thought the game actually is balanced. In AAR it was an allied advantage. In AA50 they have balanced the game (50-50 win) by making Japan stronger to counter the KGF strategy.

    The real question should be how do we make this a “GLOBAL WAR” and keep it balanced?

    I disagree. The allied advantage in AAR was very slim (it vanished playing FTF with at least 4 players) and was possible a global war. 1941 gives monster advantage to axis (mainly Japan). It’s not possible a global war (Asia cannot be hold), only a USA Pacific strat that in fact is the only slim chance allies have to win with balanced skill players.

    1942 is another history, maybe India and China can survive, giving a global war and maybe a balanced gameplay.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    @allies_fly:

    @Cmdr:

    If I were limited to one change, it would be to give Russia 1 fighter.  I mean common, they start the game with only ONE offensive piece on the board??  WTF is that?

    So I take it you do not think artillery is an offensive piece?
    The sub can be considered offensive too

    If you want my honest opinion, no.  I have Artillery in my armies, but I also have transports.  Not exactly “offensive” but they can be used that way and they do make offensive engagements possible/stronger.

    To me you have the following:

    Infantry - Defensive
    Artillery - Neutral
    Armor, Fighters, Bombers - Offensive

    It’s just MY opinion now, I’m not saying YOU cannot see them as offensive, but in MY opinion, as humble as it is, they are not really offensive.

    As for the submarine, it’s a lame joke.  I’d trade it in a heartbeat for a fighter for Russia.  I mean common, they HAD fighters!  I remember reading about how they plated the propellers with armor so that they could chop up the tails of enemy fighters when they ran out of ammunition.  What, they had the propellers but no fighters?

    It’s a joke.  To be honest, Russia should have 4 fighters in 1941 and 1 fighter in 1942 to represent losses over the first year.  Not 0 fighters in 1941 and 2 fighters in 1942!


    I do agree that the Chinese fighter should be moved off the front line.  Gives China a chance to do something offensive for a change. (Remember, Japan can take out 3 Chinese Infantry, the Fighter and take 3 Chinese territories before China even moves.)

  • 2007 AAR League

    i think we will know more around feb or so

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Not much to know about China.  Round 1:  Japan takes out at least 75% of Chinese infantry and 100% of China’s air force (leaving them without an airforce for the entire game.)

    It’s almost like why have China?  Why not just give Japan +7 IPC on top of everything else they are going to get anyway.


  • @Cmdr:

    It’s almost like why have China?  Why not just give Japan +7 IPC on top of everything else they are going to get anyway.

    i think it’s set that way so if Japan does make its move towards China, then this gives the remaining allied territory some space for another turn or so. Japan attacking China can make all the difference in a UK IC build in the pacific (although that’s all covered in other threads)


  • Well….  Japan can run wild in China but Russia can still threaten Manchuria if Japan uses too many units.

    That was one person’s major beef with this version too.  He’s a historian and said that historically Japan had 80% of thier army in China in WW2.  In this game China is a speedbump and can barely defend itself.

    One change we made was China gets one unit per territory instead of 1 per 2.  Haven’t played it enough to see if I like it or not, but it seemed OK.


  • @Funcioneta:

    @Flying:

    After some thought the game actually is balanced. In AAR it was an allied advantage. In AA50 they have balanced the game (50-50 win) by making Japan stronger to counter the KGF strategy.

    The real question should be how do we make this a “GLOBAL WAR” and keep it balanced?

    I disagree. The allied advantage in AAR was very slim (it vanished playing FTF with at least 4 players) and was possible a global war. 1941 gives monster advantage to axis (mainly Japan). It’s not possible a global war (Asia cannot be hold), only a USA Pacific strat that in fact is the only slim chance allies have to win with balanced skill players.

    1942 is another history, maybe India and China can survive, giving a global war and maybe a balanced gameplay.

    I’ve read your post like 5 times and I think we are in agreement. AAR has advantage to allies, even if slim. A KGF strategy wins like what 80% of the time in AAR? Japan is weaker in AAR. Now in AA50 you have a much stronger Japan that “helps” to counter the KGF. I’m not saying it would always counter the KGF move but I have moved part of my Japanese fleet to the Med in 2 games so far and the Italian navy has survived long into the game. So if Italy buys a transport then you are going to conquer much of Africa AND pound Caucus EVERY ROUND. This is very effective but the fleet has to survive and Japan is key to this.

    So far I have played 4 games. Using the allies I am 1-0-1. Using the axis I am 2-0. I play my father in law who only has about 10% the experience as I do. He has beat me in AAR a couple times though.

    My beef with the game is not balance, it is the fact that I know I cannot be defeated by America if I am Japan. America could put 100% of her builds in the Pacific  and it will not begin to hurt me until probably round 5. By then the European theater has probably been decided. So why would America try to fight Japan? Maybe if it goes KGF then Europe will be conquered by round 4? I still think the Americans should get all their NO bonus from the Pacific and it should be increased to get them in the war quicker, this would also be more realistic. If the Americans go KGF then they should get no bonus and only have 38ipc to work with but if they put 80% into the Pacific, get their NOs, then producing 53ipcs or more should be the norm. Wouldn’t that give us a more historical war? With Japan’s strength in 1941 the USA should be producing more to make it fair.


  • Hmm… from what i’ve seen Russia can - with sufficient UK help - survive at least pretty long in the 1941 setup. Yesterday it took an experienced German player about 8 rounds to seriously threaten the first Russian IC (Caucasus). This was not due to Germany outbuilding Russia significantly, but rather to a swift armor movement from the Baltic to Eastern Ukrain (thereby sacrificing the Baltic to Russian troops), which forced Russia to give up their not too heavily defended Caucasus. Russia couldn’t take her ‘No allies’-bonus in this game, but this definitly didn’t paralize her.

    The axis - from a more general view - had a really hard time breaking the allied income. Yes, Japan becomes a monster early on, but they start from only 17ipc, meaning the US has at least two turns to undo her most important losses. The same goes for the UK, they can easily sustain a fleet and an IC in the early game, forcing Germany to sacrifice a large part of her airforce or to sustain landings every now and than.

    Even Russia is capable to build up some airforce in the very first rounds, and might attack early on using only infantry and one or two planes.
    Thus far, I haven’t even seen a large and quick Japanese breakthrough in Siberia, since ca. 8 Russian infantry placed in the second or third Siberian province is quite a lot to attack for the Japanese (given their other fronts).

    My guess is, as some other players’, that it might be better to play the game a few more times and just to see what happens.

    greetings,

    Andy

  • Moderator

    I’ve yet to play as the Axis, but my thought on Japan is it is their responsibility to not make it a KGF game.  For example if the US ignores Japan you should probably seriously consider invading Ala and Hi (if you didn’t earlier) and going after WUS.  It takes Japan about 6-7 turns to get to Mos and only 1 to get to Ala.  On the other hand the US (once its shuck shuck is set up) can go from Ecan to multiple location in Europe in 2 turns.  What this means is while Japan is marching one army to Moscow the US has landed 3 in Europe.  That is very hard to compete with, so why not gain what you can in Asia with the Early China attacks and taking out the Russia coastal territories then start to turn a bunch of your income to the US?
    Japan can easily get to about 55-60, now start attacking North America.  You can land 8 units a turn and still have Asia factories pumpimg out 6 units to keep up your defenses in Asia.  You can probably even open up a SBR campaign on WUS.


  • One good change I was thinking about…. it might be too much though.

    Change the turn sequence.  Change England to before Japan.  The Austrailian and Indian fleet will get away to help in Egypt or against Italy, and India would be secure without Russian help.  I think it would change the game a ton… but I bet changing Japan to before England was a last minute change anyways, because it really hurts England to the point of being unable to defend anything but England itself (and Canada with USA help).


  • Here is what I would do to make a global war.

    Allies:

    Make South Africa a VC and nix Ottawa.

    Give a IC to the Aussies.  It’s not like they can out produce Japan.

    Give Russia another fighter. C’mon what were they thinking.

    Axis:

    Beef up the Italian Navy.  I’m still weighing out what ships get the most blood for the buck so it will be a wile before I decide what to add.  Japan shouldn’t have to augment the Italian Navy.  I would say at least a few subs but I need to do more homework.

    Put a few more German INF in Libia.  They can hold back the allies long enough for Italy to get a decent foothold in Africa.  By making them German INF Italy can gain ground Germany can hold it for them.

    I think a few German subs in the Brazil SZ wouldn’t be out of order.  They did have influance in S. America. Heck even Mexico had thought going Axis until reality hit and they concluded the Texas National guard would launch Operation: Aztec Sunrise.

    Just my opinion.

    LT


  • After one 1941 game it is clear to me that Japan starts with too many units, and is very hard to stop.

    My first suggestion to rebalance is a simple one. Use the 1942 Chinese setup for the 1941 scenario.

  • 2007 AAR League

    As for balancing, I am leaning more and more towards employing standard pre-game FIDA bids.

    Max 50% of the Bid may be in pre-placed units.
    The rest must go to starting cash for the Allies.

    Suggestions such as adding capital ships to the standard setup , just distort the base game too much for me.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    It’s already balanced, but you have to have National Objectives and Technologies.

    The only changes I could see would be:

    1. -4 Russian Infantry in the East, +1 Fighter in the West
    2. Move the Chinese Fighter from Yunnan to Chinghai so it can live one or two rounds.

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