Victory Cities!



  • Mindless rant:

    As an aficionado of the original A&A, I’ve found the traditional paths to victory somewhat lacking.  The 65 IPC Cap was unsatisfying and the Capture Two Capitols rule was anticlimactic.  Games should be about FUN, not about dragging a game to its forestallable conclusion.

    When I read about Victory Cities (VCs) in Axis and Allies: Anniversary, I was blown away.  (Keep in mind I’m a A&A:R virgin)  Here was a way for the Axis powers to snatch a “psychological victory” in face of mounting Allied pressure, without the need to leave either side feeling cheated.

    VCs were a flash in the pan to areas of the board which experienced little action.  It was chic for the Allies to hold Honalulu or Sydney, even when both territories added up to a measly 3 IPCs.  The days of Germany amassing tanks for a drive on Moscow were gone.  Germany now had OPTIONS.  Stalingrad, Leningrad, Moscow – a combination of 1 or 2 could net Victory!  And Stalin was sweating every moment of it.

    Or so I thought.  Looking at the AA50: Fact Sheet, it read: “…Victory in either scenario: control of 15 VC”

    15!?  FIFTEEN!!!  That was ridiculous.  What Axis or Allied player is going to amass 15 Victory Cities?  Here’s what the Axis player has to do for 15 Victory Cities: Capture Moscow, London, Ottawa, Washington and/or San Francisco. 😢  The old days seemed more fun than this MBS.

    Then it dawned on me.  Without having to bid, without having to modify unit stats, or add new layers of complexity to the game, the answer was deceptively simple: Reduce the number of Victory Cities.

    Simple.  A errata of one number.

    Deceptive.  How do you reduce the number of VCs without unhinging the game or reducing the game state to a 1 hour slam fest?  I studied the board.  I applied what I knew of the original A&A to A&A:A and judged the ebb and flow of the game.  In the end I settled on 12 or 13 Victory Cities for Victory (excuse the redundancy) – with a current bias towards 12.  Why 12?  Why 13?

    What I did was group the victory cities based on attainability.

    Starting with the Axis

    Gimmies

    Berlin
    Rome
    Tokyo

    Total: 3

    Sure Things

    Warsaw
    Shanghai
    Hong Kong
    Manila

    Total: 4

    Contested

    Paris
    Sydney
    Calcutta

    Total: 3

    Hotly Contested

    Leningrad
    Stalingrad
    Honolulu

    Total: 3

    (Note: Differences between Hotly Contested and Contested are debatable)

    Final Tally: 13

    And now the Allies

    Gimmies

    Moscow
    London
    Washington

    Total: 3

    Sure Things

    Ottawa
    San Francisco

    Total: 2

    Contested

    Leningrad
    Stalingrad
    Sydney
    Honolulu

    Total: 4

    Hotly Contested

    Paris
    Warsaw
    Rome
    Calcutta

    Total: 4

    Final Tally: 13

    It seems like the magical number is 13.  The reason I slant towards 12 is if the other side has a pulse and wants to win, he can stymie you quite easily at 13.

    Pros:

    1.  A welcome break from the monotony of games devolving into who can capture Berlin/Moscow first.  Here, games can end 4 or 5 different ways, which is groovy.

    2.  Captures the essence of the War as we knew it.  Lets face it: Honolulu, Leningrad, Calcutta, ect are A LOT more relevant than what their IPC value indicates.  VCs ensure battles take place in regions that were hotly contested in real life.

    Moreover, VCs reflect the Axis’ desperate attempts to maintain initiative, before the Allied economy can check them.  To me, an Axis victory based on gusto against a favorable Allied game state is perfectly acceptable and par course.

    3.  A focus on the Pacific.  I believe Larry Harris made a brilliant move when he decided to plant the majority of Contested VCs in Asia.  Calcutta, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Manila, Sydney, Honolulu… yikes, that’s six already!  All Germany/Italy needs to do is hold their territories and take Leningrad/Stalingrad.  That’s game.  With the emphasis on Honolulu and the addition of NO’s, the Pacific is now a theater.

    4.  Fun.  Not only do less VCs result in more fingernail-biting action, but the free-flowing nature of the game is reinforced.  This is not old hat.  The Allies must balance a long term strategy with the impetus to do something NOW.  America must adopt a more proactive strategy instead of filling English transports with GI boots.

    Cons:

    1.  Victory without a capturing a Capitol?  This may be too hollow a victory.  Do people disagree with a winner being declared based on Tempo rather than concrete Dominance of the game?

    2.  Do VCs shorten the game significantly? (Most likely)  Does this shorten the game to the point where one side has no hopes of reacting to an all out VC rush?

    3.  Cairo is not a Victory City.  This is not really a knock on the 12/13 VC limit, but I was peeved when they made Ottawa a VC without consulting Cario.  No disrespect to Canada, but Cario had HUGE implications if the Afrika Korps took it, which they nearly did.

    The Question:

    1.  What is your view on VC’s in general?

    2.  What do you think is the ideal number of VC’s to win the game?

    3.  Do you think this number should change depending on the 1941/1942 Scenario?



  • Victory cities are a wasted opportunity.  You hit on everything I’ve been saying since Revised came out.  As long as victory requires you to capture a capital, that will be the SOLE focus of the game.  Victory cities do not matter if whoever captures the first capital is going to be able to overrun the other side completely, unless you can win WITHOUT going for a capital.

    I think Enhanced had victory cities done right, or at least closer than any official variant.


  • Official Q&A

    TG Moses VI, it’s already an optional rule to only play to 13 VCs.  That’s my preferred victory condition, for the reasons you’ve listed.

    Rakeman, how does the optional 13 VC victory not address your concerns?



  • Axis can win with 15 victory cities– leaving three to the Allies: Ottowa, Eastern United States, Western United States.  The only really tough ones would be London and Honolulu.



  • I am planning on playing the OOB 13 Victory City scenario until I get a better feel for it, but I am concerned that it will take too long in games of evenly matched players (not that this problem didn’t exist in earlier editions as well).  I plan to keep a couple of options open down the road if I want to speed up the resolution of the game.  First option is to reduce the number of victory cities to 12 (if that didn’t work, maybe 11).  Second option it to introduce more victory cities, probably Cairo and Johannasberg, without changing the 13 VC condition.  Any thoughts on problems with doing either of these options in terms of game balance?



  • 12 seems to be the magic number for me.  15 is really stupid IMHO.  It’s basically saying “well, you got 14 VC, that means you must have complete domination of the game right now, but that’s not enough!  You have to play through another two boring turns because everybody already knows the outcome!”

    Most sides would concede by the time the other gets 13 or 14 VCs, 15 is just stupid.  You know the game is over at 13, it might as well be the official end game.  if somebody can come up with a scenario whereby one side gets 14 VCs and the other side is still in a position to win, be my guest.



  • Victory cities do not matter if whoever captures the first capital is going to be able to overrun the other side completely, unless you can win WITHOUT going for a capital.

    See, I like having the option of doing both.  If you’re Germany it is possible (albeit challenging) to go Leningrad -> Moscow (win) or Stalingrad -> Moscow (win).  But forcing the Axis player to go Leningrad+Stalingrad+Moscow seems like a chore.

    I think a preferred strategy for a 13 VC game is for Germany to strike Leningrad, forcing the Russians to react north.  Then at the opportune moment, Italy should sneak its transports (which had been funneling troops into Africa) to the Black Sea and take Stalingrad.  Sneaky, cunning, and very Axis.  Even if the Soviet player is wise, he’ll still have to commit forces to Stalingrad, weakening the Northern front.

    TG Moses VI, it’s already an optional rule to only play to 13 VCs.  That’s my preferred victory condition, for the reasons you’ve listed.

    Thanks, genius tends to think alike. 😉 
    Have you played the game under 13 VCs yet?  What’s the feel of it?  How long did the games last?

    Axis can win with 15 victory cities– leaving three to the Allies: Ottowa, Eastern United States, Western United States.  The only really tough ones would be London and Honolulu.

    My point isn’t that the Axis can’t win under 15 VCs.  Rather it was, at 15 VCs Victory becomes an exercise in tedium.  Can you think of a situation where the game state is not OVERWHELMINGLY in the favor of the Axis at 14 VCs?  The Axis would own all the VCs I listed plus Moscow.  How can the Allies recover?  For that matter, we’re assuming that Allies haven’t made a dent on Paris, which is a complete prerequisite towards any Allied recovery after the fall of Stalingrad/Leningrad.

    Second option it to introduce more victory cities, probably Cairo and Johannasberg, without changing the 13 VC condition.  Any thoughts on problems with doing either of these options in terms of game balance?

    I thought of this too.  A VC in Cario would have made more sense gameplay wise than Ottawa.  However, this requires a change to the gameboard itself.  It’s okay if you have a regular playgroup, but it may seem a bit like “cheating” if you point out a Victory City where clearly it shouldn’t be.  At least with 13/12 VCs, you’ll have a much easier time convincing others to believe you.  :roll:



  • 12 seems to be the magic number for me.  15 is really stupid IMHO.  It’s basically saying “well, you got 14 VC, that means you must have complete domination of the game right now, but that’s not enough!  You have to play through another two boring turns because everybody already knows the outcome!”

    The more I think on it, the more 12 settles on me as the “right” choice.  I think 12 VCs really captures the excitement and urgency of a sweeping board game.  But whether the correct number is 12 or 13, that’s up to the playtesters (you guys) to foresee.  I’m hoping this issue gets resolved quickly, because there’s nothing more unsatisfying to players than changing How You Win The Game.

    Just a thought, but do guys think the VC requirement for both sides should be equal?

    12/13 seems like an acceptable number for the Axis.

    11/12 seems like a better number for the Allies.

    If you look at the Victory Cities list from my initial post, you will be hard pressed to think of a game state the Axis can recover from if the Allies control even 12 VCs.

    With 13 VCs, Allies victory depends on taking Paris, Warsaw, Rome/Berlin, and Calcutta.  If the Allies take just two of these three (Paris, Warsaw, Rome/Berlin), then frankly, they’ve won.

    Now you guys are all screaming at me for the countless times you’ve seen a lone Berlin hold on until the Japanese effort arrived.  To say the least it’s probably the most rewarding way for the game to end.  But if the Japanese player can’t take Calcutta (#13), what hope does he have of taking Moscow?

    The reason I postulated 11 VCs is because it provides an impetus for the Japanese to go after Sydney or Honolulu.  If the Japanese takes either, they’ve forestalled an Allied victory until the fall of Berlin.  The American knows this and will fight to maintain possession.  The Pacific is a battleground.

    A slight against this argument is that forcing Japan to go after Honolulu/Sydney limits her efforts in Russia.  However, I contend that Japan should make a move towards either early in the game and if America counterattacks (abandoning the Europe first strategy), then Russia should never be in a position to take Warsaw.



  • @Bridger:

    12 seems to be the magic number for me.

    Most sides would concede by the time the other gets 13 or 14 VCs, 15 is just stupid.  You know the game is over at 13, it might as well be the official end game.  if somebody can come up with a scenario whereby one side gets 14 VCs and the other side is still in a position to win, be my guest.

    I was kinda wondering about the possibility of 12 myself.

    BTW, first post for me here.

    I’m kinda glad I ran into this thread. I guess I still need to try a few games using 13 first, but 12 seemed like a reasonable number for a shorter game.

    @TG:

    The reason I postulated 11 VCs is because it provides an impetus for the Japanese to go after Sydney or Honolulu.  If the Japanese takes either, they’ve forestalled an Allied victory until the fall of Berlin.  The American knows this and will fight to maintain possession.  The Pacific is a battleground.

    A slight against this argument is that forcing Japan to go after Honolulu/Sydney limits her efforts in Russia.  However, I contend that Japan should make a move towards either early in the game and if America counterattacks (abandoning the Europe first strategy), then Russia should never be in a position to take Warsaw.

    I like the idea of the PTO becoming an active part of the game.



  • @TG:

    12 seems to be the magic number for me.  15 is really stupid IMHO.  It’s basically saying “well, you got 14 VC, that means you must have complete domination of the game right now, but that’s not enough!  You have to play through another two boring turns because everybody already knows the outcome!”

    The more I think on it, the more 12 settles on me as the “right” choice.  I think 12 VCs really captures the excitement and urgency of a sweeping board game.  But whether the correct number is 12 or 13, that’s up to the playtesters (you guys) to foresee.  I’m hoping this issue gets resolved quickly, because there’s nothing more unsatisfying to players than changing How You Win The Game.

    Just a thought, but do guys think the VC requirement for both sides should be equal?

    12/13 seems like an acceptable number for the Axis.

    11/12 seems like a better number for the Allies.

    If you look at the Victory Cities list from my initial post, you will be hard pressed to think of a game state the Axis can recover from if the Allies control even 12 VCs.

    With 13 VCs, Allies victory depends on taking Paris, Warsaw, Rome/Berlin, and Calcutta.  If the Allies take just two of these three (Paris, Warsaw, Rome/Berlin), then frankly, they’ve won.

    Now you guys are all screaming at me for the countless times you’ve seen a lone Berlin hold on until the Japanese effort arrived.  To say the least it’s probably the most rewarding way for the game to end.  But if the Japanese player can’t take Calcutta (#13), what hope does he have of taking Moscow?

    The reason I postulated 11 VCs is because it provides an impetus for the Japanese to go after Sydney or Honolulu.  If the Japanese takes either, they’ve forestalled an Allied victory until the fall of Berlin.  The American knows this and will fight to maintain possession.  The Pacific is a battleground.

    A slight against this argument is that forcing Japan to go after Honolulu/Sydney limits her efforts in Russia.  However, I contend that Japan should make a move towards either early in the game and if America counterattacks (abandoning the Europe first strategy), then Russia should never be in a position to take Warsaw.

    Maybe instead of making it more complicated (one side needs fewer VCs than the other) we could change one VC so it’s not a “gimmie” allied VC and is instead more contested?  My suggestion would be move ottowa to Cairo and keep it at 12 for both sides.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    The Question:

    1.  What is your view on VC’s in general?

    2.  What do you think is the ideal number of VC’s to win the game?

    3.  Do you think this number should change depending on the 1941/1942 Scenario?

    The Answer:

    1. VCs are a good idea, but pretty much ineffective so long as the current “capture the Capital, take all the cash” rules are still in place. The stated Victory Conditions of Revised and AA50, are not enough to trump the familiar dynamic out of Classic. I think there are a number of reasons for this, not least of which, is the fact that there is not nearly enough consensus as to which number of VCs is best for gameplay. Since the recommended numbers allow for this much variation, it makes a “standard” victory condition even harder to settle on. For example, one player might prefer a 12 VC set up, another 13, and when they meet to play this is a rules point that they can now argue about before the first die is even cast. The old school victories out of Classic were essentially determined by player concession, and the chief determining factor behind concession had to do with the Capitals. Capitals have a real strategic value (within the general framework and mechanics of the game) because of the money thing, but VCs have no comparative influence on the game mechanics. They don’t have any role at all actually, outside of the ‘Victory by VC’ abstraction. If there was a more relevant game feature/element attached to them, even a small one like say +1 ipc per VC, or +1 inf unit at the VC, then everyone might start paying more attention to them.

    2. Right now I don’t see an ideal, because of the current VC locations. Too low and you make the game too easy for the Axis player, too high and you have the opposite situation. 12 seems agreeable, but it also makes for a rather short game.  I don’t like it that we have to sacrifice game length for a two front War, and I’m still not sure that other players are going to hop on the VC train this time anyway, so it might be a moot point regardless. With Revised, VCs were typically ignored as irrelevant, since the OOB rules were not clear enough initially, and because VCs didn’t have any other in-game associations beyond the Victory thing. Instead people just reverted to the old concession scheme to determine the Victor, because it was more familiar and less contentious. I’m not sure that AA50 is going to change much with that, since no substantive alterations were made to the way VCs function in the game. They are still way to easy to ignore, because there are no complimentary rules surrounding them (like the money thing), and thus nothing to force their integration into the grand scheme of the game.

    3. I think the VC requirement for both sides should be the same, and I don’t think the number should change at all. Instead they need to find a set number which works well for both sides, and add more VCs if need be, until it balances out it an equitable way. 18 VCs in their current locations are not enough, 21 would be better, but only if you start putting them in contested areas of the board. If you put 3 more VCs in North America, then you’d just end up with the same problem again. Right now the easiest solution would be to just knock off all the Capitals, and then start the counting (Washington as a VC is the perfect example of what we need to avoid) but even that leaves me skeptical. I think you really need something more concrete if you want the VC system to take off. Right now the official rules regarding VCs seem so shaky, it doesn’t inspire the confidence in the system that I’d like to see. If 12 VCs is best, then state that in the rules. Don’t allow people to make this part of the game optional, because if you do, then they will, and then we’re right back to square one again.



  • Imo the whole VC aspect should be abandoned because A&A is much less a technicality game like chess. A&A  is about money/production and strategy so it’s up to the players to decide how long to play, and if a player think he can win, then he plays on.
    In AA50 we can choose between 13, 15 or 18 VC, thats not a bad solution by the designers, I think most players will play for total domination, but like in AAR maybe players will concede even before the opponent reaches the minimum number of VC’s (13 VC), because it could seem highly unlikely that he will win.



  • I have won 3 games in Revised reaching 9 VCs limit without taking a capital, the three playing allies and the three playing KJF. Now with more VCs, axis have a chace of doing this if we stick to 13 VCs.

    VCs are good. Some players simply don’t know when they are toasted and want play until they lose the 2nd capital. 9 VCs solve this.



  • I dislike both Victory Cities AND National Objectives, for the same reasons. First, they create a black hole affect, almost forcing players to congregate to specific areas of the board. While this can, and usually does, result in play closer to the historical time line, it lessons the strategic options players have and makes each game play out similarly (I prefer games that allow for various strategies). The second reason I dislike both, when either or both are used, is that variable VCs and optional NOs make the game SO different that everyone has their own personal preferences and it’s hard to get everyone to agree on how to play because everyone has their personal preference and knows how the game flows and has their own strategies under the ruleset they use.

    These reasons may seem contradicting, but they aren’t. I really hoped they would have one way to win the game and balanced the game with that in mind, and tweaked the game so that it was playable in a resonable amount of time. As it is now, the 15 VP game takes no less than 6 hours, usually 10+, and 13 VC games can be over in 2 turns. Too much chaos.



  • @P-Unit:

    I dislike both Victory Cities AND National Objectives, for the same reasons. First, they create a black hole affect, almost forcing players to congregate to specific areas of the board. While this can, and usually does, result in play closer to the historical time line, it lessons the strategic options players have and makes each game play out similarly (I prefer games that allow for various strategies). The second reason I dislike both, when either or both are used, is that variable VCs and optional NOs make the game SO different that everyone has their own personal preferences and it’s hard to get everyone to agree on how to play because everyone has their personal preference and knows how the game flows and has their own strategies under the ruleset they use.

    These reasons may seem contradicting, but they aren’t. I really hoped they would have one way to win the game and balanced the game with that in mind, and tweaked the game so that it was playable in a resonable amount of time. As it is now, the 15 VP game takes no less than 6 hours, usually 10+, and 13 VC games can be over in 2 turns. Too much chaos.

    I agree they should have just gone with balancing one section.  I also dislike the capitol capture mechanic as it seems to be a bit too much of a slippery slope mechanic.  Maybe it’s necessary, but i wonder what the game would play like with more contested VCs (less like ottowa), and don’t have any extra penalties for capturing capitols.

    I mean, the capitol of most countries is often it’s biggest IPC territory and most powerful industrial complex.  Losing this is a big enough blow without the additional money transfer and lack of production ability anywhere else.  Maybe the game would be too long without it, but it seems to keep the game squarely stuck on the tired “get to moscow whatever the cost” for axis and “get to berlin whatever the cost” allied strategies.

    Until the capitols are less overwelmingly important, berlin and moscow will always be the main targets of the game, and thus limit the strategy 😞


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Game should continue until one or two things happen:

    You have total global domination, no enemy units left on the board and no territories owned by the enemy

    OR

    Capitulation.

    Victory cities are just the latest way to get a cheap win.  It used to be M84, now it’s victory cities.  Either win the game, or don’t win it.  Don’t sneak around and steal a victory because of a technicality, IMHO.



  • Something akin to LHTR will come about to make a standard win condition.


    With National Objectives and Tech being optional, with a varying VC win condition, the combinations can be endless when multiplied by the inherant variances of the dice.

    Perhaps that was by design…?


    Anyways, I LIKE the Victory Cities.  I dislike HAVING to take a capital to win.  Forcing a capital to fall (especially for the Axis), limits strategies and hence, playout gets to be the same thing over and over.

    I do not have enough(any) AA50 experience to determine what the right number of VC’s should be at this time.



  • kaufschtick,

    Welcome!  Let me guess: long time player, first time poster?  A&A:50 seems to be having that effect on people. 😉

    Bridger,

    Maybe instead of making it more complicated (one side needs fewer VCs than the other) we could change one VC so it’s not a “gimmie” allied VC and is instead more contested?  My suggestion would be move ottowa to Cairo and keep it at 12 for both sides.

    I like rule changes that don’t involve changing the map.  If you want Cario as a VC, I would suggest adding Cario as a VC and not moving it from Ottawa.  Forcing the Allies to score 12 VCs without Ottawa just exacerbates the problem.

    Black_Elk,

    1. VCs are a good idea, but pretty much ineffective so long as the current “capture the Capital, take all the cash” rules are still in place.

    I’ve always likened the Capture and Plunder rule to pouring salt on someone’s wounds.  You captured the dude’s capital, he can’t produce nothing, he doesn’t earn nothing, and now you take his IPCs too.  The besieged power should be allowed to keep his previous turn’s income or at most, that income should be turned over to the bank.

    The stated Victory Conditions of Revised and AA50, are not enough to trump the familiar dynamic out of Classic. I think there are a number of reasons for this, not least of which, is the fact that there is not nearly enough consensus as to which number of VCs is best for gameplay. Since the recommended numbers allow for this much variation, it makes a “standard” victory condition even harder to settle on. For example, one player might prefer a 12 VC set up, another 13, and when they meet to play this is a rules point that they can now argue about before the first die is even cast.

    That’s why I’m hoping this matter gets sorted out quickly, so that there is an agreed upon number for victory.  If the major A&A sites said, “We found X VCs to be optimal number for play,” I think most people would adhere to their suggestion.

    12 seems agreeable, but it also makes for a rather short game.  I don’t like it that we have to sacrifice game length for a two front War, and I’m still not sure that other players are going to hop on the VC train this time anyway, so it might be a moot point regardless. With Revised, VCs were typically ignored as irrelevant, since the OOB rules were not clear enough initially, and because VCs didn’t have any other in-game associations beyond the Victory thing.

    I think 12 VCs makes for a short game only if the opposing player lets you cakewalk your way to victory.  He is well aware of how many VCs you own, and he’ll do what he can stop you.  To me VCs prevent games from dragging on if one side decides to fight to the bitter end.  Personally, I’ve never had fun as the Allies when Japan was hopelessly outmatched, yet continued to stack infantry on the motherland.

    With Revised, VCs were typically ignored as irrelevant, since the OOB rules were not clear enough initially, and because VCs didn’t have any other in-game associations beyond the Victory thing. Instead people just reverted to the old concession scheme to determine the Victor, because it was more familiar and less contentious.

    Familiar and less contentious does not translate into “better.”  Personally, I’ve always hated when my opponent just “gave up” because he thought he couldn’t win.  Winning that way just never felt satisfying.  Look at our spectator sports.  People enjoy watching basketball/football/baseballs games where the outcome is in doubt up until the last shot/throw/pitch.  People don’t enjoy watching blowouts where there’s little reason to show up.

    I understand some people want to continue playing until they know they have no chance of winning.  But I think it’s those really close losses that propel people to want to play even more and try even harder.  One of the reasons why Settlers of Catan (perhaps the greatest board game of all time) is so addictive is at the end game, several players had a shot of winning.  In that game 10 Victory Points were required for Victory, and the losers often ended with 8 or 9.  However, I’ve never encountered a player where he felt he was wronged or complained that the number of Victory Points should be increased to 11.

    As long as Victory Conditions are declared at the beginning of the game and defined within the framework of the rules, then I doubt the losers will throw the dice in disgust afterwards.  If it’s anything like Settlers of Catan, I’m betting the loser will say, “That was fun.  I came so close to winning; let’s play again.”



  • Subotai,

    Imo the whole VC aspect should be abandoned because A&A is much less a technicality game like chess. A&A  is about money/production and strategy so it’s up to the players to decide how long to play

    Wouldn’t it be great if A&A were about money/production, strategy, AND Tempo? 
    I don’t think winning by VCs is a technicality anymore than winning by capturing two capitols can be considered a technicality.  Instead, VCs give both sides the option of deciding what play style suits them.  In the past games were decided on who could amass the highest IPC count and outproduce the other side.  With VCs, one can side obtain victory under a economic disadvantage (or even a disparity in units) by possessing the right combination of flair and daring.  VCs work the opposite way too.  Rather than concentrate on VCs, the other side can work towards denying their opponent that crucial VC, while steadily capturing more territories of higher IPC value and leveraging their economic might.  That’s why I like VCs, they reward players for choosing a coherent Strategy.  Do you really have strategies (plural) when the basic premise of A&A was always to march directly to your opponent’s capitol?

    P-Unit

    I dislike both Victory Cities AND National Objectives, for the same reasons. First, they create a black hole affect, almost forcing players to congregate to specific areas of the board. While this can, and usually does, result in play closer to the historical time line, it lessons the strategic options players have and makes each game play out similarly (I prefer games that allow for various strategies).

    From my past experience, having Capitols creates the largest Black Hole effect.  Maybe we should do away with those as well. 😉

    But I disagree.  To me, VCs and NOs have the opposite effect of spreading the war across the board.  Without NOs, would Gibraltar even matter?  Without VCs, what significance does Hawaii have?  Ditto the rest of the Pacific Islands.  And to a lesser extent, Africa (with offers additional NOs based on who can hold it).

    axis_roll,

    Something akin to LHTR will come about to make a standard win condition.

    What is LHTR?



  • I’m intrigued by the possibility of a 12 VC victory condition for the Axis, whereas 13 VCs remain for the Allies. Of course we would then have to put extra punch to the Allies, such as tweaking the NOs or giving China the '42 setup in '41, or both.

    The reason is that in the five games of the '41 scenario I’ve played so far, USA was always getting the advantage by just going for Rome or Paris rather than to defend Honolulu, in essence making the capturing of Moscow necessary for the Axis to win with a 13 VC victory condition. We will have to wait till we see that this is the result of actual gameplay when we’ve opted our strategies. For example, a Japanese early offensive through Alaska might change this picture and force the Yanks back into the Pacific before Rome or Paris is threatened (??).



  • @TG:

    axis_roll,

    Something akin to LHTR will come about to make a standard win condition.

    What is LHTR?

    Larry Harris Tournament Rules (LHTR) were a product of many online A&A gaming clubs in conjunction with Larry Harris (A&A creator).  These Rules ‘clarifications’/changes for the Revised version of the game made it playable for a ladder-style club.  This was mainly driven by the fact the technology in Revised was instantaneous and directed (can target one specific tech).  This made sea lion on G1 a sort of Yahtzee strategy…. if you get long range, you should be able to take UK.

    This heavy-luck influence wouldn’t fly when a high rated player was playing a low rated one.  Risking only a few ratings points, the underdog could take a shot to win the game.

    One of the clarifications was to make a tournament standard VC win condition: 9 VCs.

    Here’s a link to LHTR:  http://www.geocities.com/headlesshorseman2/RevisedRulesandClarifications.htm



  • I think the problem with 12 is that it allows the Allies to win at the end of the U.S. turn with an insecure grasp on either Warsaw or Paris (which generally seem to be the ones most likey to put the allies over the top), which could easily be swept away by Germany on the start of the next turn. Whereas 13 most likely has required the allies to hold either Paris or Warsaw for a whole turn and then add the other during the next. While it’s possible that quick, simultaneous raids into Paris and Warsaw in the same turn could accomplish the same result, it’s a lot less likely.

    If you’re going to play with a house rule of 12, you probably should require the game to go one full round from the point when 12 are taken; e.g., if the UK takes Warsaw for 12, the Allies should have to hold 12 until the UK’s next turn.



  • axis_roll,

    Thanks.  It’s good to see Larry Harris is an avid member of the gaming society.

    Zephaus,

    I think the problem with 12 is that it allows the Allies to win at the end of the U.S. turn with an insecure grasp on either Warsaw or Paris (which generally seem to be the ones most likey to put the allies over the top), which could easily be swept away by Germany on the start of the next turn. Whereas 13 most likely has required the allies to hold either Paris or Warsaw for a whole turn and then add the other during the next. While it’s possible that quick, simultaneous raids into Paris and Warsaw in the same turn could accomplish the same result, it’s a lot less likely.

    You make a good point.  Though in this case, I rather keep the VCs at 12 than 13 since I suggested 11 VCs for the Allies.  With 13 VCs the Allies still have to take Calcutta (if they don’t take Berlin), which is implausible if the Japanese are actually doing something.

    If you’re going to play with a house rule of 12, you probably should require the game to go one full round from the point when 12 are taken; e.g., if the UK takes Warsaw for 12, the Allies should have to hold 12 until the UK’s next turn.

    Another fair idea.  Let the game outcome be determined at the end of a Round or when one side has held 12 VCs for one turn.  This may require a change in VCs because it becomes much harder to capture and hold a VC.



  • I cant recall that I have ever played with VC’s. It’s always total domination. And I have never encountered opponents who wouldnt concede when I captured their capital or if I have a TUV which is significantly higher then my opponent. In AAR that would be about 150-200 depending of the situation on the map. Why play against players who will not concede if they do not know what it means if the TUV difference is 400 vs 800?



  • Late post to an old topic so forgive me if I’m revisiting something that most of you might already consider resolved, but I am currently debating this VC issue with my monthly gaming group.

    We have some veteran players of AA50 (some college dudes that have played at least three to five games a week since AA50 was released) and we have some rookies (dudes that haven’t played A&A since the days of classic) and with this collection of players we are running into this question; “when is the game over”?

    The handful of times I’ve played AA50 and the umpteen times I’ve played AAR we’ve just played till someone cried uncle…oops…surrendered.

    Most of the rookie players are willing to fight to the last man; primarily (it’s believed by the most of the veterans) due to their inexperience at begin able to “see the end”.

    Most of the veteran players are pushing to end a game after a few “key things” (more “interpretative things” than “factual things”) have happened; things that they are convinced (from the experience) are “game ending situations”.

    We are beginning to experience this situation were some rookie players are feeling like they aren’t being given the chance to win (even IF they had their back against the wall) and some veteran players are beginning to feel like they are being asked to play another few grueling rounds of play in a game that is already “finished”.

    Let me explain it this way…
    IF this was a game of baseball, the veteran players are feeling like they are being asked to bat at the top of the ninth inning even though they already have more points than the rookie players have.  There asking “What’s the point of batting one more time when you already have the lead and the other team has no times at bat left (no chance at scoring again)”?

    And IF this was a game of bowling; the rookie players are feeling like they are being asked to end the game after only 7 frames simply because the veteran player has scored more points so far; taking “any chance” they might have had (no matter how slim) that the rookie player might win…and not to mention…just quitting the game before it is over.  And the veteran players (who are averaging more points each frame and because of their experience they can “see the end of the game”) want to end the game; cutting the game short just because they KNOW the ending of the game so what’s the point of playing it out.

    In any event, we are basiclly ending games before a set standardized ending has occurred.  There is no “END” to the game in A&A, its left up to interpretation more than set criteria, so for that reason alone I have been looking at the VC as a way to standardize the games end.  Its clear, clean and consstiant for all players (both rookies and veterans)  something that is needed (IMO) for any game.

    Take chess, arguably the longest running strategy game in the history of strategy games.  The game is over when the king is in check mate (or a stale mate), it doesn’t matter if the looser is cut all the way down to his only piece being a king or if the loser has all their pieces still on the board, the game is over when a king is in check mate.

    It’s a clean clear rule that is consistent.

    I think VC has the potential to be that kind of rule but in a game of A&A with so many variables for what defines “Check Mate”, how does one conclude what is check mate; 12VC, 13VC, 18VC, when a player looses his capital?

    I think most players would agree that if a capital is lost (Axis or Allied) to the enemy, the “odds” of winning (coming back from the grave) are pretty dismal…so what’s the point of playing more rounds.  And I think most players would argue that if both Germany and Japan (in AAR) have been pushed all the way back to the only territories they own are their capitals, the Allies will eventually win…so what’s the point to fighting the next 5 rounds to get rid of the last units held up in the capital?  So there are some “key things” that any “veteran player” can “see” as the end of the game, but so much of that depends on personal interpretation rather than “hard facts” which is what ends 99.99999% of every good game ever designed/played (football 4 quarters, baseball 9 innings, bowling, 10 frames, golf 18 holes, chess check mate, monopoly bankruptcy/own everything, life get to the last square with the most money, yatzee, scrabble, clue, Othello, settlers of Catan, etc, etc, etc…)  My point is, every game I can think of has a clear defined ending…except A&A.

    To me, a VC condition looks like the most clean, clear consistent way to end every game; regardless of experience of players and personal interpretation of the board situation.

    If most players agree that loosing a capital is a solid “sign of the end”, and if some players agree that if so many VC are lost is “just a matter of time” before the game is over, why not make a rule that combines the two schools of thought.  Kind of a middle ground.

    Something like this…you need to capture 11 VC and at least one of those VC has to be a capital to end the game.  11 VC makes the VC count low enough that it would represent the minimum # of cities that would “normally be captured” in a game that was a rush for Russia’s capital (since most players believe that is the focus of EVERY game anyway) and one capital meets the idea that if Russia or Germany looses their capital than the game is pretty much over anyway.

    But don’t make goofy rules that are separate for each side or power; that would be like making rules for chess that said something like this; if the black captures the white queen they or puts the king in check mate they win but the white has to capture two pawns and one knight AND put the black armies king in check to win.

    In other words, if the VC is 11 with one of them being a capital; keep it that way for both sides even if one of those capitals is the small little Italian capital.  (some would argue that Italy…the soft underbelly of Germany…was not a significant part of the war) but in the game, so long as they have the potential to earn IPC and purchase units they are a Power just like any other power…no matter how small they are.


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