Flashman's Brief Review


  • Customizer

    Having just finished my first full read through of the rules, I thought I’d post a brief summary of my impressions.  This is largely in order of the game manual subject listing.

    Ahistorical Japan

    Judging from the posts so far, this seems to have been a rather limited success.  A lot more needed changing if a geographical solution was required. Essentially two things: difficult terrain in Siberia/China, and a more accurate representation of Russia - with Moscow in it’s correct location.  Of course this means rather small areas in Europe with lots of units in them, but we are getting a bigger board….

    I instinctively dislike the National objectives idea, which seems too far down the World at War route, and against the spirit of simplicity that characterises A&A.

    In my view a much simpler and more elegant fix is the Japanese-Soviet non-aggression treaty, which I’ve detailed elsewhere.  This should of course be optional.  Moreover the archaic capture the capital rule still makes Moscow a gigantic Axis tank magnet, even with a few more territories and Chinese units in the way.

    To balance the removal of this threat to Russian from the East I’d implement the “Soviet Xenophobia” rule, banning USA/UK from pumping troops into Russia.

    Italy

    A welcome addition, as the 3 vs. 3 balance more than makes up for the reduced power of Germany.  However the roundel and unit colour are mistakes, and I’d give Italy more beef by placing Finland, Romania and Vichy territories under Italian control. This gives Italy a big block of land in West Africa, as well as Madagascar.  On my map it also gives Italy southern France.

    China

    I generally like the new China rules, but reports are that the country doesn’t last long anyway, probably through a shortage of starting infantry.  I have the USSR controlling northern China (CCP), though the limit on 3 units per territory could be seen as representing the in-fighting between Chinese factions.
    Give China more starting units but make the flying tigers American to minimise the threat to Japan from this quarter.

    Board

    I think the lack of terrain types is a missed opportunity.  Certainly mountain areas required a very different approach from attackers.
    I also think the inviolable neutrals are unhistorical, and I’d like these countries to have IPC values and defence forces.
    My issues with board specifics are legion (compare with my map), but the most pressing to me:

    The Atlantic should be wider (a minimum 2 turn crossing) to simulate U-boat warfare;
    A Pripet marsh territory in Eastern Europe (roughly where “East Poland” is) to give some shape to this front and represent partisan activity;
    India should have many more areas with Delhi in a central area the VC;
    Suez should be in one territory (Egypt) only;

    Money

    Shouldn’t be needed!  The new and much improved SBR rules, combined with collecting income at the start of a turn (something all reason cries out for) should have rendered this stuff so much waste paper.

    Combat  Forces

    Surely anyone with 3+ brain cells could’ve told them that Italy should be in light grey.  And yet, and yet…

    Order of Play

    Collect income should be 1.
    Non combat movement should be deleted i.e combined with Combat movement into one phase.
    (see discussion elsewhere under NW Europe topic)

    Research and Development.

    Difficult to comment on the system without playing it.  I generally only like techs if there are specific units to represent them so I can immediately see which units have tech, and so that only newly placed units have them.  Without such pieces I find techs too much of a chore to keep track of.
    I would only even have techs which have physical units rather than abstract financial fiddles, and would definitely have heavy tanks, rockets (rather than the silly use of AAs)  and RADAR installations in neutral colours like AA guns.  Armoured trains would be pretty cool also.

    Guest Fighters

    I don’t much like these, different fighters need different engineers, fuel, spare parts etc. Could a US carrier service a Russian fighter?

    Tanks

    I really don’t like the established tank movement rules. Tanks moved to the front the same way infantry and artillery did - by train.
    I delete the blitz move and replace it with tank “breakthroughs”.  Basically this means that tanks normally move only one space as per other land units, but after a round of combat in which enemy defending units are outnumbered (2-1?), tanks can force a “breakthrough” and move a further space into enemy territory, or back into friendly territory if they wish.  This better simulates blitzkrieg warfare, while forcing players to think about defence in depth.
    I also have a “breakdown” rule for mechanised units which can lead to their capture by enemy forces.

    Defender Retreats

    I’ve always been in favour of this, Hitler’s orders to “always fight to the last man” are deservedly ridiculed.  As explained elsewhere this stimulates quicker, more dynamic and intelligent play rather than  the cheesy land-grabs of legendary A&A.
    I also think a rule allowing transports to “evacuate” retreating land units to sea should be implemented, though tanks and artillery must revert to infantry on evacuation.

    Capture the Capital Rule

    Delete, delete, delete!
    “Only minds ossified in the ideas of passed centuries can possibly believe there is any point in capturing the capital.”

    Winter Rules
    Consider each full turn a season, i.e. every fourth turn is winter, with appropriate effects on unit movement/effectiveness.

    Complexes
    As I’ve discussed at length in other threads, allowing players to build units at captured factories is absurd.  Building “new” complexes also.  The only circumstance in which factories can be altered during a game is that of the Soviets moving a factory east to the Urals in the 1941 scenario, but the new official map scarcely makes this viable as it perpetuates the distorted map with the Moscow territory effectively already in the Urals.

    Battleships
    I prefer the repair at friendly base idea to auto-righting.  A damaged BB should also fight at only 2-2.

    Carrier
    I think these should also have 2 hit points, subject to similar repair rules as per BB.

    Finally a couple of political points:

    Brazil did not enter the war ‘till 1943

    Australia, and in fact all UK Pacific islands, were in effect under US control from about March 1942.  Therefore in a 1942 scenario I make them all US territories, with the implications of the Australian VC  and possible IC.

    Right, I’ve just time to catch the last episode of WWII Behind Closed Doors, with the post war plotting of the Allies to attack each other.  Individual winner rules?

    Also possible: Big Three Conferences!  Combined attack?



  • To balance the removal of this threat to Russian from the East I’d implement the “Soviet Xenophobia” rule, banning USA/UK from pumping troops into Russia.

    Doesn’t the game already do this with one of the National Objectives?

    Italy,

    I could understand Vichy France or Romania for the Italians, but Finland?  Is this even close to being historical, as well as logistical?

    The Atlantic should be wider (a minimum 2 turn crossing) to simulate U-boat warfare;

    It’s something Larry Harris could have done, but he was probably thinking the US has such a hard time getting involved in the game anyways…

    Shouldn’t be needed!  The new and much improved SBR rules, combined with collecting income at the start of a turn (something all reason cries out for) should have rendered this stuff so much waste paper.

    What if you don’t use up all your IPC’s that turn?  Do those IPCs simply go to waste?

    Australia, and in fact all UK Pacific islands, were in effect under US control from about March 1942.  Therefore in a 1942 scenario I make them all US territories, with the implications of the Australian VC  and possible IC.

    I’m sure Churchill would love this.  😄

    Right, I’ve just time to catch the last episode of WWII Behind Closed Doors, with the post war plotting of the Allies to attack each other.  Individual winner rules?

    Interesting.  It would make the game more diplomacy like.  But is the game long enough already?



  • I instinctively dislike the National objectives idea, which seems too far down the World at War route, and against the spirit of simplicity that characterises A&A.

    Your rules seem to make the game more complicated. You are free to your opinion, and you can implement any house rules you want. I guess there is no reason for you to buy the game, since you can implement your changes with revised…unless you want to own some of the new cruiser units.

    I like the game as is.



  • @Craig:

    If that is what you wish for, then this is the game for you:

    http://www.ww2wargame.com

    “The Struggle for Europe and Asia complete with all of the miniatures, pieces, charts, counters map and rules for $1,195 plus shipping and handling.”  😮

    anyway… I don’t know if that’s the game for me… but pics shown really nice plastic chips: Japanese carriers that looks like the Akagi, and specially, Italian naval units!

    Any idea about where can I buy the chips?


  • Customizer

    I think overall my rules simplify the game.

    A simple NAP is much easier to remember than all those national objectives, and I’ve got rid of the money!  If you’ve got 2 IPCs left over remove some bomb damage, or buy a tank over an infantry.

    Finland in Italy simply because I make “Italy” a combined Axis Minors player.  It also allows Italy to join in another front and makes Helsinki a potential VC. Finland made a separate peace with he Allies after all…

    Churchill agreed to the division of command: UK in Middle East/India/Burma, US in the Pacific.  After March '42 MacArthur was in effective command of Australia and NZ forces, and was himself based in Melbourne:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_West_Pacific_Command


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

    Buy IL’s copy off of him.  He doesn’t want it.  Maybe that is a unconscious manifestation of his dislike for you and your ideas, since they are already present in this game. wink

    That or he just hates your map- just like he hates the map to Struggle.

    What is this? Flashman is my comrade. Sure i chide him for his Rio De Oro antics and fixation of the most minor details, but he has proven that his research is very good. His observations are always correct, except that sometimes the result of the idea is too tedious and restricting to game design.

    I don’t like the look of his map. Aesthetically its terrible. I don’t hate inanimate objects. Thats would be foolish. I don’t like Struggle for the game but that map is much nicer. Some of the ideas in the design don’t sit well and the game is truly scripted IMO. Lastly, i don’t like the primary/secondary unit thing and all those limitations.

    To be honest I am not too happy with AARHE either. But a new formula for that is in the works. I don’t like flaws of any type and when i see them it grows with dissatisfaction. So basically im always working to ‘fix’ it.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Few things:

    I agree with the money and carrier’s carrying friendly fighters.  I’d think a better rule would be to allow friendly fighters to land on a carrier, but be unable to take off until that carrier gets to a friendly port.  But that’s going to be too complicated, so the SIMPLE rule would be to just ban all fighters from carrier decks from other nations.

    Secondly, I think China should have the same restriction in terms of xenophobia as Russia has.  Only invaders and Chinese forces should be present in China, at least until China falls.



  • Just one question- Why would you ever give Italy Finland?

    Just seems very unlikey imo 😐


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    @Craig:

    @Gallo:

    @Craig:

    If that is what you wish for, then this is the game for you:

    http://www.ww2wargame.com

    “The Struggle for Europe and Asia complete with all of the miniatures, pieces, charts, counters map and rules for $1,195 plus shipping and handling.”  😮

    anyway… I don’t know if that’s the game for me… but pics shown really nice plastic chips: Japanese carriers that looks like the Akagi, and specially, Italian naval units!

    Any idea about where can I buy the chips?

    You can buy the game without the metal miniatures for just $195.  That is the map (3’x8’), the rules, the charts, etc…

    I bought some metal miniatures (on the side) for the specialty units that I don’t have plastic parts for.  For the rest, I was able to use parts from A&A, Xeno, and Table Tactics.

    Craig

    You can get the chips from mini-poker chip games too, btw.

    And the only thing of interest to me would be the metal pieces.  They’d go great with my new gaming table, which I am not done building yet…got a LOT of electrical work to do…


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

    you get chips exactly like AH from gamblers wherehouse. They got them cheap in like 12 colors. a bag of like 200 for about $2 bucks



  • IL, are they the 5 gram poker chips?

    Their site isn’t intuitively obvious as to how one describes the chips one needs to order for AA?

    Do you have a part number we can reference?


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

    no part number and the chips are not listed. You need to call and ask for the mini chips and describe them by color and size. That store is huge, but they do have them and they are exactly the same.

    Also try EAI education as they have them also.



  • Some counter weight,

    China-42, has been very effective at slowing down the Japanese.  They lost five Ftrs to the Chinese, last five full rounds.  And were attacked every round.
    I wounder if players are coordinating with UK factory and balanced push US?  This spreads the Japanese, considerably.

    Terrain-this is a strategy level game, not tactical.  I like tactical games, for terrain, not sure it belongs in this arena.

    Phase sequence-agreed, collect phase first, would be more practical.

    National Objectives- surprise, it has altered our play, we need those extra IPC.  It has directed our attacks and strats, lot more IPC, resulting more units in play, faster paced game.  Great fun, once you get used to ending your turns by going through the cks for extra IPC.

    Italy-agreed, color s/b grey, another little change with great results.

    You forgot game mechanics, great changes…



  • I agree with Bluestroke on the Terrain.

    Axis and Allies isn’t suppose to be a hex-based, tactical game.

    Also, what is the Pripet marsh territory in Russia?  I don’t say this in contempt, but what is it really?


  • Customizer

    A large impassable (to all but infantry) swamp covering much of Byellorussia (the real one, not the fictional one on the A&A50 map).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinsk_Marshes

    This divided the eastern front into “northern” and “southern” sectors, since moving units through the marsh was impossible.  It naturally became the chief centre of Soviet partizan activity.  Most operational descriptions of this front speak frequently of areas north or south of the marshes, and there was even talk of the Germans draining the swamp to destroy partizn bases.

    My proposal is that this area should be impassable to all but infantry units, making it a pain to take even if defended by just a few units.  In a 1942 scenario this would be still held by the Soviets, effectively representing the importance of partizan warfare.  Germany has to decide to either leave it to attack more valuable areas, or mount a big anti-partizan attack to rid it of Soviets infantry which could attack their rear areas.
    The area also impedes German operations in general as units cannot be transferred directly from Ostland/Baltic States/Poland to Ukrain or vice versa.

    Aircraft can fly over the territory, but not land there or attack enemy units.

    See my map to get the general idea of where it should be.


  • Customizer

    @Krupp:

    Just one question- Why would you ever give Italy Finland?

    Just seems very unlikey imo 😐

    Why give Algeria to Germany?

    It’s really about balancing up the 3 Axis powers to make them a little more even.  It makes more sense for “Italy” to have the French African Empire than Germany, though you could have all sorts of complicated rules for Vichy territory.

    Think about “Italy” as a conglomerate of Axis minors, including small nations like Romania, Bulgaria and Finland which had scores to settle with the USSR, but were less than wholehearted in their support for Germany (their armies both started firing on the Germans as soon as they made deals with the approaching Russians, and of course the Italians ended up fighting Germany too).


  • Customizer

    @Imperious:

    Flashman is my comrade. Sure I chide him for his Rio De Oro antics and fixation of the most minor details, but he has proven that his research is very good. His observations are always correct, except that sometimes the result of the idea is too tedious and restricting to game design.

    I don’t like the look of his map. Aesthetically its terrible. I don’t hate inanimate objects. Thats would be foolish. I don’t like Struggle for the game but that map is much nicer. Some of the ideas in the design don’t sit well and the game is truly scripted IMO. Lastly, i don’t like the primary/secondary unit thing and all those limitations.

    To be honest I am not too happy with AARHE either. But a new formula for that is in the works. I don’t like flaws of any type and when i see them it grows with dissatisfaction. So basically im always working to ‘fix’ it.

    As you may have forgotten, my map is intended to show certain aspects more clearly, and is not how I imagine the finished map looking (for example the land territories would probably show terrain rather than national colour; it’s easier to show starting set up using colour coding). Oh, and I don’t think you liked all those roundels, either.  At least I have correct Axis Italy…

    Did you ever settle on a finished map for AARHE? The linked map looks like a very basic early version.


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

    yes its called 1939 AARHE



  • Thanks for the response Flashman.  _“And now you know the rest of the story.”   _



  • In A&A Anniversary it is even possible to go from Mediterranean to Black Sea, using the Bosforous Straits that were closed for the neutrality state of Turkey, why should we have an impassable land terrain?

    Moreover other region believed impassable had been militarly used in the WWII. Ardennes for example were the stage for two major German offensive: 1941 and subsequent fall of France and 1944 the last German offensive and the Battle of the Bulge.

    I am not saying that those territories are comfortably usable for military operation.
    I only think that for this detail level they could not be considered without making a great error.


  • Customizer

    Pripet should be impassable for all but infantry. Beyond dispute there were areas where armour or heavy artillery could not effectively operate, and further types of terrain where they had a distinct disadvantage versus infantry (e.g. mountainous areas.)
    I believe there is room in A&A for 3 or 4 basic terrain types with different effects; after all planning an invasion of France should be very different from landing in Norway.
    Even the simplest wargames have lowland and highlan/difficult terrain, which can have a profound effect on strategy. In a game supposedly set in the real world it’s yet another factor that, properly implemented yet with simple rules, could help produce a playout that feels more like real events.

    Note that I make Turkey in Asia and in Europe one territory, controlling passage through the straits. Likewise Panama and Egypt; don’t know why they insist on Trans-Jordan co-controlling Suez.

    Thinking about compiling a list of potential “partisan areas”, e.g. Alpine Redoubt (German Werewolves), Balkans (Yugoslavs), Rocky Mountains, Scottish Highlands etc, but probably only the Soviet/Pripet combination represents something likeley to have a measurable effect at the level of A&A.



  • Ok it is rigth and interesting.

    However, I think that they are too much details for a light wargame like A&A.
    There are a lot of things that are different from the real world and from the real History in A&A.
    Simply I do not feel the needs for them i nthe basic rules set. Thay could be fine house rules.


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