# Do the ternimate games use dumb luck or calculated casualties?

• Hey, I just had a game of Axis and Allies today and it wasn’t too bad. I was pretty much out rolled in dies from the beginning, but it was not game breaking until my 9 tanks were hit with 2 infantry, an artillery, a tank, 2 planes, and 4 bombers. The first roll he killed 4 of my tanks. I rolled and Killed 1 of his infantry. Next roll he killed my remaining tanks and I missed with all 5 dies. So out of 13 dies I rolled only one die 3 or higher. In that one roll it pretty much ended the game. It took all the pressure off Russia, left UK in German territory with all his units and pretty much crippled Germany.
I was just wondering if this is how the big tourney’s are played? I was hoping for the game to be more strategy (like chess) than dumb luck.
Thanks.

• Naw mate… some of us rely on ‘dumb luck’ to have any chance of winning a game… :mrgreen:

• Was just talking to some guys about ideas. Some play low luck where you add up all the attack rating and then divide by 6, then roll on the remainder. (So, 20 infantry attacking would = 3 kills and a roll of 2 or less to hit another) This gives you really close to accurate odds.
Another idea was to roll all dies 2 times and take the average hits.(this is still pretty random, but less than 1x roll)
Another is to mix Low luck with dies rolls and take averages.(like 18 infantry attacking. In low luck you would get 3 hits and a the worse roll of 0 hits and a best roll of 18 hits. So take (3+0)/2 = 1.5 and (3+18)/2=10.5 so your possible hits would be between 1.5 and 10.5.) so a roll of 5 hits would = 4 actual hits. (3+5)/2

I would like to find something maybe in the middle where a game is not won on a fluke, but not to super strict as to take the excitement out of the game. (Still chance, but not enough to be game ending)

• Well, some of the great battles of the real world was based on dumb luck, so why not in A&A wich is after all a game.

• Dunkirk

yes LL is fpr math graduates. if you dont like close, risky battles, adjust your moves accordingly.

• That sucks. but really it’s the field commanders (i.e. the dice) fault and not yours. Not every battle is meant to be won even if the odds are in your favor.

I personaly dislike low luck except for solo play trying out strategies, but if you hate wild swings in luck it might be your thing

• Was just talking to some guys about ideas. Some play low luck where you add up all the attack rating and then divide by 6, then roll on the remainder. (So, 20 infantry attacking would = 3 kills and a roll of 2 or less to hit another) This gives you really close to accurate odds.
Another idea was to roll all dies 2 times and take the average hits.(this is still pretty random, but less than 1x roll)
Another is to mix Low luck with dies rolls and take averages.(like 18 infantry attacking. In low luck you would get 3 hits and a the worse roll of 0 hits and a best roll of 18 hits. So take (3+0)/2 = 1.5 and (3+18)/2=10.5 so your possible hits would be between 1.5 and 10.5.) so a roll of 5 hits would = 4 actual hits. (3+5)/2

I would like to find something maybe in the middle where a game is not won on a fluke, but not to super strict as to take the excitement out of the game. (Still chance, but not enough to be game ending)

I’m a LL-only player, and I’m telling you even LL is random enough to keep the excitement of hoping for the right dice in the game. But it does take away the game breakers, and makes (for me) the game much more enjoyable. I think LL is exactly what you’re looking for, but you might have been scared away by others saying it takes all the excitement/randomness out the game. Remember it’s LOW luck, not NO luck (which does exist also ). Anyhow, there’s only one way to find out if you like it, so if you ever fancy a LL AA50, lemme know

How about if your enemy does like risky battles? And aren’t you always going to play sub-optimal (allright, I admit it, I’m a math student ) moves this way?

• I prefer AA played with intuition rather than a calculator with people counting beans and compiling statistics. AA was designed to be a game of chance with strategy mixed in, but still both held in high regard.

The only LL i like is AA guns on LL. thats it.

• I’m a low luck player who happens to play dice games once in a while, its not nearly enough to use a battle calc to make your decisions, you have to use your brain even if you get some help from battle calculators, and even experience players who use regular dice use battle calculators to help making good decisions in battles when the stacks of units gets very big.

It’s not much more different to play low luck rather than regular dice, compared playing without tech, which has been broken in both A&A Classic, AAR and AA50.

As low luck resembles chess more than regular dice, and chess is regarded as more competitive, I can see only good reasons to choose low luck over regular dice, both in casual games, league games and tournaments.

• War is gambling. You never know how strong the enemy are, you just attack them and gamble on luck. Barbarossa was pure gambling. In real wars you have no way to figure out the enemy army’s combat value, like you have in this A&A game. In a real war, the enemy dont sit polite and wait for you to come, hell no, they dont respect your turn, they may just combat move in and surprice attack you.

• @Subotai:

It’s not much more different to play low luck rather than regular dice, ….

I can see only good reasons to choose low luck over regular dice, both in casual games, league games and tournaments.

I am going to have to disagree with you there.  Using low luck eliminates some strategic moves.  Specifically moving a large stack next to another large stack.  Calculated/exact hit and runs ruins low-luck.

Example:
6 inf take ukraine.  In East Poland are 6 inf and 8 tanks (German)
Germany can take EXACTLY 5 units off for the cost of only 2 inf.  There is no way the German attacking units will get 6 hits and be stuck in Ukraine, suceptible to a counter attack.

Low Luck DOES change the game.

For this reason alone, I dislike LL.

Low Luck appears to be a personal preference sort of thing.  And people can have very strong opinions one way or another.  There is no right way to use dice to determine battle outcomes.  To use a sports analogy: “That’s why they play the game”

They are different games when you play with LL and when you do not.

• Yeah, I guess it is all up to taste, some people like throwing money in slot machines and hope they win. It is just not my taste. If I am going to play a game for hours, I would like it to be about skill rather than luck.

If there wasn’t a chance for violent swings I would not mind the chance. My problem is when you play for hours and in one fluke large battle the person wins the game regardless of strategy. All those hours of strategy and planing made no difference at all. In theory one infantry could destroy a whole massive army if the rolls were right. (some people find that fun, I don’t. I would hate to win or lose a game that way)

Some idea in the middle would even be good. So you still got a bit of a fluke to pull off a battle, but not enough fluke to pull of something ridiculous. (I have not played low luck yet, so I am going to give that a try)

*I do not believe there is a right or wrong way to play, if you like dies rolls play that way, if not, play the other.  I just wanted something better for the games I play. If there is any ideas in a middle ground please let me know. It would be cool to have various degrees of luck. Something for everyone’s taste.

• If there is any ideas in a middle ground please let me know. It would be cool to have various degrees of luck. Something for everyone’s taste.

We do play with something closer to the middle ground.  In our FTF games, we allow each country one battle where you can use the dice average on similiar units, rolling the odd dice.  An example makes this clearer:

2 inf, 2 tanks, 2 ftrs attack 4 inf.

The attacker rolls for the 2 inf (2@1 ).  He misses.  In order to not get bad rolls for his tanks and ftrs, he requests dice average for the 2 tanks (1 hit) and 2 ftrs (1 hit).

The defender can choose to take a dice average on 3 inf (3@2=1 hit) and roll 1@2.  Or he can roll all 4 dice.

Lets assume both sides take their dice average, but the defender gets his extra hit on his one roll @2.

Round 2 would now have 2 tanks, 2 ftr on 2 inf.

The attacker will take his dice average 2 hits, the defender has to roll 2 @ 2 (cannot dice average only 2 inf).

To offset the exact hit problem I described, each side gets 3 “must roll” cards that can be played when ever someone does not want to allow his opponent the chance to take his exact dice average.

After round 6, each player gets an additional 1 “must roll” card for every 2 rounds of play.

• If you’re only interested in eliminating the cases of extreme luck from the game, here’s a good solution I’ve seen used: give each nation one (and only one) “re-roll token” at the start of the game. This token can be used at any time throughout the game in any battle involving the nation which wants to use their token. Basically, it gives them the option to re-do (or force an opponent to re-do) any one roll of their choosing during the battle. Once you use your token, that’s it, you don’t get another one. Therefore, you must use it wisely.

• Or you could go LL+ : same as LL, but instead of rolling 2 dice (one for attacker and one for defender), roll 1 die, and apply the result to both attacker and defender. This way it’s impossible for a defender to keep the territory in 1 ftr + 2 inf vs 1 inf.

Or you could go NL (No Luck): same as LL, but instead of rolling 2 dice, use this rule: a 4, 5, 6 are a hit, a 3, 2, 1 are a miss.

Or you could go NL+: keep track of rest-attack throughout a battle (pretty math intensive  :roll: )

• I live for the fluke victory !

• i play low luck and luck and i like both

they are totally different games

in luck you have to take the chance dice will go bad

So if your winning the game say 70% of the time (in your opinion of course) you don’t offer your opponent a 30% battle on your fleet (or other game changing battle)

That is why with the axis i will take all those dodgy 55% battles cause i think the axis lose way more than 45% of the time.

And obviously sometime you lose games to rolling. Live with it or don’t play luck based games go play Chess there is zero luck involved.

I like luck based games cause it requires way more skill in my opinion.

In low luck you can just work out pretty much what is going to happen in any battle s you don’t have to prepare for the worst. Ie if this goes bad will it kill me . So you end up with more skill based judgement calls in luck. Of course this is my opinion.

For example one thing i really like to do in luck based games is put 4 british inf out for the germans to take a pot shot at.

it’s a difficult number of units cause he can’t overcommit to it. as it drags too many of his pieces out of position. Yet he can’t undercommit with 1 or 2 inf and a heap of planes.

I like low luck too

It’s more of a strategic game.

• For those who choose low luck, fine.  But just make sure you aren’t missing out on half the game!

A&A has two exciting aspects - the strategy and the chance.  I suspect that those who choose low luck haven’t learnt to appreciate the latter aspect, or find it too difficult.  The key is that luck can be managed.

Sure an infantry could attack a stack of tanks.  It might win one in a million times, but the player who does this regularly will lose.  You can choose your battles and manage your risk.  If you can’t afford to lose a stack of russian inf - don’t put them in the line.  If you don’t want to lose 7 bombers in an SBR raid, make sure you can deal with a pile of pips looking up at you after your roll.

Reducing luck also has a big impact on the strategic aspect of the game.  It doesn’t make it more ‘pure’, it changes it fundamentally.  For instance, the German luftwaffe might have an attack on the british navy where they have a 20% chance of success, and an 80% chance of being swatted like flies.  If the germans crack it, they probably win as all the pressure is off their backs while UK rebuilds.  If they lose, it hurts them but they can pump out the infantry and wait it out till Japan rescues.  Denying these type of risks alters the strategy: the UK can afford to buy ‘just enough’ naval protection and spend a lot more on transports and infantry.  Really they should have to be a little more cautious.

Don’t give up on dice.  Learn how to master them

• In general I prefer Low Luck, but there simply enough players around so I have to take the beat and play “luck games” most of the time.

LL doesn’t work as well for a F2F game since it can really make the game take too long, with the long calculations involved.

LL is, however, well suited to the slower pace of an online game.

The one problem with LL is that luck can still screw you  :evil:

For example I played an opponent recently who rolled 18 “round off” dice at “2 or less” in the first two game turns and hit 15 times, costing me many more air/naval units and key territory captures (eg Egypt on G1 where his only chance to hold is for me to miss my “3” and hit his “1” on the first combat round and then he also has to have some other future dice “round offs” fall his way too, although at better odds.).

In a “luck” game, if I evaluate my position as losing (say I figure I’m 33% to win the game from that point), in LL it’s GG, but in "luck I can still charge at Moscow and take a battle with my odds around 30% given me a decent chance to win the big game deciding stack vs stack battle.

Basically, LL runs the risk of over emphasizing your luck in the smaller battles where the 1d6 “round off” dice has its biggest game impact.

That being said, I get frustrated when a guy takes a 22% chance in a key battle and wins, killing my air force on the ground etc, when 78% of the time the attack is pure folly and a game loser (sometimes it feels like I lose those 22% battles 100% of the time  )

• Most of the players who prefers LL have been playing reg dice in many many years. I, and others who prefer LL often find it is not that fun to win/loose games when probability say 80% to loose or win an important battle, and the opponent, or myself got lucky and won/lost the game because of dice.

Dice rolls are an external factor which you cannot control. A professor in mathematics was asked to comment on news report that a man somewhere in the US said he had found a system to beat the lottery, because he won twice in a week or a month. The professor said that if the numbers are accidental, then it’s impossible to make a system, or do anything that increases the possibility to win.

Dice numbers are accidental, you cannot control dice, so you cannot make a system based on dice rolls other than that it is equal probability for each number from 1 to 6. As lottery numbers can be any numbers, so can dice rolls. You were not good, skilled or a strategic genius if you picked the right numbers and won the lottery, because you cannot influence the numbers in a lottery or the result of dice rolls.

Now, lets assume that Garri Kasparov returned to playing competitive chess, if he had to roll a dice to kill the opponents pieces, would this be more based on skills than it is now?

If someone should think otherwise, its fully possible to win LL games because of luck, but it is more difficult of course, because the nature of LL games is that lesser luck is involved in deciding the outcome of a game compared to reg dice.

Since LL is a little more “chess-ish”, than reg dice, would this mean more skills to win reg dice games than LL games?  :roll:

• Sry Telamon, but I strongly disagree:

For those who choose low luck, fine.  But just make sure you aren’t missing out on half the game!

The Lottery half…

A&A has two exciting aspects - the strategy and the chance.  I suspect that those who choose low luck haven’t learnt to appreciate the latter aspect, or find it too difficult.  The key is that luck can be managed.

Yes, those LL players are big unappreciative wussies being whiney about having bad dice that ruins their strategy. Should’ve gotten a plan B, C and D!

Sure an infantry could attack a stack of tanks.  It might win one in a million times, but the player who does this regularly will lose.  You can choose your battles and manage your risk.  If you can’t afford to lose a stack of russian inf - don’t put them in the line.  If you don’t want to lose 7 bombers in an SBR raid, make sure you can deal with a pile of pips looking up at you after your roll.

Keep this in mind: you’re saying people shouldn’t attack with 1 inf at bad odds because doing this regularly will cost one the game -

Reducing luck also has a big impact on the strategic aspect of the game.  It doesn’t make it more ‘pure’, it changes it fundamentally.  For instance, the German luftwaffe might have an attack on the british navy where they have a 20% chance of success, and an 80% chance of being swatted like flies.  If the germans crack it, they probably win as all the pressure is off their backs while UK rebuilds.

Wait? An inf is a no-go, but getting your whole luftwaffe crushed, thusly eliminating good opportunities of trading dead zones or threatening to attack Cau/Len, is considered good?

If they lose, it hurts them but they can pump out the infantry and wait it out till Japan rescues.

Come on, if Japan could rescue a luftwaffeless Germany in time, this game is as balanced as tic-tac-toe.

Denying these type of risks alters the strategy: the UK can afford to buy ‘just enough’ naval protection and spend a lot more on transports and infantry.  Really they should have to be a little more cautious.

Ah, now I get it: retreating your units and overdoing your fleet are the way to go if you don’t want to have bad dice! But how about the great strategical aspects of attacking your opponent and optimizing your purchases?

Don’t give up on dice.  Learn how to master them

Hmm, maybe we should send LL’ers to clinics and drug them or try shock therapy to get them back normal. After all, ADS is the natural way of playing the game, anything else is no more than a disease or a temporary phase people will grow out

Allright, so far the sarcastic part of the post, but I just got offended because I felt you we’re stating LL was inferior to ADS (ADS is half of the game, get back to ADS, LL’ers should just be more cautious, don’t do this, do that, they don’t appreciate something they should…)
I know some people like ADS, and to me that’s very strange, but I understand (or at least I try to) why they like it: it brings animosity to the table, it’s more historically accurate, it requires some special skills etc. To me, those things don’t weigh up against a neatly executed cooperative plan being ruined by an AA-gun shooting down 6 out of 7 bmrs. To others they do, so this is where the “opinion”-part sets in. It’s no use trying to alter other people’s personal opinions. After all, they’re not wrong and I’m not right, but we’re only differing in opinion. However, you’re trying to do just that, and that’s why I replied with a not so friendly post

Anyhow, I’m of concocting a master move that won’t be ruined by bad dice :evil:

• I didn’t realise that there were LL fans around here

Anyone can feel free to PM me if you want a 1941 game  as either Axis or Allies 8-)

I’m happy to discuss which (official) optional rules you wish to play

I recommend using HolKann’s SBR table

I prefer a “pace” of moves every 1-3 days (I’m usually good for 1 turn per day myself)

• Hey HolKan,

I certainly didn’t mean to criticise people who’d play low luck.  I totally respect that it’s a different game and can be enjoyed in its own right (on reflection I probably should have said that originally).  It draws the game much closer to chess where to be really good you need to look at every possibly move the opponent can counter with, and look down the chains of moves to see where you want the game to end up.  For those who enjoy this type of game more, that’s cool - of course each person has their preferences.

But I wanted to persuade that the possibility of terrible luck doesn’t detract from the game, it actually adds to it.  Which I obviously didn’t do very well as I seem to have offended.  But bear with me…

My main point was that there is nothing wrong with taking a calculated pot shot (with say a one in five chance of success) in the appropriate moment.  If there’s a juicy pile of bombers sitting like ducks, or a risky attack on a capital, or a chance to smash the british war fleet and transports together… you should have the opportunity to do so and be rewarded if you make it.  If it’s a bad risk then that will show up in that you’ll lose a lot of games.  But the consequences of failure may not be so bad.  Sure, if germany loses 5 planes it hurts. A lot.  But you can pump out infantry and hold off the allies for a long while before its good night - and you may have calculated that japan can apply enough pressure to keep a lifeline for the axis.

It definitely changes the strategy if these risks can be ignored.  It means you can be sure that italy won’t crack the caucuses if you leave ‘just’ enough troops there and march the rest to berlin.  I feel like you lose part of the game if you don’t have to make these calculations, and you only have to make the ones at the front line.  It just seems to simplify the strategic choices, but complicate the mechanics.  I guess that’s really the essence of the issue and probably explains why people’s preferences divide on that line.

A funny side note: I guess I’m a bit hypocritical in this becuase I don’t really like playing with tech.  I feel like it unbalances the strategies and places a greater emphasis on luck.  I think its different degrees of the same issue, as I see people arguing “you should be forced to take into account that your opponent might get lucky with paratroopers and take your capital”.

The only explanation I can give for my apparent hypocrisy is that I think techs actually reduce the strategic sophistication of the game, because some of them are so good that it’s a clear choice to be rolling for them as they provide big advantages.  And in general the player with the better luck will generally win.

But as long as you have fun, that’s all that matters.  Sorry for provoking, it wasnt my intention.  I just wanted to make the case that bad luck isn’t necessarily bad

• In the light of day I understand you better now, and it’s right that you can calculate your defences/attacks better in LL, so you will end up using lesser resources for “just in case” or “just to be sure” situations. And ofcourse, if there’s a huge pile of trns on a “just enough to keep 1 DD left” fleet, someone made a mistake, because you have to calculate your losses if things go wrong in too. It’s like a 30% chance to take Ger with UK, no one would doubt about that, since the potential gains far outweigh the potential losses, thus tilting the average gain in your direction. That aspect is still in LL though, be it less severe (it’s a question of adding 1 DD instead of 1 BB “to be sure”).

But as long as you have fun, that’s all that matters.

I couldn’t agree more! (and sry for my tendency to overreact :oops: )

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