Open letter to Larry Harris: Feedback on your excellent creation


  • You lose some historical accuracy if you move the flying tigers unit from Chungking to Sikang

  • 2022 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator

    @Telamon:

    You’re spot on Holkann - hit taking ability is as important as hit giving ability.  That’s why 5 cruisers (attack points 15, cost 60) will consistently lose to 3 battleships (attack points 12, cost 60).  Extra hits.  It’s what makes destroyers the best value for buffing a fleet.  I agree that 10 is a realistic option for cruisers - it would make them a fraction weaker than destroyers, but a definite step ahead of battleships.  At 11, they are a fraction weaker than battleships.  I don’t mind where they are placed 10-11, but at 12 IPC they are pricing themselves out of the market.  Bombarding doesn’t make up for a weak, expensive unit.

    I disagree about the cruisers being overpriced.  5 cruisers bombard more effectively than 3 battleships.  5 cruisers can be in 5 places at once, whereas 3 battleships…  A cruiser (or better yet, a destroyer) can block a huge enemy fleet by itself cheaper than a battleship or aircraft carrier (sometimes an important tactical move).  If cruisers only cost 10, they would be too good.  Last but not least, there’s the confusion/unpredictability factor.  5 cruisers takes up more space so may look more menacing.  Again, the split up ability of cheaper units is an advantage over more expensive ones.  I’d rather have 5 cruisers in some situations than 3 battleships (not always, but sometimes).

  • 2022 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator

    @oztea:

    No AA guns on boats, it doesnt solve anything. It just makes the UK fleet stronger if germany can only attack it by air late game.
    As for Egypt, thats how the cookie crumbles. It was a tough battle, it could have gone either way, what needs to be represented better is the surrounding territories. More goofballs running around africa, another south african, always a guy in perisa, another in transjordan, it wasnt all or nothing cram everyone in egypt, the UK had there what it could fit there logisticly, and it had reserves.
    Island Factories……I despise them, 100% Ahistorical. …but im a fan of victory cities priducing 1 infantry a turn if you pay.
    Cruisers are fine, a 3/3 for 10 is a fighter. A 3/3 for 5 Is a tank A 3/3 for 12 is a Cruiser.
    Small discrepency, but its all realitive. In the water a 3/3 for 12 is fine, considering the 2/2 is 8 (66% of cost) and the 2/2 on land is 80% of the cost of its 3/3 counterpart. Boats cost alot of money folks, remember if you drop it low enough Russia might buy one and thats pretty ahistorical. 12 makes it an investment, not a bargain.

    Agree no AA on boats.  Agree no change needed to Egypt.  Something posters have been conveniently omitting - you have to destroy the UK DD with 1 fighter first.  This is not a gimme.  Also, the German bomber is not doing something else very important - such as killing a UK battleship.  The dude that wrote to Larry about a 100 IPC swing was stretching it.  There’s an opportunity cost to using the bomber in Egypt round one - plus it’s stuck down south somewhere afterwards.  I completely disagree that buffing Egypt is in the top 10 things to write to Larry about. 
    The island factories thing is huge.  I’m playing my first game now without them.  It totally neuters Japan.  I also added one infantry to the flying tigers.  Japan didn’t even attack them (for the first time ever).  Japan is struggling (in round 5) to keep 2 NO’s.  Personally, I like this because I like it when the Allies eventually win (like in the good 'ol days when I played Classic).  Italian units taking over Eastern US - talk about ahistorical (happened in one of my games - just making the point I don’t like Axis victories).
    Also, agree there’s no problem with pricing for cruisers.


  • 1.  extra inf in Yunnan or move chi. fighter starting position

    2.  round Chinese territories up for infantry placement.  give at least one plus the rest
            ie  4 territories = 1 plus 2…for 3 inf

    3.  Maybe a Chinese N.O. of an extra inf  if allies hold Manchuria? or Kwangtung?

    4.  Cruisers  maybe one ipc less would place more in the game.  I never see that many now.

  • Customizer

    I normally do a 6 ipc bid for the allies (playing with NOs, 41)
    this normally pans out as 1inf in Egypt, 1inf in Karelia

    this is rather similar to what Larry has kind of suggested:
    1inf in Egypt, 2inf in Yunnan

    I would say they are of equal value.


  • @Telamon:

    I agree that 10 is a realistic option for cruisers - it would make them a fraction weaker than destroyers, but a definite step ahead of battleships.  At 11, they are a fraction weaker than battleships.  I don’t mind where they are placed 10-11, but at 12 IPC they are pricing themselves out of the market.  Bombarding doesn’t make up for a weak, expensive unit.

    I disagree. Yes it does.

    @gamerman01:

    Also, if you “buff your fleet” with a bunch of destroyers, you’re right that they’re more efficient than cruisers - against other fleets only.  But my land and air units on land are not afraid of your destroyers coming closer, but your cruisers are menacing.  Also, Larry had a great point about the cost.  Battleships “only” cost 1.67 times more than a cruiser, but many times I do not want to commit 20 IPC’s to one unit.  Or what if I have 12 IPC’s I want to spend on my fleet?  Which is better, a destroyer or a cruiser?  I can’t buy 2 destroyers with 12 IPC’s. I don’t think 12 IPC cruisers should be in the top 20 of our suggestions for improvements to AA50.  We’ve come a long way from 24 IPC one-hit battleships and 18 IPC carriers, though, haven’t we?

    All good points.

    @gamerman01:

    Put it this way, if I had 5 cruisers I wouldn’t want to attack 3 battleships with them

    You wouldn’t want to do that in real warfare either so no problems there in my opinion.

    @oztea:

    Hold on a second….why are ships always getting AA guns?
    The vulnerability of the big ships was one of the top 5 lessons of WWII!
    Battle of Taranto, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Midway, etc.

    No AA guns on boats, it doesnt solve anything. It just makes the UK fleet stronger if germany can only attack it by air late game.

    Agreed.

    @oztea:

    Cruisers are fine, a 3/3 for 10 is a fighter. A 3/3 for 5 Is a tank A 3/3 for 12 is a Cruiser.
    Small discrepency, but its all realitive. In the water a 3/3 for 12 is fine, considering the 2/2 is 8 (66% of cost) and the 2/2 on land is 80% of the cost of its 3/3 counterpart. Boats cost alot of money folks, remember if you drop it low enough Russia might buy one and thats pretty ahistorical. 12 makes it an investment, not a bargan.

    Again, I agree.

    @Cmdr:

    Move the Chinese fighter to Sikang.  As it stands now, and feel free to pass this on to Larry, I kill every last Chinese unit in Japan 1.  From there, it’s pretty easy walking to Moscow.

    There is a counter to that strategy. If you go after the Chinese fighter on Turn 1 that opens the door for an India industrial complex.

    If you do not send any fighters to sink the UK destroyer and transport in SZ 35 the UK player can use the transport to pick up the 2 infantry from Trans-Jordan to fortify India. That coupled with 4 or more Russian infantry from Caucasus and/or Kazakh S.S.R. as well as a russian tank or fighter can make India invulnerable to a Japanese attack on turn 2. Once there is a complex in India your quick train to moscow gets derailed.

    If you send 1 fighter to SZ 35 and manage to sink the boats there is a 50% chance your fighter is going to be destroyed as well giving you less firepower in India (fortified by Russian forces again) on turn 2. The result is an India complex again slowing down your march.

    @Cmdr:

    Up bombers to 20 IPC in cost, but give them AA Gun protection.

    Bombers are about the only thing that needs some tweaking in my opinion. Change the cost or make the optional fighter intercept rules (from the Anniversary FAQ) standard perhaps?


  • @WOPR:

    @Cmdr:

    Move the Chinese fighter to Sikang.  As it stands now, and feel free to pass this on to Larry, I kill every last Chinese unit in Japan 1.  From there, it’s pretty easy walking to Moscow.

    There is a counter to that strategy. If you go after the Chinese fighter on Turn 1 that opens the door for an India industrial complex.

    If you do not send any fighters to sink the UK destroyer and transport in SZ 35 the UK player can use the transport to pick up the 2 infantry from Trans-Jordan to fortify India. That coupled with 4 or more Russian infantry from Caucasus and/or Kazakh S.S.R. as well as a russian tank or fighter can make India invulnerable to a Japanese attack on turn 2. Once there is a complex in India your quick train to moscow gets derailed.

    If you send 1 fighter to SZ 35 and manage to sink the boats there is a 50% chance your fighter is going to be destroyed as well giving you less firepower in India (fortified by Russian forces again) on turn 2. The result is an India complex again slowing down your march.

    India IC cannot simply hold, no matter what do you send. If you don’t lose it round 2 or 3, you will lose it round 4: Japan starts with 5 trannies and at least 6 figs, and can buy ICs pretty near to take India, being East Indies the more nasty

    But even a attrittion battle will be lost: you have no China to aid, opposite to Revised, so it’s 3 guys against all the japanese power: even 1 IC to Manchuria, 1 IC to FIC will beat India soon or later, and you have still enough income to stop USA’s fleet

    Of course, you could send tons of soviets there, but then Germany and Italy will have a party day in Soviet Union. And western axis is now stronger than ever

    Still, in better of cases, you are trading China for India. And you need both in long race. It’s a puzzle without solution because Japan solves it to her profit before even allies can make UK’s turn

    One more thing: in 1941, soviets move before Japan. So if soviets send troops to aid India, Japan can simply focus her moves on that place as reply as allies will probably want a India IC. There are 4 figs that can attck Yunnan, you can still attack indian fleet with 2 figs and Yunnan, and I have done that with success


  • I agree with what Funcioneta says about India. When I saw the game map I was a bit surprised by the exclusion of Singapore from the game, which was supposed to hinder expansion towards India. Of course it turned out to be a victory for Japan, but at least Burma was invaded by land and not by seaborne invasion as you can do in this game easily. Right now a UK IC in Africa is the only one viable against good Axis play in the '41 scenario, and most of the time those units arrive too late to hinder a Japanese Caucasus rush.

    What would be the effect of a UK fleet in sz37 off Burma at-start, say a cruiser? This would represent the UK naval presence in Singapore at the start of the Pacific war. Japan would then probably have to deploy the Formosa fighter against Phillippines sea zone or against sz37, making a Yunnan attack more difficult. Unless Japan sends those carrier-based fighters against Yunnan, but then UK can use the India transport to attack Egypt or reinforce India with the Transjordan force. Trade-offs that could just make the Axis be less invulnerable than they seem to be at the moment, perhaps together with an infantry addition to Allies set-up.


  • @Lynxes:

    What would be the effect of a UK fleet in sz37 off Burma at-start, say a cruiser? This would represent the UK naval presence in Singapore at the start of the Pacific war. Japan would then probably have to deploy the Formosa fighter against Phillippines sea zone or against sz37, making a Yunnan attack more difficult. Unless Japan sends those carrier-based fighters against Yunnan, but then UK can use the India transport to attack Egypt or reinforce India with the Transjordan force. Trade-offs that could just make the Axis be less invulnerable than they seem to be at the moment, perhaps together with an infantry addition to Allies set-up.

    I like this idea. Probably is not enough but at least gives Japan something to think. Mmmm… maybe also move the chinese fig to Sikang and add 1 inf to sik, chi, nin?

    +1, Lynxes

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Ya pulling 15 and then 9+ ipcs away a turn from UK, and russian units off the eastern front to India to be exposed to the entirity of the Japanese Juggernaut is a BAD plan of action.

    that Sz35 fleet should NEVER survive, barring extreme luck, beating 2 fgt’s.  and YUN should also NEVER survive any good J1 strategy.  Other locations on J1 are negotiable to the success of those battles, barring the bat in Sz 53 that must also be destroyed.

    The only time and India complex is viable is if, J1 is Horribly botched, or you are playing against a Japanese opponenf, who is VERY new, or VERY inept.


  • @Funcioneta:

    India IC cannot simply hold, no matter what do you send. If you don’t lose it round 2 or 3, you will lose it round 4: Japan starts with 5 trannies and at least 6 figs, and can buy ICs pretty near to take India, being East Indies the more nasty

    But even a attrittion battle will be lost: you have no China to aid, opposite to Revised, so it’s 3 guys against all the japanese power: even 1 IC to Manchuria, 1 IC to FIC will beat India soon or later, and you have still enough income to stop USA’s fleet

    Well I don’t think it will hold indefinitely if the Axis are really determined to take it. I said it will slow the Japanese push to Moscow. It’s also a lot more fun than focusing solely on the European theater.

    @Funcioneta:

    One more thing: in 1941, soviets move before Japan. So if soviets send troops to aid India, Japan can simply focus her moves on that place as reply as allies will probably want a India IC.

    Well, it’ll look that way but the Russian player can always pull the forces back and if he does he will have succeeded in getting Japan off their regular game plan. Therefore, advantage Allies.  😄

    @Gargantua:

    Ya pulling 15 and then 9+ ipcs away a turn from UK, and russian units off the eastern front to India to be exposed to the entirity of the Japanese Juggernaut is a BAD plan of action.

    that Sz35 fleet should NEVER survive, barring extreme luck, beating 2 fgt’s.  and YUN should also NEVER survive any good J1 strategy.  Other locations on J1 are negotiable to the success of those battles, barring the bat in Sz 53 that must also be destroyed.

    The only time and India complex is viable is if, J1 is Horribly botched, or you are playing against a Japanese opponenf, who is VERY new, or VERY inept.

    I disagree. If we ever get a software version of the game I’ll show you how it’s done mate.

  • 2022 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator

    @Gargantua:

    Ya pulling 15 and then 9+ ipcs away a turn from UK, and russian units off the eastern front to India to be exposed to the entirity of the Japanese Juggernaut is a BAD plan of action.

    that Sz35 fleet should NEVER survive, barring extreme luck, beating 2 fgt’s.  and YUN should also NEVER survive any good J1 strategy.  Other locations on J1 are negotiable to the success of those battles, barring the bat in Sz 53 that must also be destroyed.

    The only time and India complex is viable is if, J1 is Horribly botched, or you are playing against a Japanese opponenf, who is VERY new, or VERY inept.

    I pretty much agree with you, man.  In this game I think UK needs to be concentrating on Germany.  Any complex within 6 spaces of Japan in the first few rounds is going to get captured.  And I can’t imagine a scenario where that is good for the allies.


  • @WOPR:

    Well I don’t think it will hold indefinitely. I said it will slow the Japanese push to Moscow. It’s also a lot more fun than focusing solely on the European theater.

    It will not slow the japs. They simply will stomp indian army and get a free IC

    I agree, it’s a lot more fun than focusing only in Europe, but it cannot be done: you will lose India and have to focus on Europe anyway after losing many IPCs and giving Japan a free IC. That’s one of the reasons of 1941 scenario being broken (the other is crappy China, more a puppet for Japan than an aid for allies). And that’s one of the reasons I prefer 1942 scenario all the way: India can hold and China is slightly less crappy, so allies have a chance


  • I still think China going first will solve much of these problems. They get to beef up AND save their fighter. The restriction on movement keeps them from doing anything too ahistorical as well.


  • @Funcioneta:

    @WOPR:

    Well I don’t think it will hold indefinitely. I said it will slow the Japanese push to Moscow. It’s also a lot more fun than focusing solely on the European theater.

    It will not slow the japs. They simply will stomp indian army and get a free IC

    I agree, it’s a lot more fun than focusing only in Europe, but it cannot be done: you will lose India and have to focus on Europe anyway after losing many IPCs and giving Japan a free IC. That’s one of the reasons of 1941 scenario being broken (the other is crappy China, more a puppet for Japan than an aid for allies). And that’s one of the reasons I prefer 1942 scenario all the way: India can hold and China is slightly less crappy, so allies have a chance

    I don’t want to hijack this thread with an Indian IC debate so I’ll just say this: When and if we get a software version of the game I’ll show you how it can be done.


  • WOPR there is always Abattlemap and play by forums.

    And I don’t see why Japan has to decide between hitting SZ35 and Yunnan on turn 1. I do both every game I play. The only place I could attack with the infantry used in Yunnan is Burma anyway and that irreplaceable sole offensive Chinese piece is worth the price of skipping Burma anyway.


  • @a44bigdog:

    WOPR there is always Abattlemap and play by forums.

    Abattlemap and play by forums is not fluid enough for my tastes. I can’t get into it.

    @a44bigdog:

    And I don’t see why Japan has to decide between hitting SZ35 and Yunnan on turn 1. I do both every game I play.

    And that’s exactly why if you tried that against me you’d lose.  😄


  • @WOPR:

    @a44bigdog:

    WOPR there is always Abattlemap and play by forums.

    Abattlemap and play by forums is not fluid enough for my tastes. I can’t get into it.

    Just give it a shot.  I was on this forum for over a year before I tried it, but after I finally tried it and found out that it wasn’t so bad, now I’ve almost always got 1-3 games going on.


  • Anytime you want to back that statement up WOPR feel free to challenge me at a Play by Forum game. I may not be the best on this website but I can hold my own.


  • Same here WOPR, I’m new to AA50 but understand that two IC’s or India IC isn’t that hard for Japan to knock down.  Even in revised unless you are playing no bid and all Allies go KJF holding an IC in India is hard to do for more than couple rounds.

    So I’m up for a game as Axis on AA50.  I’m willing to learn.  No sense keeping this big strategy away from the AA world.

    If it’s good it should be shared with the forum.  God knows how many people tried or trying to solve the Japan problem.

  • Customizer

    it entirely depends on if you are doing NOs or not (and also slightly depends on 1941 or 1942)


  • @Veqryn:

    it entirely depends on if you are doing NOs or not (and also slightly depends on 1941 or 1942)

    I think WOPR was talking about 1941, I assume NO and tech from the way he was inferring.  I could be wrong.


  • @gnasape:

    I think WOPR was talking about 1941, I assume NO and tech from the way he was inferring.  I could be wrong.

    Yes. 1941, NO and tech.

    @a44bigdog:

    Anytime you want to back that statement up WOPR feel free to challenge me at a Play by Forum game. I may not be the best on this website but I can hold my own.

    I’ll take a rain check for when we receive a proper software game.

    @gnasape:

    Same here WOPR, I’m new to AA50 but understand that two IC’s or India IC isn’t that hard for Japan to knock down.  Even in revised unless you are playing no bid and all Allies go KJF holding an IC in India is hard to do for more than couple rounds.

    So I’m up for a game as Axis on AA50.  I’m willing to learn.  No sense keeping this big strategy away from the AA world.

    If it’s good it should be shared with the forum.  God knows how many people tried or trying to solve the Japan problem.

    Well, I’m not exactly eager to present my solution to the Japan problem because I like to play as Japan. I’d hate to play against my own strategy.

    Devising strategies is half the fun and I’ve given you the set up already. Play around and see what you can come up with. I recommend TripleA and it’s odds calculator for testing purposes.


  • WOPR,

    I think everyone tries and comes up with a strategy but until it’s tested against good/great players you won’t know it succeeds.

    When the game first came out for the 1942 scenario someone came up with what they called a fail proof strategy for Axis, the 1-2-3 punch on Cauc.  It works against unsuspecting players and newbies but not against veterans.  Also it causes Japan to commit it’s airforce so taking Asia is harder but it gets the job done but at a heavy price.

    On paper the strategy was great but our play group implemented and it worked but only because we knew about the strategy and it was eveyones first time playing AA50.  This game was no NO and also the Russian player left Cauc open.

    In my opinion, if Allies go after Japan hard or if UK goes for a 2 IC or India IC early to stall Japan, it might work against normal players (myself included) but at what cost?  How is the European theater?  Until you factor in all aspects of the game, the strategy can’t evolve and adapt.

    AA has come a long way from the infantry push mechanics by Don Rae (although his papers on deadzone management did wonders for my game) to now.  One of the joys of this forum is learning and interacting with others.  I would have to say that most people on this site like to learn and contribute to the growth of the game.  That’s where the bids come in, house rules, etc.  But overall everyone enjoys the competition and the game, I take more pride in winning against an experienced player than against a newbie due to the challenge.  Although, dice rolls are part of the game and I don’t mind winning due to some lucky dice rolls.

    My two cents.  Good luck on your gaming!


  • @WOPR:

    @a44bigdog:

    Anytime you want to back that statement up WOPR feel free to challenge me at a Play by Forum game. I may not be the best on this website but I can hold my own.

    I’ll take a rain check for when we receive a proper software game.

    Boy that could be a long wait……

    Are you averse to battlemap/PBF?  Triple A is underground but still out there.

    Seems a shame that someone is professing to have a solution to the Japan problem but… won’t play anyone.

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