Game imbalance - Look at the Unit IPC totals


  • @akreider2:

    In the Revised version, after the first Russian turn, the Allies would typically have a total unit value of 75 more than the Axis.

    In 1941, at the start, the Allies have only 4 IPCs more of units.

    I did a statistical study of the Revised version and found that each gain of 1 ipc in total unit value for a side increased the probability of winning by 3.9% (see http://www.campusactivism.org/blog/node/189).  Territory held is also important, but I think the territory balance is similar in the two games (the Axis starts out with less). Typically if an Axis player’s units would equal the value of an Allied player’s then they would have won the game in Revised (I’d guess 95% chance against a player of equal skill).

    You’re trying to compare apples and oranges.

    AA50 has many changes compared to revised:

    number of territories differ
    play sequence differs
    The European Axis forces are split into Germany/Italy
    Unit costs and abilities have changed
    Base dollars for countries has changed.

    Therefor, your revised research correlation of ipcs to winning most likely can not be the same in AA50

  • 2007 AAR League

    Yes, but the situation is still roughly the same. Axis has better position, and starts from an economic disadvantage in income.

    The power of statistical analysis is that you can something down into main causes. And I think Unit IPC value is a primary cause of the game outcome (whereas I think the changes you listed are less significant).  I guess people don’t like talking about it because it is more fun to consider all the possible strategies.


  • I guess I am wondering what kind of comment(s) you are looking for regarding your statistical analysis.  Are we supposed to theorize the new ratio applicable in AA50?

    I’ll take a stab at it  :lol:

    AAR: each gain of 1 ipc in total unit value for a side increased the probability of winning by 3.9%

    AA50: each gain of 1 ipc in total unit value for a side increased the probability of winning by 5.1%

    It seems to me that once a side has an advantage (especially with NO’s in play), that advantage increase is not linear, but accelerates rapidly.  Not so extreme as a logrithmic manner, but perhaps exponentially.

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

    @axis_roll:

    It seems to me that once a side has an advantage (especially with NO’s in play), that advantage increase is not linear, but accelerates rapidly.  Not so extreme as a logrithmic manner, but perhaps exponentially.

    I was thinking, too, that statistical analysis considers only total IPC values and incomes and whatnot and not the position of the units on the board.  I don’t think stat analysis can boil down what side has an advantage and by how much.

    I think the starting setup is fair enough.  I think much bigger factors are what strategies your opponent will use, what the dice do to you, etc.  I think you smart stat guys should spend your time and energies developing a really good battle calculator instead of analyzing the starting setups.  I have a good calculator, but it could be quite a bit better.  Let us know when you make something useful.  :lol:

  • '16 '15 '10

    @akreider2:

    Yes, but the situation is still roughly the same. Axis has better position, and starts from an economic disadvantage in income.

    The power of statistical analysis is that you can something down into main causes. And I think Unit IPC value is a primary cause of the game outcome (whereas I think the changes you listed are less significant).  I guess people don’t like talking about it because it is more fun to consider all the possible strategies.

    I think everybody who agrees the game is unbalanced also agrees Axis starts with too many units/too much unit value.  For example the complaints about Japan starting with 3 carriers, 9 figs, and 5 transports in 41.

    The complaint that Axis have the economic advantage in the long-game is also related.  It’s much easier to weak down Russia than any Axis power.

    The sort of game people are used to is where Axis attacks Russia and must take Moscow before Allies muster their economic edge.  In AA50, the long economic game favors Axis, so it’s Allies who have to take risks and attack.

  • 2007 AAR League

    For battle calculators use
    www.frood.net/aacalc/  (for battles involving battleships)

    Or my updated version of Frood for Anniversary - unfortunately battleships don’t work.
    www.campusactivism.org/aacalc/

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

    Thanks, ak, but I’ve seen those and prefer the one I’m using over those.


  • Yes, but the situation is still roughly the same. Axis has better position, and starts from an economic disadvantage in income.

    That may be true, but the economic disadvantage is non-existent by the end of round 3. Two turns of economic advantage for the Allies is simply not enough to balance the game.


  • In fact, economic advantage from round 2 is marginal for allies, if still is any. You only have real advantage with the starting cash and round 1. In Revised axis could achieve economic parity, but only after 4-5 rounds if allies played well

  • 2007 AAR League

    The economic advantage partially depends on if and how you count China.  Should their countries count as 1 IPC value (because normally the Chinese army isn’t that worthwhile), or 1.5 IPC value (1/2 of an inf) or some other number.

    For instance, if Japan is normally getting China down to 3 countries - then China produces 1 inf - value of 1 ipc/country.  When I play Japan, I try to get China to round down.


  • Yep, I count China using the dudes they popped as base. 1 dude means 3 IPCs, 2 dudes 6, etc

    But in 1941 China should not be able of producing more than 2 inf the whole game, and that if Japan failed some attack J1 or didn’t do in first place (the most usual should be pop only one inf the whole game). And one or 2 dudes at chi are irrelevant for the game. In 1941 scenario, China is more a puppet and a boost for Japan than some sort of aid for allies

    In 1942 they may be a factor if Japan uses the India Crush and takes India J2 because then Japan will need spare the life of the ACME fighter at Yunnan, but losing India J2 is even worst than losing China J2


  • The economic advantage partially depends on if and how you count China.  Should their countries count as 1 IPC value (because normally the Chinese army isn’t that worthwhile), or 1.5 IPC value (1/2 of an inf) or some other number.

    For instance, if Japan is normally getting China down to 3 countries - then China produces 1 inf - value of 1 ipc/country.  When I play Japan, I try to get China to round down.

    Theres no advantage to China economic or otherwise. China is useless. Its completely wiped out on turn2 by any competent Japanese player.

    The Allies dont get an economic advantage over Axis past turn 2. However if all three Allies gang up on Germany they still have an economic advantage over Germany. Thats why KGF is really the only strategy that works. Usually the game is decided by turn5 or turn6. If allies arnt close to winning by then Japan will be unstoppable.

    I would love to see a custom scenario where allies have the economic advantage and Axis is pressured to kill russia quickly before the USA’s economy catches up.


  • @Khobai:

    Thats why KGF is really the only strategy that works. Usually the game is decided by turn5 or turn6. If allies arnt close to winning by then Japan will be unstoppable.

    The problem with that is that Japan can start a full assault on mainland America and force USA spent money against Japan … is not so difficult with such economic power Japan has and those 5 starting trannies … anyway a tradicional approach with some SBRs can toast allies also


  • You know, I keep hearing that but never seen a Polar Express work.

    The US is just the bit of force that tips europe to the allies, typically even in a full on KGF they are better off around turn 4 ish to start putting something in the pacific.  If a polar express is going on that is even better for the US to drain japan resources.

    The simple fact is the economics of the game.  You CANNOT stop japan from making alot of money, you CAN stop germany and italy from making alot of money.  You can get alot of money for the allies in Europe, you cannot in the pacific.


  • @Vareel:

    The simple fact is the economics of the game.  You CANNOT stop japan from making alot of money, you CAN stop germany and italy from making alot of money.  You can get alot of money for the allies in Europe, you cannot in the pacific.

    That’s not totally true: you can prevent Japan taking aus, nzel, haw and Alaska and you can also conserve two NOs for USA and at least one for UK (sometimes two if Africa went well). Dutch East Indies and Philippines are there to take for the allies, and they are pretty rich

    A wise Japan can see a full KGF from a kilometer and set a quick attack on mainland America. They start with 5 trannies and is not rare they buying other 2 J1, Polar Express or not. Even if the yanks manage hold the invasion, is enough for axis because for the time USA can restart the KGF, Japan tanks and bombers will be near to Moscow. The problem is Japan has enough money to attack both America and Asia at the same time, specially if yanks abandon the Pacific. And Japan is way quicker than USA

  • '16 '15 '10

    Func,

    I guess the counter-argument consists in a question…. rather than just diss KGF, can you posit a viable Allied strategy that includes significant Pac Navy purchases?  No doubt, there are plenty of good counters to KGF.  That doesn’t mean there is a better option.

    Also, let’s say Japan has 3 choices re. what to do against a KGF

    1. Build armor go for Moscow
    2. Build planes and fly them to Europe
    3. Attack the USA

    Gotta say that if I’m Allies, I prefer the 3rd choice in virtually every circumstance…


  • My strongest opening against Japan is a R3 attack (R3, not R2!!!) on Manchuria, an Indian complex, two carriers 1 TP 1 arm US1 and a fully loaded carrier and a TP with an inf and art every turn thereafter.

    This is usually done with an 8 IPC bid of 1 inf in Burma(yes, in Burma), and 1 arm in Egypt. R1, I consolate my Russian forces in Bry, move 2 inf into Chi, 2-4 inf into Per (depends on how Germany opened), with a 4 armour build in Caucasus. UK1 sees my 2 arm in Egy going with 2 inf in Trj to Per, the fig in Egy to Ind. The 2 inf in Burma CAN be a pretty big deterrent to the usual 1 inf 1 art 1 CA attack therein, and thus I have some 6 British land units and 1 air unit. The Russians can move in to make that up to 14 land units.

    The US can force open the south pretty quickly. A strong southern approach as early as US2 forces the Japs to turn around, and gives the mainland to the British.


  • @Funcioneta:

    That’s not totally true: you can prevent Japan taking aus, nzel, haw and Alaska and you can also conserve two NOs for USA and at least one for UK (sometimes two if Africa went well). Dutch East Indies and Philippines are there to take for the allies, and they are pretty rich

    A wise Japan can see a full KGF from a kilometer and set a quick attack on mainland America. They start with 5 trannies and is not rare they buying other 2 J1, Polar Express or not. Even if the yanks manage hold the invasion, is enough for axis because for the time USA can restart the KGF, Japan tanks and bombers will be near to Moscow. The problem is Japan has enough money to attack both America and Asia at the same time, specially if yanks abandon the Pacific. And Japan is way quicker than USA

    You cannot stop them from taking India, an 8 IPC swing.  You cannot stop them from getting there 1st NO that they start with, nor can you take away there island NO until late game no matter what.  As far as UK’s NO, without the US in the atlantic it is only a matter of time until Egypt falls, or even Gibralter for that matter.  For the occupied Japan territory even that is turn 3 at best for the UK to collect on and puts your boats in a bad spot.  Even with the US going 100% pacific japan can typically snipe Egypt.  As far as the 2 US NOs, you are not getting to Phi until late game if your lucky, and as for your island NO, japan can snipe it from you on J2 if they sacrifice the transports (when you start with 5 you can spare 'em) just to slow you down or to be a punk.

    Italy can be taken down to 1 or 0 of her NO’s by turn 3 at the latest in a full on KGF, and Germany can be kept from getting her 3rd NO in a full blown KGF for the entire game nearly. (put 2 UK figs in Kar turn 1, turn 2 start the good ole Kar shuck).

    And even in a full blown US pacfic showdown, G/I can defeat R/UK with ease, as Germany ALONE has a higher income and doesn’t have to deal with worrying about stupid can opener crap.  Also, Japan starts with more units the the pacific, and has a higher income than the US.  So please explain to me how on earth Japan falls against the US in the pacific unless she ignores it and keeps going after Russia.

    And lastly, the US only has a handful of things needed to do in order to tip the balance of power in the atlantic.  They simply need to liberate Africa, sink the Italian fleet, and reinforce the UK fleet a bit.  And with any luck threaten a drop on Italy and/or France, but this is not required.  This only takes 2 to 3 turns to have setup, by then the US can and should start to look at Japan.  A polar express just brings Japan to the US.


  • yeah you cant stop japan from taking india. japan can easily put 8-10 units and 5 fighters in india on round 2.

    The US can force open the south pretty quickly. A strong southern approach as early as US2 forces the Japs to turn around, and gives the mainland to the British.

    not really. the japan fleet just moves to east indies factory and reinforces there while building subs in japan seazone that usa planes cant attack. japan doesnt have to turn around at all.


  • The power of the sub on defense is typically underestimated.  The US has to come at Japan, and Japan starts with alot of planes/carriers.  Because of this the added hits and killer attack per IPC of the sub makes it the perfect defensive buy against an aggressive US in the Pacific.  As being the ‘defending nation’ makes it easier to attack the US when they come to you.

    Really what can the US do aside from build up at Solomons?  And that build-up can be easily matched/exceeded by Japan hanging out at the Philippines.

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

    @Vareel:

    Really what can the US do aside from build up at Solomons?

    :?

    How about take every island, sink every ship, and reduce Japan to meaninglessness?  :lol:

    Apparently you’ve never seen a serious US player go after Japan?  It can even be done in '41, and it doesn’t have to take long (by J3 or J4, Japan can have some significant problems).

    Seen it several times, and I’ve been on both sides of it.


  • Wow, great thread guys! That was fun to read  🙂

    For me, the Number One problem with this game (1941 scenario), is that UK does not and can not have a viable IC in either India or Australia at game start.  This is where the chain of events starts…

    UK can’t place IC –> Japan is relatively unopposed and becomes a Monster --> Allies forced to go for Berlin --> Germany turtles --> Japan goes for Moscow

    It’s clear the game was poorly playtested/developed since this is the initial setup that made it to production.  It’s been over a year now, and they had a chance to correct it with the optional rules but didn’t (instead we got Dardanelles and Escort/Interceptor Rules).

    I think though, that there are enough smart players on this website, much smarter than the people who actually made the game, that we should be able to come up with just 1 or 2 house rules that fix this inherent flaw in the game

    I’ve started a thread in the House Rules section for this effort and would appreciate you guys stopping by.  The general idea though is to actually make a UK Asia/Pacific IC viable in the 1941 scenario.  If we can find a way to do this, then we fix the game on our own.  I think the A&A community deserves this.

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

    @cousin_joe:

    For me, the Number One problem with this game (1941 scenario), is that UK does not and can not have a viable IC in either India or Australia at game start.  This is where the chain of events starts…

    UK can’t place IC –> Japan is relatively unopposed and becomes a Monster --> Allies forced to go for Berlin --> Germany turtles --> Japan goes for Moscow

    It’s clear the game was poorly playtested/developed since this is the initial setup that made it to production.  It’s been over a year now, and they had a chance to correct it with the optional rules but didn’t (instead we got Dardanelles and Escort/Interceptor Rules).

    Well said, cousin.


  • I just tried the build 2 factories UK in south africa and india.What a failure that was .It leaves russia wide open for a can opener italy so Germany wins right off the bat.Back to square one all you can do as the allies is KGF with tranny’s.I’m really kinda pissed off now.I think the the china’s representaion in this game is horrible.China had 3.8 million troops and if you think that the 5 divions represented is close your really wrong.Since your letting germany in this game just walk in to moscow the game shuld be balanced with a true representation of china and the 2 million in india.china should have like 12 troops right off the bat .now way would japan just walk on through china like a big joke.And then they should get a infantry for every territory.damn

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