Yeah Russia is really the most vulnerable to sustained bombing, even though Germany never really ran a strategic round the clock bombing campaign like that vs Russia during the war. Certainly Japan didn’t hehe. As Allies its harder to get the bombing game up and running. Frequently by the time you have enough bombers to smash Berlin every round, Germany is banking enough to repair and still drop like 8-10 inf a turn. And a bad run losing bombers can really set you back trying to get the edge for a big amphib assault on the German capital. For round 1 USA it depends for me on what’s left alive in sz11 or sz53. If no transports left in 11 I usually buy a pair so 1 CV, 1 DD, 2 transports, then either a tank or sub depending on what Germany has left. If transports left alive I’d stack destroyers. If USA was ignored then I buy bombers and a CV. But yeah I agree, a lot comes down to R1/G1
Posts made by Black_Elk
RE: All the Russian openings: For Begginers
RE: Larry Harris Semi-Official Tournament Game Patch
haha yeah that sounds pretty intense. I can definitely see why they’d go preplacement when you’re rocking 9-5 until eliminated. Esp with teams. My memories of save for purchase bids are all coming from tripleA warclub stuff not the sit down and gun with the gang official type situation. I always imagined that things in the actual hall would be pretty next level. Definitely sounds like that’s the case
RE: Larry Harris Semi-Official Tournament Game Patch
Hey what’s up man! Been a while hehe
Yeah I honestly don’t know the exact history of how it got started or at what tournament. I think the cd games from the late 90s probably standardized it, just because it was a relatively easy edit and more action oriented to have extra pieces banging away from the get go.
For A&Aonline the base game for ranked play is Gencon and its been going with no bid for a couple months now. If I had to put money on it, I’d say Axis retain the edge, but there are a lot of big swings and potential for Allies to come up under Gencon. The playpattern remains pretty similar to OOB overall.
The preplacement bid obviously forces players to think really hard about what is possible in the first turns, and how an extra hitpoint here or there might blow something wide open. So it has that appeal, playing to the fixed nature of A&A, where the start conditions are basically always the same. Totally different from say Risk or games like that, where there is much more variability in the starting conditions. Still just looking at the standard options in the menu for the Iron blitz game there were a lot of other ideas as well, some using tech unlocks “Axis Advantage” had Supersubs and Jets for Axis. Economic Victory. Russian restricted opening. And a couple alternative riffs on the Classic game going from 2nd to 3rd edition. It had marines and a few other things like that, some of which could shift the balance back and forth depending on which option one went with.
I still think starting income adjustment is the easiest. There’s always an amount in cash that can fix any perceived balance issue and its rather less distorting to the opener. But I’d guess the preplacement bid is used in tournaments mainly because its faster, and tournaments always have that element of time to consider. A larger cash bid that introduces units via the normal purchasing system would take longer to materialize and its impact would be more amorphous than say another sub or tank somewhere right out the gate. So prob that’s the reason it became so popular.
RE: Larry Harris Semi-Official Tournament Game Patch
Yeah, if the amount is less than 3, usually saved for purchase. Sometimes the Axis bid in revised would be used so that Japan could purchase additional transports or things of that sort. In the earliest versions of bids that I recall rather than pre-placing units you had to purchase them using the normal mechanics in game. So the bids would be larger, but the opening battles preserved according to the box.
I’d guess tournaments are set up to have basically a core afternoon committed. Maybe a follow up day for the final or something like that. Even the most enthusiastic players can’t usually put in like a full work day just on the board. Since a hall isn’t quite as chill as playing a long ass game at home, where you have like couches and snacks and beverages at the ready. Some of the bigger tournaments might run it more like a convention, where its more about the meeting up and talking shop than like going full The Wizard style. Though that would be cool. Like just powergloving it vs Lucas for the chance to compete live on some grand new A&A board reveal hehe. Or like world championship in Vegas with some ridiculous grand prize. A&A Olympics with actual medals hehe. But yeah more like a big empty room with a gang of folding tables and kinda tight on time. But I haven’t been to the big ones in the midwest
What the ultimate legacy/anniversary A&A map might look like
I was just trying to visual what the coolest possible legacy product for me would be.
A 3 or 4 section split map, so that its easy to move or store a set board. A rigid material that doesn’t get wet or bend, or worn from folding (since its sectional.) Something printed on metal would be coolest, because that would allow for Cyanite style magnetic sculpts and also a way to stack the sectional board, using pylons or columns like an inch or so high, you could stack a set board on top of itself with the sculpts in place for easier storage on top of a shelf or corner of a table (since A&A is such a long game that would be particularly rad).
A double sided map would be sweetest, with the obverse serving as the main base map, and the reverse something more customizable. So maybe a political historical theme for the front map (all the pretty national colors, with the labeling of things like VCs or starting territory control with little roundels etc being printed directly on it.) The reverse side could be a more stripped down build-it-yourself topographical map, showing the basic territory and sz divisions, but using movable control markers to indicate things like VCs and starting territories control. On upside down, it could then service multiple scenarios or different start dates.
Magnetic sculpts, with chips, baseplates and risers for easy grouping and stacking.
WW2 nation themed unit trays, dice, and dice tower.
The underside of the box lid itself, could serve as a large battle board field for multiple encounters per turn. Something that shows the base attack/defense power (“hits at”) in Rows 1-4, and shows moves remaining on the attacker side (“moves left”) in columns to the far right or left of each row 1-5. That way all the critical gameplay information is preserved when moving sculpts from the map to the battle box and back again. Movable battle markers could be used to indicate which square on the battleboard field corresponds to which territory or sz on the map. Since there is a lot of room on the box lid, you could also have a field/marker that is used to expand a territory or sea zone that is becoming overcrowded. Similar to the blow up boxes on the Classic map, but more adaptive.
The inside of the box base could serve (as it often already does), for rolling the dice and housing the sculpt trays, but with a tower this would make it easier to save space.
Using a sectional map rather than a folding map, with pylons everything could be stacked on top of itself, even for a set game. And then moved around easily from spot to spot. Basically a longer box, with a narrower attack profile hehe
The 1942 game map in print is 40″ x 26″ but its comprised of two folding pieces of cardboard which is harder to move around without a backing and takes up a lot of space when set. Global and AA50 also use folding maps. A rigid sectional map that was more like 12x24 in 4 panels would be larger when playing but easier to transport when set, and a lot smaller when stacked so you could have something a little closer in total size/space to the game box itself. Just a few inches taller. With magnets stuff wouldn’t shift around, so it’d be easier to leave out without dominating the room.
Then for the manual something like a gamemaster’s guide, or a players handbook or DMG in D&D but for Axis and Allies. Like with a layout of the standard rules for the scenario or campaign that comes in the box, but also with a section at the end on the history of the game, and ideas for how to customize or create new scenarios, paint sculpts, add to the game and whathaveyou.
Something like that would be platinum plus. Take all my loot hehe
RE: All the Russian openings: For Begginers
I usually go by the 7 hitpoints minimum rule of thumb, so if Russia is collecting 28 ipcs or more, then I will consider buying additional fighters. The received wisdom for light trades is that when you really need your Russian fighters and artillery to hit they will probably miss, and when you really need that Axis infantry to miss they will probably hit hehe, so an extra fighter may come in handy if you can afford it and it suits your playstyle. The problem, especially in rounds 3-5, is that if the Axis stack a big armor wall and start spreading fodder around, Russia can start hemorrhaging infantry and artillery pretty quickly just trying to block all the blitz paths on Caucasus or Moscow. If you put too much into the light territory trading, then it becomes harder to deadzone vs a big push. But sometimes you really need to prevent the Axis tanks from driving forward, and sometimes a bad dud on a light trade can upend your whole front line, forcing you to withdraw or hold when you’d rather advance. Ukraine, Arch, Belo all play that way on the German side, Kazakh or Novos on the Japanese side. Artillery gives you the most bang for your buck, clearly, but an extra fighter can also work if Axis aren’t already on top of you.
With 28 ipcs though you can also buy 8 inf + 1 artillery, or 4 inf +4 artillery, 6 inf + 1 art +1 tank, or even 7 artillery, which are all stronger all around buys than 6 inf 1 fighter. So it really depends on how many hitpoints the Axis are throwing at you and whether the British or Americans have any fodder/air to help you cover the core.
I find you can usually tell by the second or third round whether your Axis opponent is more inclined to consolidate and slam or spread their hitpoints around for the slow bleed. If they are consolidating then you probably want to do the same and spam artillery for a big wall so you can match their stacks, but if they are spreading heavier then you might consider aircraft so you can run more attacks per round and try to trade with less cost in hitpoints over the long haul. A good tell is watching to see whether your opponent is just trying to match you on the ground hitpoint for hitpoint in the air trades and being all conservative, or if they are sending more ground hitpoints than you have defending to try and push the fronts and be all aggressive in the trading game. So like say you have 1 infantry unit defending in Arch, if Germany is attacking with 1 inf +air they are probably the sort who trades light and favors consolidating. If they are attacking with 2 or more inf +air, then they might be the sort that favors the spread. You also want to see whether your opponent is conserving their artillery to deadzone, or if they are throwing it forward, because that is another tell for the opponent’s playstyle and priorities. So, say this time you have 2 inf defending in Arch, if Germany is attacking with 1 inf and 1 art + air, or just 2 inf +air and holding the artillery back to deadzone it might tell you more about who you’re playing against. Same deal keeping an eye out for the airblitz, like if you see that your opponent is willing to attack 2 of your defending infantry, with just 1 of their own + a shit ton of aircraft, that will tell you more about what you’re up against. If the opponent is particularly risk averse or prone to gamble, sometimes you can play off that, either by mirroring and trying to volley more predictably, or sometimes by doing the complete opposite to throw them off. Often you have to adapt to whatever the Axis are doing since they are usually in the driver’s seat, but if something went really well for team Allies, you might be able to dictate and get more brazen with your buys. Russia doesn’t have that luxury very often, but every now and again you can catch a nice break.
In the Gencon version, in A&AO at least, I think the choice for Russia is either come out swinging heavy in Ukraine if you’re willing to take a chance, or stackfest West Russia if you aren’t, but I haven’t had much success doing much else. Sometimes if the newer Allied player is struggling to manage the approaches to the center of the gameboard it can help to stick to a few hard and fast purchasing rules of thumb, for a couple rounds anyway, that might go something like…
For Russia buy more artillery and try to hold it back for a few rounds so you can build a big wall of it. Sometimes 3 artillery end up being a lot more useful than 4 infantry to manage your deadzones whatever your income level. Even if the instinct to stack infantry is strong, just trying to get whatever number of art pieces the remainder of ipcs will allow you to fit in when dividing out by 3s for max inf may not be enough to deal with a bigger Axis push.
For UK buy more fighters than you probably think you need hehe, mainly because they allow you to skip around between Europe and India more easily, and you will need a bunch to cover vs German airblitz of your eventual Atlantic transport fleets, to threaten an Airblitz vs Japanese transports from the center, or just to hold the line on Defense. W. Russia and Caucasus are optimal because they allow you to threaten Germany 3 moves away, while still being close enough to pinball around between India and the Canal, or China or the Eastern front. The more you have the easier it is to split for double duty.
For USA buy more transports and bombers than you think you need. If you buy a bomber per round for a few rounds, and don’t throw them away on early bombing runs, usually you can get something going before too long once you have a nice pile of them. Also when you transport your infantry around try positioning it where it can threaten two or more territories the following turn on amphib assault, instead of using them to trade territories right away. This is where having more transports and more bombers really comes in handy, because it forces the other player to split defense or possibly withdraw, without having to actually attack. Often you can stay in place and send the transports back for a repeating launch. When the infantry is already in place its easier to set up a stronger double punch with a 2 turn set up, rather than gunning early and allowing a round of delay for Axis to regroup before you can threaten again.
In general the more stuff you have in the middle of the map the better, so like a big party with everybody all up in Russia, because its usually easier to coordinate and find an opening from there than it is from either side.
RE: All the Russian openings: For Begginers
Thought this thread might do with an update, since Axis and Allies online is in early release and ranked play over there is using the Gencon set up provided by Larry a little while back. Currently that game also uses a few new rules that change the dynamics quite a bit, the main ones are no landing of fighters on friendly carriers, and no loading units onto friendly transports, which is pretty big esp. for sending fighters across the ocean in either direction.
Axis and Allies online also uses a “defense profile” where the defender sets their casualty priorities in advance, which means that unless you are playing live and switching profiles on the fly at the last minute, you have to choose each turn your general order of loss for units. This includes things like whether subs will dive or fight, whether fighters or carriers die first, things like that. So for example, you might have to choose between diving in sz53 with the USA sub, or fighting on defense with the British sub in sz41 (Aussie evac), since right now the defense profile is universal for a given turn, and not something you can choose battle per battle. There’s been talk that some of the rules like friendly carriers might be allowed or more nuanced defense profiles allowed, but for now with those rules in play, the opening conditions in the first round are a little different.
For Russia the main change from OOB is the Ukraine situation, because now Germany has their bomber located there. This also tweaks the German opening considerably depending on whether the bomber lives or dies. Germany is also down 1 sub in sz5 under the Gencon rules and the British cruiser is moved to the other side of Gibraltar so that also alters what Germany might try to do on their first turn.
sz16 is open by default in Axis and Allies online, and no bid is currently supported, so that’s also something to consider.
For the Russians the options for opening attacks are a bit more straightforward in gencon than OOB, since its basically a choice between going heavy into Ukraine or the big West Russia Wall all-in. Of the two I think Ukraine has the better payoff, but I’ve had some fun games using both openers, and some terrible games using both openers, since the swing is fairly wild and much comes down to how many hits the Germans put up in the first round of combat.
The Ukraine play is essentially the same as OOB, but bringing 3 tanks is more essential now since Germany has another fodder unit, and a clean strafe is somewhat harder to pull off.
For the West Russia wall, Szech and Evenki are somewhat more attractive as landing spots for the Russia fighters. For the Ukraine hit strat, its harder for Germany to get on Egypt early. So in either strat you might find some incentive to put your UK bomber in a territory with max reach into both theaters since India has 2 more inf in the Gencon set up, which makes an early hit on Japan a little simpler. Sometimes the Brits can find a clutch airblitz vs Japanese transports provided they have a landing spot, so Russia might find a reason to stack 4 or 5 units in Yakut. Keeping open a possible hit on Bury R2 can sometimes be nice, to open up a landing spot for British fighters or Bombers on UK2 that might be able to put the hurt on Japan if they fall short somewhere. Fighting east/south out of Evenki is a bit more viable too, provided Russia didn’t get stomped in their opener. So sometimes I see a fighter hanging in a more northern position for that sort of stuff. Its still pretty up in the air on R1 though, so many things could go wrong for either side that will determine the playpattern.
In general I think its more important than ever to make sure Russia has sufficient hitpoints in their first buy to deal with whatever might happen, because things can certainly get ugly with a quickness. And there’s definitely no bomber bid to lean on in Axis and Allies Online hehe.
One thing to keep in mind is that a full withdrawal from Caucasus gives Germany a nicer option to keep their battleship alive into the second round at least vs a British air strike, since it denies British aircraft a landing spot in Caucasus if the Germans can take it G1. Another possible reason to suggest hitting Ukraine heavy with the Russians, just so you can stack Caucasus safely and force the battleship to go elsewhere. The other German options for their med fleet aren’t too spectacular, especially if the Brits roll hot on defense somewhere, so unless they are planning a naval build to support it, there are some decent possibilities to kill the German Battleship with the Brits from the air, provided they don’t tuck up into sz16. There is also more pressure on Germany in sz7, so the Russian sub can sometimes make a big difference there now. In the defense profile for Axis and Allies online, its important to set one up for the Russian turn that has the sub remaining to fight, rather than dive, because every hitpoint counts. Making a clean sweep of the Allied Atlantic transports, or killing the British cruiser, while also ensuring that they win in sz7, and keeping the med battleship alive all at the same time is pretty tricky for Germany, so the chances that your friends the Anglo-Americans on the other side of the sea might survive with some more ships is higher. But this is also somewhat offset by the fact that USA can’t skip their fighters across the Atlantic on British carriers in A&AO, so the Russians still have a lot of weight to carry.
I’d be curious to hear from anyone who’s playing, any thoughts they might have about the Russian opener in A&A online, but that’s what I got so far.
Good gaming all!
RE: G40 Redesign (currently taking suggestions)
That would be cool. I’d buy in for sure. It would be a pretty legit offering if it gave the US those warhawks in the Europe set, and the lightnings in the Pacific set. That way we’d get a bunch of warhawks and when you combine the boards you’d have a nice substitution at the ready for the Flying tiger in G40. I’d probably get more excited about seeing some of the 1941 scultps in a 3rd edition than France, but it would be nice for completion. Especially if the manual provided some extra options to expand the game, and perhaps put a new spin on it maybe with marines or vichy stuff. I think a second set up for the Global Board with an alternative start date would be cool and well received. Like they did for AA50
What would also be nice some map corrections for the roundels on Western Canada and Sierra Leon, if doing a new reprint.
RE: Game 203 Report: What happens when you do everything right?
@aardvarkpepper Yeah I mean not saying it is representative, just that dude was actually playing hehe. Even with an oddball Japan stall opener there were at least 3 occassions where the AAZ carrier rules altered a move I would otherwise have made.
I think what feels a little strange to me is the primacy given to PBEM or asynchronous play over live play. Like I don’t know anyone who is spending time trying to do things asynchronously on the physical board. I guess in the 80s maybe you could set up 2 boards and make a phone call or whatever, but I don’t see anyone trying to pull this off before dice rollers and email. Its novel sure, but not exactly traditional by any stretch. The original game was clearly intended for live play, and a lot of the nuts and bolts assume at least 2 people in the room actually playing at the same time.
TripleA remains pretty ideal for me, but there isn’t much of a playerbase for 1942 over there. If ever there was those peeps have mostly moved on by now to other games. So the draw of A&Aonline is mainly that, the players. I guess steam is just a more popular or convenient way in, or at least many people seem more comfortable playing a steam game version despite its evident shortcomings right now. Even after GTO demonstrated how easily those can go the way of the dinosaur as soon as the publisher pulls the plug. Doesn’t matter how much time or energy or money you put into GTO, there’s no way to access it anymore. Online only means we’re dependent on continued dev support to keep it running. I guess even TripleA and A&Aorg have to run donation drives to keep the servers up, but least once you have the application installed you can always run it locally. I can still play Hasbro in single player even if the cd is kind of scratched hehe. But yeah, the draw I see is the players coming out of the woodwork, many who probably would never have found tripleA or these boards on their own, but who have found their way to A&Aonline. I still think they’d have more pull if the game was live play primarily, by the book, with asynchronous just as an alternative option.
RE: Game 203 Report: What happens when you do everything right?
I don’t know about the devs, but I was playing the gencon set up with Julius last night and had a good time via discord. I’m like a complete insomniac and he was in a timezone way off so guess it aligned. I went for a pacific stall plan that panned out after making making a pretty clean sweep with Russia. Went with the blast on Borneo x2 inf/New Guinea x2 inf 1 cruiser bombard, sz61 1 fighter one cruiser (landed in Bury for the pacific press), Australian Submarine immediate dive in sz 37 for the extra attack forward attack pip and carrier forward to block at Philippines. Starting bomber to Kazakh. UK opened damn near flawlessly, placed a new bomber in India and pair of tanks in India, for UK2 crush on IJN from the air, and rush up of British mobile ground support to eastern front.
Some good early headaches thrown at Axis in the Pacific, but even when you nuke the hell out Japan’s starting fleet, Pearl is still on the table and they got a lot of options on defense. Still seemed to come down to getting ahead in the Atlantic, and basically down to trade German air vs Allied main transport group, after UK finally dropped a deck in round 3. Peeled off too many German air in that exchange for Axis to recover position on the center so called it inside of 7 rounds.
The whole defense profile and AAZ rules for carriers definitely changes some key things. But still feels like A&A even if different than the 1942.2 I was playing a few years back. I guess it works, but it would really be nice if more live play features were introduced and just keeping the asynchronous style as a default option, but with the option to enter live play and normal defender chooses casualties. I think that would probably make most people happy. Clean up the movement UI, and finish up with some basic unit editor (so you can fix player mistakes to save an otherwise hosed game, or bid via added units.) They do that and it probably ends up a pretty good platform for casual pick up games. But yeah, roll out was a little rough. I kind of expected it to be in a more complete state, but the last patch and hotfix added some nice stuff. Hopefully they keep going with it.
I probably use A&Aonline just to keep up, and maybe more new players find a way in that way. I’m too deep into Iron War and probably when 1914 Pops off that will eat up all my time in triplea heheh. It’s hard to go back to v5, but I can’t imagine any other way to play the global game than triplea and don’t see that as something very likely to crack off online elsewhere. I think they’d have an easier time adding the Anniversary game online than G40.