Late post to an old topic so forgive me if I’m revisiting something that most of you might already consider resolved, but I am currently debating this VC issue with my monthly gaming group.
We have some veteran players of AA50 (some college dudes that have played at least three to five games a week since AA50 was released) and we have some rookies (dudes that haven’t played A&A since the days of classic) and with this collection of players we are running into this question; “when is the game over”?
The handful of times I’ve played AA50 and the umpteen times I’ve played AAR we’ve just played till someone cried uncle…oops…surrendered.
Most of the rookie players are willing to fight to the last man; primarily (it’s believed by the most of the veterans) due to their inexperience at begin able to “see the end”.
Most of the veteran players are pushing to end a game after a few “key things” (more “interpretative things” than “factual things”) have happened; things that they are convinced (from the experience) are “game ending situations”.
We are beginning to experience this situation were some rookie players are feeling like they aren’t being given the chance to win (even IF they had their back against the wall) and some veteran players are beginning to feel like they are being asked to play another few grueling rounds of play in a game that is already “finished”.
Let me explain it this way…
IF this was a game of baseball, the veteran players are feeling like they are being asked to bat at the top of the ninth inning even though they already have more points than the rookie players have. There asking “What’s the point of batting one more time when you already have the lead and the other team has no times at bat left (no chance at scoring again)”?
And IF this was a game of bowling; the rookie players are feeling like they are being asked to end the game after only 7 frames simply because the veteran player has scored more points so far; taking “any chance” they might have had (no matter how slim) that the rookie player might win…and not to mention…just quitting the game before it is over. And the veteran players (who are averaging more points each frame and because of their experience they can “see the end of the game”) want to end the game; cutting the game short just because they KNOW the ending of the game so what’s the point of playing it out.
In any event, we are basiclly ending games before a set standardized ending has occurred. There is no “END” to the game in A&A, its left up to interpretation more than set criteria, so for that reason alone I have been looking at the VC as a way to standardize the games end. Its clear, clean and consstiant for all players (both rookies and veterans) something that is needed (IMO) for any game.
Take chess, arguably the longest running strategy game in the history of strategy games. The game is over when the king is in check mate (or a stale mate), it doesn’t matter if the looser is cut all the way down to his only piece being a king or if the loser has all their pieces still on the board, the game is over when a king is in check mate.
It’s a clean clear rule that is consistent.
I think VC has the potential to be that kind of rule but in a game of A&A with so many variables for what defines “Check Mate”, how does one conclude what is check mate; 12VC, 13VC, 18VC, when a player looses his capital?
I think most players would agree that if a capital is lost (Axis or Allied) to the enemy, the “odds” of winning (coming back from the grave) are pretty dismal…so what’s the point of playing more rounds. And I think most players would argue that if both Germany and Japan (in AAR) have been pushed all the way back to the only territories they own are their capitals, the Allies will eventually win…so what’s the point to fighting the next 5 rounds to get rid of the last units held up in the capital? So there are some “key things” that any “veteran player” can “see” as the end of the game, but so much of that depends on personal interpretation rather than “hard facts” which is what ends 99.99999% of every good game ever designed/played (football 4 quarters, baseball 9 innings, bowling, 10 frames, golf 18 holes, chess check mate, monopoly bankruptcy/own everything, life get to the last square with the most money, yatzee, scrabble, clue, Othello, settlers of Catan, etc, etc, etc…) My point is, every game I can think of has a clear defined ending…except A&A.
To me, a VC condition looks like the most clean, clear consistent way to end every game; regardless of experience of players and personal interpretation of the board situation.
If most players agree that loosing a capital is a solid “sign of the end”, and if some players agree that if so many VC are lost is “just a matter of time” before the game is over, why not make a rule that combines the two schools of thought. Kind of a middle ground.
Something like this…you need to capture 11 VC and at least one of those VC has to be a capital to end the game. 11 VC makes the VC count low enough that it would represent the minimum # of cities that would “normally be captured” in a game that was a rush for Russia’s capital (since most players believe that is the focus of EVERY game anyway) and one capital meets the idea that if Russia or Germany looses their capital than the game is pretty much over anyway.
But don’t make goofy rules that are separate for each side or power; that would be like making rules for chess that said something like this; if the black captures the white queen they or puts the king in check mate they win but the white has to capture two pawns and one knight AND put the black armies king in check to win.
In other words, if the VC is 11 with one of them being a capital; keep it that way for both sides even if one of those capitals is the small little Italian capital. (some would argue that Italy…the soft underbelly of Germany…was not a significant part of the war) but in the game, so long as they have the potential to earn IPC and purchase units they are a Power just like any other power…no matter how small they are.