Seems like pretty good evidence to me that the game is still biased toward Axis even with the 1942.3 setup changes.
That has been the consensus of veteran players yes.
This is very insightful, Black_Elk. I’ve passed your concerns to the development team.
Some other data that may be useful is the results of last years tournament at GENCON. The tournament used the new set up/“patch” created by Larry to help balance the game
Changes from the Out of the box setup are:
Added UK-DD to Sea zone 7
Moved UK-Cruiser from Sea Zone 14 to Sea Zone 13
German Bomber in Germany moved to Ukraine
Remove 1 German sub from Sea Zone 5
Added 2 UK Infantry to India (Total now 5).from
The tournament results with this setup are below
( from http://www.headlesshorseman2.com/gen-con.html)
1942 2nd Ed. Games (all games 4 :45 min in length)
Bid 8 to Allies, 4 turn game, Allies Victory = 9VC’s/Surrender
Bid 6 to Allies, 7 turn game, Allies Victory = 8 VC’s
Bid 11 to Allies, 4 turn game, Axis Victory = Surrender
Bid 8 to Allies, 4 turn game, Axis Victory +3 Victory Cities
Bid 7 to Allies, 5 turn game, Axis Victory +3 Victory Cities
Bid 6 to Allies, 5 turn game, Axis Victory 10 VC’s.
Bid 6 to Allies, 7 turn game, Allies Victory 7 VC’s
Bid 6 to Allies, 7 turn game, Allies Victory 9 VC’s
Bid 7 to Allies, 5 turn game, Allies Victory 7 VC’s
Bid 8 to Allies, 6 turn game, Allies Victory 9 VC’s
Bid 5 to Allies, 4 turn game, Allies Victory +3 Victory Cities
Bid 2 to Allies, 4 turn game, Axis Victory +3 Victory Cities
Bid 6 to Allies, 4 turn game, Axis Victory +3 Victory Cities(Finals game)
The bid is how many IPCS worth of free units or extra income was given to the allied team.
I’ve been theory crafting setup changes in the pacific 41 setup to give Japan more to deal with, I’ll share it add to the ideas here.
Additional allied units: One chinese infantry to the 3 empty territories+move fighter to sikang. British Battleship in SZ 37(Japan has to sink Prince of whales/task force Z! Might reduce this to a cruiser though). India and Australia start with ICs.
Combine this with my version of NO changes(I try to keep NOs to two per nation for ease of play). The ones in the pacific theater are:
Pacific Holdings: +5 if allies control 2 of: Midway, wake island, Philippines.
+5 Ipcs for
Central Pacific Islands – 5 IPCS for controlling 2+ of Caroline islands, Iwo Jima, Wake Island
Co-Prosperity Sphere – 5 IPCs if Axis control 1 of India, Australia, Hawaii
ANZAC – 5 IPCs if Allies control Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.
I think black_elk was referring to 1942 3rd edition, not a 1940 europe/pacific/global 3rd edition.
I a bit a of side rant, but I doubt updated French pieces will be a priority even if there is a 3rd edition for 1940. It would be cool purely for a collectors stand point, but only that, as from a game standpoint France falling is a forgone conclusion in Europe 1940 and feels more like busywork after the novelty of doing it the first time. The interesting strategy/decision making is everything else. The balance of destroying british navy/threatening sea lion/Blitz Russia/aiding Italy.
In Global there is alot of money to grab while the other allies are weak. In this game, there are alot of $2 territories that would require you to, in many cases, sacrifice a transport and at least 1 man ($10) to take. More importantly, your adversary doesnt have a practical income of $9, he gets $32, which is subject to increase, not reduction.
I think what sums up Japan in the version compared to others(and why they are much weaker) is:
-Japan starts with less relative income and units
-Has to conquer more territories that relative to other games is heavier defended and provide less reward
-Is the one being alpha struck, instead of the one alpha striking.
“Gozilla japan” has been a problem in other versions(primarily OOB AA50 41 with NOs) but the pendulum swung to far the other way on this one.
While specifics differ, we seem to be all in agreement Japan needs something.
Heres hoping Japan gets some love when the faq comes around and they errata in some help like with russia in 1941.
(Hopefully Krieg’s been watching this thread and relays our thoughts…)
(1) Japan not strong enough…
Of course more game are needed to determine if this is really the case. What changes would you suggest? Maybe some more infantry units in Asia to start with?
Japans starting position is poor and with aggressive allied play they will be neutered before they even get a turn barring extremes of luck:
Russia can attack manchuria(with 2inf,1art,1fighter) and japan will lose/“Draw”(also lose it to zombies likely) > 9/10 times.
Britain can attack indochina(w/inf,art, fighter) and coastal fleet(w/ 2DDs, 1SS), japan will lose both the territory and the fleet 9/10 times.
Before Japan gets it’s first turn it’s lost a lot of assets. If it uses it’s Transports go to phillipines/the money islands instead of reinforcing coastal china, the Chinese will drive out the last mainland Japanese 8/10 times. Mainland Asia is literally half of the Japanese income.
Their remaining IJN naval strength is now more or less on parity with the UK+US fleet, and the US has a far superior economy.
I know history isn’t the games focus, but where Japan’s setup represents it’s december 1941, pre-pearl harbor state, it feels very weird for the allies to be doing the “first strike” to japan.
Possible changes?: Lets categorize them with either adding units, removing units, or changing rules. (All of these changes would be probably overkill, pick one or two.)
-Add an infantry to both manchuria and FIC. This makes these risky 50/50 attacks at the least.
The coastal fleet Im not sure I would change, but I would maybe add a sub elsewhere so that Japan has subs to start with after the fleet is sunk.(preferably in range of the US BB to save a fighter on the attack.)
I would also considor removing a british destroyer, so that UK has to chose between committing its fighter to make an advantageous fleet attack OR an advantageous land attack.(Choices are good things!)
Referencing the ooooold “No Russia turn one attack” balancing mechanism of axis and allies classic, perhaps a similar restricion could be placed on turn 1 for Russia/UK vs Japan so Japan can get it’s first strike.
Personal pick: Add a infantry to Manchuria to make Russia think twice about commiting it’s precious fighter to a 50/50 attack, and removing a british DD to make the UK player choose one advantageous attack, would be what I consider the bare minimum to make Japan into a more competent state. I would also still lean to adding another sub for Japan to use as a meatshield at pearl.
Haven’t been able to get people together for a game unfortunately. Most of my local gaming buds are stuck doing 60 hours/week of work and/or university recently, so I can’t make any new critiques with confidence yet. I’ll reiterate my 3 biggest concerns of the balance so far. The need for a slightly stronger Japan(every game see’s Japan struggle out of the gate so far), adjusting the decoy team card, and doing something about overly influential random technology.
Personally I would (for now) focus more on ‘fine-tuning’ some of the tech-cards. Reducing the power of some cards might be a good idea. Indeed, for instance: be more strict on when (and where) a card might be played. Some common sense approaches might do the job. Like ‘may only be played when you have units there’.
The problem with adjusting the techs themselves is that no matter what reasonable adjustments you make, some techs are still going to be MUCH more useful for certain countries then other.
IE: Any variation of Deadnapper convoys(transporting zombies) is always going to be useless for Russia, who is really hoping for zebra suits the entire game.
Really the two ground combat nations suffer from potentially getting worthless tech, where the other 3 can get at least some benefit from all of them.
Russia: Z.E.B.R.A suits >>>>>>>>>> everything else. Deadnapper and AIR dots are particularly useless.
Germany: Chainsaw tank>z4 explosive>Zebrasuits>>>>>>everything else.(even mind control, moving one zombie a turn is not really a big thing. Maybe change to move a dice worth of zombies of turn?)
The solution would best be adjusting the acquirement of techs themselves. Perhaps if a the random cards allowed you to reroll once for selection of tech.
Or next random idea #46.85: Everyone gets a free tech of choice turn 3*(or whatever number feels right)
I agree that overall the cards/techs are good. On the other end I think some cards are so game changing as to risk making making a player think “Why’d I spend an hour(or more) setting up and playing out a strategy only for one random card to effectively decide the game.”
The randomness reduces the effect of skill gap between players, which may be intended, but it can be frustrating. Frustration at randomness is not exclusive to experienced players, but to any player who is sitting down for a lengthy game.
If I was trying to reduce the “swinginess” of tech cards, I would either provide a non random way of getting tech, or perhaps more simply have each nation start off with one tech(either players choice or some pre-assigned tech that is useful but maybe not “the best” for current country.)