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Quartermaster General» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Preparing for War rss

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Peter Bakija
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Over in another thread, I wrote the following about the Preparing for War promo rules tile (that came with the Kickstarter for Alternate Histories; it allows everyone to play a Status or Response card of their choice from their deck before the game starts):

Quote:
In 3 or 4 games so far, I think it helps the Allies far more than the Axis.

The Allies can (and have every time we have used this) start with:

-UK: Rationing. Helps them the whole game, and especially helps them with the issue that is having a lot of cards that don't necessarily help at any given moment and churning through your deck.

-USSR: Women Conscripts. Super important for USSR. Helps the whole game.

-US: Rosie the Riveter. Takes the US deck issue of "here are a lot of cards you don't really want right now" and completely fixes it instantly, turning the US deck into a high speed sift machine from T1.

Conversely, the Axis can start with:

-Germany: Blitzkrieg. Handy. But probably gets killed on T1 or T2, as the UK can find Enigma very quickly (especially with Research in use as well...).

-Japan: Any number of handy responses (I like Chinese Civil War, but there are options). These are certainly handy and give the Japanese a quick leg up, but really, it is just sort of making things neutral against the Chinese upgrade. And other than the good short term effect, no serious long term effect. They could start with a +VP status as well, and rely on regular draws for Status cards, but this slows them down against China, and gives away VPs anyway.

-Italy: We are yet to find a good Status for them to start with. The +VP ones are very conditional. The "Italy controls the Med" one is pretty good, but the Allies can just get about the same effect out of North Africa.

This might need to be its own thread...


So in any case, so far, our experience with Preparing for War is that it probably helps the Allies a lot more than the Axis (given that in 3 or 4 games where we used this, the Allies all won very handily, and we are pretty experienced at this game). The Allies get to play 3 status cards that will help them significantly all game, and won't ever go away. The Axis can play an important status card that will likely go away or be ignored by the UK (see: Germany); a response that helps instantly but has limited long term effect (most of Japan's choices); and a status or response that is unlikely to have much of an impact (anything that Italy is going to play).

Perhaps we are approaching the Axis in this context wrong? What are good cards to start with as the Axis? We tried a game where Germany had Landkreuzers in play (lose 3? cards every time you battle a German army), which didn't accomplish much--the Germans had a solid hold on Western Europe for a while while Italy took it in the teeth, and eventually UK got the Funnies into play (allowing them to ignore German status cards on their turn) and they got their foot into Europe (possibly with aid from the Poles). We tried a couple games with Blitzkrieg in play, and invariably, Blitzkrieg was killed by Enigma in the first quarter of the game, and usually foiled by Keep Calm before then as well.

From where we stand, Preparing for War seems very pro-Allies (which they don't really need). Other ideas?
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Alec Usticke
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bakija wrote:
So in any case, so far, our experience with Preparing for War is that it probably helps the Allies a lot more than the Axis (given that in 3 or 4 games where we used this, the Axis all won very handily, and we are pretty experienced at this game).

Typo? Did you mean the Allies won handily?
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Peter Bakija
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austicke wrote:
Typo? Did you mean the Allies won handily?


Ah, yes. Thank you. Will fix that presently.
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Ian Brody
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I won't admit to properly testing the rule variants on the promos.

I think that the Axis card chosen for the variant will have a bigger impact on the game. The real question is what makes the biggest impact early, and what card can be combo'd that are "always" available.

Choosing Blitzkrieg is the safest choice, since it will probably result in the Fall of France on turn one. A bold choice is Synthetic Fuel since it can put a German in Ukraine turn 1.

My Italian choice is probably Romanian Reinforcements. Combined with Synthetic Fuel, it not only drops an German in Ukraine, but then when Russia battles out, the Italians show up. Then Italy plays a land battle and Moscow falls turn 2 to the Germans. Of course, now that you've read that, I'll expect we'll see more Rasputitsa or Moscow and less Women conscripts.
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Ian Brody
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For Japan, I like China Offensive. I know I can get a Build Navy and Land Battle, so this allows me to take China and get next to India on turn 2.
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Peter Bakija
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IanBrody wrote:
I won't admit to properly testing the rule variants on the promos.


Heh. Seems reasonable.

Quote:
I think that the Axis card chosen for the variant will have a bigger impact on the game. The real question is what makes the biggest impact early, and what card can be combo'd that are "always" available.

Choosing Blitzkrieg is the safest choice, since it will probably result in the Fall of France on turn one. A bold choice is Synthetic Fuel since it can put a German in Ukraine turn 1.


Blitzkrieg can totally work well on T1, as noted, you end up in Western Europe on T1, which is very solid. Synthetic Fuel seems interesting as well. With both of them, however, Enigma is likely to kill them quickly (especially if Research is used as well; the UK gets to hunt through like, half its deck before the 1st turn). I'm thinking it is probably better to play something that the UK *doesn't* want to immediately Enigma, specifically waiting to see Blitzkrieg.

Quote:
My Italian choice is probably Romanian Reinforcements. Combined with Synthetic Fuel, it not only drops an German in Ukraine, but then when Russia battles out, the Italians show up. Then Italy plays a land battle and Moscow falls turn 2 to the Germans. Of course, now that you've read that, I'll expect we'll see more Rasputitsa or Moscow and less Women conscripts.


That is a pretty good move. I suspect that Preparing for War is likely to work better if all the players conspire to play matching/complementary cards on the first turn, which we weren't doing (it seems kind of contrary to the spirit of the rules...)

Quote:
For Japan, I like China Offensive. I know I can get a Build Navy and Land Battle, so this allows me to take China and get next to India on turn 2.


That's pretty handy as well.
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