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Quartermaster General: Alternate Histories» Forums » Variants

Subject: Revivifying Economic Warfare play rss

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Andy Daglish
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The play of Economic Warfare cards is debased by the greater number of cards in unreconstructed decks. The bigger decks are not going to be depleted in fewer than 20 turns, so here's little point playing EW cards.

I'd suggest a new rule for them, whereby the discard of an EW card counts as 2 toward required card discards for a turn, and increasing the discard numbers on them if they are played, say by 1 in turns 1-10, by 2 in turns 11-15 and 3 in turns 16-20.

If these numbers prove too low, they can be increased eg. increase all EW discards by 2, all the time.

The aim is that certain countries should run out of cards [or types of cards] occasionally, before 20 turns are played.
 
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Marc Nelson Jr.
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Are you playing with the rule that not discarding costs you a point?
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Andy Daglish
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Yes. An obvious choice for discard is any Economic Warfare card. Very occasionally one of our players doesn't discard, usually in the first few turns.

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Nicholas Avallone
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In AH, each round you don't discard, you lose 1 VP.
AH only adds between 15 and 17 cards to each deck.

So if you discard regularly, over the course of a 20-round game, you'll end up with net fewer cards than you'd have had in vanilla QG.

You can choose to skip a few rounds of discarding to keep a fuller deck, but finding the right balance is the trick. How many VP do you sacrifice to keep your deck healthy? Too many, and you're shooting yourself in the foot. Too few, and you could get decked. And without seeing what EW cards the US is holding on to, it becomes a game of chicken.



 
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Andy Daglish
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Smolin wrote:
In AH, each round you don't discard, you lose 1 VP.
AH only adds between 15 and 17 cards to each deck.

So if you discard regularly, over the course of a 20-round game, you'll end up with net fewer cards than you'd have had in vanilla QG.

You can choose to skip a few rounds of discarding to keep a fuller deck, but finding the right balance is the trick. How many VP do you sacrifice to keep your deck healthy? Too many, and you're shooting yourself in the foot. Too few, and you could get decked. And without seeing what EW cards the US is holding on to, it becomes a game of chicken.

It appears you are forgetting the Air Marshal cards, which add seven for Italy, eight for UK/USSR, ten for Japan/USA and 11 for Germany.

I posted last night elsewhere that playing with AH but not AM is strange. AH is really an expansion for AM, as the air forces have become necessary part of the greater game.


Alternate Histories cards

Soviet Union
Bolster 3
Build Army 1
Land Battle 1
Status 5
Response 3
Event 4
Total 17
+ 8 AM = 25 cards

USA/China
Bolster 2-US 1-Chinese
Economic Warfare 3
Status 5-US 2-Chinese
Event 4-US 3-Chinese
Total 20
+ 10 AM = 30 cards

UK/France
Bolster 1-UK 2-France
Build Navy 1
Status 2-UK 3-France
Response 1-France
Event 1-UK 10-France
Total 21
+ 8 AM = 29 cards

Germany
Bolster 2
Deploy AF 1
Land Battle 1
Economic Warfare 2
Status 4
Event 6
Total 16
+ 11 AM = 27 cards

Italy
Bolster 3
Build Navy 1
Economic Warfare 2
Land Battle 1
Status 3
Response 2
Event 5
Total 17
+ 7 AM = 23 cards

Japan
Bolster 2
Build Navy 1
Deploy AF 1
Economic Warfare 3
Status 3
Response 7
Total 17
+ 10 AM = 27 cards




 
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Marc Nelson Jr.
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aforandy wrote:
Yes. An obvious choice for discard is any Economic Warfare card. Very occasionally one of our players doesn't discard, usually in the first few turns.


Just checking.

My group hasn't noticed decks running out any less frequently. All three Axis powers get run out fairly frequently, with UK sometimes seeing some pressure as well.

I've also played three or four games where the Allies have closed a lead by causing the Axis to lose points due to bombing.
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James Hamilton
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I have found that decks run out regularly in AH. Granted if you are playing with both AM and AH and you never play bolster cards or use air forces then you will have plenty of cards but you will also miss a lot of opportunities.

I am not convinced that Economic warfare is significantly downgraded in AM/AH than in the base game. There might be a tiny change but I have certainly seen countries run out of cards. Our first game with AH ended up with four of the six powers with no decks and IIRC two with no hand.
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James Hamilton
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aforandy wrote:
Yes. An obvious choice for discard is any Economic Warfare card. Very occasionally one of our players doesn't discard, usually in the first few turns.



If players as a rule discard Economic Warfare cards then you in effect have a self fulfilling prophecy. If there is no EW then players will not run out of cards.
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Nicholas Avallone
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Regarding Air Marshal, yes, it adds more cards to the total.

You can choose not to use them, holding on to them to avoid getting decked, and that will indeed make you more impervious to EW.

But is that worth never having an Air Force in play, and never getting an extra play on your turn from a Bolster card?

For me, the answer is a resounding No.

And worse, if you adopt that strategy and your opponents don't, you will be crushed through normal play well before getting decked is ever an issue, as you will have deployed no Air Forces and taken advantage of no Bolster-fueled double-moves.

(BTW Andy, I think you counted replacement cards in your AH card-count totals.)
 
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Andy Daglish
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Smolin wrote:
(BTW Andy, I think you counted replacement cards in your AH card-count totals.)


They were counted manually, with the old cards in a bag underneath the box insert, so unlikely.

For an EW strategy to work, it would have to take effect some time before game end, say turn 15, so calculations should be based on that. Other types of card are more immediately powerful, which is another reason for discarding EWs. And once you start, you may as well carry on. There is no point whatever in playing just a few EWs. They may cause a critical discard, but they are slightly more likely to allow the enemy a critical draw sooner. Also there's the clear point that EW play requires the execution of most if not all of them, and the larger deck makes this near-impossible.
 
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Nicholas Avallone
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I could go back & forth all day, but your analysis makes no sense mathematically, unless the EW game in original QG was also broken: there simply is no net gain of cards unless you are willing to sacrifice VP to make up the difference.

Which is a strategy you can try. But like I said a while back, you might sacrifice those points for nothing if the attack never comes.

For me, this all makes the EW game even more interesting: you have some more potential to avoid getting decked, but have to play it precisely or risk the everlasting shame of losing by the handful of VP you sacrificed to avoid getting decked!

(FWIW, your card counts are indeed off. 108 cards total minus 8 replacements = 100. You listed 108.)
 
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Andy Daglish
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Smolin wrote:
I could go back & forth all day, but your analysis makes no sense mathematically, unless the EW game in original QG was also broken: there simply is no net gain of cards unless you are willing to sacrifice VP to make up the difference.

Why not consider all the factors that impinge on this issue together?

Quote:
Which is a strategy you can try. But like I said a while back, you might sacrifice those points for nothing if the attack never comes.

There's little if any reason not to be lavish as you like with cards in order to win sooner/faster.
I note the "weakest" side, Italy, seems to score more points in fewer [consecutive] turns than other sides. We've had them up at 14.

Quote:
For me, this all makes the EW game even more interesting: you have some more potential to avoid getting decked, but have to play it precisely or risk the everlasting shame of losing by the handful of VP you sacrificed to avoid getting decked!

Brute force should kill you every time. The larger decks dilute multi-card plans, delaying their fruition, which is a pity.

Quote:
(FWIW, your card counts are indeed off. 108 cards total minus 8 replacements = 100. You listed 108.)

They replace basic game cards, not accounted above.
 
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Pierre Philippe Goyer
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Andy,
I completely agree with you.

In the base game, EW was rarely used in our group and if it was, it was used constantly to be effective before the 15-16 round. You have to commit your country right from the start and the opponents can see your strategy and adjust. Otherwise, discarding such cards would improve our hand in all cases.
In games with AM, it was the same.
In games with AM+AH, it was the same as even discarding every round would have weaken our deck by 3 or 4 cards or none with the loss of a few VP.

The Designer noted that Respond cards were a bit underestimated by many players rightfully or not and then he created Bolster cards. EW cards were also underestimated.
So may we suggest here a house rule that we tried recently and would like your opinion about it:

"When a player plays a face-down Respond card, he may also play an EW card."
It would help both underused cards. It's like that playing one of those cards cost an half of a turn.

Just an idea...

We love the game...



 
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