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Subject: Compensation for bad card draws? rss

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R Larsen
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Dear all,

Despite having studied this game for some time and having 4 partial games under my belt (mainly 1-year scenarios), I am definitely a strategic beginner, which I ask that you take into consideration regarding this message.

I am a huge fan of the EOTS system - especially the strategic feel, CDG-hex combination and Intel rules. However, I have now several times experienced or at least felt, that the outcome of the game to a very large extend hinged on the card hands in the first 2-3 turns.

The thing is, no matter what statistics might suggest, it is very likely (I know because it seems to keep happening) to not draw cards that support the historical situation from the start of the game. Furthermore, even if future plays of the game will level out the card draws, that doesnt really change the situation in the present game.

Specifically, I have tried one 1943-start and two 1942-starts as japanese, and every time (most critical in 1942), failed to draw needed offensive events. In our present game, in the entire first three turns, I drew one military card and picked the VADM Kondo in Turn 2 - this is not very different from my other 1942 game.

My question is, since I have seen this game described as very balanced: in what way does the japanese player compensate for this poor hands at the start of the game?

My impression is, and I am probably wrong, that it is not so hard to conquer the DEI on Turn 2 even with poor cards, and that can be ok. The problem is when you draw no or very few military cards in Turn 3 and 4.
It seems to me, that with the poor cards in Turn 2, the DEI can be conquered, but you will end with a large part of the forces in the DEI at the end of Turn 2.

Without events that allow to move many units or create multiple battlehexes in Turn 3, must cards must be used to just move units, and that with South HQ, that allows to only move 2-4 units per card. The consequence of this is that if you move into the CBI, you will not conquer anything in the East, and if you mainly move into the East, the CBI front stands still. In any event, you will not conquer much, as you will simply not be able to move the units very far into enemy hexes with eg OPS 1 or 2 cards.

With no or few military cards in Turn 4, it gets very difficult to mount efficient attacks without the risk of very risky reactions, and again, only being able to make single battlehexes per card, you will not easily be able to conquer the entire NG and Solomons, and will for sure not go anywhere in the CBI except for extreme luck in battle die rolls.

After Turn 4, any offensive events will no longer matter very much, as most offensives will lead to horrible attrition that the allies can survive, but the japanese not. What is worse, since you did not get military cards in the first turns, what you got there, were important reaction cards, china cards and war in Europe cards, that you could not afford to play for the events, without losing momentum even more.

So, my experience has been that I felt that the early poor luck is not compensated by anything, it simply means that the japanese has gone to war completely unprepared, with no military operations planned for the conquest of Asia. This seems weird, and very ahistorical. I dont mind alternative history, and if only I could use the events for something else that would also benefit the japanese, then it would be interesting.

So, what am I not seeing or what am I playing wrong? Even with these problems, I love the mechanisms in this game, but need a good direction for going around poor japanese card draws in Turn 2, 3 and 4, or the game will simply be too random.

Any input or strategic suggestions for how to play without an aggressive japanese side, will be highly appreciated, so my opponent doesnt have to hear my constant complaints. shake

Cheers,
Ras
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Chuck Parrott
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Don't have enough experience myself to help you, but issue 21 of c3i has an excellent article by Mark Herman himself on opening theory and how to stay on the historical timeline even with weak opening hands.
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R Larsen
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cparrott wrote:
Don't have enough experience myself to help you, but issue 21 of c3i has an excellent article by Mark Herman himself on opening theory and how to stay on the historical timeline even with weak opening hands.


Issue 21? Damn, I have just ordered issue 25, because I thought there should be something about opening conquests there.
I have read Marks excellent articles in no 17 and 22 (or 23?).
Thanks Chuck.
Ras
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Mark Herman
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RLarsen wrote:
cparrott wrote:
Don't have enough experience myself to help you, but issue 21 of c3i has an excellent article by Mark Herman himself on opening theory and how to stay on the historical timeline even with weak opening hands.


Issue 21? Damn, I have just ordered issue 25, because I thought there should be something about opening conquests there.
I have read Marks excellent articles in no 17 and 22 (or 23?).
Thanks Chuck.
Ras


Go to the c3i operations website, one of my opening theory articles is available for free.

http://www.c3iopscenter.com/documents/Empire%20of%20the%20Su...


I could re-write what I have written, but I have an offer for you.

Please post the exact cards you received in the game and I will write back how I would have handled it.

Would that help?

Mark
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R Larsen
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MarkHerman wrote:
RLarsen wrote:
cparrott wrote:
Don't have enough experience myself to help you, but issue 21 of c3i has an excellent article by Mark Herman himself on opening theory and how to stay on the historical timeline even with weak opening hands.


Issue 21? Damn, I have just ordered issue 25, because I thought there should be something about opening conquests there.
I have read Marks excellent articles in no 17 and 22 (or 23?).
Thanks Chuck.
Ras


Go to the c3i operations website, one of my opening theory articles is available for free.

http://www.c3iopscenter.com/documents/Empire%20of%20the%20Su...


I could re-write what I have written, but I have an offer for you.

Please post the exact cards you received in the game and I will write back how I would have handled it.

Would that help?

Mark


Hi Mark,

Sorry for the late reply. I think we have seven hours difference, so a night got in the way.

But thank you very much. I actually have C3i issue 17 with that article, and I can assure you that I have read it a considerable number of times.

The thing is, to me that is, many plans for the Japanese are not possible with poor early card draws. You can do some, like the conquest of the DEI, but will then stall in future offensives, making you lose initiative too early, as nothing compensates for these draws.

I will be happy to write up the cards of the first turns of the latest game, and I can in very broad terms describe how I used the cards.

Thanks again, Mark.

Cheers,
Ras

EDIT: but please give me some time to go through all the files.
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Mark Herman
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RLarsen wrote:
MarkHerman wrote:
RLarsen wrote:
cparrott wrote:
Don't have enough experience myself to help you, but issue 21 of c3i has an excellent article by Mark Herman himself on opening theory and how to stay on the historical timeline even with weak opening hands.


Issue 21? Damn, I have just ordered issue 25, because I thought there should be something about opening conquests there.
I have read Marks excellent articles in no 17 and 22 (or 23?).
Thanks Chuck.
Ras


Go to the c3i operations website, one of my opening theory articles is available for free.

http://www.c3iopscenter.com/documents/Empire%20of%20the%20Su...


I could re-write what I have written, but I have an offer for you.

Please post the exact cards you received in the game and I will write back how I would have handled it.

Would that help?

Mark


Hi Mark,

Sorry for the late reply. I think we have seven hours difference, so a night got in the way.

But thank you very much. I actually have C3i issue 17 with that article, and I can assure you that I have read it a considerable number of times.

The thing is, to me that is, many plans for the Japanese are not possible with poor early card draws. You can do some, like the conquest of the DEI, but will then stall in future offensives, making you lose initiative too early, as nothing compensates for these draws.

I will be happy to write up the cards of the first turns of the latest game, and I can in very broad terms describe how I used the cards.

Thanks again, Mark.

Cheers,
Ras

EDIT: but please give me some time to go through all the files.


Ok, but do not spend any time with how you used them for now. Just post the hands of cards, card number, title for the three 1942 turns, for both sides. I know lots of paths but if I took your meaning, you had VADM Kondo, the mulligan offensive and then all Non offensive events. Which I have dealt with. The main idea is there are three resources in the opening for the JP (ASP, activations, battle hexes) and this type of situation puts a premium on battle hexes and activations to a lesser degree.

What I will do is focus on the JP historical position and other thoughts once I see the cards.

Mark

PS: The only other piece of information that I need is where did the Allies Emergency Naval move prior to the opening card?
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R Larsen
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Hi Mark, sorry I did write a bit in comment, and I think I will not have time now to go through all the allied cards if that is ok. I am sure you can come up with a lot of stuff from this alone.

Turn 2 Japanese card draw:
3/ Military - VADM Kondo
3/ Political - War in Europe – Minor Axis Victory
3/ Reaction – Operation A-Go
3/ Resource – Flight Instructors
2/ Resource – Subhas Chandra Bose
1/ Reaction – Yamato Suicide Run
1/ Political – Tokyo Rose

In principle there were some really useful events here, especially Tokyo Rose, WiE and Flight Instructors. However, in order to conquer all resources in the DEI, all had to be used for the OPS. Only one attack failed due to bad luck, and the DEI, all DEI resources, and the Philipines were just barely conquered, limited by the single military event. The only other important conquests were Attu/Kiska and Biak. The allies did not do Emergency Naval Move.


Turn 3 Japanese card draw:
3/ Political – Indian Worker’s Strike
3/ Reaction – Mahatma Ghandi
2/ Political – Chiang Kai-shek
2/ Weather – Halsey’s Typhoon
2/ Political – US Joint staff debate
1/ Resource – Tainan Air Unit
1/ Reaction – JN25 Code Change

No military cards, and none drawn from the reaction cards, as far as I remember (I prefer to not go through all pbem files right now, sorry – but an ISR ender was drawn and kept to next turn, where it came in handy ☺). The reactions were of course nice, but also limited without any considerable allied moves. Malaya was conquered, the DEI “closed down” with ZOIs, and most OPS used to move units East which was slow due to the South HQs capacity of “1”. Main efforts against the enemy was to land armies in norther NG. The allies made smart spoilage attacks that costed considerable time end resources. Again, lack of military events prevented large attacks, and small attacks would be risky.


Turn 4 Japanese card draw:
Subs hit, so only 6 cards drawn – the allies have card initiative with a saved card.
3/ Political – War in Europe – Minor Axis Victory
2/ Political – Central Agreement
2/ Military – Attack on Panama Canal
2/ Military – Tinian Raid
2/ Military – Operation RE
1/ Reaction – Submarine Attack

So here I have to appologize, because I said I only had 1 military event in Turn 4, where I actually had 3. But note that Tinian Raid and Attack on Panama Canal are not standard operation events, meaning that they do not allow to move units at all (except if played for the OPS). Operation RE is also tricky as you need to include a small unit (Brigade size) in the attack, which means little bang for the buck, thus limiting what you can attack for the precious activation. Small incursions were made in NG, but nowhere else really, as the allies had bumped the WiE up to prevent delays and already had a large fleet. Without military operations with which I could suppress large enemy forces to attack others, any reaction by the allies was a disaster to the Japanese. Without the Kwai bridge, no moves were made into the CBI which due to movement cost would have prevented any real aggression in the Pacific. Due to my focus on NG, and being a beginner, I did not garrison Iwo Jima and Marcus, which is obviously a huge mistake. On the other hand, if I had protected these heavily, I would have made little progress anywhere else, as Vogelkop had to be taken, and the rest of the Pacific protected against the now threadening US fleet.


I will stick to the three first turns, but can mention that in Turn 5, the subs hit again, limiting my card draw to six cards again, and I drew 2 military event cards in Turn 5. In Turn 6, I drew more military events, but at this point the Japanese can only defend, and only spend the OPS to shuffle units around to try to plug holes. These events would have been great 3-4 turns again, now they are largely useless.

Obviously, I did not play well, except for Turn 2 and 3 where I think I did what I could with the limitations. But all in all, having only 2 or 3 actual offensive events for 3 turns was frustrating, as there seemed to be compensation. The events in the beginning could not be used since I needed the OPS and the military events in Turn 5 and 6 came too late, where I actually no longer had need for moving massive forces around. China cards also became useless as no cards allowed to move into the CBI where the Burma Road must be closed in order to have any chance with China OPS.

That’s it. Thanks for reading.
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Mark Herman
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RLarsen wrote:
Hi Mark, sorry I did write a bit in comment, and I think I will not have time now to go through all the allied cards if that is ok. I am sure you can come up with a lot of stuff from this alone.

Turn 2 Japanese card draw:
3/ Military - VADM Kondo
3/ Political - War in Europe – Minor Axis Victory
3/ Reaction – Operation A-Go
3/ Resource – Flight Instructors
2/ Resource – Subhas Chandra Bose
1/ Reaction – Yamato Suicide Run
1/ Political – Tokyo Rose

In principle there were some really useful events here, especially Tokyo Rose, WiE and Flight Instructors. However, in order to conquer all resources in the DEI, all had to be used for the OPS. Only one attack failed due to bad luck, and the DEI, all DEI resources, and the Philipines were just barely conquered, limited by the single military event. The only other important conquests were Attu/Kiska and Biak. The allies did not do Emergency Naval Move.


Turn 3 Japanese card draw:
3/ Political – Indian Worker’s Strike
3/ Reaction – Mahatma Ghandi
2/ Political – Chiang Kai-shek
2/ Weather – Halsey’s Typhoon
2/ Political – US Joint staff debate
1/ Resource – Tainan Air Unit
1/ Reaction – JN25 Code Change

No military cards, and none drawn from the reaction cards, as far as I remember (I prefer to not go through all pbem files right now, sorry – but an ISR ender was drawn and kept to next turn, where it came in handy ☺). The reactions were of course nice, but also limited without any considerable allied moves. Malaya was conquered, the DEI “closed down” with ZOIs, and most OPS used to move units East which was slow due to the South HQs capacity of “1”. Main efforts against the enemy was to land armies in norther NG. The allies made smart spoilage attacks that costed considerable time end resources. Again, lack of military events prevented large attacks, and small attacks would be risky.


Turn 4 Japanese card draw:
Subs hit, so only 6 cards drawn – the allies have card initiative with a saved card.
3/ Political – War in Europe – Minor Axis Victory
2/ Political – Central Agreement
2/ Military – Attack on Panama Canal
2/ Military – Tinian Raid
2/ Military – Operation RE
1/ Reaction – Submarine Attack

So here I have to appologize, because I said I only had 1 military event in Turn 4, where I actually had 3. But note that Tinian Raid and Attack on Panama Canal are not standard operation events, meaning that they do not allow to move units at all (except if played for the OPS). Operation RE is also tricky as you need to include a small unit (Brigade size) in the attack, which means little bang for the buck, thus limiting what you can attack for the precious activation. Small incursions were made in NG, but nowhere else really, as the allies had bumped the WiE up to prevent delays and already had a large fleet. Without military operations with which I could suppress large enemy forces to attack others, any reaction by the allies was a disaster to the Japanese. Without the Kwai bridge, no moves were made into the CBI which due to movement cost would have prevented any real aggression in the Pacific. Due to my focus on NG, and being a beginner, I did not garrison Iwo Jima and Marcus, which is obviously a huge mistake. On the other hand, if I had protected these heavily, I would have made little progress anywhere else, as Vogelkop had to be taken, and the rest of the Pacific protected against the now threadening US fleet.


I will stick to the three first turns, but can mention that in Turn 5, the subs hit again, limiting my card draw to six cards again, and I drew 2 military event cards in Turn 5. In Turn 6, I drew more military events, but at this point the Japanese can only defend, and only spend the OPS to shuffle units around to try to plug holes. These events would have been great 3-4 turns again, now they are largely useless.

Obviously, I did not play well, except for Turn 2 and 3 where I think I did what I could with the limitations. But all in all, having only 2 or 3 actual offensive events for 3 turns was frustrating, as there seemed to be compensation. The events in the beginning could not be used since I needed the OPS and the military events in Turn 5 and 6 came too late, where I actually no longer had need for moving massive forces around. China cards also became useless as no cards allowed to move into the CBI where the Burma Road must be closed in order to have any chance with China OPS.

That’s it. Thanks for reading.


RAS,

Thanks for sending along the cards. I would start with a few points. The first is that you have to remember that the historical Japanese were finished offensively, except in the CBI, after turn 3 plus a card or two into turn 4. So, the game deck probabilities were designed to meet this historical standard that the hands you were dealt will more than accommodate. Here are some thoughts on how I would have played this out, but with the caveat that there is no correct or perfect way to play the opening as it is both an art and a science for me.

Let's look at a quick analysis of the opening hand from a numbers point of view. Often a mulligan hand is quite strong because you get VADM Kondo. The issue with this hand is based on the three limited resources of ASPs, battle hexes and activations the JP issue will be with battle hexes more than the other two factors. While I usually do not attempt to have a JP FoQ card on the first turn, this is a case where I would think about how to get Rose into the FoQ to give me leverage for next turn and not waste it. Their are other strong events, but they will be suborned to OC plays.

With this hand I would use a strategy focused on neutralizing the DEI to enable critical moves toward my historical standard. There are strategies that can take you into other interesting directions, but my main intent is to show that there is more than enough offensive energy in these cards to achieve the JP historical expansion. A key tactic is I want to knock out SW Pac HQ on the last card play, so it is not on the board for the game turn 2 attrition phase eliminating all of the Dutch ground units making my turn 3 sweep up easy. I would use Kondo for my opening card to kill FEAF (Manila), high probability of killing MA air (Singapore), land on Java, open an offensive into Burma. One missing piece of information is where are the Allied naval units, but I will assume that one of them is in Batavia and Soerbaja, but it is an important factor in the details of any opening attack. The op orders for Kondo would look roughly like this and remember the JP CAs are +2 attack:

Manila: 3 activations; CVL Zuiho, CV Soryu, 2nd AD; the carriers attack Manila so SW Pac cannot activate any units outside of Luzon and it hits Manila with 38 factors that on a .25x ensures that FEAF is eliminated, with the 2nd AD (out of Peiping) landing at Clarke to keep an AZOI over SW Pac.

Singapore: 2 activations; I would use the 5th AD (out of Clarke) plus the CA Mogami for 36 factor attack that has a 70% probability of eliminating MA air and a 100% chance of flipping it.

Burma border: 2 activations; 38th Army with 22nd AF support eliminate Burma division.

Batavia: 2 activations; If I assume that there is an Allied naval unit here, the CA Takao + [16th Army] invade and capture this port.

Kuantan: 15th Army attacks 3rd Indian Corps with a 50% probability of eliminating it and a 100% chance of flipping it with a likely retreat into Singapore. The point of this last move is in case the MA air is not eliminated, we can take out the MA HQ on a future attack easily.

During PBM the CVL goes to Batavia, an AZOI is kept over Manila and Singapore.

What comes next is how to think about the remaining battle hexes. We have 6 cards, but if we put Rose into the FoQ we have 5 battle hexes remaining. The DEI requires 6 battle hexes, so we do not intend to finish it off this turn, but with the HQs off the map during the attrition phase and AZOI over all Dutch ports, there will be no Allied reinforcement before we finish it off on our opening OC play next turn.

To neutralize the DEI we need to get the KOR army into Batavia for a future attack on Tjilatljap, 1 battle hex. Medan already has an AZOI over it. We will need to take Balikpapan and Makassar for one battle hex and one ASP, and we need to take Palembang, one battle hex and one ASP, for a total of three out of our 5 batttle hex budget with 4 ASPs.

I would plan on using one battle hex for Manila and the last one for somewhere in the Solomons or NG, possibly Rangoon if the Allies do not immediately set their CBI defenses, but it all depends on Allied moves. At the end of the first turn the JP should have taken the Philippines, set up Singapore for a one activation attack, taken the Solomons, and captured the NG north coast with AZOI positioned to keep out Allied reinforcements. All we need to accomplish in the turn 3 hand to achieve the historical expansion is attack the Aleutians, capture Rangoon, finish off the DEI and we are there. This only requires at most three cards out of 8 (remember we have an FoQ). This plan also takes no foreknowledge as it is predicated on all OC plays for turn 3. Now let's look at the real turn 3 hand.

At this point I begin to think through how I might win with the JP. My first thought when I see this hand is it screams CBI at me. At some point you have to listen to HQ. So the first thing the JP has to do on turn 3 is to quickly finish off the DEI. Remember because we knocked SW Pac off the map on the last card play all of the Dutch ground units are off the map. I would use the 3OC Ghandi with Combined fleet and a profligate use of ASPs to capture all remaining Dutch hexes that should amount to 5 total, so lets assume that we used 3 ASP and took two with SNLF organic combos, but even if its 4 ASP (Banka is an overland attack) thats fine.

What's really interesting with this turn 3 hand is not that it has no military events, but it generates two double moves (Workers Strike and Halsey) that makes capturing the CBI fairly easy. As this hand will have 9 strategy rounds due to the FoQ and Staff Debate I would also put the China offensive event into the FoQ and establish a China surrender offensive mindset which is particularly useful with these kinds of cards. Here is where we would have taken different paths according to your notes. Depending on circumstances I would try and play Tainan air unit as an event somewhere interesting.

An important point is there are more than enough activations to finish off the DEI, CBI, Malaya, Aleutians, and establish your Southern perimeter with this turn 3 hand. Again I have no information on the Allied hand, moves etc., but from what I can see it is more or less irrelevant in most situations because of Halsey and Workers Strike.

It is hard to say what I would do with the Turn 4 hand without a map position, but its not a weak hand given the discard situation. First off even with the Subs hitting, the Panama Canal attack buys you back a strategy round and auto delays the Allied reinforcements regardless of the WiE situation. By turn 4 you are assured of playing the submarine attack so you will see at least two new cards with the Panama attack. Op RE by the way does not have to use a brigade formation, you just forgo the bonus if you do not attack with one. Lastly, if you need another offensive event, you can play Central Agreement to fish out Kondo by discarding Tinian Raid, especially if the JP are under ISR.

So, from my perspective I would not be upset with these hands even a little and they are fairly strong as a group. More importantly they would with 99% probability, achieve at least the historical JP position and likely a bit more.

You should not feel bad RAS as EoTS does not give up its secrets easily due to the need to see combinations that tend to come with experience and observation, RE: CSW games that I know you follow. I find that I am constantly answering this question about the sensitivity of the game to the JP cards and it is not a game design issue, but a player knowledge experience level issue, hence why this is considered by me to be a expert level game. Not because the system requires an expert, but how to play without a killer hand can be subtle.

I hope that helps, but we can dialog over details if that helps your understanding.

Mark
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R Larsen
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This is an amazing answer, Mark.

Thank you for the time and effort at analyzing this situation and teaching me some lessons at the same time. Very highly appreciated.

I have only read through your comments very fast, and will take some time to read them in detail, before I come with any more questions or comments.

One thing that struck me, however, is that you say the T3 card hand is good for taking the offensive in the CBI. That I had for sure not read into the cards. It was the lack of advancing in the CBI that later prevented me from even thinking of going for China. So this is really interesting. My impression at the time was, that if I started burning cards in the CBI, nothing would stop the Allies in the Pacific - I would not even have units there, as everything had to move into the DEI on T2.

Again, I will take a very careful look - probably tomorrow, though - and will try to come up with additional questions or comments.

This is great - fantastic support for the game.

Btw, we are still playing this game, and I will let you know how it turns out - even though it looks a bit bleak with the US navy on Iwo Jima already...blush

Cheers,
Ras
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RLarsen wrote:
This is an amazing answer, Mark.

Thank you for the time and effort at analyzing this situation and teaching me some lessons at the same time. Very highly appreciated.

I have only read through your comments very fast, and will take some time to read them in detail, before I come with any more questions or comments.

One thing that struck me, however, is that you say the T3 card hand is good for taking the offensive in the CBI. That I had for sure not read into the cards. It was the lack of advancing in the CBI that later prevented me from even thinking of going for China. So this is really interesting. My impression at the time was, that if I started burning cards in the CBI, nothing would stop the Allies in the Pacific - I would not even have units there, as everything had to move into the DEI on T2.

Again, I will take a very careful look - probably tomorrow, though - and will try to come up with additional questions or comments.

This is great - fantastic support for the game.

Btw, we are still playing this game, and I will let you know how it turns out - even though it looks a bit bleak with the US navy on Iwo Jima already...blush

Cheers,
Ras


I look forward to the dialog.

One point about the CBI is I find it very advantageous if I can squeeze out a few activations to push the 38th Army forward on turn 2 as it did historically. It tends to create more options on turns 3 and 4 depending on how the cards come up.

The key to the CBI with the hand that you drew is the potential for two double moves. All you need is to land a second army on the coast with the 38th, SEAC reacts, you play workers strike and hit Rangoon. Once you have the port moving additional armies in is easy with extra activations from other moves. Then you advance, the Allies try to block you, play Halsey's Typhoon, then conquer Burma. Now that Burma is conquered and the fact that you have a China Offensive, you put it into the FoQ and try and set up a turn 4 attack with a 3OC China offensive, with Burma road closed, 100% chance of success without Hump, then play a China offensive event out of the FoQ. This put China two boxes from surrender, forcing an Allied response, read as a loss of tempo.

If the Allies fail to respond, things can go your way.

Mark
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R Larsen
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Hi Mark,

Sorry for taking a long time. Honestly, I do not have so much to say, I think.

I have now gone through your suggested play carefully, and it is obvious, even though I was fairly satisfied with my play, that I could have done things somewhat better.

I really appreciate your effort at pointing me in the right direction with the strategy of this game. As you say, it really only reveals itself through playing, and there is a lot to discover. With 4 games under the belt I would feel fairly comfortable with most games. With EOTS, not so.

Still, my original question was not so much how to play this hand optimally, but rather a question as to the balance of the game, decided by the japanese card draw in the first 2-3 turns. I think I know what you think of this , but I will repeat my concerns, in relation to what to me seems a lack of "compensation", game wise, for poor cards early in the game. Again, this is to try to understand if there are other not so obvious mechanisms that I am missing. I guess the China Offensives is one such compensatory mechanism, assuming you draw these cards late in the game. Are there others?

It is clear, that you can, with even a poor hand, carry out a historical Japanese offensive in 1942. However, what then when you draw eg 6 or 7 military events in the first two turns - this would give close to 2x move activations, maybe 40 instead of 25, plus allow for the generation of multiple battle hexes for each play. All other even, this should make for a very ahistorical Japanese explansion in 1942. If not, why not?

In addition, going back to the example of drawing poor hands; the important events that might show up - Tokyo Rose, War in Europe, China Offensives, Resources, and others, they will not be used in the beginning, but will then be missing later on, where the appearance of the military events as well as the WiE cards will be less useful.

So what I am asking, is not for the optimal play of a certain hand, but whether the game balances itself to compensate for even poor card draw. Eg, if two Mark Hermanns play each other, would the victory statistics still be 50:50 when only looking at games in which few or no military events appeared in 1942, as compared to hands with many military events? I know that the victory statistics are 50:50 as the game is (or close to it), which makes sense when looking at all games, between experienced players. But when looking at the extremes of luck, is this still the case?
Again, I think I know what you will say...

This is only because I feel that poor draws is going from bad to worse, and I do not see how the game balances luck out, but ok, it is probably just me.

Again, thanks for the major effort trying to answer the questions and ramblings of a beginner like me. Highly appreciated indeed. This game keeps me awake at night!

Cheers,
Ras
 
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RLarsen wrote:
Hi Mark,

Sorry for taking a long time. Honestly, I do not have so much to say, I think.

I have now gone through your suggested play carefully, and it is obvious, even though I was fairly satisfied with my play, that I could have done things somewhat better.

I really appreciate your effort at pointing me in the right direction with the strategy of this game. As you say, it really only reveals itself through playing, and there is a lot to discover. With 4 games under the belt I would feel fairly comfortable with most games. With EOTS, not so.

Still, my original question was not so much how to play this hand optimally, but rather a question as to the balance of the game, decided by the japanese card draw in the first 2-3 turns. I think I know what you think of this , but I will repeat my concerns, in relation to what to me seems a lack of "compensation", game wise, for poor cards early in the game. Again, this is to try to understand if there are other not so obvious mechanisms that I am missing. I guess the China Offensives is one such compensatory mechanism, assuming you draw these cards late in the game. Are there others?

It is clear, that you can, with even a poor hand, carry out a historical Japanese offensive in 1942. However, what then when you draw eg 6 or 7 military events in the first two turns - this would give close to 2x move activations, maybe 40 instead of 25, plus allow for the generation of multiple battle hexes for each play. All other even, this should make for a very ahistorical Japanese explansion in 1942. If not, why not?

In addition, going back to the example of drawing poor hands; the important events that might show up - Tokyo Rose, War in Europe, China Offensives, Resources, and others, they will not be used in the beginning, but will then be missing later on, where the appearance of the military events as well as the WiE cards will be less useful.

So what I am asking, is not for the optimal play of a certain hand, but whether the game balances itself to compensate for even poor card draw. Eg, if two Mark Hermanns play each other, would the victory statistics still be 50:50 when only looking at games in which few or no military events appeared in 1942, as compared to hands with many military events? I know that the victory statistics are 50:50 as the game is (or close to it), which makes sense when looking at all games, between experienced players. But when looking at the extremes of luck, is this still the case?
Again, I think I know what you will say...

This is only because I feel that poor draws is going from bad to worse, and I do not see how the game balances luck out, but ok, it is probably just me.

Again, thanks for the major effort trying to answer the questions and ramblings of a beginner like me. Highly appreciated indeed. This game keeps me awake at night!

Cheers,
Ras


Ras,

As far as balance goes with a hand without lots of juicy JP military events goes; it all depends on what you do with them and how that same situation impacts the Allies later in the game. You are making the assumption that it is the opening that drives the outcome. In fact it is often more important what the Allies get as cards during the critical late war turns. So, the compensation is that uneven distributions cut both ways in EoTS and I cannot tell how it will go until its over.

For example just look at the latest game turn 9 cards that the Allies got in the current CSW staff game. We had one military event that we could use with US forces when we needed at least two or more to make things go for us. We have also been under ISR for most of the game. Even with that the Allies had planned for all of that, but in the end a well executed plan fell to a 30% die roll. The die roll not the cards was where we felt the pain. My point is the game is not just about cards, but die rolls, strategy and how it all fits together. Any one of these factors at any time can yield advantage.

So, this idea that the game is uni-dimensional in how luck impacts the two sides is just not the case. The cool thing is that the team came up with two new ideas not seen before, so there is more to learn even as we enter our 8th year of playing.

Is the game balanced in the aggregate across a wide spectrum of player skill etc. I believe that the results would indicate that the game is balanced, but someone wins each contest.

Your personal experiences are obviously not supporting this view. Why don't you guys switch sides and see the situation from the other side of the fence. Both sides have their challenges.

Mark
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MarkHerman wrote:
RLarsen wrote:
Hi Mark,

Sorry for taking a long time. Honestly, I do not have so much to say, I think.

I have now gone through your suggested play carefully, and it is obvious, even though I was fairly satisfied with my play, that I could have done things somewhat better.

I really appreciate your effort at pointing me in the right direction with the strategy of this game. As you say, it really only reveals itself through playing, and there is a lot to discover. With 4 games under the belt I would feel fairly comfortable with most games. With EOTS, not so.

Still, my original question was not so much how to play this hand optimally, but rather a question as to the balance of the game, decided by the japanese card draw in the first 2-3 turns. I think I know what you think of this , but I will repeat my concerns, in relation to what to me seems a lack of "compensation", game wise, for poor cards early in the game. Again, this is to try to understand if there are other not so obvious mechanisms that I am missing. I guess the China Offensives is one such compensatory mechanism, assuming you draw these cards late in the game. Are there others?

It is clear, that you can, with even a poor hand, carry out a historical Japanese offensive in 1942. However, what then when you draw eg 6 or 7 military events in the first two turns - this would give close to 2x move activations, maybe 40 instead of 25, plus allow for the generation of multiple battle hexes for each play. All other even, this should make for a very ahistorical Japanese explansion in 1942. If not, why not?

In addition, going back to the example of drawing poor hands; the important events that might show up - Tokyo Rose, War in Europe, China Offensives, Resources, and others, they will not be used in the beginning, but will then be missing later on, where the appearance of the military events as well as the WiE cards will be less useful.

So what I am asking, is not for the optimal play of a certain hand, but whether the game balances itself to compensate for even poor card draw. Eg, if two Mark Hermanns play each other, would the victory statistics still be 50:50 when only looking at games in which few or no military events appeared in 1942, as compared to hands with many military events? I know that the victory statistics are 50:50 as the game is (or close to it), which makes sense when looking at all games, between experienced players. But when looking at the extremes of luck, is this still the case?
Again, I think I know what you will say...

This is only because I feel that poor draws is going from bad to worse, and I do not see how the game balances luck out, but ok, it is probably just me.

Again, thanks for the major effort trying to answer the questions and ramblings of a beginner like me. Highly appreciated indeed. This game keeps me awake at night!

Cheers,
Ras


Ras,

As far as balance goes with a hand without lots of juicy JP military events goes; it all depends on what you do with them and how that same situation impacts the Allies later in the game. You are making the assumption that it is the opening that drives the outcome. In fact it is often more important what the Allies get as cards during the critical late war turns. So, the compensation is that uneven distributions cut both ways in EoTS and I cannot tell how it will go until its over.

For example just look at the latest game turn 9 cards that the Allies got in the current CSW staff game. We had one military event that we could use with US forces when we needed at least two or more to make things go for us. We have also been under ISR for most of the game. Even with that the Allies had planned for all of that, but in the end a well executed plan fell to a 30% die roll. The die roll not the cards was where we felt the pain. My point is the game is not just about cards, but die rolls, strategy and how it all fits together. Any one of these factors at any time can yield advantage.

So, this idea that the game is uni-dimensional in how luck impacts the two sides is just not the case. The cool thing is that the team came up with two new ideas not seen before, so there is more to learn even as we enter our 8th year of playing.

Is the game balanced in the aggregate across a wide spectrum of player skill etc. I believe that the results would indicate that the game is balanced, but someone wins each contest.

Your personal experiences are obviously not supporting this view. Why don't you guys switch sides and see the situation from the other side of the fence. Both sides have their challenges.

Mark


Thank you very much again, Mark.

Do not worry, I am in no way planing to stop playing EOTS. It's a very exciting and addictive game. It is probably just my beginner-approach that makes me worry about the balance and luck issues.
And we will indeed do as you suggest, shift sides after the present game. At that point I will probably start posting messages about how your game is completely pro-Japanese...

Again, thanks for the effort, and especially for the detailed break-down of the early-game card play.

What is really difficult in this game, is all the options that you have every turn, the feeling that you could always have done something smarter (ok, maybe that is only me) and the uncertainty as to what is going to happen dependent on Reactions and Intel.

I will keep looking at your CSW games - they are great.

Cheers,
Ras
 
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You should play in the next game. I feel like I am still learning how to play better.

Mark
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MarkHerman wrote:
You should play in the next game. I feel like I am still learning how to play better.

Mark

Thank you for the "invitation"!
Its just that, as obvious from my "complaint", that I might be more of a liability for my team, than a help. shake

Seriously, I would like to join - I am just not sure I will be "present" enough, to be a good team mate.

Ras
 
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Mark, sorry, one more.

I am doing some game opening exercises and was looking at your Kondo suggestion. But could you have made a mistake? I cannot see how I can attack Kuantan with the 15th Army, using the Combined Fleet HQ. To me it seems to not be able to reach.

Ras
 
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RLarsen wrote:
Mark, sorry, one more.

I am doing some game opening exercises and was looking at your Kondo suggestion. But could you have made a mistake? I cannot see how I can attack Kuantan with the 15th Army, using the Combined Fleet HQ. To me it seems to not be able to reach.

Ras


I made a mistake, you have to use the 25 the army in Kota Bharu.

Mark
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MarkHerman wrote:
RLarsen wrote:
Mark, sorry, one more.

I am doing some game opening exercises and was looking at your Kondo suggestion. But could you have made a mistake? I cannot see how I can attack Kuantan with the 15th Army, using the Combined Fleet HQ. To me it seems to not be able to reach.

Ras


I made a mistake, you have to use the 25 the army in Kota Bharu.

Mark

Pfew, I can still count!
Ras
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Going back to the original question about compensation the exact situation that I discussed earlier is playing out. We are in the last turn and the Allies have made slow but steady progress toward an A-bomb victory that has come down to the last turn and probably down to the last card die roll to determine who wins this one.

The combination of Allied and Japanese cards dealt plus expert Japanese play has put them in a position to win this one against the full might of the Allied forces. Clear proof that cards and circumstances cut both ways in EoTS.

Mark
 
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