Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
24 Posts

Quartermaster General» Forums » General

Subject: Poll: Points Bid / Handicap rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ian Brody
United States
Leverett
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So, I'm not deaf to the fact that many of you think the Allies have an advantage. I will tell you that if you believe this, and we can figure out time for a 1 on 1 game, I'm pretty comfortable playing the Axis and wager a round of drinks on the outcome. But that doesn't mean too much given I wrote all the cards. Having said that, I don't necessarily disagree that the Allies have a slight edge, having put in a lot more games since the original release.

I also think that the game is more balanced with 2 players than with 6.

Poll: Quartermaster General Bidding
Informal poll to determine what players think about the balance in Quartermaster General. In each row, indicate the number of extra points you think the Axis should start with to make the game perfectly balanced.
Number of Points
  0 1 2 3 4 5
Quartermaster General 6 Players
Quartermaster General 2 Players
Quartermaster General w/Air Marshal 6 Players
Quartermaster General w/Air Marshal 2 Players
      18 answers
Poll created by IanBrody


By the way, I am trying to figure out how to have tournament play. I still can't figure out how to have 6 person tournament play without 3 player teams showing up, and then, how feasible is it really? And then, if we actually did get a reasonable large number of teams of 3 players, then how do I police them for secret hand signals and such, like at bridge tournaments?


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Turner
United Kingdom
Farnham
Surrey
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think I've played enough games to qualify for a vote here, but it always struck me it was less a matter of points than pacing.

From my limited experience, Axis starts off strong, and if it gets the right cards early, can steamroller the Allies. But as that steamroller runs out, if it's hasn't won by 2/3 the way through or so, the allies will first take then run away with the lead.

I'm not sure if extra points addresses that. I guess that it gives axis a greater chance of getting that mid game victory. But by the end, I personally don't recall a game where allies had less than a 5 point victory. When the axis collapse came, it came hard, not least because axis powers run out of cards and options, and economic warfare kicks in with a vengeance late game.

Will be interested to see how the poll goes though.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
United States
Astoria
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Have the allies bid in turns instead of points.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Brody
United States
Leverett
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MrMT wrote:
I don't think I've played enough games to qualify for a vote here
OK, but this isn't scientific, and the more input, the better.

MrMT wrote:

if it's hasn't won by 2/3 the way through or so, the allies will first take then run away with the lead.
.
.
I personally don't recall a game where allies had less than a 5 point victory.
I've certainly seen many close games (even tied), but I don't disagree with your point. Most Axis wins will occur prior to round 20. So by bidding points, this is more likely to happen. I certainly have had a number of games where the Axis got around 27-29 points ahead, and then the Allies caught up.



1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MrMT wrote:
From my limited experience, Axis starts off strong, and if it gets the right cards early, can steamroller the Allies. But as that steamroller runs out, if it's hasn't won by 2/3 the way through or so, the allies will first take then run away with the lead.
I have played a lot of QMG (50+ games), and my experience is pretty similar. The Axis can certainly win, but when they do, they do so by about T12 and usually as the result of:

A) The Germans getting one or both of their vital stats cards into play early (Blizkrieg and/or Bias for Action) and the English not seeing Enigma during the run of the game (or at least not till the very end of the game).

B) Italy being super awesome at getting VPs early (which is generally the result of them drawing their important status cards and the Axis having the upper hand in Europe).

and

C) The Allies not having better than average luck.

You get all three of these happening, the Axis win by about T12.

Using the expansion, I have seen one or two games where the Axis won by points at the end of T20 with a very thin margin of victory, but using only the basic game, I don't think I have ever seen that happen.

Quote:
I'm not sure if extra points addresses that. I guess that it gives axis a greater chance of getting that mid game victory. But by the end, I personally don't recall a game where allies had less than a 5 point victory. When the axis collapse came, it came hard, not least because axis powers run out of cards and options, and economic warfare kicks in with a vengeance late game.
What giving the Axis a couple points (3? That was my vote for 6 player, base game) does is make it that much more likely that they can pull off that T12 or so victory. I have seen many, many games where the Axis got a solid lead, and were just almost winning, with, like, a 27 or 28 point lead, and then they stalled out, and the Allies caught up and eventually got past them to win on T20 (often by virtue of Flexible Resource based bomber recursion, but I digress...). Having 2 or 3 extra points will often make all the difference for the Axis being able to win.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brandon Holmes
Canada
Caledonia
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This poll is really difficult for me to answer as the game gives a significant advantage to those who have played it multiple times and as such, many of my plays have been unbalanced. For instance I easily won as the Axis my last game (about turn 7 or so) but I have played this game multiple times and I was introducing it to a friend who has never played before.

My hunch is that the Axis needs at least a 3-5 point boost but that is just a wild guess so I am not even going to vote. My preference though is to see a boost to the starting units of the Axis (which would also help simulate their readiness and position as aggressors at the start of the war). Maybe an extra tank for Germany, a naval unit for Japan etc. Of course that might lead to other issues so you may need to add a tank to the Soviet Union so they don't get steam rolled but I am ok with that too...

Another option could be that the allies draw 10 cards and discard 3 at random (or draw 12 and discard 5 with the expansion) and don't actually pick their cards. Meanwhile the Axis get to pick their cards as normal which again helps simulate their position as aggressors who are choosing the time and location of the start of hostilities.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jan van der Laan
Netherlands
Leeuwarden
Friesland
flag msg tools
badge
Als u begrijpt wat ik bedoel.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bholmes4 wrote:
...Another option could be that the allies draw 10 cards and discard 3 at random (or draw 12 and discard 5 with the expansion) and don't actually pick their cards. Meanwhile the Axis get to pick their cards as normal which again helps simulate their position as aggressors who are choosing the time and location of the start of hostilities.
I quite like this option. Since I've never lost as the Axis I have to rely on the belief of many others that the Allies seem to have a slight advantage. The abovementioned solution is very thematic (and historically defendable) as the Axis were far better prepared for war than the Allies.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jan van der Laan wrote:
I quite like this option. Since I've never lost as the Axis I have to rely on the belief of many others that the Allies seem to have a slight advantage. The abovementioned solution is very thematic (and historically defendable) as the Axis were far better prepared for war than the Allies.
So, like, I'm not doubting that you have never lost as the Axis, but what kind of situation are you playing in? And how often? And in what kind of games?

Having played this game an awful lot vs an awful lot of people, I can certainly accept that the Axis can do well in certain situations, and certainly can win, but it being (essentially) unbeaten seems very much like an outlier.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jan van der Laan
Netherlands
Leeuwarden
Friesland
flag msg tools
badge
Als u begrijpt wat ik bedoel.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bakija wrote:
So, like, I'm not doubting that you have never lost as the Axis, but what kind of situation are you playing in? And how often? And in what kind of games?

Having played this game an awful lot vs an awful lot of people, I can certainly accept that the Axis can do well in certain situations, and certainly can win, but it being (essentially) unbeaten seems very much like an outlier.
Sorry Peter, I'm not nearly as experienced as you are. I've played about a dozen games against two different opponents in 2-player games solely (and a few solo games) and always played the Axis. What I meant to say is that I must rely on experiences of other players (players like you) who are able to give a more thorough opinion on play balance than I can. But given the various reports on the Allies having a slight advantage over the Axis the solution mentioned above is a very elegant (and historical) one imho. Again, I do apologize for giving the impression that I'm a more experienced player than I really am.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Brody
United States
Leverett
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bholmes4 wrote:
This poll is really difficult for me to answer as the game gives a significant advantage to those who have played it multiple times and as such, many of my plays have been unbalanced.
Good! I like a game where you get better over multiple plays. When we were playtesting, the number of plays was the only significant factor in my multiple regression (statistics stuff) as to predicting the winner. But the sample size now is much larger and enough good gamers have pointed out this perception to me that I can't ignore it.

I have looked at other balancing methods (turns, cards, setup) and none are satisfactory to me for different reasons, so I've settled on points. I also know that by jiggering the points, we have the most granular and least game-play impacting method of ensuring a 50/50 split, ceteris paribus (that's geek speak for everything else being equal).

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jan van der Laan wrote:
Sorry Peter, I'm not nearly as experienced as you are. I've played about a dozen games against two different opponents in 2-player games solely (and a few solo games) and always played the Axis. What I meant to say is that I must rely on experiences of other players (players like you) who are able to give a more thorough opinion on play balance than I can. But given the various reports on the Allies having a slight advantage over the Axis the solution mentioned above is a very elegant (and historical) one imho. Again, I do apologize for giving the impression that I'm a more experienced player than I really am.
Oh, heh, no need to apologize for your play experience. Like, as noted, it isn't remotely impossible for the Axis to win; most folks seem to feel that they are a little behind in balance, but not so much that it is insurmountable. But, if, like, you were in a situation where you as the experienced player was playing the Axis a lot, and new folks kept playing the Allies, I could certainly see how the Axis would win all the time.

Have you played a bunch of games where other folks were the Axis, and they won all the time too?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jan van der Laan
Netherlands
Leeuwarden
Friesland
flag msg tools
badge
Als u begrijpt wat ik bedoel.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bakija wrote:
...Have you played a bunch of games where other folks were the Axis, and they won all the time too?
It may be odd, and without tapping myself on the shoulder, the times a played the Allies I won too. My win ratio is a fantastical 100%. I could see however my opponents grow in experience and effectiveness. I'm sure my win ratio will dwindle down eventually. I like winning but a good and tense game comes first, even if I would be beaten.

Edit: typo.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jan van der Laan wrote:
It may be odd, and without tapping myself on the shoulder, the times a played the Allies I won too. My win ratio is a fantastical 100%. I could see however my opponents grow in experience and effectiveness. I'm sure my win ratio will dwindle down eventually. I like winning but a good and tense game comes first, even if I would be beaten.
Heh--so it is certainly possible that the issue at hand here is that you are good at this game, and your opponents are still learning :-)

Player skill is still a significant factor in QMG--know what is in the deck, knowing what cards are good to use and what are ok to ditch, and knowing how to leverage the stuff you do have most effectively is generally going to beat out the advantage that the Allies start out with, so even though I think the Axis are at a (minor) disadvantage from the get go, player skill will certainly trump that if a solid player is playing a newer/weaker player (especially in a 2 player game).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Martin
Canada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
OK, I have a few comments:

Firstly, I noticed from the survey that most feel that the game is closer with Air Marshal. That's encouraging, but I don't think that our experience aligns with that. I think that we've played maybe 55 games pre-expansion and maybe 40 games with the expansion, and I think that the Axis record is actually worse with the expansion.

Secondly, I have to be honest, what I'd really like to see is a mechanism that both evens up the game and draws both the US and Japan into the Pacific. Two examples: 1) make Hawaii worth 2 points, and India, Australia, and Szechuan only worth 1 point, or 2) give Japan and the US each the same status card that makes Hawaii worth more points for both of them.

Jan van der Laan wrote:
bholmes4 wrote:
...Another option could be that the allies draw 10 cards and discard 3 at random (or draw 12 and discard 5 with the expansion) and don't actually pick their cards. Meanwhile the Axis get to pick their cards as normal which again helps simulate their position as aggressors who are choosing the time and location of the start of hostilities.
I quite like this option. Since I've never lost as the Axis I have to rely on the belief of many others that the Allies seem to have a slight advantage. The abovementioned solution is very thematic (and historically defendable) as the Axis were far better prepared for war than the Allies.
I also kind of like this idea. And it may force the Allies to be more varied in their strategies.


In the end, Ian, I'm sure that you know the game best, and we're looking forward to hearing your choice.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Bankler
United States
San Antonio
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
"Keep Summer Safe!"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think rather than points/cards, one side could bid a number of "Pass" actions, where the player would simply have to discard a card (and no Deploy AF or boosters).

I think a non-bidding version would see the US pass on T1. (Note that this is also 2 points, assuming the typical US action is take the western US, and that's delayed a turn, but I think if you enforced a US pass giving the Allies the points as if the Western US had been occupied is reasonable).

I suspect that's enough, but I could see a bidding.

"We want axis, and we'll have a US pass on T1, and another ally pass no later than T5"

"Turn 4"

"Turn 3"

"Sold!'

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dave Martin wrote:
Firstly, I noticed from the survey that most feel that the game is closer with Air Marshal. That's encouraging, but I don't think that our experience aligns with that. I think that we've played maybe 55 games pre-expansion and maybe 40 games with the expansion, and I think that the Axis record is actually worse with the expansion.
We started out winning consistently with the Axis when using Air Marshal (i.e. the first 4 or 5 games we played with AM were Axis wins). Now, it seems like the Allies are swinging back into dominance, with the Allies winning a lot of our last string of games. I think we are in the 20+ realm with AM, and we are probably at this time batting, like, 6-4 for the Allies.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ok, so at press time, looking at the survey (which is a little scattered), it looks like:

-8 out of 11 people think the Axis should get some sort of VP bonus in a 6 player base game.

-7 out of 10 people think the Axis should get some sort of VP bonus in a 2 player base game.

-6 out of 8 players think the Axis should get some sort of VP bonus in a 6 player game with AM.

-4 out of 7 players think the Axis should get some sort of VP bonus in a 2 player game with AM.

Not a huge number of votes. But so far, general consensus seems to be that the Axis could probably use some sort of VP edge for a tournament play situation.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Gibson
United States
San Diego (Scripps Ranch)
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I, too, believe that given equal experienced players that the Allies have a slight advantage. I'd like to see the tweak involving the Japanese in some way that it would also give them more options. As it is, I tend to believe that the Japanese are a bit one-dimensional.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bob.Gibson wrote:
I, too, believe that given equal experienced players that the Allies have a slight advantage. I'd like to see the tweak involving the Japanese in some way that it would also give them more options. As it is, I tend to believe that the Japanese are a bit one-dimensional.
The Japanese position can be really entertaining, depending on what the US does. If the US ignores them, they can quickly take over Asia and start messing with the Soviets. If the US attacks them, all their defensive response cards become useful. If left alone, they can easily rack up 8-9 points a turn (which, if things are going well in Europe, can result in the Axis winning by Turn 12 or so).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Turner
United Kingdom
Farnham
Surrey
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bakija wrote:

The Japanese position can be really entertaining, depending on what the US does. If the US ignores them, they can quickly take over Asia and start messing with the Soviets. If the US attacks them, all their defensive response cards become useful. If left alone, they can easily rack up 8-9 points a turn (which, if things are going well in Europe, can result in the Axis winning by Turn 12 or so).
I find the Japanese are limited by their pieces. If they take over Asia, there's not much they can do to the Russians as their pieces quickly run out...
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
marc lecours
Canada
ottawa
ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
The players in my group find that the axis are favoured. But we have only played 6 games (5 axis wins to 1 allied win). We play 4 players (sharing one power on each side) without the air marshall expansion. We also play with only the 30 points to win victory condition for winning before the end of the game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Troels Panduro
Denmark
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
IanBrody wrote:
So, I'm not deaf to the fact that many of you think the Allies have an advantage. I will tell you that if you believe this, and we can figure out time for a 1 on 1 game, I'm pretty comfortable playing the Axis and wager a round of drinks on the outcome. But that doesn't mean too much given I wrote all the cards. Having said that, I don't necessarily disagree that the Allies have a slight edge, having put in a lot more games since the original release.

I also think that the game is more balanced with 2 players than with 6.

In our gaming group the Allies edge seems to be that the USA needs to stay on point, and if they do, its hard not to win with them.
Staying on point means going after western europa (maybe with englands help) and just crushing germany/italy between USA and Russia. Once you have played the game a few times, you learn that there are to many squares to Japan and you need more of an ship/amry combo to get there - for it to be worth it.
Get your very secure 4 points every turn and then pound gernamy. Axis have it a lot easier when playing with rookies, and the USA is spending time in the pacific.



So my gaming group has played a few games where the western US is not a supply square, and the axis did not run away with the game. But I think thats to harsh.

So I propose that (instead of adding points to axis) the 'western USA' losses its supply marker, and 'Hawaii' gains a supply marker.
This forces the USA to spend time/turns in the pacific if they want 4 points and they need to defend it against Japan. For Japan of course it becomes much more lucrative to move against the USA and take 'Hawaii'. This all takes pressure away for western europa and gives the (10/10) game more balance.
We all know what happend in Hawaii in world war 2, so it being a supply square is not that stupid or what?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Turner
United Kingdom
Farnham
Surrey
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jules Elysard wrote:

Once you have played the game a few times, you learn that there are to many squares to Japan and you need more of an ship/amry combo to get there - for it to be worth it.

So I propose that (instead of adding points to axis) the 'western USA' losses its supply marker, and 'Hawaii' gains a supply marker.

This forces the USA to spend time/turns in the pacific if they want 4 points and they need to defend it against Japan. For Japan of course it becomes much more lucrative to move against the USA and take 'Hawaii'. This all takes pressure away for western europa and gives the (10/10) game more balance.
This is a pretty interesting idea.

One way or another, giving the US a motive to tackle Japan would change things. You would think a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour should demand some kind of response. One wonders if there might not be some mechanism whereby capturing that base gives Japan extra units - given that in some ways a lack of units is the country's biggest constraints - and thus to viably threaten the US mainland.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Troels Panduro
Denmark
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
MrMT wrote:


This is a pretty interesting idea.

One way or another, giving the US a motive to tackle Japan would change things. You would think a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour should demand some kind of response. One wonders if there might not be some mechanism whereby capturing that base gives Japan extra units - given that in some ways a lack of units is the country's biggest constraints - and thus to viably threaten the US mainland.
Thanks

I dont know if Japan should get more units - if you go againt the USA, then you cant take over the whole of Asia (except a unit in China). But if you put pressure on the USA and they 'need' hawaii for the 4points. Its up to England to attack europa mainland alone, and the Sovjets are much harder pressed.

Mostly I see axis winning the game, when playing with rookies. - The USA is either doing nothing with to many status cards (and not using them optimal), or going the wrong way. But with the new 'theater shift ' event card, going the wrong way, might just be a ruse. Hawaii having a supply marker, makes em get at least a unit and a ship in the pacific and not removing them (And the USA still have the 'Flexible Resource' status card)...

I allways get the feeling when playing germay/italy, that if the USA is in the pacific, if I just hold on, the victory is not so far away.
But if the USA is coming back to Europa, then victory is a hail mary pass.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls