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HoldFast: North Africa 1941-1942» Forums » General

Subject: Upgrade to German Armor and resources rss

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Chris Grega
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Missouri
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I've been trying out bumping up the German armor to 6 attack dice as opposed to 5. Seems to even the odds a bit.

I've also considered moving the Axis up to 14 resource points as opposed to 12, to see what that gets me. As the game is so heavily favored towards the allies, perhaps that might bring it a little more into balance?

Granted, I only have a few solo plays under my belt, but all have turned into slugging matches around Tobruk that the Axis ultimately can't win. With supply working as it does, it's really difficult to perform 'sweeping moves' of any sort...which is kind of the point of a North Africa game!

Still, I haven't given up on the game just yet.
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Tom Shydler
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Let us know how these mods work. I've had a couple ideas as well, but have not had time to go back to the game to test. This is one of those incredible game publications where you wonder immediately, "Did anyone actually play this game before publishing it? 'Cause it has no connection with WW2 North Africa". Good luck.
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Chris Grega
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I really think that 6 dice for German armor is pretty solid. It makes them hit just that much more harder, but as it's only two units, it doesn't break anything IMO.

I'll test out 14 RP's for the Axis and post what I come up with here, but my gut feeling is that it will sway things pretty strongly in their favor. But then again, there's alway going to Malta as a drain, so perhaps not.

Another thought that I had was some sort of tweaking to the supply rule, like extending it to 9 hexes as opposed to 7, but that might be too much. I don't know without playing with it a bit.

I REALLY love North Africa games, and I REALLY wanted something light and fast that I can solo if I need to, but man this game really could have used some more playtesting!
 
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adam wilson

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I think the designers mentioned that the German's were over-powered in their initial playtests. I would like to watch a play through with a strategy explanation for the Axis. The rules aren't that complex but the how and the why aren't clear to me.

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Erik Stonemark
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I won't rehash a lot of the previous threads on this game, you can find a lot of interesting discussions and debates as to this games positives, negatives, and other points to consider. The vast majority of opinion out there is that this game is severely out of balance. After several plays and participating in several of the above mentioned discussions, my own opinion is that the best the axis can hope for is a minor victory by holding onto to Tobruk, but that happens maybe 2 out of 10 times? As is I find it to be still challenging, but persistently lacking not just balance, but a lack of versatility in movement later in the midgame and late game stages. If the Axis don't make enough progress in the first few rounds, they are lost. The best I ever accomplished was a few hexes into Egypt before being driven back and barely holding on to Tobruk.
Historically speaking, this game can simulate some of the North African Campaign elements. Rommel laid siege to Tobruk for 7 months and never captured it the first time around, he finally took it after the Brits had stripped men and equipment out of the defensive fortifications. After failing to take Tobruk the first time around, Rommel had to withdraw back to El Agheila for lack of supply. There may be a limited amount of grand tactical sweeps in the opening stages and then it turns into a siege around Tobruk(which historically happened). Problem as said before is later in the midgame and endgame. There is no balance of static defensive warfare with powerful sweeps and armor penetration that truly represents what the actual historical full campaign truly was.
Why?
Looking at the map, I think we find the real problem with the design. From the Mediterranean Ocean to the the Qatara depression is what? 4 hexes? Count the number of Allied units that can fill those hexes. There is no way the Axis even sniff El Alamein or further east. I have only played the long campaign as I have heard nothing but bad about the short, but the short campaign does mimic the units and positioning for that time frame.
I am probably just a glutton for punishment, but I seem to have this game always in the back of my mind, even after moving onto other games.
I have an interest to hear how your adjustments turn out. Please let us know and check out the previous threads for other house rules ideas.
I am still pondering doing an opening strategy video, but I don't think that will help address what and where the real unbalance issues come from later in the game.
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Matthew Looby
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Hi Chris,

Perhaps you could consider this small tweak before making others. I would be interested in playing with you if there is a vassal module.

Units in a fortress square do not exert ZOCs into adjacent hexes. I think this simple change will allow for more maneuver and better play.

Matt
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Chris Grega
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Hmm. That's an interesting concept, and worth exploring. although it does raise the question of the importance of fortresses, meaning if they don't exert a ZOC, then how effective are they at guarding an area?

That might tip the balance too far in favor of the Axis if you can bypass Tobruk altogether with no consequences, really. Worth a shot to playtest it, though.

I was also playing with the idea of not having out of supply units eliminated at the end of a turn, but rather reduce them a step- which could still cause elimination, of course. That would give you a little bit more flexibility at the cost of effectiveness, and the fact that you could not refit those units would result in their destruction ultimately, unless brought back within supply range.

I've never actually done Vassal, and finding the time might be difficult, though...

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Matthew Looby
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cmg88 wrote:
Hmm. That's an interesting concept, and worth exploring. although it does raise the question of the importance of fortresses, meaning if they don't exert a ZOC, then how effective are they at guarding an area?

That might tip the balance too far in favor of the Axis if you can bypass Tobruk altogether with no consequences, really. Worth a shot to playtest it, though.




One defends a key point by defending/and attacking outside of it. The Axis do not necessarily wish to target Tobruck early in the game because it cost too many RPs and will deny them the space they need to press into Egypt. Bardia/Sollum Pass should be the initial operational objectives perhaps more, but that is nearly impossible to achieve by maneuver-since the garrison fortresses exert ZOC.

I think the big issue for me is that it is too difficult/impossible for Axis to push into Egypt, before the Commonwealth onslaught.

1) Rommel by-passed Tobruck, right? If in this game, Tobruck must fall in order to supply blocks in Egypt, how can one say this is historical? How can one drive deep into Egypt without first besieging and attacking Tobruck? However,if the Axis are able to supply along the by-pass road around Tobruck and further east, my sense tells me that the game has the potential to not bog down at Tobruck, El Adem, Bir El Gubi and Ft. Maddelena line.

2) By voiding ZOC for garrison fortress block- the 2mp cost is eliminated thereby allowing the Axis to strategically move past that block. This is important because destroyed Italian armor and Panzers needs to get back in the game asap. To get back in the game, they need to by-pass Tobruck with strategic movement, this is impossible per ZOC rule.

3) As per the rule (ZOC 2MP penalty), Italian infantry are unable to attack Benghazi on turn one! They can't make it there.

4) I believe the big problem with the game can be corrected with this simple house rule.

5) I will give it a try and ask anyone else who is interested to do also, I'd appreciate your feedback because I am the GM for this game at the next Prezcon.

Regards,

Matt





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Erik Stonemark
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Hi Matt,

I agree in principal that strategic movement is blocked by enemy zoc, however, rather than eliminating it altogether for fortresses, I think it could be a happy medium that friendly units negate enemy zoc for strategic movement purposes, similar to tracing supply as on page 6 of the rulebook.
Also, by using road movement, and Rommel's 2mp bonus, Italian infantry can reach Benghazi on turn 1 in a combat move, all that is needed is 1 hit to eliminate that 2nd infantry SA. Strategic movement would then be open along the road, which road's movement bonus can be used in conjunction with strategic movement bonus, at least until the next ezoc is encountered.
By occupying the road around Tobruk with friendly units, one negates ezoc for supply purposes, and with this minor house rule adjustment, would also negate for strategic movement purposes. I dont think enemy units should be able to move freely past one of my units in the open, but if there is an enemy unit already there, I think they would be able to screen and negate my zoc for strategic movement and supply purposes.

Happy Gaming!
Erik

P.s. What happened to your entries in other threads? I felt you brought up interesting points and issues, and then your entries were gone, the thread lost a little bit of making sense.
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Erik Stonemark
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cmg88 wrote:


I was also playing with the idea of not having out of supply units eliminated at the end of a turn, but rather reduce them a step- which could still cause elimination, of course. That would give you a little bit more flexibility at the cost of effectiveness, and the fact that you could not refit those units would result in their destruction ultimately, unless brought back within supply range.



How about reducing the sp value of a unit by 2? A 4 sp unit out of supply would be reduced to 2 sp. A 3 sp unit down to 1, 2 or lower would be eliminated. If a unit is out of supply longer than one turn, they are eliminated. This is still a steep cost for out of supply, but gives the players an oppurtunity to save some units, and risk some deeper penetrations into enemy territory without themselves being eliminated.

Just a thought,
Erik
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Matthew Looby
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redblackmonkey wrote:
Hi Matt,

I agree in principal that strategic movement is blocked by enemy zoc, however, rather than eliminating it altogether for fortresses, I think it could be a happy medium that friendly units negate enemy zoc for strategic movement purposes, similar to tracing supply as on page 6 of the rulebook.
Also, by using road movement, and Rommel's 2mp bonus, Italian infantry can reach Benghazi on turn 1 in a combat move, all that is needed is 1 hit to eliminate that 2nd infantry SA. Strategic movement would then be open along the road, which road's movement bonus can be used in conjunction with strategic movement bonus, at least until the next ezoc is encountered.
By occupying the road around Tobruk with friendly units, one negates ezoc for supply purposes, and with this minor house rule adjustment, would also negate for strategic movement purposes. I dont think enemy units should be able to move freely past one of my units in the open, but if there is an enemy unit already there, I think they would be able to screen and negate my zoc for strategic movement and supply purposes.

Happy Gaming!
Erik

P.s. What happened to your entries in other threads? I felt you brought up interesting points and issues, and then your entries were gone, the thread lost a little bit of making sense.


Hello Erik,

I decided to pull and delete my posts from that thread- I felt the my posts were leading to a hole to nowhere- I must have felt my comments were highly inaccurate- I don't remember exactly.

You are right- I forgot about Rommel bonus- it's been a few months since I played.

I want to keep it simple in regards to fortress ZOC- just like in Afrika Korps. I think it would be the players decision to guard or not guard the by-pass road with (EZOC) and terrain connected to Tobruck, Bardia, etc.

The problem I have is, I do not have a face-to-face opponent. I wish to Pete I could find someone. I am in the middle of nowhere- and far from any populated areas.

Do you know if there is a vassal module? If so I would love to play you?



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Erik Stonemark
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Matt,

I would be up for a game any time, but I do not believe there is a vassal module as of yet. Unfortunately, I am nowhere being close to a tech savvy kind of guy, it's hard enough for me to make posts without multiple tries, and god help me when I am uploading other material like videos.
Unfortunately, the other drawback is that this game has not gone over well with the majority of folks, and the one person I could think of to do a vassal mod, did not like this game at all, and I can't see him doing a mod for vassal on a game he doesn't like.

I've hemmed and hawed a lot about doing a vid on opening strategy for this game, but I am not entirely sure that would help as I believe the more significant balance issues occur later in the game(midgame and later stages especially).

I think I will do one just to get it out of my system and see how it goes over, I have several ideas that have helped me make some net gains into Egypt a hex or two, but not more than that(again bad balance, especially the further you go into the game)

I am looking forward to the next few holdfast games: Atlantic, Pacific,
and Eastfront(which is a re-release of Russia)

Hopefully Worthington swings back the other way and their future releases will return to the standard set by Russia 41-42.

Happy Gaming!
Erik
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Matthew Looby
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redblackmonkey wrote:
Matt,

I would be up for a game any time, but I do not believe there is a vassal module as of yet. Unfortunately, I am nowhere being close to a tech savvy kind of guy, it's hard enough for me to make posts without multiple tries, and god help me when I am uploading other material like videos.
Unfortunately, the other drawback is that this game has not gone over well with the majority of folks, and the one person I could think of to do a vassal mod, did not like this game at all, and I can't see him doing a mod for vassal on a game he doesn't like.

I've hemmed and hawed a lot about doing a vid on opening strategy for this game, but I am not entirely sure that would help as I believe the more significant balance issues occur later in the game(midgame and later stages especially).

I think I will do one just to get it out of my system and see how it goes over, I have several ideas that have helped me make some net gains into Egypt a hex or two, but not more than that(again bad balance, especially the further you go into the game)

I am looking forward to the next few holdfast games: Atlantic, Pacific,
and Eastfront(which is a re-release of Russia)

Hopefully Worthington swings back the other way and their future releases will return to the standard set by Russia 41-42.

Happy Gaming!
Erik



Hello Erik,

I pulled out the game and gave it a spin....

Putting aside the mid-game, Erik, would you do me a favor and deploy the Axis on the opening move as follows:

Consider the opening turn is always clear weather (house rule we used at Prezcon). Assume the Axis have 8 RPs available for the opening move.

NOTE: House Rule- a unit inside a fortress does not exert a ZOC to adjacent hexes nor do enemy units exert a ZOC into an occupied fortress.

Units:

1) Savena is on the coast road adjacent to Benghazi and attack the 2nd SA along with Luftwaffe and Rommel.

(Assume that attack is successful thereby opening the coast road.)

2) Brescia moves to Agedabia.

3) Trenta using the Rommel bonus move Trenta adjacent to the 2nd Armor at Msus.

4) Bologna by strategic movement deploy Bologna 2 hexes east of 2nd armor (inclusive).

5) Pavia moves to Gaza.

6) Panzer to El Adem.

7) Ariete to Ft. Maddelena.

Note: The 2nd armor and the Free Frogs start out of supply.

I think there is a way to reestablish supply to those units, but it may be the best of the worst situation? Your input and anyone else reading this would be much appreciated, especially if you see other more devious moves.

If anyone has tried one tweak that greatly helps the game I'd be interesting in hearing from you. But please try it out first. Time is limited so ideas are good but playtesting is better. Thanks.






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Chris Grega
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What I think I'm going to do is try each of these ideas separately and see which of them makes a difference. The ideas being:

* No Fortress ZOC
* 14 RP's for Germany
* Step reduction vs elimination for out of supply units
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Matthew Looby
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cmg88 wrote:
What I think I'm going to do is try each of these ideas separately and see which of them makes a difference. The ideas being:

* No Fortress ZOC
* 14 RP's for Germany
* Step reduction vs elimination for out of supply units


Greg, your input/feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.

The Italian infantry seem to get wiped out quickly. Perhaps you could address your "14 RP's for Germany" just a bit differently: Italian Infantry
have two target numbers 4/5- "4" is the target number in the attack while make it a "5" in defense. The defensive increase to "5" would make it more difficult to destroy Italian infantry, so the Axis would save a bunch of (2RPs)cost to build back destroyed infantry.

I may introduce this as a house rule at the tournament if needed, but I think the "No Fortress ZOC" will create a good playable game.

Thanks in advance,

Matt
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