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Axis Empires: Totaler Krieg!» Forums » Variants

Subject: Suggestions for Gameplay Balance rss

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Alberto Natta
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TK in my eyes is heavily leaning to Allied being overpowered, which result in a very frustrating / difficult game for the Axis.

Even by playing the combined TK + DS, defined AE, the Axis comes at disadvantages.
If you play TK on its own, rest assured all the strongest cards will be played by Allies at each single opportunity (Conference cards, Little / Regular Soviet Offensive, etc). They've no reason whatsoever to play the weaker card.
If you play AE, Japan at some point is at peace with someone or when in Total War has still someone with a Neutrality Pact (historically Russia). Rest assured, each European Commitment event the Allied player will shift a Support Unit to Europe since they do not need them vs Japan (or do not need them for a foreseeable future).

Also a quick study of the cards - TK ones at least - for one who knows the history and has experienced the game some; will quickly have them realize that Germany is mostly tied to historical options (Especially in Pre-War) meanwhile the Allies have some "fantasy" cards related to diplomacy.

I have detailed some points of view already in my recent AAR. Now I come down with some suggestions.

GUARANTEE Western Card:
Requirement to play: There are 2 German Ceded Land markers in the Ceded Land box.
Concept: This ensures the West cannot force Germany hand to war too quickly with the disastrous effect of doubling France production.

ITALY is Axis, and is activated the moment the conditional event Paris Threatened is triggered.
The event Paris Threatened does not give Axis anymore an influence.
Italy can never be activated as an Allied minor.
Concept: It may push toward a historical course of action but Italy had zero interests in Russia historically. If the Axis player wants to pursue an east first strategy they can influence Italy normally. But France starts siding with UK and they're both democracies. Why fascists are not bundled togheter too? Or then let us have UK start alone and having to influence France. It's the same concept.

That can go in two ways, but the core concept is that the "IF there is a Civil War Country" has to go or put another IF.
These cards turn otherwise into a pure filler / burden if Civil War is prematurely ended.

The remove of Influence/Neutrality or Roll on a Table and Apply Influence should be -always- there, no matter what. Hitler supports nationalists / similar ideology movements across Europe.

Alternatively keep that IF there is the Civil War or if Nationalists won the Civil War. If Repubblicans won the Civil War, Germany gains 1 additional INF step (the equipment and personnel they'd send over - mainly equipment though; they retain for own usage).

If the Nationalist wins the Civil War, place the Nationalist Stronghold in Madrid and keep it there. It acts exactly like a Republican support marker. (It makes it harder for the West / Soviets to Influence / Activate Spain.)

AXIS Conditional Event: Minor Country Reactivation
A rare case maybe, but Axis reactivates Minor Countries they "liberate". The prerequisite is that the Soviets or West have declared war to a Neutral Country or Demanded it (ie - Germany can liberate a Romania that has been entirely ceded to Russia; or the Baltic States which historically were quite happy to see again the XX Century Teutons).
Also this conditiona works toward any Country that was activated the first time as Axis. (Another rare case, see it as Romania is activated as Axis Country. Soviets conquers it first and then activate it as Soviet Minor Country. Axis somehow manages to take Bucharest again; they conquer the "Soviet" Romania, and reinstate their own pro-Axis government thus reactivating it as Axis Minor Country.)

Situations I feel rare - but currently the game paints the Axis nations as the bad ones always and ever (I can assure you Soviets were far from different) and in each nations there were pro-Axis supporters (or political players who smiled at the force in power of the moment, for their own benefit).

Speer did a miracle for German production.
I feel it should be mirrored. How? Cards are hardly enough. Also Germany pushed toward total war production in that timeline, hardly mirrored by cards.
When the Speer card is played, the Speer Miracle marker is put in the Delay Box, and when it's out - it adds a Conditional Event (that is like a Lend Lease).

The table is meant to use all the modifiers German delays would incur (not political modifier but delay modifier) so to mirror abundance of resources, or the leaning toward the wunderwaffe or volksturm.

A sample of table can be:

Volksturm Step
Infantry Step
Delay Reduction
Military Aid
Armor Step
Armor + Infantry Step

I've hardly tested that, and I thought it may be placed somewhere a "Success" for technologies with its intrinsic limit that it is bound to tech-cards played.

Also the Speer Card would give an additional Support Unit, in the form of the "Pan-Axis" (see Pan-Chinese unit) Interceptor.
This represents a mix of minor airforces mixed with German regular Luftwaffe units. I feel Italy (and other minors) had planes which they added to the fray. Not good planes. But still planes. To give a regular Air Force would be too much. To give an Interceptor with its limited defensive role is another tale though.

Bear in mind Speer as card is usually played as Total War card 2 or 3 (That means after the start of Total War with Barbarossa / Sealion, it's the 2nd or 3rd card you play - at the present. Simply because you need to play it to play your next Blitz card, Fall Blau)

ADDITIONAL Pre-War Germany Card: PLAN Z
Counts as a rearmament card which can be played even post Pre-War.
German focus on building ships. It would give them a single Surface Fleet Unit.
And like 2 INF steps. (No armoured corps, that metal goes elsewhere)
Adds flexibility and such. For the cost of delaying land production projects. Or they can play it in the Limited War time.

ITALY "Regia Aeronautica"
This probably is best kept if Italy sticks to Axis.
Italy had a considerable Airforce. Does it really needed German partnership? I doubt so. Italy should be entitled by default to an AF plus one via Partnership.
On a note - this combined with the Pan-Axis Interceptor Unit -will- be too strong so it should be mutuall exclusive.

AXIS Minor Production - Tier +2
Add this to "Rise Up, Nation" Card.
Mirrors the increased production that is also spread in form of internal lend lease to Axis Minors (Historically Hungary, Romania and Finland all received a minor degree of armaments from Germany, PzIV, Me109g, He111 and so forth. Or got designs to produce them on license. Historically also Operation Zitadelle was played. So if Rise Up Nation is the industrial card without blitzes, Germany also fuels help into their minors)
Especially as Minor Units are litterally obliterated in Total War by Allies, not by battling them but by their events. Each Allies Support Resistance or Minor Country Politics pratically sends kaboom steps of minors. Entire armies - armies - are destroyed this way. To the extent probably the +2 Marker should be given also in Operation Zitadelle.

Feel free to debate - but if anyone has been quite successful with Axis (and not being in the first games where the Allied player can screw up as much as Axis) I'd like to hear out their experiences in winning vs the West (and not only winning, if you actually had fun through the game and did not felt mostly impotent)

It is some limited, minor conflict, that does not even require troop placement.
Make it that 1 INF step is lost, not 2.
1 INF step is a Corp pratically. A corp is about 50k men. Surely more than what Germany may lose vs Austria or Denmark.
What Germany lost vs Poland in the regular war. (And if you're lucky with the dice there, you do not even lose 1 corp.)
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