Dan Zachary
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Please note that the editor invites an answer to the posted title and question which as of Jan. 9 has not been thus far answered.


Hi,

Santa was good to me and brought me a copy of "Lamps."

I have have now played a few games solo and some with friends.

A concern with play balance arises. In the early part of the game, the Germans advances to Belgium then fortifies. This is followed by AH with their awesome early artillery tech card overrunning Serbia.

In my last two games, the Germans got their heavy artillery early in the game as well, and with AH help turned on the Russians. The end result was that --despite Allied attacks in the west-- Russia was overrun in '16. As a footnote, tech draws were particularly unfair to the Allies (no big guns--ugh) with the Germans doing well (air superiority and artillery for example).

This lopsidedness was accentuated by the game's recent FAQ that says the West cannot send PPs to Russia unless Turkey is conquered. (In one multi-player game the CP used the same "Turn East Early" strategy, the only reason Russia survived was because of PP transfers--not having read the FAQ the rules gave no clear reason why Britain couldn't send $ via PayPal.)

This was brought up in an earlier post but I think that this combination of tech cards looks like a deathblow to Russia and to the 3E chances in general.

Your thoughts?
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Mick Mickelsen
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Re: Play Balance?
Well, I'm in the middle of my first vassal game, but it seems like tough sledding as the Central Powers. I'm playing them and after settling into Belgium, have turned East. But we we've been playing the Triple Entente could send PP to Russia, so Russia has been able to hold on so far. (I need to look at the FAQ.) That seems like a very important rule to relegate to a FAQ.
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James Webb
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Re: Play Balance?
Could you tell me what route you had been sending PPs to Russia by?

I thought the rules were clear enough without needing an FAQ. You can't use a sea route to transfer PPs to Russia unless Turkey has been conquered (it's actually written on the map), or you need Greece to be an ally, and Romania/Bulgaria to be some combination of conquered/allied/neutral so that you can trace the supply line through friendly-territory or one neutral country.

The FAQ just clarifies this, rather than brings in a new rule.

I've found in my games that if the CP get bogged down in the West and focus East then the TE can counter-offensive them in France or Italy, or even through the Balkans, even when they're behind in tech. The CP problem is that they don't have enough armies to protect every front.

Russia is very hard to play, depending on how the dice treat you, of course. I've found that being prepared to abandon territory using Scorched Earth is the best way to keep them in the game. Holing up in Moscow and Petrograd with some trenches can keep the CP at bay for a long time, unless they send a lot of armies East - which exposes them elsewhere.
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Mike Szarka
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When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
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Re: Play Balance?
revgiblet wrote:

Russia is very hard to play, depending on how the dice treat you, of course. I've found that being prepared to abandon territory using Scorched Earth is the best way to keep them in the game. Holing up in Moscow and Petrograd with some trenches can keep the CP at bay for a long time, unless they send a lot of armies East - which exposes them elsewhere.


In general, although my experience is limited, I find trenches disappointingly expensive relative to their usefulness. If the attacker breaches, he doesn't take a step loss. The trench costs two PPs compared to replenishing two armies. Wonder if I am missing something.
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Mike Haggett
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Re: Play Balance?
Quote:
Wonder if I am missing something.


The trench is a one-time cost, you don't have to keep refitting it.
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Mick Mickelsen
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Re: Play Balance?
revgiblet wrote:
Could you tell me what route you had been sending PPs to Russia by?


I guess transfers of PP must go from anchor point to anchor point? Both myself and my opponent read Western Allies to mean transfer by sea areas to mean from land area to another land area bordered by blue.
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Re: Play Balance?
Right - the trenches are a one-time expense that keep essentially "refitting" for free (unless captured). So they are quite valuable. As far as the PP lending, yes ... sea transfers are port to port. So to lend to the Russians you need the Dardanelles or an overland route that leads from a PP source or port (like a friendly Greece) to Russia proper.

Thanks!
Hermann
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Mike Szarka
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Re: Play Balance?
Feralkoala wrote:
Quote:
Wonder if I am missing something.


The trench is a one-time cost, you don't have to keep refitting it.


Well yes, but assuming no die roll modifiers, a trench is going to be breached 7/12 times with no loss to the attacker.

If I spend 2 PP on replenishing units, they will cause on average over 3 losses to an attacker. The same 2 PPs spent on a trench will cause less damage unless it is attacked quite a few times repeatedly (my math suggests about 7 times). If you use artillery the trench will rarely bother you.
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David Gómez Relloso
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Re: Play Balance?
I think that trenches are useful for two reasons:

- Forcing the enemy to roll as many times as possible is always good: more dice rolls = more options of losing and spending an army without any gain.

- Remember that if you attack an area from a different area, trenches are immediately refreshed, so you must breach them again!

David
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Dan Zachary
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Re: Play Balance?
Thanks for the replies so far, but I don't see much of a response except to one statment that PP transfers to Russia are vital.

(If play balance is an issue with early CP heavy artillery, then I think that one tweak would be to allow Brit PP transfers but at an initial cost of 1PP. So, that 2PPs would give Russia 1PP; 3PPs would yield 2PPs; etc.)

Again, I invite answers to my initial post.

 
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Dan Zachary
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Re: Play Balance?
Feralkoala wrote:
Quote:
Wonder if I am missing something.


The trench is a one-time cost, you don't have to keep refitting it.


Maybe he is saying that the first-time cost is prohibitive when Russia is being hard-pressed. In other words, a desperate Russia is better served by refreshing spent armies and hoping to hold on then to buy a trench and risk being forced into "They shall not pass."

My take.
 
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Mike Szarka
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Re: Play Balance?
sharpe1813 wrote:
Feralkoala wrote:
Quote:
Wonder if I am missing something.


The trench is a one-time cost, you don't have to keep refitting it.


Maybe he is saying that the first-time cost is prohibitive when Russia is being hard-pressed. In other words, a desperate Russia is better served by refreshing spent armies and hoping to hold on then to buy a trench and risk being forced into "They shall not pass."

My take.


Yes, this. When you've only got 4 PPs and most of your armies are depleted, do you want to spend half of your production on a trench? And my analysis suggests that if you aren't confident of holding an area for a long time, probably a year or so, then the trench isn't as good as replenishments.
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Mike Haggett
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Re: Play Balance?
Yes, no question refitting is a better choice when PPs are tight.
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Dan Zachary
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mickmick wrote:
Well, I'm in the middle of my first vassal game, but it seems like tough sledding as the Central Powers. I'm playing them and after settling into Belgium, have turned East. But we we've been playing the Triple Entente could send PP to Russia, so Russia has been able to hold on so far. (I need to look at the FAQ.) That seems like a very important rule to relegate to a FAQ.


And without transfers? How does the view look?

In my game, transfers saved Russia and saw Berlin overrun from the west.
 
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Paul Regulski
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Yep ! the Triple Entente has to use trenches to defend " vital areas " and make sure they are well stacked with armies..Germany can be more liberal...
 
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