Norbert Chan
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Our gaming group is continuing to pull out his game with all the expansions when we have 6 players. To try and offset the advantage of the Allies where they win the majority of the games, we are experimenting with a revised scoring system where all the points on status cards and event cards are doubled. This makes the Axis cards for Italy and Japan more powerful. This report is a couple more games we had with this “variant”.

Trevor was Germany, I was UK, Jean was Japan, Gary was Soviet Union, Craig was Italy and Don was the US. Trevor plays the Ardennes Offensive to battle into Western Germany and build there. I build a navy in the North Sea, Jean builds a navy in the Sea of Japan with an air force, Gary builds in Ukraine, Craig plays an event card where both Italy and Germany can build a navy in the Med, while Don builds in Western US using an even card.

On turn 2, Trevor plays an economic warfare card, I recruit in Australia, Jean land battles into China, Gary builds into Eastern Europe, Craig plays an economic warfare cards, while Don plays Artificial Harbors.

Don plays a number of Pacific cards, and I have a UK card that lets me recruit in Southeast Asia, and a navy in the South China Sea. I believe that Don is going to try and take over Japan, so I attack into the Sea of Japan to force Jean to rebuild a fleet and air force there. But Trevor has played out a Blitzkreig on turn 7, and I use Enigma on it on turn 9 to relieve the pressure on Gary in Europe.

Western Europe is left open from the pressure from UK and Russia, and Craig goes after the VPs by playing a status card. Don then does a theater shift to land into Western Europe. At this point, we think the game is over for the Axis. But Don follows up the move by doing an economic bombardment on Japan, rather than putting another unit in Western Europe after it has been battled out. This allows the Axis to hold onto Eastern Europe for a few more turns.

Germany is occupied around turn 15 by the Soviet Union. But Japan is earning 13 VPs or so with status cards for Pacific Northwest, and is also occupying the Western US. Italy is earning 12 VPs a turn for Mare Nostrum and units in Africa and the Middle East. Germany is getting -1 VP a turn, and being bombarded. I am earning 6-8 VPs a turn, US is around 5 and Soviet Union has 6 VPs. We can’t occupy Italy as Gary has no more land battles, and I have no more build armies. As a result, the score is Axis 229-Allies 216. (Note the old scoring method would have been Axis 142- Allies 214) and easy victory for the Allies.


The Allies can't overcome the 14 or so points from Japan, and 12 pts from Italy.

Some notes on this game. Italy made no effort to defend Germany or Western Europe. Even though Germany fell, places like Africa and an Germany occupied Middle East were worth 2 VPs to the Axis. Similarly, the Pacifc Northwest, and New Zealand were worth 2 VPs to the Axis as well, so this variant forces the Allies to dislodge the Axis in all area, not just the prime target areas. Also, Germany did not have much to do the final 5 or 6 turns).


Game 2 with our group variant: I was Germany, Jean was UK, Craig was Japan, Don was Russia, Trevor was Italy, and Gary was US. I played Ardennes Offensive to battle into Western Germany and occupy it. Jean built a navy in the North Sea, and deployed an air force there. Craig played a response card. Don built in Ukraine and deployed a Chinese Air Force. Trevor played an economic warfare card that forced Jean to lose an army in the UK or lose 3 cards (Jean chose the army), Gary built in the Western US.

On turn 2, I played Bias for Action, which is a good start for Germany. Jean built back in the UK. Craig build a navy in the Sea of Japan and attack twice into China using the response card. Don played a response card, Trevor built a navy in the Med, while Gary played the Brazilian Expeditionary Force getting a navy adjacent to the north sea, so he could build there next turn.

I had a couple of turns where I could use Bias for Action and threaten Don in Moscow. The turning point was when Ukraine was unoccupied, Moscow was occupied, Don had 2 response cards down, and I had an army in Russia, but no Build Army. I decided to land battle into Moscow, which was thwarted by the response card ( I didn’t want to reallocate resources for a build army that early ). That was all I could do before I got overwhelmed in Western Germany by the combined UK and American attacks. Gary had a status card that only spent one card to reallocate resources. Now, Trevor had used an event card (gain 1 VP per army and fleet outside of Italy) an generated 10 VPs, which would have been an autovictory using the new scoring, but not through the old scoring. As this was a play test game, we decided to not allow it.

On turn 13, I lost Germany despite have LandKrusers and West Wall up (someone attacking had to throw out 7 cards). Jean used a bolster card to ignore the West Wall and only threw out 5 cards. So for the rest of the game, all I could do was use Volksturm to eliminate an allied army in Germany. This was not very exciting for Germany this game or last game.

So the question was, could Japan and Italy generate enough VPs to account for Germany’s loss? The answer was no, as Craig was getting around 8 VPs, but the Allies had too much. The final score was Allis 280, Axis 253 using the new scoring method. The old scoring method was 280-212.


Allies overwhelm Germany and Italy, but it grinds out the entire 20 turns.

So I think we may have to go back to the drawing board for this variant we have been trying as it doesn’t really handle autovictories very well – it seems to create very unstable situations, especially with the Italian deck.

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Quote:
As a result, the score is Axis 229-Allies 216. (Note the old scoring method would have been Axis 142- Allies 214) and easy victory for the Allies.

That's quite a big swing between old and new scoring when the Axis status point cards are out. Sounds like they would dominate the variant. Probably right to go back to the drawing board; something that centers on supply points might work better. Either that or you need to increase the auto-victory threshold when doubling Axis status points.

Have you tried (suggested elsewhere) removing Western USA as a supply point and adding Hawaii as one? Weakens the dominant Allied strategy while also maybe adding some tension in the Pacific.
 
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Norbert Chan
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zurn wrote:
Quote:
As a result, the score is Axis 229-Allies 216. (Note the old scoring method would have been Axis 142- Allies 214) and easy victory for the Allies.

That's quite a big swing between old and new scoring when the Axis status point cards are out. Sounds like they would dominate the variant. Probably right to go back to the drawing board; something that centers on supply points might work better. Either that or you need to increase the auto-victory threshold when doubling Axis status points.

Have you tried (suggested elsewhere) removing Western USA as a supply point and adding Hawaii as one? Weakens the dominant Allied strategy while also maybe adding some tension in the Pacific.


We haven't tried the remove Western USA and add Hawaii as a supply center yet. That might be worth trying; thanks for the tip on that one.
 
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Norbert Chan wrote:
zurn wrote:
Quote:
As a result, the score is Axis 229-Allies 216. (Note the old scoring method would have been Axis 142- Allies 214) and easy victory for the Allies.

That's quite a big swing between old and new scoring when the Axis status point cards are out. Sounds like they would dominate the variant. Probably right to go back to the drawing board; something that centers on supply points might work better. Either that or you need to increase the auto-victory threshold when doubling Axis status points.

Have you tried (suggested elsewhere) removing Western USA as a supply point and adding Hawaii as one? Weakens the dominant Allied strategy while also maybe adding some tension in the Pacific.


We haven't tried the remove Western USA and add Hawaii as a supply center yet. That might be worth trying; thanks for the tip on that one.


I agree there. I tried that in my games and it does mean the Americans can't just pile into Europe and ignore Japan. Also, we made it so that Scandinavia is a supply point and is adjacent to Germany (Denmark no longer a part of Western Europe.
 
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