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Subject: A few opinions needed... rss

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Three questions for anyone with an opinion:

With the change to CE, which of the optionals now are most Pro-Axis?

Which are most Pro-Allied?

Also, does anyone have a definitive list of rules changes between the latest WIFFE and CE? If so, can I get a copy?

 
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Alberto Natta
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Most Pro-Axis?
Surprised ZoC (Easier advances in early game - it matters most than later)
Cadre (recycling some BPs when on the offensive)
Railway Movement Bonus (Same as Surprised ZoC).
City Based Volounteers (More units for Axis early on. Later it equates for Allies. Remember Free French free units are all CVB)

Pratically the last 3 benefit both 'equally' BUT the Axis will gain benefit of them since the beginning, the Allies will feel them later on so perception is that these rules are Pro-Axis but not by a far shot.

Most Pro-Allies?
Oil (yes many considers it a must but in truth it's optional. I'd not play without it BUT it's good to remember to players that it's an optional and that without it Axis produces an amount of extra BPs since turn 1 whereas Allies are not minimally affected as they've resources already).

Pilots (CW gains a lot of airplanes through pilots of Poland, Belgium and so forth. Early in the game. Suggesting to play with Pilots but forego the Internment of them as sub-optional - it will cut off 2 CW pilots and risk to royally screw Germany in France or Italy in the Med depending what UK wants to do with these pilots and their LND3 picks at the start of the game)

Intelligence (That's a very harsh rule on the Axis. Mirrors well the ULTRA though and the Axis 'blunders' because of Intel successes of the Allies. It can be balanced off with some minor tweak in the form of house rule to a Pro-Allies one and not a massively Pro Allies one)

Cruiser and Convoy in Flames. (If you want to cripple the Battle of Atlantic, that's the way to go. For some special 'skills' of submarines, the tradeoff are pratically permanent escorts at the 0 box having a sudden decay of cruisers at the 1 box for the next turn, sub-hunter airplanes. Japan is affected too but the W.Allies benefits tremendously of this.) [Pro-Tip do not use these 2 optionals]

Winterized Movement. (A good rule - but definitely pro-Soviets. They'll have the only ARM units able to advance after combat 2 hexes in Snow Turns)

Siberians / Guard Banner Armies (Extremely Pro-Allies. Added force pool, and all of quality units. But they're needed or Soviets later on can struggle)





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Randy Gabor
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Alberto,

I agree with you on most of your comments with the exception of Cruisers In Flames.

Under the old FE rules we did not use Cruisers in Flames, but with the changes to the rules in CE making submarines more deadly, I believe you now need to add the light cruisers to help cover the convoy lines (especially the British). As for Convoys in Flames we do not use this expansion, except to give the Axis the Commerce Raider Units (and their associated rules).

Randy
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Alberto Natta
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I'll try to put down the lines of difference.
CLiF adds a bucket of Light Cruisers. An increment in naval warfare that is not indifferent. It also heavily favors suicidal strikes (send in 1 CL and hope for a 1 to 10 search roll, and max damage out) in general.
Last but not least it makes the build of more SCS redundant in general for most nations.

Main difference anyhow is that whereas Germany starts with X submarines with Classic and X+X about with SiF because there are more ships around, it does not turn into X+X+X with SiF+CLiF.
Pratically the CW gains on top of the generous SiF allocation (which I consider legit) a hefty amount of CLs for no real Axis tradeoff in comparison (I never counted them but CW and France gains an amount - more than what of GER + ITA).

Another tradeoff underlined is the augment of AA around. BUT that's worth mostly for USA than anything else due to their excellent CLs (that are pratically heavy cruisers excluding the very old ones).

The tradeoffs outweight a lot the hitting 3 instead of 2 CPs per time. Submarine combat has hardly been improved, actually worsened since now CLs can use their ASW as surface factor if the Submarines elect to do Surface combat.

Ultimately the perception with CLiF is "Oh, I lost a few cruisers, it's okay, I've a bazillion" for the CW. With SiF only each ship actually counts. (Though in general we combine the use of SiF to the facilities of Shipyards without FiF - and found that balance pretty good in the department).
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Randy Gabor
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Alberto,

I disagree with your analysis. Subs are more deadly in CE. After downloading the rules last year, we set up numerous situations and found that subs are much more effective in CE.

I believe Cruisers in Flames helps the allies protect the vast convoy chains they need to maintain.

Enough said. Pay your game the way you want, that's what's it's all about.
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Hugh Grotius
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I agree with Randy -- I'm still setting up CE, but my sense is that subs are much stronger, and thus the case for CLiF (and maybe CoIF) is stronger too. I also don't see the ZOC rule as such a big deal, as it affects only minor countries.

Also, most of us don't know yet how CE will work in practice. Not many people have played a full game of CE yet, have they? There are a few testers in these forums (Bruce, Wendell, Randy?), but I recall one tester saying he didn't get a chance to play with the final CoIF counters.
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Bruce Jurin
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It is difficult to answer this because there are some rules that are really fundamental to the game, like 0-points. See a recent thread we had on options, this is a 'mandatory option' as I defined there.

Moreover, some options are weaker or stronger played together or not - for example, different options impact the submarine war or ability to invade. These are hard to evaluate in isolation.

Finally, we have the impact of parts of options – since come options have lots of rules. So if you play with CoiF, the CX are very pro-Axis, tankers are pro-Axis, sub hunting aircraft and ASW are pro-Allied.

What is the most pro-Allied rule – I would say: (drumbeat, drumbeat) -

Ships in Flames!

This has changed from FE; now, to honest, I think the game is near impossible without the AMPH's that the Allies get in SiF. In FE you could play classic without SiF since AMPH's were optional, and you just invaded from TRS. You can't do that anymore – and even MAR need AMPH's to invade at full strength. So I think that the game is pretty unbalanced without these ships.

In addition, with SiF, you get out of the 5-10 CP requirement, a huge advantage for the Allies. There is an opposite side – the extra subs the Germans get can be tremendously powerful. But all in all, SiF is the most pro-Allied option since I think the game is really impossible without the AMPHs.

Most pro-Axis – probably Limited Overseas Supply. Without this the US and CW can invade all over the place.

Other pro-Allied

PiF – Again a huge benefit for the Allies, the Western Allied plane build-up is devastating
Divisions – helps both sides a lot, but again, the invasions! Without divisions France can fall to a 'France first' very quickly.
Light cruisers – I do play with them, I think the subs are too tough otherwise. Remember that the other ships lose much of theri ASW when you play with this.
Oil – Not a huge benefit, this can backfire especially if you play with tankers
Warlords and territorials – Probably mostly for starting forces, but if you play with 2 turn builds and choose, then some territorials (Egypt, India) can be very helpful in cases
Guard banner armies, Siberians – Pretty self-explanatory
Intelligence – can be exploited, for example, Chinese buys with extra BP's!


Other Pro-Axis -

Scandinavian map – cuts railroad to Murmansk easily
Rough seas – very tough on the Allied transports. For some reason the subs aren't impacted by this (which I think is bad implementation)
Air-sea Search – Stops the fighter defending the 0 box stuff
Gearing – The Germans can exploit this by limiting Soviet production. If that is viewed as an 'exploit' then this option is probably relatively benign
Factories in flames – this is VERY tough on the Soviets who get most of their reinforcements in Siberia and then have to try to rail them to the front
Kamikazes
Auxiliary Cruisers and tankers
In the presence of the enemy
Railway movement bonus


In looking at other responses above, I agree Winterized movement is pro-Allied.

I guess cadres are pro—Axis but I think it is pretty close to even
I agree that no ZOC's on surprise is pro-Axis but I don't think it is that important any more with the changes to the maps

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Randy Gabor
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Bruce,

I think PiF is not Pro Allied. Pretty neutral to me, though I think it's slightly Pro Axis. Games never seem to go much beyond late 43 to mid 44. The Allies never really get a chance to exploit there vast air forces, unless the game does make it into 45. Then the option becomes Pro Allied. But early in the game the Axis, especially the Germans, can exploit their air power to a greater degree as the counter densities are still small. This early advantage greatly impacts the flow of the game.

We use PiF, but limit the number of air units added to each countries force pool, so that no one gets the full compliment. We have a random selection by type of plane that is then added to WiF unit pool, with the rest of the units not used. It's a bit complicated in that after randomly selecting units players can trade it units for other units based on build points. This way each major power can somewhat mold his air force based on the overall strategy that they want to follow. Sounds weird, but it works pretty well to limit air from overpowering the game, yet gives enough potential builds to have an impact.

What I would like to know is why does everyone think O-Pts are mandatory? Everyone uses them, but I wish they didn't dominate the play as much as they do. I like the idea of behind O-pts, but sometimes I get the feeling they are TOO powerful. I think I liked the level of impact better in the original version of the rule. Just my opinion.

Randy
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Bruce Jurin
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Well I view PiF as pro Allies but obviously other people can have other experiences. I agree if people don't play into 44 and 45 it is less so.

Pulling off a D-day where the Allies as trying to get 30 + corps between say June 44 and Jan 45 is very hard, and overwhelming air superiority is needed for the 1945 push because landing all of those units is hard. PiF also allows the US player to dominate the Pacific through LBA; many if not most WiF players using PiF don't bother with the 42 Essex class carriers, they just build LBA. Similarly CW players build out their Nav's and not their carriers. Play classic and that won't happen.

PiF also gives the Allies, especially the US, lots of strategic options; they can build zillions of 4 engine bombers or few. PiF helps the US the most because their planes are such high quality, their force pool is so big especially for planes, and their production is so high. But most important, the US biggest issue is action limits. If they go big time with planes taking an air impulse becomes cost effective. Often the US builds few land units, the CW builds out their land units, allowing the US to take an air impulse and the CW a land impulse. Once again, this kind of maneuvering isn't possible without PiF and the lack of action limits is CRITICAL in the 1945 scramble to grab Tokyo and Berlin before the game ends. If you aren't using this kind of strategy, the US goes big into fighters, since they can react and be useful without necessarily using up action limits.

So at any rate, that's my take, but of course, YMMV.

I can't see playing without o chits or o points. Germany will often get bogged down in France without them; with no o points I think lasting to 1941 is very common which basically means the Axis are fighting for a draw.

I don't think a Sea Lion strategy is easy without o points. (obviously it isn't easy even with them.) But especially for the 40 Sea Lions, it is based on landing lots of units on the initial invasion, and the ability to take multiple actions or use naval I points to reflip an AMPH tremendously adds to their chances of success.

I also find it is virtually impossible to take strongly defended Pacific places like islands without the trick of land in an HQ nearby within range and playing o points on the attack.

I do not think the US can come close to using its power without multiple actions. In FE I played a super combined pretty much every turn from mid 44 on if not earlier; action limits reduce its power and the o points allow their application.

Finally, the USSR vs Germany front can become stagnant. In my last game the Soviets won because they blew a hole in German defenses in M/J 43 on the first impulse and were able to pour in units.

So without o points, I find that defense is too powerful and I think they are necessary to produce the kinds of results we see as historic. I doubt I would ever play without them.

As I said in another thread, o chits were one of the 5 'mandatory' optional rules at WifCon when I used to go. All optionals had to be unanimous to be played, but those 5 were played if any player wanted to use them. They are that important!
 
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Randy Gabor
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Bruce,

I see your point on O-Pts, and we do obviously play with them, I just wish they weren't so pervasive. Sometimes it seems they just dominate the game.

About PiF, your second paragraph said it all. Building out the LBA and not bothering to build the Essex class carriers or the Brits building Navs and ignoring their carriers, is just not right. Too many plane counters available to build. That's why we limit the number each game that are used so we don't have LBA taking over the game. It doesn't sound right, but it works.

As I said, I think PiF is slightly Pro-Axis early, neutral in the mid game and very Pro-Allied in late game. Just don't see too many late games. I have played Wif since 1985 and have played somewhere between 35 and 40 campaign games over the years. Very few games ever get past M/A of 44 and most usually are over by the N/D 43 turn.

My only regret is I was never able to participate in any of the WiF Cons. Real life responsibilities got in the way. Would have been fun to attend. I like playing the US (I'm a builder at heart) but I play a mean Japanese game. Japan might be the best overall country to play. Has a nice balance of Air , Sea and Land. You get to do a bit of everything without the logistical nightmare of the Commonwealth.

Randy
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Bruce Jurin
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Randy, I think we are fully in agreement at least on PiF. I know in a lot of threads we get a view that most games are over by 42 or 43 which gives a different view than a game going to late 45. The game is a lot different then.

Air power becomes overwhelming. In 1940 or 41 your typical Lnd has a 3 ATG, clipping stacks 30% for each unit (Stukas a counter example). When you get to late 44 and the US is using an air impulse, hitting your ARM with 5 factor tank busters or 6's, it is devastating, and then they are reorged! At that point the map is full of units and they are taking out swaths of defenders.

As the 1941 8 strength tank is replaced by a 10 Pointer in 1944, it's increase isn't close to the air power increase.

I agree with you that a game which models wwII where the US doesn't build 42 Essex carriers has it wrong - I am a dedicated WiFFER but I do think this is a game flaw. So there are 2 questions here - one is whether there is a game mechanic issue. The second though is GIVEN the game mechanics, if playing with PiF is it an effective strategy? I think we agree that it can be and this is a reason why PiF is pro Allies IMO. We can discuss why the LBA appear overpowered, but that's a different topic.

I do agree though that early game PiF is pro Axis as Germany can take best advantage of the additional planes and at this stage they have the highest quality.

In terms of o points, I suspect you can make a house rule which somewhat nerfs them without eliminating them. Which part of the o points don't you like? Is it just the land use? Are you against the multiple impulses? Headquarter flips? But they are prevalent especially late game. In N/D 44 what else does the US buy?
 
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Randy Gabor
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Bruce,

I can't really say what bothers me about O-Pts. For me it just feels like they dominant the game. It's probably just me and I need to get over it.

As for PiF it just seems they are too many units available and the players don't have to agonize over decisions on how to use there limited resources best. There are always enough air units to do anything, especially with reorg. For example, the Axis player doesn't have the problem of how to deploy fighters, trying to protect factories or keeping air superiority on the east front. Seems they have enough to do both, while during the actual war it was a major problem for the German High Command. That's why we remove half the PiF counters from the game and then allow a slight modification to the mix by swapping units based on build points. Ex: I want that extra Strat bomber so I have to give up at least 4 BP's of other units to get. Maybe we've destroyed the model, but it does seem to keep things in perspective.

And BTW, who every decided on not letting CVP's fly from land bases gets a big ATTA BOY from me. That might be the best rule change limitation in CE.

Randy

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Bruce Jurin
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Randy,

Nice thread!

It looks to me from your comments the issue isn't that PiF favors one side or the other, but that the game gets flooded with too many planes. I kind of agree. I see why you made the house rule you did about PiF planes. I think there may be too few planes without PiF relative to other forces but clearly PiF allows planes to dominate.

I hope you don't think I'm saying PiF is necessary or even better – I think o-points (or o-chits) are necessary, but I think the game is OK without PiF, although as you did, maybe allow some more planes.

As far as not allowing carrier planes for fly from land, believe it or not, this is the same issue as the US not building the 42 Essex carriers! It is the same issue that you have with PiF to some degree. Sorry if we are getting off topic, but since we are here, it may make sense to understand this point.

There has long been a debate about the carriers and their planes vs. LBA. One side has said that carrier planes are way too powerful. LBA planes represent 250 or so planes, while a strong carrier fields maybe 80, up to 100; usually the LBA is stronger plane to plane (although carrier pilots are elite.)

So this side says that 6 LBA representing 1500 planes should dominate a bunch or carriers, but they don't in the game.

I was on the other side. No, in the actual war, carriers dominated especially in the Pacific. The main reason may be as Ernie Pyle described. Pyle said Mussolini made a bad mistake not building carriers. Mussolini's logic – Italy and Sicily were unsinkable aircraft carriers! Why build a carrier when the planes can dominate the Mediterranean from the land?

But the mistake is that in real life battles, the carrier is with the fleet at the point of attack. When the Italian fleet needed air cover, it had to call out to some other command, get them to sortie, convince them of intelligence, etc. That is, coordination! With carriers, this wasn't an issue. The carrier plane can refuel quickly and get back in the air, the LBA has to fly back to land to refuel, taking it out of the area often.

An analogy was when the US was deciding to purchase more Warthogs or Apache helicopters. In almost all 'standard' measures, the Warthog is superior – firepower, cost, ability to take damage, etc. But everyone in the army wanted the Apaches. Why – because the Apaches went with the ground troops and was under the command of the commander on the spot.

So WiF overstates the power of LBA, probably for a few reasons. One is coordination – in reality, Mussolini could not send his LBA to cover his fleet on patrol. In WiF, however, we put the LBA in the same box as the fleet and it is covered. Second, (a similar issue), is that the range of patrol of LBA is crazy based on the sea box system. In reality, LBA cannot patrol those zones like that – a LBA may be able to cover 20% of the sea zones, not have a 20% chance of covering the whole sea zone. And this is why it may not be necessary to build the 42 Essex carriers, flooding the board with LBA may be more efficient in the game but it wasn't practical in the war. (On top of this, supplying such an LBA force on the airbases that would have really been available would have been very hard but is feasible in WiF. )

So my take is that the carriers are underpowered, and to make them 1/3 the strength of LBA would be insane. So we basically now have a 'compromise'. The carrier planes are about as strong as an LBA with about 250 planes.

But obviously, my arguments apply to carriers AT SEA! When this argument is taken into account, the response iw, 'OK, if carriers are stronger being at sea, being able to land on the carrier and refuel, then that power is only at sea. They shouldn't have that power from land.' and of course people on my side agreed. So acting on land, these planes really are about 1/3 of a true LBA, so the rule is to say they can't operate on land.

As far as PiF goes, you may take some comfort that it is weaker in CE than in FE. Three are fewer planes, many are replaced by VERY late war models. Harry apparently had some of the issues you did. Now, if you want to buy those late war planes, you have to play the cost for building ahead, but I have had fewer planes in my CE playtests than I had in FE, which I think is a good result.

Moreover, some other builds, especially some ships, are much cheaper, making them a better competitor. If you play with shipyards these can be built very cheap now.

I also think you may want to play with the optional rules that reduce some of the power of the planes. For example,play with 2 D 10, where the odds columns isn't as important. Usually fractional odds reduces their power even more, with those two options, planes are stronger for ground strike than ground support (except invasions and paradrops). Consider variable reorganization, although this means everyone builds the single engine planes. You may want to play without the extra aircraft abilities. Look around for some of the others.

Best wishes,

Bruce



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Gents,

Thanks for the good discussion. Very interesting to hear everyone's thoughts, as well as the rationale behind them.

Since no one has responded to my request for a changelog, I will inquire elsewhere. But no worries!
 
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Randy Gabor
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Phil,

Sorry about high jacking your request. Didn't mean for it to go like that, just one thing after another. Bruce did post a list sometime ago with a lot of the changes. Can't remember how long, but if you peruse the topics you should be able to locate it. There are quite a few subtle changes and you really need to re-read the rules. Actually I found things in there that hadn't changed that we were doing wrong all these years in FE because we got so used to doing something in the older editions. It really pays to read them again.

Bruce,

Thanks for your thoughts on PiF (and CVPiF). Your right, it's not the options with PiF, it's just too many planes. I think we are going to stick with limiting the number of planes we add to Wif mix and maybe a few of the esoteric options that go along with them.

Randy
 
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Randy Gabor
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Phil,

The thread were Bruce listed many of the changes was posted 9 mos. ago under the General Topic by campoverdi.

Hope this helps.

Randy
 
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Øivind Karlsrud
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Breunor wrote:
So WiF overstates the power of LBA, probably for a few reasons. One is coordination – in reality, Mussolini could not send his LBA to cover his fleet on patrol. In WiF, however, we put the LBA in the same box as the fleet and it is covered. Second, (a similar issue), is that the range of patrol of LBA is crazy based on the sea box system. In reality, LBA cannot patrol those zones like that – a LBA may be able to cover 20% of the sea zones, not have a 20% chance of covering the whole sea zone.

This has always bothered me somewhat. As long as an LBA can reach a hexdot, it can be placed in the zero section of the sea box, and escort convoys. Realistically, LBAs shouldn't be allowed to be placed in a sea box at all, unless they have some minimum range left. This minimum range wouldn't have to be deducted from the range either. My problem isn't with 12-range LBAs reaching the '4' box, it's with 3-range LBAs being placed in the '0' (or '1') box. That said, I would still play with the rules as they are.
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