Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
 Hide
48 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Axis & Allies: Pacific» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Hopelessly broken rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Michael Tan
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
That's me and my other pastime. I have toured internationally performing as John Lennon.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was excited about A&AP when I finally got around to giving it a serious look after it sat new in box in my closet for a couple of years. I am a recovering A&A original and revised addict that has beaten those games to death to the point where it is pretty much an exercise in dice rolling now with almost robotic responses to various opening moves. After only playing one game of Pacific, my longtime A&A adversary and I recognized that there is a serious slant in this game towards Japan. Even with the corrected setup in the 2003 errata (Japan loses a few pieces), it is still overwhelmingly in favor of Japan. There is an opening move that effectively divides the Allied forces in two and simultaneously threatens two capitals - thus forcing the Allied player to "turtle" as we call it, by pulling their fleets back and building units they can't use for many turns (infantry). Once that happens, Japan can seize all the islands and convoys turn 2 and the Allied player can only watch helplessly. In turn 3 Japan starts to retreat, if you haven't already won the game, but the US fleet can't make it out past Hawaii until turn 4. By this time Japan should have 14 or 15 VP and can picket fence their navy all the way back to the Phillipines or Japan, depending on if the US fleet tries to go north or south. In either case, you can easily stall until turn 7 or 8 by which time the game is long over. The crux for the Japanese end game is the knowledge that every piece is an expendable "kamikaze" unit in a sense because even if Tokyo is completely empty and a massive US fleet is knocking on the door, you've still won if you reach 22 VP. The opening move is dependent on a handful of attacks that each have over a 95% chance of success. Collectively the odds of accomplishing all critical objectives is about 88%. Why bother doing anything else?

We tried bidding VPs to play Japan to balance things out, but we found that you need to go up to about 28-30 VPs which is crazily high. Even then, once you know the Japan opening move, you'd be crazy not to use it so the game start is the same EVERY time. The whole game gets VERY boring because it is just a calculated withdrawl by Japan with no exciting battles and a practically scripted retreat in which it is almost physically impossible for the Allies to take Tokyo before turn 8. Dice rolls don't even matter because the US fleet is just gobbling up sacrificial ships that block its progress and if you overextend your supply line (i.e. you move beyond the range of your Hawaii and Sydney reinforcments), Japan just changes direction with the retreating megafleet and pounds you. We also tried bidding IPCs but that doesn't work either as you need 24 IPCs to prevent the Japan 1 opening move, but then the game instantly slants heavily in favor of the Allies as all other strategies are doomed if the Allies get 24 bucks.

The best we could come up with is to ban the opening move which then sets the bid to a small VP amount to play Japan. That seems rather silly though, and every time I play the game with a new opponent, I have to go through the rote exercise of beating them with the strategy and letting them ponder the map for hours or days before they concede that there is no counter. AH needs to revise the setup and also clarify many of the rules. There are too many loopholes and ambiguities in the rules which exist between Classic, Europe, Pacific, Revised, and Larry Harris Tournament Rules (LHTR). It is impossible to determine which "fixes" apply to which game. There are about a dozen clarificitions to "loopholes" in the Revised game that were addressed in the LHTR (the official tournament rules from the designer himself on A&A Revised that eliminates all sorts of arguments about ambiguities). I would imagine though that none of these fixes apply to A&AE and A&AP because many of the rules are completely different between those games. Since all A&A varients are so similiar to begin with, they should really unify all the common rules under one definitive set. Then each game can have individual rules that are unique to each game, like ports, air bases, or tech rolls. But it is silly and thoroughly confusing to treat submarines, AA guns, and SBR differently in EVERY single version of the game...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth
Netherlands
Eindhoven
Noord Brabant
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
m3tan wrote:
...AH needs to revise the setup and also clarify many of the rules. There are too many loopholes and ambiguities in the rules which exist between Classic, Europe, Pacific, Revised, and Larry Harris Tournament Rules (LHTR)... they should really unify all the common rules under one definitive set. Then each game can have individual rules that are unique to each game, like ports, air bases, or tech rolls. But it is silly and thoroughly confusing to treat submarine attacks or carrier / fighter non-combat movement differently in EVERY single version of the game...


Why wait? I sugggest you try to unify the rules as much as possible, and share the results with us. I tried posting a unification once on this site for A&A Pacific, but got no feedback. Perhaps you can start there?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
June Hwang Wah
Singapore
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Why do that? devil

There is another game by (the old) Avalon Hill called Victory in the Pacific. It has more flavour, and judging from my experience with A&A not that much more complicated.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Barry Roy
United States
Montclair
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
or try Fire in the Sky http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/14083
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott G
United States
Harrisonburg
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry to be so clueless, but would you please post or link to the perfect Japanese opening move? I'm bored and would like to spend a few hours with the board failing to find a counter to it! Thanks!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lars Nelson
United States
Fridley
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake, but in the mean time, rest well, and dream of Large Women.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Perhaps I am missing the obvious, but wouldn’t the simplest solution be to modify the beginning unit placement slightly? By giving the Allies a few more well places units, and perhaps removing a couple of Japan’s units, you should be able to easily change the odds of the success of your opening strategy from 88% to something around 40%. That might give you more balance early game, though you would have to test to see how it plays out in the later game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tobias DeSoto
United States
Daytona Beach
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree... I actually have played this with my son twice in the last couple of weeks, I think that the best 'fix' to this game would be to slightly modify the opening unit placement, this might make for a better game... I don't think the 'game' is hopelessly broken, but I think that the opening placement/unit moves probably could be considered broken.

Derek...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Tan
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
That's me and my other pastime. I have toured internationally performing as John Lennon.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
thorgn wrote:
Perhaps I am missing the obvious, but wouldn’t the simplest solution be to modify the beginning unit placement slightly? By giving the Allies a few more well places units, and perhaps removing a couple of Japan’s units, you should be able to easily change the odds of the success of your opening strategy from 88% to something around 40%. That might give you more balance early game, though you would have to test to see how it plays out in the later game.


The issue is that you would need to add 3 extra naval pieces to reduce the odds of success to below a 50% level, thus I mentioned we settled near a 24 IPC bid. Once you do that, the Japan player needs to employ one of the traditional strategies and he is now at a serious disadvantage with the Allies having 3 extra naval units. I suppose you could alter the existing position of the Japanese or Allied units so that the attack is impossible but I find that a hard sell when I play someone for the first time.

Furthermore, there are some very troublesome and terribly irrational rules that need to be fixed. If Japan takes Hawaii or Szechwan, they instantly become bottomless black holes for the Allies to bomb them into the stone age because there is no limit on SBR damage. It's a common occurance in the games I've played for the Allied player to park high value fighters in Hawaii with little infantry protection knowing that they are safe from attack. Why? Because if Japan rolls too well, they might accidentally take Hawaii which is a total disaster so they don't dare attack. The US would then intentionally never take it back and build 5 bombers per turn. Japan is broke in 2 turns so their VP total is frozen and they've lost. I mean how stupid is that???

Another very troublesome rule is the handling of subs. The significant differences from A&AR are:

1. Defending subs do not get first strike advantage. Not a big impact but it would be nice to be consistent with other games since this rule doesn't alter balance or game play much one way or the other.

2. Subs cannot be targeted by planes unless a destroyer is present to spot. I actually like this rule a lot and believe it should be applied to other versions but it becomes part of a nasty and problematic tactic when it used in concert with other sub rules unique to A&AP.

3. Subs cannot pass through enemy occupied sea zones without engaging in combat - sort of (see sub-stalling). I really don't like this rule because it means you can blockade against all naval units including subs which really makes no sense historically or in terms of game play.

4. Subs can enter combat and immediately submerge and not be shot at. This is commonly referred to as sub-stalling and is a really bothersome rule. It means that one can throw a single sub into a sea zone to create a logistics nightmare because it changes the status to enemy present during the next turn. Once that happens you cannot pick up any land units onto transports until non-combat, so no ambhibiuous assaults for you! Furthermore you now need to stay and fight or leave a destroyer behind so planes can wipe out the sub and the rest of your fleet can move on - otherwise that sub will continue to pester you. Sub stalling can also force a player to fight battles just to move if he wants to continue to occupy that sea zone. Once the sub stalls, any units he leaves there have to participate in the battle. Once that happens they are no longer eligible to move in non-combat so basically they need to find another fight so they can move during combat movement whether they want to or not, or not be allowed to move that turn.

The combination of rules 2-4 create a scenario whereby Japan can create a two tiered wall of subs and/or CAPs to effectively slow the US fleet movement to one sea zone per turn beyond Midway. By rule #3 the first tier of subs block all ships from reaching the second tier. Since no destoyers can reach, by rule #2 no planes can attack the sub in the second tier. Since that sub cannot be destroyed, the fleet cannot enter that second sea zone in non combat - ONE MOVEMENT. During the subsequent Japanese turn, you stall with that sub, rule #4, and move in newly built subs to create a new first and second tier.

The only effective counter for sub stalling is for the Allies to use British units to clear the territory prior to the American move. Landing a British fighter on the US carrier is great for this because then the submarine gets spotted by an American destroyer and wiped by the British fighter. Having one US battleship is helpful beause you can use it to soak any sub hits even though it can't participate in the battle (another quirky and silly rule). This only works for the Allies though because Japan has no "partner" to clear sub stalls for him.

You will need British ships, not just fighters to counter the two tiered sub wall however. The British remove the first tier during their turn, and the Americans remove the second tier during theirs. Once you master the Japan divide and stall strategy though, you have either completely wiped out the British fleet by turn 2 or effectively delayed their rendevous with the Americans for several turns. The proper positioning of the Japanese fleet forces their tiny fleet to keep their distance and take a very circuitous route to meet up with the Americans. One slip up by the Australians and Sydney falls or their fleet gets wiped.

Is this the game play the designers were really intending? There are so many "house rules" we need to implement that it makes it effectively impossible to play a fun game with someone other than a regular opponent. Since I am the A&A king of my local group, it is really hard to find a challenging opponent, so for me, this game is hopelessly broken. Back to A&AR until I find opponents for East Front II...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Tan
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
That's me and my other pastime. I have toured internationally performing as John Lennon.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
wryone wrote:
Sorry to be so clueless, but would you please post or link to the perfect Japanese opening move? I'm bored and would like to spend a few hours with the board failing to find a counter to it! Thanks!


I don't consider it some great secret but it also doesn't feel right to just post an entire scripted move on a public forum for all to see. I will outline the basics and let people figure it out. If you really want my exact opening, I can PM it to you because you still need to master the middle and end game techniques which can easily collapse with one mistake. Once you commit to this plan it is hard to win any other way if you screw up.

Japan Start:
1. Get 3 VPs. Remember you only need 30 IPCs. All the traditional Japan openings involve getting 37 or even 40 IPCs - CRAZY! Target the well defended territories because they are easy now because of Allied first turn handicap. Ignore weaker targets because they can be easily mopped up turn 2 once you establish air and naval supremecy.
2. Destroy every high valued Allied unit you can possibly reach. They are essentially transports and bombers on turn 1 so go to town. Take risks becuase your odds will never be this good.
3. Position a huge Japanese fleet so that the Australians and Americans are completely divided. It is essential to bring lots of men to add the threat of amhibious invasion. You can threaten Sydney (sometimes even USA) if they move their fleets out. If they are dumb enough to do that, move the fleet near their capital in turn 2 and port and air base everything into range in non-combat for a strike next turn. Watch them cry as they realize the game is lost in turn 3. If they built infanty turn 1, that's just as good. Kill whichever fleet is bigger, you'll win, and laugh at their wasted infantry build. They are now so far behind in the naval arms race that they are forced to save IPCs for multiple turns until they can do the mega fleet dump all at once. If they do a combined all out attack on turn 1, the odds are about even but it is a massive sacrifice of units to wipe you out. Another great Japan result. Most likely, they will stay at home (turtle) in which case you've still achieved you're goal! In turn 2, mop up the islands, seize all the convoys with subs (hard for them to kill), and bear down on India. You have no intent of capturing it but you need to hold the line and be in position to attack if they divert everything to the other front. They shouldn't be in position to challenge your fleet in turn 2 so they will likely stay at home again. If they try to move anything out, you should be in position to wipe it out. Turn 3 is when the middle game starts.

Japan Middle:
1. By Allied turn 3, a solid player should now be in position to hurt your fleet, especially with good dice rolls. You now need to implement a carefully orchestrated retreat. Position your fleet so that the Allies cannot combine fleets this turn. Otherwise, the two tier sub wall won't work. Failing to achieve either goal is total disaster. The good thing is it should be impossible for this tactic to fail if you move correctly because dice has nothing to do with it. It is all about position. BTW You might still be able to take Sydney if he gets too aggressive. But don't get out of position where he can race to Japan and avoid your fleet altogether unless you are certain you can take Sydney.

2. You should now be collecting a steady diet of 4 VPs because the Allies have no immediate threats to your IPC heartland. The best he can do is a raid to get IPCs but you only need to recapture it to stay on track.

3. Abandon the convoys if you need to fight for them because he can't spend that income and get it to the front line until 2 or 3 turns from now so it really doesn't matter much any more.

4. Completely gut the islands and dump everything possible in Asia with transports. In this strategy the infantry have no value defending islands but are very useful in stalling or even taking out the Allies in China and India.

Japan Late:
The strategy gets vague here because it depends very much on the Allied response. The gist is as follows:
1. If he can go after your islands, park the fleet in the Phillipines. Reinforcements can be ported and air based in in a heartbeat. You can get back to Japan quickly and guard the islands simultaneously.
2. Wipe out his transports at all cost. They are the only thing that can beat you. Use kamikaze and sacrifice massive fleets without regard to long term consequences - the game is almost over.
3. If he abandoned India you might be able to take it out before he captures Tokyo. Just like the Sydney attack in the middle game, don't do it unless you have overwhelming odds. You are in a great position to pile up VPs in the high 20's.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chaim Kaufmann
United States
Bethlehem
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Thanks for a very cogent analysis.

I buy the arguments re rules changes, and would appreciate your best advice on unit relocations to prohibt the JA killer opening. (I play in a small group that routinely re-writes games, so that is not an issue.) Moving JA units seems to me more appealing than adding Allied units, as long study of this war convinces me that JA could indeed have accomplished far more in the first few months if only Army/Navy rivalry and fear of tipping off the Allies had not stopped them from deploying forward with everything they had.

Why I should care about verisimilitude in A&A I don't know.

ck07



1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Saburo Sakai
Canada
flag msg tools
mb
The game is not hopelessly broken. I would suggest you make 2 changes. Give 12 extra IPCs to the Allies to divide amongst India, Australia or US at the start of the game. This is a 1 time IPC bonus. Change the VP target for Japan to 24 and you will see that the game is almost perfectly balanced.

As for splitting the US and Australia fleets, Japan can't do it if the UK and US play their first turn correctly. All of the US fleet units on the east side of the map can join up with any Australia transports and a DD or sub in sz14 at the end of Allies 1.

SS
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Tan
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
That's me and my other pastime. I have toured internationally performing as John Lennon.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Saburo,

I think you did a tremendous job of developing a strategy guide for this game on the forum so no disrespect intended, but I just don't see A&AP as a very refined game at this stage. It has potential, but AH needs to playtest their games more thoroughly. It's pretty obvious to me that A&AE and A&AP are not up to the same standard of the original game or the A&AR.

As for your Allied 1 counter, I don't think you've seen my strategy before as moving all the ships to SZ14 would not work. The Allies would have:

UK: 2 sub, 3 transports, 1 destroyer
USA: 1 sub, 1 transport

Japan has the following fleet sitting in Sea Zone 10 that would obliterate it:

1 sub, 2 transports, 1 destroyer, 1 battleship, 3 carriers, 6 fighters.

Australia would fall turn 3 unless UK built all infantry which effectively guarantees Japan 30 VP. I've played several opponents and myself practiced every conceivable counter I could think of and have yet to find one. I'm the top rated 4th edition player on the IAAPA so I'm not just some yahoo who played the game once and dismissed it. I'm pretty sure the strategy is sound.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Saburo Sakai
Canada
flag msg tools
mb
m3tan,

Do you play be email. Flames of Europe (a PBEM site) accomodates AAPacific. I will play you anytime you want. OOB rules with modified setup. 24 VP target for Japan and 12 IPCs extra for Allies at the start. Substalling permitted. Unless you are a very experienced player, I will beat you 4 times out of 5.

Your comments suggest that you intend to attack sz9, sz5 and sz11. If so, there is no way you will get through J1 with 6 fighters to go on your fleet in sz10.

Alternatively, if you don't attack sz5, your sz10 fleet will die in the US counterattack. In fact, if you intend to attack sz5, you can't move your fleet to sz10 because the ACs must move to pick up any survivors from sz5 attack.

If you do attack aggessively with Japan on J1 to try to destroy the US fleet, moving to sz14 is unnecessary. Simply destroying all or substantially all of the Japanese fleet will be sufficient. Japan cannot replace its loses, will not be able to crush India and by Allies 4, will be in full retreat.

Like I said, I'll play you anytime.

SS
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Saburo Sakai
Canada
flag msg tools
mb
By the way, if you think AAP is not up to the standard of the original game, I couldn't disagree more. If you want to talk about a broken game, try playing AA 2nd Edition without any bid or rule modifications. Between experienced players, the Allies will win almost every time. Further, the tech rules are so broken that games that get past the first 4 rounds almost always get decided by who is luckier with tech rolls.

SS
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Tan
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
That's me and my other pastime. I have toured internationally performing as John Lennon.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
IAAPA is the International Axis and Allies Players Association (www.axisandallies.net) so yes I do play by e-mail. Unfortunately nobody there plays A&AP or A&AE, only 2nd and 4th edition. I think it's more because they are set in their ways but the fact that the game has no following there makes it all the less compelling for me to invest more time into it. I'll try to signup on FoE and challenge you as I don't know if I've faced a top A&AP player yet. I know I have beaten several VERY GOOD 2nd and 4th edition players who now feel the same way I do about A&AP. This will likely have to wait a few weeks though as my plate is a bit full with some other stuff at the moment. I was obsessed with the game in early Novemeber and played everybody I could possibly find but I've moved on a bit now.

In the meantime I'll PM my opening move and let you analyze and suggest a counter. Maybe you can convince me it is a playable game with the existing setup but I'd be surprised at this point. BTW There is no way Japan could reasonably pull off an attack of SZ5, SZ9, and SZ11 so that's not what I do. If the US attacks the fleet in SZ10, they would need to sacrifice EVERY Allied ship and plane to have a 35% chance of mutual annihiliation or better (assumuing average dice). They are trading 248 IPCs for 186. A pretty good exchange for Japan especially because the median result is Japan surviving with the Battleship which is a net +86 IPC for Japan in that battle.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Tan
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
That's me and my other pastime. I have toured internationally performing as John Lennon.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I somewhat agree with your comments about 2nd edition but I also think you miss my point. Unless you bid in the range of 15-23, the Allies will generally win. The nice thing is that the game can be balanced with a simple linear bid. You do not have to modify victory conditions and initial setup. In A&AP, a simple IPC bid doesn't work because you also need to worry about the VP total. I'm also arguing that the initial setup needs to be modified again (beyond the changes AH already made from the printed setup) to discourage the ultra aggressive Japan 1. And that still doesn't address the irrational rules like sub stalling, infinity strat bombing (which was fixed in 2nd edition in the early 90's), or Allied units being used to soak hits in a battle they aren't even participating in...

As for tech rolls, LHTR addressed that problem and I don't remember very many 2nd edition tournaments back in the day that allowed tech rolls anyway. At the big SoCal cons we have two A&A tournaments - one 4th Edition and one Choice (players mutually agree to play either Pacific, Europe, Bulge, 2nd, or 4th each round). Nobody EVER plays anything but 2nd or 4th Edition past the opening round.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Hanawalt
Czech Republic
Prague
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Saburo Sakai wrote:
By the way, if you think AAP is not up to the standard of the original game, I couldn't disagree more. If you want to talk about a broken game, try playing AA 2nd Edition without any bid or rule modifications. Between experienced players, the Allies will win almost every time. Further, the tech rules are so broken that games that get past the first 4 rounds almost always get decided by who is luckier with tech rolls.

SS


I agree. I don't much like A&A Advanced for a few reasons, most having to do with rules that are ridiculously unrealistic and inconsistent with A&AE and A&AP, but also because it's slanted too much in favor of the Allies. If you have halfway decent Allied players, the Axis doesn't stand a chance.

Also, I don't share this widespread sentiment that A&AP favors the Japanese. I think the game is, on the whole, well balanced. Sure, there are tactics and strategies that Japan can use to win, but just as with the German "stack of doom" strategy in A&AE, these tactics and strategies can be overcome with well-planned Allied play.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Tan
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
That's me and my other pastime. I have toured internationally performing as John Lennon.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Tick wrote:

I agree. I don't much like A&A Advanced for a few reasons, most having to do with rules that are ridiculously unrealistic and inconsistent with A&AE and A&AP, but also because it's slanted too much in favor of the Allies. If you have halfway decent Allied players, the Axis doesn't stand a chance.


When you say A&A Advanced, do you mean Revised? How are the rules any less realistic? Because you can't strat bomb to infinity, sub stall, or build 75 IPCs of units in Hawaii??? Also I strongly disagree with your statement about the game being heavily slanted towards the Allies. I'm starting to sound like SS here with his defense of A&AP, but I can win with the Axis 80% of the time with a 3 IPC bid in A&AR. The game is almost completely dead even.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Hanawalt
Czech Republic
Prague
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry, yes, I meant "Axis and Allies Revised". I wrote the "Advanced" tag word, confusing Axis and Allies with Third Reich (Advanced Third Reich).

No, the most ridiculously unrealistic rule in A&AR is the rule that says you can attack an enemy submarine with air units only. I like the destroyer requirement in the Europe and Pacific games, as well as the destroyers' negating the subs' first strike in Europe and Pacific (as opposed to preventing subs from submerging). These two rules effectively render subs in the regular game useless.

(Of course, the absense of economic convoys in the regular game means that there's little point in waging a naval war at all. Japan completely ahistorically concentrates on a land war in Asia, easily pushing the Brits out of India, conquering China and overrunning Siberia, a feat that was completely beyond the capabilities of the real Japan)

I'm not familiar with any IPC bid rules in A&AR, but in the vast majority of the games with my friends here, the Allies have won. In cases where the Axis has won, it's been because of one or two fundamental tactical errors on the part of the Allied players. Once these errors were realized, the Allies started winning all of our games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Tan
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
That's me and my other pastime. I have toured internationally performing as John Lennon.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well Saburo Sakai, who is the resident expert at AA&P, took some offense to me saying this game is "hopelessly broken" and maybe I was overtstating things a bit, but I can't find anyone locally who wants to play it or offers me much of a challenge. There doesn't seem to be a huge online following either though I will play him in a few weeks but frankly my interest has waned.

I HAVE played A&AR alot online on Triple A and IAAPA. I'm one of the top rated players and know for a fact that most people overrate the Allies because my record is inflated by beating people who bid over 10. People are still in the mindset of 2nd edition where the bid is around 20 but 4th edition is a much more balanced game. There was a time where people were actually bidding to play the ALLIES at the big Gen Con tournaments until people figured out how the counter the German turn 1 AC build.

Subs being able to be attacked by fighters seems ridiculous but it actually isn't if you think of the timeframe of the game which starts in 1942. The happy times were in 1940-1942. The Allies significantly improved their ASW tactics and were able to attack u-boats by mid 1942. The u-boats were a non-factor by late 1943. I tend to agree that aircraft probably shouldn't be able to attack subs but there are dozens of other rules I find much more troublesome...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Hanawalt
Czech Republic
Prague
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
m3tan wrote:
Subs being able to be attacked by fighters seems ridiculous but it actually isn't if you think of the timeframe of the game which starts in 1942. The happy times were in 1940-1942. The Allies significantly improved their ASW tactics and were able to attack u-boats by mid 1942. The u-boats were a non-factor by late 1943. I tend to agree that aircraft probably shouldn't be able to attack subs but there are dozens of other rules I find much more troublesome...


True enough, but the Allies' reversal of the German U-boat war was due more to the convoy tactics the Allies had adopted starting in 1942. Planes did play a role in ASW, but no submarine commander would have surfaced in waters where he knew there was a good chance for an enemy air attack.

I too find troublesome some other rules, for example fighters costing only 10 to build (it is far more expensive and difficult to train pilots than tank crews), or tanks defending at 3 (tanks in many cases make poor defensive weapons, especially in cities). What annoys me most about A&AR, though, is just the degree of rules differences between it and the Europe and Pacific games. This, plus the realism factor, has made me write off A&AR. I still play it with my group here, but I like the Europe and Pacific games a lot better.

Saburo is right, with a little tweaking, the Pacific game can work very well. I'm not familiar with the bid system in A&AR, but if I get around to reading up on it, I'll be willing to give it a try with an open mind.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Tan
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
That's me and my other pastime. I have toured internationally performing as John Lennon.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Tick wrote:
I too find troublesome some other rules, for example fighters costing only 10 to build (it is far more expensive and difficult to train pilots than tank crews), or tanks defending at 3 (tanks in many cases make poor defensive weapons, especially in cities). What annoys me most about A&AR, though, is just the degree of rules differences between it and the Europe and Pacific games. This, plus the realism factor, has made me write off A&AR. I still play it with my group here, but I like the Europe and Pacific games a lot better.


I don't think fighters are too expensive, if anything all other units in the game are overpriced as compared to infantry, artillery, and armor. Naval units don't interact much with land units so their cost only matters relative to one another. It's crazy that one die roll can sink a 24 IPC battleship or allow it to survive and repair to full strength. one unit represents the entire economic production of Russia for a turn. One die roll should never decide the fate of an entire turn worth of production. The balance of the game would be better served if all naval unit costs were divided by 2 (except transports). Also limit the carriers to one fighter. The Luftwaffe had an operational strength of nearly 10000 aircraft at various points throughout the war yet a single carrier can carry 1/3 of that force? Absurd...

More problematic with fighters is that they can attack infantry. How can a few hundred or thousand planes attack an army level unit that probably represents over 100000 men? Fighters should boost land units only but not be able to attack them.

Now you've got me going... The whole combat system is also problemtic because of its absolute nature. The defender can never retreat and every battle is to the death unless the attacker withdraws. This gives the attacker a HUGE advantage. The strategy of the entire game is dictated by not leaving defending units in a position where they can get wiped by a significantly superior force. Hence you have extreme picket fencing and clumping. You could change the whole dynamic of the game by allowing defender retreats but then it's not even the same game anymore...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Hanawalt
Czech Republic
Prague
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Wow, I guess we're really starting to see eye to eye on a lot of things. Pity we don't live in the same town or area, I'm sure we'd have a hell of a good discussion on this game over a few beers.

Yeah, I never liked at all that the defender in a combat can't retreat. Also, even limiting SBR's, bombers and fighters have WAY too much strength in this game. In the variant that I'm writing, linking this game to A&AE, I'm allowing defender retreats (even simultaneous retreats) and limiting bombers to an attack strength of 3 for naval combats. Also thinking of limiting the number of air units allowed to participate in an attack and making tanks weaker when they assault cities (the board I'm going to use for Europe is going to include more cities than the original). This would eliminate the "stack of doom" tactic used to take Moscow and other key objectives.

I quite agree with you, one die roll should not destroy one country's entire production capacity. But the Soviets usually concentrate on a land war anyway (they can't really afford to wage a sea war, which would bring them no benefit; their threat is coming from over land), so I don't think they are so affected by naval unit considerations. I'm not sure that I'd agree with reducing the cost of naval units, since in my opinion, their costs work out well for everyone concerned. Fighters are right at 12 IPC's each. Not sure about the one fighter limit for carriers, but you may be on to something there. I remember reading, though, that the reason the Graf Zepplin never got underway as a carrier is because Goering and others didn't want to give Admiral Erich Raeder the number and types of planes necessary to make the Graf a credible threat and stymied him at every turn.

In any case, perhaps we should compare notes and observations. I'd be very interested to get your suggestions for making the game more realistic, since that's one of the goals in my making my combined game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Tan
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
That's me and my other pastime. I have toured internationally performing as John Lennon.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I already invested a ton of energy into rewritting A&A for enhanced realism. The more I got involved in the project, the less it was an A&A variant and the more it was a completely different game in its own right. We spent $200 per unit printing up these gorgeous maps that took years to design. Attached are some images of a playest we ran on Feb 07 at a local con. Unfortunately, this was the last major playtest as I decided to scrap the A&A engine entirely. The near finished product is still a very playable game (and a lot more realistic than A&A) but I decided to switch to a block system as it offers much more potential for a game where a high degree of simulation and realism is the goal. I'll PM the rules over to you if you like.

http://picasaweb.google.com/wavesla/WarInEuropePlayTest

Incidentally, I am looking for contributors for my block game...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Hanawalt
Czech Republic
Prague
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Holy Moly, you weren't fooling around! I was thinking more along the lines of revising the existing game. I'm working on combining the Europe and Pacific games into a Global War scenario. I'd be interested to see the rules for your game, but here's what I'm thinking, as a way to discourage, if not altogether eliminate, the "stack of doom" tactic, as well as that of piling on air units like a maniac to capture an objective:

Make it impossible for air units and ground units to fight each other. If ground units are attacking a territory with just air units, the air units retreat to a friendly territory and the attacking ground units capture the territory.

In combined ground-air unit combats, have the air units square off before the ground units roll. The air units engage in dog fights the same as during a SBR. The surviving air units then influence the ground combat like so: each fighter subtracts "1" from a die roll of a defending unit, each bomber subtracts "2".

Combat continues until either the attacking or defending units (or both) retreat, the defending ground units are eliminated, the attacking ground units are eliminated, or the attacker and defender can no longer fight (i.e., there are only air units on one side and only ground units on the other). A bit convoluted, I know, so I'm thinking of including this system as optional rules.

As for tanks, their attack strength would only be "3" in cities, so long as at least one infantry is involved in the attack for each one tank. Any additional tanks attack at only "2", making a massive tank stack somewhat less effective. I'm going to work on this one a bit.

What do you think?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.