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Subject: a&a - national objectives rule - any comments? rss

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sala nialma
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we just picked up our copy of a&a. we are about 3 turns into the game. we decided our first game (1941) we would skip the national objectives rule. has anyone played with these?
does it make the game more interesting? shorter? longer? what do people think. it appears to me (just an assumption) you get a ton of bonus income the first turns.
thoughts anyone?
 
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Willem Boersma
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sala33 wrote:
we just picked up our copy of a&a. we are about 3 turns into the game. we decided our first game (1941) we would skip the national objectives rule. has anyone played with these?
does it make the game more interesting? shorter? longer? what do people think. it appears to me (just an assumption) you get a ton of bonus income the first turns.
thoughts anyone?


I sure like the idea behind them: making the individual powers go for their historic objectives. E.g. Japan had good reason not to be too eager to attack Russia and Italy wasn't too keen either on sending army after army to Russia, which probably without these national advantages would happen for sure. Now at the very least you have an alternative: 5 or 10 points may not seem that much but if you can manage to get those extra points three or four turns in a row it's a lot more income!

What I do find somewhat hard to justify is that you actually get more IPCs. I'd have prefered some kind of Victory point system and getting additional VPs for reaching and/or holding those objectives, rather than IPCs, but that's a minor issue.

In short, I like them!
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Douglas Buel
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I certainly don't plan on playing without them.
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Leo Zappa
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They are a great device to encourage players to pursue some of the courses of action that these nations pursued historically. Yeah, the IPC payoff is an abstract way of rewarding historical behavior, but there's really no other viable means of rewarding historical play. We used this rule first time out of the box and they definitely influenced player decisions, which I think was to the good. One of the more interesting NA's was one for the Soviets that actually gave them a bonus if no forces from the other Allies (US, UK) were on a Soviet territory, which represents Russia's historic xenophobia during the war! It actually costs them if one of their Allies has to land troops in a Russian territory to help defend it.
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I'm of mixed opinion on National Objectives so far. (Disclosure: my copy of A&AAE is still enroute, should get it next week)

On the one hand I like the factions being "encouraged" to develope the war the way the real war developed because it would feel authentic, but on the other hand it would seem to reduce game variety. One of the things I like about the old A&A was that you were free to pursue any objective that was in your best interest, however varied or unpredictable. If National Objectives seem to steer players away from a powerful strategy that would definitely help their side more, I might not enjoy them for long.

I will definitely play with National Objectives for the first several games to get a feel for them, but I hope the game is still balanced without them so later games can be more mixed up and varied if that's what the players want. Can someone with rules in hand please post if N.O.'s are listed as optional or required for play? Thanks!
 
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Kevin Chapman
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They're optional.
 
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Mark Christopher
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UniqueRabbit wrote:
If National Objectives seem to steer players away from a powerful strategy that would definitely help their side more, I might not enjoy them for long.


It seems to me that if I see "a powerful strategy that would definitely help their[my] side," it'd probably be worth losing 5 or 10 IPC in trying it out. You don't have to follow the national objectives.
 
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markus_kt wrote:
UniqueRabbit wrote:
If National Objectives seem to steer players away from a powerful strategy that would definitely help their side more, I might not enjoy them for long.


It seems to me that if I see "a powerful strategy that would definitely help their[my] side," it'd probably be worth losing 5 or 10 IPC in trying it out. You don't have to follow the national objectives.


And if that turns out to be the case, I'll have no problem with N.O.'s. As I said, I'd only object to them if I repeatedly see players make sub-optimal moves on their turn due to N.O influence. It'll just come down to how much it affects play.

I'm eager to play a few games to see how they affect player decision making.
 
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Mark Christopher
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UniqueRabbit wrote:
I'm eager to play a few games to see how they affect player decision making.


Likewise. A buddy just got the game and so we're hankering to get a few more people together to give it a spin and test it out.
 
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I like national objectives. They are valuable enough that you are willing to go for strategic territories that aren't worth much in actual production, like Gibraltar, but that doesn't mean you HAVE to go to them. It doesn't force people away from strategies, but offers them additional choices. The Axis can earn up to 40 extra IPCs from objectives, the Allies 50, which is not a small sum. At the same time, taking those objectives can cost you units or positioning.

I'm curious as to whether or not one can play a game as the Axis, where instead of blitzing a capital, you attempt to seize as many NOs as possible while denying them to your opponent until you can gain an economic edge, playing in a cautious and defensive manner once you capture them.

Germany takes the front 4 territories of Russia and Archangel (+23 to Germany, -13 to Russia)
Italy secures the Mediterranean, Gibraltar, and Egypt (+12 to Italy, -7 to Britain)
Japan secures India, Burma, East Indies, Borneo, Phillipine Islands, and Kwangtung(+26 to Japan, -12 to US, -13 to Britain)

End result of those territories alone: +61 to Axis, -45 to Allies, ending with Allies having 93 production and Axis 134.
 
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Alex Huber
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Played with optional income rules last week end. Result: fun at the beginning but problematic for the game, so we won't use them any more.

Reasons: axis is too strong with optional rules, because for Japan it is easy to get all benefits at least round 3
Germany will get at least 2 benefits
On the other hand, US will get 2 of 4 the first rounds, uk will get max 1 if all goes "normal", Russia maximum plus 5 ipc.

So big income advantage for axis and time is not against the axis as aar any more.
So axis does not have to be as aggressive and won step by step by using their bigger income. Especially German play is influenced a lot.
 
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Willem Boersma
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alexfss wrote:
Played with optional income rules last week end. Result: fun at the beginning but problematic for the game, so we won't use them any more.

Reasons: axis is too strong with optional rules, because for Japan it is easy to get all benefits at least round 3
Germany will get at least 2 benefits
On the other hand, US will get 2 of 4 the first rounds, uk will get max 1 if all goes "normal", Russia maximum plus 5 ipc.

So big income advantage for axis and time is not against the axis as aar any more.
So axis does not have to be as aggressive and won step by step by using their bigger income. Especially German play is influenced a lot.


No offense, but don't you think you should try them more than once before drawing such conclusions?
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