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Subject: Unnecessary units? rss

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Two units seem pretty unnecessary in this game, the artillery and the cruiser. These units could have been left out w/o any loss of playability or tactical prioritization for the players.

The cruiser is somewhere between battleship and destroyer w/o any special abilities. In most cases a mix of BB and DD makes the BC unnecessary, I think.

The artillery has a special effect but it can only be used in special circumstances and could easily be replaced by an ARM . Consider this: ART+INF: cost 7, 2+2 attack and 2+2 defence. ARM+INF: cost 8, 1+3 attack and 2+3 defence. One INF loss and you have 2/2 and 3/3 respectively left to fight with. The extra point spent for the ARM now gives 50% pay-off, hmmm...

With the new cost/effect of ARM there is no need for the guns any more. I have stopped buying guns altogether. Since most units are called upon for both attack and defence the guns are just not worth it, and I haven´t even factored in the 2 move ability of the ARM.

Let me hear your objections, please.
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Joe Levering
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I actually just recieved my copy of this game in the mail yesterday, so I have yet to play it. However, it seems to me that although the cruiser doesn't have any special abilities all to itself, the fact that it can participate in offshore bombardment during amphibious assualts alongside the battleships, while being cheaper than the battleship, could make it a useful unit.
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Ryan Hanson
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Completely disagree with you regarding artillery. Jury is still out for me regarding cruisers.

Artillery is a great buy if you have large numbers of infantry attacking and defending over short distances. Tanks are a great buy if you need the flexibility that the extra movement provides. I will admit that in most situations the tank may be the better buy, but in the right situation (short distances, lots of extra attacking infantry) artillery is more efficient cost-wise simply because of that 1 IPC difference. Artillery was one of my favorite additions of the Revised edition, and I think the balance between the 3 ground units is quite superb.

Cruisers are another story entirely. The way they were implemented as mini-battleships really leaves something to be desired. The statistics on them, especially in very large scale fleet battles, shows them to be inferior to both destroyers and battleships on a cost/benefit ratio. Of course there may be times when you simply can't afford a battleship but could afford a cruiser, and then you have a more difficult choice, but I don't see that being a common occurance. It has been suggested that lowering the cost of the Cruiser by 1 or 2 points balances them more carefully and makes them a more viable buy.

Personally I would have liked to have seen cruisers implemented differently with no bombardment, a cheaper cost of 10, and a movement bonus, possibly limited to non-combat only to keep it from being overpowered.
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Fox Mulder
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wingnut69 wrote:
The cruiser is somewhere between battleship and destroyer w/o any special abilities. In most cases a mix of BB and DD makes the BC unnecessary, I think.

I have found this to be the case as well. It is nice that Italy starts with two of these, but I don't think I would spend money to build them. I'd rather spend the extra dough for the battleship because it takes two hits to sink, build two destroyers/submarines because of their abilities, or an aircraft carrier to hold some fighters. When looking solely at IPC cost it's not bad, but when you realize the a 3-roll bombardment is its only special ability then it loses some value.

wingnut69 wrote:
The artillery has a special effect but it can only be used in special circumstances and could easily be replaced by an ARM . Consider this: ART+INF: cost 7, 2+2 attack and 2+2 defence. ARM+INF: cost 8, 1+3 attack and 2+3 defence. One INF loss and you have 2/2 and 3/3 respectively left to fight with. The extra point spent for the ARM now gives 50% pay-off, hmmm...

With the new cost/effect of ARM there is no need for the guns any more. I have stopped buying guns altogether. Since most units are called upon for both attack and defence the guns are just not worth it, and I haven´t even factored in the 2 move ability of the ARM.

I think artillery are useful because sometimes you're trying to crunch your IPCs to get the most bang for your buck. Maybe you really want a fighter or bomber or something expensive but you'd be short on dough if you didn't cut back your spending on the smaller units. Russia starts with a ton of infantry (at least in the 1941 setup), and it may be good for them to add a few artillery to boost a few of those guy's attacking power. What if you're doing an amphibious assault that you know you won't hold until your next turn? You certainly wouldn't want to overspend. I also think that artillery are useful when you know that you won't be able to blitz on your next round. The boosting of infantry is nice because, well, let's face it: attacking with a infantry unit is like not attacking at all. You send in the infantry as fodder to take hits while your "real" units win the battle. The artillery gun makes infantry more useful as an offensive weapon.
 
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Geoffrey Stewart
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I agree with you on the cruisers, as they are not worth the money, you may as well buy a battleship, I think if you have a really large fleet than a cruiser may be of more benefit. Try making their movement 3 in the game, I think that in the war the idea behind cruisers and such was speed and that should be reflective in the game.

I must disagree with you on the artillery, in most cases I would agree that armor are better except for Russia, just because of the amount of infantry you have. Look at it from this light, if you buy 6 tanks you'll have 6 attacking at 3 or less with men for ping offs. Buy 7 artillary, save 2, now you have 14 attacking at 2 and you have more units available to lose and when artillary do end up dying it's cheaper. Russia needs every soldier and dollar they have and sometimes the game is won or lost on the Russian purchase.


 
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Leo Zappa
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I disagree about cruisers - they are fine and useful as is, and I have bought them in games already. The are a poor man's battleship to be sure, but this game generally isn't about buying just the best sea units or land units or air units in a given turn, but about buying the optimum mix of units to fit into a player's strategy, which can often lead to the need to compromise on purchases. Sure, a BB is worth more than 2 CA's and only costs 8 IPC more...but what if you need to spend that other 8 IPC's on something else? Maybe you need another tank division and infantry corps...you'd like that BB, but it will cost you your desperately needed ground units, so you compromise and get the CA. It's that kind of trade off that makes the CA valuable and allows that unit to fill a gap between the expensive BB and the cheap but weak DD, which can't shore bombard.
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Seth Owen
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Artillery also takes up less room on transports than tanks, so it may be useful for amphibious forces.
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kent brockman
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wargamer55 wrote:
Artillery also takes up less room on transports than tanks, so it may be useful for amphibious forces.


but we are still talking about A&A:AE ? :what:
remember: transport => 1x inf + 1x any other land unit

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Seth Owen
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kent brockman wrote:
wargamer55 wrote:
Artillery also takes up less room on transports than tanks, so it may be useful for amphibious forces.


but we are still talking about A&A:AE ?
remember: transport => 1x inf + 1x any other land unit



Missed that important rules change from earlier editions. You are right.
 
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Drazen Kramaric
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I a grand strategic WW2 game, even a "light" one like A&A, separate artillery unit is hardly a necessity. In a game when a "unit" roughly corresponds with a corps sized unit, artillery should be calculated into infantry and armor "corps" abilities and costs.

Cruiser is even less necessary than artillery. Once again, we are dealing with WW2 on the global scale. WW2 navies operated carrier task forces, surface task forces, submarine flottillas, ASW task forces and transports. A "battleship" is nothing but a surface task force. Think of Italian fleet, or Japanese task force that turned back from the battle at Midway when carrier task force got sunk. Instead of introducing a new unit, a battleship should have been made cheaper, more numerous, weaker and more vulnerable.

Basically, a 15 IPC unit with attack and defense at 3, sunkable after first hit and capable of supporting an amphibious invasion. That's it.
 
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I like the artillery units, they add a bit of strategy with the infantry.

The cruisers on the other hand I could do without. They also add another boat that's hard to distinguish. It took us 3 games before we could tell the battleship from the destroyer from the cruiser for every country.


 
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Anthony Simons
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In principle, from a simulationist viewpoint, artillery should be dispensed with. Notwithstanding they do add a couple of strategic options for players to consider, which is a good thing.

Scale, however, should not affect the presence of cruisers. Ships are/were pretty much strategic machines. I have not played this version of the game yet, so I will reserve my judgement on their affect to the overall game for when I finally do; however the point about them being difficult to distinguish is a good one.
 
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Seth Owen
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fellonmyhead wrote:
In principle, from a simulationist viewpoint, artillery should be dispensed with. Notwithstanding they do add a couple of strategic options for players to consider, which is a good thing.

Scale, however, should not affect the presence of cruisers. Ships are/were pretty much strategic machines. I have not played this version of the game yet, so I will reserve my judgement on their affect to the overall game for when I finally do; however the point about them being difficult to distinguish is a good one.


Well, making simulation arguments in the context of Axis & Allies is probably taking the game too seriously. I think the idea is to add some flavor and entertainment value to the game while keeping some connection to the historical facts, but simulation is too strong a term to use.

I think the artillery succeeds in adding something to the game. It may or may not be worthwhile. The fact that there's a debate over it suggest that it's useful for at least some players depending on their style and it may be useful for some powers in certain situations.

On the other hand it doesn't appear that the cruisers succeed in adding anything to the game. There seems to be near universal agreement that they are rarely a good buy, and certainly not nearly enough to justify inclusion in the game. I wouldn't be surprised to see some rules adjustment made down the road to either make them cheper or increase their effectiveness.

I haven't had any trouble telling the ships apart, but I'm a long time naval gamer and I already knew what they all looked like. Perhaps a little more difference in size would have helped. I also think a poor choice was made by using the German cruiser for the German and Italian navies. It would have been better to use an Italian cruiser instead. It would have looked much more different (the German cruisers were deliberately designed to resemble the battleships) and it would have given the Italians another unique piece. On top of that the German cuiser sculpt is really bad.
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Drax Kramer wrote:
Basically, a 15 IPC unit with attack and defense at 3, sunkable after first hit and capable of supporting an amphibious invasion. That's it.

So in short, it would be vastly worse than a Fighter and Destroyer?

I agree that Artillery and Cruiser are the units of least worth. Artillery is useful solely in situations where you want the offensive punch to take a territory, but do not expect to take it back. The Cruiser have superior Bombardment capabilities, but is slaughtered by every other sea unit, even when it attacks Subs with a Destroyer present. Basically, the sole use of Artillery is for Russian pushes, and the sole use for Cruisers is for British invasions of Western Europe/Germany, wherein repeated invasions against AA is likely.

I'd say that either Artillery and Cruisers should be made more unique, or removed. I'd vote subsuming AA, Artillery, and Blockhouses into one unit, solidifying it as a Support unit.

Artillery
Cost 4
Attack: 1
Defense: 1(2 versus Invasions)
Move: 1
Abilities: Artillery roll and remove casualties before other units fire. You may choose to retreat after Artillery fire but before general combat. Artillery attack before Bombers do in SBRs, and may attack Air units as they fly over regions as AAs did in previous editions.

Replace each AA piece in a territory with 4 or more income with 3 Artillery, replace each AA piece in a territory with 3 or less income with 2 Artillery.
 
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Bill Eldard
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Drax Kramer wrote:
I a grand strategic WW2 game, even a "light" one like A&A, separate artillery unit is hardly a necessity. In a game when a "unit" roughly corresponds with a corps sized unit, artillery should be calculated into infantry and armor "corps" abilities and costs.

Cruiser is even less necessary than artillery. Once again, we are dealing with WW2 on the global scale. . . .


Agreed.

In fact, neither artillery nor cruisers were in the MB Gamemasters edition of the game. No destroyers either. Your point about the game scale is spot on.

Axis & Allies still worked just fine without artillery, cruisers, or destroyers. And I prefer the 3-attack/2-defense armor unit, too.
 
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Anthony Simons
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wargamer55 wrote:
I think the artillery succeeds in adding something to the game. It may or may not be worthwhile. The fact that there's a debate over it suggest that it's useful for at least some players depending on their style and it may be useful for some powers in certain situations.


More importantly, for me anyway, the added variety of units in the newer versions of the game give the players choices - more difficult ones in some cases and obvious ones in others. The economic game within the overall game is compounded and to me this appeals. Whether this obviates, for example, the "buy infantry because you get more for your money" philosophy which often abounds in A&A games remains to be seen; but it does make the decision more interesting.


wargamer55 wrote:
On the other hand it doesn't appear that the cruisers succeed in adding anything to the game. There seems to be near universal agreement that they are rarely a good buy, and certainly not nearly enough to justify inclusion in the game. I wouldn't be surprised to see some rules adjustment made down the road to either make them cheper or increase their effectiveness.

I look forward to the suggested alternatives; I don't think I'll be excluding cruisers whatever happens.
 
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Steve Fitt
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The problem with both of these units are their A/D numbers.
Art. should have been the better unit to buy when you want to hold some specific location on the defense. For example a newly built IC. Or to add to a force to help during the counterattack. It should have been a 1/3 that also helps 1 Inf. attacking. 4 IPC.
Cruisers should have deen the cheap ship to die. It should have been 2/2 for 8 IPC. And change the DD to be 3/3 for 12 IPC. The DD keeps its ASW attributes and the CA can bombard at 2. This would mean that there are far more DD in the DD that there are CA in the CA.
 
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Robert Wesley
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wingnut69 wrote:
Two units seem pretty unnecessary in this game, the artillery and the cruiser. These units could have been left out w/o any loss of playability or tactical prioritization for the players.
I quite agree with YOU on this aspect, while I also shall reiterate about the TERRAIN considerations being presented along with THIS, were totally uncalled FOR with what their 'scale' encompassed. Those 'Exclusion Zones' and how "Neutrals" were applied are appalling as these exist currently.
wingnut69 wrote:
The cruiser is somewhere between battleship and destroyer w/o any special abilities. In most cases a mix of BB and DD makes the BC unnecessary, I think.
shake Not at ALL, from when a *Special Ability* as simple with "Extra Move" were conferred upon this, and that might greatly affect HOW others view such.
wingnut69 wrote:
The artillery has a special effect but it can only be used in special circumstances and could easily be replaced by an ARM . Consider this: ART+INF: cost 7, 2+2 attack and 2+2 defence. ARM+INF: cost 8, 1+3 attack and 2+3 defence. One INF loss and you have 2/2 and 3/3 respectively left to fight with. The extra point spent for the ARM now gives 50% pay-off, hmmm...
There's plenty MORE for what this could provide. I am especially intrigued by the proponents as regards "Bombardment" using these, for some preliminary 'ATTACK' that don't "fire back" JACK!
wingnut69 wrote:
With the new cost/effect of ARM there is no need for the guns any more. I have stopped buying guns altogether. Since most units are called upon for both attack and defence the guns are just not worth it, and I haven´t even factored in the 2 move ability of the ARM.

Let me hear your objections, please.
While I'm of the 'mind' to where I'll "manufacture" something ELSE to include and that those will become a NEED such as against "Forts"! You might recognize the 'term' of "Bunker" for its denotation of today, yet not that long ago entire "Fortified w/D-fens" AREAS incorporated landscapes and countrysides.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN MORE?
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There are no units which are unnecessary unless they are useless, meaning, some units could be useless because they are not being bought. Both in Revised and AA50, artillery is bought and used.

Cruisers are new in AA50, I'm buying cruisers, and I think other players also will buy and use cruisers, but AA50 is still fresh so we need more experience to see the definitive trends of what units is most valuable and effective. It could be that most players will not buy cruisers in the future. I might be wrong about the cruisers, but I like to buy one or two with UK and US to have some bombardment assists, as well as they are cheaper than BBs, but a solid fleet should contain BB + AC + some DDs and also 1 or 2 CAs, assuming your opponent didn't loose all aircraft during the first or second turn of the game. Then we wouldn't need any fleet protection.

 
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