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Axis & Allies Europe 1940» Forums » General

Subject: Alternative victory condition (would like input) rss

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David Brown
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Although I have only just received this game, and therefore these comments may be premature, I would like to start a discussion on an alternative victory condition.

I had the original A&A Europe, and have kept on eye on the discussions with this version, and I am minded to conclude that the victory conditions that I felt spoilt the original A&A Europe also trouble this version.

It appears to be an all or nothing for the Axis, either they achieve their conditions, or it’s clear that their high water mark has been reached and there is no point fighting on, and therefore the Allies don’t really get the chance to go on the offensive, or for the Axis to try and grind out victory by a stubborn defence.

I’m aware that someone previously has posted an option of putting a timer on the Allies to capture Berlin, which is something I will consider as I get to know the game. However I would like the A&A E. community to consider if there is an option where each turn the Axis keep a tally of their accumulation resource points (both German and Italy), and if they manage to get to an agreed total they have won, regardless of the board position.

This would mean that the Axis can still go all out for an outright victory, but if they fail, and the tide has turned, they can still conduct a fighting withdrawal to try and achieve a ‘resource point’ victory. It would also mean that the Allies couldn’t just wait and wait until they have achieved massive superiority and then attack, as each turn the Axis would be nudging closer to victory.

As I’ve said I’ve yet to play the game, (it looks great, and hoping to solitaire it over the next couple of weeks), but I would be interested for views from the A&A.E Community. Also has anyone any thoughts of a target for German resource victory ?
 
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Chris Friend
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Looking forward to what you come up with David. I like the idea. It's very difficult to win as the Axis IMO. I like the game, but am not an expert enough to give you any suggestions. Sorry 'bout that.
Good luck, and have fun.
 
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Scott Anderson
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It took a lot of political will to defeat Germany. Germany never expected to win outright. Their strategy was to force the various allies to sue for a peace favorable to germany by inficting high casualties on their armies. Japan had a similar strategy. A realistic victory condition might be based on allied losses with some sort of die roll that gets modified by allied losses. With the advantage slowly shifting to Germany as time passed and losses added up. Basicly set a condition that Germany must outlast in order to win but add a random element to make it unpredictable. You could say a victory die is rolled each time a capital falls. Maybe start with a roll of 1 wins and gradualy move it to 2 or less,3 or less etc. To balance the luck factor the allies would get a save roll of some kind. It would be tricky to balance.
 
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David Brown
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Thanks for your view Scott. I'm not convinced by using casualties, Russia didn't give a damn how many of their guys died in the battle.

I feel that by using resource points, it would create a more historical model. If Germany is a given an accumulated total of resource points that he must achieve ( as well as the standard outright victory), it could create situations where he stubbornly defends areas that strategically he should have given up (i.e Stalingrad, Tunisia).

I just pushed the game round last night, and it's a very crowded map.
 
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Ryan Hanson
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Excellent discussion, David, and one that I have spent a great deal thinking about. I think Scott has summed it up nicely:

Cyscott1 wrote:
It took a lot of political will to defeat Germany. Germany never expected to win outright. Their strategy was to force the various allies to sue for a peace favorable to Germany by inflicting high casualties on their armies. Japan had a similar strategy.


The game has to provide a balanced play experience for both factions, meaning either the starting conditions would need to be ahistorical to provide the Axis with a greater chance for military success or the victory conditions would need to be slanted to favor the Axis in order for them to win despite their historical economic disadvantage.

Obviously Larry Harris went with the first choice by making the Axis artificially strong. As a result the game is (theoretically) balanced so that either side can win a military victory, but the relative parity that can be achieved between the two sides (particularly through the use of the Axis National Objectives) can also create a drawn out stalemate that can make an already long game play out even longer. It's relatively easily possible for both Japan and Germany to achieve approximate economic near parity with the USA through their National Objective income and conquered territories, which is not historically plausible.

So yeah, all that to say I think an alternate set of victory conditions that both better represent the historical war and also provide a more fixed game length would be nice. It's just difficult to come up with something that still maintains balance between the factions without extensive play-testing.

The primary idea I've been toying around with is to award the Axis powers victory points for holding victory cities, and then they win the game once they reach a pre-set amount. For example, Germany at the end of their turn holds Berlin, Paris, and Warsaw. Germany scores 3 VP and adds them to the Axis total. When the Axis reach 50 or 100 VP or something they win. To balance this the economics of the game would need to be altered. As the USA is the only Allied power who's economy is significantly under-represented, it would make sense to provide the USA with an additional growing income bonus that would ensure eventual defeat of the Axis powers if they didn't achieve their VP win conditions. As an added bonus this victory condition can be easily bid between the players, removing the need to bid IPC or units.

This victory method would still keep the focus on the victory cities, which I think are a good element of the game design by providing strategic focal points that were historically significant, as well as still providing incentive for the Axis players to be aggressive and occupy as much territory as possible. Even if their eventual military defeat is likely inevitable they can't afford to just "turtle" since they would be earning very few VP per turn, thus ensuring plenty of action.

Thematically this would represent the Allied powers making concessions that would recognize at least some of the Axis conquests, thus fulfilling the basic Axis war objectives.

The USA income bonus would need to be carefully tweaked to provide the right level of balance, but I imagine it would be a bonus that would either replace or would be in addition to the existing USA National Objectives and grow by 5 or 10 IPC a turn either from game start or from when the USA entered the war.
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David Brown
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Ryan,

Thanks for your comments:

Quote:
As a result the game is (theoretically) balanced so that either side can win a military victory, but the relative parity that can be achieved between the two sides (particularly through the use of the Axis National Objectives) can also create a drawn out stalemate that can make an already long game play out even longer. It's relatively easily possible for both Japan and Germany to achieve approximate economic near parity with the USA through their National Objective income and conquered territories, which is not historically plausible
.

I hadn't appreciated that Larry had created the possibility of a stalemate. If that is the case my thoughts on a resource victory is likely to fail, as the Axis could just sit on the 'stalement line' and accumulate points. For this idea to work, I'm guessing it would need substantial work to either or both the starting forces, or some form of Resouce Point accelorator for the USA and possibly Russia. They could for example start with less resource points than currently, but this increases every turn to force the Axis to get a move on

Quote:
The primary idea I've been toying around with is to award the Axis powers victory points for holding victory cities, and then they win the game once they reach a pre-set amount


If I understand your thoughts, this sounds like a simpler version of my ideas (simpler I suspect is better in this case). However would it still create the problem of a 'stalemate line'?

I hoping more expereienced members of the A&A community perhaps can add their thoughts. To test this thoughts out as individuals would take a lot of time. My goal would be to create a situation which encourgaes the Axis to fight a stubborn defence when/if he realises that outright victory has gone.


 
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Ryan Hanson
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The stalemate doesn't always happen and even when it does it can usually be broken. The problem is that the game already takes so long to play.

The Victory City point accumulation method I propose bypasses this possibility by forcing the Axis to attack early and the Allies to attack late-game. Putting an internal clock into the game that puts a hard limit on the game length, though the actual length is dependent on player actions.

My general intention with this variant has ALWAYS been to minimally impact the set-up and rules, both of which have been so carefully balanced over so many iterations. That is why I propose to modify ONLY the victory conditions and the USA income level, leaving it relatively simple to leave everything else in place and simply tweak those two elements to once again achieve a balanced game.

My current proposal (for Europe game only) would be to set the primary USA National Objective to increase 10 IPC per turn that the USA is at war (to a limit of 80 or so) and set the Axis VP victory limit at 50 or 60. Then see how it plays out. Early game the Axis start with 4 victory cities (including Paris which they should take Turn 1), by mid-game the Axis should probably have occupied 5-6 and after occupying the Soviet Union could be as high as 7-8 (and threatening auto-victory). A 50-60 VP limit means that the Allies have approx. 10-14 rounds secure their victory. It's possible the US income could be as high as 140-150 IPC but the clock will be ticking against them fast by that point unless they have done a great job containing the Axis early.
 
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Hansolo88 wrote:


The Victory City point accumulation method I propose bypasses this possibility by forcing the Axis to attack early and the Allies to attack late-game.


Is there any other way? The Axis must attack early (Turn 1) and the Allies build up and attack later.

 
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Scott Anderson
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thirtybrowns wrote:
Thanks for your view Scott. I'm not convinced by using casualties, Russia didn't give a damn how many of their guys died in the battle.

I feel that by using resource points, it would create a more historical model. If Germany is a given an accumulated total of resource points that he must achieve ( as well as the standard outright victory), it could create situations where he stubbornly defends areas that strategically he should have given up (i.e Stalingrad, Tunisia).

I just pushed the game round last night, and it's a very crowded map.


I agree the Russians had little concern for casualties but England and the US did. A casualty based system could be nation specific so that any one of the allies might give up at some point. This would also encourage the UK to ship troops from OZ to Italy or Africa to avoid taking too many hits to the home army. At the same time encouaging Germany to attack in Africa and bomb England. Since the US enters later they wouldn't reach high losses till later in the game. This system could in theory allow Germany to break the UK before the US enters the fight in a big way say around turn 5-6.

Just some random thoughts
 
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Ryan Hanson
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Damjon wrote:
Hansolo88 wrote:


The Victory City point accumulation method I propose bypasses this possibility by forcing the Axis to attack early and the Allies to attack late-game.


Is there any other way? The Axis must attack early (Turn 1) and the Allies build up and attack later.



You are correct of course. However this variant would make the late game Allied counter-offensive more inevitable and unstoppable, though it would also put pressure on the Allied player to recover Axis victory cities quickly.

Cyscott1 wrote:


I agree the Russians had little concern for casualties but England and the US did. A casualty based system could be nation specific so that any one of the allies might give up at some point. This would also encourage the UK to ship troops from OZ to Italy or Africa to avoid taking too many hits to the home army. At the same time encouaging Germany to attack in Africa and bomb England. Since the US enters later they wouldn't reach high losses till later in the game. This system could in theory allow Germany to break the UK before the US enters the fight in a big way say around turn 5-6.

Just some random thoughts


I think actually tracking casualties would be far too fiddly in practice. I think the real deterrence for the allies was the threat of causalities, anyways.

Look at the closing months of the Pacific war. both Japan and the USA knew that Japan had lost the war, however Japan still believed that if they inflicted enough casualties on the USA that they could obtain some sort of more favorable peace settlement than unconditional surrender. The ferocious defenses of Iwo Jima and Okinawa were in part a message to the USA about how many casualties they would suffer in an invasion of the Japanese home islands. They hoped that it was the threat of losses that would break the US will, not the actual losses themselves. Of course in practice what this did was shift USA strategy to the use of the nuclear bombs as an alternative to invasion.

I think using something like the victory cities is an acceptable abstraction because the more territory the Axis hold, and the longer they hold it, the more work (and casualties) it is going to take to roll Axis gains back and the Western Allies may simply not have the will to finish the war. Historically the ineptitude of the Axis war effort allowed the Allies to roll back the Axis gains much quicker than they might have and the will of the Western Allies to finish the war was never really put to the test.
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Mike Horn
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Our group has played a few times and we came up with our own in-house Victory Conditions. If the Allies can't totally defeat the Axis by the end of Turn 11 (roughly early 1946 in historical terms), the game ends and the Axis win a "Minor Victory" for doing better than historical conditions.

This limits game play to a manageable time frame, and encourages both sides to continue game play to the end, even though it may look like defeat is inevitable for the Axis at some point.
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