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Subject: Playthrough - 1920 through 1931 (end of war) rss

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Adric Olson
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This is part 2 of 2 in my playthrough. There was a lot of good discussion on part one, which you can find here: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/962531/playthrough-1914-1919...

1920 turn:
I'm using my misinterpretation of the rules to delay the CP advance here. It is obvious that Russia will leave the war, the question is when.
European front: Things have really changed for the CP in Europe. Only a few years after being on the offensive, they are taking heavy losses. Munich falls to a combined assault and Ruhr is barely held. France is given all captured territories and appears to be turning from a snowflake in the way of the CP advance into a full avalanche of units pushing back. Italy has survived as well, and looks certain to invade Austria-Hungary soon.
Adding to the woes of the CP is the British success in Mesopotamia - it appears that the Ottomans may soon be in danger.


1921 turn:
Not much movement on the Russian front as I continue to inappropriately allow Russia to delay advance. The Middle East sees loss of life but no advance this turn either.
Germany is getting hemmed in and are outnumbered in Europe. There is little movement to the front this turn but as Allied forces grow in number, they aren't troubled if they spend some time whittling down CP force strength.


1922 turn:
Bolshevik furor in Russia has grown reached a climax and revolt is inevitable. The Tzarist forces continue to fight but will soon be out of the war, and of power.
The Middle East sees no change in territory but since the Brits are holding their own they will be able to shift some of their attention back to Europe, which doesn't bode well for CP.
In Europe, Holland falls to the French, allowing them access to crucial ports further up the coast. An absolute mass of Allied troops is hemming the Germans into smaller and smaller amounts of German motherland. France is building an empire in Europe not seen since the age of Napoleon. CP needs their troops back from the Russian front but since this game doesn't take railroads into account, they will probably arrive much too late to do anything.


1923 turn:
Berlin is in immediate danger of seeing invasion by Allied troops. The loss of so much territory means they produce less each turn to fight back. Only A-H is still producing with any capacity for the CP. However, Russia has removed itself from the war and so, finally, the war is being fought on only one front for A-H and Germany. The Germans units cannot delay their return to the western front. A-H will have to decide whether to send their veteran units to assist the Ottomans or home to even the balance. The Brits have almost broken through the Ottoman ranks and if they do, the war is certainly over for them.


1924 turn:
All CP territories west of Berlin have fallen by the end of 1924. A-H has decided to push back at the Allies in the hope of extending the war long enough for the Germans to gain some traction and push back. To that end, they invaded Munich to no resistance, but were not rebuffed as expected, as all Allied eyes are on taking Berlin. The A-H push to the north left them vulnerable to the west, and the Italians take advantage, finally leaving Italy with forces. In fact, they outnumber Austrian defenders and look to advance on Vienna. A-H forces in Russia were not recalled home but rather sent to assist the Ottomans. This may not have been the smart play, but I'd argue that they would likely not make it to Europe in time to do anything, and make in fact have done more by forcing the Brits to focus on India again. At this point, India could probably be abandoned to the CP and the Allies would win the war due to their major advantage in numbers. Additionally, the French have enough tanks now that they can make major assaults in Germany without taking a single casualty.


1925 turn:
The Germans hold off an attack on Berlin for one more year by being aggressive and attacking themselves, but will probably be unable to keep doing so into 1926. Furthermore, the troops from Russia have finally arrived back in the European fight and are thrown into battle, and immediately elminated. The Brits are fighting a successful defense in Persia and A-H is unable to make any serious challenges to the Italian and French advance. I imagine the war will be over soon.


1926 turn:
This I really didn't expect: Berlin falls in one turn to a single French assault and by the end of 1926 only a single German unit is left anywhere on the map. The Allied focus will soon shift to A-H, and the Brits are free to concentrate on the Ottomans. There's no coming back for the CP now.


The game lasted until 1931, when the final A-H units were eliminated in Vienna.

Where did I go wrong with the CP? My misuse of the rules and delaying the CP advance in Russia was a big hinderance to their chance of victory. A quick capitulation of Russia would have been a huge boon. Or, alternatively, I could have focused on the west and ignored Russia apart from a defensive line. I think either of these strategies would have worked well. Finally, developing a navy as the CP might have prevented American and British involvement in Europe and led to the fall of France and Italy much easier.
I don't think I'll play this through by myself again but would be interested to play with one or more people, to see how strategies would vary.
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Leo Zappa
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Does every game turn actually represent a year? That's a long war!
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Murray Fish
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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Thanks for the second part of this session report. Very enjoyable read.

Quote:
since this game doesn't take railroads into account


This comment has moved me from a 'maybe' to a 'probably not' in regards to purchasing this game. It just seems too ... problematic ... for me to throw cash into at this stage.

That said, I'd not refuse a game just to try it out for myself.
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Seth Owen
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desertfox2004 wrote:
Does every game turn actually represent a year? That's a long war!


In regular A&A it represents about six months, very roughly.
 
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Greg Whitfield
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Nowhere does it say a turn is a year but since the game starts in 1914 and the US entered the war in 1917 in real life and turn 4 of the game it seems to suggest that each turn is a year.
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Dan Long
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Thanks- I like reading that you played all the way to the bitter end. And it sounds like the game has replayability based on your comments about strategy and what you could have done.

And, alas, had the Allies actually occupied Germany- perhaps a second world war could have been prevented.....of course I don't think the war would have lasted til 1931!
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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pgkashmir wrote:
Nowhere does it say a turn is a year but since the game starts in 1914 and the US entered the war in 1917 in real life and turn 4 of the game it seems to suggest that each turn is a year.

If only such logic appied to Italian entry. How hard would it have been to say they enter on turn 2?
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Howard Massey
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I believe 'game play' is going to Trump any ..logic .. historic time line .. turn calendar , etc.

This game wouldn't have the 'what if I try this strategy ?' that A&A games deliver if they are tied to too many time line events and schedule.

To quote Mr. Harris post on Italys turn ;

"We all know that Italy ended up on the Allies' side. How did this country migrate from a full-fledged member of the Central Powers to a full-fledged member of the Great Alliance in May of 1915?

You might have picked up on the date Italy joined the Allies... 1915. Yep, I took a little liberty to include Italy as member of the alliance a year before it historically actually was. I mean, our game begins in 1914... Thus the name Axis & Allies 1914. Truth be told, I saw no great value in having Italy begin as a neutral or a member of the Central Powers for the first turn of the game, and then suddenly switch to the other alliance. Wow... that blows my mind! I didn’t need the 5 extra paragraphs in the rules that would have to explain all this. Sometimes it’s just a good idea to stretch or expand time in order to make for a smoother flow of the greater story. I’ve often said that Axis & Allies is not a simulation game but rather a broad brush approach to history.

The game bows, respectfully, to all things historical. It wants to, or at least aspires to, educate or be a humble tool that shines a light on some amazing theme or place. If you want or need more than that, you’ll have to read the words of those who know far more about the given subject than I ever will."

Everyone should read Mr. Harris posts on his site
Was entertaining and informative for me
http://www.harrisgamedesign.com/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=44
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Midnight Reaper
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pgkashmir wrote:
Nowhere does it say a turn is a year but since the game starts in 1914 and the US entered the war in 1917 in real life and turn 4 of the game it seems to suggest that each turn is a year.

Interesting thought experiment: Say that one game turn equals 6 months and that the games starts in the second half of 1914. The fourth turn of the game would be roughly winter/spring 1916. By that time, there were factions within the US of A's body politic that wanted to join the war against the Germans (British and French propaganda being more effective for their cause than German propaganda was for theirs.). It would seem that in this set-up, those factions managed to convince the rest of the country to go along. The US officially entered the war on April 6, 1917, which would be on roughly game turn six given the variables above. Mind you, the US was giving a lot of support (material and financial) to the Allies long before actually entering the war. For a neutral country, she didn't act the part so much. Perhaps that balances out the "early" entry that starting at turn four provides.

I suppose what it really boils down to is that it sucks to sit on a faction and not be able to do anything. Three turns of sitting and building an army and a navy from next to nothing isn't fun for most people and I suspect that five turns of that was too much for their play-testers.

Just a thought.

-M_R
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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kskato wrote:
Everyone should read Mr. Harris posts on his site

I certainly respect his talent as a designer, but what you quoted doesn't impress me, particularly this:

"Truth be told, I saw no great value in having Italy begin as a neutral or a member of the Central Powers for the first turn of the game, and then suddenly switch to the other alliance. Wow... that blows my mind! I didn’t need the 5 extra paragraphs in the rules that would have to explain all this."

That's baloney. It wouldn't take anything like 5 paragraphs of rules to leave them neutral in 1914 and let them activate on the 2nd turn (they didn't fight for anyone until 1915). Having the game model the actual conflict in broad strokes is obviously the idea in A&A games, and that would have been a good step towards achieving that goal. Trying to make it sound horribly difficult rings hollow in my ears.

That's only one in a laundry list of issues I have with this game, though. I was initially quite interested, but the more I learned the less I liked it, and I've now written it off entirely. Unless they re-release with the major problem areas addressed, I'll do without.

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Howard Massey
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Sphere, Releasing your a more experienced gamer than I am ...
[but]
Wouldn't Italy be even another type of neutral, with more special rules for 'flip-flop' countries ?
I mean we got neutrals, minors, minors aligned, colonies _
to many all ready.
People have questions on how they work as is. yuk
[ narrative rulebook instead of a reference based w/ examples book make it difficult to use as is]

Going off Mr. Harris quote.. Just wonder if it would make the game that much better if historic countries
could enter on different turns and then on what side?
Seems a lot of the countries went to the highest bidder in that war.
When to enter them and how you could keep them 'neutral' and what side would would run them early
is to deep for A&A games!

I'm not a A&A evangelist. Defending der' Fuher devil
I like A&A games for the "what if " feature I mentioned before.

I just take it Harris makes AH invade Serbia and any other historic events will evolve in our WWI games.
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kskato wrote:
Wouldn't Italy be even another type of neutral, with more special rules for 'flip-flop' countries ?
I mean we got neutrals, minors, minors aligned, colonies _
to many all ready.

In game terms Italy would be neutral on turn 1 - nobody (including them) can attack or move across their borders. Turn 2 they join the Triple Entente and join the war. Seems simple enough to me.

Next on the agenda would be to do something about Switzerland, even if it's as simple as declaring it impassable to all for the duration. A couple of such simple tweaks would result in something resembling The Great War far more closely than what you have now, at least from what I'm hearing.

The trouble with that, of course, is that no such rules were in place during playtesting. This is why I say I'm no longer interested in the game. I find what was developed and playtested unacceptable, but am not willing to do that on my own.

The good news is, thinking about this motivated me to pre-order To The Last Man!, which looks both beautiful and manageable. There are so many games these days, none of us need buy anything that doesn't suit our tastes.
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Dave de Vil
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This should never have been marketed as an 8 player game.

At most its 7 player, with one controlling Russia and the USA.

Italy and France are questionable powers to play as well, with Italy usually reduced to just surviving Austrian attacks, and France throwing everything at driving out the Germans.

So I would say max 6 player, with USA/Russia and France/Italy pairing up.


midnight_reaper wrote:
pgkashmir wrote:
Nowhere does it say a turn is a year but since the game starts in 1914 and the US entered the war in 1917 in real life and turn 4 of the game it seems to suggest that each turn is a year.



I suppose what it really boils down to is that it sucks to sit on a faction and not be able to do anything. Three turns of sitting and building an army and a navy from next to nothing isn't fun for most people and I suspect that five turns of that was too much for their play-testers.

Just a thought.

-M_R
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Howard Massey
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Sphere wrote:
kskato wrote:
Wouldn't Italy be even another type of neutral, with more special rules for 'flip-flop' countries ?
I mean we got neutrals, minors, minors aligned, colonies _
to many all ready.

In game terms Italy would be neutral on turn 1 - nobody (including them) can attack or move across their borders. Turn 2 they join the Triple Entente and join the war. Seems simple enough to me.

Next on the agenda would be to do something about Switzerland, even if it's as simple as declaring it impassable to all for the duration. A couple of such simple tweaks would result in something resembling The Great War far more closely than what you have now, at least from what I'm hearing.

The trouble with that, of course, is that no such rules were in place during playtesting. This is why I say I'm no longer interested in the game. I find what was developed and playtested unacceptable, but am not willing to do that on my own.

The good news is, thinking about this motivated me to pre-order To The Last Man!, which looks both beautiful and manageable. There are so many games these days, none of us need buy anything that doesn't suit our tastes.


OK, your keeping IT. in the Entente.
No prob, I meant keep allegance open.

Switzerland. Either makes the West front to large for CP or new way to get into France. House-rule it to personal preference.

"no such rules were in place during playtesting" _
No telling what was in place Or changed with this 'Shameful' presentation by WotC !
(don't thing 'shameful' has been used yet in describing the game release so here's my chance ) laugh

Yes, looking forward to 'To The Last Man!' thumbsup
if only the East Front was available with it now.
Maybe someday ...

I'm just one of the guys that will criticize the game , but enjoy playing it for what it is/we got.

Hopefully a few more WWI games will come out next year.
" More the merrier "

H
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Dave de Vil
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Couple in the works:

http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=23606.0

http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=29344.0
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Dan Long
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Angry Martian wrote:


Maybe it'll be out in time for the WWI Centennial.....
 
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Dave de Vil
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Axis and Allies WWI 2nd (Definitive) Edition certainly will. That was the whole idea...
 
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