Keep It Simple!

Thanks for your input todate. Here is a collection of my thinking at this point. Please feel free to participate in this on going discussion. Your contributions are appreciated. Tell your A&A friends about this so they have a chance to voice what they want in A-A&A. I'll update the the original posting as changes and new ideas are adopted or contemplated.
oddman
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Keep It Simple!

Post by oddman » Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:12 pm

First post, though by no means unconsidered.
(I have played A&A original, Europe, Pacific as well as Revised. All repeatedly and most of the time succesfully :roll: . I also play smaller-scale wargames, from Smithsonian games to Advanced Squad Leader.)

What strikes me in the threads here is that everybody appears to be clamoring for more and detailed rules and units. While in itself this isn't wrong for ADVANCED Axis & Allies I plead to keep it simple.

It is a simulation, an exercise in history, to see possible outcomes. The degree of abstraction is high. For example, the distinction between Cruisers and Destroyers is irrelevant: they are mid-sized surface ships, complete with supporting force of frigates and supply. A Battleship unit would contain a number of cruisers, as would a Destroyer unit. Perhaps even an Aircraft Carrier unit would contain a CL or two (after all, they do have an attack rating). On a mondial level, military details are represented enough by the selection of units as given in A&A Revised.

In my opinion, the improvements should be in the areas of implementation of suitable global strategy. A&A Revised goes a long way in this. The only things I miss are:
-CAP
-Differentiation between Combat Movement Rates and Noncombat Movement Rates as well as warped aircraft ranges
-Delay in getting IPC's from captured territories.
-Economic Naval Warfare
-Long-Term Strategic Diplomatic Options
Reading this board I picked up some more good ideas:
-Different values for units in different terrains
-Combat stretched over multiple turns.
Some things that bug me:
-National Advantages
-Scientific Advancements

I will elaborate.
CAP:
Simply put, the CAP rule from A&A Pacific should be in Advanced. The scale should be so that this is possible. I feel that A&A Advanced should be a joining of Pacific and Europe with additional rules, not additional units. The unit selection is great as is; it is one of the strengths of A&A.
The CAP rule is essential to mirror the importance of air superiority in naval engagements. Historically (and more importantly, strategically), land-based aircraft influenced naval combat.

Movement Allowance Differentiation:
I am in favor of only building new units in home territory (/territories). in order to make this strategically feasible in the time scale of Axis and Allies, units should be able to move to the front quickly. Therefore, Non-Combat Movement should be extended, mirroring well-managed transportation by rail, known road networks and waterways unhindered by enemy interdiction. Rules for aerial or naval interdiction are an option.

Delay of IPC income of captured territories:
Multi-turn combat execution would solve this for a great part.

Economic Naval Warfare:
This is a problematic point. I stumbled across this in A&A: Pacific with the Convoy Routes (not to be confused with the Convoy Centers): The Indian English had captured Indochina. They had a connection over land directly to India, but according to the rules they couldn't cash the resources as the Japanese controlled the convoy.
Strangling a country's overseas assets by means of naval power should be a viable strategy.
The greater problem is the following: the convoy routes as indicated on the map are only relevant in a few eventualities. It depends on the receiver as well as the ownership of territories between the producing territory and the receiving territory. If Germany captures India, how does the convoy route lead? Where can it be interdicted and how? The usual Wargame solution to this problem is 'be able to trace a line of spaces unbroken by enemy units or zones of control'. Due to the turn-based nature of A&A as well as the multitude of IPC-producing territories this may not be the best solution. This will probably remain a problem, as a compromise between simplicity (playability) and accuracy is hard to find.

Long-Term Strategic Diplomatic Options:
I miss the ability to parlay with my opponents. Historically, the USSR left Japan alone until VE-day (contrary to what some people believe it was not an opportunistic move on the part of Stalin to 'grab a piece of the pie' but a deal made by the Allies beforehand), Germany didn't attack the USSR until 1941. Which was a mistake, by the way. The implementation of diplomatic options is largely dependent on the starting date of the game. A fact is that not all nations are created equal, so in a 'diplomatically free' game some players will be badly underpowered. Still, I think that there should be some possibility for the Axis to sow dissent among the Allies. Possibly even the option to switch sides altogether, as well as some (realistic) way to implement personal victory, along the lines of the game Diplomacy.
The dealing with neutrals should also be possible. No ideas on my side; I am thinking about it.

Different values for units in different terrains:
This seems a good and easily executed idea: simply print more Battleboards. Tanks are inefficient in urban areas, excellent in deserts. Heavy bombers are not so useful in naval engagements (High-level bombing is relatively useless against moving ships in a vast ocean), fighters all the more so.
Suggested terrains:
-Varied (standard: western Europe, India, South Africa...)
Standard values.
-Plains (deserts and taigas. Empty land. Libya, Russian steppes, Great Plains, parts of Australia)
Tanks should have a bonus here. Infantry a penalty.
-Rough (mountainous-but-not-too-mountainous-as-to-be-impassable, jungle: parts of China, Afghanistan, Central Africa, Indochina, Pacific Islands, urban areas (Stalingrad!))
Penalties for tanks, aircraft and naval support, bonus for infantry, especially in defense.
-Sea (duh.)
Penalty for bombers.

Combat stretched over multiple turns:
One or two rounds of combat per player turn. Sounds good to me. Be careful not to blur the distinction between offense and defense: when a territory is attacked, the attack continues and the defendes reinforces: does the original attacker defend or attack? My suggestion would be defend, but with the option of retreat. This simulates fighting over a territory, with neither side getting the IPC benefit from it.

National Advantages:
They seem too powerful and unbalancing. If they are implemented, they should be balanced, not optional and certainly not random. For instance, Japan could have the Tokyo Express benefit. It isn't too powerful and compensates for the fact that their empire is stretched over so many islands.

Scientific Advancements:
They are too random. Period. Too much hinges on a single dice roll. The most efficient way to use the rules as they are in A&A Rev, is to roll one die per turn. Say England gets heavy bombers in turn one (1/6 chance). Germany in turn 10 (also about a 1/6 chance: 5/6^10 = 1/6). Chances are equal, England has a HUGE advantage. True, next game Germany may get lucky, but the individual games are UNBALANCED. I detest that. The only solution would be to give it a fixed cost, say 30.

Just my .02, comments are welcome.

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Craig A Yope
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A&AP and A&AE Together

Post by Craig A Yope » Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:13 pm

As for putting the two together, check this out:

http://www.harrisgamedesign.com/phpBB2/ ... .php?t=494

Craig

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Imperious leader
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Post by Imperious leader » Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:24 pm

The complexity issue you have with the Cruiser unit pales in comparison with some the very points you would like to see added to Advanced. Agreed we can assume cruisers are adstracted into part of the battleship unit or destroyer unit but the idea is to bring a full parlay of units to be represented and also bring down the costs of all naval units, so as to have a naval piece density on par with a/a pacific.
I too hate the random dice tech style in the games as they create imbalances which gets worse unless you too get "lucky". Historical tech progression is what i favor, so nations like UK or Japan dont get the atomic bomb on the first turn. Yikes!
We really need an Axis and Allies World War one game so i can play that on August 1st, 2014.

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GROGnads
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One 'way' to approach this

Post by GROGnads » Tue Mar 22, 2005 7:03 pm

Well, if you truly WANT a highly detailed 'game' of this, then you are actually 'desiring' a CAMPAIGN edition of this, in which you'll be 'fighting this out' in a smaller, more 'intricate' setting. You'll have to 'create' these 'Gamemaps' yourself and you might as well make them as 'historically accurate' as possible then. I'd suggest that you obtain some 'period maps' of these places from somewhere and please tell US where you 'get them' from. Best of LUCK on this then.
"You had to 'GO'!?! Now we ALL have to 'GO'!" BIG Joe-"Kelly's Heroes"-the MOVIE

oddman
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Post by oddman » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:11 pm

Imperious leader wrote:The complexity issue you have with the Cruiser unit pales in comparison with some the very points you would like to see added to Advanced. Agreed we can assume cruisers are adstracted into part of the battleship unit or destroyer unit but the idea is to bring a full parlay of units to be represented and also bring down the costs of all naval units, so as to have a naval piece density on par with a/a pacific.
I too hate the random dice tech style in the games as they create imbalances which gets worse unless you too get "lucky". Historical tech progression is what i favor, so nations like UK or Japan dont get the atomic bomb on the first turn. Yikes!
It's not a complexity issue I have with Cruisers. Advanced A&A should be complex, no questions about it. It's that I think that the unit spread is good as is: with the artillery and destroyer pieces, every niche is represented. Heavy tanks, mobile AA guns, elite infantry... all irrelevant on this scale. Abstracted into the existing units. Superunits are silly; just build more of the ordinary units to reflect the allocation of resources.

And I'm glad you agree about the tech trees. What's your suggested fix? Scrapping the techs altogether?

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Larry
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Post by Larry » Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:31 pm

Thanks for you comments Oddman - good stuff to consider.
And welcom to the site.

The Old Soldier
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Post by The Old Soldier » Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:47 am

oddman wrote:
Imperious leader wrote:The complexity issue you have with the Cruiser unit pales in comparison with some the very points you would like to see added to Advanced. Agreed we can assume cruisers are adstracted into part of the battleship unit or destroyer unit but the idea is to bring a full parlay of units to be represented and also bring down the costs of all naval units, so as to have a naval piece density on par with a/a pacific.
I too hate the random dice tech style in the games as they create imbalances which gets worse unless you too get "lucky". Historical tech progression is what i favor, so nations like UK or Japan dont get the atomic bomb on the first turn. Yikes!
It's not a complexity issue I have with Cruisers. Advanced A&A should be complex, no questions about it. It's that I think that the unit spread is good as is: with the artillery and destroyer pieces, every niche is represented. Heavy tanks, mobile AA guns, elite infantry... all irrelevant on this scale. Abstracted into the existing units. Superunits are silly; just build more of the ordinary units to reflect the allocation of resources.

And I'm glad you agree about the tech trees. What's your suggested fix? Scrapping the techs altogether?
I tend to agree with Oddman, we are talking about a operational level high strategic game. All the extra pieces and such are more of local theatre of operation concern, and not the concern of the high command. I understand Larry doesn't want terrain conciderations, and I can live with that, but I would prefer to see the different battle boards over new units any day. CAP is a must, and I think Larry's ideas on them and naval ports and airfields are spot on! I also hate the tech tree, and would rather see it go, or replace with something that has a very small effect or a economic effect. Instead of jet fighters, which had little to no effect at our level of command, just decrease the cost of aircraft building by 1. This would represent breakthrus in plane design. Thing like that.

I also agree on the idea of battles that can rage over multiple turns. On that note, I would like to add, I found that targeting can cause a player to build more infantry and artillery, because he knows he might lose the expensive pieces. So, if you use targeting, you must have a combine arms system to support the idea. Maybe you could in a way combined the two concepts together. Say infantry must destroy infantry, unless there is none left. Tanks may destroy other tanks, or infantry unless there is none left. Artillery must destroy artillery, infantry or tanks unless there is none left. Planes may pick thier targets. (that is for land battles) I'm sure something like that could be done for sea battles. Just a thought.

I'm sure others may want more, and more, but really other than the above mentioned and new and varied victory points and a map that reflect that and the large pacific ocean, I believe the game is solid as it stands.

If you want more unit types and such, then really you need to lower the came to a theatre of operation or a campaign.

Sean

oddman
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Post by oddman » Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:22 am

There already is a kind of targeting mechanism in A&A R: the subs. Subs can only attack ships, so when there are many aircraft present and one CV, they can effectively attack the CV, ignoring the fighters.
Unfortunately for the subs, the fighters can still shoot back.

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