Why can't factories, AA guns be removed?

Axis & Allies Revised by Avalon Hill. Released in 2004.
Axis & Allies is a classic game of war, economics, and global strategy. Victory goes not only to the team that conquers its opponents on the field of battle, but also to the individual player who seizes the most enemy territory.
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Krieghund
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Post by Krieghund » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:00 am

Welcome to the forums, Builder_Chris!

That's some pretty interesting stuff. You have a good point on the National Advantages. A lot of them seem to me to be more technological advances that any nation could have developed and used. These seem to belong more on the Weapons Development chart. I prefer NAs that reflect the unique philosophy, character, geography and natural resources of an individual nation.
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timerover51
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Post by timerover51 » Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:04 am

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Builder_Chris
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Post by Builder_Chris » Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:30 pm

I prefer NAs that reflect the unique philosophy, character, geography and natural resources of an individual nation.
So the Japanese “Banzai attack” and the US “Marines” might fall into that kind of category, but the rest would best be represented as developments or something else.

Things like Russia’s “Russian Winter” confuse me even more, how is that a national advantage? That’s just a fact of global weather patterns; so why doesn’t India have a “Monsoon Season”?

Again, I believe some of those “ideas” are cool, but again they are just gaming details that are beyond the kind of game AAR is designed to be.
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Builder_Chris
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Post by Builder_Chris » Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:39 pm

I love this kind of debate, and I can’t argue with any of your points timerover51. They are all very solid and accurate facts of history, and your eye for applying them to the game is also well placed. However, I think we keep over looking one small thing; Axis and Allies has never claimed nor tried to be a game of such exacting details.

Just looking at the descriptions for the pieces testifies to that.
Industrial Complexes; factories that produce new units
Antiaircraft Guns; gun batteries that shoot down invading air units.


Don’t get me wrong, I love this game, and I love the fact that it’s the catalyst for furthering my knowledge and understanding of WW2 and for forums just like this. But, unless dudes like us get hired to make a game called “Historic Axis & Allies” a lot of these details are mute points as the game is not trying to be that detailed.

Axis & Allies, IMO, is a near perfect blend of games like Risk, Chess, Flames of War and Panzer Blitz to name a few. Pieces and units make good logical gaming with lots of possible strategies. Everything is streamlined to get the general idea and feel of the times and military units of the day. Resources for war production and sustainability are well represented by the use of IPC’s, there’s no need to pinpoint every oil field, grain silo, munitions plant or road or rail way. The gaming mechanics play out smooth and easy with no need for detailed unit or combat charts. The Combat system is clean and easy to understand and set up and execute. And the game can be played in a reasonable amount of time with a definitive end each time, but most importantly, I love that we don’t have to spend a fortune on it to have a complete game; everything we need to play it is in the one box.

Would I like more historically accurate details? Sure. But only so long as those details don’t bog me down with the mundane task of having to manage such things as fuel, food, clothing, munitions’, building materials, supply lines, weather pattterns, ocean currents, unit moral, national moral, etc, etc, etc.

Not that I would classify myself as a war monger, but I play AA because I want to “concur the world” not mange its resources or calculate how long it will take me to traverse half the globe with my military units or how I can best keep my populations happy and productive so they don't attempt to assasinate me out of the game simply becouse I'm playinng Germany.

Let’s face it; the possibilities are endless as to the amount of detail that could be built into a game that focuses on such a mammoth event as WW2. But all and all A&A is a solid game that’s fun to play, easy to learn, historically based , mentally stimulating and just an all around good game.

Will I stop discussing ideas like these and variant games and strategies and all things A&A just because it is such a cool game? No way, its just too much fun! And one can never have too much fun!
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timerover51
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Post by timerover51 » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:15 pm

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Post by Builder_Chris » Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:51 am

timerover51: I am working on a set of Random Event Charts for the various A&A games that would do something like... weather chart, the idea is that sometimes what you plan to happen, will not happen. Less predictability to the game.
Well, I chimed in to that thread, and if I every play that game (AAP) I will certainly revist that subject with.

As far as doing something like that with the likes of AAR, once again I find it very interesting and fun to mess with that and similar ideas, but I just don’t see how adding things like that to AAR could make it better without overcomplicating the game.

IMO, everything that is added to a players turn sequence, or that is added to the round as an “extra sequence” increases the potential to extend the game time and bog down the flow of the game. Will steps like that help to increase the “reality level”? Sure, but once again, I don’t think AA was ever intended to be a game with a 100% reality level.

cool idea thouugh.
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Post by Builder_Chris » Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:27 am

Krieghund:
I guess that I view factories and AA guns in the following manner.

Factories represent not only an industrial area but also the infrastructure necessary to sustain and supply the industries, and move the resulting products to where they are needed. You need railroads, highways, electrical power plants, large numbers of trained workers, and either the resources physically present or the ability to move the needed resources to the industrial center.

...AA guns, that represents not only the guns, but the entire integrated air defense system, something that is not easily picked up and moved. The combination of early warning radar, height-finding radar, visual and radar fire control, ground observers, gun and rocket batteries, fighter bases, and most importantly, the command and control facilities to put everything together into an integrated whole.
I’m sure none of you are surprised to know that I have been putting more thought to the entire “why cant IC’s be destroyed” question.

And once again, I think they should be able to be destroyed, but some of the other “details” that have been brought up about IC’s have got me thinking about how to better represent war production in the game with out going..."overboard"?.

While trying to determine what “overboard” meant to me, I decided to try and better explain what “type” of game I understand AAR is. And here is what I came up with.

Looking at a tape measure, what are the average increments that you see on a tape measure? (American measure)

Feet, inch, half inch, quarter inch, eighth of an inch and sixteenth of an inch. Can you get tapes with a thirty-second of an inch and a sixty-fourth of an inch? Yes, but no one but maybe piano makers use them. :roll:

With the exception of furniture/cabinet makers and trim carpenters, nearly all building trades’ personnel only work down to an eight of an inch, even than only sparingly. Tolerances are usually kept to measurements like “7 feet 8 ½ inches +/- 1/8th.”
That “plus or minus one eighth” gives a tradesman ¼ inch of “play”.

If I had to put AAR into such language I would probably say AAR is a game that measeres “7 feet 8 1/2 inches +/- 1 inch.”

That’s two (2) inches of “play”. In other words, AAR is not designed to be an exact replication of all things in and of the world during WW2; to alter the game to read so that it measures “7 feet 8 ½ inch +/- 1/64th” is to alter its entire construction, not its finish.

For those that don’t get the construction example, here is another way to say the same thing, but in “gamer terms.” Looking at chess, to take “standard” chess pieces and change them to “WW2 figurines” and make the board green and brown is altering the finish of the game. To make the pawns be able to split into “fire teams” of four men because the WW2 pawns are representing a squad, and squads have fire teams, so pawns should be able to split into four man teams too, that is reconstructing the game. The basic mechanics of how the pawn works may not have changed, but now instead of having 8 pawns you would suddenly have 32 pawns. Talk about a completely different game!

To reduce IC’s to an image on the board and eliminate the ability to construct new ones at any location that has an IPC rate of 1 or more simply because in real life those areas of the world did not have an abundance of the correct resources to build tanks, is to reconstruct the entire foundation of the IPC’s and IC’s.

Because now, instead of IPC’s being “…the money of the game, representing capacity for military production.” and IC’s being “factories that produce new units” they would need to become something much more.

IPC’s would need to be changed into resources like lumber, wool, corn, oil, iron ore, gold, etc, etc, etc. IC’s would need to change into several pieces also; mines, farms, ranches, factories that make resources into commodities like steel, cloth, rubber, gunpowder and than we would still need factories that change commodities into military units; tanks, aircraft, ships, subs, munitions not to mention we would need to add transportation networks and things like oil tankers, rail lines, oil pipe lines, bridges, etc, etc, etc. And that’s just to support the means to make combat equipment. To make infantry, now we would need to add cities for all of our civilians, hospitals for our civilians to have babies, schools, military training camps, etc, etc, etc. As you can see, things can get way out of proportion fast. Before you know it we could be working in 1000ths of an inch like machinists do. :shock:

But to take the IC’ and adjust the rules concerning mobilization to include things like; you can only mobilize units with a cost that is equal to or less than the income value of the territory containing the IC as well as still only being able to mobilize a number of units up to the income value of the territory containing the IC (for example, an IC built in China may only mobilize up to two units and no single unit produced at that IC may cost more than 2 IPC) But as you can see, there’s a problem with that, because infantry cost 3 IPC so nothing could be produced there.

So the rules right now say you can build and mobilize from an IC in any territory with an IPC value of at least 1. With that slight alteration to the rule concerning an IC’s mobilization, while it might help to better represent the fact that that territory has very few resources and not enough of the correct type or an adequate infrastructure to build tanks or aircraft, it would require doing one or more other changes to the game. The Rule for IC placement would have to be adjusted to only be able to set them in a territory with an IPC value of at least 3, or all the territories would need to be adjust up to reflect things so that no territory had an IPC value of less than 3 (for example, Kenya, IPC value 1 would need to become 3, but because Kenya was increased by 2 IPC places like Germany would need to increase to an IPC value of 30 (3/3=1 and 30/3= 10 the original values of those territories as the game is now.)) Or the last option would be to reduce the cost of units so the infantry cost 1 IPC and all other unit cost would need to drop proportionally.

All of that might better reflect the reality of everything that is required for a Power/territory to produce military units while not totally reconstructing the IPC and IC streamlined “system” of the game but would it match the reality of the world 100%? No. But it might help to better represent the reality of what that game piece (IC's) and component (IPC's) are simply imitating.

I still can’t help but to think that if the units had better descriptions that a lot of this debate could be eliminated. Descriptions like; “Industrial Complexes: factories that produce new units” just don’t say enough and leave most of us wondering about too much.
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Craig A Yope
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Post by Craig A Yope » Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:39 am

Builder_Chris wrote:But, unless dudes like us get hired to make a game called “Historic Axis & Allies” a lot of these details are mute points as the game is not trying to be that detailed.
The term you are looking for here is "moot", not "mute".

The details are irrelevant, not silent.

Beyond that, you sure are putting forth some very interesting thoughts about the meaning of the IC as it relates to the game design.

Keep up the good work!

Craig

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