Change D-Day? Please don't

Axis & Allies D-Day begins as Operation Overlord, the invasion of German-held Normandy, is underway -- 130,000 soldiers of the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States are poised to assault Fortress Europe. You and your fellow world powers control their fates.
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obiwanjohn
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Change D-Day? Please don't

Post by obiwanjohn » Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:13 pm

From my experience with D-Day, there is a tendency for the Allies to just not quite have enough time to win. Or it takes all 10 rounds for victory. You must gain control by round 9 and hold in round 10. I have not played 1 game in which the Allies won earlier.
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I've only played 5 games:

1 solitaire in which the Allies got control on the last possible roll (during round 9); then held in round 10.

1 against the Germans in which the Allies nearly controlled all three cities on turn 8!! My opponent got 3 consecutive bad reinforcement rolls for St. Lo to start the game. (1,1) (1,1) (1,3) I was then able to concentrate on Caen and barricade his reinforcements in with all 8 of my fighters. I was able to Strafe his units mercilessly. It was a my moment of triumph.

1 in which the Germans had only 5 units left but the Allies had two dozen. Ran out of time. This was played with Tactic & Fortune cards.

1 in which the Allies won on the last roll possible (turn 9); then the Allies kept control through turn 10. I had about 30 units left to my opponents 1. It came down to my last defending die roll in round 9. I rolled 5 dice and needed 1 roll of a 2 or less. If I had gotten unlucky, my opponent would have won with only 1 unit; but being vastly outnumbered.

1 in which the Germans won convincingly. I had a lot of bad attack rolls.

All but one of these games was played without Tactic or Fortune cards. So, basically, luck was held to a minimum.

Of the 5 games, the Allies have won 3 and lost 2. Granted, I've played the Allies each game and understand how to coordinate a cohesive assault. I consider myself the better player in each game as well. The important point is that 2 of the Allied victories were won on the LAST die roll.
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My conclusions, if I can even have any after playing so few games, is that, Larry is probably right; The Allies need more time. On the other hand, giving the Allies 2 more rounds may be too much. The Germans are typically 'hanging on' and outnumbered in the later rounds. I think that might tip the scales too far in the Allies favor.

The other drawback to extending the game to 12 rounds is GAMETIME. I think it's important to try to keep this entry level game to under 3 hours. Without using the Fortune and Tactic cards I can finish in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Using all 3 sets of cards takes me the full 3 hours.

A better idea is probably to let the Allies win if they control all 3 cities at the end of any round; including the 10th. This gives the Allies 'all of round 10' to win as well. Controlling for 1 round would be waived. The downside here is some of the other games are set up with the 'control for 1 round concept'. This would be a break from the norm. But, I don't see that as a major issue. 1 extra round for the Allies is probably all that's needed to balance this game. This is the only change I would even consider. But, I still need to play more games and play as the Germans before being certain. But, this is my line of thought so far; the Allies need 1 more round to have better chances to prevail.

Overall, I wouldn't tinker too much with or make drastic changes to this game. I feel it's very close to perfect on the first draft. It's great for what it is, an entry level A&A game. Nice job Larry!

Thanks
John

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Larry
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Post by Larry » Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:57 pm

Thanks John, interesting and insightful post...

obiwanjohn
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Post by obiwanjohn » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:55 am

Larry wrote:Thanks John, interesting and insightful post...
You're welcome Larry!

One more game experience to report.

I played as the Germans and won when the Allies could not capture all three cities by turn 9.

I totally abandoned Cherbourgh as the Germans and marched them towards St. Lo from turn one. My dad, playing the Allies, just diverted his forces towards St. Lo also. I tried to 'load up' my pieces at St. Lo, only to find the Allies were there in full force. In the end, I made my last stand at Caen when I realized St Lo would fall also. My Dad seemed to neglect it just enough for me to change strategies at the end. It turns out that I had only 3 units remaining versus 37 for the Allies. I lost the battle but won the war(game). :D

I had suggested in a previous post that the Allies may need 1 more round to win and also suggested waiving the need to hold it for a round might balance the game.

However, after 6 games, the Allies have won 3 and the Axis have won 3.
One thing I've noticed in almost every game is that the Germans are considerably outnumbered in the later rounds. Based on my experience, extending the game 2 rounds would be way too much and give the Allies a huge advantage. What I'm trying to determine now is whether giving the Allies 1 more round is the way to go.

I still need to play more games before I can make a solid recommendation on my hypothesis above. I'm just not sure if giving the Allies another round to win is too much. I do feel that playing the Allies is harder. So, maybe some of the comments of the Allies not having equal chances is due to lack of experience from beginners.

I feel that I got bad rolls but was still able to win. So, this one was won by the Germans. But, if I had used my hypothesis above, the Allies would have won.

I'll continue to post my game experiences here.

Thanks
John

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Builder_Chris
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Post by Builder_Chris » Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:39 pm

I’ve also only played the game 6 times now; :oops: every time I have been the Germans.

I love the AAC, AAR and AA50 games and spend a lot of time thinking about them and I trying to play them every chance that I get so even with the changes to combat in D-Day the basic mechanics are similar enough that I would say that if you “know what you are doing” in those games that you will win evertime in this game when playing the germans against "new (allied) players". :)

I say that primarily because the players I’ve been playing D-Day with are not die hard A&A players like the freak that I am. SO...So far, the Germans have won every game. Only two out of the six games so far have the Allies even come close to winning. :lol:

The Fortune and tactics cards do extend the game some, but they also seem to throw in just enough luck and “tactics” to change the game. Sometimes in favor of the Axis sometimes in favor of the Allies; but not so much (yet) to get the feeling that they heavily upset the game balance in vfavor of one side or the other.

So far, the idea of an extra round of play feels like that’s what the Allies might need to make the game MORE “balanced”; something that might help less addicted (oops...experianced) players be able to win when playing as the Allies...even against "better players".

If I can ever get anyone to let me be the Allies I might be able to get the chance to see how hard it is to play as the Allies. But so far everyone that I’ve been able to get to play it choosees to be the Allies because they think “they won the real battle...they should win the game”. Than I smash their dreams of an “easy victory/game” against the shoreline; showing them that the Germans are not an easy target! Muwahhhhaaaaa! :twisted:

Actually :oops: I think so far my victories have been in big part due to the rate of our reinforcements more than any real skill on my part (that’s painful to admit…but true). :o The two games that the Allies almost won they managed to get their reinforcements sooner and in larger numbers than the Germans did; forcing me :x to fight into the cities instead of the other way around. :P

What ever most players thoughts might be about this game I for one (so far) think this game is another real fun and well thought out game. Good Job Larry! (And play testers). :roll:

Thanks for another cool game!
Construimus, Batuimus -- "We Build, We Fight.".....we party all night!

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Builder_Chris
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Post by Builder_Chris » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:17 pm

8 games under my belt now; only 1 time I’ve been the allies.

So far…all 8 games have been won by the Axis!

6 of the 8 games have been massive sweeping victories for the Germans. Only 2 times have the Allies even come remotely close to winning; due in large part to the Allies getting more reinforcements sooner in the game than the Germans.

The Germans reinforcements have come in groups averaging 8 to 10 units a turn (per reinforcement sector) while the Allies usually average 4 to 6 units a turn (per US or UK). The rounds that the Allies get the real bad luck of only getting 2 to 4 units are the rounds that really end up hurting their advance the most. They can’t even get off the beaches with such a small number of reinforcements.

The more I play D-Day (not that 8 games is a lot of play) the more I think the rate of reinforcements is the key to the entire game.

It makes great gaming sense to have the Germans roll for their reinforcements; that luck factor does a good job (IMO) of “simulating” the disarray that the Germans were in for the first few weeks after the D-Day landings. But to have the Allies roll for their reinforcements seems…well…kind of…and I hate to use this word…but…wrong?

Why would the Allies need to roll (luck) for reinforces when they theoretically had their ENTIRE invasion units staged? Wouldn’t it make more sense to allow the Allies to “max out their beach capacities” each round and have the Germans roll for their reinforcements (as the “intelligence reports” of the invasion reached the generals)?

I’ve tried playing with the Tactics and Fortune cards too, and those seemed to help the balance some. But even in those games, the rate of reinforcements played a major roll in the game.

It seems like there is TOO much luck regarding the reinforcements. The types of units that show up as reinforcements seems to play very little into who will win the over all game, and the 8 unit limit per territory works well too; that rule does a good job of representing units as being locked in battle with out totally eliminating any chance of breaking through the front lines because of massive stacks of enemy units blocking the way. That 8 unit limit still gives a small attacking force a small chance of still winning in any one area.


I am probably going to start playing with the optional rule that you don’t always have to attack; that would have helped the Allies several times beacons they had been forced to attack territories with overwhelming odds. I can see how this MIGHT slow down their advance but not really since they can’t advance if they are locked in battle anyway. This would/should just give them a better chance of killing something before they themselves get killed. It’s not much of a chance but a defense of a 2 instead of an attack of a 1 for infantry is still better than attacking like war crazed freaks against superior odds.

I still like the game so far…not bad for a first go at the “new game”.
Construimus, Batuimus -- "We Build, We Fight.".....we party all night!

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