Page 12, Breakthrough Chart 1 – Paratroopers: The first sentence should replaced with: "Each of your bombers can act as a transport for one infantry, but it must stop in the first hostile territory it enters, ending its combat movement. Both units must begin their movement in the same territory. The infantry is dropped after any antiaircraft fire is resolved, so if the bomber is hit, the infantry it carries is also destroyed."
"War is much more fun when you're winning!" - General Martok
Hell, we even had some goof in our game group even try for tech with Italy one game and everyone thought he was an idiot for doing it…but he managed to spend 5 IPC one time in round one and got lucky and got heavy bombers. It was cool to see Italy with them but they didn’t prove to be a big advantage…but it was cool.
I personally think the basic game mechanics are sound enough that you could do as Staghound says he does and “improve every factor of every unit in the game” and it wouldn’t make too much difference. But movement is the only factor (besides long range aircraft) that I wouldn’t touch because I fully agree with axis_roll that “increasing movement (besides the existing Long Range Aircraft) TOTALLY would change the game, and not for the better”.
I think any tech that has a “counter measure” tech or game mechanic works well. It’s the techs that have NO “counter measure” that makes those techs too powerful.
Take heavy bombers for example.
In classic heavy bombers could drop 3 dice instead of 1 dice worth of IPC damage that was automatically taken from the defenders hand as damage and each factory and no damage cap. The 3 dice and the ability to bomb your enemy completely out of money combined to make this tech devastating with out a single standard mechanic or tech rule to counter it.
In revised you got to drop 2 dice as IPC damage that once again came out of the defenders had right away as damage. Reducing this to 2 dice helped to reduce the devastation but keeping the rule that ICs could receive an infant amount of damage still combined to make this tech way powerful. Sure EACH bomber could not do more damage than what the territory could produce but all the bombers together could still do loads of damage that could not be counter acted by the defender with a standard mechanic or tech rule.
IN tournament rules this was only slightly adjusted by rolling 2 dice but picking the higher roll as damage and adding one. But again the IC could take an infinite amount of damage.
TripleA came up with territory turn limit which help to make a standard mechanic that countered this tech ok but…AA50 did the best for this rule/tech.
In AA50, each IC is only able to take damage equal to twice their production that right away as a standard mechanic of the game. this counters the devastation that could be done, no longer can ICs take an infinite amount of damage. Than with being able to pay back only the damage that you wanted to so you could still maximize your production was another mechanic that countered bombing; no longer is it an instant cash out of hand thing like all the versions before it. And with the tech of improved production making it possible to produce more units and repair damage at half cost heavy bombers are now a good tech but not a sure fire win like they proved too often to be in classic games.
The AA50 rules for heavy bombers/strategic bombing have come a long way and I think they combine to make a near perfect balance to the standard mechanic and tech for “strategic bombing improvements”.
Not every tech can be countered however. But with making tech more affordable as AA50 has done its also come one step closer to making the rules much better. Because now if your enemy gets long range aircraft and gains an edge on you, it’s more affordable for you to get the same tech and counter that edge. And it does because if range is 4 and 6 and jumps to 6 and 8 and than you jump your range to 6 and 8, it back to the basic mechanic of 4 and 6 and the game has balance again with regards to tech.
Let’s face it; tech is nothing more than an arms race. Players build tech to get an edge, their enemy builds a tech to counter that edge and builds a tech to surpass that edge than they counter with new tech, etc, etc, etc. All techs are a race for the bigger better weapon…something to give you an edge, something to “end the war” sooner, better, easier, etc, etc.
I love tech, and I love making up tech rules but I am always careful to make keep them just “one step up” from the basic rule for what ever unit it is that you are trying to improve.
One of the best house rules my game group has come up with regarding tech is when/how you can produce it. Round one…no one can try for tech. Round two you can try for tech but all tech is NOT effective immediately, it’s only usable at the start of your next turn. It works along the idea that you can’t produce units out of a complex you built that turn, so you can’t use tech the round you developed it. It works great all the games because its round 3 before the first tech becomes a factor and some techs (like rockets or jets) if they come into play “too late in the war” (as they did historically) its usually too late to utilize them to their fullest potential.
As far as NUKES…we’ve made some cool rules for that too but they are all still in the infant stages of development. But in a nut shell, because there is very little that could/should be done to counter that tech the rules involve prerequisite techs (techs you have to have before you can even try to get nukes) and than each nuke costs a lot, has to be deployed by heavy bombers in a strategic bombing raid and has to hit its target before it can do damage (all rules that are relatively (to the games scale) “historical” and logical). The prerequisite techs make it so its several rounds before nukes can even show up in the game, even if they roll perfect every turn to get all the techs needed for nukes its near the end of the game that they come into play. Also, when they do damage its only 1IPC but its permanent damage to a territory, damage that can’t be repaired and you also have to actually “hit your target”. In other words, bombers have to survive the AA guns with a nuke on board, “attack” with the nuke by rolling a 4 or less and than they do the damage to the territory that permanently reduces their production for that territory. All the counter measures we’ve come up with so far are not things the defender can do to stop you from dropping nukes or lessen the damage but they are counter mechanic measures that make it very costly and timely and chancy to develop and deploy your first nuke. Sure, it’s possible to get them but it’s dangerous and costly to make and deploy them and its and deadly (but not two deadly) to they guy that gets nuked but it’s so rare and late in the game that you get them that it doesn’t “unbalance the game”. imagine if historically if nukes had been developed at the start of the war instead of the end of it, from what I have read about them the idea of a nuke was being looked at from the early 1930 but it was years before it happened. Those mechanics mimic that reality…so they work.
Rockets are another thing we have house rules for, but again, they have built in counter measures that work well with the basic mechanics and they have counter measure techs to offset their “advantage” and they work with real world mechanics and “historical” realities of how they got developed.
All and all…I love tech…so long as it “makes logical gaming”…that keeps in line with “real world mechanics”…sorry no tech that gives you a rust gun to melt away all your tanks, or a death ray that kills all infantry in its path.
Anyway…if you made it through all that garbage I just wrote…I think you can tell I’m a HUGE fan of tech and I love to debate it’s “balance or unbalance” in the game which I DON”T believe “tech does” (in general) but I do agree that SOME techs could/can unbalance the game…3 dice heavy bombers is a prime example of an unbalanced tech rule…but I believe that’s because it didn’t follow real world mechanics or historical stages of bomber development. Bombers didn’t just go from dropping 2 tons of bombs to dropping 40 tons of bombs that some modern day bombers can drop.
Anyway…again…good job on the improvement of some of the techs and tech rules in AA50… THEIR FUN…RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX!!!
I never thought I would enjoy chit chatting on a forum until I ran across ones on the subject of you’re A&A games. I enjoy them so much that I love to debate just about any topic about them, especially rules.
keep up the great thing you've started.
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