Part 1 List of Alpha+ Contributor's comments.

Link up A&A Pacific 1940 and Europe 1940, and you've got Axis & Allies Global 1940.
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Larry
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Part 1 List of Alpha+ Contributor's comments.

Post by Larry » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:12 am

This is Part 1 of a two part list of contributors to the Alpha+ rules presently under development. Each contributor is listed and some or all of their comments are noted under a related category title. The comments are more often then not abbreviated but with the main idea stated.

This document was put together to help me identify trends and capture ideas and general comments. I also refer to it when dealing with various design issues such as Med setup, Strategic Bombing Raids and so on. If you feel that you are miss-quoted, not clearly presented, or have not been presented and you think you should be, or would simply like to change or add material please post below and I’ll try to update your entry. I invite you to also use this document as you deal with these various issues youself. The material covered in this document is drawn from pages 1 thru 49 at the Alpha+//Play test version site.

Thank you,
Larry Harris



Allweneedislove:
Strategic Bombing Raids
I would like it if the game made strategic bombing runs more of a decision, instead of never being attempted.
I believe the 7 reasons for the reduced strategic bombing runs are the following
1. large map makes targets far away from bombers
2. new escort rules
3. escort/interceptor rules favour defending fighters over attacking fighters
4. max damage on air and naval bases is only 6
5. air and naval bases still operate even when damaged
6. built in aaguns to all facilities
7. no need to repair industrial complexes if you are not maxing out of production. this happens often with major industrial complexes.
5 recommendations to make bombing runs slightly more attractive. (see page 17).
My personal recommendation would be to implement 2 and 3. or if that is too drastic then implement 1 and 3.
I am glad that others are agreeing that that something should be done to bring consideration back to strategic bombing runs.
Now tacs have an added benefit, which i think is needed to justify the higher cost than fighters.
Reducing the cost of fighters and strategic bombers would lead to greater air to naval purchase imbalance.
It could help out with increasing bombing (Cap the number of interceptors)
Solution could be correcting the imbalance of interceptors to escorts.
If you bring multiple bombers on a strategic bombing run but the maximum damage that you can inflict is 6 then you are wasting fire power and have potential to get shot down.
Another idea is to have bases repaired at the end of the round. so if you damage the enemy air or naval base they can not take advantage of them the next round.
this idea does not address the imbalance between attacker and defender nor does it encourage bombing of ics but it does bring a much greater reward for the risk.


National Objectives
Introduce the word “Axis”
b. victory for the axis if they control 6 of the 8 victory cities on the pacific board.
c. victory for the axis if they control 8 of the 11 victory cities on the europe board.

Russian/Japanese None-aggression Pact
really like this idea of immediately placing 4 units.
it is in sync with the france liberation rule.
it gets rid of the loop hole of japan attacking just to give germany the ipcs in a moscow capture.
it keeps the units in location of attack.
The 12ipc is a great idea. giving the player the option of what to buy increases strategy. so maybe the following would work.
if the ussr attacks any japanese controlled territory the japanese player immediately places upto 12ipc worth of units in the attacked territory or any adjacent territory. japan can split up the infantry into multiple territories.
if japan attacks any ussr controlled territory the ussr player immediately places upto 12ipc worth of units in the attacked territory or any adjacent territory. ussr can split up the infantry into multiple territories.

Aluroon:
New Scrambling Rules
The change to scrambling broke the European game wide open with regard to new strategies.
The change to scrambling did little to save the British fleet - I think they ended up with one battleship, one cruiser, one destroyer, one transport, and the carrier alive in the Atlantic after G1.
Germany's second turn was largely spent killing off the rest of the fleet and the three fighters that scrambled to protect it - though it cost them a number of aircraft and was probably what doomed Sealion.

Russian/Japanese None-aggression Pact
Japan went after the Russians on turn one - which turned out to be a mistake. He ended up without sufficient forces to kill China - which got massive (20+ infantry and numerous artillery).
I do NOT think that there needs to be further rules governing that conflict.
I would advise that those advocating for such rule changes play the scenario out a few times.
Japan does have enough troops to take out the Chinese without shipping anything else in (except air power from Japan)
In this second Global Alpha game we didn't see any action on the Russian/Jap front, having both seen how it played out last time so poorly for the Japs when they attacked. I don't think that you need to have additional sprouting units over on that side of the board and more special rules.
I really don't like the idea of two tank divisions spawning out of nowhere in Eastern Russia when they get attacked. If you're going to change the pure ICP bonus into a troop bonus, I'd vastly prefer if it was infantry, just from a realism standpoint.

Sealion
Germany invested so much in threatening the United Kingdom they weren't able to mount any kind of credible attack on the Russians.

General Game Balance
One interesting observation though is that with the changes to how the attacks on the Italian fleet plays out Italy now has the potential to get really big really fast.
The Germans, with the removal of Sea Lion as a truly viable option, are not really able to fight both the UK and the Russians.
Italy got very big in this game after taking out Greece.
Germany spent the game focusing on Russia. They built transports on turn one to keep the UK honest and to give them mobility for amphibious landings against Russia (which went horribly). Other than that they poured all their money into tanks for the push and were able to take Moscow on Turn 5.
America spent all its money in the Pacific theater, but was not able to stop Japan.
In the long run I think an 80+ buck America would have crushed the 55 ICP Japan, but because of their superior starting fleet and air power they were able to hold out long enough for Russia to fall.

National Objectives
I'm not sure that 5 ICP is enough to lure the Japanese fleet away from the homeland and/or the East Indies.
I do think that Japan has the potential to get extremely dangerous with the 10 ICP bonus for not attacking. Played a game of Pacific with the new scramble rules after the Global game and even without those extra 20-30 ICP Japan was still able to pull out a victory when waiting until turn 3 to attack

Major and/or Minor ICs
We didn't see any Jap factories built. I don't really see much incentive really since they can only be minors. I'd rather invest in transports and ferry troops from the mainland to where I need them.


Bluelguana:
Taranto
Italy needs to be able to rise to the challenge of giving UK a run for it’s money. A lot of that money is in Africa beyond Egypt. Italy needs to be a guaranteed menace in Africa and the Med, not stalled out on round 1 or 2.

French Navy
Totally agree that the French navy needs to go for the sake of game balance. In fact, it maybe a case where history and balance are on the same side. I would suggest a rule like,
"If Paris falls before French Turn 1, then the French Med fleet is scuttled and removed from the game."

Calvinhobbesliker:
Taranto
For Taranto, how about removing an Italian fighter so only one can scramble? Of course, that still allows the Germans to land planes in North Italy.
Also, keep in mind that all planes in West Germany can reach Z110 or Z111 and land in North Italy. Germans can land in South Italy while foregoing killing the RN. North Italy makes it too easy to do both.
In my current game(without the North Italy Airbase), the UK took Ethiopia, Tobruk, and destroyed Z97(althought it took some luck, as in the last round I had 3 fighters against a destroyer, cruiser, fighter, and 2 transports). However, I was lucky in Tobruk and took it losing only 1 inf.
I think this is a good balance in the Med. UK can go fully for Z97, fully for Z95, or fully for Tobruk, or moderately for 2 of the above(but not both Z95 and Z97, I think).

Set-Up Change
For a better Med, how about adding some British units? Historically, the Alexandria fleet had Battleships, but adding a Battleship to Z98 may be too much. How about switching it for the cruiser? Or perhaps increase the British forces in Egypt/decrease the Italian forces, since now both transports will likely survive.
It's a way to put a 3rd fighter there without it being able to join in an attack with the other 2.
How about you switch Italy's airbase and naval base. That way, it can still scramble a fighter, but German planes can't get there after attacking Z110 or Z111

Major and/or Minor ICs
Is Chinese territory Japan controls at the beginning considered foreign soil for the purpose of Major IC builds?

US Minor ICs
As I've just found out in my game, the US having only minors is problematic when Japan threatens and invasion without declaring war.


General Game Balance
Japan can easily set up to take 6 VCs in the Pacific before the US is at war, since the US's only IC in the Pacific is a minor. I really don't see the point of splitting the US NO AND reducing its production capacity.

Strategic Bombing Raids
I really don't think we should prevent the bomber from attacking. That has immense consequences. For example, that's one less plane that Germany can use to attack the Royal Navy. Also, this leaves just a ftr and Cruiser to attack the UK BB off Singapore. Finally, it takes away one of the US's most effective options for quickly getting active in the war.
No, don't remove naval or airbases. That just makes the UK weaker and the US stronger, as you pointed out. UK already has enough to deal with: it has to choose between delaying Sealion and slowing down Italy.

French Navy
Don't remove the French navy. The UK needs it to survive an Italian counter, forcing Germany to use planes to attack it.

Victory Conditions
I think the VC conditions in the Pacific should be changed to 7. Japan can just use its giant fleet to take Hawaii and Sydney, while the US with only 1 minor IC is ill-fated to respond. Add that to a Sealion attempt, and the allies will have a very difficult time.

Caric067:
Russian/Japanese None-aggression Pact
Arriving "after" a battle and adjacent would make the most historical sense, and accomlish a lot of the goal.
If a rules lawyer like some are, could claim the SZ is not a "terrritory". Obviously written exactly the same for Japan in vice-versa. If japan attacks any ussr controlled territory or fleet…

National Objectives
Does Italy need all of those NO's? If you leave them the units you originally changed them to earlier to come out of game turn 1 with then one of your earlier problems were solved----you feeling like they were not involved or a force at all. Right now they quickly become powerful with little threat to worry about until late game. Just a thought on that.

Strategic Bombing Raids
Interceptors get a defense at 1 vs Bombers
Bombers get to roll their damage even if hit by AA Guns
Escorts are great in theory, and horrible in gameplay design IMO. They are clogging the game, making SBR's obsolete.
Larry, I think you're mis-directed here on this whole notion of air-vs-air for SBR's. If players are using funds on Bombers, they are losing a lot of IPC's on the flip side IN ADDITION to weakening their ground forces situation. You're trying to fix something into a shape that has no substance to begin with. No matter how you alter goo, it will never hold its intended shape. Bombing runs barely are a profitable strategy technique BEFORE the complexities involved in being able to do them now (1.5 IPC gain I believe--- 3.5 avg dam vs 2 IPC risk, with possibly less reward with damage max's).

CHILDREN:
AA Guns
Instead of completely removing the AA gun after the territory has been captured, The AA Gun immediately receives 3 damage points rendering it completely disabled, so if the new owner wants to use it, he or she may repair it for 3 IPCs on their Purchase/ Repair Units Phase. The AA gun would remain inoperable and immobile until repaired.

Strategic Bombing Raids
I'm really digging the SBR Rule with 2 dice, it makes it totally worth the effort.
As for the Interceptors/ Escorts, I'm thinking of creating a sub unit for these because fighters were not designed for this type of combat in the game. So here's my proposal, lets say Strategic Bombers were given another "ability". Each bomber is assigned three tokens representing an Interceptor/ Escort these are specifically for Strategic Bombing Raids or for IC deffence.
It's not merely worth the IPC loss in units when risking Bombers+fighters on a Strategic Bombing Run. the loss for the attacker can be up to 3x the amount than the damage inflicted on the IC, because of this, some players will not engage in Strategic Bombing Runs its just not worth it. 1. Fighters should have 1 extra ability: 2. Resolving Escort/Interceptor combat should be different to avoid losing too many units: (see page 43 for details)

Chompers:
Taranto
Taranto was not attempted by the UK due to the fact that it was too risky.

Set-Up Change
Perhaps a slightly stronger UK defense in London or Egypt might be needed to slow the Euro Axis down a bit?

New Scrambling Rules
Germany's ability to scramble planes from W. Germany to defend any fleet builds it makes G1 to threaten the UK, it make allow them to get away with a carrier + 2 transport build G1 which may, when added together with their newly enhanced air force, make a G2 sea lion more doable.
First game played saw a successful G3 sea lion due to the UK's inability to sink a G1 carrier 2 transport build due to the new scramble rules allowing German planes in West Germany to help protect their newly built fleet. Nothing really new there when viewing the theater in isolation, but given the new victory conditions diverting American spending into the Pacific there's some serious consequences there.

General Game Balance
By J5 their economy was bigger than the US's and remained that way all game.
About 80% of Japan's IPC's were spent on Navy the entire game in order to force the US to spend extremely heavily in the Pacific in order to maintain parity.
Japanese air force allowed them to destroy China and then the Russian infantry while spending minimally on land forces.
MHO it may be very difficult with for the US to ever catch up to Japan navy-wise if Japan invests heavily in points efficient subs early on with a carrier or 2 thrown in the first couple turns as the US can only produce 9 ships a turn until at war.
Note: A few things made it hard to view this particular game as a clear indicator of things to come, however, as there was a UK2 attack on Japan in order to destroy some undefended transports (as my fleet was busy positioning to face the US) which therefore allowed me to mass 1 SZ away from Hawaii on turn J3 with no fear of US reprisal.
I expect the US to fight for Hawaii from here on out and it remains to be seen whether a J3 attack can reliably defeat the Allied fleet that will be sitting there.
The couple extra ground units they (Germans) start off with only make things even worse for the Russians.
It's turn 4 and already the German stack might have the capability to push all the way to 1 space shy of Moscow before the Russians will gain superiority in numbers, and that's with Russian purchases of 9 inf and either a fighter or a tac bomber every Russian turn.
It's looking like turn 10 or so will see Germany/Italy accomplish their 8 VC's. Once again, probably doable OOB but this would've been punished by America long before the 8th VC was obtained.
AFRICA: Italy is a force to be reckoned with.
Losing their African IPC's cripples the UK's ability to divert German resources to defend Europe's coast and effectively gives the Germans a free hand to pursue their push into Russia.
US spending to help this theater out would change the dynamic, of course, but in this new setup its unlikely they'll have enough, if any, forces in the area to help out. In the end, a 30+ IPC Italy is almost inevitable barring blunders on the Axis player's part.

Major and/or Minor ICs
2nd game, still in progress, is seeing a successful German push into Russia. Having the major IC in Berlin already built allows Germany to have an even more considerable force ready for Barbarossa's launch.

US Minor ICs
We're finding that if Japan commits to 100% naval buys straight from turn 1, they can effectively maintain superiority in fleet strength over the US for the entire course of the game, even if the US is also spending 100% on fleet. There is a crucial window of opportunity for the US early in the game when Japan can be forced to divert some of its navy south to protect its transports when it grabs the money islands, however with the Minor IC's in the US now America is unable to bring enough forces to Hawaii by US3 to be able to exploit this.

Taranto
Tarranto, a move I admittedly absolutely hated in OOB, is now a suicide run.

National Objectives
While 100% navy buys will eventually lead to some serious problems for Japan in mainland Asia, it effectively accomplishes what should be Japan's main goal in the Alpha plus setup: tie up US spending so the EuroAxis can win the war.

Victory Conditions
I would recommend based on this (admittedly limited) experience that the VC's should be held for a full turn before an Axis win is declared.

Set-Up Change
Some thought should be given to making the fight for Africa a bit more even, whether in the form of a larger British force there or a smaller Italian one. This will leave Pacific Britain's forces in a position to stay and contest the Pacific, rather than flying to Africa UK 3 or 4 to do damage control. I would also suggest another couple UK infantry in London, and a slightly more substantial starting Russian army (maybe a total of 15-20 extra IPC's in units) as with the extra starting units as well as the huge advantage of having its Berlin major factory right of the bat, Germany has effectively received a 50 or so starting bid. These changes would allow the Allies to hold on a little bit longer, possibly long enough for the Allies to fend off Japan and start helping out in Europe.

cond1024:
Taranto
As is, Taranto is no longer an option

US Minor ICs
Following this logic are ICs upgraded at the moment war is declared?

Strategic Bombing Raids
I like the current interceptor rules, I think they add a level of realism to the game and I have attempted raids with interceptors, so I wouldn't change those at all. I need them for other attacks. I really like the damage system compared to the old system and I don't like the ON/ OFF rule because SBR were not always that effective. A rule change that I think would help bring them back would be to double the dice roll. So if one bomber attacks and rolls a 6 then 12 damage points are applied. This way it would be an equal risk 12 for the bomber vs 12 to the factory.
For SBRs double the dice roll of each attacking bomber and that is the amount of damaged inflicted on the facility.

Daedelus:
National Objectives
Why not add Russia to this list as well?
When the Soviet Union becomes at War with Japan
4. Collect 10 IPCs, immediately but only once, if Japan Declares war on the Soviet Union.
When Japan becomes at War with the Soviet Union.
2. Collect 10 IPCs immediately, but only once, if the Soviet Union declares war on Japan.

Russian/Japanese None-aggression Pact
Why not allow the following to happen:
When the Soviet Union becomes at War with Japan
4. Place 10 IPCs worth of units, immediately but only once, if Japan Declares war on the Soviet Union anywhere on Soviet controlled home soil. This would prevent the case where Japan would attack at the last minute to give the Germans those additional IPCs, also it would allow the USSR to defend a bit better where Japan was actually attacking them (they could buy another AA gun). It could even allow the USSR to defend against the Germans.
I like the "buy what you want" scheme! It makes sense because this is supposed to penalize the attacker. If it was always "recieve 4 infantry (or whatever) the attacker could plan for them and it really wouldn't be much of an advantage!

Strategic Bombing Raids
Encourage more bombing raids. 2 IPCs to repair will do it. 3 to repair might see everyone try to bombing raids all the time, as much as they can.

Sealion
BEING IN SZ 112 ALLOWS Germany the option of attacking the U.K. from SZ 109 OR 110. Having airbases that allow SCRAMBLE to the north sea (etc) Allows Germany to protect it's fleet, making it closer to the U.K. and limiting any defense of the U.K.

Dave:
New Scrambling Rules
I like that airbases next to water now have uniform rules. I always thought it was odd that a coastal airbase couldn't scramble fighters and tactical bombers.

Strategic Bombing Raids
Why do escorting fighters attack at 1, while defending interceptor fighters defend at 2? This places a huge advantage to the defender vs if you used the base attack (3) and defense values (4) of the fighters involved.
I seldom see strategic bombing done on the major (read: important) complexes unless there are no defending fighters.
Since Sealion appears to be a much, much harder thing to do, it would nice if Germany had the option of using convoy raids with subs and strategic bombing raids on London to keep them relatively weak.
Currently, it just isn't worth doing a bombing run when your defending opponent's interceptors have twice the odds of hitting as escort fighters AND your strategic bomber still has to survive the facilities AA gun.
I think the built in AA gun is supposed to be reflected in their current price.
I think increasing the cost of removing a SBR damage token to 2 ipc will likely be enough to encourage more strategic bombing. I would shudder to think what increasing the cost to remove damage tokens to 3 ipcs would do to UK Europe alone.
I lean more towards keeping the airbase in N. Italy. If Italy has both airbases at the onset of the game, they have a chance of keeping both of their fleets if the UK attacks them. To do this, Germany would need to max reinforce both of the Italian airbases with four planes. If the Germans do this, it reduces their attacking options on the UK fleet scattered around the UK and Scotland.
I really don't see why any complex or facility should be able to send up an unlimited number of interceptors. Both scrambling and intercepting should be a feature requiring an airbase. Also, since scrambling is limited to three fighters, shouldn't intercepting be limited to three also?

Gibraltar
I SAY TOUGH!! If it is that important for the Axis players to neutralize Gibraltar.
Of course, the more conventional way to stop the US from using the base is for the Italians to buy a strategic bomber or two and SBR the UK naval base in Gibraltar on its turn. Then, the naval base will be inoperable for the US turn even though the UK player can repair it.
I think changing the interceptors to a one defense roll and incapacitating naval and air bases would be a good start. These would make SBRs viable, but not an overpowering option.

Russian/Japanese None-aggression Pact
Russia starts the game with 22 inf on the German front and 18 on the Japanese front? That seems like a disproportionately high number of infantry in the far east.+
Instead of placing the 18 Russian infantry in the Soviet far eastern front and then upping the Japanese units in Manchuria and Korea in order to counter act them, just "silhouette" them as you do with the neutrals. The advantage of doing it this way is that if Japan never attacks the far eastern Russian territories, all 18 inf don't eventually show up to battle the Germans. Also, Japan can leave Manchuria and Korea empty with out worrying about a Russian attack into those territories.

Taranto
To defend the Italian fleet in sz 95, the Italians need to scramble six planes in defense. To do that, two German planes have to land in S. Italy. If the Germans land two planes there, it takes away from attacking the UK fleet in sz 109, 110 or sz 111. Particularly in zones 109 and 110 since the UK can scramble three fighters in defense of one of those sea zones. To attack those, the Germans would need pretty overwhelming forces to keep the UK scramble fighters at bay.
If we leave the AB on North Italy, German planes can still attack 110 and 11 and land there and then defend Italy's fleet.



Bubone:
National Objectives
In the alpha+ set up I liked the new pacific situation, I forsee a lot of action with so many NO at stake (USA must play in the pacific).

Sealion
I fear that the new UK fleet in z98, the new airforce in Malta e Gibraltar wll negate even the remote possibilty of a Sealion.
UK will sunk ervery german flet in z112, CV+CC+DD+tat+4fighter; and with the actual scrumble rule probably not all british ship around british isles will be sunk in G1.
And if the german manage to save the fleet (I don't see how, by the way), Uk have two additional fighters for home defense (anzac and gibraltar).

Gibraltar
why so much ado about this little and useless piece of land.
There are no historic reason to have an airbase and a navel base, given the actual rules.
Even before the norvegian nightmare, axis players could't sleep well for the US fleet at gibraltar on turn 4 (plase don't say that Italy can keep in, no way, the US have plenty of money, ships and planes to taking it whatever the italians do), so in turn 5 this fleet will menace:
- northern Italy (major IC)
- southern Italy (capital)
- italian navy (unless it is near egypt)
- normandy (minor IC)
- western germany (major IC, and before Berlin was upgraded, this was a fatal blow to axis)
- denmark (acces to Baltic sea and berlin)
- Norway (10 ipc swap, and before the new rules, a prerequisite for a major US IC in europe)
Don't you think that is to much for a place that played virtually no role in WWII?

Eagle:
National Objectives
This must be a typo. If the Axis control one Sovjet territory, then Sovjet will not get this Lend/Lease NO ?

Enigma67:
Strategic Bombing Raids
Propose that all fighters in an SBRs flight path have the option of intercepting.
Each time a SBR flies over an enemy territory, fighters there may declare that they scramble to intercept.
The lack of SBRs has me interested. Here's my two cents. The biggest obsticle to my mind is the two to one advantage of interceptor to escort.

Frank T:
Victory Conditions
The axis victory conditions are much easier to achieve now and they can force the allies to react them. This is a good thing. The only problem is that it is very hard to actually take down the axis captials in Europe and Pacific with the new rules while making sure as the allies the axis are not allowed to get their needed victory cities on either side of the map.

Multinational Attack
I think if you gave the allies a rule where they were allowed once per game to conduct a multinational attack on one province or as an amphibious assault it would add more to the game.
It would not take away from the new position the axis have where they can force the allies to react to them. Yet it would make it much more possible that while reacting to the axis in both sides of the map the allies could muster a team game plan to win one of the captials and hold it and from there causing a possible consession.
It would be like planning a D Day Operation with all the allies players and they could only manage to plan one once per game.

General Game Balance
Beef up Russia a tad because they can really get run over by Germany now, especially with US spending heavy in Pacific and the German Airforce being stronger.

Funcioneta:
Russian/Japanese None-aggression Pact
The easiest solution for the non-agression rule is making pay the country that declares war on the other first.
Make them pay at least 20 IPCs to the bank.
10 IPCs, any case, is too few
China needs to be boosted a bit more, because now they'll lose the much needed soviet aid.

Chinese Movement Restrictions
Delete the restrictions of movement for China.
T's silly that China cannot reopen the Burma Road just because they cannot take Japan-held India.

Gamerman01:
Sicilian Airbase
Oh - airbase in Sicily? I don't know. Was there anything like that there historically in 1940?

Malta
I do vote for the airbase in Malta as opposed to the naval base.
Agree another airbase on Malta would be a boon to Italy.... I think it's awfully hard to replicate what Malta was in WWII without adding any new rules.
Italy already has a good reason to take Malta (take away an eligible landing space)

National Objectives
Russian NO - if the Reds can't get the 5 just from losing a single territory to the Axis.... you might as well delete the NO.

Gibraltar
Way too powerful. Maybe a limit on occupying units is in order? The scrambling rule change makes it that much harder to wrest away from the Allies.

Neutral Blocks
Axis need a viable way to take Spain and get to Gibraltar by land.

Garantua:
Neutral Blocks
What's it going to take to make Argentina Pro-Axis?

GTG21:
National Objectives
would respectfully suggest (if only for the sake of avoiding having to clarify the language later) changing the second sentence of the NO to read:
"The Atlantic and Mediterranean are composed of sea zones 66 thru 70, 82 thru 99, 101 thru 115, and 116 thru 127."
This of course assumes the hybrid SZ 66 is considered part of the South Atlantic for purposes of this NO.
Or, if you prefer to keep it exclusionary in style, perhaps revise to include:
"This represents all the sea zones on the Europe map with the following exceptions: The Baltic Sea (113 -114 -115). The Black Sea (100). The Caspian Sea. The Red Sea and Indian Ocean (71 thru 81). And the far eastern Pacific (64 -65). All sea zones appearing on the Pacific map are also excluded from this National Objective."

Infrastructure:
Gibraltar
Add an AA and an inf and remove the naval base. This might not be ideal, but it is too strong right now.

AA Guns
I think making aa guns 5 IPC's is definitely needed now. If they are going to disapear at the new rate they will need to be replaced often

New Scrambling Rules
Once ftrs have committed to a scramble battle they are committed to battle end.
If a seazone has an enemy's sub(s) in it and a person ignores them to do an amphibious assault, but then the defender scrambles ftrs to the seazone, do the subs get to fight?

General Game Balance
Have you seen what china becomes if ignored? I tried your strat with Japan only once, I won't do it again...
Japan needs to make a serious commitment to china if it is going to completely take them out.

Russian/Japanese None-aggression Pact
How about putting a time limit on the Russio-Japanese thing. Maybe turn 4?
The time rule falls into place, because it is already part of the game. The US does what it wants starting turn 4 and gains it's NOs even if Japan hasn't attacked a major power. If that is fair, then having any other major power treaty last forever seems wrong. As of turn 4 / 1942? the world should become a free for all for all Major Powers!
I just think that once America enters the war and Russia is at war with Germany, that America could stage against Japan in Russia. Japan should be able to try to stop that with a turn 4 attack, before America's turn, to secure that coast, especially if it seems like america is planning such a thing... America will already have a huge stack of infantry from which to stage if chosen...

Strategic Bombing Raids
I like kungfujew's idea coupled with 'scramble' limits;
bombing raids:
phase 1: aa-guns fire at all air. hits are repulsed from combat (do not get to attack).
phase 2: defending player may scramble up to 3 ftrs to defend.
phase 3: combat occurs between non-repulsed attackers and scrambled aircraft. This combat has all ftrs firing on 1's. Casulaties as usual.
phase 4 : bomb's away!
What if SBRs became;
1:roll at a 2 for each intercepting ftr above the number of escorts and bombers, a hit destroys a bomber.
2:roll a 1 for each attacking bomber that is left (aa fire)
i.e. germany SBRs britian with 1ftrs and 2bombs, Britian intercepts with 4ftrs. (1)Britian rolls a 2 that can hit a bomb, and then (2) rolls at 1 for any remaining bombers for aa fire.
i.e.2. britian SBRs germany with 3ftrs and 1bomb, germany scrambles 4 ftrs. (1) germany gets 0 shots at a 2 at the bomb but (2) gets a shot at 1 for aa fire.
At this point I like the 2ipc repair with a d6 raid. I would like to see a major that takes 20 damage reduced to a minor...

Imperious leader:
Neutral Blocks
Pay 5 IPC per neutral per IPC ( 2 IPC neutral costs 10 IPC) Roll one die each turn per neutral success on 6. If the neutral is pro- toward your side the roll is 5-6. Only one roll per turn per neutral and like techs you get a free roll each turn after you pay.
Also, neutrals have realistic forces, not just infantry.

National Objectives
Get rid of the NO's that brush off the fact of lend lease by replacing it with just giving more money for no UK or US units occupying any Soviet areas.
The US player can send income to Russia and this money must buy non infantry units and the limit per turn is 10 IPC or some fixed amount.
The axis can reduce this amount by the number of subs they have on the map outside of Baltic,Medd, and Black sea at the rate of 2 IPC per sub or 1 per sub.

Strategic Bombing Raids
Id rather you just roll 2 dice and if 12 result, bomber destroyed and you just roll for bombers and fighter bombers. Fighters move too fast.
Fighter-Bombers cause 1 IPC of damage per in SBR
Bombers cause 2 IPC of damage per in SBR
Heavy Bombers cause 3 IPC of damage per in SBR
To do this units have to go up in price: FB now cost 12
Bombers now cost 14-15
Also, AA guns roll out and 5-6 means plane just cant perform mission, no more destroyed planes.
AA rolls normally but roll 2 dice, two ones plane destroyed, two sixes, plane returns to base and does not perform mission. Any other result means no effect.
All planes roll out individually.
If SBR occurs the combat values should be:
Attacker:
Bombers 1 ( SBR capable)
Tactical Bombers 1 ( SBR capable)
Fighters 2 ( escorts)
Defender:
Fighters 3 ( interceptors)
No other units can defend and only one round of air combat.
If SBR damage results increase then either the cost of Bombers and Fighter-Bombers must go up or the defending interceptors need some punch.

Jak o’the Shadows:
New Scrambling Rules
The UK fleet, well parts of it, has survived in each game so far. That scramble rule can take quite a bite out of the German air power.

General Game Balance
Even with Alpha, Japan needs to drop alot of units into china to be able to take it out. And it keeps coming back!
Well, as long as the US is building a 50/50 split in Global Japan has a hard time eliminating China completely.

Jeffdestroyer:
Strategic Bombing Raids
With the current interceptor rules, this is an expensive operation.
The defender has some financial costs to repair, but he also has a delay in production.
SBR Berlin or London would have a strategic benefit prior to any tactical attack.


Kcdzim:
Strategic Bombing Raids
I think if escorts are shot at there's still no reason to conducts SBRs.
Why not change the Strategic bomber to a unit that can ONLY do strategic bombing runs? This addresses another common complaint of many players - The Strategic Bomber's actual role (especially with the new Tactical Bomber).
Rather than doubling cost of damage or adding to a total, just have STBs roll two dice on an SBR (not combat where it is far too overpowered). Doubling cost or the roll is effectively adding another die roll but slightly less likely to get a full 12 damage, which takes italy, india, etc out of the game too easily.
0 damage for a major (acts as a minor until 7 damage is reached, then shut down until repaired to 6 or less damage as a minor or 0 damage to get it back to a major)
3 for a minor, shuts down immediately
3 for a Naval or air base, shuts down immediately
That way it's possible to Italy to sustain SOME pain and not be immediately taken out of the game, but it's also REALLY important to force UK/Germany/Russia to repair their installations.
They have no defensive value. They cannot be selected as casualties unless there's nothing left (just like transports). Up range to 7. And their damage is a d6+2.
Reduce their cost to reflect this reduction in use. Make them cost enough that they are worth it for their different role that is a distinctly different war making method - destroying industry and installations.
Up the range of Tactical Bombers to 5. Another reason I suggest this is because if tech is used, Jet Fighters completely replace Tactical Bombers.
Tacs can bridge and be used for SBRs but would cost more to do less (but are more useful in other ways) and SBs would be more destructive. Similar to the real war planes, Germany and Italy might use their medium bombers for strategic campaigns, but they were not nearly as effective as dedicated high altitude bombers.

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