Balance Issues?

If you're looking for a quick or introductory game of Axis & Allies this is the one. It also has a very special collection of never before seen plastic units.
Just to mention a few: German Tiger tank, Russian IS2 tank, US P40 Warhawk, German FW-190 Folkwolf, Japanese Kongo class battleship and the HMS Hood, and oh yeah... the German He-111 Heinkel bomber.
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Re: Balance Issues?

Post by markus » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:01 pm

Ladies and gentlemen,
i don´t believe that AA1941 is unbalanced with the stock-rules.
After precisely 20 played games it stands in my statistics 11:9 for the Axis powers. The +1 advantage for the Axis powers does not count in my oppinion, because the most victory´s where close.

Development of the games:
Axis 0:1 Allies
Axis 1:1 Allies
Axis 1:2 Allies
Axis 2:2 Allies
Axis 2:3 Allies
Axis 3:3 Allies
Axis 3:4 Allies
Axis 3:5 Allies
Axis 4:5 Allies
Axis 4:6 Allies
Axis 5:6 Allies
Axis 6:6 Allies
Axis 7:6 Allies
Axis 7:7 Allies
Axis 7:8 Allies
Axis 8:8 Allies
Axis 8:9 Allies
Axis 9:9 Allies
Axis 10:9 Allies
Axis 11:9 Allies

My personal Score in this games is 12 victorys and 8 lost games.

A more detailed list is available via Excel.

On account of the really massive economic restrictions a maybe forgotten strategy wins in AA1941 immense meaning: Headword "Infantry-push-mechanic".
Normally no nation reach enough economic strenght to bring out the full possible number of unit´s in a game. And if yes, this nation has more then one industry-complex.
None of the games has been won, as soon they player´s soaked off from this strategy. Some victories were close, some not. The victory was always easy, as soon the opponent tried to buy him out of the round with "offensive material". Then the Infantrie in the front and in the depth were simply absent. Because they were not produced.

Russia buys no Infantry?
If not, you are dead then in the next round, all the same what was bought then.

Germany buys no Infantry?
After the first round it can be compensed, but after that ==> immediate dead.

Great Britain buys no Infantry?
In Round two there will be some German soldier´s in London. Every time.
Buying 3 Infantry in Round one in London is enough, BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT! (Or kill every single GER ship :D ).

Japan buys no Infantry?
Impossible to come fast enough forward in Asia. A obvious tank-push will be wiped out everytime by a serious oponent. Not enough Infantry mean´s for Japan immediate economic dead.

U.S. buys no Infantry?
At the beginning: who care´s? But later on: with which force´s do you want to invade europe or counterattack in Asia? Regulary the U.S. where the 2nd target of Axis, after victory over RUS.

So i think infantry is the purchase option nummero uno.

Dead-Zone-Management is, because of the very close map, in my eyes not so important than in other versions of Axis & Allies. You have to watch out for them and create them, but the options to outflank them are rare.

The factor "luck" is very strong in AA1941, but can be minimized (but not taken out) with a intelligent purchase strategy. My experience so far is, that offensive-unit´s (every unit except infantry and transport is a offensive-unit) should be buyed only when the opponent buys not enough infantry.

I haven´t played games with the new rules so far and i think my playgroup don´t want to change rules so fast (the game is just a half year available). But i think the changes will favour the allies significantly now. But i also think 20 games are not enough to find out the balancing of AA1941.
I´m very interested in experiences from other players and looking forward for some more post´s ;-)

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Re: Balance Issues?

Post by pmorzinski » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:59 am

OK, played once with the +1dest, +3inf, +1inf. Much better. The Russian first turn attack on Ukraine was a complete disaster and resulted in Germany capturing Caucasus on turn 1, and securing Caucasus on turn 3 or 4, without that the Allies would have won. The Japanese were just barely able to ride to Germany's aid in time. Every single territory in Europe (except Germany itself) was in Allied hands at some point in time. For a couple of turns it looked like Germany was going down but it didn't quite happen. It was so close it took six hours.

My only complaint is, this game went the same as the other versions. Japan racing to saving Germany -> same old same old. I really like that the game is simper and faster, and do not mind the increased role of luck. But what about changing it up a bit to make the game play out differently? What with Japan being so close to Russia (especially the secret passage from the South China Sea to Stalingrad) I am going try rebalancing by weakening Japan instead of by strengthening Russia. Hopefully this will result in U.K. racing to save Russia from the south, or the Japanese conquest of India taking much longer.

What about this: Remove the Japanese tank, and also remove one Japanese infantry from ALL THREE of the Japanese east Asian territories? Yes, I know this will make Japan's like very difficult. That's the point.


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Re: Balance Issues?

Post by KimRYoung » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:20 pm


We just finished 3 games with all the new changes. Even with the changes the Axis won all three. The first game we even forgot all the Japanese ships in SZ 46 (carrier, fighter, transport, and destroyer) yet the Axis still won with little problem!

Russia simply cannot stop, or even reasonably delay the Germans. Every game the UK fleet is crushed, Egypt always falls and the Americans are always too late to make any difference. Only one game was reasonably close with the British losing a near run attack on the German transport fleet just prior to the invasion of London. Once that failed, Germany took London and the Americans failed in their bid to recapture.

The additional troops for the allies make it about one or more turns longer for the Axis to tilt the balance beyond the point of no return, but we don’t see enough to make a difference.

We consider our group to be experienced A&A players going back to the original game, but we are perplexed as to any sound allied strategy that yields a fair fight.

Our take is the extra Russian infantry still does not allow the Russians any viable counter attack against the Germans. With only a single tank, you can ill afford to send it into an attack only to see it killed, and the lone fighter provides the only offense more than a 1 to hit from the infantry.

We discussed the possibility of Russia having another fighter to give them more offensive options.

One strange anomaly is the Russo-Japanese Non-aggression pact when the Americans hit the Japanese fleet off Japan then landed bombers in Siberia. The Japanese had forces in Manchuria to strike at them, yet since Russia had not fallen were not allowed to go after the Americans in Russian territory. Somehow this did not seem right, so we allowed Japan to attack non-Russian forces in their territory.

Right now our group thinks the Russians need either a fighter or tank (even if less infantry) to give them some offensive counter attack capability. Otherwise the Russians can only sit back and wait to get destroyed.

We'll keep playing and look for some balance


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Re: Balance Issues?

Post by pmorzinski » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:12 pm

Kim, weird what you said about a Russian fighter. Earlier today I was also thinking it would make a world of difference if they had one more fighter. I also agree with your comment about the Americans taking too long to arrive across the Atlantic. Notice that due to how the sea zones are drawn, any warships the Americans build on turn 1 are too far away to defend British turn 2 newly-built ships, -- AND -- German fighters in Western Europe can reach any new British ships, and if the German bomber is stationed in Western Europe it can reach the American transport staging area off the coast of Eastern Canada. On the other hand, I'm sure this is deliberate, the Germans can ill afford early British and American invasions, and they start with only two infantry in Western Europe. It is a difficult balance. And the Germans often need those planes desperately in Russia, an elegant (and painful?) trade-off.

BTW, which German transport fleet are you talking about conquering England? On which turn does Germany build these transports?

Anyway. Played one game with my reign-in-the-Japanese mod. -1 Jap tank. -1 Jap infantry in ALL THREE mainland territories. This slowed down the Japanese a lot. Playing U.K. was more fun, they kept their high income much longer, and they were able to help out Russia a little from south Asia. Playing Japan was a lot tougher, but I still needed two more Japanese control markers than what comes in the game. The allies won, but just barely. A bit of luck was involved. The Russians did well in their first turn attacks on Ukraine and West Russia. The German sub attacking the British destroyer & transport off the coast of Eastern Canada went straight to the bottom. Several turns in, Germany just barely captured Russia, sacrificing two fighters, while the Americans encircled Germany. Soon afterwards, with the Japanese closing in on Eastern Europe with tough-to-beat stacks of infantry and planes, and realizing that Germany would be rescued soon, the Americans did a for-the-game assault on Germany, despite odds that were clearly not in their favor, and the defending German infantry hardly hit anything, leaving a large stack of American with plenty of cash. Japan made a go of it for a few more turns but the outcome quickly became clear.


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Re: Balance Issues?

Post by Berliner_Blut » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:08 pm

What about removing one fighter from Japan and one from Western Europe?
This reduces Axis firepower a lot.
I don't like the idea of placing more and more Allied Infantry in Asia till the game is balanced. This is slowing down the game (lastone took about 5 ours with nothing really happening!!!)and destroys what made it so interesting:
The short playing time and the dynamic gameplay. I also dont like the non aggression-pact-rule for the same cause!

So my personal house rules are: add 2 Sov. Inf to Russia; 1 US-destroyer to SZ 11, 1 US-Infantry to NW-China, remove 1 Ger. Fighter from Western Europe; remove 1 Jap fighter from japan.
I'm also thinking about taking one german inf out of Germany (Also because I think the game is set in the first days of Dezember 1941 when the german generals still hoped for a successfull Blitzkrieg against sovietunion by throwing all they had to the east.)
One more Inf for China or Australia could also slow down the Japanese expansion but as said: i think its better to remove axis-elite-units like fighters than puting more allied Infantry on the board.

By the Way I think the US-Player should only build air units, everything else takes too long!

sorry about any mistakes in my language (from Germany)

keep on trying please and post! I still hope for an official balancing that makes the game real fun again!!!

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Re: Balance Issues?

Post by KimRYoung » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:36 pm


In the one game the Germans after knocking out Russia built 6 transports, a carrier, a destroyer with their Battleship. UK hit this with a Bomber and 5 fighters and took out all but the battleship. This allowed the Germans to strike London with 12 ground units and their planes to capture London. Had the British sunk the transports, the Americans were a couple turns away with 3 transports to hit Europe.

We're going to try some more games with the current proposed unit additions looking for some variable Allied Strategy. We do suggest the the Non-Aggression pact be modified to state: "until either Germany or Russia is captured by an enemy power OR Non-Russian allied units move into original Russian territory, or Russian units move into or through China or the Middle East.

This is to stop the strange situation where the Russians could be fighting Japan in China, but neither could attack the others territory, or the Russians moving through the Middle east to India to fight Japan but not be allowed to attack each others territory.

I like the rule, but it does need clarification.


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Re: Balance Issues?

Post by Krieghund » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:55 pm

KimRYoung wrote:This is to stop the strange situation where the Russians could be fighting Japan in China, but neither could attack the others territory, or the Russians moving through the Middle east to India to fight Japan but not be allowed to attack each others territory.
I'm not sure what the problem is here. They're not allowed to attack territories that are controlled by each other, not those that contain each others' units. If there are Soviet units in China or India, Japan can attack them as long as the territory is not controlled by the USSR.
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Re: Balance Issues?

Post by pmorzinski » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:02 pm

You wrote: "In the one game the Germans after knocking out Russia built 6 transports, a carrier, a destroyer with their Battleship" Hmmm. Didn't the U.S. have a carrier, three fighters, a bomber, and maybe a couple of destroyers in and around Britain by the end of turn 3 ? I have taken to relocating the Pacific fleet to Britain via SZ 19 and SZ 13 since the Germans have so much luftwaffe and the Brits can't build Atlantic ships safely for the first two turns. The Germans would never be able to pull that off unless they built 2 carriers and a fourth fighter all in one turn.

Here's another option: Add an industrial complex to Eastern Canada. That would give the Brits a safer place to build some navy sooner.

I s'pose I will try the non-aggression pact. I just don't like forcing rules like that. But granted, it will help Russia more than it helps Japan.


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