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Andrew
user 3078346
Renton, WA
Post #: 136
A Power by Power breakdown:
Beginning Income for Central Powers = 77
Beginning Income for Entente = 113

Germany: Starts at 35, up 2 for Belgium, loss of 3 in Africa (eventually) = 34 “Germany should not be able to push farther in than Poland into Russia and one territory into France; contesting both.”

Austria: Starts at 26, up 12 for Albania, Serbia, Romania and Ukraine, no losses = 38 “Austria probably can push into Russia and contest Moscow but probably can not take it. Austria also should be able to contest Venice.”

Ottoman: Starts at 16, up 3 for Bulgaria, loss of 4 for Mesopotamia and Trans-Jordan = 15 “Cannot advance anywhere though may be able to contest Sevastopol with the British defending.”

Russia: Starts at 25, up none, loss of 9 as long as Moscow is not contested = 16 “Moscow should be safe till at least Turn 6 and will not fall if the Russians fall back from defending Poland if the Austrians are too tough.”

France: Starts at 24, loss of 2 contested against Germany, up 4 for Portugal and two German territories in Africa = 26 “France can easily hold against a German attack especially with 50 US and UK troops landing in Picardy by Turn 8.”

Britain: Starts at 30, loss of 2 in Africa early but up 1 eventually in same area, up 3 one for Africa and two for Persia with another possible one for Arabia = 33-34 “With a complete focus on the Ottomans the British should be able to at least contest Sevastopol, Trans-Jordon and Mesopotamia and due to the money imbalance (33 vs 15) and complete lack of German or Austrian reinforcements be able to take Ottoman.”

Italy: Starts at 14, loss of 2 for Venice contested, up none = 14 “Weak but unless Austria goes all out for it can hold the entire game. If Austria goes all out Russia will never fall so it is break even.”

USA: Starts at 20, no losses, no gains = 20 “The US simply reinforces France and tilts the game to the Entente.”

Middle Game Income for Central Powers = 87
Middle Game Income for Entente = 109

Even if the Central Powers can contest Moscow that still gives the Entente 103.

After the middle game and moving on to the end game at this point even if Russia falls that is a loss of income for the Entente of 16 (or 10) and with the loss of the Ottomans the Central Powers lose 15 so again at least a $10-$11 advantage to the Entente.



Erik S
user 9748771
Group Organizer
West Linn, OR
Post #: 60
I agree with what you have said Andrew. If Austria focuses only on Italy and leaves a buffer against Russia on the east , she is still hard presses to take to Rome before turn 4. What do you think of these house rules:on turn one roll a die to see if Italy stays with the entente or joins the cp (as you may know Italy really started the war on the cp side and switched in 1915). If she stays with the entente then only Austrian troops may enter Italian controlled areas and no Italian ally may come to Italy's aid until turn 4 . In Africa Italy may only attack neutrals. Also only in India only Infantry units may be built. I think this would balance the game.
Kyle E.
user 12644962
West Linn, OR
Post #: 34
Thanks Andrew. I'm curious, do you have any ideas (house rules/changes) you would propose to make the game more balanced and potentially more fun? We are considering house rules for our next game and seeing as you have play tested it I would love to get your input.
Andrew
user 3078346
Renton, WA
Post #: 137
I am not crazy about a die roll to see if Italy joins the Entente or the Central Powers. It is too drastic a change. Italy may only have $14 of income but it also has $84 worth of land troops and a Battleship and Cruiser in the Mediterranean.

Adding $14 to the Central Powers and removing it from the Entente makes it 91 vs 99 to start the game and a middle game of 101 vs 95. Now the Central Powers has more money just from what they easily should be able to accomplish even without those extra Italian troops.

Add in the Italian troops and the starting firepower goes from 684 vs 649 in favor of the Entente to 733 to 600 in favor of the Central Powers and with 46 of that being USA troops it is 733 to 554; an overwhelming difference. Austria would be able to go all out at Russia and Italy and Germany would roll over France. The game would be completely lopsided and that is not counting the Med now being up for grabs.

The entire game would come down to the starting roll; a 1, 2 or 3 and the Entente wins with a 4, 5 or 6 the Central Powers win. Not my idea of fun.

What might be a simple yet far reaching House Rule that would work is just limiting India to 4 ground units; the value of India.

The one advantage the Central Powers have is that The Ottoman Empire is the only Power capable of investing units into the Far East. By allowing the British to put unlimited units into India you not only take away that advantage but you doom The Ottomans. If you limited India to 4 units it would have these consequences:
a) Ottoman could not fall unless there was an amphibious attack upon it.
b) Ottoman would be able to put pressure on Africa and India.
c) The fall of Russia would have far more drastic consequences as the Fall of The Ottoman Empire would not be able to counteract it.

Basically Britain would now have to figure out how to either put pressure on Germany, or save Russia or save the Far East all the way from England. The Entente would have an advantage of money as long as Russia held but a disadvantage in position and if Russia falls and Germany or Ottoman is not weak then the Central Powers will most likely win.

I see that one House Rule as making the game much more even and opening up a variety of strategies for the Entente to have to try and use to try and win.

Just my two cents.
Kyle E.
user 12644962
West Linn, OR
Post #: 35
Of the ideas I have heard so far, limiting India's production seems to make the most sense. It's easy and also consistent with earlier AA games where an IC in India has limited production. The more difficult question is where to limit it. 4 a turn means India can't threaten the Ottomans and is pretty limited if it wants to help Russia. The excess resources in my opinion will have significantly less impact on the game since moving units out of London requires transports and if you try to move them within two spaces of Berlin you will have a one in six chance of losing you transport with all it's cargo (assuming the land territory is still owned by Germany).

Maybe 4 is the right number to limit it to but maybe it's more. My guess is Mr. Harris is working feverishly to balance this game and that India is the focus of his efforts. We'll see.
Erik S
user 9748771
Group Organizer
West Linn, OR
Post #: 61
Thanks for the input guys. Andrew you are right about Italy and India. Dennis suggested we limit India to 8 units Max ( 7 infantry and 1 artillery) . I also like Switzerland being worth 4 Ipcs and her units defend on 4 or less. Don't make her impassable, but make her string enough to make someone think twice about attacking there. As you may know Switzerland is heavily defended and all males of service age, must be in the military. 1 Ipc for Switzerland is silly, 4 is much better IMHO.
Andrew
user 3078346
Renton, WA
Post #: 138
So in the Tacoma group last night we had enough people for two Axis and Allies 1914 games. I was Russia and USA at our table. At the other table the Central Powers won handily and the Entente won easily at our table. Because of this there was a general disagreement as to which side had the advantage. I still contend the Allies have the advantage and it was only due to poor Russian play that the Allies lost at the other table. The Russian Revolution occurred on Turn 4 which doomed the Allies and frankly just should not happen that early in the game.

At our table Russia was never threatened as the Austrians and Germans went for an Italian kill and when it failed they conceded. The Ottomans were locked in conflict in Mesopotamia, Africa was 90% in Allied hands, France and Russia were completely secure, while the Italians only had a contested Rome remaining but were holding against dwindling German troops and the US was preparing to land troops onto the Continent. The game was surely over with an easy Allied victory.

One interesting note is we discovered we were playing the minor powers mobilization rules incorrectly, troops only appear at Capitols of Minor Powers it turns out, and that really opened up Africa tremendously for a land grab for both sides. Overall I think this actually makes things worse for the Central Powers as they have little to no way to hold on to Africa unless The Ottomans can push into Egypt.
Andrew
user 3078346
Renton, WA
Post #: 139
Assuming the Allies do have the advantage the issue is really how much to limit India. I think 4, 6 or 8 are all reasonable options and each changes the game significantly. One thing that our play showed was that the Ottomans can do a decent job against the British in the short run. The Ottomans actually pushed into Egypt temporarily and held (contested) at Mesopotamia for quite a while. Not sure how long they could have held due to the early concession but it looked to me like at least Turn 5-6 before the Brits could have pushed into and contested Ankara; which means depending how much you limit India it drastically changes the game outcomes and overall strategy.

With an unlimited India The Ottomans start with $16 and 29 troops in theater and should have about $16-$22 in the early game (+3 Bulgaria, +3 Arabia and Egypt) but should level out at $17 (-3 Mesopotamia, -2 Egypt). The British start with $30 and 15 troops in theater and can easily get up to $36-$37 (+2 Persia and +4-5 in Africa) which gives them on average an $18 advantage. Therefore about 6 troops a Turn or 4 Turns to catch up to The Ottomans since The Ottomans get free Bulgarian troops too. So the Ottomans are dropping in 6 per Turn while the British are dropping in 12 per Turn. Therefore if you limit the British to 6 or less for India they can NEVER catch up; 8 troops allows a very slow gain.

So the question is how much do you want to force the Allies to reinforce the Middle East by using transports. The more you limit India the more you force France, Italy, the UK and the USA to deliver reinforcements to Egypt as the Allies cannot allow Africa to fall to The Ottomans. Since the Allies have to make up a 20 troop disadvantage even 8 troops a Turn means they have to send some troops to Egypt to reinforce it; 6 a Turn means they are only breaking even, 4 a Turn and they are falling behind. Of course the monies can be redirected by Britain but to where? Reinforce Karelia via a schuck-schuck? Drop troops into Belgium or Picardy? Either way it is a more costly and less effective method than stacking in India.

The one problem I see in limiting the British too much in India is The Ottomans can easily take Egypt and actually threaten India. Since the Central Powers already have the advantage in threatening Russia, which is only counterattacked by the threat against The Ottomans, removing that threat and adding in the potential loss of India or Africa I think might be too much for the Allies to be able to overcome. My gut tells me 8 is a good number. Not so much that the British can easily or quickly take the Ottomans without additional help, but enough to keep the Ottomans from overrunning the British too. Now with a stalemate in that area it is the gain in Africa versus the loss of Russia which are the two main issues and then how to break that stalemate elsewhere with the very little British money being diverted to the Home Territory that decides the game.
Andrew
user 3078346
Renton, WA
Post #: 140

I would like to provide another analysis after my second game of play. As I have said before the Allies start with an advantage in money of 113 vs 77 and after 3 Rounds of Play with no limit to India the board should look like this:

Austria: Starts at 26, up 10 for Albania, Serbia, Romania and Ukraine, no losses = 36
Germany: Starts at 36, up 3 for Belgium and Switzerland, loss of 4 in Africa = 35
Ottomans: Starts at 16, up 4 for Bulgaria and Arabia, loss of 3 for Mesopotamia = 17
Total Central Powers = 88

Russia: Starts at 25, up none, loss of 9 as long as Moscow is not contested = 16
France: Starts at 24, loss of 2 contested against Germany, up 6 for Portugal and four African Colonies = 28
Britain: Starts at 30, up 6 for 4 territories in Africa and two for Persia= 36
Italy: Starts at 14, loss of 2 for Venice contested, up none = 12
Total for Entente without the USA = 92
Total for Entente with the USA = 112

So the game is relatively even at the end of Turn 3 because the USA is not in the game. However with an unlimited India any further change, or gain, in Russia is probably matched by an Ottomans loss so up 16, down 16 and the USA enters and game over for the Central Powers. With India limited to 8 this creates a stalemate in the Middle East and with a loss of Russia that swings the money to the Central Powers favor even once the USA joins (88+16=104 versus 112-16=94). So if the Central Powers can be successful against Russia before the USA can significantly change the outcome then they should win. I think that is fair and makes it much harder for the Entente to gain victory.
Erik S
user 9748771
Group Organizer
West Linn, OR
Post #: 62
Agreed, Andrew that is what we are going to do with India next game and also let the cp
Have 9 extra ipcs to start the game going to the ottomans
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