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Messages - Mark

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Game Design / Re: d12 conversion
« on: August 10, 2005, 08:31:11 AM »
As for SS units - another good question.

I would consider most of the heavy armor pieces in the game your SS Panzer formations.  If you would like, paint some of them black to represent the SS pz units.  Germany continues to purchase regular armor units throughout the war (3,3's) which represent your regular armor formations - the heavies really represent the ss units and the elite panzer formations and are(4,4's).  I don't know if I would rate the combat value of the totenkopf or the fundsberg divisions any higher than the Panzer Lehr or the Grossdeutchland for example.

Game Design / Re: d12 conversion
« on: August 10, 2005, 01:46:27 AM »
This was a tough one.  One of the game play testers / designers, Joe Churma, advocated a d12 system from the start and we tried a few tests with it.  But, I really decided against it.  

The main reason was we could achieve enough differentiation between unit combat and cost values with a d6 system.  We found that there was little value in paying for a unit that had an 8% better combat value than another unit that was even 1 PP more expensive. On top of that, it added a layer of complexity to an already complex game (compared to Axis and Allies) - and anywhere we could reduce complexity without effecting the game, we did it.

The game as it is now took a very long time of play testing and changes to get the combat value / cost ratio to work for every unit.  As it stands now, there are twelve different types of ground units, six types of air units and ten types of naval units – and each has a unique value in the game (i.e. depending on the situation, every piece is valuable).  It took a lot of tweaking to achieve that – especially when you have so many different unit types.

I know there is a lot of debate out there about the value of a d12 system – but I think if you play test it enough (especially with some play testers who know very little about the war and are playing it purely as a game) you may find that there is just not enough bang for the buck to differentiate units in a d12 system.  So, anyway – to make a long story short – the reason we did not go with a d12 system was that there was no need to do it.

Game Design / Re: Units
« on: August 09, 2005, 02:49:55 PM »
Already there, Imperious

If you look at the screen shot of the US country reference chart on the game design page - you will notice there is a maximum builds column  - this governs the maximum number of units for each type that can be built every turn.  Maximum builds are based on a country's manpower as well as industrial infrastructure - so it varies from nation to nation.  Some game events and minor allies (say if Romania or Spain were to join the Axis) increase maximum builds.

We'll take plenty of game shots at Gencon and share them with you - you should still try and make it there for the weekend - will make it worth your while.

Game Design / Units
« on: August 09, 2005, 07:54:49 AM »
There have been a few questions regarding the value of some units - whether some units are more valuable than others.

I think it largely depends on your strategic situation. Infantry continues to be a good buy for just about everyone - but is governed by national build limits.

Armor is exceptional - especially on the offensive - being able to attack during the regular and on the mechanized phase and getting a bonus when attacking territories that have no armor / anti-tank units.  

Fortifications are the ultimate defensive unit - a stack of forts makes it pretty intimidating to go after a territory - especially in the mountains or the jungles.

AT guns are more valuable for some more than others.  For the Soviet Union they are almost a must buy to wear down German armor.  For the Germans, from games that I have seen, the 88' is what most players buy - basically because its a "4 or less" AT gun rather than "3 or less" or it can play the role of an AA gun if the player wishes - and its mechanized - all for only 1 production point more in cost.  But, they tend to buy AT guns later in the game - just to have more defensive units.

Any thoughts on the most or least valuable unit in the game?

Game Design / Re: 1941 Version
« on: July 19, 2005, 10:15:24 AM »
If you have 5-6 players and at least four of them know what they are doing, the '39 game is about a 14-15 hour game to Autumn 1945 But most games will end before Autumn 45. Less players or less experienced players will make the game go a little longer.

The 1941 game is more like 10-12 hours depending on experience and number of players.  1941 Pacific or Europe only is a little faster - about 8-10 hours.  The Pacific theatre game is really only a 2-3 player game.  The European theatre is ideal as a 3-4 person game.  Worldwide is ideal for 5+ players, though we have played it many times with just 2-3 players - just takes a little longer - a lot to manage.

Strategy Tips / Re: Japan--General Strategy
« on: July 19, 2005, 08:38:40 AM »
Hi Don - hope to see you at Historicon!

As for Japan. . . Others will probably have other opinions, but here are mine:

Japan is one of the toughest countries to play, I think - you get stretched pretty thin.

If it is the 1939 game: I think it not best to get too bogged down in China - take the coast and smack the Chinese if they put themselves in harms way - but other than that, keep them back in the mountains - take Chungking if they screw up.

If the Germans and Italians are putting the heat on the British in the Middle-East - India and Australia might be the best places to go to get victory points.

I have not seen a Japanese strategy to go after Russia in a while.  The only victory point for Japan in reach is Vladivostok.  The Japanese might be stretched to thin to pull that off effectively - but who knows?  

I think it requires just about all of Japan's energy to seize islands and victory points in the Pacific and hang onto them as long as possible. But, there is not a cut a dry strategy for any of the countries, I don't think - a lot of balancing and reacting.  Anyone else care to comment?

As for the game: the breakdown on units is:
appx. 340 infantry (15mm inf -  mounted on 1/2"x1/2" bases)
appx. 360 tanks, guns (art, AT and AA), fortifications & other ground units.
appx. 160 planes (from tumbling dice of course)
appx. 240 ships (1/3000th scale)

The rulebook is 44 pages (22 pages front and back actually). There are several optional rules that players have suggested over the last couple years.

The 3'x8' map (rolled-up)

There are also 8 country reference charts, 2 front & back combat boards and the necessary counters and six-sided dice needed to play.

Rules questions from first edition / Re: Air Rules
« on: July 17, 2005, 12:48:15 PM »
Per the Mechanized Phase rules:

"Mechanized units may either move into a friendly territory or into an enemy owned territory (combat) during the mechanized movement phase.  Mechanized units may not move into combat by moving into enemy owned territory if 1) It is a Winter turn in a non-Arid/Desert territory; 2) The mechanized unit was landed as part of an amphibious assault on the general movement phase; 3) The mechanized unit was moved via strategic movement during the general movement phase. Mechanized units may still move into friendly owned territories during these conditions on the mechanized phase – just not into enemy owned territories and into combat."


Game Design / Re: Balance issue
« on: July 01, 2005, 02:48:32 AM »
Thanks Raybshot - It took a lot of playtesting to get the victory conditions just right to make the game balanced!  

Personally, I love the fact that the dice can swing a battle one way or another - there are so many variables in a battle that make them relatively unpredictable (such as leadership, supply, morale to name but a few - that the dice rolling represent).  Having numerical superiority is an advantage, but things don't always go to the side with the bigger numbers. I also think that there are just so many dice rolls in this game that over the long run, they tend to balance out - just hope they are in your favor when you really need them!

Rules questions from first edition / Re: Naval Rules
« on: June 30, 2005, 01:21:29 PM »
Hi Schliefen,
Submarines (and planes) do not trigger Japanese Kamikazies - only allied surface combat vessels. Once they cross the blue line in the Pacific, the Japanese can begin building Kamikazies.

WWII discussion forum / Re: How Hitler could have won WWII?
« on: June 08, 2005, 03:04:03 PM »
Well, hindsight is 20/20 I guess. . .it certainly would have made the execution of Rainbow a challenge for ths US and thrown a wrench into Churchhill's and Roosevelt's plans.

The game does not allow for that much flexibility.  As you alluded to, Germany very much underestimated the speed and magnitude of the ability of the US to be a major player in the European conflict.  He also assumed the conflict with Japan would consume a much greater share of American resources.  Both allowing him a much more free hand in the Battle of the Atlantic, isolating Great Britain. 

History proved him wrong, but it would have been a tough call at the time - the US had the what, 12th largest army in the world?  Even the Brits at the Arcadia conference had their doubts about the ability of the US to be much of an ally.

I guess both sides made significant blunders that we, with 60 years of history between us would not make.  The game attempts to recreate a few 'certainties' such as war between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia as inevitable as well as war between Japan and the Allies and the entry of the US in the European conflict.

Strategy Tips / Re: Surround Paris
« on: June 08, 2005, 02:49:37 PM »
I think you have to knock the French out quick - like Spring of 1940.  Then you have more options in the Med, Balkans, Spain, whatever before you have to commit to the war in Russia.  The only 'free time' the Germans have is in between the Fall of France and Barbarossa - make the most of it. . . imho.

Welcome!  Thank you for visiting the WWII: Struggle for Europe and Asia Forum!

Please feel free to ask questions about the game, rules and strategies.  This is also the place to find local players, games, clarify any rules and post game reports.  Finally, please feel free to discuss anything WWII and the wargaming hobby!


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