Author Topic: Introduction  (Read 28486 times)

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Mark

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Introduction
« on: October 04, 2007, 10:29:35 AM »
Given all the great ideas that folks playing the game have suggested over the years and not wanting to bog the 'basic' game down with too many optional and new rules ideas, we have started to develop a next gen game that incorporates everyone's great suggestions and some that I have come up with on my own.  As this project develops - we'll post it here.

Design parameters remain the same:  1) Must be a strategic simulation of WWII - capturing a lot of the 'flavor' of a monster hex and counter game; 2) It is played with miniatures; 3) Keep the rules as consistent and playable as possible.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 08:43:03 AM by Mark »

Bobsalt

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2007, 03:30:29 PM »
Given that a friend of mine and I are playing the game once or twice a week we might be good candidates for trying out any new concepts you have. We've already tired a few things - we've just started a new game using the airbase rules along wth allowing aircraft to react to amphious invasions into an empty sea zone. I can already tell you that allowing planes to react this way has an impact on the game. Invading England is much toguher now; it also makes Italy a little more defensible.

I'll be watching this thread closely.
"Peace through superior firepower"

Mark

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2007, 10:21:36 AM »
Great Bob - we'll keep you posted and look forward to your continued feedback.  Glad to hear you guys are playing and enjoying the game - Keep us posted in the after action reports!

Mark

RandR

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2007, 05:09:39 PM »
Just a thought for grouping some of the variations this game could have. 1 NAVAL POWER VARIATIONS. 2 AIR POWER VARIATIONS. 3 LAND POWER VARIATIONS.  4 VARIOUS  COMBINATION(S) OF 1 & 2 & 3.  5  A POLITICAL VARIATION. 6 A LOGISTICS VARIATION  7 OTHER.  The original Axis & Allies game was a lot of fun but had its limitations on strategy. Then someone came up with some variations like having artillery & destroyers. Then we got the Avalon Hills variations.   Lo & behold they were good games but good gamers asked for that 1 more step upward and we get "THE STRUGGLE FOR EUROPE & ASIA." Going 1 more step upward may be nice but you start hitting DETAILs which can bog the game down and make it more cumbersome. Let's keep it where the original  game can be played in 1 day.

Yoper

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2007, 12:54:23 AM »
Not be combative, but we never got in a game that only played out in one day (unless you count any game that blew up in the early stages).

Even the games we (Detroit group) played against Mark and John went two days of all out carnage.

Length of game has never been a factor for our group.

Craig

Bobsalt

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2007, 03:13:16 AM »
Just a thought for grouping some of the variations this game could have. 1 NAVAL POWER VARIATIONS. 2 AIR POWER VARIATIONS. 3 LAND POWER VARIATIONS.  4 VARIOUS  COMBINATION(S) OF 1 & 2 & 3.  5  A POLITICAL VARIATION. 6 A LOGISTICS VARIATION  7 OTHER.  The original Axis & Allies game was a lot of fun but had its limitations on strategy. Then someone came up with some variations like having artillery & destroyers. Then we got the Avalon Hills variations.   Lo & behold they were good games but good gamers asked for that 1 more step upward and we get "THE STRUGGLE FOR EUROPE & ASIA." Going 1 more step upward may be nice but you start hitting DETAILs which can bog the game down and make it more cumbersome. Let's keep it where the original  game can be played in 1 day.

Not be combative, but we never got in a game that only played out in one day (unless you count any game that blew up in the early stages).

Even the games we (Detroit group) played against Mark and John went two days of all out carnage.

Length of game has never been a factor for our group.

Craig
I agree with Craig. The game is already at the point where, barring the unusual, you really can’t play it out in one 8-hour session. The guy I game with regularly (Peter) and I can usually knock out about two years in our first 4-hour session; after that, it slows down considerably due to the simple fact that as you get deeper into the war there’s simply so much more to do, particularly after Russian and/or US entry.

And I’m not trying to be combative either, but I have to say that if you want to keep complexity down, that game already exists – it’s the current game. There wouldn’t seem to be much point in creating an “advanced” game if there isn’t going to be additional complexity.

Mark, could you tell us what’s on the table for consideration? Are you talking about an add-on for the current game, or another game altogether? In my opinion, an add-on would probably be better than a completely new game. RandR’s comments about complexity need to be considered, because I’m sure that others would also feel that the current game is complex and complete enough. With an add-on, you could change the combat tables, add or change rules, add new units, etc, and sell that as a sort of expansion of the basic game for, say, $100. I think that’s an important point economically. After spending a grand on this game, I’d look at an add-on as an investment; I’d look at a separate game as –well, a separate game, and it’s extremely unlikely I’d buy that.
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Mark

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2007, 05:49:31 AM »
OK - all good comments.   I think the time to play the game depends a lot on who you are playing it with.  Some groups are faster than others.

That being said, the game as it stands does take a while to play.  But, we do play it at cons and usually we play a game in a FULL day (starting off at 9am and finishing a full game by between midnight and 2am).  That is what our games are like out here on the East coast as well. 

Some groups like to take their time - and I think Yopers group has some players that like to analyze all their options closely before committing to a move.  There is nothing wrong with that - but it contributes to the length of a game.

When we play (in New England or at a con) we usually shoot to start around 9am and reach Pearl Harbor by around 2pm.  RandR can attest to that as he has played several con games.  Then the game slows down.  We reach Spring 1943 by around 6-7 pm and Spring 1944 by around 9-10pm.  then the game starts picking up again as the focus gets tighter and we usually finish off around midnight-2am.  So, yes - I guess I am stretching the definition of a long day to play a game - but it is what we do.

So - anyway, this is the discussion I wanted to have in starting this thread.  I am not sure if the game should be a bolt-on to the standard game or include a new map or rules - that is part of the debate.  At any rate, the pieces would certainly remain (and they represent $800 of the $1k game).  I would never ask anyone to re-invest in that without thinking that my car would explode when I turn the ignition on.  And - if there are any new player aids or maps they would have to be discounted for people who have already invested in the standard game and helped develop any more rules.  Any rules developed should not contribute to the length of the game - so that needs to be a factor in determing whether it gets added or not.  One way to prevent rules from slowing games down is to not inject "one-off" rules that apply to only certain conditions or times.  The more consistent the rules are the better and they contribute to quicker play.

I think most things being discussed could be fit within the parameters of the basic game.  I'm not sure all new materials are required - though they are fun to put together   ;D

Bobsalt

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2007, 04:17:57 AM »
OK - all good comments.   I think the time to play the game depends a lot on who you are playing it with.  Some groups are faster than others.

That being said, the game as it stands does take a while to play.  But, we do play it at cons and usually we play a game in a FULL day (starting off at 9am and finishing a full game by between midnight and 2am).  That is what our games are like out here on the East coast as well.
Sounds like a great way to spend the day. We used to have sessions like that 20 years ago. Play from morning until around 4 or 5, take a break for pizza and trash talk, and then start up again around 6 and go till who knows when that night. A little more difficult to pull that off these days when you’ve got a career, mortgage, wife, kids, etc.

Some groups like to take their time - and I think Yopers group has some players that like to analyze all their options closely before committing to a move.  There is nothing wrong with that - but it contributes to the length of a game.

When we play (in New England or at a con) we usually shoot to start around 9am and reach Pearl Harbor by around 2pm.  RandR can attest to that as he has played several con games.  Then the game slows down.  We reach Spring 1943 by around 6-7 pm and Spring 1944 by around 9-10pm.  then the game starts picking up again as the focus gets tighter and we usually finish off around midnight-2am.  So, yes - I guess I am stretching the definition of a long day to play a game - but it is what we do.
I’d say so. As I said, a great way to spend a day, but the 12-15 hours of game time you’re talking about here is for most people 2-3 sessions.

So - anyway, this is the discussion I wanted to have in starting this thread.  I am not sure if the game should be a bolt-on to the standard game or include a new map or rules - that is part of the debate.  At any rate, the pieces would certainly remain (and they represent $800 of the $1k game).  I would never ask anyone to re-invest in that without thinking that my car would explode when I turn the ignition on.  And - if there are any new player aids or maps they would have to be discounted for people who have already invested in the standard game and helped develop any more rules.  Any rules developed should not contribute to the length of the game - so that needs to be a factor in determing whether it gets added or not.  One way to prevent rules from slowing games down is to not inject "one-off" rules that apply to only certain conditions or times.  The more consistent the rules are the better and they contribute to quicker play.

I think most things being discussed could be fit within the parameters of the basic game.  I'm not sure all new materials are required - though they are fun to put together   ;D
Personally, I’d love to see a larger map. I currently play on a ping pong table, which measures 9’ by 5’. The current map is 8’ by 3’, so you have a little room to expand for it to fit on a ping pong table. If you’re thinking about a new map, it might be a good idea to see where guys are playing the game now. I could (barely) play on my dining room table, assuming I had another table to put all the charts and such on. As I said, I’m lucky enough to have a ping pong table to play on, but others may not be as fortunate and their gaming space may be stretched as it is.

My thought is that the best route to go with a “deluxe” or “advanced” game is to stick to revising charts, adding/changing rules, and adding/changing existing units. This way, those of us who want a more in-depth experience can buy the add-on, while those who don’t can continue to use the regular game as is.

Here’s a thought: have you considered coming up with a “Patton’s War” for the game? With this you’d game a war between the USSR and the Western Allies starting with wherever you end the regular game – or you could make it a stand alone scenario that you could set up from the start. This might be a nice addition to an add-on project.

One thing I’ll toss out (without having any idea of what you may be considering) is an adjustment to the economics. I’ll do my best to say what I mean here, so bear with me. Some of the unit costs aren’t really what they should be. For example, light armor costs the same as medium armor, but is less effective. Early fighters are less effective than regular fighters, but cost the same. Japanese aircraft carriers cost the same as US carriers, but only take one hit to sink versus 2 hits for the US. It seems to me that the costs of units ought to be reflective of their respective combat abilities. If you were to adjust the economic values of at least each country’s home territories, you’d have room to adjust the costs of units, and then you’d have some room between the costs of units to introduce new units. For example, in the New Units/New rules thread I proposed assault guns as a new unit. They should be cheaper than armor, since they were in real life. In my mind, they should fall somewhere between artillery and armor in cost, but with artillery costing 5 and armor costing 6 there isn’t a place to put them. Of course, adjusting the values of any territories would mean changing the map…

Another idea might be to have some sort of research track. Germany could have had the most advanced fighters in the world during the whole war if they had taken what was already on the drawing boards (or even actually being test flown) if they had made more of a commitment to development instead of just continuing to modify existing aircraft that ended up being left behind by the more advanced Allied fighters that came online later in the war.

Another idea might be to have economics be more than just generic economic points. For example, if oil were treated as a separate resource, and you needed oil as a separate commodity to do certain things (like move fleets), it would give an incentive for players to play more realistically. This may be more detailed than anyone would like, but in the war there were natural resources that had to be defended because of their importance to a particular nation’s war effort – and these resource areas were attacked for the same reason.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts. Comments, ideas, suggestions, threats, etc. are welcome.

Bob
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Mark

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2007, 09:45:32 AM »
Quote
A little more difficult to pull that off these days when you’ve got a career, mortgage, wife, kids, etc.

I've got it all but the kids - but a man must have his priorities!  :o

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Personally, I’d love to see a larger map.
Actually, I have put together a larger map.  But the rules developed should probably be able to be applied to the standard map as well as to a new one.

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For example, light armor costs the same as medium armor, but is less effective. Early fighters are less effective than regular fighters, but cost the same.

Light tank is really not the right way to label this piece.  You should think of it as "early war armor formations" instead.  Early war armor formations often contained many more tanks - but not a good balance of mechanized infantry and artillery making their combat effectiveness weaker.  So - folks still had to build all those tanks - they just didn't fight all that well.  That is what the piece is supposed to represent.  "Light Tank" was just easier to convey.  It probably took as many man hours to build a P-51 as it did a P-40, though the former was much better.  I'm not sure if we should adjust the cost as much as the timeline or tehcnology track to be able to build better units.

Quote
For example, if oil were treated as a separate resource, and you needed oil as a separate commodity to do certain things (like move fleets),


I really like this idea (with respect to oil especially).  But have not come up with a good and easy way to keep track of oil and spend oil points during a game - any ideas here welcome!


derdiktator

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2007, 02:30:48 AM »
>>For example, if oil were treated as a separate resource,
>>and you needed oil as a separate commodity to do certain
>> things (like move fleets),


>I really like this idea (with respect to oil especially). 
>But have not come up with a good and easy way to keep
>track of oil and spend oil points during a game...

Not to dis the idea, but my experience has been that multiple types of resources in a high-level strategic game are rarely worth the added bother. For example, I recently spent some significant learning & playing effort with a boardgame covering the entire Napoleonic period called Soldier Emperor (a pretty good game, I think) that had each land territory providing money and population/recruitment points yearly. I came to the conclusion they might just as well kept it money only. Having the two types of resources significantly added to all sorts of places where the rules were logically compelled to address the differences between the two and it just doubled the effort to add up production. I'll admit that for marketing or 'curb appeal' purposes multiple resource types may sound good. On the other hand, I don't doubt it will work out fine if Mark decides to go with some sort of extra resources, oil or whatever.

dd

Godleader

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2009, 09:27:22 AM »
I have one question i see you playtest the game. But when the game is ready for the market?
Thanks

Bobsalt

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2009, 04:14:51 PM »
I'll be interested to see their answer as well, but I'm guessing it still has a long way to go. If you read the introduction page, it took them over four years to get the current game to the market. Keep in mind that playtesting doesn't mean just the game rules - it means assigning the combat values to the units, combat tables, rules - everything. We know from what they've posted that this game is going to be more complex - for example, they've already said that there will be oil rules in the new game. Add all this together and we probably still have quite a wait in front of us.
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Mark

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2009, 05:23:49 AM »
Hi guys -

Well - we have made very minor adjustments to the map which is really great - we had to make lots of map adjustments to the first game - but apparently we learned a thing or two as the map has needed only minor tweaking.

One of the map items that still may need some adjustment is ports.  The idea here is that when tracing supply over water, you can only supply the number of units that you have port capacity for.  So, on the map are 5, 10, 15, and 20 point ports - indicating the number of units that can be supplied through them.  This concept has not been playtested completely yet and may require us adjusting some of the port values we have some up with.

With respect to oil - we have oil points on the map but have not really developed a final system we like.  Currently, we are treating oil points as Axis only production points - for example, Baku is a 3PP territory with 5 oil points in it - so owned by the Germans it is an 8pp territory - for the Soviets it is only 3 points.

Believe me - we have tried a lot of different ideas for oil - some very complex and some not so much (like the one described above).  But, it pretty much comes down to this - the allies were flush with oil - and it really does not make any sense for them to try and keep track of any of it for the Allies.  If the Middle East fell to the Axis, Britain would just get their oil from the US.  If the Caucuses fell to the Germans - the Soviets were all already producing a lot of oil in central asia - and they could get it from the US too.  So - oil really only effects the Axis.  To try and simplify that part of the game - we just made oil - bonus axis production for now.

Another game concept still playtesting is what we have done to movement.  Instead of the traditional one side moves and resolves battles then the other side moves and resolved battles, we have surrently opted for a simultaneous/alternating movement.  Where players draw chits and move leaders depending on their initiative value.  It really works great once you get used to it and adds lots of uncertainty to the game - as you never really know if you will be able to move before your opponenent.  But, it takes a little getting used to and I'm not sure if everyone will like the system.  The more we play with it though, the more we really like it above a standard turn-based movement system.

We won't be selling this game like the other one - probably just the map, rules and charts - and maybe the counters - so, folks will need to do the minis themselves.  On the upside, that should keep the price mush more reasonable. . .

It may be a bit yet before it can go out - but perhaps we can share some of it custom with a few folks interested in it before it is completely baked.  Also - please let me know comments or ideas you have on the design points above (or any other design points you would like to raise) -

Thanks
Mark (in Prague)

Yoper

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2009, 02:00:56 AM »
Well, just like with the base game, we can't really comment until we have a copy in our grubby little hands.

Then we can truly "break" it and give you our feedback. ;D

Craig

John D.

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2009, 04:04:24 PM »
The chit draw/alternating movement keeps everyone involved in the game almost all the time. It really works well and adds an interesting and fun strategic element to the game.

John