Thursday, October 20, 2005

Weekly game stuff

Poker is at AJ's house this Friday night. Leave me a comment or an E-mail to confirm that you will/will not be able to make it.

Axis & Allies
I am instituting straight bids for Axis. With two players, this is straight bidding: One player offers opening IPC bid, and other player either accepts or bids lower. The bid can be used to buy either German or Japanese units, but only one unit bought thus can be placed in any one territory. The bid can also be kept in cash, and allocated between the two Axis countries in any proportion. If playing with National Advantages, the N.A.'s are determined before the bidding starts.

With more than two players, we'll use a sealed bid. Lowest two bidders get the Axis, and those players decide among themselves who is Germany and who is Japan. If the players cannot agree, then whoever brought more beer to my house gets to choose which country they play. The remaining players argue among themselves as to who plays which Allied country- disputes will be settled with knives.

NOTE: We have missed a key part of the German "Wolfpack" National Advantage:
"For Convoy Raids, when there are at least two German subs in the same sea zone, and they are within 2 sea zones of the enemy IC, the enemy subtracts an additional 1IPC from their collected income. If the group of at least two subs are within 1 sea zone of the enemy IC, the enemy subtracts an additional 2IPC from their collected income."
So that N.A. does not suck so much as has been alleged. Malv, quitcherbitchin.

Lastly, I am still trying to tinker with the N.A.'s. I have two things I want to fix: Germany has only a choice of 5 N.A.'s under the current system, and the British "Mideast Oil" N.A. is stupid, useless, and unrealistic. Convinced I can do better, I was snooping around the Caspian Sub Yahoo Group, and found the following in their rule set:

House Rules
Oleg: Alright, let's get the game on. Do you guys use any house rules around here?
Jorge: Well, pretty much just the basic rule changes with a couple of modifications.
Oleg: Let's hear it.
Jorge: Do you use Smith's 'Paratrooper Rules'?
Oleg: Sure.
Jorge: Ok, we do too. We also put a little twist on it. If all of Germany's planes are destroyed then they are able to build the 'Visigoth Catapult'. It allows one infantry to be launched up to 3 spaces away. They fire for a round and then die.
Oleg: Oh, kind of like Kaiten Torpedoes.
Jorge: Kind of, only this is cooler. This is the 'Visigoth Catapult'.
Oleg: Ok. Anything else?
Jorge: Yes. We didn't think there were enough spaces in the board once the Allies get to Germany so we use the Holy Roman Empire expansion map.
Oleg: Fiefdoms of 1157AD or fiefdoms of 1036AD?
Jorge: Man, around here you won't find ANYONE using the fiefdoms of 1157. That map is retarded.
Oleg: [Under his breath] You're retarded! That map is sweet...
Oleg: Good enough. What else?
Jorge: Once per game the German player may call upon the Dread Lord Cthulhu and a Shroud of Darkness descends on Europe. The SOD imparts a spiritual malaise to the whole region.
Oleg: Shroud of Darkness. Check.
Jorge: When the SOD is in place the Allied player can only roll using the black dice.
Oleg: Is there anything special about the black dice?
Jorge: Yes. They're black.
Oleg: ?
Oleg: ...ok.
Jorge: The SOD can be lifted only when a Russian Orthodox Priest enters into battle bearing the Bane of Orem B'Shamba.
Oleg: Bane of Orem B'Shamba. Got it.
Jorge: Other than that we just use the standard rule mods.
Oleg: 'Return of Merlin'?
Jorge: Yup.
Oleg: 'Prester John's Hip Hop Kingdom'?
Jorge: Yup. There's no other way to get Rhodesia into the game. What about 'Benito Mussolini: Lord of the Dance' and 'Hermann Goering's Pilonidal Cyst'?
Oleg: Both of them, sure. I hear that Avalon Hill and Sony are going to come out with a game for PS2 called 'Il Duce's Dance Dance Revolution'.
Jorge: I'd buy that for sure! What about Team Leyner rules like 'Boutros Boutros Boutros Boutros' and 'Honey, I Shrunk the Children of a Lesser God'?
Oleg: We usually skip that rule set. It's a little too much Milli and not enough Vanili, if you know what I mean.
Jorge: Um... yeah. Yeah, totally. I get your point. Waaaay too much Milli.
Oleg: Do you do anything with the convoy rules? Like the mod 'Das Booty Call'?
Jorge: Not really.
Oleg: Ok, I can live without it.
Jorge: What about 'Ninja Guy'? Do you guys use 'Ninja Guy'?
Oleg: Oh yeah! We love 'Ninja Guy'! Who do you know that doesn?t use 'Ninja Guy'?
Jorge: My cousin, Eustace.
Oleg: Dude's confused.
Jorge: Dude's name is Eustace. Not using 'Ninja Guy' is the least of his problems.
Oleg: True that.
Jorge: Ok, what about 'Billy Joel: Panzer Commander'?
Oleg: Yes, and 'Liza Live: Can't Stop that Freedom!'.
Jorge: Lately we've been using 'The Preincarnation of the Village People', where a singing cowboy, construction worker, Indian chief, sailor, policeman, and leather guy all travel back in time to fight Hitler, armed only with luxurious mustachios and funkitude'.
Oleg: I'm cool with that one. How about 'It's the Third Reich, Charlie Brown'?
Jorge: We only use it if we're also using 'The Muppets Take Manila' and 'Willy Wonka at War: Oompa Loompa Factory'.
Oleg: I'm good with that. What about 'Run DMC versus Tojo' and 'Turn your Head and Cough, Dwight Eisenhower'?
Jorge: Always. And also 'Yentl Ends Auschwitz'.
Oleg: Fine. What about 'Let the Machines Hear us Dance!', wherein we learn that all of WWII was nothing but a sim run inside the Matrix by Neo and Morpheus just before the rave in Zion?
Jorge: YES! YES! I love that mod! That's my favorite mod!
Oleg: Well, it sounds like we have a game. Let's set up the board.
Jorge: Yeah, I'll explain the other rules as we go along.
Oleg: Cool.
Jorge: Alright, I forget, how many infantry start in Ukraine?
Oleg: Four.
Jorge: Thanks.


Red A said...

Consider some kind of Tiger tank rule for the Germans.

How about once per turn, one German tank may first in combat and if it hits, the unit taken as casualty may not fire back.


Local Nationalist Movements: Germany may place one infantry per turn in any grey territory in Europe - this represents foreign SS troops, local nationalist militias etc.

Red A said...

"may fire first in combat" anyways like a land submarine.

For Malv's delight, we can include:

The Italian Turn: Between America's and Russia's turn, Germany may make one attack from one territory, representing the "Italian" turn. Of course, all attacks need a '1' to hit.

okay, how about a real game kicker:

Spain as minor ally of Germany. Treat Spain as a German owned territory worth 3 (or 4?) IPC's and garrisoned with 2 inf and an artillery.

Karl said...

Or we could just add "Visigoth Catapult".

The bid system will take care of the game imbalances. I don't mind that England has a N.A. that is not very strong, I just don't like the fact that it is boring.

I think I'm going to add German 88's:
1. German 88's - During the first cycle of combat only, on Attack and Defence, your RTL fire in the Conduct Opening Fire phase (instead of the Attacking Units fire and Defending Units fire phases respectively). Casualties are removed immediately.

malv said...

So many "band-aids" are being added to a game that used to be fairly even. I apologize for playing so badly recently that it's come to this. I'm afraid the more it gets "doctored", the more lopsided it'll get.

Once I get through all my personal troubles (- that's right I mean "get laid" among other things), I'm going to start beating you fuckers like proverbial "red-headed step-children". Allies will need to BYOKY.

Michael Turton said...

Make the 88s nastier -- they can fire at any target of their choosing -- like the enemy tanks, which was their role anyway.

Can I collude with Malv?

KARL: [OPENS SEALED BIDS] "Let's see....Red A has bid 50,000 for the Axis....and Michael has bid for the Axis....45,0000! And Malv has bid for the Axis.....only 40,000. Malv and Michael, you start as Germany and Japan!

I'm in the midst of another game where Russia is forbidden from moving on turn 1. My son is playing the Axis. I am playing KJF and the US is running amok in the Pacific, but my cautious son has the Germans above 45 IPCs each turn, and has built a force of 28 armor. The game seems to go on a bit longer....

I like Red A's suggestion that the Germans be given partisans. The Vlasov Army of anti-Communist Russian forces reached a million men. Perhaps if the Germans can hold Ukraine for two consecutive turns, they can activate Ukrainian independence and get an infantry or two every turn. Alternatively, a Finland NA of 1 INF per turn. Or anti-UK MIddle East forces appear at 1 INF per turn if the Germans control both Egypt and Jordan at the end of a turn.

Another change we should make is to forbid the british from moving into the Baltic unless they control Western Europe, and into the Russian Sea zone north of Karelia, period. Those are both grossly ahistorical. That would mean that the UK would not able to pounce on German armor in Karelia or Eastern Europe, and the Germans would only have to guard Western Europe, as historically was the case.


Karl said...

Malv, the game was never 'fairly even', we just didn't know what we were doing with the Allies. I've looked at nearly half a dozen rule sets on the net, and every one uses a bid system for the Axis.

But hey, if you still think it's even, you can bid zero for the axis, or even enter a negative bid, i.e. -5 IPCs. The Allies will get to start with an extra 5 IPCs, but you'll always get to play Germany...

Anonymous said...

cool. I get to play Axis for only 5 bucks!

Red A said...

I think an extra infantry a turn on the Ostfront would be pretty useful. The 88's sound cool too, but I don't think you should choose the casualty.

But with the bid system, I'd love to bid enough to drop infantry into the lands Russia usually attacks (think about just TWO infantry at 6 IPC could make either one of those attacks fail.) Or bid 20 and drop in a fighter on UKR and West Russia...good luck.

Red A said...

Visigoths...heh heh, you said Goth.

How about:

Desert Rats: British infantry in North Africa to Persia attack at a 2 with defense not changing?

Michael Turton said... I see. You only get to place ONE unit. A waste! BB or CV in the Baltic, definitely. Or another tranny in the Baltic and WHAM it's SEALION time, baby!


Karl said...

Incorrect. You may not attack another country's capital on R1. Germany can buy the boats, but Sealion has to wait until R2.

Anonymous said...

Jim won't make it to AJ's tonight.

Bread said...

bread won't be there either, unfortunately.

Michael Turton said...

Now run three games w/o Russia attacking on turn 1. West becomes stalemate if Germany refuses to attack Caucausus on Turn1, and Germany can maintain large amounts of armor and high IPC totals for many turns. BUT UK and RUS can stalemate GER, leaving US to snarf down Japan. Really need a counter for US Pacific sub strategy.