Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blundering on a Global Scale

So our second game of Global Axis & Allies 1940 at Arkham Asylum was another success, although certainly marked by some inexpert play -- especially on my part.

I took Germany because I felt that too much of the game rides on a sufficiently aggressive German player to give it to a complete newbie. The other two Axis powers were controlled by a new player, while another young Arkham denizen controlled all the Allies at first -- although he was eventually joined by a player experienced in other versions of the game who took overt he US -- which had a big impact on the outcome of the game, as will be seen.

The Axis got off to a bad start because I misjudged how much force I would need to ensure that France fell -- and then proceeded to roll pretty badly as well and so France DID NOT FALL on Turn 1! This through off my timing enough that I wasn't quite ready to invade Russia by Turn 4 and the Russians actually declared war on Germany. Meanwhile the war with the British was more or less inconclusive, although the Italians made some decent progress in the Med area. Nothing spectacular, but probably sufficient in a normal game.

Where things went worse for the Axis was in the Pacific. The Japanese player's initial intention was to concentrate on China but on Turn 2 he changed his mind and rashly attacked everything in sight. He was tempted by a chance to pull a Pearl Harbor on the US fleet in Hawaii and did so, but it was rather costly> He also attacked Russia and the British, though, which had the effect of dispersing his efforts too much. China, meanwhile, was unsubdued.

The worst effect was to give the US a couple extra turns of Bonus production which they used to good effect building another huge fleet. And on Turn 5 the US made their move, sending a huge naval force to meet the Japanese main fleet in Japanese waters. Unfortunately for the Axis, the Japanese had neglected to leave a garrison on the home islands and the US sent a small invasion force. Victory in the Sea battle would mean the Fall of Japan!

The battle was pretty even, but the US had just enough extra firepower to prevail in the end and Japan fell.

We called the game at that point. While Japan would probably be able to retake the homeland, it would do so only by essentially abandoning China. Meanwhile the US had 137 IPC to spend on building a new invasion fleet while Japan would have trouble beefing up its defenses. (A key rule in 1940 is that a captured Major Industrial Site is reduced to a minor site, which would limit Japan to building just 3 units in Japan until it was upgraded. It's doubtful Japan would have either the time or the money to do that before the US was back.

If the European Axis had been doing better it might have been worth playing on, but as noted the Germans were just starting to get into it with Russia and overall the European Axis situation was, at best, mediocre.

Everyone involved enjoyed themselves and there were calls for a rematch, so I will try to schedule a Round 3 for the Global A&A 1940 before year's end. I think I may try to schedule a warmup 1942 game the week before the global 1940 game to build up player expertise in the system a little bit. Ideally the German, Japanese, Russian, American and British players should be experienced, I think. I think ANZAC, China, France and Italy provide good entry-level commands for new players.


  1. How long are your global games running?

  2. This one took six hours to play through the end of Turn 5. I didn't make note of the time during the first game but I think it was a little over an hour per turn as well.

    There can be significant down time for the players, especially if each player just has one country. With experience I think the turn time will shorten a bit, but there ARE 8 different nationality groups and while French, Chinese and ANZAC turns will generally go quickly there's no doubt that British, German and Japanese turns can get pretty involved. The US, Russian and Italian situations vary a lot. Some turns are pretty straightforward and quick, especially before they get into the war, but once in the war they're turns can be as involved as anything the Germans have.