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Heretic thought! Why still A&A???
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OpTorch
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Anmeldedatum: 17.06.2002
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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Jul 02, 2003 12:32 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hi Stahlregen,

[quote="Stahlregen"],

Zitat:
The first move is to invade Africa, every game..


Not true, it depends on the bid.

Zitat:
That's the reason in our gaming group no one wanted to play the Russian
because he was the first one kicked out of the game - every game!


This can only be true if there was very poor play by the allies, every game!

Zitat:
(and Bidding is - as I said - making the game more interesting, so that
shows the original rules aren't sufficent for a fun experience)


You are wrong. Indeed the bid makes the game more interesting, but
that doesn't mean it was not interesting to begin with. The reason
for bidding is balancing the game. Without bid, the allies would win 95+%
of the game.

Zitat:
The first can easily make people jump into the hobby but most players
will switch over to games that alow more options.


Can you back this up? Are there many strong A&A players that left the scene
for games w/more options?

Stahlregen, how do you define strategic plannning? If I have to buy and plan
moves 2-3-4 rounds ahead, taking good and bad dice into account (risc assesement)
then I call that strategic (long term) planning. Buying now and taking a future
Ukr-Cau walk into account can be pretty complex. If you think thats no challenge
then you are either a genius or you havent seen all the options yet. In the
latter case I can only advice you to join a pbem club and start enjoying this
game.

Regards,
OpTorch
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Aquapanik
General


Anmeldedatum: 10.10.2002
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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Jul 02, 2003 12:59 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Zitat:
Was ich mich wirklich frage ist:
Warum kann man nicht den direkten reinen A&A-Weg des daak verlassen und einen Taktik-/Wargaming-Highway beschreiten?



I just saw this question in one of the other folders and it seems that even DAAK members are not really satisfied with A&A stuff alone. Aquapanik (i think he was it that asked this question) wants to open the club and to incorporate wargames in general.

I take this as a sign, that my question how one can get satisfaction out of A&A over all the years is a valid one.

What about your opinion Aquapanik? Did I misinterpret you in any way?
I don't think so...

Stahlregen


Sorry,

you did misinterpret me ...

Quoting just one sentence out of a thread shows not always the true opinion of the quoted person.

In person, I'm happy with the offered A&A but I wouldn't have a problem in opening the club for other tactic or wargames.

IF someone will do the additional work.
Would you do it?
Spending a few hours every day (not once a year) in replying to emails, questions updating rules, supporting newcomers, programing an internet page and responding to posts where someone blames all your work because in his opinion you did all those things for a stupid game...

If you will volunteer for it and you find someone for translation into German, Italian or Dutch there is absolut no problem in opening the club.


Aquapanik
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Panther
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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Jul 02, 2003 1:34 pm    Titel: Optorch Antworten mit Zitat

Great post Optorch!
But what I admire even more is your patience and your willing to help everybody. I cant recall for a angry or at least unfriendly post from you. Im really glad to have you around here. Smile
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Stahlregen
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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Jul 02, 2003 3:24 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hello OpTorch,


Zitat:
The first move is to invade Africa, every game..

Not true, it depends on the bid.


As I said we only played without any bidding, that is still the rule in our group and counts for every game. So I agree that there may be some slight changings to the very first move, but no matter what style you play Germany must take Africa. Even with bidding you don't change the basic mechanics of the game and that is some sort of income you can turn into units. There's no other country that gives Germany that much income with relatively less efforts and dangers. Thus, I think my statement is true. Give me an example for a game where Germany can ignore Africa, please and is still be able to achieve a good standing.


Zitat:
That's the reason in our gaming group no one wanted to play the Russian
because he was the first one kicked out of the game - every game!

This can only be true if there was very poor play by the allies, every game!


The group now has about 35 members and about half of them were A&A maniacs that played the game for several years before I even joined in. No, I don't think that they are poor players, they had some good results at tournaments in northern countries as well as in the States. One of them, not a member anymore because he was off to Egypt for business some years ago, was part of the Don Rae team that analyzed A&A to death. Again, I think they are very good players and have a deep understanding of the game.

From what I could read here in the appropiate folders it seems that this early russian dead is also very common in your games, so I wonder if it is totally different in your personal games only?

How long could the Russian player hold out in a good game? Could he ever do something different than securing his borders? Have you ever seen a Russian player sending his troops farther than -say- India?
Maybe you don't know consims, either - but if you ever compare the Russian player in TK vs. the Russian in A&A you'll certainly realize the difference. The Russian in A&A is cannon fodder to hold off the Japanese troops so the Brits/Americans can pressure Germany. Have you ever seen a final game with the Allies marching into the japanese homeland? Btw have you ever experienced a game that ended with something different than the magic 84 victory?


Zitat:
(and Bidding is - as I said - making the game more interesting, so that
shows the original rules aren't sufficent for a fun experience)

You are wrong. Indeed the bid makes the game more interesting, but
that doesn't mean it was not interesting to begin with. The reason
for bidding is balancing the game. Without bid, the allies would win 95+%
of the game.


If the game is that interesting without bidding, why do you bid then? If you have to bid to change this unbalanced game how can a game without bidding be interesting? Your point is somewhat contradictory, no?

Apart from that I can't confrim that A&A is that unbalanced, but maybe our players are too poor... Wink


Zitat:
The first can easily make people jump into the hobby but most players
will switch over to games that alow more options.

Can you back this up? Are there many strong A&A players that left the scene
for games w/more options?


Yes and no. Yes, because I know a good deal that gave it up after "solving" it and no, because the "scene" as a whole is different to the scene in Germany - or so it seems.
In Germany there's the A&A gang that play only A&A up to the point that they have no knowledge of and interest in other games (except the same style: simple rules, little plastic figures, area maps etc..).
The - let's say - international non-German wargaming scene incorporates the whole spectrum. Most of them play fun-wargames like A&A etc.. as openers or fillers at tournaments to calm down and to relax after a heavy competition in a simulation. So many grognards also do play such fun-games and they see no need to give 'em up, but the main focus is on the consim part of the hobby. It's like Easy said it before.
Of course there are the freaks who laugh at such silly little games (not me - but there are such folks out there, as you certainly know)

You see, the situation in Germany and the overall approach to this hobby is something special. That explains that the DAAK members see no need in debates like this. Given this attitude I wouldn't say that the A&A scene in Germany is really part of the wargaming hobby. And the consim folks are over in the GHS as far as I know. Does the DAAK have any connection to the GHS?


Zitat:
Stahlregen, how do you define strategic plannning? If I have to buy and plan
moves 2-3-4 rounds ahead, taking good and bad dice into account (risc assesement)
then I call that strategic (long term) planning. Buying now and taking a future
Ukr-Cau walk into account can be pretty complex.


How do I define strategic planning? Well, it has a lot to do with the elements you mentioned, but there's a difference between thinking ahead 2 - 3 turns in a game that has a simple buy-move-fight-move mechanic and to do the same in a simulation where you have to worry about many detailed things more: supply, ZOCs, weather, politics, different combats, many detailed units, terrain effects, complicated math for the odds etc..

Zitat:
If you think thats no challenge
then you are either a genius or you havent seen all the options yet.


No, I am not a genius, but besides that unnecessary sideswipe, I don't see the problems given in an A&A game as challenging, either.
I deny that there are so many options in this game. Give me some examples for the German, or the Japanese, or the Russian...If there are that many options to fill books with in A&A it should be no problem to describe them. The argument "If you don't see them you are a poor player!" doesn't work...

Zitat:
In the
latter case I can only advice you to join a pbem club and start enjoying this
game.


Thanx for the advice but I am glad that I left this time-consuming PbEM behind. Even the Win map isn't boosting the gameplay. All the problems with several e-mails, the mostly down dice-server and all this writing of the single-moves...no thanx. There are better ways to play PbEM as Easy said (Vassal, Cyberboard) And I enjoyed this game, but lost interest because of it's limitations.

Thanx for joining in, I appreciate your opinion!


Aquapanik,

Zitat:
you did misinterpret me ...

Quoting just one sentence out of a thread shows not always the true opinion of the quoted person.


Sorry, it wasn't my intention to twist the quote. You said "Was ich mich wirklich frage ist..." and that clearly shows you made a break to the things you said before. I took it as an topic of it's own then.


Zitat:
In person, I'm happy with the offered A&A but I wouldn't have a problem in opening the club for other tactic or wargames.


There's a difference in saying "Hey, why not bringing in some other tactical games, wargames etc. ?" and saying "Well, if _you_ want some other games, well,...then ..yep I say go for it..."
What you are saying now sounds more like the latter version and doesn't match your original post. My passive German is good enough to see the difference Smile


Zitat:
IF someone will do the additional work.
Would you do it?
Spending a few hours every day (not once a year) in replying to emails, questions updating rules, supporting newcomers, programing an internet page and responding to posts where someone blames all your work because in his opinion you did all those things for a stupid game...

If you will volunteer for it and you find someone for translation into German, Italian or Dutch there is absolut no problem in opening the club.


Huh? It wasn't me that asked for other games in the DAAK - it was you!
I am not a member, anyway. Sorry, you lost me here...

Stahlregen
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Aquapanik
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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Jul 02, 2003 3:56 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:


What you are saying now sounds more like the latter version and doesn't match your original post. My passive German is good enough to see the difference Smile


Huh? It wasn't me that asked for other games in the DAAK - it was you!
I am not a member, anyway. Sorry, you lost me here...

Stahlregen


Seems your passiv German could be better...

at the moment you still miss something.

I didn't ask for other games, I brought in an idea to open daak.

But reading this thread I'm frightened to offer anything else. Think why...Rolling

To finish an endless argumentation I will just state:

you are absolut right in everything you wrote about A&A,

I will enjoy that game also in future

I'm happy you have some friends to play games you like and

I hope I won't be worth to get any further posts...

Aquapanik
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Stahlregen
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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Jul 02, 2003 4:38 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Aquapanik,

Zitat:
seems your passiv German could be better...

at the moment you still miss something.


I wonder why so many of the DAAK members are not able to join in a debate without insulting the guests in this forum. I hope you excuse my poor knowledge of your language Aquapanik and I hope it gives you a feeling of being superior. So, since good manners are not something appreciated in this forum let me tell you, that I am quite happy if my German never gets that poor as the english of most you guys here actually is. I could have placed many many smilies after many many silly sentences. Did I? No, for I see no sense in offending other people because of their bad english.
Does this help with the debate now? Is that the style you like Aqua? Then be it so.

Zitat:
I didn't ask for other games, I brought in an idea to open daak.


It seems your German is not very good, either, for you don't know what you are talking. You _did_ ask why the DAAK limit itself to A&A and that _is_ asking for other tactical/wargames as your post clearly shows.


Zitat:
But reading this thread I'm frightened to offer anything else. Think why...


Let me think...perhaps you have nothing important to say? Perhaps, you are not that bright? Perhaps you can't discuss without insulting others? Perhaps it's better to watch your mouth!


Zitat:
To finish an endless argumentation I will just state:


You didn't bring in any arguments, bummer.

Zitat:
you are absolut right in everything you wrote about A&A,

I will enjoy that game also in future

I'm happy you have some friends to play games you like


O c'm on, you are but a silly troll. I am not interested in talking with a kid like you.

Zitat:
and

I hope I won't be worth to get any further posts...


No, you're not worth any further words, so please keep out of this folder, then.

Stahlregen

P.S. To all the other folks here: I don't like being aggressive but I don't tolerate insulting and offending attacks made against me. Don't you have a Netiquette in your club? You know what that is? I have seen in the politics folder how easily the DAAK members can get upset. And that also was against a foreigner. You REALLY need a Netiquette or better close all folders to non-members!
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Nathan
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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Jul 02, 2003 5:58 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hi Stahlregen,

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
As I said we only played without any bidding, that is still the rule in our group and counts for every game. So I agree that there may be some slight changings to the very first move, but no matter what style you play Germany must take Africa.


I humbly disagree. Of course it does help a lot if Germany is able to take Africa, but short of an African power bid, a good allied player can prevent that. And the African power bid has other limitations, and even with it Africa does not hold past round 3 or 4.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
That's the reason in our gaming group no one wanted to play the Russian because he was the first one kicked out of the game - every game!

... {and from a different post} ...

The group now has about 35 members and about half of them were A&A maniacs that played the game for several years before I even joined in. No, I don't think that they are poor players, they had some good results at tournaments in northern countries as well as in the States. One of them, not a member anymore because he was off to Egypt for business some years ago, was part of the Don Rae team that analyzed A&A to death. Again, I think they are very good players and have a deep understanding of the game.


That I find very strange. You say that your group has some very good players, yet Russia is always the first to fall - and all that without bidding! I have read the whole strategy forum of the AAMC some time ago, also the complete strategy forum here at DAAK before I joined, and I took some looks at the one at IAAPA. In all these forums the very great majority of the posters would agree that the Axis doesn't stand a chance without bidding (maybe 5%, as OpTorch said) - yet in your group, Russia always falls first!
I really would like to play a game against you (unrated, if you want), you as Axis, and learn how to do that! I mean it, no irony here. In these forums nearly every strategy I can think of was discussed in great detail, but something must have been overlooked if both of the things you say are true: Your group has very good players AND russia falls first without bid.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
From what I could read here in the appropiate folders it seems that this early russian dead is also very common in your games, so I wonder if it is totally different in your personal games only?


Hmm, as I just said, I read the whole strategy part. I had a different perception.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
How long could the Russian player hold out in a good game?


Well... I haven't seen him fall for a long time... when I play the allies! Good

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Could he ever do something different than securing his borders?


Sure! Though, against a good axis player, only very late in the game, I give you that much.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Have you ever seen a Russian player sending his troops farther than -say- India?


Yes. Africa, Burma, even Great Britain against a naval invasion in G01...

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Btw have you ever experienced a game that ended with something different than the magic 84 victory?


Again, yes. Actually, I do not see M84 very often.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
I deny that there are so many options in this game. Give me some examples for the German, or the Japanese, or the Russian...


Germany: Africa yes/no, LEN strafe to secure FIN troops yes/no, bid placement UKR or EEU?,
Japan: Pearl yes/no, with acc or not, take HAW yes/no, attack YAK or IND or KWA?, icp or trn?
Russia: Manchuria yes/no, attack FIN or UKR or EEU or stack in LEN.

That was just the first round. And of course these are not all options available. Some of them are not "stategic", others are. Some are quite clearly decided in my mind, others aren't - but all of them are subject to debate in any of the aforementioned forums, and afaik some sort of >75%-consensus has been reached on only a few of them.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Thanx for the advice but I am glad that I left this time-consuming PbEM behind. Even the Win map isn't boosting the gameplay. All the problems with several e-mails, the mostly down dice-server and all this writing of the single-moves...no thanx.


Well, if the emails are the problem, then we can use Attis server: http://www.attila-products.de. You still need the winmap, but you don't have to write a single email during the course of a game.

Stahlregen, to conclude, I really would like to learn some great Axis strategy, and if you can teach this to me, I will be grateful and accept it that you have mastered the game and have seen all the strategic options - in short, that you and your group "solved" the game. This I would take as supporting your view that A&A is a non-complex game, and when I have succesfully applied your strategy for myself in a couple of games, I will probably quit A&A and move on to more challenging games.
Frankly (and no offense intended!) I do not think that this will be the outcome. I believe you will lose quite surely if we play without an axis bid on your side (and I would even think the same goes for a bid of, say, 10 or 12), not because I am such a great player, but because I think most of the cracks in the forums would agree with me here. If it comes to that, would you in turn then accept that maybe your group did not master the game, and further, that there are some strategies that your group has not seen or not applied, and that therefore A&A might not be such a non-complex game as you have contended repeatedly in this thread?
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OpTorch
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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Jul 02, 2003 7:23 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hi Stahlregen,


Zitat:
As I said we only played without any bidding, that is still the rule in our group
and counts for every game. So I agree that there may be some slight changings
to the very first move, but no matter what style you play Germany must take Africa.
Even with bidding you don't change the basic mechanics of the game and that is
some sort of income you can turn into units. There's no other country that gives
Germany that much income with relatively less efforts and dangers. Thus, I
think my statement is true. Give me an example for a game where Germany
can ignore Africa, please and is still be able to achieve a good standing.


A bid of say 6 inf, 1 arm in Ukr can give Germany the option to go after the Ruskies
without Africa. The allies are in danger with this bid and need to play with great care.

I am getting the impressions though that we are talking about 2 different breeds.
Are you playing Russia Restricted? In the international A&A pbem clubs this is
not standard.


Zitat:
From what I could read here in the appropiate folders it seems that this
early russian dead is also very common in your games, so I wonder if it is
totally different in your personal games only?


No, its not common in my games. Do you mean the axis always win, or are you
saying that when the axis win, it's b/c of an early russian dead?

Zitat:
How long could the Russian player hold out in a good game?


How many moves can black survive in good game of chess?

Zitat:
Could he ever do something different than securing his borders?


Strike and weaken Germany (EEu) or push the Japs back. The UK and US can help.

Zitat:
Have you ever seen a Russian player sending his troops farther than
-say- India?


One allied strategy can be to push the Japs back. In the end this can go as far
as removing the Japs from Asian mainland.

Zitat:
Maybe you don't know consims, either - but if you ever compare the Russian
player in TK vs. the Russian in A&A you'll certainly realize the difference. The Russian
in A&A is cannon fodder to hold off the Japanese troops so the Brits/Americans
can pressure Germany.


I dont know about consims but I know your statement about the ruskies isnt true.
I use the US (Yak, Sin or Eve, Nov, Kaz) and UK (Per, Syr, Africa) to trade
inf w/the Japs. This weakens the Japs and saves the Russian army.

Zitat:
Btw have you ever experienced a game that ended with something different
than the magic 84 victory?


I think about 5% of my games are decided w/M84.

Zitat:
If the game is that interesting without bidding, why do you bid then?
If you have to bid to change this unbalanced game how can a game without
bidding be interesting? Your point is somewhat contradictory, no?

Apart from that I can't confrim that A&A is that unbalanced, but maybe our
players
are too poor... Wink


You are prolly playing the RR game, speculation from my part. I haven't got a lot
of experience with that, but I believe its still common to give the axis extra
units (6-8 ipcs?) to balance the game. Its just more fun to have about equal chances
w/both the axis and the allies.

Zitat:
Yes and no. Yes, because I know a good deal that gave it up after
"solving" it and no, because the "scene" as a whole is different to the scene
in Germany - or so it seems.
In Germany there's the A&A gang that play only A&A up to the point that they
have no knowledge of and interest in other games (except the same style:
simple rules, little plastic figures, area maps etc..).
The - let's say - international non-German wargaming scene incorporates the
whole spectrum. Most of them play fun-wargames like A&A etc..

You see, the situation in Germany and the overall approach to this hobby is
something special. That explains that the DAAK members see no need in debates
like this. Given this attitude I wouldn't say that the A&A scene in Germany
is really part of the wargaming hobby. And the consim folks are over in the
GHS as far as I know. Does the DAAK have any connection to the GHS?


I dont know if DAAK differs that much from the international situation. Again,
we are talking about 2 different breeds I think. There are a couple of international
A&A pbem clubs (DAAK included) and A&A is absolutely core business. On the
other hand there are the gaming clubs where A&A is one of many games being
played. You can expect more discussion on the different games there.

Zitat:
No, I am not a genius, but besides that unnecessary sideswipe, I don't
see the problems given in an A&A game as challenging, either.
I deny
that there are so many options in this game. Give me some examples for the German,
or the Japanese, or the Russian...If there are that many options to fill books
with in A&A it should be no problem to describe them. The argument "If you don't
see them you are a poor player!" doesn't work...


The EEu - Ukr - Cau walk with the german army is such an example. The allies
can strafe/attack the stack, they can step into EEu, they can decide to attack
WEu, they can land in Spain, or they can just wait and decide what way they
want to go 1 round later (when Ger stack is in Cau) with these same (and more)
options. This can have great impact on the Russian board situation. Will they
stay in Nov (assuming thats where they are)? Do you want to have a counter
on Ger? Can you trap the German stack?

Its hard to tackle and plan this in ftf games, but in pbem you can take the time
you need to check all different paths.

Zitat:
Thanx for the advice but I am glad that I left this time-consuming PbEM
behind. Even the Win map isn't boosting the gameplay. All the problems with
several e-mails, the mostly down dice-server and all this writing of the single-moves...
no thanx. There are better ways to play PbEM as Easy said (Vassal, Cyberboard)
And I enjoyed this game, but lost interest because of it's limitations.


I agree. The Winmap looks poor but is a great tool for analysis. If you want
to use a more appealing (visually) map, try Mots Map.

Regards,
OpTorch
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Stahlregen
Obergefreiter


Anmeldedatum: 20.06.2003
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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Jul 02, 2003 7:25 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Nathan,

thanx for being the first one here able and willing to do a serious post.
Let's see...

Zitat:
I humbly disagree. Of course it does help a lot if Germany is able to take Africa, but short of an African power bid, a good allied player can prevent that. And the African power bid has other limitations, and even with it Africa does not hold past round 3 or 4.


Germany holding Africa for 3 rounds gives enough income to pound the allied units without giving too much care to one's own units. But the problem of comparing might be this bid thingy. The original rules allow for an optional rule if you think the Allied side is too strong - Russia restricted, and everything I say about the game is based on that optional rule.


Zitat:
That I find very strange. You say that your group has some very good players, yet Russia is always the first to fall - and all that without bidding!


But with Russia restricted and both axis powers concentrating on Russia without any distraction. Russia is the easiest enemy to defeat and so why not sacking it? Hell, it's like the viking run sacking Paris Wink

Zitat:
I have read the whole strategy forum of the AAMC some time ago, also the complete strategy forum here at DAAK before I joined, and I took some looks at the one at IAAPA. In all these forums the very great majority of the posters would agree that the Axis doesn't stand a chance without bidding (maybe 5%, as OpTorch said) - yet in your group, Russia always falls first!


Nathan, that isn't as strange as it seems. Germany and Japan go against Russia and even if the Brit plays an India gambit, that only slows down a bit and nothing can stop Japan to march on the continent. With Russia restricted the Russian player can't do the big oomph on Germany to devastate the forces that threaten him and all he can do is fortifying Karelia. The Karelian Inf stacks are something you can see on almost any picture where there's a A&A game in progress. The Brits can't do very much outside the european theater because too many points to cover with far too less units - so they mostly do what they always did: uniting with the american units. The latter get's mostly a heavy pearl strike in the pacific and quickly escapes over into the atlantic. So the allied pounding on Germany is the only thing that works. Russia alone can't stand against Japan in the East while getting a blow in the west (vice versa from his view of course Wink) for it loses too much IPCs because of the japanese grasp of countries. That's the normal way and the one that almost always leads to an axis victory - given the DR aren't a desaster.


Zitat:
I really would like to play a game against you (unrated, if you want), you as Axis, and learn how to do that! I mean it, no irony here. In these forums nearly every strategy I can think of was discussed in great detail, but something must have been overlooked if both of the things you say are true: Your group has very good players AND russia falls first without bid.


I have seen many strategies discussed here, too and some things are seen quite differently in this club. E.g. Don Rae's strategies are not very common here and I think I have seen some posts that declare them nonsense. (Not sure where I have read this). Don's strategies are acknowledged as winning moves in the international scene AFAIK. So what? DAAK says no, others say yes. Same with the Baker Rules. I know many folks who like to play with these, but the DAAK seems not interested in them (despite the fact that they have them free for download). So, quite possible that you read some things here that are different than what you can read outside the club.

Regarding a game. I haven't played A&A for quite a while, same goes for my club, I think only 3-4 folks do play it sometimes and then as a filler at our meetings. I am not interested in playing this game any more, it's not fun for me, rather boring. Besides being very busy due to my job I have 5 different PbEM games running (1 TK campaign, 1 TK scenario, 1 SL and 2 ASL games) and that's almost too much.
I could ask one of our members, but I don't think that they are that interested in A&A either. Sucks too much time for very little reward.

[snip]

Zitat:
Again, yes. Actually, I do not see M84 very often.


Interesting...So you actually win by taking two main cities? And that without getting 84 IPC on the way? Very interesting, indeed.

Zitat:
Germany: Africa yes/no, LEN strafe to secure FIN troops yes/no, bid placement UKR or EEU?,
Japan: Pearl yes/no, with acc or not, take HAW yes/no, attack YAK or IND or KWA?, icp or trn?
Russia: Manchuria yes/no, attack FIN or UKR or EEU or stack in LEN.

That was just the first round. And of course these are not all options available. Some of them are not "stategic", others are. [snip]


Nathan, that are about 3 -4 options you have in the first round and that are exactly the ones I know myself, of course. My point is: that's it! What other options do you have? That's the question I am interested in.


Zitat:
Well, if the emails are the problem, then we can use Attis server: http://www.attila-products.de. You still need the winmap, but you don't have to write a single email during the course of a game.


Although I am not into a game I am interested in how this works. Could you explain, please?


Zitat:
Stahlregen, to conclude, I really would like to learn some great Axis strategy, and if you can teach this to me, I will be grateful and accept it that you have mastered the game and have seen all the strategic options - in short, that you and your group "solved" the game. This I would take as supporting your view that A&A is a non-complex game, and when I have succesfully applied your strategy for myself in a couple of games, I will probably quit A&A and move on to more challenging games.


Seems you gang misinterpret my intention. I am not after changing your prefered games, nor in teaching you the perfect way to play A&A. BTW Don has already done that - without having much success in the DAAK. But even he refuses the bidding, so that may be somewhat different.

Zitat:
Frankly (and no offense intended!)


no offense taken.

Zitat:
I do not think that this will be the outcome. I believe you will lose quite surely if we play without an axis bid on your side (and I would even think the same goes for a bid of, say, 10 or 12), not because I am such a great player, but because I think most of the cracks in the forums would agree with me here. If it comes to that, would you in turn then accept that maybe your group did not master the game, and further, that there are some strategies that your group has not seen or not applied, and that therefore A&A might not be such a non-complex game as you have contended repeatedly in this thread?


Well, I don't think that gamers that play all the heavy games since they can say mama have much problems with solving A&A. Nathan, there are some things that are simply obvious:

The game has very limited mechanics, means the rules don't allow much detailed action. As I already said, there's no maneuver, no supply to care about, no different combats (say Blitz and normal etc.), no detailed map (compare the A&A map with a hex map), no detailed units (nothing like range, ZOCs, etc.), no interactive environment so to say (terrain modifier),
no politics that can influence your military efforts, no weather (tanks can't do much in muddy terrain, but more on frozen ground, but that is affecting the infantry etc.), no detailed math for getting your combat odds on the CRT, etc. pp.
All you have are some countries that border at other countries and all you can do is pushing your units into the next land to do combat. And this combat depends solely on the DR, there are no DRMs whatsoever, so the combat is a rather streamlined and dumb experience. The strategies you have are only some initial decisions where to go on that map. It's not possible to do strategic combats, to outmaneuver the enemy troops, to stop units by cutting their supply, to boost your chances due to some city shifts, or holding out on good defending terrain etc.

Such limitations are obvious and I don't think one has to play this game for 50 years to come to the conclusion, there are games out there that are _really_ strategic games. I have absolutely no problem with the fact that you folks like playing A&A. But I always read that everybody is interested into "strategy" and often A&A is portrayed as a "strategic experience", but that's one step too far. A&A is a family game, like monopoly, with a slight WW II background. It has absolutely nothing to do with military strategy and is way behind real military strategy games - consims. I have not to beat you in A&A several times to understand this. So, if everybody is so interested into strategy, why don't they switch over to the real thing? I have read the DAAK WAW rules and there are several notes about what elements do "simulate" reality in one way or other, so it seems you A&A players _are_ interested in historical accuracy. But that doesn't meet with this "Gesellschaftsspiel" then.

Get my point?

Thanx for your well thought post.

Stahlregen
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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Jul 02, 2003 10:25 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hi Stahlregen,

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
thanx for being the first one here able and willing to do a serious post.


Thank you, it was a pleasure. But actually I think there is, at minimum, one person (OpTorch) who posted something I'd consider serious before I did, and I think a few others had at least one serious post as well.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Zitat:
I humbly disagree. Of course it does help a lot if Germany is able to take Africa, but short of an African power bid, a good allied player can prevent that. And the African power bid has other limitations, and even with it Africa does not hold past round 3 or 4.


Germany holding Africa for 3 rounds gives enough income to pound the allied units without giving too much care to one's own units. But the problem of comparing might be this bid thingy. The original rules allow for an optional rule if you think the Allied side is too strong - Russia restricted, and everything I say about the game is based on that optional rule.


I actually think the Africa question is one of the most strategic questions in the whole game! I realize that there are very delicate and subtle strategies that try to keep Africa for Germany for some rounds for exactly the reasons you propose: Income. The point is that these strategies are very hard to play against any good allied player - but of course, against a good player, every strategy is hard. I personally consider the Africa strategy inferior to an all-Europe one, but it is one of the open debates in the forums, definitely at AAMC and here as well. Which goes for the notion that A&A is a strategic game, after all, if even such a basic question is not clearly answered.

More specifically to your points, I have never ever seen a German player who has "enough income to pound the allied units without giving too much care to one's own units". All African strategies I have ever read about have their real weaknesses in Europe, where Fortress Europe is harder to get in place. Of course, all that goes even more for games without bids than for games with bids.

On Russia Restricted: Although my comments were made with no RR in mind, I think most of them hold true for RR as well. I think I can say that because the great majority of the games I have played were played with RR (and with Axis Advantage), and without bid I still say the axis chance of winning is less than 5%. Imho, RR and AxAdv are not as great as most of the people who have rarely or never played it seem to think.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Zitat:
That I find very strange. You say that your group has some very good players, yet Russia is always the first to fall - and all that without bidding!


But with Russia restricted and both axis powers concentrating on Russia without any distraction. Russia is the easiest enemy to defeat and so why not sacking it? Hell, it's like the viking run sacking Paris Wink


Of course Russia is the easiest axis-enemy to defeat, for there are only the US and UK to challenge it in that! Oh well As I said, RR doesn't change much without a bid. RUS stacks LEN in R01; in G01 there is no chance for the Germans to take it; RUS takes FIN (and CAU, if necessary) in R02; in G02 again no way of taking LEN; in that same round the first UK and US inf land in FIN; then RUS moves back it's FIN troops to LEN and takes CAU (if necessary) in R03. Last and only (slim) chance for Ger to take LEN - but if it does, the allies will just take it back. Japan is not ready yet, since RUS can hold it to MAN in J01, then YAK in J02, then NOV in J03 and in R04 Russia builds up at least partly in Moscow. Game won for the allies, for Moscow will never fall with UK and US inf landing in LEN, FIN respectively.

I realize that it is rather useless to say this without the figures attached, but you can calculate all the battles in any decent BattleSim and will find that the odds against the axis are just overwhelming. Which is why nobody in the big clubs plays with Russia Restricted - it is not sufficient. Actually, I am not quite so sure about the next point because I rarely encounter such a large bid, but with 7 or 8 inf in EEU many good players (at least at AAMC) seem to think that it is best for Russia to just sit in LEN in R01! Some sort of "artificial" RR (short of BAL, of course). If RR were that bad, this would surely not be the case.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Zitat:
I have read the whole strategy forum of the AAMC some time ago, also the complete strategy forum here at DAAK before I joined, and I took some looks at the one at IAAPA. In all these forums the very great majority of the posters would agree that the Axis doesn't stand a chance without bidding (maybe 5%, as OpTorch said) - yet in your group, Russia always falls first!


Nathan, that isn't as strange as it seems. Germany and Japan go against Russia and even if the Brit plays an India gambit, that only slows down a bit and nothing can stop Japan to march on the continent.


Sure, allied inf can. Japan will get up to Novosibirsk. They will not get any further - and be thrown back shortly afterwards (all without bid, of course). I personally think the India gambit is one of the worst faults a UK player can make - it not only leaves Africa to the Germans, it also gives a nice factory to Japan! As with the rest, I am quite sure most people at least in the AAMC forum would agree with me here.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
With Russia restricted the Russian player can't do the big oomph on Germany to devastate the forces that threaten him and all he can do is fortifying Karelia. The Karelian Inf stacks are something you can see on almost any picture where there's a A&A game in progress.


Both true. The game is decided in LEN-EEU simply because the capitals Moscow and Berlin are the closest to each other.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
The Brits can't do very much outside the european theater because too many points to cover with far too less units - so they mostly do what they always did: uniting with the american units.


Well... The Indian units can (and imho should) go to Africa to throw the German out. I'd really like to know how you want to prevent that without any German bid... Even with an Africa-bid of 3 or 4 inf LIB this happens very often!

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
The latter get's mostly a heavy pearl strike in the pacific and quickly escapes over into the atlantic. So the allied pounding on Germany is the only thing that works. Russia alone can't stand against Japan in the East while getting a blow in the west (vice versa from his view of course Wink) for it loses too much IPCs because of the japanese grasp of countries. That's the normal way and the one that almost always leads to an axis victory - given the DR aren't a desaster.


Limited agreement to the first three sentences here. A "Germany first" strategy is (imho!) absolutely needed on the allied side in the first few rounds. But after Germany is contained, I personally prefer pushing back or at least seriously containing Japan before crushing Germany. I think this is just safer. I of course disagree with your notion that the above described process almost always leads to an axis victory. As stated above, I think the opposite is the case without bids. As for the Russian IPCs, there are 8 IPCs that Japan grabs from it, but Russia gets 2 from FIN and after some rounds can trade UKR with Germany, another 3. Leaves Russia at 21 being 7 inf (minus, of course, sbr, but these are usually stopped by flaks after a couple of rounds). More than enough to hold Japan at bay with a little help from the allies.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Zitat:
I really would like to play a game against you (unrated, if you want), you as Axis, and learn how to do that! I mean it, no irony here. In these forums nearly every strategy I can think of was discussed in great detail, but something must have been overlooked if both of the things you say are true: Your group has very good players AND russia falls first without bid.


I have seen many strategies discussed here, too and some things are seen quite differently in this club. E.g. Don Rae's strategies are not very common here and I think I have seen some posts that declare them nonsense. (Not sure where I have read this).


I personally think that this is because they in fact are nonsense. Good
Now, of course, there is some truth in them, and especially valuable is the "inf-max-paradigm" ("Buy inf, inf, inf"), but that is a rule that any serious player will know prior to reading Don Rae. The rest... well. Especially the "advanced Japanese tactics" - in my opionion they really mean "advanced Kamikaze". Stahlregen, please do not take these strong words personally, they are not directed at you but rather at a piece of guideance that is, in my opinion, not only written poorly but also just wrong. I think Don Rae's really helpful to get Newbie's to refrain from buying cannons without fodder, but that's about it.

EDITED: OpTorchs post below triggered a re-reading of Don Rae from my side. The mentioned "advanced Japanese tactics" can no longer be found in them. Of course, I take this as supporting my point that they were not exactly strong, but probably Don would disagree with me here and state that they were removed because too many novices were trapped in their intricacies. As for my potentially offensive remark that the essay is written poorly: Afaik, it still constitutes the best A&A guide out there (sadly). When I read them a long time ago, I was repelled by the imho all-too-often authorative and lecturing style of the essay, repeatedly stating "This is the only possible way" or "Novices will just have to believe me for now" and so on. Memory then exaggerated that bad feeling to the point of me thinking they were written poorly, which I hereby apologize for and take back.
Also, to my surprise, I did not find any point in the essay were it says that axis victory is ensured (safe poor allied play!) following it's guidelines. On the contrary, the part on allied strategy is labelled "ALLIED TACTICS: Elementary Principles Aka: 'How the Allies Can Almost Always Win Their Game'", while the axis strategy part just says "AXIS TACTICS: AGGRESSIVE PLAY FOR THE DEFENSIVE-MINDED AXIS PLAYER" (emphasis in original). Stahlregen, that now leaves you to explain your "certain-win" axis strategy even against Don Rae's essay - of which you yourself said that it teaches "[...] you the perfect way to play A&A".

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Don's strategies are acknowledged as winning moves in the international scene AFAIK.


I do not share that perception. I think I recall some discussions on the AAMC board way back in 1999 when at first the Don Rae report was cherished but later they tore the thing apart. I do not think that e.g. the "advanced Japanese tactics" are played by any of the top AAMC players - and I bet it goes for the top players here, as well.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
So what? DAAK says no, others say yes.


Please, guys (if anybody is reading, that is...), correct me if I'm wrong, but did DAAK not do quite well in some sort of inter-club-tournament, like 2 out of the best 4 and the finals not yet decided? If it is true, while one single point of data is of course in no way significant, it at least stands testimony to the fact that the playing style at DAAK - of which, I think, we both agree that it doesn't use Don Rae - is not completely inferior to the one in other clubs.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
I could ask one of our members, but I don't think that they are that interested in A&A either. Sucks too much time for very little reward.


For my part, I can say that in the time it took me to write these two posts, I could already be in round 4 or 5 at minimum in an average A&A game. You have written many more posts than me, and even if you write them faster than I do and even if a game with you might not be "average", we could still be well going in a game. But of course, it is your time, and you can spend is as you like, so I will just accept this (no irony, I mean that!).

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Nathan hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Again, yes. Actually, I do not see M84 very often.


Interesting...So you actually win by taking two main cities? And that without getting 84 IPC on the way? Very interesting, indeed.


No. I usually win by my opponent giving up after one of his capitals has fallen and him having no chance to get it back or seriously threaten any of mine. But that is just me, and of course there are players whose playing styles differ and who will encounter M84 much more often than I do.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Zitat:
Germany: Africa yes/no, LEN strafe to secure FIN troops yes/no, bid placement UKR or EEU?,
Japan: Pearl yes/no, with acc or not, take HAW yes/no, attack YAK or IND or KWA?, icp or trn?
Russia: Manchuria yes/no, attack FIN or UKR or EEU or stack in LEN.

That was just the first round. And of course these are not all options available. Some of them are not "stategic", others are. [snip]


Nathan, that are about 3 -4 options you have in the first round and that are exactly the ones I know myself, of course. My point is: that's it! What other options do you have? That's the question I am interested in.


Well, first of all, I count 3 or 4 options per country, not per round. I shall not give another option list, but instead elaborate on the one I mentioned above: the 3 inf, 1 ftr, 1 bmb counterattack on EGY in E01. Maybe this is an option that you do not already know or that, at least, you do not use. Because I still fail to see how Germany can hold Africa with that option without a bid! I simply do not see how that works. So may I humbly suggest that instead of me suggesting more options than I already did, that you explain to me and the rest of the forum your German Africa strategy? I'm very sure many of us are really interested in it, but frankly I'm nearly as sure that there is some hole in it that was overlooked by you. Otherwise someone in all the A&A clubs out there would be playing that strategy and receive good results with Germany without a bid!

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Zitat:
Well, if the emails are the problem, then we can use Attis server: http://www.attila-products.de. You still need the winmap, but you don't have to write a single email during the course of a game.


Although I am not into a game I am interested in how this works. Could you explain, please?


As it is very self-explanatory once you have seen it, excuse me for not going into the details. In general, you have one form where you enter your CM (and the purchase), one form for throwing the dice (the dicey part known from other diceys) and finally a third form for entering the results, the NCM, the placement, the OOL and the WinMap-file that you just upload on the server. Sadly, you still have to edit the WinMap by hand (hint, hint, Atti Good ). All the text you enter is stored on a server-based logfile, the map is also stored and ready for download and it is also converted to a png so that everyone can view it in a browser. Of course, emails notifying players of finnished turns are send out automatically, and also the server keeps track of the money and income everyone has. I suggest using the above link and registering there, afterwards look for a user in the userlist and there you can view all the games he has played.
Overall, imho it simplifies the whole process a great deal, although as always, opinions will differ here.
Stahlregen, have a look at it, then rethink your decision not to play! Good

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Seems you gang misinterpret my intention. I am not after changing your prefered games, nor in teaching you the perfect way to play A&A. BTW Don has already done that - without having much success in the DAAK. But even he refuses the bidding, so that may be somewhat different.


As said above, Don has not done such a thing. No one has so far. I'm sure every top player in every club will agree with me on this one.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Well, I don't think that gamers that play all the heavy games since they can say mama have much problems with solving A&A. Nathan, there are some things that are simply obvious:

The game has very limited mechanics, means the rules don't allow much detailed action. As I already said, there's no maneuver, no supply to care about, no different combats (say Blitz and normal etc.), no detailed map (compare the A&A map with a hex map), no detailed units (nothing like range, ZOCs, etc.), no interactive environment so to say (terrain modifier), no politics that can influence your military efforts, no weather (tanks can't do much in muddy terrain, but more on frozen ground, but that is affecting the infantry etc.), no detailed math for getting your combat odds on the CRT, etc. pp.
All you have are some countries that border at other countries and all you can do is pushing your units into the next land to do combat. And this combat depends solely on the DR, there are no DRMs whatsoever, so the combat is a rather streamlined and dumb experience. [snip]
It's not possible to do strategic combats, to outmaneuver the enemy troops, to stop units by cutting their supply, to boost your chances due to some city shifts, or holding out on good defending terrain etc.


All agreed, it is all true. As in chess.
Now, Stahlregen, this is not to compare A&A with chess, but what on earth have limited game mechanics have to do with strategic options? Take Go, you will probably not find any game with simpler mechanics - yet it sure is one of the most complex and most strategic games on this planet!
Of course, you can make a case that there are limited strategic options in A&A. There is some truths in it, compared to Go or chess at least. But in no way any of the things you mentioned is needed to have a strategically deep game.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
The strategies you have are only some initial decisions where to go on that map.


That sentence originally belonged to the point in the above quote where it says "[snip]" now. I cut it out because it is somewhat different from the others in that I don't agree with it. If the sentence were true, in conclusion all players of A&A would be quite, well, uninspired, because after the "initial decisions" where to go the rest would be just dice. Now do you really think you would have several pure A&A clubs out there out of which you can, I assure you and you know it well, find many competent and intelligent long-year-players of A&A, and all these people are making just "initial decisions" and count on dice afterwards?

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
But I always read that everybody is interested into "strategy" and often A&A is portrayed as a "strategic experience", but that's one step too far. A&A is a family game, like monopoly, with a slight WW II background. It has absolutely nothing to do with military strategy and is way behind real military strategy games - consims. I have not to beat you in A&A several times to understand this.


Of course A&A has nothing to do with real military strategy. That, btw, goes for any game I have ever seen. For me, you have not proven your contention that A&A is unstrategic with anything you said so far.

Stahlregen, in conclusion, you have a lot of times in this thread told people that they should not talk about things they do not really know - CoSims in those cases. Do you realize that as your successful bidless German Africa-strategy is so far off anything probably anyone here would be able to create, the case could be made that you do not really know the allied counter-strategies in A&A, therefore you would by your own logic be obliged not to talk about the strategic value of A&A? I myself have not decided on that issue, but I'm waiting with great anticipation for an outline of your strategy or a game with you. So let yourself be judged! Good

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Get my point?


I think so. Do you get mine?

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Thanx for your well thought post.


Again, it was a pleasure. Thanks for your equally well though answer.

EDITED: Some typos and two wordings. It was getting late...
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Zuletzt bearbeitet von Nathan am Do Jul 03, 2003 10:45 am, insgesamt 4-mal bearbeitet
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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Jul 02, 2003 10:29 pm    Titel: Mots Map Antworten mit Zitat

Hi OpTorch,

OpTorch hat Folgendes geschrieben:
I agree. The Winmap looks poor but is a great tool for analysis. If you want to use a more appealing (visually) map, try Mots Map.


I think I have never heard of that program. Would you mind posting a link?
Thanks in advance! Smile

EDITED: No longer necessary for me, as it has been answered by PM. Thanks!
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BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 12:25 am    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hi Nathan,

a short comment on Don Rae and his essays:

In one of his essays he mentioned the "advanced Japanese tactics". He
has deleted this part. The essays are read a lot by newbies and they
could get the impression that this tactic is better than "standard" play.
This variant is only supposed to be an interesting variant wich is
misinterpreted by a lot of readers (a lot of threads on his MB and even
at DAAK there were some questions about it). As far as I am concerned
he should have changed the title iso deleting the stuff...

Regards,
OpTorch
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BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 9:03 am    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hi OpTorch, Stahlregen,

OpTorch hat Folgendes geschrieben:
a short comment on Don Rae and his essays:

In one of his essays he mentioned the "advanced Japanese tactics". He
has deleted this part.


OpTorch, thank you, that is valuable and interesting information for me. It's been a long time ago that I read the essay. I admit I should have checked on Don's own page prior to posting, but it was already getting late and I was sure to have seen the advanced Japanese part recently in one of the many copies floating around (it sure is in the translation on DAAK).

Actually, checking it now, I see that the essay on Don's page is IIRC greatly rewritten. "The Advanced Axis Grand Strategy" part is completely cut out, meaning that only "The Basic Axis Grand Strategy" part remains. Now "basic" fits much better into my perception of the essay than "advanced". Good

Seriously, of course I'll have to re-read it now, if only to be able to discuss it with Stahlregen. And one more thing, on the search for the essay I found this thread http://pub6.ezboard.com/faxisandalliesessayfeedbackaxisandallies.showMessage?topicID=1331.topic on Don's board. Einstein43 (whom some people here seem to know) is making a case there similar to mine above: That the essay is not the perfect style of play and that you need to play things out to come to any conclusion. Two short citations:
"My problem with The Essays is they give an absolutist, final answer, no-other-approach-allowed message. The Essays say over and over again, at great and repetitive length, that they are THE ONLY way to win consistently."
"[...] the only true test of any strategy (and here I do agree with DonRae) is: will it win more often than it loses?"

Stahlregen, the last sentence is one of the reasons for my challenge to you. I'm afraid I will not be able to convince you with words. And although I will have to wait for your explanation of the Africa strategy, I strongly doubt that this hopefully forthcoming explanation will be able to convince me - though I sure am curious! A game, on the other hand, should settle the matter rather quickly.
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Nathan
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Panther
DAAK - VP / Vize-Verteidigungsminister


Anmeldedatum: 05.06.2002
Beiträge: 6631
Wohnort: Ismaning, Bavaria

BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 12:19 pm    Titel: Don Rae Antworten mit Zitat

I agree with Nathan as for the Don Rae Essays.
Not only their approach is very partial they are obsolete in many aspects.
No good player use its strategies, apart form the real basics.
The DAAK goverment has last decided to replace them and asked our Strategy Minister to create an up to date strategy guide. It turned out quickly that this is a big challenge and wont be finished soon.

Another thing to consider: If If the strategic options in AA really were so limited and Don Rae had solved the game why there are players that have a win/loss ratio of 80% or more while others only hav 40% or less?
If the strategy is always the same and only the dice decide a game every player should have a win/loss ratio of about 50%, no?
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Würfel sind nichts anderes als Foltergeräte in Miniaturausgabe, die von hinterhältigen Sadisten entwickelt wurden um Strategiespieler zu quälen!
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Attila
Oberst


Anmeldedatum: 31.07.2002
Beiträge: 685

BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 2:52 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hiho,

I not agree in all points to Stahlregen. A&A is not a deep-though strategy game. It is fun, it is easy and the game mechanics are easy - allright.
There are other games out there - games with much more strategy inside, right.
But this is not the point - i play games for fun! I play A&A, Europe, Pacific, WW2idW, (A)SL and other wargames. Do you want hardcore strategy? Play chess, go, dvonn, zertz or gipf. Play puerto rico, age of steam, magna grecia if you like multiplayer strategy - I like all of them.

I see no causal connection between strategy games and hundreds of counters and millions of tables - take one of the games above - the game mechanics are mostly easy, but does this mean the game is "easy" (from the strategic point of view)? Zillion of people played chess in the past 150 years, thousand of books are written and million hours of deep-computing are done about chess - it is still "unsolved"! Such a simple game!

I can't find a causal connection between win/loss ratio and strategy games. If one player have a win/loss ration of 80% (win) what does this fact show about the strategy-deep of a game? - Nothing! This is a typical subjective point of view: I win almost all games, so the game itself *must* a "strategy-hammer". If i lose it must be a game with much luck. - Yeah - these arguments are really impressive, but please spare me.

About strategy-essays (Don Rae or DAAK - doesn't matter): I think these essays are just ideas. Read it or throw it away - all strategys are based upon an idea - without an idea there can be no strategy. It is the players choice to realise the idea. If you understand the ideas in the essays you can win - if not, you should play an idea you understand. If you find other ideas interesting - read it! If not - leave it!
I have the most fun, when i create my own ideas and advance it from game to game!

Atti
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