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Heretic thought! Why still A&A???
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Easy Company
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Anmeldedatum: 27.06.2003
Beiträge: 6

BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 2:59 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Well, now that's an interesting discussion! In the last days I was repelled by the rude tone and decided to draw back. But now you boys got serious again - thanks to Nathan and Stahlregen - and I'm enjoying your fair and objective debate.

Here are my 2 cents:

Funny enough, I have to admit that I can share Stahlregen's experience. As I said before we play A&A as a "beer & pretzel" game to relax and have some fun and clear our smoking brains between our consim matches. And I really enjoy A&A! (Unfortunately I'm a lousy A&A player and chronically suffering from bad luck (that's why they call me "six eyes" Oh well. I often lose with any nation and faction, regardless of the bid, rule set (RR) or opponent Good So I'm of no statistic value.)

Getting serious again, I played and watched tons of A&A games over the years and strangely enough many of the RR games in fact ended with an Axis victory.I don't know if THIS is of any statistic value (for we don't take this game as serious as you do) but in contrast to bidding or "free" A&A games a large proportion of Russia Restricted games lead to an Axis victory. I don't know why, but I can understand that Stahlregen believes it to be natural law. I myself had the same experience.

Nathan hat Folgendes geschrieben:

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.


Personally I don't think that the India gambit is always "the worst fault" an UK player can make. From my experience both variants (leave Africa, leave India) can be quite useful or lead to complete devastation (just talking of RR games!!!). As always, it depends on your opponent's strategy. From my point of view an Indian factory relieves Russia and gives her desperately needed time to fortify her borders and core land. The factory forces Japan to deal with it for it cannot afford to ignore the threat. In the end the factory will be lost, that's for sure, but during the time Japan struggled with India, Germany could be seriously strangled and Russia grew into a tough defensive hell of a monster.I think this time factor is very valuable and worth the sacrifice.

If I leave India and give it to Japan right from the beginning, I made the experience that Japan first crushed the US forces in China before slipping through India, surrounding Russia and building an Indian factory in the early game - a deadly threat to Russia who definitely needs time!
For RR prohibits russian combat moves in the first turn there will be no offensive russian gameplay and no russian expansion in such a game. In fact I often saw Russia draw her forces back from the far east and caucasus to fortify a defensive parameter around Russia herself. Only versus very lousy Axis players Russia could dare to do more than strafing Ukraine or Eastern Europe.If the british player fails to play for time, i.e. delay the Japanese invasion on the continent, in a RR game Russia is doomed and surrounded within the first game turns. The problem is that the Brits lose Africa and Germany gets really, really RICH. If you're up against a good Axis player he will establish Fortress Europe. If you are lucky, your opponent uses his wealth for experimental purchase like a german fleet to hinder allied Atlantic naval transport. This weakens the Fortress, but in the end the allied player(s) will have to fight tooth and nail to get a foothold on the european continent. Even without Pearl Harbor and with the whole US fleet in the Atlantic I saw allied defeats when Japan is too fast. Once Russia is crushed and japanese fighters fortify the german Ukraine there is no chance for the allies to crush Germany. In many games the US were occupied with the liberation of Africa while the Brits were scattered and nearly reduced to Zero. My experience with RR games thus shows a massive Axis advantage when Russia cannot use her first liberating death blow and is forced to a defensive strategy. It simply takes the western allies too long to come to her rescue while the whole world is under fire.

Nathan, I'm really interested in YOUR experience with RR games - how were these problems dealt with?

(No comments please such as "now I now why you always lose your games" or I start with politics Oh well No, just joking, I won't!!!)


Regarding Don Rae's essays: I simply wonder why anybody plays a game he obviously "solved" over and over again to prove his theory. As his opponent I would be bored to death or simply shoot him while he's doing his shuck shuck movement and making this annoying sound Oh well I once or twice tried to follow his strategy in a RR game, but in my opinion there are just too many factors influencing a game and after a while it was impossible for me to follow his "instructions" for unexpected events turned my game into a bloody mess Oh well Personally, I think it's dangerous to publish such strategies because they tend to distract newbies from thinking. A newbie who read Don Rae won't think about own strategies or how to deal with a situation, he always will remember hat Don "prohibited" doing this or that, and will be anxious to experiment or try something new.

Misc.:

Tiger hat Folgendes geschrieben:
you think ias complex?? Aks a woman to play A & A and after 5 Secods of explaining she will say: Hey forget it, this is too complex.


*lol* Some women here in the Armed Forces are beating the hell out of you when playing - not only A&A, which is considered a fun wargame enjoyed under heavy beer influence - but serious and tough consims and tactical infantry combat simulations. You better don't mess with them, Tiger Oh well Maybe your statement is true for the german Hausfrau Good

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Easy at least knows such games by experience. But as I said, his point with the historical restriction isn't always true, either. It depends on the game. And even if there are historical restrictions then this has nothing to do with the possibilities of the game itself.


Yes, Stahlregen you are right. In Totaler Kreig you MAY chose to go east first, leave the German-British appeasement intact and risk your bloody nose in Barbarossa '39. It's your choice - the game mechanics allow you to start WW II the way you like. You could go east first, then - you could, but who would? In my experience 80% of all Totaler Krieg campaign games are played "historically" with Poland and France first, breaking the pact with Churchill first, while Stalin enjoys himself beating up the Finns and securing his part of Poland and taking influence on Eastern Europe.Once or twice you risk a "East first" strategy, but you soon will return to conservative play. To have the chance to do something extraordinary doesn't mean that you will do it. The same goes for A&A - you could do many funny things, but finally you won't. This is what I meant when referring to "clinging to the historic context" in TK. BTW, howabout a cyberboard match of Totaler Krieg (send me a PM if you're interested)? I never had an opponent from Iceland Good Sounds funny to me, especially if you want to go "East first".

Nathan hat Folgendes geschrieben:
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.


I'm surprised. A few years ago I also played A&A via PbEM, but it proved to be the most time consuming PbEM game I ever played. As Stahlregen said the writing of emails to the opponent(s), waiting for the dice server's results and updating the map on my own drew more time than I could spend. I switched over from DOS/Winmap to SMS or VMAP, but these tools proved to be inefficent (not only for AA but also for games like Squad Leader). I simply don't like PbEM game systems where you have to update your map by entering your opponents moves and force him to update his map by sending him long emails. This in fact IS time consuming. The Atti system sounds better, but it still requires the use of a virtual map and lots of handiwork. A second problem with the Atti thing is that you can only enter your moves online. In my job you don't have a regular schedule and you often have long boring periods waiting for the next job or no time at all over weeks. I finally left the PbEM business and switched over to PBG (Play by Graphics). These tools allow me to open a gamefile (such as VASL or Cyberboard), look at my opponent's moves on a graphic interface step by step where I can see the movement of his units, his die results and his comments in one comfortable file. When the playback is finished I accept his move file and begin my own logfile. Here I move my units on the map and all moves are recorded automatically. I finish my moves, save the logfile and mail it to my opponent when I have the opportunity and computer access. He then opens the file, watches my moves, my comments and my die rolls as a "movie file", and sends his moves back. No email writing, no counter adjusting on virtual maps. This is far more efficient. I vaguely remember I once encountered an Axis&Allies module for cyberboard, but I cannot remember where. Unfortunately I don't have the time to create this module (I use lazy times to create Totaler Krieg scenario files), but with cyberboard designer it shouldn't be a problem (*HINT*). You could speed up your gameplay with such an comfortable tool and PBG would make A&A far more attractive. You will never again need emails or dice servers Good


Enough said,
greets,

Chas
aka Easy Company
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Attila
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Anmeldedatum: 31.07.2002
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BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 3:24 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hi Easy Company,

Zitat:

far more attractive. You will never again need emails or dice servers Good


Without a dice server it is possible to cheat - even not only by "hacking" - it is much easier: Load a game and make your move - if the roll's aren't lucky engough, reload the game and make the move again.
How is this solved in "PBG" Games?

Atti
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Stahlregen
Obergefreiter


Anmeldedatum: 20.06.2003
Beiträge: 22

BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 3:28 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

@ Nathan, Easy, Op and others,

due to some difficulties at solving certain problems at my job, I can't answer at the moment - you know real life sometimes gets in the way.

I'll write a reply as soon as I can get some free time again and try to answer everything to the best of my ability.

Hope you understand,

Stahlregen
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Easy Company
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Anmeldedatum: 27.06.2003
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BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 4:16 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Attila hat Folgendes geschrieben:

Without a dice server it is possible to cheat - even not only by "hacking" - it is much easier: Load a game and make your move - if the roll's aren't lucky engough, reload the game and make the move again.
How is this solved in "PBG" Games?


The consim community relies on an honor system. The games are AREA rated and often solved in real time via VASL and with spectators. Yes, you could cheat while playing by Graphics, but it's a gentlemen's agreement that you don't. It's as simple as that.
The consim community is far smaller than the A&A community and I won't play with people I don't trust (at least not a rated game). If someone wants to cheat, he will, that's true. Most people I know are looking for the strategical or tactical challenge and won't spoil their games to earn some cheap rating points. If you realize that your opponent cheated, it was the last time you played him and you can trust me that he won't find any more opponents. You're right - because the PBG system is basically honor based you cannot control the games.

This works for over 20 years now, since the AREA rating system and ladders have been established (and, by the way, you could cheat, too, by submitting games that were never really played, couldn't you? E.G. by creating two identities or something like that).

Theoretically there is a great chance of abuse in PBG play, practically the honor system has proven its worth and is widely accepted and followed in the consim scene. There are rarely any problems, no more than with PbEM playing.

Greetings,
Easy
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Stahlregen
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BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 5:48 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Atti,

only a few words on that:

Although Easy is right with the high morale within the consim community (most folks playing that kind of games are much older than the ones playing A&A. No offense, just a fact) it doesn't depend solely on the honour system.

If you use Cyberboard there's no way to cheat the game, because everything you do - everything! - is recorded and if you would see the combat result aren't in your favour there would be no possibility to delete that turn after sending it to the log file. If you do this while recording you could, but then it would be mentioned in the game history that something was deleted and your opponent would ask you what the hell is going on.

Btw if you get a bad combat result you have to make the whole turn anew, that means all combats and the good ones could easily turn into bad ones with the new roll. That makes no sense - you would sit 20 hours to get the desired results and there's that asking by your opponent, anyway.

It's a very save thing.

need to run,


Stahlregen
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Nathan
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Anmeldedatum: 06.05.2003
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Wohnort: Heidelberg, Germany

BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 5:53 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hi Easy Company, Stahlregen,

Easy Company hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Getting serious again, I played and watched tons of A&A games over the years and strangely enough many of the RR games in fact ended with an Axis victory.I don't know if THIS is of any statistic value (for we don't take this game as serious as you do) but in contrast to bidding or "free" A&A games a large proportion of Russia Restricted games lead to an Axis victory.


I think the solution to this dilemma lays in this part of your quote: "(for we don't take this game as serious as you do)". I believe the axis are much easier to play then the allies when you are at a beginners or intermediate skill level. I think so because the allied effort requires a lot more coordination between players then does the axis effort, for both Germany and Japan can act quite independently from one another if the overall skill level is not too high. In ftf games where you have five different players that do not take every movement made too serious, you have two axis players that may generally do what they like, and on the other side three allied players who have to closely coordinate everything they do if they want to prevent Russia's fall. This coordination is hard to achieve in any ftf game, but especially so when the players either don't know each other very well, are of a different skill level or ingest alcoholic beverages during the course of the game. Good

For PbEM games, several of these points don't really count, but the greater 'coordination' demanded of the allied players can also be called greater 'common anticipation and planning', for that is what coordination is all about. Of course, the planning now works in the head of just one person (which simplifies things greatly), but there is still a lot more planning to do on the allied side than on the axis side. Yet, if this planning is mastered, I think the allies will almost always win the game (no bid, RR). I sure was surprised that when I re-read Don's essay this morning, I found himself saying just this on his axis strategy (at the very end of http://donsessays.freeservers.com/essay3.htm):

'The Axis offensive buildup is meant to become unstoppable, eventually.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? It's the most optimized path to victory available to the Axis. It will probably lose consistently to Allied play that is PERFECT. But, it really has to be perfect, and is anyone really ever that good?'

This is Don Rae acknowledging himself that against a 'perfect' allied player, the axis will 'probably lose consistently'. Now on the 'perfect' part, these kinds of words are used excessively throughout the essay, and players skill levels have probably gone up since Don wrote this, so I think it is save to replace it with 'good' - and then you have my statement (of course, without the 'most optimized path' part, which I consider wrong).

Easy Company hat Folgendes geschrieben:
I don't know why, but I can understand that Stahlregen believes it to be natural law. I myself had the same experience.


So did I. I don't know about everyone else here, but I assume that most players, even most of the good players, started their A&A experience thinking 'Boy, is the axis strong!' - as long as they weren't 'born' into a group with lots of great players from the start.

Easy Company hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Nathan hat Folgendes geschrieben:

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.


Personally I don't think that the India gambit is always "the worst fault" an UK player can make.


Well, as generalisations are always false Smile, you are certainly correct here. I think you probably are aware of the following, but I shall still write it down, that I for my part did not state 'the worst fault' but rather 'one of them' and also that I did not use the word 'always'. A great many strange things can happen on G01, so for the English player there is no meaningful 'always'. {Next sentence EDITED because it was a mess.} Now you probably did not intend to limit the India gambit to strange situations, but are instead asserting that it often is a valid strategy that can be played with good success with RR without a bid. If this is the case, I do not contend your assertion.
As with a German Africa strategy, I do consider the India gambit a sub-optimal allied strategy, but I certainly think it is a playable one. That holds true even for games with bidding, therefore even more for games without bid. Around 2001, there was a lengthy discussion on the AAMC board on this topic with someone (Daine, iirc) insisting on playing the India gambit strategy (against bid!). He does not seem to have been completely unsuccessful in even holding IND until very late in the game (round 12, 13?), but general agreement and acknowledged even by him was that the strategy was inferior to chuck-chuck.

Now, my statement 'one of the worst faults' was probably a bit harsh. I of course realize that there are many many greater faults to be made than this one is. I do think, though, that the India strategy is not optimal and is a 'strategic' fault. Btw, it again goes for the notion that after all, there is quite some strategy in A&A if agreement is not complete on issues like this. As with Stahlregens Africa strategy which he will hopefully have explained to us soon, I really would like to play against anyone who is able to do a good India gambit, be it with RR or not. I would, however, not play the axis side without a bid, for I am already convinced I would lose the game wether the Indian gambit is played or not.

Easy Company hat Folgendes geschrieben:
From my experience both variants (leave Africa, leave India) can be quite useful or lead to complete devastation (just talking of RR games!!!). As always, it depends on your opponent's strategy. From my point of view an Indian factory relieves Russia and gives her desperately needed time to fortify her borders and core land. The factory forces Japan to deal with it for it cannot afford to ignore the threat. In the end the factory will be lost, that's for sure, but during the time Japan struggled with India, Germany could be seriously strangled and Russia grew into a tough defensive hell of a monster.I think this time factor is very valuable and worth the sacrifice.


All of the above things are certainly true. For me, the question on the Indian gambit is wether it is a better strategy than England shipping everything to LEN and Africa or wether it is not. I personally think it is not, but that is of course just my opinion and is open to debate. Without a bid, I think the allies should win even with the Indian gambit.

Easy Company hat Folgendes geschrieben:
If I leave India and give it to Japan right from the beginning, I made the experience that Japan first crushed the US forces in China before slipping through India, surrounding Russia and building an Indian factory in the early game - a deadly threat to Russia who definitely needs time!


Same experience here, but different threat perception. Imho, the big question is how much time the russians need. Put 7 inf, 1 arm to YAK in R01, Japan cannot take it, move them to NOV in R02, to MOS in R03 and only in R04 you will have to worry for Moscow. By that time, without a bid there will be more allied units in LEN then there are german units in EEU, so Russia is fairly free to concentrate on Japan. Also, the English units that are landed in LEN defend twice in each round: First against the German player, and then they are moved to Moscow where they can defend against the Japanese player as well. The big Japanese inf stacks need some time before arriving in Novosibirsk, and finally the greater economic potential of the allies wins the game...

I can understand Stahlregen in saying "It is the same game over and over again" for games without a bid, though for the opposite reason he gave: Not because the axis will always win, but because the allies will always win. As far as I can see, there is no counter-strategy to the inf-stacking of the allies in no-bid-games. That changes a lot if you play with bidding (e.g. a BUR bid will most certainly prevent the India gambit). Now I do not see that as a weakness of A&A, because here it is always played with bidding and so I think we should all accept that for DAAK purposes, "A&A" = "standard A&A + bidding". And I have yet to be convinced that that game is unstrategic.

Easy Company hat Folgendes geschrieben:
[Lots of well thought stuff on the effectiveness of the axis without bid]

Nathan, I'm really interested in YOUR experience with RR games - how were these problems dealt with?


The strategy I outlined above works for me. Also, I wrote a short synapsis of my russian strategy in my last lengthy post, there is not much to add to that (in essence: put everything west of NOV to LEN). For England and the UK, first priority are of course the remains of the German fleet (including any trn left in the Mediterranean, I would sacrifice every bmb and maybe even ftr I have to get that job done), then the securing of Africa (I'll happily give up IND for that) and then the movement of units (ftr, inf) to LEN. This inf, ftr movement is not disrupted in any way by the first two objectives, since there are different units used for both! If you do the math in LEN, Germany never stands a chance of attacking, occupying and holding it in any round; in round 04 chuck-chuck is rolling on nicely and both Moscow and Leningrad are secured. Game won (all without bid, of course).

Easy Company hat Folgendes geschrieben:
(No comments please such as "now I now why you always lose your games" or I start with politics Oh well No, just joking, I won't!!!)


I tried and seem to have succeeded to some extent not to insult anyone so far, so no need to worry.
On second thought, maybe this would be a good time to start? Good

Easy Company hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Nathan hat Folgendes geschrieben:
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.


I'm surprised. A few years ago I also played A&A via PbEM, but it proved to be the most time consuming PbEM game I ever played.


OK, I should explain. It probably took me at least three hours to write the two posts I wrote yesterday. On Atti's Dicey I just finished an English turn, it took me exactly from 14:59:05 to 15:03:26, that being 4 minutes 30 seconds including the changes on the WinMap, documenting everything and uploading it. I admit it was an easy turn, but double that time and any additional time I need will be purely used to work out a strategy (or what I think resembles one...). Say it takes me 5-10 minutes for a strategy, that adds up to (5 or 10) + 4,5*2 = 14 - 19 minutes {EDITED: miscalculated, twice... Sad }, actually less becaue it takes less time to do the combined US-RUS turn. Let us say 15 minutes. That are 4 turns an hour, multiplied by three hours I could have made at least 12 turns, in other words finish at least U04, in the time it took me to reason here. Btw, Stahlregen, you do read this? Good

Easy Company, I entirely agree that the system is still imperfect and it would be highly desirable to have a more integrated system. But then, these tools work very well for me already and the time they consume is not great enough to make me spend the effort to improve them further - lest to speak of the ability to do that...

Easy Company hat Folgendes geschrieben:
A second problem with the Atti thing is that you can only enter your moves online.


Is that different with PBG tools? How do you prevent cheating then? If the dice are rolled inside a program on each individual user's computer, there is imho no way to prevent cheating: If necessary re-install the complete system up from OS and repeat your turn, if the outcome of the dice didn't suite your taste. What do you do to prevent this?

ADDED: I just saw Easy Company's answer on Atti's post, the one that answered this question, so no need to react to this any more.

Easy Company hat Folgendes geschrieben:
[...] and I'm enjoying your fair and objective debate


Thank you, Easy Company. I really liked it that you joined back into the discussion!
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Nathan


Zuletzt bearbeitet von Nathan am Fr Jul 04, 2003 1:18 am, insgesamt 3-mal bearbeitet
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Attila
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Anmeldedatum: 31.07.2002
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BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 7:33 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hi Easy,

> The consim community is far smaller than the A&A
> community and I won't play with people I don't trust (at

Okay, this work in a small community, allright!
When the community grows, there WILL be a need for a independed dice-server for this.

> cheap rating points. If you realize that your opponent
> cheated, it was the last time you played him and you can
> trust me that he won't find any more opponents.

Yeah, 'cause the community is small.

> system and ladders have been established (and, by the way,
> you could cheat, too, by submitting games that were never
> really played, couldn't you? E.G. by creating two identities or
> something like that).

Hmm - this isn't cheating, 'cause i'll get no advatage against other players.

Atti
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Attila
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BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 7:41 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Atti,
If you use Cyberboard there's no way to cheat the game,


You're wrong. It is *no* problem to cheat with Cyberboard.
I just make a copy of my cyberboard installation and if my luck is bad, i simply restore this copy (it could be a system "crash" and i restore my harddisk).

> could easily turn into bad ones with the new roll. That makes
> no sense - you would sit 20 hours to get the desired results
> and there's that asking by your opponent, anyway.

Yeah, this is a good point - in A&A ONE combat CAN decide the whole game - i think it is not as easy in (A)SL.

Atti
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Stahlregen
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Anmeldedatum: 20.06.2003
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BeitragVerfasst am: Do Jul 03, 2003 8:28 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Guten Abend Nathan,

I begin to realize, that I won't be able to concentrate enough on my job here while this debate is going on. So I have a short break and would like to say a few things.

Zitat:
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.


You are absolutely right with OpTorch and I apologize.

[snip]

Zitat:
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.


Well, the main difference is imho, that RR doesn't change the set up of the game. So there's only the take away of the first (mostly devastating) russian blow on the German forces. Without that Germany can use a good deal of those units which otherwise would have been wiped out by that initial blow. With bidding you not only get a certain power boost (units and/or IPC) but also a change of the given unit concentration already on the map. I think that?s a big difference, leading to totally other games. If not, bidding would make no sense, anyway. That's one of the points leading to my personal conclusion, but more on that later.


Zitat:
Of course Russia is the easiest axis-enemy to defeat, for there are only the US and UK to challenge it in that! 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 begin to see that we are talking about a different game experience. Not that different regarding what's going on on the map (for I agree with every point made by you above ) but with the overall game approach. I never saw any player who would have given up in the situation you mentioned, and because of that the Russian player was always the first one kicked out off the game ? but that can certainly mean kicked after hours! Russia usually acts the way you described, but after being reduced to Russia itself, there was no allied force left to go against the Japanese. The other allied forces had enough to do with fighting against Germany to try to break it before Russia falls. Because of this there's nothing left to throw against the Japanese and there's seldom any allied unit left on the asian mainland. The games I played and all those I have seen were very long games (except those played as fillers, openers etc. because those games were not played until the end). 30 hours was a possible thing. Perhaps that depends on being used to long games when you are into consims, don't know. No one ever gave up, but tried to hold out. We even played out a game where Germany was conquered and the Allies started to conquer Japan. The Japanese player had everything on the mainland up to the gates of Moscow and then slowly the allied forces pushed him back. That was a VERY long game, but we were interested to see how difficult such an attack actually is.

[snip]


Zitat:
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 fail to see how this could happen. The only allied infs that are in reach of the Japanese troops are russian units and the Japanese player will certainly appreciate every attack those units make - the classic death-zone. Japan has much more income than Russia and every counterattack throws the Russians back - not the Japs. At least that's my experience...

Zitat:
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.


I disagree with your opinion about the India Gambit. It only slows down the japanese forces and finally gives them another IC, yes, but helps to split the japanese forces on the asian mainland. Every unit that's in India can't assault against Moscow and so some russian units can turn against Germany or the Russian player has the chance to secure his borders with much more power, as Easy said.


Zitat:
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!


The brits can't do both: liberating Africa and being a nail in the flesh of the Japanese in India. If they try to hold India then it's an easy going for the German in Africa and if they try to fight the German, India will fall all that sooner - giving the Japanese even more controlling power and income, means a big boost on his way to Moscow - with the possible helping action for getting back Africa to Germany. If the allied player throws in american units to land in Algier e.g. that slows down the Grerman progress in Africa, but those troops are desperately needed in Finland and/ or Karelia and especially the TRN are out of the action then. Without the allied units the russian front gets too thin even if the German player can't use the big hammer and only does some strafings. All those american/brit forces that are fighting in Africa can't do their job in the above mentioned countries and so russian Infantry has to do the job alone instead. But those infs are limited and what they have on the german side can't be thrown against the japanese units. If the Allied player refuses to fight in Africa to help pumping up the units on the german front, Africa belongs to Germany which can use that extra income to compensate the new problems risen in Finland, Karelia etc. If the Brits leave India and join with their mates in Egypt, then the German can always use the dynamic conquering of Africa. Two panzers running around in Africa can save a good deal of the income due to their blitz ability, without having the problems you face if you try to conquer it all and holding it. The few Brits units left (if there are any) after the battle in Egypt are not enough to intervene. Even if the panzers finally do fall they helped the German war machine to keep up some strength which is more than enough to hold back every major allied attack. And the latter is the necessary step to quickly free forces that can fight against the Japanese on their walk thru Asia.
Btw most of the games I have seen was a victory by Japan crushing Russia.




Zitat:
For me, you have not proven your contention that A&A is unstrategic with anything you said so far.


That may well be so....

I get the picture that we are talking about two very different game experiences based on very different game approaches. The funny thing is, that Easy faced the same results, but that seems to be because his games were also played not by long term A&A bidding gamers, but by consim players, who thought that game a good break at tournaments. Given that background I see the possibility that this leads to a certain gameplay that doesn't change much when those same guys do play this game as a stand alone game for 30 hours. Furthermore it seems an important thing, that RR does not change the set up as I already said and the overall feeling is much more "Hell, the same units here, the same stacks there ? where?s the fun?" then as when you play a bidding game where the units are not standing on the same place over and over - or so it seems.
So I have no problem with admitting that my A&A experience is not the standard experience and that the experience of you folks - as long time bidding players - may and most obviously does differ from mine (and Easy's - at least one man standing on my side Wink) so that my first impression (although it is a long lasting impression from all those early years) that A&A is simply a family game with no strategic quality seems to be quite wrong.
I would still say that I don't like it that much and do prefer consims, but it seems a better reason to say I do prefer them not for their greater level of strategy, but for their greater level of details and historical accuracy. I think that's also something you can agree with me Nathan.
I first thought about the possibility to go thru some of those old game recordings to show you an example, but unfortunately hell seems to break lose here (our computer crashes all the time and next week we have a presentation for some - Japanese business men...) and I see I won't have time for that.

As my personal conclusion:

I thank you very much for this well thought and very well written (I enjoyed reading your very good english - no offense to others here, please!) account of your position and I enjoyed this little debate. As I said if nothing less it served to change my mind about this all time classic and I hope this is proof enough to some of those guys here who thought I am only after starting trolls, that my question was meant seriously.
It could also teach some of the other guys here that not every debate must end with personal insults...there's no need for that.

Maybe some of you try out one of those "freak's games with set ups for about a week" one day, they are not that complicated as most of you think. More details do simply need more time to deal with in a game and these games are somewhat the other side of the coin. And well, it seems A&A does belong to the wargame community....

Thanx again and now I have to do some serious work to secure my russian borders before the japanese forces arrive!

Roll Low!

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BeitragVerfasst am: Fr Jul 04, 2003 1:03 am    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hi Stahlregen,

I'm glad that I find lots of things in your latest post that I totally agree with, and I think our opinion on some matters may not be as different as I thought for a while. I also realize your real life is demanding your time, and of course it has to have your priority.
Since we seem to agree now on some major points and particularly on those ones that triggered my first post in this thread, and also because of your limited time (and actually, also because of my own time Smile ), the following is in no way meant as insisting that I am correct everywhere and you are wrong everywhere (both of which would be completely untrue), but rather as furthering the discussion on some points of special interest to me.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Zitat:
{Rough description of my allied no-bid-strategy till R04} Game won for the allies, for Moscow will never fall with UK and US inf landing in LEN, FIN respectively.


I begin to see that we are talking about a different game experience. Not that different regarding what's going on on the map (for I agree with every point made by you above ) but with the overall game approach. I never saw any player who would have given up in the situation you mentioned, and because of that the Russian player was always the first one kicked out off the game ? but that can certainly mean kicked after hours!


Sorry, I wasn't clear enough on that. "Game won for the allies" did not mean that the axis would give up then, only that I think axis victory was ensured from that point on. I sure think they could have given up at that point (or right at the start...), but usually the fight goes on till Germany falls - which, yes, happens only after many hours, if the axis is played well. That is all very much in line with both what is played in all the major clubs and even with Don saying, to cite again, that "It {an optimal axis strategy} will probably lose consistently to Allied play that is PERFECT", where 'perfect' can imho be replaced by 'good' for reasons stated in another post made before.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Russia usually acts the way you described, but after being reduced to Russia itself, there was no allied force left to go against the Japanese. The other allied forces had enough to do with fighting against Germany to try to break it before Russia falls.


US has 30 + a little IPC, England 20 + a little IPC. Germany is above 30 for the first few rounds, then around 30. That means that the western allies outproduce Germany by far, so I usually find plenty of allied forces available to go after (change to 'stand against' until round 7 or 8 ) the Japanese. I do agree, though, that a Russia left on its own usually falls quickly and cannot stand against the Japanese.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
The games I played and all those I have seen were very long games (except those played as fillers, openers etc. because those games were not played until the end). 30 hours was a possible thing. Perhaps that depends on being used to long games when you are into consims, don't know.


Maybe. 30 hours I would certainly consider a long game. If that was your average game time, it would be longer than the average time I am used to (which is maybe 10-15 hours if playing serious, 2 if just having quick fun, trying out crazy things and so on). If 30 hours is more closely to your maximum game time, it falls in line with my own observations, for I also have occassionally taken part in games that went that long.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
No one ever gave up, but tried to hold out. We even played out a game where Germany was conquered and the Allies started to conquer Japan. The Japanese player had everything on the mainland up to the gates of Moscow and then slowly the allied forces pushed him back. That was a VERY long game, but we were interested to see how difficult such an attack actually is.


I have done that too, but only once. If my Japanese opponent will not give up after I have done all of the following: Conquered Germany, secured Moscow, have him safely below or around 50 and have him not having heavy bmbs, I will depending on the actual situation quit the game and declare him 'victorious'. I will not play him again, though... I'm sure it must be the same with your group: Everyone plays as long as possible, but when it has become a hopeless cause (in your case: Moscow falls, Germany secure), one gives in. If that is what you are saying, I agree with you.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Zitat:
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 fail to see how this could happen. The only allied infs that are in reach of the Japanese troops are russian units and the Japanese player will certainly appreciate every attack those units make - the classic death-zone. Japan has much more income than Russia and every counterattack throws the Russians back - not the Japs. At least that's my experience...


You sure will anticipate what I will reply to this by now: Imho there are not only russian inf in reach of the japanese ones but also US and UK inf; the combined allied income is higher than the combined axis income; this resulting in a gradual axis push-back and so on... (still talking about RR, no bid)

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
I disagree with your opinion about the India Gambit. It only slows down the japanese forces and finally gives them another IC, yes, but helps to split the japanese forces on the asian mainland. Every unit that's in India can't assault against Moscow and so some russian units can turn against Germany or the Russian player has the chance to secure his borders with much more power, as Easy said.


It is fine with me if we disagree here. Your points for the India gambit are good and valid ones, I just don't think it constitutes the best strategy, although it will probably work well with no bid in place and RR. With bid, it's a different game, and I have the impression that not many top players in either AAMC or DAAK play the gambit. I'm still interested in any (bid-) game against an allied player who can teach me a real effective way of playing the Indian gambit.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
The brits can't do both: liberating Africa and being a nail in the flesh of the Japanese in India. If they try to hold India then it's an easy going for the German in Africa and if they try to fight the German, India will fall all that sooner - giving the Japanese even more controlling power and income, means a big boost on his way to Moscow - with the possible helping action for getting back Africa to Germany.


You are correct, the English cannot do both. As stated in earlier posts, I clearly prefer the African option, and as for 'the possible helping action for getting back Africa to Germany', that is in fact the main danger to Africa in my strategy. I believe, though, that there are allied counters to this help if there is no bid to boost the axis players.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
If the allied player throws in american units to land in Algier e.g. that slows down the Grerman progress in Africa, but those troops are desperately needed in Finland and/ or Karelia and especially the TRN are out of the action then.


Imho, the problem with US inf in Africa is not that it just slows down the German progress. Together with the british IND units it stops it entirely!
Without bid, Germany has 2 inf, 1 arm in Africa and may transport another 2 inf in G01 and just maybe, if a trn still lives, another 2 inf in G02 (all four of which are desperately needed in Europe). Adds to 6 inf, 1 arm at maximum. The English have 2 inf, 1 arm in Africa initially, plus 1 inf in SYR and 2 inf from IND, plus, if necessary, 2 US inf brought in as early as U01 making a total of 7 inf, 1 arm without any distraction of shuck-shuck at all! Agreed, one US trn may be out, but what does this matter if Africa is allied thereafter? Without bid, Germany needs her troops in Europe much more desperately than the Russians need the allied troops in LEN.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
If the Brits leave India and join with their mates in Egypt, then the German can always use the dynamic conquering of Africa. Two panzers running around in Africa can save a good deal of the income due to their blitz ability, without having the problems you face if you try to conquer it all and holding it. The few Brits units left (if there are any) after the battle in Egypt are not enough to intervene.


On the German arms rampaging Africa against the US and UK troops, I fail to see how that is possible. Imho, these arms get destroyed far too quickly! If there are UK forces in EGY, where do you place the arms safely? FIN, FEQ, KEN, CNG all border EGY, and ALG or WAF border the Atlantic ocean... The arms should get destroyed by either UK inf + air from EGY or US inf + air from trns... Why should that not be enough forces to intervene?

Well, I do realize I am simplifying here. I agree that these arms can earn Germany some IPC points, but without additional German units in Africa, I cannot see how they can do that for more than two rounds against aggressive allied play. I know of some Africa strategies with bidding that give better axis results and that I still do not consider to be optimal play, but this is an open debate. On your no-bid-African-strategy, to really get into the details of course I would have to know your exact German plan of action to bring up a detailed assessment, or of course a game would do, but it is fine if you don't have the time for either of that. I think we both made clear our positions and can live with that.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Btw most of the games I have seen was a victory by Japan crushing Russia.


Great - if I only count the games won by the axis, I can say exactly the same thing. Japan crushing Russia is indeed the usual win for the axis and much more common than either M84 or a German march towards Moscow in my games. The difference between us lays just in that this outcome happens in maybe 5% of my non-bid-RR-games while it seems to happen in 95% of yours.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
I get the picture that we are talking about two very different game experiences based on very different game approaches. {...} Furthermore it seems an important thing, that RR does not change the set up as I already said and the overall feeling is much more "Hell, the same units here, the same stacks there ? where?s the fun?" then as when you play a bidding game where the units are not standing on the same place over and over - or so it seems.


Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. We just started off with talking on two different games: one with bidding and one without. I certainly can say that for me it was a semi-revolutionary experience regarding my opinion about A&A when I first encoutered bidding!

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
So I have no problem with admitting that my A&A experience is not the standard experience and that the experience of you folks - as long time bidding players - may and most obviously does differ from mine (and Easy's - at least one man standing on my side Wink) so that my first impression (although it is a long lasting impression from all those early years) that A&A is simply a family game with no strategic quality seems to be quite wrong.


Thank you a lot, I greatly appreciate it when people are able to say such things. As this was the main assertion that got me to join this thread, I consider the topic closed, and everything I said in this post is no longer intended to be directed towards that "strategic or not" question. I rather have tried to discuss specific stategies and their outcome now. If you, Stahlregen, or anyone else for that matter, wants to continue with this new discussion now, than that is great, if lack of time or interest hinders anyone, that's fine with me as well.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
I would still say that I don't like it that much and do prefer consims, but it seems a better reason to say I do prefer them not for their greater level of strategy, but for their greater level of details and historical accuracy. I think that's also something you can agree with me Nathan.


Indeed, it absolutely is. And I am certainly not going to tell you which games to like or to dislike!

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
As my personal conclusion:

I thank you very much for this well thought and very well written (I enjoyed reading your very good english - no offense to others here, please!) account of your position and I enjoyed this little debate. As I said if nothing less it served to change my mind about this all time classic and I hope this is proof enough to some of those guys here who thought I am only after starting trolls, that my question was meant seriously.


Thank you a lot for the kind words. I also enjoyed this discussion, your skillfully made points and of course your very fine english. The latter being an especially big praise since, if I remember correctly, you stated that it is not your native tongue.

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Thanx again and now I have to do some serious work to secure my russian borders before the japanese forces arrive!


Good luck to you in that one, and always have fun with whatever you do! angel

EDITED: Several typos.
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BeitragVerfasst am: Fr Jul 04, 2003 10:43 am    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Nathan,

Zitat:
On your no-bid-African-strategy, to really get into the details of course I would have to know your exact German plan of action to bring up a detailed assessment


The problem with all those debates on strategies is of course that we need exactly those details. But I have to confess, since A&A isn't my current game, I am not able to give that much details anymore. It's all from memory and although that may be sufficient to point out my main thoughts on the game in various aspects it's surely not enough to match with your abilities in this particular field of discussion.

Zitat:
Thank you a lot, I greatly appreciate it when people are able to say such things.


I have no problem with giving up my position if I fail to support it because of your valid arguments. Since we talked on two different gameplays the debate was based on a somewhat twisted ground, anyway.

Zitat:
If you, Stahlregen, or anyone else for that matter, wants to continue with this new discussion now, than that is great, if lack of time or interest hinders anyone, that's fine with me as well.


As I said, I am not able to go into a detailed strategy debate for all those strategies tend to fade away with the years. I could step into a debate on ASL tactics, but that would give me an edge on a field that is of no interest here Smile

Zitat:
As this was the main assertion that got me to join this thread, I consider the topic closed


Because of the points explained above, I agree.

Zitat:
Thank you a lot for the kind words. I also enjoyed this discussion, your skillfully made points and of course your very fine english. The latter being an especially big praise since, if I remember correctly, you stated that it is not your native tongue.


No it isn't. My tongue is a rather archaic one, as we are still talking like our viking ancestors did - although we seldom go on a raid to Paris today Smile

Zitat:
and always have fun with whatever you do!


Same for you, mate! And let me know when you've "solved" that game...


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BeitragVerfasst am: Fr Jul 04, 2003 11:07 am    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hi Stahlregen,

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
No it isn't. My tongue is a rather archaic one, as we are still talking like our viking ancestors did - although we seldom go on a raid to Paris today Smile


Which I am very grateful for, because I really like Paris as it is! Good

Stahlregen hat Folgendes geschrieben:
And let me know when you've "solved" that game...


I sure would... It's just that if anyone ever 'solves' it, this person will certainly not be me...
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BeitragVerfasst am: Fr Jul 04, 2003 12:37 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Stahlregen, or anyone else,
can you recommend me a CoSim that is not too complex (preferrably easier than A&A), not too expensive and still quite good?
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BeitragVerfasst am: Fr Jul 04, 2003 12:57 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Curulin hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Stahlregen, or anyone else,
can you recommend me a CoSim that is not too complex (preferrably easier than A&A), not too expensive and still quite good?


Hmm. Easier than A&A?
A simple, but good for the beginning is "Ambush" (really good Solo-CoSim). SquadLeader or PanzerLeader are also good for the first steps (both for 2 Player).
If you're not a fan of "million of counters", try "World War II in the West" (ask Rommel for a copy), it's a cool mix of the look&feel of A&A and a CoSim. For detailed info, look at http://www.attila-products.de/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewforum&f=11
The thread is in german, but Eric (autor of the game) is active in the forum, so don't hesitate to aks about the game (english or german).

I hope we can play it on the next con.

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BeitragVerfasst am: Fr Jul 04, 2003 1:45 pm    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Curulin,

Zitat:
Stahlregen, or anyone else,
can you recommend me a CoSim that is not too complex (preferrably easier than A&A), not too expensive and still quite good?


Well, there are many very good and good consims out there. Most games today are somewhat expensive but if you consider the amount of fun you get from them they are quite cheap compared to some other things (smoking, cinema etc..) so it depends on what you are willing to pay. Many consims you can play via a computer interface and their rules can be downloaded, so their may be a few you could try that way.

But a consim easier than A&A is not that easy to find. As I already said to Nathan, most of those games are very detailed simulations and to have such simulations work you need a rule set that can get it going. Usually consim rules are more lengthy and more complicated than those in A&A - but they can be handled if you have some degree of dedication.

Which one to recommend?

Attila said Eric Grenier's game, but that is a compromise. I had some words with Eric (which I know from CSW) about his game, and he said to me that his intention is to bring in some consim feeling into the A&A world, but I am not sure that's a good thing. It's a kind of a hybrid, but sure you can try it out. The boardgame that Eric sells is quite expensive for you only get the map and the rules, no units - it uses all units from the various A&A games.

I would disagree with Attila that Ambush is a good choice, although he's right it's a very good consim, but to start with a solitaire game seems not to be a good idea. If you have no opponent beginners tend to screw the rules and there's nobody to tell you there's something wrong. It needs some time to get used to Ambush's mechanic, but if you are really into it it's simply a fantastic game - but not for newbies, I suppose.

Squad Leader is a very good game (if you stick with it and don't incorporate all those later gamettes) and much easier than ASL, but the style of the rules is nightmarish and they are poorly worded. If you are one of those folks who ask for a german rule to play A&A Europe etc.. those rules will drive you crazy. ASL is easier in the way that the RB is much clearer worded.

There's a new game out now called Lock 'N Load and it's about the vietnam war. Basically a streamlined SL mechanic but very smooth to play and with better written rules. You'll have to look at your local stores.

But those are all tactical level games.

If you're into grand/strategic level games there is simply nothing better than Totaler Krieg. It's a fast going consim, with some abstraction in the mechanics that lead to relatively simple core rules, but serves as a good simulation because of it's design for effect style. Everything you need you can download and with the cyberboard gamebox you can start playing today - for free. If you like it go and buy it to play with two friends - you'll have a darn blast.

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