Saturday, July 22, 2006

Axis and Allies PBEM

Michael alerted me to the existence of a PBEM Axis and Allies program called Triple A. I know we haven't had much luck mustering interest in PBEM in the past, but I was wondering if anyone in the group would be interested in some PBEM Axis and Allies: Revised. The game employs an automatic dice roller, so this should be quick and fun. For those of you a little rusty on A&A, the game plays 2-5 players, and the revised edition seems nicely balanced. Takers?

19 Comments:

At 6:26 PM, July 22, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

I'm interested and I have a couple of comments.

There are a couple of interesting game options you can toggle at the start to change some of the rules. One major toggle is "territory turn limit". This rule sets it so that the maximum amount of ipc damage that can be done in a single territory during one players turn is equal to the ipc value of the territory. So there is no more getting heavy bombers and a couple of turns later your opponent will never build another unit again with that rule enabled.

Another option that may or may not be preferable with our group is low luck. It really should be called low variance since it just guarantees that on any round of combat you will do no more than +/- 5/6 of a unit more than expected damage. I can take it or leave it as an option. Also, I have found a map that will fit up to 7:
Germany, Italy, Japan
US, UK, USSR, China
The map is huge, probably twice as big as the revised map which itself is probably 50% larger than classic. But if we needed to fit more its possible (standard revised only fits up to 5).

TripleA supports PBEM and just a host server connection as well, so if someone wanted to try to get in a quick 2 player game in to get more familiar with the game I'm game. PBEM is more suitable for a larger multiplayer game since the downtime might get annoying otherwise.

 
At 8:31 PM, July 22, 2006, Blogger Jeff said...

I've played using Triple A before and it's a really good client. Count me in for the PBEM.

 
At 1:20 AM, July 23, 2006, Blogger Carlos Pena said...

I have always found PBEM games add a really great dimension to the play of games, especially when the players know each other from face-to-face play. This is especially true in games where the political boundries are not determined by the game (as in A&A). I actually prefered playing Diplomacy PBEM than I did FtoF.

I have not played A&A in MANY years and I don't know how the new version compares to the orriginal. I will take a look at the Triple A Utility and let you know.

 
At 8:43 AM, July 23, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

I recommend 5-player A&A: Revised with both Territory Turn Limit and Low Luck.

Carlos: We tried to get PBEM Dip started a little while ago, but it died on the drawing board.

 
At 10:18 AM, July 23, 2006, Blogger Amy said...

Count me in.

 
At 11:52 AM, July 23, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

Should we start getting details together since it appears we have 5 interested people? We could select countries randomly at the store tomorrow.

The nice thing about A&A relative to Dip is that there's no backstabbing so no potential hard feelings. I know tearing the group apart was a reason cited for not wanting to play Dip/

 
At 12:26 PM, July 23, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

If you don't have 5, count me in. If you do, count me in for a future round.

I've never played A&A (that's why I didn't immediately jump on the bandwagon), but I'd surely read up the rules for this.

 
At 1:31 PM, July 23, 2006, Blogger Jeff said...

It would be a shame to exclude Rob when we have a 7 player map available.

 
At 3:01 PM, July 23, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

Using the 7 player map would be fun. I've played 30+ games of revised so seeing a different map with different strategies would be very fun. I downloaded it off a message board that required registration, but if you guys all send me an email I can send the map file to you. Also, unless I'm miscounting we have 6 interested people which would work fine for the pact of steel map that comes bundled with triplea. That map has italy, germany, japan, russia, uk, and us duking it out.

 
At 4:59 PM, July 23, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Sweet....this actually sounds like it'll work.

I'm reading the rules ASAP.

 
At 7:52 PM, July 23, 2006, Blogger Jonathan W. said...

If you need a 7th player, I can give it a go. I havent played before, but I can look at the rules online.

 
At 6:27 AM, July 24, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Wow! I never realized there was such latent interest in A&A among the group. I'm going to have to bring A&A: Revised, A&A: Pacific, and A&A: D-Day to sessions more.

7-Player it is! I originally said 5-player just because its the official, scientifically balanced version, but the more the merrier. I'm a little worried that China and Italy aren't going to be that much fun to play, but, heck, let's give it a shot!

 
At 7:46 AM, July 24, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

So lets make things more concrete. Someone (Ben?) set a date to start this, so that I'll force myself to drop the Shifting Sands manual and focus on learning A&A.

 
At 12:00 AM, July 25, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

We picked countries randomly tonight at Dragon's Lair. I tried to catch you as you ran out Jeff, but I just missed you. Rest assured everything was on the up and up. The results were:

Italy: Jon
Russia: Amy
Germany: Jeff
UK: Carlos
China: Rob
Japan: Michael
US: Ben

I don't have everyone's email address so if you email me at: michaell@removethis.satx.rr.com I can set up a a game and send out the map to the participants. Maybe we can allow a day or so for the newbies to get an idea about the rules and for the teams to discuss strategies.

Also, I wasn't 100% sure if Carlos wants to play, so let us know. If not, Rob can take UK and China. So is low luck, territory turn limit alright with everyone else?

Also, the teams are US, UK, Russia and China vs. Italy, Germany, and Japan.

 
At 12:13 AM, July 25, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

Here is a rules link:

http://www.wizards.com/avalonhill/rules/axis2004.pdf

You can ignore the national advantages since Triple A does not support it and we can play with or without technology research depending on how the group feels.

A couple of things:

In the big map I'm sending out destroyers cost 8 and attack and defend on 2. They still cancel subs first strike. There is a cruiser unit that costs 10 and attacks and defends on 3. Carriers only cost 14 and Battleships only cost 22. Bombers are also cheaper at 14. The other rules I think are the same. I hope I'm not missing anythign stupid

 
At 12:38 AM, July 25, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

After fooling around with the game a little bit I think I'm getting the hang of the interface for PBEM.

I think the way it will work is Jon will start a new game in PBEM mode with low luck and territory turn limit toggled on. He should make sure in the email list I guess there is at least one axis player and one allied player. Then he can finish his turn, save his file, and email the save game to russia (Amy). She can open it up, make sure she adds both an Axis player and Allied player in the email address list and take her turn. Progression will be
Jon->Amy->Jeff->Carlos->Rob->Michael->Ben

One nice thing is you can open the save file in local game mode and play things out a little to get an idea of where you stand before you make the "real" dice server attacks. That perhaps gives a little forgiveness in the system for those new to the game.

 
At 8:02 AM, July 25, 2006, Blogger Jeff said...

Both the traitors are on my team, and the only enemy I share a land border with is being run by my wife.

I'm so boned.

 
At 11:21 AM, July 25, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

Well I noticed one issue with the game. Technically, you should not be able to pass through either canal (suez or panama), unless your team had control of it from the start of your turn. For control of suez your team needs to own both sides. Unfortunately the game allows anyone to pass through the suez with no hassle no matter what the current situation. I just wanted to bring up that rule and see if we would just stick with the box rule for this situation?

 
At 5:31 PM, July 25, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

No biggie either way to me. I suspect it may be difficult to enforce through the client except by the honor system.

 

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