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Need a very simple WW2 Europe conflict resolution

9 replies [Last post]
larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

I am just brainstorming for ideas.

I have in design a pacific world war 2 game. The problem is that the whole united states are on the map which mean all ressources are there. Since in WW2, the united states invested both in the pacific and in europe, I want some kind of mini side game that vaguely simulate the war in europe while players play in the pacific. The idea is to force the USA player to spend ressources in europe. Many war games simply cut the united states to reflect this. I don't want to do that.

The idea is to force the USA player to invest in the europe war, else the great brittain could be conquered and if it is the case canada, india and australia moves out of the war in the pacific. This makes sure that not all the ressources goes to the pacific, they still have to think about Europe.

The simpliest way to simulate that is having a track with a pawn in the middle and both sides of the war try to place investment to push the pawn toward their ennemy. ( A bit like the grail quest in shadow over camelot)

I was wondering if it really had a good historical representation (I don't want a perfect simulation, my priority is playability not simulation). One of the thing I thought is that there could be a strategy or a different behavior according to if you invade sooner or later.

Some sort of push your luck: The more you wait the stronger you will be but the harder it could be to reverse the tide, while invading sooner will have little casualties on the german and the USA will get easily pushed out.

I also thought that time should be an issue. Spending 100 ressource in 1 turn, will not as good as spending 25 ressources in 4 consecutives turns. You somewhat need to be steady in your investment.

Any ideas or suggestions?

devin's picture
Joined: 05/03/2009
your luky

ahhh a battle or attack of course you could do d-day
caun (french town mostly canades soilders were in it)
devils pass (part of the desert war not well know)
berlins hill (abattle in wiche the germans attacked the allis all out on a hill nere berlin)
the river battle (in russa)

choose one and i can send you some info

RTaylor's picture
Joined: 04/08/2009

I think that the 'tug-of-war' idea for investments would be a nice simple way to solve the problem, if, as you say, you were able to think of a way to make it advantageous to make consistent smaller investments. Perhaps each investment could be worth a certain number of spaces on the track- 25 might buy 1 space while 2 at once would cost 60? Seems an idea worth pursuing anyways!

pierrelombardi's picture
Joined: 04/28/2009
it sounds like korea and

it sounds like korea and vietnam in the cold war, the soviets(Russia) supported both north communists(North korea, North vietnam) and the u.s supported both nationalists(South korea, South vietnam), which was like "I help this side, you help that one" "...and lets see what happens!!"

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Mini game

Why not simply have a "European front" deck to dictate how much the USA need to invest on that front?

It could work like this:
The deck has cards with values from 10 to 40 (with an average of 25 per card). The deck is shuffled and placed face down to form a reserve. The USA player starts his turn by drawing one card from the deck and placing it face up next to the reserve. This represents the Germans investment on the European front the USA needs to counteract.

Then the USA player allocates resources to the European front, up to a maximum of 50 per turn. If enough resources are allocated to match the value of the face up card(s), the card(s) and the corresponding resources are removed. That might leave some resources unused that will help cover future cards.

If the European fron ever accumulates up to 100, USA loses, or is forced to allocate all its resources to the European front or whatever you find works best for the game.

That will force the USA player to allocate some of its resources to Europe, but also give him some tactic and strategic freedom, and introduce the push-your-luck element you want without making things too complicated.

ReneWiersma's picture
Joined: 08/08/2008
I like seo's idea. To expand

I like seo's idea. To expand on that idea of a mini-side game...

Like seo suggested, create a deck of cards. Doesn't need to be that many cards, probably 8 or 10 or 12 or so would be enough. Every card represents an important historic battle on the European front and has a number on it. The average of these numbers on the cards is around 25 (or whatever value works for your game). Most are a little under 25 (say 15 to 20), and a few have a significantly higher number (say 30, or even up to 50).

Instead of starting the turn by drawing and placing a card face up, the USA player FIRST has to allocate a number of resources to the European front, THEN a card is revealed. If the USA player has allocated more resources than the number on the card, a pawn on a track that represents the progress on the European front moves UP ONE notch (excess resources are discarded). However, if the USA player has allocated too few resources the pawn moves TWO notches DOWN on the progress track.. If the pawn hits the bottom, the European front is lost and the USA player has to pay a hefty penalty, perhaps even losing the game on the spot. On the other hand, if the pawn hits the top of the track, the war on European front is won and the USA player doesn't have to spend any more on the European front. Add one "reshuffle the deck when drawn" card and you are ready to go.

I think this could lead to some interesting strategic decions. The USA player could neglect the European front for some time, instead investing in the pacific and only focusing on the Europen front when it is close to losing it, or they could invest a little bit a time, winning most battles, losing a few (when the high cards come), but mostly keeping the pawn in the middle, or the USA player could focus on winning the European front quickly, so that it doesn't have to invest in it later in the game.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Thanks for the feedback, it

Thanks for the feedback, it all seems very interesting. I like all your suggestions so far. In deed they are simple.

Some ideas inspired from the things mentioned above:

1- On a track or a minimap, you place a cube for each "territory" controled by a nation. For example, let say the track has 25 slots (or the minimap has 25 territories), Germans own 15, USSR 5 and England 5. If the USA invades, they eat up german cube and place their USA cubes instead. Invading the cube track cost more ressources that just progressing on it (maybe you must double the price). So when USA comes in, they must make sure they could hold position else if the germans kick them out, they need to pay the high price to come in again.

2- Instead of using cards I could use dices. Germans roll a certain number of dices (which could be variable to the empirer's size). USA rolls 1D for each slice of 5 points they spend. So The more they spend, the better are the odds to win, but it does not makes them win more territories. Invading cost twice the price.

Which mean that if USA invades, and germany removes 2 cubes when they attack, in order to hold possition, they need to have steady investments for at least 3 turns, so that if they have 3 cubes in europe, a german victory would not kick them out since 1 cube will still left. If USSR also attack, or try to survive he german attack, it could slowdown the german advance on the US and give a chance for USA to win (eat 1 cube in USSR and 1 cube in USA).

So waiting to invade could be influenced by if USSR is in the war or not. It could be influenced by the fact that USA can give support England without the need to attack, which might be easier to do until a certain point is reached. Also USA might want to build ships (which takes time to build) and when the productions is lauched use the budget to invade europe.

Finally, If I use a minimap instead of a track, I could let the japanese player decide where the germans are attacking. So it does not need to be a totally artificial intelligent mechanic since there is already a player playing the axis. Still, it's fun not beign able to control everything.

Anyways, it all looks interesting.

ilta's picture
Joined: 12/05/2008
I don't think the Japanese

I don't think the Japanese player should have much say in how the Germans behave. Historically Hitler et al could have cared less about the war in the Pacific, except as a means to distract the US and USSR. Certainly the Germans had a low opinion of the Asian race to begin with; they only things they had in common were fascist-leaning governments and a desire for more territory.

I'm a big fan of the "allocate resources, then draw a battle card" solution. Simple, elegant, and allows for strategic depth, as you said, while keeping the focus firmly on the Pacific theatre. Worrying about invasions and territories... at that point you might as well just include the whole globe.

Joined: 07/08/2009
Why include the European aspect?

If the game is about the Pacific, I would say just let the game happen in the Pacific. I would have no problem seeing the entire United States on the map of a game (say, axis and allies Pacific) while knowing that I was only receiving in resources what the U.S.A was able to allocate to that theater historically.

I see issues with giving one side in the game more resources than you ever intend them to be able to bring to bear on the other side. If the United States get's to use extra resources, it sounds like the game would be pretty imbalanced. So, it seems like you're pretty much forcing them to spend resources. So, any choice in the matter is largely an illusion. If there is no random element involved in deciding when and how much they pay, and the European war model is simple, the optimal use of resources should be pretty easy to figure out. Then there really is no choice. In that case, just figure out how much you want them to be using, and give it to them instead.

If there is a random element, we then would have to assume that it will be one that has enough impact to merit using it instead of simply setting up the U.S.A with the desired resources from the start. This brings up the scenario where I just finished a two hour long (or however long this game will take) game to hear my opponent mumble something about having had a better chance at midway if the Germans hadn't been so demanding. At least let him complain about the dice rolls there, so I can comment on training his fighter pilots better, rather than fishing for references to a nation we never even saw in the game.

Either the European front has a prescribed, predictable effect on the game, in which case it should be scrapped as unneeded, or it adds a random element that has nothing to do with what the game sounds like it's actually about which might upset enough people that it should be scrapped.

Again, I'd say don't worry about the European theater in the Pacific game. (If German planes had been attacking Hawaii, this might be different!)

Anyway, here's my idea:

Two tracks, one for the Japanese, one for the U.S.A.

The Japanese advance their track through some means of winning battles, holding territory (the more they do whatever it is, the faster it advances.) This would represent their ambitions to solidify a pacific empire. If the Allies can't stop them in time, the game ends. I believe A&AP has something like this.

The Americans have a track where they do something (Spend resources? Forgo construction? Use up troops? Not attack this turn?) which advances their placement on it. At the end of this track, they have figured out how to build the atom bomb. I think we know what happens if the game gets that far.

Maybe this doesn't fit at all with the theme or the mechanics you plan on using. Maybe it suffers from the same problems I had with the European aspect. It would certainly require the proper balancing, but I suspect some variation of it would feel much less clunky than European influence in a game about the Pacific.

Joined: 08/01/2008
Here's one idea: You have a

Here's one idea:

You have a track, as you suggested.

Each turn, both players bid a certain amount of resources. The winner pushes the pawn one space in the direction advantageous to them. If the pawn ever gets to a certain point, Britain is forced to make peace with Germany and the British Empire is out of the game.

It isn't historically realistic (there wasn't a single Axis leadership who could commit resources to either Japan or Germany), but it should do the job.

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