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Because of the historical strength of the Allies, Axis and Allies is somewhat Allies favoring, despite numerous attempts to "balance" the game. I was wondering if curing the Axis' "achilles heel," the German navy, would complete the job.

Props to Scott Mitchell who inspired the "Tirpitz (house) rule":

  1. Subdivide the UK sea zone at the 57th parallel (above Scotland) into the UK sea zone proper (south) and the Norwegian sea (north).
  2. Place a German battleship unit there in the Norwegian Sea (the Tirpitz and the battle cruisers), while giving the UK a SECOND battleship in the new UK sea zone to compensate.
  3. Move the German transport and sub from the Baltic to the Norwegian Sea to prevent "cheap" Allied attacks.

This looks "even" but it's not. Because of the ship synergy (and the first attack advantage) Germany comes out about 12 IPCs better than before, according to my simulations on the AA combat simulator. Put another way, the "Tirpitz" cancels out not only the second UK battleship, but an additional Allied fighter. Together with the "no Russian first turn attack rule," it seems to erase the "consensus" estimate of a 22 IPC advantage for the Allies.

In his question, Adam Wuerl implied that Germany could use the help in the Mediterranean instead. Could this be the locale for the naval "fix?" Or could Germany be given another submarine somewhere with additional rules for their use?

In the game, the key issues are 1) whether the Allies can get reinforcements to Russia in time to save it from the Axis, or 2) whether Germany can hold onto Africa long enough for the Russians to be defeated. These issues appear to be decided in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Could naval units giving Germany a better shot in these waters (together with the no Russia first attack rule) induce players to finally be willing to play the Axis "straight up"? And could the "Tirpitz rule" (together with a house rule saving German fighters in Finland and the Ukraine) produce this result even if Russia is allowed to attack the first turn?

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I think you might be on to something here. I have often felt that the Germans were given the shaft on the game. There is no accounting for the effectiveness of the Uboats at the time.

I think you would need both the fix in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean in order to give this a more balanced game. In the past, I have tried to just defend one area and almost abandon the other in order to consolidate my forces and hope my opponent is unable to break through. The problem with that strategy is you have to relay on a weak opponent.

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