I wanted to walk past it but your assement if the french contribution to the war is also incorrect.
France surrended on the behest of her political leaders. And fought on all across the globe for the rest of the war. She was also the fourth largest navy in the world in 1939 with a global presence. President of Club Free France out
I an state very categorically that the P-38 was not the result of favoritism. (I personally was not a fan of including it in the first deck.) In fact, it was over costed (in most people's opinion anyway) because of extreme conservatism over its perceived power and ability. The first two decks were especially conservative with costing because we were much more afraid of making a game breaker than a bookmark. With some experience we finally eased up on that. I think we have done pretty well overall since deck 3. Not perfect, but much better. Not that we did horribly with the first two either.
I was one that first argued its cost mainly with Andy; since; I'm a firm believe its fine as is; I got the sense it was his baby.
Do individual devs have favorite units? Of course! We are human. And we have in fact tried very hard to include units that have been frequently requested or were a special unit to someone on the board or teams. But maintaining set unit balance has meant we can only do so many of those. The requests greatly exceed the number of cards we are making. Public nominations for this last deck included over 400 individual units. Impossible! Understandable and as humans we will try are best for all to see it our way.
I will say that everyone that has participated in these card decks - including the whole board on choosing and feedback - has pushed for their unit/nations/style/cost/ability with the success of the overall project and game in mind. I have never seen anyone push for something that they thought would harm the game. We all just have many different opinions and experiences about what we would like to be in the game - and especially what we don't want in the game. I have seen that passion since the first WotC set units were revealed. Especially the "I won't play with that unit in the game" mentality. A lot of people quit the game when 1) miniature sculpts were repeated in the second set (the traditional metal wargaming crowd), 2) Graf Zeppelin was included in Set 2 (no fantasy units crowd), and then 3) when the Soviet's, Greeks, and Finland were introduced resulting in "wasted slots" (anti-minors crowd). Some want to add more complex (diversity) rules while others was KISS (admittedly my "crowd.")
For the game to grow expansion was needed; but again when its outside the creator problems will grow even more; If your going to leave the game for these reasons; it best to just say good bye.
I have never seen anyone that didn't have a genuine passion for their perspective and believe it would be good for the game. There is just no way to reconcile them all. Too many are direct opposites. We make compromises or exceptions and then they are cited as "precedents" later. It's amazing to me we have made it through this many decks. But through it all, I have never known anyone to intentionally try to make a pet unit or nation "the best in the game." Usually they just believed their favorite was below par and needed help. (Well, maybe the German crowd. ) Still, it is hard for any of us to be perfectly unbiased. That is why we have teams that are comprised of people with different points-of-view. And that is why there are compromises in some cases, and occasional deviations or drifting "over the line." (Depending on where you draw the boundary lines. And everyone has a different place they draw them.) It's very, very hard work. And it is guaranteed to leave everyone somewhat unsatisfied about something.
As for the pet nation thing France is pretty close; As for Germany its a key player; on land no problem; as for a Naval game you have to go a little crazy, unless you like to play Mare Nostrum all the time We have had dev team members accuse other members of trying to destroy the game or playing favorites when passions got too hot. (Can you imagine us getting too hot?) That is always the point where we have to stop and take a deep breath. Because we know nobody is intentionally trying to ruin the game. We just truly have different viewpoints and goals.
I think what went on between Deck 3 and 4 was an Awakening at least for me; my passion was to see the Forum membership under a teams direction due the Decks moving forward, apparently little membership interest and those willing to move on wanting more control, outside of online play things seem to be waning a bit here. I think as with you whats made is not as important to as how its made.
Guys, let's not turn this into France-bashing, shall we?
We've got enough problems without petty nationalism amongst ourselves, eh? (Said on behalf of our Canadian neighbors, eh)
You guys have to calm down; no one is bashing France; she just gets a lot of love; The forth largest Navy; she had her day against Thailand At least the Italians gave you something to recreate Historically with out going fantasy crazy. Sorry Flak i married a French women who's parents came from France after the war; they had it though; but in reality nothing they didn't bring upon them selfs; maybe some lessons we should learn about what going on today.
Every major navy in the game has gotten some fantasy pieces. RB did it before the Teams. It's not favoritism unless one nation gets all the toys and others do not.
Ah, yes, the "Nation X has a Fantasy unit" argument... Where have i read that before!! RB made Germany a Major player not France, expansion did that and they got a lot of toys. May i say nicely equipped.
France was a "Big Five" navy and RB definitely tried to fill it out. I was a supporter of "fleshing out" France because 1) it had a lot of interesting units to do that were unique and 2) it was just on the cusp of being competitive as a stand-alone nation at the end of the last WotC deck. France had a much better surface navy than the Kriegsmarine at the start of WWII up until the armistice. And arguably the French surface navy stayed superior to the Kriegsmarine surface fleet until the end of the war. (Since the Kriegsmarine surface fleet was all but wiped out by the end of 1943). For me expanding France was just an opportunity to expand the game with unique units and develop another nation option into a competitive player. There really aren't any other opportunities. I also fought (and continue to fight) hard to keep the Italian fleet competitive - especially with the Royal Navy. This is a game thing as much as a history thing. Historically, it was the Italian navy that engaged the British surface fleet, not the Germans. The British versus Italian match-up was the most balanced in the game with the WotC sets. But the Royal Navy fans wanted it to be competitive with the increasingly "fantasy" German fleet (understandable) and to be able to take on the IJN. That resulted in the Sea God decks greatly expanding the number of units and power of the RN. To me that made it essential to do whatever was possible to keep the Regia Marina competitive. Power creep? On a nation basis - yes. But it was the fantasy German navy that triggered it. Something you are okay with:
"As for Germany its a key player; on land no problem; as for a Naval game you have to go a little crazy, unless you like to play Mare Nostrum all the time"
So it's okay to go "a little crazy" with the Kriegsmarine that had a minimal (and relatively poor quality) surface fleet, but not the Italians that gave the British a very hard time, or the French that had a pretty high quality fleet at the start of the war? That is being very selective from my perspective. And yes, I think the German fans are the biggest pain in the **** when it comes to unit selection and development. But I am partially sympathetic because the game is no good if the Axis can't compete. Hence my support for Italy as well. WaS is not a simulation, it is a competition table top game with WWII "flavor." If both sides don't have an equal chance of winning the game is a failure. Most people will move on to other games. That doesn't mean each side has to have exactly the same stuff (although we are certainly getting there), but they have to have the same opportunity if you know how to play to their strengths.
My first and foremost concern throughout this project has been to maintain balance. First and foremost between Red vs Blue. That is the core of the game. Second between major competing nations because that is how a lot of people like to play it. I personally prefer "theatre balance", but I watch out for both. Minor nations I consider to be auxiliary to the majors they are allied with. That is one reason I prefer "theatre matches" because it allows the minors to participate. I like to play all the nations. I don't have a single "favorite." I like to mix and match. In our club we require everyone to bring both an Axis and an Allied fleet to each tournament regardless of the scenario. The "first player" by the coin toss gets to decide which side he will play. It is more work to prepare, but it really forces everyone to think about how the scenario will play out for each side. It also prevent our players from constantly playing the same nation and the same builds. We really have to think about our builds for each tournament. I think that helps me a lot to see how balance is being maintained (or not).
Did France need some "catch up" after the WotC decks? Absolutely yes IMO. And they had the "real" units to work with. The weakness for France is the air component. There has been a lot of push to put in some late war US Lend Lease super-aircraft that has been resisted so far. At the cost of a lot of debate. There is also a faction that wants the air component to be "native French." Obviously we have staked a middle ground so far.
The big problem for France and Italy is there isn't anything new coming natively out of those countries after 1940 (France) or 1943 (Italy). I have definitely resisted trying to fill them out somehow with late war units. I just don't think there is enough to work with even with the few drawing board units they had. Paradoxically, it is easier to play late war France (because of Vichy and lend-lease) than it is to play late-war Italy (that was totally crushed.) Both are also the infamous "swing countries" that can play either side if you wish. That adds additional complication. Our club (and the St. Louis club) solve that by mostly not allowing it. Blue cards are Allies and Red cards are Axis. No confusion. But your mileage can vary since it is optionally allowed in the rulebook. Even so, that is mainly a scenario concern in practice (since it is optional and has to be declared ahead of time) that can be controlled by the scenario rules if wanted.
You didn't mention the Soviets! I can state categorically that the Soviet navy has received a lot of love with a lot of "looking the other way historically" to make those units. The Soviets had a terrible navy. The ships were junk, the qualified officer corps was decimated by Stalin, and you can't learn good seamanship overnight. But even with all of that we have still barely been able to make it a playable nation in the game. There is only so far we can go. And there is nothing more "fantastical" than RB's Sovietskiy Soyuz with a 1942 completion date. 1962 would have been more accurate. But again, this is a game and it isn't fun if you don't have a chance to win. So the Soviets have scaled the furthest in the game by far IMO. And we didn't start that. At least we haven't succumbed to a Soviet aircraft carrier yet. But give it time!
The IJN Carrier Liberation Force - "Because We Care" Join the IJNCVLF. Service Guarantees Citizenship!
I should also mention that board members have told me a number of times to "give it up" with trying to maintain balance. They think that is long gone and we might as well allow "anything goes." I totally disagree. Without at least trying to maintain a semblance of balance there isn't a game to play IMO. And I know my local players would drop it in a heartbeat. Which would end it for me as well.
The IJN Carrier Liberation Force - "Because We Care" Join the IJNCVLF. Service Guarantees Citizenship!
I got a 100point Convoy scenario in over the weekend. Build was 100pts and 25pts had to be Auxillaries (No AuxCruisers) with the rest being warships/planes/subs. In addition no ships with a Hull greater than 3 were allowed. Here's the build I used:
2x Gunston Hall 14/14 1x Neosho 4/18 1x RMS Queen Mary 12/30 2x USCGC Taney 14/44 2x HMS Ledbury 12/56 2x P-40e Warhawk 10/66 1x USS Marblehead 9/75 1x USS Cleveland 16/91 1x HMS Salmon 9/100
The build went against a Japanese Convoy and the rules were such that the objectives could only be taken by the Auxilaries, which really made them a target. The LLTs were a very real threat, but the Guard the Convoy SA was the saving grace for this build. Against the LLT's of the Japanese neither the Taney nor the Ledbury were able to strike back due to range so the Torpedoes on the Ledbury's were never even fired since the Ledbury's were targeted first in the Ledbury/Taney/Gunston Hall sectors. They did have some air that was shot down by the Warhawks and Ship AA, while the P-40's were able to survive a couple of strafing runs with mixed success.
It was interesting that the Ledbury's attracted the attention of the torpedoes while the Taney's attracted the attention of the MG's. I half expected it to be the other way around since the Taney had a better A/V/H line. The rational by my opponent was that while a successful torpedo would sink either of them, the Ledbury with more offensive capability seemed to be the bigger offensive threat once everyone closed. Having the Ledbury/Taney/Gunston in a single sector in this scenario seemed to work pretty well and kept the Gunston Hall's around to capture an objective. In hindsight I should have gone with the HMCS Prince David for a point more for the added guns, but felt that it violated the spirit though not the letter of the scenario. It would have allowed me to return fire at R3.
The Taney's did manage to outlast the Ledbury's as I expected when fielding both, and the game ended up being a loss for the Allies (I just couldn't handle some of the lucky LLT rolls in this low point game). But it was a pretty close game with no Surface Fleets being destroyed. End tally was 158-102 (Objectives: Allies-1, Axis-2).
Should the Taney be a point lower? Again, I think it is fine where it is at... I could have just taken more Ledbury's but I actually think they would have been sunk faster against the MG fire. The two extra points could have gone to upgrading the Salmon or the Auxilieries themselves. The Slow roll was not an issue especially with the Neosho's Fleet Tanker SA.
I really don't care about the Taney, as I do not expect to use it. But I do like to have ships priced accurately. I just don't see this as 7 points, but I've said my peace.
You are correct, I wrote the stats down wrong when building the fleet (I got my lines mixed up in the spreadsheet between the Vampire and Ledury). That should teach me to just not be lazy and pull out the darned cards.
Don't want to Quote you hate those long Threads before you get to the point.
If you read back never said making Nations more competitive is a bad thing, just said someones [let use]- "Attention to" instead of "Pet" France.
1- Obviously its Axis vs Allies something had to be added to Germany if you want something other than the Pacific.
2- Italy vs RN you can make some nice Historical battles here. Don't think you need that much Fantasy here. To me a hard luck Navy in WW2 just didn't have the Tech to compete with RN, think the game has done well here.
3- France; Interesting Navy because it can switch hit; that can add a lot the game in many ways. Im more of a purest so making France a power house in the game i watch with concern. As you said we moved with caution in the early Decks doesn't seem that way lately. Some of those units in that nation; whether part or whole in the war sometimes or not; to me you got to believe in Aliens to see it.
Like what the Team did with Taney; but to me you left it open to controversy even if you lower the cost. Hate to see a lot of controversy on such trivial units. As SWO posted thread went a little off coarse. No you can't give up; just because everyone isn't going to love it. We are not Congressmen or Senators.