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stormer1120

New game gives advantage to the invaders

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We found that the new game gives a large advantage to the invaders. Two cities that used to be hard to get are placed within easy reach in the lower left hand corner. We found that if the red and blue players head straight for each other in the south and south east then move north in parallel they are unstopable. Meanwhile the yellow forces take the west, the rockies and some of the cities in the western portion of the south. This is a strategy we are finding difficult to stop.

Also the new cards for the invaders are very deadly. There is a card for red that allows the attackers to fire first in one battle. That almost guarentees victory if you use it properly. The best card for the U.S. of course is the airlift card just as in the old edition. Once the invader knows the card exists (i did not know it existed the first time i played the invaders, what a shocker that was) he can easily set up his forces to ensure the US does not jump behind him. Over all i think the invaders had a huge advantage the in the old game and now they are virtually unbeatable for and 18 cities objective game.

I would recommend requiring invaders to gain 21 cities to win or giving US 3 reinforcement cards per turn instead of 2. Anyone else find the invaders that over powered?

Would like to read alternate opinions or strategies.

Thanks in advance.

 

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We found that the new game gives a large advantage to the invaders. Two cities that used to be hard to get are placed within easy reach in the lower left hand corner. We found that if the red and blue players head straight for each other in the south and south east then move north in parallel they are unstopable. Meanwhile the yellow forces take the west, the rockies and some of the cities in the western portion of the south. This is a strategy we are finding difficult to stop.

Really? I find that this strategy is WAAAYYYY too slow. By the time the Eastern Invader starts to threaten more cities beyond Atlanta and the two in Florida the US player will already have redeployed enough forces to truly pummel the Southern Invader. Besides, by moving Southern and Eastern invader towards the same area, the US can use their forces more effectively by setting up pockets with Heli's and Bombers around the Dallas area, giving excellent counter-attack abilities towards both Southern and Eastern invader and making life hell. Setting up a similar pocket around Colorado Springs theatens the Southern and Western invader in area's where there are plenty of cities. This slows the Invaders down a lot as they have to concentrate on defending cities against US counter attacks.

I've had one game in which the Invaders tried this; eventually they were too slow in their progress and especially the Southern Invader lost a LOT of forces because the US player was able to use all 6 bombers against the southern invader. This was because there was no need to move the bombers to the Washington area as the Eastern Invader did not focus its assault in this direction. Some counter-attacks against the Los Angeles area also slowed down the Western invader. The Invaders were unable to mount an assault against Colorado Springs until at least turn 7, by which time the invaders had lost so many forces in other area's that the US was starting to take back Atlanta and forcing the Eastern Invader to defend.

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Interesting approach.


I have never seen the invaders take too long on this strategy.
 

It takes 2 turns, 3 at the most to have the red and blue invaders touch. Then they go north. How are you stopping this from occurring? Given all red forces are involved in making this happen, we find it very difficult to even slow down the Red forces.
 

The US must continually defend the DC area because at any time the Red forces can put new troops at that location and take DC if the US is not careful. This will open up the north east which the US cannot allow under any circumstances so he must always leave forces there. Given the new card that allows the invader to attack first, it is now required that the US leave twice the usual forces in the north east as compared to the old game.
 

All the invader's bombers are placed on the board the first and second turns to get the maximum usage from them. They almost guarantee that any early pockets of US resistance are crushed in the 3 corresponding sectors. Once the bombers are gone around turn 5 the invaders are well established. This used to be a big help to the US as the invaders had a difficult time getting men to the front lines later in the battle. With the new movement rules of the mobile units, this is no longer a problem. Once the bombers are gone the mobile units can easily get the men into position to create combined arms which definitely makes up for not having bombers later in the game.
 

The US bombers do not last long in any game as they are the first thing that is targeted in every battle involving air units.


The yellow forces funnel all their troops through the south west which makes any resistance in that sector next to impossible. By the 4rd turn the western invader is always destroying Colorado springs.
 

Meanwhile, the invader should always harass the US by having men or mobile units take open territory upto 2 to 3 spaces away from the main attack vectors I have described.

 

If the US can lure the blue forces to travel directly north or north west then we can use him to block the yellow advance. This works occasionally with inexperienced players. However now that we know this trick the blue player only travels north once he touches the red and only parrellel to the red.
 

Under the current game rules this always works for us. What strategies are you using to allow the US player to survive? Under the strategy I outlined I have never seen the invaders take more than 3 turns to take Atlanta and begin marching north.  If you could please explain your strategies, I will try those the next game to see if we can lengthen the US survival time.

 

Thanks
 

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I meant to say the western invader is taking Las Vegas on the 3rd turn not colorado springs. CS is usually taken around turn 5 or 6 by the yellow and that ends the game.

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I find that the Western invader trying to funnel all his troops to Los Angeles is difficult at best; the place is a logistical nightmare for the Western invader which is compounded if the US player counter attacks Western forces in this area using partisans and a mobile airforce from Colorado Springs. Since you can only funnel 5 units a turn through this area, this slows down the Western invader.

The trick with the US is to give just enough ground so that the Invaders can NEVER attack a large US force directly (because the Bombers will then be lethal) but use the US forces to counter-attack (using lasers in support and a mobile airforce) those area's where the Invaders have gathered forces. If the invaders put a force of 5 bombers on the front lines, I attack those usually from 2 directions at once using mostly cheap forces (infantry, partisans and mobile units); any hits caused by the US will take out precious air force while the invaders don't hit more than just cheap forces. If the Invaders start mixing their forces then an overwhelming counter attack will do a LOT of damage. But as the US player you have to pick your battles carefully and not overstrech a lot. The US can afford two or three good attacks each turn, but no more than that. As the US player if you deploy 2 heli's and 2-3 bombers in Colorado Springs and the same around Dallas, you can make good use of any Partisans in the Western Sector, Rocky Mountains and Southern sectors as you can use Heli's and Bombers to support any attack they do.

If the Eastern invader initially deploys far from Washington, then later in the game he can at most deploy 8 units around the Washington area. Yes, he will be able to TAKE washington, but will not be able to actually HOLD washington if the US puts up strong counter attack possibilities. And yes, as the US I would be very much interested in trading Washington every turn with the Eastern invader; all those extra partisan cards are quite yummy.

 

It is however true that the invader cards are overpowered and swing the game more in favour of the Invaders. I don't use them in games myself, having played with them once. Its an optional rule so you are not obligated to use them. If you do use those cards then you should also use the Individual Invader win conditions which will cause strife between the separate invaders (it should anyway) which will mitigate the card advantage somewhat.

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I think that the invader cards seem to balance the game a little more.  If the player playing America is the best of the 4 players and the invaders don't all get on the same page at the beginning of the game, the Americans almost always win w/o the invader cards.  The invader cards give the Invaders some room for error.

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That's been my experience as well. America is the toughest to play, requiring more long-term strategy and dealing with three fronts, and typically has the advantage.  I don't feel the Invader Cards unbalance the game, especially given the city/resource requirements.

That being said, there's always the option of playing without.

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ronin3338 said:

That's been my experience as well. America is the toughest to play, requiring more long-term strategy and dealing with three fronts, and typically has the advantage.

Well, the Invaders have to set the pace of the game to "high". As the Invader, you have to pressure the US and press hard and at speed. If you don't press hard enough OR don't develop enough speed to threaten key US area's (area north of Washington, area around/north of Dallas and around Colorado Springs) then the US will get to make the choises of where to attack. As the Invader you have to take control, you cannot afford to spend three turns on the beaches to secure your position; the US will receive more reinforcements and have more laser shots if you do as well as letting the US pick the targets for attacks.

 

If I play the US and notice that neither the Western Invader nor the Eastern invader make haste and pressure into those key area's, I use my air force to completely demolish the Southern Invader in the New Orleans area. By the time the Western and Eastern invader will have developed pressure on key area's, the Southern Invader is pretty much already out of steam and will have taken so many losses that he can never hold the ground nessecary to reach Dallas and the cities north of it. It will then be up to the Eastern Invader to take care of that, but then the Eastern Invader will feel the full wrath of the US forces.

 

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marcelvdpol said:

ronin3338 said:

 

 

 

Well, the Invaders have to set the pace of the game to "high". As the Invader, you have to pressure the US and press hard and at speed. If you don't press hard enough OR don't develop enough speed to threaten key US area's (area north of Washington, area around/north of Dallas and around Colorado Springs) then the US will get to make the choises of where to attack. As the Invader you have to take control, you cannot afford to spend three turns on the beaches to secure your position; the US will receive more reinforcements and have more laser shots if you do as well as letting the US pick the targets for attacks.

I agree.  The invaders must be aggressive at all times, but coordinate well so that they don't leave their bellies unprotected. 

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I have to say, I really am digging this game.  It has been very balanced for us so far.  We have played 3 games, and all 3 games have come down to the very last turn, and 1 of them came down to the very last die roll to determine which side won.  The invaders have captured the required number of cities (or more) in all 3 games, but were simply not able to hold on to them and the U.S. came back to win in all 3 games on the final turn. 

For us the Invaders do not seem over powered.  However, we have NOT been using the Invader cards with the advanced rules.  We have only been playing with the Basic rules.  Also we do try to have 1 of our more experienced players taking on the role of the U.S.  If we had 3 experienced players taking on the role of the Invaders, and they coordinated their attacks better, we might experience a different outcome.

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I've played roughly 10 games so far, both as Invader and as the USA. Its a pretty tough game in that both sides have to be careful; the other side can punish mistakes quite easily. The Invaders really have to work together to win; each choosing a separate strategy will only make things easier for the USA. The USA has to really be careful in the early 2-3 turns not to overstretch and loose too many good units, you will need them later on.

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I think the game is more dificutl for the americans, but the invadres can loose too. The invaders need a lot of coordination, and the time plays without they. I think the game is now more compensed.

Sorry for my english.

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I personally think that the game is roughly 50-50 (without any Invader Cards). If the USA really know what they are doing, the game is pretty well balanced. The USA is however harder to play for a first-time player; attacking too early or not retreating when the Invaders have an overwhelming attack on a city are the two main causes for loosing for a newbie. I do suggest that new players mixing with experienced players play the southern invader if possible; its the Invader which has the most balanced tasks; Western Invader is a logistical nightmare while the Eastern Invader will need to kill or occupy as many USA forces as possible.

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I think its pretty even.  I remember playing the "original" edition, and I still think that this is a fairly balanced game.  We have never run out of time, even close.  Usually by turn 8 it is very clear who is going to win, and I think its 50-50 on who wins.  But we have not used the alternate invader cards.  

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I once had a game which the USA won by running the Invaders out of time. The Invaders were for three turns very close to the 18 victory cities, but never managed to push it over the top. They did make it to 18 cities on one turn but the USA threw everything at a single city and managed to recapture it. 

 

The USA played a very cautious game, and the Eastern Invader did as well. 

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I played this new version of Fortress America for the first time today.  Like the old version, this new Fortress America gives a serious advantage to the invasion armies.  The reason for this advantage is quite simple and that reason is the way that the US Forces are required to setup.  Placing two units in all 30 cities across the map spreads the US Forces so thin that by the end of the first turn the US has lost a third or more of its units.  Even with the help of the partisan cards it is difficult to recover from such huge early losses.  

 

To compensate for this my friends and I are going to play with an alternate US setup method.  Instead of placing two units in every city the US forces will be divided into five groups of twelve units.  These five groups of 12 will be placed in each of the US territories, western, rocky mountains, plains, southern and eastern.  Instead of forcing the US player to place these units in cities the US player can place each of the twelve units anywhere he chooses within their sector.  This may of course mean that some cities will be entirely undefended early on in the game.  The reality is that if America was invaded on three fronts as it is in this game, some cities would in fact be evacuated and left to the enemy rather than needlessly sacrifice military resources defending a city that can't be saved.  Instead US Forces would gather in strategic locations and counter attack the enemy.

 

We will use a method that divides the US pieces as evenly as possible.  Ultimately it ends up meaning that each sector has at least one bomber and one sector will have two bombers.  Similarly one sector will get a couple extra hover tanks.  I can give the break down of how we divide up the forces if anyone is interested but the end result is much better for a number of reasons.  First of all the Western Sector places four of the seven cities within immediate striking distance of an invasion zone and Seattle usually falls by round two or three.  This leaves the Western Sector with maybe four to six units left to stop the western invader and the Rocky Mountains start the game with only four units to contribute.  If both the Western and Rocky Mountain sector start the game with 12 units that places a much more balanced response to the attack.  

 

We play the game with the Invader cards which gives the invasion armies some serious punch.  I feel that using the 12 units per sector approach during setup and not forcing the US forces to fort up in the cities gives the US player much better defensive options for both attack and counter attack and it is much more in keeping with how the US would actually be defended in a real life scenario.   

 

 

 

In closing I would just like to say that I think the game would be more enjoyable with fighter jets and artillery pieces added.  I think FFG should release an expansion pack that includes these pieces as well as rules for their use in the game.  

Edited by Shooter

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In closing I would just like to say that I think the game would be more enjoyable with fighter jets and artillery pieces added.  I think FFG should release an expansion pack that includes these pieces as well as rules for their use in the game.  

 

I don't think this will ever gonna happen: Kevin's not with FFG any longer, so they would need a different designer to do the expansion; additionally (and more importantly), the game was on sale during the last winter promotion, and this is generally a sign for games that didn't sell well.

 

I may be mistaken, tho, but the signs are not encouraging

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In closing I would just like to say that I think the game would be more enjoyable with fighter jets and artillery pieces added.  I think FFG should release an expansion pack that includes these pieces as well as rules for their use in the game.  

 

I don't think this will ever gonna happen: Kevin's not with FFG any longer, so they would need a different designer to do the expansion; additionally (and more importantly), the game was on sale during the last winter promotion, and this is generally a sign for games that didn't sell well.

 

I may be mistaken, tho, but the signs are not encouraging

 

 

 

I feel certain that  you're right about that.  I just bought the game brand new for $38 on Amazon, a sure indicator that it is not selling well.  I think it is probably due to the fact that word is out on how one sided the game is in favor of the invasion armies.  Just my theory. 

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Yep, possibly (38$ is a huge deal, congrats!)

 

The game is... good, and bad at the same time. I played it only a few times (8 or 10, don't remember exactly), so, possibly I'm mistaken, but in my experience, it was very good for the first half, and then very boring in the second half. First half is fun, you have the idea of a tide pressuring on the US, and it's really interesting find the best way to defend / limit the damage and strike as hard as possible key enemy units; after the first half, when Invaders have no more additional troops to field, it becomes quite a boring way to the inevitable doom (or inevitable US victory, which is more likely to happen if you survive with some strong positions to the first rounds). Considering the game can easily go on for 5 hours, having 2-3 hours good, and 2-3 hours bad is a little discouraging from playing it often.

 

I hope you can have a better game experience than I had, and can enjoy the game :)

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