From: Upper Michigan
Hey guys, here's the link to download Get it here
Franco's Alliance v2.4 compatible with patch 1.087 or newer.
By Jesse LeBreton aka "Lebatron"
After years of trying out alternate versions of A&A and making my own house rules to improve the game, W@W came out and addressed all of A&A's shortcomings. It was the perfect replacement for A&A, and I no longer wished A&A to be more than it was. I was a happy board gamer. However, in my new love affair with W@W, I noticed some flaws. Some were easy to iron out, while others took some time. While developing Franco's Alliance many changes were made to the stock game to correct these issues. Some of them being play balance, map design flaws, exploits, historical feel, and metagaming just to name a few. With each new version of Franco's Alliance I hope to get closer to the perfect game W@W could be.
One of the biggest flaws I see, is that one Axis strategy is dominate. The Axis double teaming of Russia. If you want to have the best chance of winning, you have to use this strategy. It's sad that most games go down the same road every time. For two reasons in particular it turns out like this. Reason one, is that the Soviet Far East does not have enough territories. Reason two, is that the Japs gain nothing from focusing on the South Pacific so they might as well throw their weight at Russia. To address the first problem I added territories to the Soviet Far East, and to fix the second problem I created a simple house rule dealing with the Pacific islands.
Modifying the Soviet Far East is an obvious fix, but the problem with the Pacific may not be apparent to some. Presently the Pacific war plays nothing like the historical campaign; in dozens of games I've never seen anything like the drawn-out slugging matches that took place in the South Pacific. Never seen Japanese fleets base out of Truk or Rabaul in 1942/43, never seen major land campaigns raging back and forth over New Guinea, never seen huge dogfights and bombing raids over the Solomons, never watched contested invasions march across the South Pacific to the Philippines. The reason is simple, there is no political pressure or morale obligation to assist Australia. The US can just avoid the South Pacific. When the US plays like this is RISK, rather than WWII, a lot of the flavor is lost. Not to mention the huge imbalance it creates when the US timetable is accelerated by several turns.
In both the European and Pacific theaters, I have introduced solutions to stop this metagaming. What is metagaming? Making your decisions based on how to exploit the games' rules and mechanics rather than on what would be the likely decision the nation would really make. The old Prussian gambit is a perfect example of this. In real life, there would have been zero chance the British would have invaded Prussia in 1940, but in the game a player would be tempted to do so because it would unfreeze Russia. An unrealistic outcome for sure, so I did away with the garrison requirement in Prussia many versions ago. Two other huge examples of metagaming is Germany's conquest of Spain to take Gibraltar the easy way, and the US pretending there is no reason to secure the ocean around Australia. To keep players honest, I prevent Germany from attacking Spain via frozen rules, and addressed the Pacific theater's fundamental flaw by introducing a simple house rule. These additions make both the European and Pacific theaters more interesting and fun to play.
Gamey Allied invasions have also plagued this game. The designers tried to fix it by dropping the UN transport capacity to 2. I never liked this hack. It felt out of place so I developed a better solution. It's a new house rule that limits the UN amphibious potential in the early years of the war. No longer will they be able to land a huge force in Europe in 1941 by pulling transports from every corner of the globe. Large scale invasions will have to wait till around 1943. I outline the details below under House Rules.
Way back in version 1.0, I had originally modded W@W to solve one problem. To make Spain a tougher conquest by adding a few new units. If you felt no guilt in metagaming, then it was a no-brainer to attack Spain to get to Gibraltar. So I made Spain stronger than it was historically, for game balance. Then later I dropped it when I had a better idea for Spain which became Franco's Alliance. Anyway, since 2by3 has now officially made Spain tougher, I have decided to bring back my old offering. I will call it the Standard campaign. This scenario will have all my improvements, minus the frozen Spain, for those who wish to have the option to conquer Spain to close the Med. For those who wish to play a more historical game, select the Franco campaign. In my opinion, the Franco campaign is more fun to play, because of its special unfreeze triggers, but to each his own:)
Highlights of Franco's Alliance
Improved AI for solo play.
Added new territories to the Soviet Far East.
A more historical Pacific and European theater.
Fixed the issues with gamey Allied invasions in the early years.
Resources in South America and Africa are now collected realistically.
Introduced new victory city conditions for Japan and placed victory city stars on the map.
Changed the zoom so you can now zoom out. Useful for watching replays.
WHAT'S CHANGED: For a list of changes from 2.3 to 2.4 look over the file called "log of changes."
Here's the list of changes I made to the stock game. Some ideas are borrowed, so I give credit where it's due.
1. Added some new territories to the Soviet Far East. Mongolia, Yakutsk, and Irkutsk have each been divided into two parts. The new double borders were placed strategically so that if Japan choose to attack, its advance through Russia will be slowed. The Axis double team of Russia will no longer be a no-brainer.
2. Added 2MP borders to England and Italy on their western sides, and removed the 2MP border in Algeria. Reason: To increase the flight range to 3 when flying to/from England and Spain, and to do the same from Gibraltar and other North African zones to Northern Italy. In the Med the goal was to eliminate air with a range of 2 from reaching Northern Italy. This will shift the Allied focus to Southern Italy where it should be, and increase the incentive for the Allies to take other parts of North Africa to get air within range of Italy.
3. The flight range to Finland is now a little farther by the addition of a 2MP border along their northern coast. Reason: To fix an oddity. Norway and Finland were both the same flight distance from Britain. Now Finland is 4 from Scotland while Norway is 3.
4. Shrunk the train icon so it doesn't stand out as much.
5. Adjusted the British and Neutral colors so they contrast better. Also adjusted Germany's frozen color a little to make it easier to see.
6. Adjusted the zoom so it zooms out. If you prefer zooming in???? follow the instructions below under extras to change it back.
Changes to mechanics:
1. Spain is now a frozen ally of Germany, much like Finland. Spain will unfreeze IF Gibraltar, London, or Moscow falls. Spain will also unfreeze if the WA's attack Portugal, or any of Spain's territories. Reason: To stop a gamey strategy that German players will usually emply. Since Germany does not have much to do after the fall of France while waiting for the build-up to Barbarossa, many players will use this time to conquere Spain and Gibraltar. While that may make sense if your playing RISK it does not if your playing WW2. You would be ignoring political reality and be guilty of metagaming. Spain was a fellow facist country and enjoyed good relations with Germany. To keep the German player honest, Spain has been made a frozen ally. In this way, Germany can't easily cast aside a good relation with Spain just to meet a certain game goal. Note: Because of this change, the WA's will receive some interdiction points from Spain. To solve this, just duck into the port of Gibraltar and back out when you wish to enter the Med and you'll avoid those extra interdiction points.
2. Axis auto victory has been adjusted. Its now 70+Moscow, 71+Leningrad and Stalingrad, 71+London. Taking London and reaching 70 is in my opinion easier than doing the same via Moscow, hence the 1 point increase to win via London. Leningrad and Stalingrad are similarly easier than taking Moscow. In addition, there are new victory cities I added to give the Japanese a shot at AV. They are, 70+Eastern India and Chungking, 69+Victoria and New South Wales. With these, there is now a better reason to play a more tradition Jap campaign.
Note: I added stars to the map to remind players where the victory cities are.
69 Victoria+ New South Wales
70 Eastern India+ Chungking
71 Leningrad+ Stalingrad
3. I changed it so that in some places of South America and Africa the resources will stay where they are unless a transport sits off coast. In South America all areas have been isolated in this way and will require a transport. In Africa I isolated the southern tip. South Africa and Rhodesia send their 4 resources to Cape Town port. By doing this the UN player can't get all of Africa's resources with one transport off the west coast. He will need to have a link all the way to the southern port. Reason: A problem with this game design is that the UN player can pull almost all his transports from around the world and still collect resources from South America and Africa. It's unrealistic to not even need a single transport for all of South America. Its resources can flow back to the US by land. In Africa, only one transport is needed off French West Africa and magically all resources there are collected too. That's stretching reality to far. Most things produced for the war effort were shipped from ports, not sent through thousands of miles of jungle and rough terrain by mule train . Oil tankers from South America come to mind. Given the lack of any need to use many transports to collect resources they will be pulled and placed neatly into nice shipping lines. This is contrary to the setup. The designers placed transports around South America with the impression they were there to collect that continents resources. When I first began to play I believed that was necessary. It seems like they had some intent to make it necessary to move resource production by transport, but in the end didn't do the code. The game was left to allow resources to trace any distance over land resulting in a diminished need to assign transports for that function. They are then available to do other things. This has created the problem of what many have said to be an overly large amphibious capability early in the game. If resource collection was interrupted from pulling transports for amphibious assaults, some of this problem would resolve itself.
Patch 1.070 moved some transports away from South America. Because of my changes, the original setup works better. I also took 2 transports from the Irish sea and put them on the west coast of South America to collect the resource production from Chile. I also removed 1 resource from French West Africa and put it in Madagascar. I also fixed the port in South Africa so that it connects to both sea zones.
4. The regions Western and Eastern Kazakhstan plus the Caspian Sea are now frozen with the western block of Russia. Reason: To fix an exploit that involved Russia attacking Persia or Afghan to deliberately unfreeze themselves. Here's how it might play out. Say Japan attacks Russia while Germany does not. Unorthodox but still possible. This allows Russia to attack Northern Persia, then the next turn Southern Persia, which is now German. Russia is then unfroze. If the British on a turn before had attacked Southern Persia, even better, because now Northern Persia would be German. If the Russians attacked there, same result but sooner. I prevent this exploit by making it impossible for Russia to attack Persia or Afghan in this manner.
5. An old patch added a declare war cost to Germany to try and address the neutral land grab which was a common method to win by AV. This fix was latter replaced by the current AV rules and is now obsolete. Since AV can only be achieved when certain victory cities are controlled, the need to penalize Germany for taking neutrals is no longer needed, so I have returned the game to its original state. Germany loses the 15 bonus supply added to Eastern Germany and no longer has to pay a 5 point supply fee to declare war on a neutral.
6. Land access from Gibraltar to Spain is now one way. Spain, if its unfrozen, can invade Gibraltar but the reverse is not true. Reason: So the WA's no longer get an easy pass to the mainland by just attacking with an unrealistically large stack from Gibraltar. This change forces the Allies to amphibious assault somewhere else to gain a foothold in Europe. mcaryf's idea, thanks!
Note: I just added an optional house rule that limits the amount of forces that can stack in Gibraltar. It's 2 air and 3 land units of any kind for a total of 5.
7. Changed Japan's x3 militia popup to x2. Reason: Since the Pacific hop list slows the US advance, the need to protect Japan in this way is no longer needed.
Placement and unit Changes:
1. Hungary gains a factory, and can now make militia. Reason: Hungary contributed. Germany will need a few extra militia down the road because it's going to be much hotter in the Mediterranean due to the fact that the Med will most likely be open. Oleg's idea. Thanks.
2. Removed one Russian factory at Moscow and placed it back in the cue partly build. Reason: To start the Russian economy at 24 production instead of 26. With the map changes they became an even tougher nut to crack, so it was necessary for balance. You A&A players may notice a coincidence;)
3. Moved the factory from Southern Urals to Smolensk. This will recreate the Soviet relocation of industry from this area to the Urals on the turn of Barbarossa. Also done to address play balance and consume rail capacity to limit Russia's ability to respond on the turn of Barbarossa. WanderingHead suggested this. Thanks.
4. Moved some units to Grozny so it's not so easy to take by paradrop during Barbarossa. Added a flak there too. In North Africa, Vichy French infantry have been changed to militia. Several other changes are listed in the log file.
5. Portugal gains 3 infantry, 1 artillery, 1 flak, and 1 population. Reason: So the WA's don't get a free pass to the mainland. Now that Portugal has troops, other issues needed to be addressed. I removed the Portuguese nationality from the Azores. They are now true neutral. This was done so Germany does not automatically gain Portugal if the Azores are taken by the WA's. This is better than everything Portuguese turning German just because the Allies borrow the Azores for an air base. Historically the Allies got to use the islands when some political pressure was applied. You could say that the 10 supply you pay to use the Azores is the cost of that political deal.
6. Forts have been added to several of the Pacific islands. Putting forts in these areas is a good way to simulate Japan digging in and fighting to the last man. It will also help to offset the likely tech difference between the UN and Jap infantry. To help you identify which islands have forts, I have placed an * after the name of each island that is fortified.
7. Adjusted the starting techs and world standards of some units. For instance the world standard for heavy bomber LA has been raised from 5 to 6. The A-bomb will be cheaper to build, but lots of production will now be needed to boost UN transport invasion tech. Look to the log of changes file for a complete list.
8. Adjusted infrastructure so that fighters won't find it so easy to hit damaged infrastructure. The problem now is that after being hit, infrastructure defense drops from 12 to 6. This drop is to drastic. At a 6 defense, an escorting fighter can easily get the second hit. Fighters are getting to play a dual role in this case. One, they protect bombers from geting hit. Two, after protecting the bombers they then go on to bomb and get the second hit on infrastructure. This is a case of having your cake and eating it too. Now its been changed to only drop to 9 after taking a hit. A fighter would have to get lucky to get a hit now. Only dedicated bombers should be a threat to infrastructure.
1. The hop list. In the Pacific, W@W's game mechanics kind of flop. This is no incentive for the US to fight a traditional Pacific war, and because of that Japan has no reason to take islands like the Solomon or Gilbert's. Doing so would be a waste of Japan's resources. These islands are supposed to act as an outer ring of defense that buys them time but can't when the US doesn't have to obey strategic and political realities. There is no way to prevent a US player from metagaming once they realize the South Pacific doesn't matter. That's not that much fun and gets old fast, so I created a 'Hop List' to enforce political realities so it stops playing like RISK in the Pacific. When its followed, both players will enjoy a much more fun and interesting Pacific theater. The basic idea is that an area like Australia needs to be protected and liberated first, as it would have been in the real world. Then gradually push the Japs out of the area so that the US's Pacific ally is safe from invasion and shipping raids. In the stock game, Japan's only reasonable path is to go into Russia, but using this hop list can open up new play styles for Japan because securing the South Pacific islands actually works to Japan's advantage now.
Islands in this hop list fall into categories marked A to G. These letters are on the map to assist you. Here's the house rule.
Rule 1: the sequence. Those marked A (Midway, Australia) are the US's highest priority and must be secured first. Islands marked B are the next priority and so on. Within a category, the US may attempt to capture in any order he chooses.
Rule 2: is that no surface ships may enter the next category until all conditions are met. This is to keep the US from raiding to deeply into hostile waters. Note: Air and subs are not bond by these rules.
Rule 3: Generally sea zones located next to a lettered island are considered to be a part of that letter category. Example: The Philippine Sea is adjacent to E, so its considered an E sea zone, and therefore can't be entered by surface ships until all D's are secured. All sea zones surrounding the Philippines are considered E except 217 which is obviously considered a D because of Palau. All sea zones surrounding Australia are considered A. All sea zones surrounding Borneo/Sarawak are considered type G, except the ones next to the Philippines. This may seem complicated, but it's not. Once you see it on the map it will immediately be obvious.
Here's the Hop List. These are marked on the map so there's no need to memorize this list.
A: Midway, New Caledonia, Any part of Australia. Once all under type A are secured, the US may go to any type B.
B: Solomon, Gilbert, Papua etc. Once all under type B are secured, the US may go to type C.
C: Marshall, Wake, Caroline etc. Once all under.....
D: Mariana, Guam, Palau. Once all under.....
E: Philippines. Once all 3 parts are secured........
F: Bonin. Once it's secured.......
G: Ryukya, Borneo and Sarawak Once all under type G are secured the US may invade the Jap home island.
X: Sea zones 205,206,211 are adjacent to the Jap home island and are off limits to surface ships(but not subs) until all type G are secured.
2. The transport cap. To fix the problem with the UN's overly large invasion potential in the early game, I have developed a house rule that will replace the patches effort to fix this. As you know the patch reduced UN transports to level 2. My House Rule will make that obsolete. Therefore the UN transports will be returned back to level 3, and then linked to a new table that starts small and progressively grows in invasion potential as the transport amphibious value increases. This method has the advantage of preserving the correct feel and mimics the effect of adding a dedicated amphib ship unit. So instead of spending production in the unit build screen, that cost is shifted to the tech screen. In the end, the UN will have to spend something to get better invasion capabilities. That solves many gamey issues. In Germany's case, since it doesn't have lots of transports it needs to build them for Sealion. So when you think of it, these transports are specifically being built just as dedicated invasion ships would be, which is why only the UN needs to have this special house rule applied.
Here's the details. Lets say we limit the number of transports that can be used to assault a territory to say 5 in 1940. That would give us a transport amphib value of 15. Therefore the WA's would be limited to landing no more than 3 units. This is a fair starting value. In approximately 1942 when they have upgraded to level 4 the WA's new cap would be 20 points, or enough to land 4 infantry. Jump to 1943. The WA's should be at level 5 by now. The amphib point cap would only be limited by the number of transports the WA's could bring to the area.
Rule 1: The capacity value is the total that can invade a territory, not the value from each adjacent sea zone. In other words if the transport amphib level was at 4 you could land a total of 4 infantry in Western France. Not 4 from each sea zone adjacent to Western France.
Rule 2: This amphib limit does not get used up. For instance, at level 4, Western France, Denmark, and Norway all could be invaded by 4 infantry each.
Rule 3: Remember that tanks will use up 10 capacity points each. When I say 4 units can invade at level 4, I don't mean 4 tanks.
At level 3 15 capacity cap
At level 4 20 capacity cap
At level 5 unlimited
3. The Gibraltar stacking limit. Due to its tiny size, this location can not hold much. I am setting the limit to a very generous 2 air and 3 land units of any kind. For a total stacking limit of 5.
I removed all the original scenarios since they are not compatible with the map changes. There are now 3 of my own. Two of the scenarios are intended for PBEM or hotseat. As I explained in the intro, picking between the two is a matter of preference. The third is intended for solo play, or specifically when you have the AI playing the UN. In this solo scenario, I needed to leave some of my game improvements out, because the UN AI does not play well with them in place. For instance, adjustments had to be made to Spain to prevent the UN AI from always attacking Spanish Morocco. This would unfreeze Spain which I'm sure would not be the AI's intent if it knew any better. Also the South American and African resource collection changes I made could not be used in this scenario since the UN AI will always abandon these coastlines. This would cripple the UN's production, so I left it stock.
Warning: due to the changes I made, you must follow these install instructions or you will mess up your stock game.
Step 1: First reinstall another copy of the game in a different directory. For instance c:\games\Franco's Alliance v2.4. Rename the new desktop shortcut to Franco's Alliance v2.4 so you know which one is which.
Step 2: Install patch 1.087 or newer for the new copy you just made. Make sure you select the right game folder to patch since there are now two choices.
Step 3. Run the Franco patch executable. At the path choice, direct it to patch the new copy you just made.
A:If you wish to go back to the original zoom levels, look for the code below in the art.txt file. Once you found it, erase the // in front of the lines I bleeped out and place them instead in front of the second copy of each line. Then save. Now the old zooms will be back.
// zooms for the game
// chip scaling by zoom
// Y ofsets by zoom
You could also use 4000 in place of 4800. That's the furthest out you can set it and still see the onscreen fonts. Also the icon offset was changed to 25 because it makes the units in a stack sit closer together. It looks better this way.
B: If you are tired of hitting escape 3 times to get to the game, go into the video folder and look for the 3 intro videos. Rename these, and they will no longer harass you. Example: XXX2by3intro.wmv once renamed like this, or anyway you see fit, the program will not play them on startup anymore.
< Message edited by Lebatron -- 8/27/2006 5:15:46 AM >