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  • RE: Chinese Civil War

    I only had time for a quick look, so my comments are just very general ones, in no particular order.

    “Winning the Game: Nationalist China wins if all Communist Chinese units are eliminated. Communist China wins if they can control all Nationalist China mainland territories (not including Warlord territories).”

    Comment: This solves the original concerns I’d raised, which were related to capitals. The new winning conditions are more straightforward and clear, which is a good thing. That being said, you may want to be a bit more explicit with each side’s goals, in order to provide guidance to the players, because the two goals are stated in different terms. As far as I can tell, each side’s basic goal is the destruction of the other side’s military forces, the only difference being that the Nationalists need to destroy the Communists completely, whereas the Communists only need to destroy the Nationalist forces in every mainland location. This is slightly unbalanced, so you may want to set up victory “gradations” (total victory, major victory, etc.) because a Communist victory in which the Nationalists are totally destroyed should count for more than one in which the Nationalists escape in large numbers to Taiwan (and/or Hainan Island, which isn’t part of mainland China).

    “Nationalist Aligned Warlords”

    Perhaps I’m not remembering correctly what I read in that Wikipedia article, but I think the warlord era was pretty much over by the 1930s. The Communist Revolution was in the late 1940s.

    “Pheasant Recruitment”

    Peasant, not pheasant. Peasants are, in Communist terms, the rural proletariat. Pheasants are birds.

    “Nationalist Defection: Every second turn, the Communist China player has the option to replace their purchase phase with Nationalist Defection.”

    This is an interesting concept, and it actually brings into the game one of the political angles of the Communist Revolution.

    “(Russia slowly moved out of Manchuria after WW2, allowing the Communists to move and control the land)”

    The Soviets also, if I’m not mistaken, allowed the Communists to get hold of a lot of captured Japanese military hardware.

    posted in Other Axis & Allies Variants
  • RE: Chinese Civil War

    One thing which could be a helpful source of ideas for you would be to look at the threads below. A few years ago, some ideas were tossed around on the forum for various A&A “mini-games” called Axis & Allies Express, most of them them based on local campaigns of WWII (including one in China). I found the threads by using the Search function to look for “Express” and I think I managed to get all of them. I didn’t take the time to re-read the threads, but as I recall their game objectives and victory conditions reflected the specific aims of the historical campaigns on which they were based.

    Similarly. you might get some useful inspiration from the three official A&A games which are operational/tactical in scope rather than strategic: D-Day, Guadalcanal and Battle of the Bulge. All involve shorter time-frames than the Communist Revolution in China, which lasted a couple of years, but they’re conceptually closer to it than WWII as a whole and thus potentially better models of how to design rules for such a conflict.

    posted in Other Axis & Allies Variants
  • RE: Chinese Civil War

    It’s been ages since I’ve had any time to actually play A&A, so I was looking at your rules just out of curiosity rather than out of potential interest in playing the set-up. The part I mentioned previously caught my eye because it looked like a potential way for the Communist player to win by doing something which disregarded the way the game was (apparently) intended to be played, and I was wondering whether it actually was your intention or not.

    I’ve had a quick look at what Wikipedia says about the Chinese Civil War, and it doesn’t seem as though it was a conflict over control “all of mainland China” (though that’s what the Communists ultimately got out of it). It looks more as though it was fought in the eastern half of the country, with the overall course of the war being summed up by these four sequential maps:’s_Strategy_1947.PNG

    I’m therefore wondering if your setup and rules are meant to reflect the course and objectives of the actual Chinese Civil War, or whether they’re basically aiming to apply the general A&A global mechanics to a game that’s set entirely in China. The strong emphasis placed on capitals sounds directly inspired by A&A’s victory cities and winning conditions, but I’m not sure that the actual Chinese Civil War put that much importance on capitals. The post-WWII Communist Revolution was basically a continuation of an on-and-off conflict dating back to the founding of the Chinese Republic, prior to WWI, and the subsequent warlord era, and to the initial subjugation of the warlords by the Nationalists and the Communists (who were originally on the same side), then to the initial civil war between those two groups (which got interrupted by the Sino-Japanese War, which eventually became WWII in the Asia-Pacific Theatre). During all that time, China had several cities which were actual or de facto capitals, with faction X controlling city Y, and I don’t think the control of any specific city was decisive in and of itself. The same thing happened in WWII: the Japanese managed to get control of the major cities, all the ports, and many of the railroad lines, but the countryside (and the western two-thirds of the country overall) remained out of their grasp. And on the Chinese side, the loss of the major eastern cities wasn’t fatal: the Nationalists relocated to Chunking, and the Communists remained pretty much where they had ended up at the end of the Long March, in a hard-to-reach area of northern China. So I guess that’s why I’m wondering if the emphasis on capitals sounds like a holdover from the A&A rules rather than something arising from the actual objectives of the conflict between the Nationalists and the Communists.

    posted in Other Axis & Allies Variants
  • RE: Chinese Civil War

    I think that something needs to be changed in either the Winning the Game section or the Capitals section because in their current form they affect each other in a way which could have significant consequences for game play, and more specifically for the strategy of the Communist player.

    The Winning the Game section says “The Communists win if they control all of mainland China (not including Formosa) or if the Nationalist capital has been Taiwan (Formosa) for 4 rounds of play.” The potential problem is the “or” part of the sentence because the Capitals section says “The Nationalist capital is Nanking, located in Kiangsi. If Kiangsi falls, the Nationalist’s capital will move to Taiwan until Kiangsi is liberated.” Maybe I’m misunderstanding something, but it sounds as if this means that the Communists can actually ignore most of China and instead can win simply by concentrating all of their forces on Kiangsi, capturing it and holding it for four rounds.

    You’re quite correct when you say that “Control of capitals vital for success as well as propaganda”, but keep in mind that Chiang Kai-shek didn’t end up controlling Formosa as a political objective in and of itself; he ended up in Formosa because he lost mainland China to Mao Tse-tung and had to retreat there, for similar reasons to why the British retreated to the UK at Dunkirk when the Allies were losing western Europe to Germany in 1940.

    posted in Other Axis & Allies Variants
  • RE: Using your Allie pieces in combat.

    In terms of game rules, I don’t have an answer, but in real-world terms military personnel aren’t the same thing as jeeps. Having Nation A use the troops of Nation B isn’t really Lend-Lease, it’s more along the lines of inter-allied cooperation, and that’s problematic for two reasons. Reason one (and WWII offers lots of examples in relation to the British and the Americans in 1944 and 1945) is that of senior military officers can be reluctant to serve under (or cooperate with) another nation’s senior military officers, Montgomery and Patton being a good case in point. Reason two is more subtle. Even with the best of intentions on everyone’s part, military forces from different nations generally can’t function as a single unit or even in close cooperation without a good deal of training for that specific purpose (as the short-lived ABDA found out in early 1942). Even when they speak the same language, different armies have different doctrines and practices, not to mention differences in nuts-and-bolts details like equipment and weapons and communication protocols. Even within the same nation, different services can find each other’s combat doctrine incomprehensible. The US Army and the United States Marine Corps in WWII sometimes ran into trouble because of this in the Pacific, one nasty example being the so-called “War of the Smiths” during the Marianas campaign in which a Marine General (Holland M. Smith) relieved an Army General (also named Smith) of command. During the Cold War, NATO devoted a lot of effort to the question of inter-operability (joint training exercises, standard small-arms ammunition calibers and so forth) for precisely these reasons.

    posted in House Rules
  • RE: On this day during W.W. 2

    August 25 is also the day on which Paris was liberated. The film “Is Paris Burning?”, which depicts the liberation of Paris, includes the most badly dubbed sequence I’ve ever seen in a movie, the one in which Kirk Douglas as Lieutenant General George S. Patton is having a conversation with someone.

    posted in World War II History
  • RE: Axis and Allies on a Fictional Map / Earth-2 (idea for a new A&A game?)

    Personally, I’m having trouble grasping the exact concept that’s being proposed here. Maybe I’m misunderstanding something, but it sounds as if the idea is to keep almost everything about A&A intact, including the nations/powers which are fighting each other, but transplanting them onto a new world map that’s completely different from the world we know. I really don’t see the point, and I also have serious reservations about how this would affect the game’s mechanics because those mechanics draw heavily on both real historical events (like the Russo-Japanese Non-Aggression Pact, to give just one example) and real geographical considerations (like the fact that Japan and Germany are cut off from each other by the Soviet Union). Many of those elements would get thrown out the window if the geography of the world were different, which means that the idea of keeping everything identical except the map wouldn’t actually be feasible; many of the rules would need to be rewritten. An alternate world geography would also imply an alternate world history, which means that we wouldn’t actually be dealing with the same powers that fought in WWII. To give an example: in the real world, the major naval/maritime powers of Britain and Japan have in common the fact that they’re highly industrialized island nations located a short distance away from a large continental land mass controlled by long-established foreign nations. Would Britain and Japan have turned out that way if they were physically attached to Europe and Asia – like Holland (arguably yes) and Korea (arguably no)? I’m really not understanding what this transplantation idea is meant to achieve or what problem it’s meant to solve with the A&A game as it actually exists.

    posted in Other Axis & Allies Variants
  • RE: Axis and Allies on a Fictional Map / Earth-2 (idea for a new A&A game?)

    I don’t know if this could be of any use for your project, but I’ll mention it in case it’s relevant. I once read a book about miniatures-based wargaming campaigns, and it mentioned a particular wargamer who wanted to create his own fictitious continent for a medieval-era game. He had few graphic design skills, but he was a creative thinker and he figured out an easy and low-cost (in fact, no-cost) way to carry out his project. (Note that at the time he was using 1980s resources, and that today this would be even easier to do with GoogleMaps.) He got himself a bunch of free tourist pamphlets and travel brochures containing decent-sized maps of lesser-known places within countries rather than of countries themselves – like the island of Corsica, for instance. He fitted them together in a way that looked attractive, put a large sheet of paper over them and traced their outlines to produce the main countries / nations of his fictional continent. The small awkward gaps between the map sections were put to good use by being turned into little independent principalities (like Lichstenstein in in real world). He used similar techniques to insert coastlines, mountains, lakes and rivers into his fictional map. The result was a large, attractive, geographically plausible continental map which looked completely different from the real world because its component countries weren’t originally countries in our world, weren’t originally near each other, and weren’t originally of similar sizes. Using GoogleMaps today would be even easier because you can scale its maps up or down as much as you want just by rolling the wheel on your mouse.

    posted in Other Axis & Allies Variants
  • RE: 3d Axis & Allies board

    Since it sounds like getting this map 3-D printed will be a large expense, you may want to take the precaution of first trying out your idea as a low-cost prototype, by which I mean cutting the shapes out of sheets of thin balsa wood and gluing them to a large sheet of foamcore posterboard. This would allow you to test how well the G40 plastic game pieces would work on a 3-D board.

    The potential problem you may encounter is that a 3-D board could cause problems with piece placement and piece movement. The large flat “high” land areas like Russia and the large flat “low” sea areas like the Atlantic Ocean would be fine, because you’d have lots of flat maneuvering room, but map sections where high and low areas are bunched together might be another story. The Pacific Ocean would probably be the biggest problem: some of the islands are small, so trying to put a bunch of sculpts on a small elevated island could be tricky, and moving ships around on a board full of elevated obstacles could likewise be harder than moving them on a flat surface. One way to reduce the cost of the cardboard/balsa wood test would be to build just the Pacific area rather than the whole map, but to build it as close to full size as possible, then try out the actual game sculpts once you’ve bought the game.

    posted in Customizations
  • Potential A-Bomb / Belgian Congo House Rule

    This is just a starting point rather than a fully-developed concept (it would need to be worked out in detail by players who are experienced with house rules), but it’s an idea based on this BBC article published yesterday…
    The forgotten mine that built the atomic bomb
    3rd August 2020

    …which indicates that a mine in the Congo was the source for nearly all of the uranium used in the Manhattan Project, culminating with the construction of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. According to one part of the article, “In no other mine could you see a purer concentration of uranium. Nothing like it has ever been found. Mines in the US and Canada were considered a ‘good’ prospect if they could yield ore with 0.03% uranium. At Shinkolobwe, ores typically yielded 65% uranium. The waste pile of rock deemed too poor quality to bother processing, known as tailings, contained 20% uranium.”

    From an A&A perspective, this suggests that any house rules which permit the construction of atomic bombs need to be accompanied by a house rule requiring control of the Belgian Congo, presumably for a cumulative total of several turns to allow the required quantity of ore to be mined and stockpiled. A variation would be to make control of the Belgian Congo a national objective of some sort; if we assume that only the Allies have a realistic prospect of building an A-bomb, then control of the Belgian Congo could be an Allied N.O. whose aim is to gain that capability, and it could be an Axis N.O. whose aim is to deny that capability to the Allies.

    posted in House Rules