While immensely enjoyable, my most recent Axis & Allies game (1942, 13 VC) took seven hours. So, I recently began play-testing a short, 2-player variant that has taken about 2-3 hours to play.
If it is possible to combine Axis & Allies Europe 1940 and Axis & Allies Pacific 1940 to create A&A 1940 Global, you can create an “A&A 1941 Pearl Harbor” variant by removing one of the three game board panels of Anniversary.
Here are the rule changes to the 2-3 hour variant:
Remove the left Atlantic section of the three game board panels (you will only be using the center and right Pacific panels)
Set up and play only with Japan (Player 1) and United Kingdom & US (Player 2) units using 1941 setup rules except that no UK units are set up on the continent of Africa
No USSR units are set up and all USSR territories are vacant, so you can place the National Production Chart on the upper-left corner of the game board
The Axis player (Japan) starts with 17 IPCs and two Victory Cities (exactly same as A&A Anniversary 1941 setup)
The Allied player (UK & US) starts with:
21 IPCs and three Victory Cities (as the UK)
and 23 IPCs and three Victory Cities (as the US)
Note that the UK does not have any industrial complexes at the start of the game. The UK still receives income, but needs to purchase and build an industrial complex in order to produce units on the board. Even if the UK builds an industrial complex on the first turn, the first UK purchased units won’t appear on the board until the end of the second turn (just as they would if playing a full game of A&A Anniversary)
The game board then should look like this at the start of the game:
AA 1941 Pearl Harbor variant.jpg
(ERRATA: The picture of the initial set-up has an error: the US (“Flying Tigers”) fighter in Yunnan is missing!)
ADDITIONAL NOTES ON RULES
Turn order is (1) United Kingdom, (2) Japan, and (3) US
USSR territories and all territories on the continent of Africa are out of play and treated exactly the same as neutral countries; no units (Allied or Axis) can enter or fly over
No National Objectives (while fun, having to check objectives for each country prolongs the game)
Technological Development phase is in play
All other rules in Axis & Allies Anniversary (like the rules for China) are in play
VICTORY CONDITIONSFirst player to capture 7 (out of 8 ) VC by the end of the US turn wins.
Although set-up is faster, it is not meant to be a better game than Pacific 1940 (nor is it a better game than a full game of Axis & Allies Anniversary).
It is merely meant to be a way for owners of Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition to enjoy a dice-rolling, dudes-on-a-map game in under three hours.
Give it a try and please share any thoughts.