Advanced Flames and Steel



  • I have recently completed an advanced rules set for a WWII strategy game.

    This rules set includes three different resource types. Manpower Points (MPs) represent men available to serve in your nation’s infantry, and are expended through infantry purchases. Production Units (PUs) represent raw materials and industrial capacity, and are used to purchase military units. Economic Units (EUs) represent the resources available to upgrade your nation’s war making effort. EUs can be used on research. A broad variety of technologies are available in the general tech tree, and most nations have nation-specific techs as well. EUs can also be used to upgrade your industrial cities, thereby increasing the number of PUs you receive each turn. You can also use EUs to build and upgrade rail networks, allowing you to move units to the front more quickly.

    To give a specific example of a decision involving EUs, Japan starts the game with the ability to build light tanks only. For a very small investment in EUs, it can upgrade its light tanks to level 5. A level 5 light tank has the same statistics as a level 2 medium tank, and the light tank only costs 60% as much. A level 7 medium tank is more than twice as good as a level 2 medium tank, and gives you considerably more bang for the buck than a level 5 light tank. However, obtaining the ability to build level 7 medium tanks requires a substantial investment of EUs, spread over the course of several turns. EUs are scarce and opportunities to invest them are plentiful. Should Japan use “good enough” light tanks to free up precious EUs for use elsewhere?

    You will encounter a number of questions of this sort as you build your strategy.



  • This sounds interesting, but it would be much to complex for my gaming group right now 😞


  • Customizer

    I like the idea of three different types of income.  For one thing, the MP could only be used for Infantry, which means everyone would have to buy infantry each turn and not all tanks or all subs.  On the other hand, you don’t have to use your PUs to purchase infantry and that could help stretch them out.  I also like the EUs so everyone could get a chance at developing techs.  With A&A, since you simply have IPCs, most of the time no one tries to develop techs because they spend all their money on combat units.  It would be nice to have a “separate” part of your income so everyone would have the chance to develop techs and maybe make the game a little more interesting.

    Still, I kind of agree with i rock.  It would also make the game even more complex and my group tends to prefer it a little simpler.  Probably another reason we never seem to try for techs.



  • @knp7765:

    I like the idea of three different types of income.  For one thing, the MP could only be used for Infantry, which means everyone would have to buy infantry each turn and not all tanks or all subs.  On the other hand, you don’t have to use your PUs to purchase infantry and that could help stretch them out.  I also like the EUs so everyone could get a chance at developing techs.  With A&A, since you simply have IPCs, most of the time no one tries to develop techs because they spend all their money on combat units.  It would be nice to have a “separate” part of your income so everyone would have the chance to develop techs and maybe make the game a little more interesting.

    Still, I kind of agree with i rock.  It would also make the game even more complex and my group tends to prefer it a little simpler.  Probably another reason we never seem to try for techs.

    Thanks for the comments.

    One of the effects of this rules set’s technology system is that unit stats will tend to change over the course of the game. For example, Japan could upgrade its light tanks to Level 2 at the end of its first turn, to level 3 at the end of its second turn, and so forth up to Level 5. At that point it might decide to upgrade its light tanks to medium tanks. It would probably want to research several levels of medium tanks tech before choosing to convert its light tanks to medium tanks. (A highly upgraded light tank gives you more bang for the buck than the worst possible medium tank.)

    From a game play standpoint, the above means that units’ combat values will often change throughout the game. Computers are perfect for keeping track of this sort of thing, and my hope is to someday see this rules set turned into a computer program. I agree that it would be difficult for people using a physical game board and playing pieces to use this rules set.



  • I love the idea and and very interested in where you might take it, but have you considered developing this independent of Axis & Allies? I think this may actually be able to thrive better as an independent game with its own map and combat system, if you’re willing to put the time into it.



  • @kdfsjljklgjfg:

    I love the idea and and very interested in where you might take it, but have you considered developing this independent of Axis & Allies? I think this may actually be able to thrive better as an independent game with its own map and combat system, if you’re willing to put the time into it.

    Thanks for the compliments!

    This game is intended to be entirely independent of Axis and Allies. A different map (which has yet to be devised), a different combat system (which has already been created), and a different big picture approach.

    Most units have multiple hitpoints. To prevent this from becoming overpowered, whoever is inflicting damage gets to choose how the hits are allocated. Presumably, the person allocating hits will choose to finish off injured enemy units before moving on to uninjured units.

    The worst possible light tanks have a land combat value of 0.5 and one hitpoint. The land combat value of 0.5 means that if you have two light tanks, you will inflict exactly one hit on an enemy land force each combat round. Light tanks cost 3 PUs each. Fully upgraded light tanks also cost 3 PUs each, but have a land combat value of 1 and 2 hitpoints.

    The worst possible medium tanks have a land combat value of 1, 2 hitpoints, and cost 5 PUs each. Fully upgraded medium tanks have a land combat value of 2.5, 4 hitpoints, and also cost 5 PUs each. The U.S. and the Soviet Union each have technology they can research which allows them to decrease the cost of their medium tanks to 4 PUs each. Should Japan find itself in a land war against the Soviet Union, and if Japan uses 15 ton light tanks to the Soviets’ fully upgraded 25 ton medium tanks, the Soviets will get much more bang for their buck than will the Japanese. This is one of several reasons why the main threat to the Soviet Union will typically come from Germany, not Japan.

    Germany may research “Panther tanks” on its third turn. Doing so allows it to build 50 ton battle tanks. Battle tanks are also available to the U.S., Britain, and the Soviet Union, but those nations’ path to receive them is much slower and far more costly than Germany’s. The worst possible battle tank has a land combat value of 2, 4 hitpoints, and costs 8 PUs to build. Fully upgraded battle tanks have a land combat value of 5.5 and 8 hitpoints. On round 6, Germany is allowed to research special technology which reduces the cost of battle tanks to 6 PUs each. All of this may sound impressive, but Germany’s battle tanks cannot be fully upgraded before round 7 at the earliest.

    If Germany is not content with 50 ton battle tanks, it can research 75 ton heavy tanks (King Tigers). Entry level heavy tanks have a land combat value of 4, 8 hitpoints, and cost 12 PUs to build. Once Germany has researched all technology relevant to heavy tanks, its heavy tanks will have 18 hitpoints, a land combat value of 15, and will cost a mere 10 PUs to build. This is by far the best tank situation in the game. However, this represents a long-range goal for Germany. It must chip away at that goal a little a turn, and will not be able to fully achieve it before round 12. By that point it will have spent a staggering 45 EUs on tank research. Had those EUs instead gone into improving Germany’s industrial cities, they would have resulted in an income increase of 22 PUs per turn. Considering that Germany’s starting income is 43 PUs per turn, that kind of income increase is nothing to sneeze at!


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