Proposed neutral rules for A&AGlobal, feedback welcome

  • I have been tossing around the idea of house rules for the neutral nations.  Wanting to keep things simple I don’t want to change the value of units on the board, but think considering the pages upon pages of rewrites of A&A Global, they could have 1 page giving the rules for the neutral nations.  These are based on the Alpha2 ruleset but can be easily adjusted to the new set.

    Some nations act in neutral blocks, when one nation is attacked all the others join the opposing side as pro-whatever.

    Venezula, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia uraguay, Chile and Argentina fill out these nations.  The act in concert and if one is attacked it is akin to a declaration of war on the lot.

    Colonial powers
    Portugal and Spain had vast colonial empires, an attack on one brings in the forces of all their colonies.  This represents an Iberian Alliance and includes the territories of Portugal, Spain, Rio D’oro, portuguese Guinea, Sierra Leone, Angola, and Mozambique.

    Middle East Powers
    Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan are included in this set.  An attack on one is an attack on all.

    Liberia is Pro Allied in our games, it was an American client state after all.  We also have been using Mongolia as the penalty for agression in Siberia, so it is seperated from the other countries.  I however intend to change it to something a bit more historically accurate which is to have them join Russia if Russia is attacked and to figure out some penalty for Russia if they choose to attack Japan.  Another quirky addition is that Greece and Crete are one nation, if UK takes Crete on UK1 they unlock Greece.  Also if the Axis invade Greece but don’t take Crete, than it gets a UK marker and is British.

    That just leaves the random European nations of Sweden and Switzerland.  I need ideas for these two.  I had been thinking that for Switzerland, if it is attacked than every true neutral declares for the other side, but that wouldn’t work for Sweden.

    Also if this has been discussed in the past could someone post me a link or give directions (page number) so I can see other’s ideas?  Thanks!

  • Customizer

    We use neutral blocks too, but ours is set up a little different:
    South American block:  All strict neurtrals in South American continent
    Mongolian block:  All territories in Mongolia.  (this is treated differently now in ALpha+3)
    Mid-East block:  Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan
    European Block:  Sweeden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and Eire
    African Block:  All strict neutrals in African continent

    When we first started using neutral blocks, I was not aware of the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in Africa.  We just went simply geographical.  Makes the game a little simpler to remember.  Also, some people say Turkey should be included in the Europe block, but I thought it suited the Mid East block better and I wanted another country to go with the other two, although when you think about it, Turkey really does affect Europe more.

  • I have never cared much at all for the “pro” one side or the other neutrals.  Doesn’t much make sense to me and I like to keep it simple as well.  I have always figured “neutral” means “neutral”.  Even if the government of one was “pro” one side or the other, it didn’t mean that the highest percentage of the population agreed with that sentiment (look at the U.S. before the war).  Then you have the added political effects (and the calculations to go with it) of a population disagreeing with its government - even IF the government was totalitarian.  For game playing, I don’t want to mess with that so we use this rule:

    Neutral countries may be attacked without paying an IPC penalty. When you attack a neutral (or violate its neutrality by an over flight) your opponent whose capital is closest to that neutral country rolls THREE dice. [Exception: roll SIX dice when violating the neutrality of Turkey or Spain.] The resulting number is the amount of IPCs your opponent receives to IMMEDIATELY spend on land or air units to place in that neutral country to defend against your attack. All neutrals have an IPC territory value of ONE when they are controlled by a major power.

    Attacking or conquering one neutral country has no effect on any other neutral either “pro” or “con”.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    I like that. I’m playing game where you attack and if you lose, that territory only becomes an allied territory of either axis or allies. You only can influence certain ones, icp value , roll dice. The rest you can attack.

  • @knp7765:

    When we first started using neutral blocks, I was not aware of the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in Africa.  We just went simply geographical.  Makes the game a little simpler to remember.  Also, some people say Turkey should be included in the Europe block, but I thought it suited the Mid East block better and I wanted another country to go with the other two, although when you think about it, Turkey really does affect Europe more.

    Well when I started playing I was acutely aware of colonial possessions.  Not having Spain and portugal go with Africa is ridiculous, those are their colonies.  I think Turkey runs with the Middle east block because they need the support over European neutrals.  Switzerland is going to be a non-issue because if you attack switzerland, every other neutral on the board joins the other side.  So not really worried about that.  The only question mark is what to do about Sweden.

  • Customizer

    Well, I guess for your games you could simply make Sweeden on their own.  If it gets attacked, by Axis or Allies, it only affects Sweeden and no other neutral.
    By the way, earlier I listed Eire in the European block of strict neutrals.  I just looked at the map and realized it is Pro-Allies already.  DUH!

    Just curious, why do you treat Switzerland with such high penalty if it is attacked?

  • Because the nations of the world consider a neutral switzerland to be an advantage.  They get to trade with switzerland and it also is the ‘shining beacon on the hill’ in regards to world neutrality.  In order to make it a serious penalty to attack, I think this is a good way.  Besides there’s no resources in Switzerland, just troops to fight.

    That plan doesn’t work so well for Sweden.  It is worth money, so conceivably who ever attacks it can make their money back over the next few rounds.  I don’t want it to be inviting though, so I think something has to be done to make it remain neutral.  I was thinking Germany would stay out provided they can still receive their NO for holding Denmark.  But whats to keep the allies or Russia from attacking Sweden?

  • @SS:

    I like that. I’m playing game where you attack and if you lose, that territory only becomes an allied territory of either axis or allies. You only can influence certain ones, icp value , roll dice. The rest you can attack.

    Aye, we do something very similar.  If you attack and fail to conquer the neutral territory, it then becomes a territory of the power who defended it.  There is still no effect on any other neutral territory on the board as a result of the battle.

  • Yeah I thought about this, but it doesn’t address the fact that countries can exist over more than one territory.  Take Crete/Greece for example or Portugal/Spain as another.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    You keep hitting this and I keep agreeing with you.

    Shall we drive to Larry’s place and have a face to face reckoning with him about this? It may be the only way to get this established.

    As for a house rule, two of my games ended abruptly, if you are willing to test it online, I am happy to engage in a test of this.

  • I get unfettered access to the board in late Sept.  I’m hoping to get to play some Alpha 3 games at that time.  Not wanting to use the battlemap app, but would like to learn the dicey options and OOL.

    Still, right now I’m just trying to iron out simple, logical rules for the Neutrals.  I dont’ want to change their stats, but I also don’t want them to be mindless zombies.  They can be affected by moves on the board other than invasion of another neutral.

    This whole AAG40 thing has really soured me on Larry’s infallibility.  The latest Alpha3 really did it because it seemed like we had a 100 page thread on his site touching issues that needed clarification or resolution in Alpha2.  Then he releases Alpha 3 with completely new ideas and possibly game-breaking.  Is Larry the dog from UP?  Squirrel!

  • I like the idea of the blocs. I would just as soon lump Sweden and Switzerland into the Europe-Africa bloc to keep things clean and semi-plausible. That would be the simple recommendation. However…

    Since Sweden was kind of an interesting case, you could consider making them the “if certain conditions are met…” country for the Allies as an answer to the proposals for Spain to become a pro-Axis neutral if certain conditions are met. According to my very cursory online research, Sweden was apparently drafting plans in 1943 to join the Allies for liberating Denmark. This even with the Axis still historically in control of Norway and Finland. Perhaps if the following conditions are met:
    -UK is not Axis occupied
    -Norway and Finland are Allied controlled
    ?-US has at least one ground unit in mainland Europe.

    I think changing values of units would add fun and accuracy to without adding new rules to remember. After all, the OOB setup is already mangled anyway, what’s the trouble in adding a few extra lines to the initial setup for some of the neutrals?
    These would be my modifications:

    Mongolia: reduce to 2-3 INF total. The Mongolian army was only ~80,000 personnel in 1945. I don’t know the country’s total population in 1940  but the almighty wikipedia says < 1 mil in 1939. As it stands now, they have 3x the military of Switzerland, a nation with far more people and more organized conscription. Even with the scale of historical divisions to A&A pieces being smaller on the Pacific board than Europe, Mongolia is way too large of a force. Historically they were pretty insignificant in WWII.

    Argentina: add a cruiser (sz 85)
    Spain: add a tac bomber
    Sweden: add a cruiser (sz 114), add a tac bomber, maybe replace an INF with an ARTY

  • Interesting, I didn’t know Sweden was leaning Allies,  I thought they were ‘strict’ neutral because the money was so good.  I don’t have any special Spanish rules though, and no intention of changing the on board unit setup.(although you bring up a great point about the Mongolian horde)  I would be willing to entertain ideas that might bring Sweden into the war along the lines of Mongolia though.  I am pretty sure Sweden didn’t care one way or the other who won WW2, so long as it wasn’t Communism.  So I would think something like, if Russia holds Finland for an entire round the Swede’s join the Axis.  If Russia holds Finland for a round while the Allies are in Norway, Sweden turns Allies.  Not sure if that would make Sweden too tempting for a Russian invasion, but is the direction I am heading.

  • I’m certainly no expert but I get the impression that Sweden as a whole wasn’t too keen on the Nazis, especially after watching them trample the sovereignty of their Scandinavian neighbors. Sweden was really in an impossible place, being surrounded on all sides by Nazi-controlled territory. I reckon they figured their best bet was to avoid an ugly fight and occupation and acquiesce to German trade and transportation demands. I think it’s very telling that as soon as the tide started to swing against the Axis, the Swedes were entering talks with the Allies about liberating Denmark, even though they were still surrounded by the Nazi empire.

    Very few Swedish volunteers joined the German Army or Waffen SS. Many fought with the Finns again in the Continuation War, but Swedes in the Wermacht/SS were very small relative to other nations like Norway, Belgium, France, and others. I wouldn’t advocate any A&A trigger for Sweden to join the Axis. I haven’t read anything that indicates a serious leaning toward the Axis. But again, I’m no expert on Sweden; I would love to hear dissenting opinions.

  • What about neutral territories producing units. Once they have be occupied, during the mobilize units phase they produce 1/3 of their standing army (infantry). In all scenarios this would be either  1 or 2 Infantry that would just appear. You could liken this to forced conscription or something. Dont know how that would work for the Allies though. Im sure someone can make something up. Is this the sort of thing you were asking for?

    Also I dont know why the Allies would attack strict neutrals. Maybe the extra Infantry could apply to the Axis only causing the need for the Allies to liberate these territories? with urgency.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    The income from the neutral goes to their controller, so any “units” they would produce go to their controlling nation for training and “appear” there during mobilize new units.  That’s how I always viewed complexes really, more as training facilities.  It better explains why you cannot place infantry in territories without complexes.  If you think of them as factories, well, how do you “assemble” an infantryman?  (I guess rifle + helmet + rucksack + boots + clothes, but what about 18 years of life experience, 9 weeks of training?)

  • I’m not too keen on changing the troop values for the various countries.  I think having their ipcs go to the controlling nation is enough.

    You bring up a good point about the allies attacking neutrals, but these rules are really about bringing more options to both sides rather than taking them away.  I have no problem making Historical Sacrifices provided it results in improved  game play and fun.  I’m just looking for simple, perhaps a short paragraph, to give the rules for various Neutrals.

    Back to Sweden.  I maintain the greatest fear the Swede’s had was Communism.  When Stalin attacked Finland they sent support to them.  They allowed transit rights to the Germans so they could fight the Russians.  I am sure they were entertaining thoughts about joining the allies in order to keep the Russians out of invading Scandinavia.  Even if these things are not true, I am leaning towards rules that follow the ‘evil communism’ spirit.

    Perhaps giving Germany the option to activate Sweden when the time comes is best?  Germany can then look at the on board situation and decide if Sweden being activated is wise, or if it is just giving that territory to Russia.  I am thinking this would not be a round after round decision though, Germany gets 1 shot at Sweden.

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