1939 global contention varient



  • I am curious how many people would be interested in developing a ‘randomized’ version of the world for the 1939 map.  I have been working on rule sets for my wife and myself, and a few of our friends so we could essentially take the one time period prior to ww2 and completely mix up ‘HOW THE WAR HAPPENS’… a rather large ‘what if’ thought in the war was GOING to happen, but who says the sides were going to be as they were.

    breaking the world into powers and nations we came up with the following list, according to game play possibilities, map layout and breaking some historical boundaries.  This is NOT a historical game idea, this is an exercise in inventiveness, and replayability.  I have been playing A&A since mid 1980s…  I have been waiting for a version where I can build my own forces to my taste, and when I saw the 1939 map, I decided why wait for someone else to create the option!  (and as much as I love the idea of free flowing nations, I dislike risk (combat and style) style plop as you want armies)

    Major Powers:
    US (+Asia)
    Japan
    Germany
    Briton (+Africa)
    Russia

    Regional Powers:
    Italy (+Africa)
    France (+Africa, Asia)
    India (Asia)
    Anzac
    China

    Minor Nations:
    Canada
    South Africa (Annexed: Angola, Mozambique)
    Finland
    Hungary  (Annexed: Romania, Bulgaria)
    Turkey
    Dutch territories (Holland, Asia islands)

    (active) Neutral Influences
    Scandinavia (formed between Sweden and Norway)
    Poland (Annexed: Baltic States)
    Spain
    Greece (Annexed: Yugoslavia)
    Iran
    Thailand (Formed between Siam, French Indochina, Saigon)

    (Idle) Neutral Influences
    Communist China
    Mongolia
    Brazil: South America
    Chile: South America (formed between Chile, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela)
    Argentina: South America (formed between Corrientes, Viedma, Santa Cruz)

    Oil Conglomerates
    Saudi Arabia (Formed between Medina, Riyadh, Rub Al Khali)

    The number of each type 5,5,6,6,5 was the driving factor for some of the placements, it is very important when working on a project like this to remember balanced gameplay is the ideal outcome.  Looking at the 1939 map you have the MAJORITY of potential nations in the european theater.  Moving Anzac and China into regional powers with India pushes heavy into the Pacific theater, Dutch Territories allows another whole dimension to the southern pacific, while Turkey, hungary, and finland offer some really diverse options in europe.  I know that a lot of the nations (spain, turkey, dutch territories) didn’t truly take part in the war and others like South america, mongolia, were about the same in many manners.  But again, for what we are trying to achieve, please try to look past ‘history’ and look at ‘possibility’.

    The first major hurdle of this idea is figuring out how to assign players their nations/powers (will only call them nations from now on, other then in categories)

    At first I tried a ‘purchasing’ scheme.  Major powers worth 300, Regional Powers worth 200, Minor Nations worth 100, Active neutrals worth 50 and Idle Neutrals worth 25…  Each player would be given a pool to spend.  This becomes tricky as for each player added to the game, you need to change the pool amounts.  The goal of this was to have some countries left un-bought.  In all our tests (we ran mock purchase runs…)  we found players desired to centralize all their purchases in the same vicinity of the map, purchasing based on 1400 2 player, 1000 3 player, 800 4 player, 600 5 player, 600 6 player and -50 per player past 6, made the goal achievable with not having EVERY nation bought.  But the problem came down to, no one would by the weaker nations at all, spending all their nation purchase pool on majors, regionals and minors given the chance.

    second try we randomized countries.  We assigned each nation a value in a deck of cards. US=ace of hearts, Japan=king of hearts, etc etc… each category of nation had their own category of card (heart/spade/club/diamond) and we used the previous buying scheme to purchase the cards.  this worked a lot better for mixing the game up.  The theory crafting of how a 3 or 4 player game would start was exciting!

    the third change was to remove the purchasing price and assign each game type (# of players) a designated table on how many of each type a player would get, having the players roll off for order of choosing the table they wanted to play, or even BID for table order, and then using the cards randomly assigning nations to the players as listed.  In this style we intentionally left out a minor nation, 2 active neutrals and 2 idle neutrals to create more neutral blocks through the world.  This also greatly depends on how many players you are assigning nations to, a 2 player game will differ greatly from a 7 player game.

    … so we have nation picking decided (theoretically) now you have to decide how you are going to purchase units for the start of the game…



  • Purchasing units was the next hurdle. how do you populate the map in a game where the original structure is no longer there.  taking a chunk from another message I found on this forum I added to it…

    UNIT PURCHASE AND PLACEMENT RULES:

    -There will be four placement turns prior to the first actual turn of the game. Each player purchases and places their units in reverse order of the normal turn order.
    -Original FREE IC’s and Research Facilities are placed within starting territories as per players desire, only 1 of each type per territory,  These may be placed on any territory and are not restricted by territory worth. 
    -Additional Industrial/Research Complexes and Naval/Air Bases may be purchased with the players cash
    -Each territory with an IPC value of 1 thru 5 must have Infantry (Mechanized or regular) in a quantity of at least one less than the IPC value of the territory (minimum 1)
    -Territories with an IPC value of 6 or higher must have at least 5 Infantry (see the United States mainland)
    -Can not place more artillery then Infantry in any Territory
    -Can not place more Armor then Infantry in any Territory
    -Can not place more Mechanized Infantry then Armor in any Territory
    -Can not place more Fighters then Territories value, unless Airbase is present then add 3.
    -Can not place more Tactical Bombers then Fighters in any Territory
    -Can only place Strategic Bombers in a Territory where there is a Airbase
    -Fighters/Tactical Bombers can start on carriers with no restriction other then carriers carrying capacity.
    -Players cannot place a nations units in territories other than the nations own.
    -You can only place naval units in zones adjacent to your territories. In sea zones where opposing sides border the same sea zone, total up the adjacent land IPC value and the side with the highest value can place units in that sea zone.
    -A land territory can only have a number of ships adjacent to it equal to the IPC value of the territory. If the territory has a naval base in it, it will allow 3 additional naval units to be placed in adjacent waters.
    -A maximum of 2 IPCs can be carried over to the next turn, with the exception of turn 4 when up to 5 IPCs may be saved for the players first actual turn in the game
    -Any non-player-purchased Countries will use official placement orders supplied with g39 game, and act as true neutrals, neither purchasing units, nor attacking or moving units.

    So there is the rule for purchasing your armies, its pretty good and handles everything pretty well.

    so the question is, how much money do the players get to spend?  I added up values of armies in the G39 charts, germany for instance broke 500 IPC in placed units with a production of 24, starting ipc of 52 and tons of areas around it to activate and conquer.  In order to make each category of power ‘useful’ we decided to test the potential of a 60% increase between powers.

    majors: 296
    Regionals: 185
    Minors: 115
    Neutral active: 72
    Neutral Idle: 45

    this allows the majors to be majors without dwarfing everything around them, and allowing misplaced nations (ie pacific strong player with a minor in europe) to still have a chance at maintaining their territories while not having a large chance at destroying the nations single handedly they were starting beside.



  • Rule modifications  were something we were strong on as well…

    for instance we added in various new structures not found in Global 40…

    Research Facilities  – each research facility allowed a player to roll for a research during the ‘collect income’ phase of their turn.  These can be bombed as per industry complexes and need to be repaired to function.  They can be destroyed if the territory they are in is conquered.  Allows a nations research to be represented on the map.

    -Minor nations not having a capital or using Industrial complexes to build, never able to build research facilities:  (global 40 china rule) restricted by how many territories they own (ie own 2 territories, you can only build 2 units, own 6 territories, you can build 6 units) this is important to know as in why places like South America annexed other countries to fulfill their quota.

    -Neutrals (active) gaining a set number of IPC per turn, purchasing units, but not attacking outside of their territories until ‘activated’, land value added to activating nation, neutral never gains MORE income as per g39 rules set income throughout the game, placement of units as per minor nations above… restricted by territory # (neutrals never conquer enemy territory.  this is why places like siam annexed indochina etc… or formed blocks like Scandinavia)

    -Neutrals (idle) does not gain IPC until activated, then falls under g39 minor nation rules (ala hungary)

    -Oil Conglomerates: any 1 nation owning all 3 territories on their purchase unit phase receives a 1 IPC reduction on all purchases.  If same player owns all 3 territories with different nations, the player may shuffle the ownership as follows:  Minor nations can give ownership to Regional or Major power.  Regional can give ownership to Major power.  All three can give ownership to a nation of equal power to itself.     Giving ownership is only allowed if the nation receiving the ownership already owns one of the territories.

    various house rules
    ==Artillery changes, Anti-Aircraft gun changes, Anti-tank gun addition, Fortifications, Convoy Disruption rules (IPC value of convoy requires likewise number of disrupting ships) Daylight and nighttime bombing raid options, Losing a capital forfeits money to the bank, not to the conquering player, turn order to be specified by player not by nation (player1 does all turn functions at once for all their nations)  allowing for multinational attacks and transportation, Defenders retreating from combat, coastal gun locations (Gibraltar, Turkey, Denmark making rules like the suez canal for these territories), Major Nations potentially sharing Technology with allied minor nations when breakthrough occurs, 3 options for breakthrough rolls (1-6 x 3 lists), revised unit pricing to allow more flexible navies for lower income nations, etc

    all the various rules aren’t needed in your variant play of Global Contention but they are really well play tested and thought out and explained, if anyone is interested… Imho the research facilities is something this game can definitely gain from, costing an initial cost of 15 or 20 ipc to build, limit 1 per territory, must be connected to capital (ie not on an island or different continent) can be bombed 4/8 health and cost 2 ipc to repair each point. destroyed if conquered, can steal a technology on a 6 when destroying.



  • The next problem is, what is each nations income set to at the start of the game.

    This is a bit harder, because now you can have situations where Italy, france, Hungary can all be aligned and attack germany, even tho it is far fetched that a player with germany wouldn’t have another nation near by to help balance the equation.

    I was going to try to use the values from G39, but anzac, canada, south africa, and places like these would suffer hugely compared to places like United States and Japan …  poor canada if they are at war with the united states!

    So ultimately what i am working on now is a more ‘finalized’ value of:

    pre-purchasing of unit amounts
    start of game income

    Balancing out the strength of each type of nation vs what they could fight with and or against.  The size and location of same nations makes them at more of a dissadvantage or advantage in this style of play.  Germany may be compacted into a tight area as a major, but has a lot of potential allies or enemies right on its door step.  Russia is huge, its like trying to own Russia in risk, you have to defend so many potential areas its going to be impossible to stop them all… so should russia start with more purchasing power, or more income?  US, a predominantly sea bound nation, could wage war across any continent… balancing that off with the potential of being parred with Japan, and being able to be focused on only 1 theater… how do I give them their historically high income.

    thoughts? suggestions?  discussion?



  • this was spawned by two posts i read on this forum

    index.php?topic=23443.0 <– can’t post links, but thats after the /forums/

    and another that i can’t find, but i had cut and paste… concerning purchasing units in the structure of normal A&A



  • – Personally I would like to discuss the distribution of nations.

    5,5,6,6,5 distribution might not be the ideal numbers… I moved china up to regional and dutch and turkey into minors to facilitate more middle map and southern asia play.
    I guess the main question is, would the selection be more balanced if it was 6,6,6,9 or 6,6,6,6,3 instead of having the odd numbers in major and regional, and if yes, what list would make gameplay sense, as well as somewhat historically correct in their potential of projected power.

    to quote the list as per first post:

    Major Powers:
    US (+Asia)
    Japan
    Germany
    Briton (+Africa)
    Russia

    Regional Powers:
    Italy (+Africa)
    France (+Africa, Asia)
    India (Asia)
    Anzac
    China

    Minor Nations:
    Canada
    South Africa (Annexed: Angola, Mozambique)
    Finland
    Hungary  (Annexed: Romania, Bulgaria)
    Turkey
    Dutch territories (Holland, Asia islands)

    (active) Neutral Influences
    Scandinavia (formed between Sweden and Norway)
    Poland (Annexed: Baltic States)
    Spain
    Greece (Annexed: Yugoslavia)
    Iran
    Thailand (Formed between Siam, French Indochina, Saigon)

    (Idle) Neutral Influences
    Communist China
    Mongolia
    Brazil: South America
    Chile: South America (formed between Chile, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela)
    Argentina: South America (formed between Corrientes, Viedma, Santa Cruz)

    Oil Conglomerates
    Saudi Arabia (Formed between Medina, Riyadh, Rub Al Khali)

    in order to maintain a semblance of balance on the board I would consider moving India into the major powers list, renaming it as the British empire (with no tie to briton of course)

    This would even out the totals to 6,4,6,6,5  The only real draw back of this would be in larger games of 6+  the 7th, and 8th player would need extra balancing in order to compete (ie extra nation or something)


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