What rules for a Sept. 1939 start date?



  • Starting the game in May 1940 eliminates the need for rules to steer the game in a more or less historical direction for the opening moves.  And, while deviating from the historical decisions is the whole point of playing games like this (to “prove” you are a better strategist than the people who had to do it for real  😄 ), the players’ decisions should be somewhat constrained by the same problems and dilemmas that existed at the time.

    To that end, what rules would you use for a Sept. 1939 start date?  The problems that come to mind are: how do you reconcile the fact that Germany would have to conquer Poland, Norway, Denmark, and Holland/Belgium before they could even get to their starting point in May 1940?  This would probably require at least two turns of combat, construction of new units, and staging.  While Germany is dealing with Poland, how do you stop France and England from coming in the back door?  History has derided them for the overly cautious “Phony War” they pursued, only invading a few miles into Germany when they could have gone much deeper, possibly crippling the German war effort early.  So, it should be possible for France and Britain go on the offensive early, but from a game play perspective, it wouldn’t be fun for them to be able to deliver a knock-out punch right away.

    Ideas I’ve had floating in my head:

    Have a large chunk of the German, British, and French militaries start as reservists who have not yet been mobilized.  They appear in the “place new units” phase on turn 1 (or possibly split between turn 1 and turn 2?).  They cost nothing, and are in addition to any units purchased.  This might solve the problem of the Germans having to get large numbers of infantry and artillery from Poland all the way to the French, Danish, Dutch-Belgian border after Poland falls.  It also keeps the French and British from walking right in while Germany is occupied in the East, since their starting armies will be smaller.  But how much smaller should they be in order to make an invasion of Germany iffy, but still possible?  This also brings us to the next issue:

    How do you get the British player to actually deploy the Expeditionary Force instead of just holding it on the home islands to fend off Sea Lion?  Maybe a National Objective of some sort?  Perhaps:  British Expeditionary Force (1 tank, 1 mech, 1 artillery, 1 infantry, and 1 fighter) appears during “place new units” phase of turn one.  These units can be placed together or separately in England, Scotland, Holland/Belgium, France, and/or Normandy/Bordeaux. Germany receives 25 IPCs on turn one, and another 25 IPCs on turn 2.  This is reduced (but not below 0) by the IPC value of British units present on those turns in Holland/Belgium, France, or Normandy/Bordeaux.

    Other issues:

    Starting forces for doomed countries (Use French playing pieces.):

    Denmark:  1 infantry
    Norway:  1 infantry
    Holland/Belgium:  2 infantry
    Poland:  5 infantry and 1 fighter in Poland, and 2 infantry in Eastern Poland

    Russia can invade Eastern Poland on turn 1 and Finland on turn 3.  This will not count as a declaration of war against any other power.

    What about the Pacific map?  Should Japan start with one less Chinese territory?  Maybe Kwangsi?

    Also, US and Russian declarations of war should be pushed back one turn.  Or maybe 2?  And should the British and Italians be allowed to go at each other on turn 1?

    This obviously needs a lot of work, and a reduction in starting forces for most countries.  What other issues am I overlooking?



  • I’m not sure what ratios the game shoots for with respect to infantry div per inf piece, tanks per tank piece, guns per arty piece, aircraft per fgt piece.  However, you could try to use roughly the strength ratios of German forces available for attack on turn 1 in Poland, to Poland’s total defenders.  Obviously, only a portion will be hit by Germany in turn 1 while the USSR will take out the remainder.

    You might consider giving Poland a single tank (maybe drop an infantry to do so.)  Poland actually had a credible tank force for the time, though heavily outnumbered.  Poland had primarily small machine gun types, but it also had some homemade variants that proved formidable to the lightly armed and armoured Panzer I and II’s:  including a TKS nkm armed with 20 mm cannon, and the 7-TP’s with 37 mm.

    I don’t have Europe so I can’t address the start up strengths and dispositions directly.  The reservist idea makes good sense, since France/UK should be in reactive mode.  So it could make limited initial inroads to Germany on its first turn.  If Germany’s tank force can retake the lost territory on the next turn then I think that would be a reasonable simulation since it would also cost France tank(s), infantry, and arty to do this.



  • Setup would be the same, but change:

    Use french pieces:
    Holland/Belguim: 2 Infantry
    Norway: 2 Infantry
    Denmark: 1 Infantry
    East Poland: 2 Infantry
    Poland: 3 Infantry, 1 Artillery

    Germany Change:
    +2 Infantry, 1 Artillery, 1 Mech, 2 Tanks, 1 Tac, 1 Fighter in West Germany
    +4 Infantry, 1 Tank, 1 Fighter in Germany

    Russia change:
    +2 Infantry in Baltic states

    Japan change:
    lose Kwangsi
    +2 Infantry in that territory above Kwangsi (whats its name! :x)

    China change:
    1 Infantry in Kwangsi

    Any thing else?



  • Hmm.  So you’d actually beef up the forces in Western Germany?  I was thinking the opposite - that all their offensive forces would be on the Polish border, with W. Germany stripped down to only 2-5 infantry and some AA.  Also, the overall size of everyone’s starting forces would be smaller, to represent the reservists who were still in the stages of being called up, equipped, given refresher training, and integrating new draftees to bring them up to strength.  Also to represent the completion of units that were already paid for and under contruction, but finished between Sept. 1939 and May/June 1940.

    For the Germans, I was thinking they’d be minus (in relation to Alpha+3):  1 tank, 6-8 infantry, 3 tactical aircraft (either 1 fighter and 2 tac bombers, or 2 fighters and 1 tac bomber), 1 battleship, 1 artillery, and 1 mech.  These would all be taken from the forces in Germany, W. Germany, and S. Germany.  All of these except 2 infantry and 1 of the tactical aircraft would be received as “free” reinforcements at the end of turn 1.

    Now I suppose you could say the Germans may have had a plan to whack France first, and then go for Poland, or maybe try to take them both at once.  I’m not sure how realistic that would be, but meh.  What the heck.  If you wanted to go this route, you could let the Germans shift their initial land and air units between Germany, W. Germany, and S. Germany any way they want.
    For France, I’d start them off with only 2 infantry, 1 artillery, 1 tank, 1 fighter, 1 tac bomber, and 1 AA in France; 1 infantry and 1 artillery in Normandy, and 1 infantry and 1 artillery in S. France.  They’d have no units in the UK, of course, and British would have no units on the continent.  The French would receive 1 artillery and 3 infantry as free reinforcements at the end of turn 1, (and maybe they’d start in Holland/Belgium).  The British starting forces would be the same as A+3 minus the aforementioned Expeditionary Force.



  • Almashir,

    Your approach has a more historical flavor to me.  I think the key point for Germany starting in Sept. '39 would be to beat Poland immediately, then transfer or counterattack France if needed with mechanized forces and airpower back in West Germany if France attacked.  This might lead Germany to contemplate using fewer resources than available for the the Polish attack.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Did you ever play world at war?

    Start the game off with what WOW called a German DOUBLE IMPULSE turn.

    Build
    Attack
    NCM
    Place
    Attack
    NCM

    Next players turn.

    or alternatively force France/UK on thier 1st turns into NCM’s only.

    Or  Both…

    As for Japan,  give them and the Chinese a bunch of units,  and Pull Japan right off the mainland - back to home territories, and let them wreak havoc…



  • @Gargantua:

    Did you ever play world at war?

    Start the game off with what WOW called a German DOUBLE IMPULSE turn.

    Build
    Attack
    NCM
    Place
    Attack
    NCM

    Next players turn.

    or alternatively force France/UK on thier 1st turns into NCM’s only.

    Or  Both…

    As for Japan,  give them and the Chinese a bunch of units,  and Pull Japan right off the mainland - back to home territories, and let them wreak havoc…

    world at war game? is it like A&A or is it COD World at war :lol:


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    http://www.xenogames.com/productspage.php?code=0502b

    Frank Xeno made it - but now he’s dead!



  • Was he old when he died?



  • @Gargantua:

    http://www.xenogames.com/productspage.php?code=0502b

    Frank Xeno made it - but now he’s dead!

    No pics? 😞


  • Customizer

    @almashir:

    How do you get the British player to actually deploy the Expeditionary Force instead of just holding it on the home islands to fend off Sea Lion?  Maybe a National Objective of some sort?  Perhaps:  British Expeditionary Force (1 tank, 1 mech, 1 artillery, 1 infantry, and 1 fighter) appears during “place new units” phase of turn one.  These units can be placed together or separately in England, Scotland, Holland/Belgium, France, and/or Normandy/Bordeaux. Germany receives 25 IPCs on turn one, and another 25 IPCs on turn 2.  This is reduced (but not below 0) by the IPC value of British units present on those turns in Holland/Belgium, France, or Normandy/Bordeaux.

    One small problem here. You couldn’t place British or French forces in Holland/Belgium prior to the German attack. This was one of the frustrations of the Allied forces at the time. They had a defense planned for a German attack and it called for them to stop the Germans in Belgium. However, since Belgium and Hollond chose to remain neutral even after Germany attacked Poland, the Allies could not practice their defensive stand on the terrain where they planned to do so because Belgium would not allow Allied troops on Belgian soil.
    So, when the attack did come, the Allies had to rush into Belgium from France and try to set up defenses rather than having them already set up. This was further hampered by Belgian refugees fleeing the German on-rush, which is exactly what the Germans wanted.



  • Hmm.  Good point, knp.  I’m beginning to see why Larry chose the start point he did  😛

    Gargantua,  I’m beginning to like your idea of a double impulse for Germany.  It would probably be simpler.  I have a copy of the old Xeno rules, with the regular sized map and the giant blown-up version.  But I hadn’t looked at the rule book in years.

    Actually, the more I think about it, there probably wouldn’t be much to gain (in the way of game-play fun) with a Sept. '39 start.  I was originally thinking it would give the Axis a couple of extra turns to shape the battlefield before the US and USSR got into it, in exchange for having to do some extra conquest.  It might also give the French player more options than just getting punched in the groin and being taken out before he can make a single decision.

    I think Summer of '42 would be the simplest start point, but it seems so late in the war somehow.  At that point all the decisions that might have made a difference have already been made, and fate has locked everyone in to repeating the historical outcome.  I know the games don’t actually go that way.  It’s just a mental hang-up for me  🙂

    Maybe I’ll rethink an idea I had for a Summer of '41 scenario starting with Germany massed on the Soviet border for Barbarossa.  Since a single turn could represent 6 months, Barbarossa could be early on turn 1, and Pearl Harbor could happen right at the end.  That would the need for US entry rules, and most of the neutrals who were historically dragged in would already be in play.


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