How many players use house rules with regularity?


  • 2018

    I have been reading through the house rules people have listed and there are a lot of great ideas but wondered how many players actually use house rules with consistency.  I figured there may be some who have tweaked a rule or two, but figured there are others who create different game experiences by employing a number of house rules.  It would be fun to see how often people play with them.


  • Customizer

    There is one that I employ in every game. Submarines are allowed to submerge even with an enemy destroyer present after the first round of combat. This way there is a possibility of an escape although the sub still has to endure the first round. If your enemy brings 1 destroyer and 10 planes, you’re probably sunk but if by wild chance they all miss, your sub can escape. I’ve never liked the idea that the presence of even 1 enemy destroyer means no subs can submerge at all.
    Another that we use only involves tech. That’s Heavy Bombers. If you get Heavy Bombers, not only do you roll 2 dice, you KEEP the results of BOTH dice. In combats, it’s a possible 2 hits. In SBR, both dice are added together for damage, although we don’t add the +2 to the total like with regular bombers.



  • We always use our own finland rule. I put it up a couple of weeks ago. It’s really fun to have 3 axis sides and it’s still balanced. That’s the only house rule we use.



  • @Rhey:

    3 axis sides

    Do you mean 4?

    Any ways, we use some every once in a while, but were putting a game together where there Trains, Research Building, and each nation has special units



  • We always play with the following house rules:
    Heavy transport planes ($10, same movement as bombers, carry 3 Inf-like troops, max 3)
    Special Forces ($5, Atk 3, Dfd 1, max 5)
    The last 2 games I’ve played we’ve used the following tech rule:
    Each country starts w/ 1 research center, can buy another for $15. Each turn you roll a dice for each research center you own as they can be captured (ie France by Germ). They can also be strat bombed. I really, really like this house rule as tech was very rarely used in our games before.



  • @empireman:

    @Rhey:

    3 axis sides

    Do you mean 4?

    Yeah 4 when we play global but we usually never do. We usually play Europe 1940 with alpha rules. Global takes waaay too long 😄


  • 2018

    Thanks to those who replied.  I actually have never played a game with a house rule but have always been intrigued to - even going back the old 80’s “enhanced realism rules book.”  I tend to think about not altering original rules too much because of all the play testing that went into them.  So it is great to see how many players use house rules - a larger sampling would be even better!

    knp - I like the sub house rule.  It makes sense to me why you play it that way.  It would make them more effective at harassing enemy ships and force opponents to allocate, and then reallocate, units to destroy them.  The rule also has some historical context. When I read your rule I thought perhaps two rounds of combat should have to be endured, but then the kill ratio of the subs would most likely go up a lot.  Have you always allowed escape after one round?  I also like the heavier payload carried by your heavy bombers.

    Rhey - I read through your Finland house rule and it is too much change for me - particularly the 70+ IPC’s worth of units added to Russia to give balance.  But that is just me - looks like your group enjoys it.  I think that Germany needs to work more to create a northern flank and pressure on Russia by shuttling troops north of Lenningrad through Norway.  Wondering if the extra Russian troops deter Germany from an earlier Barbarossa?

    Crusaders1 - Transport planes is a cool idea.  I always thought transport planes were associated with paratroopers.  But as I read you it appears you use them more like naval transports?  We were thinking of trying the railhead idea where land units get a plus one movement, but the transport planes would take some edge off of that especially if railheads would cost more than $10 (we were thinking $12 or $15).  We are going to try Special Forces next game along with a mechanized artillery piece, possibly the research facility.

    Anyone else?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    First strike subs. Attacking and defending subs get first strike and both sides remove casulties. Then subs have to stay for 1 round of combat and then can retreat or dive.



  • @Field:

    Rhey - I read through your Finland house rule and it is too much change for me - particularly the 70+ IPC’s worth of units added to Russia to give balance.  But that is just me - looks like your group enjoys it.  I think that Germany needs to work more to create a northern flank and pressure on Russia by shuttling troops north of Lenningrad through Norway.  Wondering if the extra Russian troops deter Germany from an earlier Barbarossa?

    Well to be fairly honest, there really is no difference. Germany usually starts barbarossa G3 and finland follows. We sometimes even think that adding finland is an advantage for the axis. They have a minor IC close to Norway and Leningrad. The extra units of Russia counter the extra troops of Finland. We usually don’t really see a lot of difference with the games we had without finland. I’d say give it a try if you can. It is cool 😄


  • Customizer

    @Field:

    knp - I like the sub house rule.  It makes sense to me why you play it that way.  It would make them more effective at harassing enemy ships and force opponents to allocate, and then reallocate, units to destroy them.  The rule also has some historical context. When I read your rule I thought perhaps two rounds of combat should have to be endured, but then the kill ratio of the subs would most likely go up a lot.  Have you always allowed escape after one round?  I also like the heavier payload carried by your heavy bombers.

    I think we tried one game using the strict game rules and just didn’t like it. Especially Germany in the Atlantic and USA in the Pacific. So, we decided that subs should only suffer the first round of combat with an enemy destroyer present. Although, this rule could also be a detriment to the attacker. For example, say you have a couple of battleships and some subs. You get attacked by a couple of destroyers and a few planes. With his destroyers, you could take all hits on cheap subs leaving your pricy battleships untouched.
    Another House Rule we came up with is giving Cruisers AA capabilities. Each Cruiser, when attacked by air units with or without other ships, can roll up to 3 dice just like land AA guns before combat starts. Any hits of 1 will destroy an attacking plane before combat starts. After that AA roll, Cruisers defend normally @ 3 (including the first round of combat). Only problem is we keep forgetting to put this one into use. We will get 2 or 3 rounds into the game before realizing that we didn’t give any Cruisers their AA roll. I guess we could start using it after the game has started, but it seems unfair, especially since we end up noticing it just as a large air/naval battle is starting.


  • 2018

    @ Rhey - I will have to try the Finland variant sometime.  My remarks about imbalance stem from a perception only, but you have played it out so you should know better.  I didn’t think the imbalance came from the extra units placed on both sides but from the strategic advantage the axis might gain from their units being concentrated above Lenningrad - and especially from the Finnish minor IC.  I would be curious to know how many times the allies have won with this set up?


  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    We play where subs do not attack one another or have any effect on one another on the map or on the battleboard.



  • I have been playing Axis & Allies since Dec 1986.  Over that time frame, out of necessity, we’ve developed and used many house rules.

    Why do I say out of necessity?  Because many of the game’s rules create an uneven game, sometimes uneven so much so that a bid alone can not balance the strategic shortcomings.  House rules fit this bill to solve these issues.

    Sometimes, house rules were used to liven up the stale second edition rules as well.

    It helps that my main Face to Face play group has been together for 15+ years!


  • Customizer

    @Der:

    We play where subs do not attack one another or have any effect on one another on the map or on the battleboard.

    That’s probably a good idea. I’ve only heard of very few instances where subs battled it out with other subs, and the few I did hear of involved surfaced subs with deck guns, not torpedoing each other.

    What if you have a naval battle involving two large fleets with subs on both sides? Do you separate the sub rolls so you don’t take them on other subs? For example, say each side has 4 subs and 4 destroyers (along with other ships and planes). Subs and destroyers both attack at “2”. Do you separate the sub rolls and destroyer rolls and only apply the sub rolls to enemy ships and destroyer rolls to enemy subs and/or ships? What about the defending subs rolls at “1”? Are they ONLY applied to attacking ships?

    The only reason I wouldn’t like this is I think it limits subs too much. THey already can not hit planes. Also, I could see this rule being better for small engagements where only 2 or 3 ships max are on either side. It seems like too much of a bother to use in a large naval battle, unless you waited until closer to the end after more ships on both sides were already sunk. Of course, in that case, I imagine the subs would be the first to go anyway.


  • 2018

    @ axis_roll  - Would you mind sharing any or a few house rules that are different the some of the ones already posted in this thread?  With that many years experience I am thinking that you have developed some good ones.



  • I always use at least a few house rules, but really to add something to the game that I think is lacking. For instance, in G40, we have increased the value of the Soviet Yakutsk territory to 2IPC and reduced another, Tunguska, to 0. Also we use the old rule that if Japan attacks the Soviets or vice verse the other player gets 12IPCs. This allows the Soviets the ability of actually try to fend off a Japanese invasion instead of just having to slowly retreat across half of their territory, which never made much sense to me.


  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    @knp7765:

    @Der:

    We play where subs do not attack one another or have any effect on one another on the map or on the battleboard.

    What if you have a naval battle involving two large fleets with subs on both sides?

    You just say “subs can’t hit planes OR SUBS” and play it out. If there ends up being only subs left, the battle ends - put the subs back out on the map.

    1945 February 6- The Royal Navy submarine Venturer became the only submarine to sink another submarine while they were both submerged when she sank U-864 off Norway. In all the naval action of the whole world war this only happened once! I think you could say realistically it shouldn’t happen on the scale od Axis and Allies.

    As far as limiting the subs, IMO they should be limited. Their primary role historically was convoy raiding, and they now only cost 6 IPCs.


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